James Kennedy on the Song of Solomon

James Kennedy (1818-1898) was born in Northern Ireland and ministered in the Reformed Presbyterian of Ireland for many years before moving to America in 1870 and assuming the pastorate of the Fourth Reformed Presbyterian Church of New York City, which he served until 1894.

Perhaps his most notable work is his study of the Song of Solomon: Christ in the Song: An Explanation of all the Figurative Descriptions of Christ in the Song of Solomon (1890). Like George Burrowes, he takes the allegorical interpretation of the SoS.

In this volume, he examines specifically particular figurative descriptions of Christ used by Solomon in some detail. The table of contents illustrates his approach:

  • The Principle on which the Song of Songs is interpreted

  • The Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ

  • Our Lord's Complexion

  • Our Lord's Pre-eminence

  • Our Lord's Head of Gold

  • Our Lord's Bushy Raven Locks

  • Our Lord's Dove Eyes

  • Our Lord's Aromatic and Brilliant Cheeks

  • Our Lord's Lily Lips Dropping Myrrh

  • Our Lord's Jewelled Hands

  • Our Lord's Ivory, Sapphire-set Body

  • Our Lord's Marble Limbs in Sockets of Gold

  • Our Lord's Countenance as Lebanon with its Cedars

  • Our Lord's Mouth Most Sweet

  • Our Lord Altogether Lovely

  • Our Lord our Beloved and Friend

This, then, is Kennedy’s aim in this exposition: “Our chief object in preparing [this] is a desire to exalt the ‘Glorious One’ of whom they treat, make him better known, endear him more to the children of God, and attract others to him as the great object of their confidence and love.” May his study of the SoS stir us up thus to more dearly love our precious Savior.