Two Central Symbols of the Song of Songs

Two of the central images of the wedding poem in the Old Testament that is called the Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon are a pomegranate and wheat. These images are accompanied by a great deal of other imagery in the poem that is either red, like a pomegranate, gold in color, like wheat, or white. Among those other things mentioned in the Song of Songs that are red are the kermes dyes called crimson and scarlet, Tyrian purple dye, henna, cedarwood, roses, cinnamon, red wine, pomegranate juice, and the dawn. Saffron dye, gold, topaz, yellow crocuses, yellow apples, dates, honey, honeycomb, and the sun are golden. Undyed linen, ivory, marble, silver, henna blossoms, milk, and the moon are white. The images of pomegranate and wheat that are included in this webpage here are from a webpage that I am in the course of designing with the help of Naomi Parkhurst and Stephen Sample.

The Pomegranate

Picture of Pomegranate (explained below)

A pomegranate is symbolic of the heroine of the Song of Songs, whose hair is a dark red compared to the dark red of crimson and Tyrian purple dyes ("Your head on you is like crimson, and the hair of your head like Tyrian purple"). A pomegranate was also symbolic of maidenhood and was given to brides as part of the wedding ceremony in ancient times.

The Wheat

Picture of Wheat (explained below)

Wheat is symbolic of the hero of the Song of Songs, whose hair is blond ("His head is gold, pure gold; his locks are date-floss. Black like the raven are his eyes..."). Wheat was also symbolic of fertility, and was one of the things thrown at the bride and groom in Israel and other countries in the same region in ancient times. The other things that were thrown at bride and groom during weddings in the region were dried fruit and nuts. The custom of throwing grain or dried fruit and nuts lingers on in the custom of throwing rice after Christian weddings as the bride and groom leave the church, and the custom of throwing dried fruit and nuts or candy at the groom or both bride and groom during the "ufruf"; a short ceremony that takes place during services at the synagogue shortly before a Jewish wedding.

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