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Infidelity was high treason there, or it never would have furnished language to describe high treason to God. The Proverbs: Proverbs 5 and 7 indicate the attitude of the book on purity. The wiles of "the strange woman" and the stupid folly and destruction of her victim are specially set forth in the chapters mentioned.
In the last chapter of the book we have a portraiture of a "virtuous woman" in whom domesticity in purity has reached a high stage. The So of Songs: It is pleasant to turn from the tense severity of law, since it must deal largely with crime and sin, to the idealism of poetry.
It sets forth their crime, shame and sin, as well as their virtues, but its tone is approbative of the virtues and reprobative of the crime, shame and sin.
In the Magna Charta of the Hebrew people--the Ten Commandments--there stands in equal rank with any other principle, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." The sanction of religion and law was thus given to the integrity and purity of family life.
An illustration sometimes has the light of the sun in it.
What it is that is illustrated is frequently best seen by looking at the illustration itself. They wanted above all things that Israel should be true to Yahweh and to Him alone.
There is no more necessity of reading impurity into it than there is of reading it into the quotations above. The refrain of the poem is-- "I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem That ye stir not up, nor awake my love."--Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4.
This is remarkable, for it is a vast history over which its narrative sweeps, and in it every species of literature is represented.
It sets forth the acts and views of a people in all the stages of civilization, from wandering nomads to dwellers in cities embellished by architecture and every device of man to set forth riches and splendor.
The minute regulations against marriage with relatives, and the severe punishments inflicted for disregard of the restrictions (Le 18 and 20), were a powerful force in the same direction.
The adultery of married persons was to be punished by the death of both the parties (Leviticus ; Deuteronomy ). Doubtless they are primitive and date from the time of nomadism.
So Isaiah 62:4,5: "For Yahweh delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.