Sometimes it seems powerfully geeky to get excited about the clever intellectual flourishes of biblical texts, but when a particularly stunning turn of phrase or layered reference pops up in a reading it's just too interesting to ignore. In chapter six of the Song of Songs there is an amazing reference. It's impressive not just because it has a many-layered implication for the poem and the time in which it was written, but also because it's remarkably easy to miss.
After The Song of Songs passes its halfway point, it takes on a certain air of melancholy. The language which began the poem as luxurious and exuberant slowly becomes desperate and oppressive. The most shocking turn happens in Chapter 5 when the narrative strays from the disconnected dialogue between the two lovers and starts to include an entreaty to outsiders for help, sympathy and understanding. Most tragically, the story's protagonists, especially Rayati, find none of those things.
The third chapter of The Song of Songs is perhaps the strangest of the entire book. It has two distinct parts divided by the quasi-chorus ("do not stir up love until it pleases") that appears in some form or another throughout the entire poem. The first half details Rayati's search for Dodi, or perhaps a dream of her search for him, while the second half pulls away from the lovers entirely to describe a procession of King Solomon. These two segments at first seem entirely disconnected, but there is a tenuous narrative strand between the two.