#62 Women of the Bible: Shulamite and the dance of love
(The Beloved and his friends): “Return, return, O Shulamite; Return, return, that we may look upon you!
(The Shulamite): What would you see in the Shulamite— As it were, the dance of the two camps?” (Song of Sol. 6:13 NKJV)
This is the first time the bride is called the Shulamite, (Strongs 7759, from shalam, peaceful), a feminine form of Solomon. She is shown here as dancing between 2 camps or companies (Strongs 4264) and her bridegroom is calling for her to turn around so her graceful movements and lovely form could be admired. She replies that when you see the Shulamite it is like seeing a “dance of two companies” (R.V.margin).
In gracious poetic language, the writer of Song of Solomon has captured the great mystery hidden in the Bible (Eph. 3:9) until the advent of Jesus and the invitation to the Gentiles to be united with God’s people, Israel. Sure, there had been more than a few hints in the Old Testament that the Gentiles would one day be blessed with the Jews (eg Isa. 11:10;42:6; 49:6;60:3; Jer. 16:19; Mal. 1:11) but it was not clearly made known by the Holy Spirit to all as it was in the days of the apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:5).
We have here 2 groups dancing, the Jews and the Gentiles together rejoicing about their common salvation in Jesus. From the moment that Paul and Barnabas announced to the envious Jews, who opposed His preaching about Jesus, that from then on he was going to follow the commandment of Jesus and take the Gospel to the Gentiles, the Gentiles have been rejoicing and glad and glorifying the word of the Lord with the faithful Jews who believed in Jesus as their Messiah (Acts 13:44-48).
The idea of dancing before and around God is a common theme in the Bible, especially when there had been a victory (eg David over Goliath and later the return of the ark of the covenant, Miriam at the deliverance from the pursuing Egyptians). Dancing was an integral part of Israelite life (Ecc.3:4).
We come now to the united Bride of Jesus who has been transformed, mind, body and soul by the energising and life-transforming presence of the Holy Spirit. Imagine the enthusiasm and delight in her dance as she rejoices in her salvation coupled with the mighty indwelling of God in her heart. Her King shouts over and over for her to turn and whirl and celebrate her dance of love with God. Can you hear the Divine choreographer calling for you to join the dance?