Song of Songs 5 is arranged in a modified chiasm:

A. Bride Asleep, Dodi (“my beloved”) speaks

B. His locks, v 2

C. He extends hand, arouses her belly, v 4; his hand

D. She arises: hands drip with myrrh, v 5

B’. Locks, v 12

D’. His lips drip with liquid myrrh, v 13

C’. Abdomen/belly is ivory, v 14; his hand

A’. Dodi (“my beloved”), v 15

The bride’s description of Dodi in verses 10-16 itself has a chiastic frame:

A. Daughters of Jerusalem, v 8

B. What kind of beloved?, v 9

C. Dazzling, ruddy, outstanding among a myriad, v 10

D. Description:

Head

Locks

Eyes

Cheeks

Lips

Hands

Abdomen

Legs

Form

Mouth

C’. Wholly desirable

B’. This is my beloved, v 16a

A’. Daughters of Jerusalem, v 16b

The description moves from the face to the middle of Dodi’s body, to his overall form, and finally back to his face. The list of ten features culminates with the bride once again desiring the mouth of the beloved, the kisses of his mouth (cf. 1:2).

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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