Solomon and the Black Eyed Peas

People often mock the Song of Songs for having bizarre romantic imagery. Song of Solomon 7:4 is a notorious example: “your nose is like the tower of Lebanon” (to which I always want to add “which means you can think of that zit as more of a banner, if you prefer”).

Stuff like that keeps many from taking the Song of Solomon seriously as a love song. We obsess over the pictures that the song employs and fail to get the point.

And we act as though we’ve never seen such outlandish imagery before. Then without even realizing it we turn the radio on and hear the Commodores belting out “she’s a brick house

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In the cultural smackdown between us and the ancient near east, I have to give this round to the ancients. Which would you rather be called? A tower is slender, graceful, and curved. A brick house is short, squat, and angular. Quite frankly, we have no stones to throw.

And it’s that way throughout the Song.

So the next time you hear the Black Eyed Peas inquiring about the junk in your trunk, cut the Song of Solomon some slack and interpret it the way you would interpret any other love song–poetically.

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