The time scale of The Song of Songs is unclear. If the language is taken as pure metaphor the romance between the two speakers could be a very fast one, but if only a portion of the imagery is allegorical then Dodi and Rayati would have to spend potentially months apart. Whether their separation is brief or lengthy, the two lovers definitely demonstrate a shift in their language in the second chapter of the poem. There is an intensity in the words where in Chapter 1 there was only allure and curiosity. Their desire for one another escalates to the breaking point, but in Chapter 2 the lovers have not yet consummated their relationship.
The secular reading of The Song of Songs identifies it not only as a great love poem, but indeed as an erotic poem. From its first passages it uses both frank and euphemistic language to describe the attraction between the two enamored speakers. This, of course, presents a problem for the allegorical religious reading. The sages and many scholars since have attempted to coax a more chaste meaning from the poem and they have done so by noting The Song's frequent references to the natural beauty of the land of Israel. If Shir Ha'Shirim is indeed a metaphor for the love between God and Israel, that love is depicted as no less intimate, exclusive and sacred than the love between a husband and wife.