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Why should I be like a veiled woman?


In the Song of Songs, the Shulammite wants to find the “one her soul loves.” She asks, in the NIV translation of Song of Songs 1:7 “Why should I be like a veiled woman?” I think I know what this means now — other translations will help — and I’ve gotten some good thoughts from some of you through my comments on my website — and some good thoughts from ancient commentators. But I want to hear from you first. What do you think this means? And how would you apply it?

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  1. hmmm…without looking to see the context first – i’m going through something where i feel that i’ve “hidden” who i am in Christ at times and that i’ve recently been set free all over again. So, for me to see this scripture, as it rings true in my life – i don’t want to hide my gifts, integrity or value in Christ as He has created me to be. I often succumb to pressure in hiding my ideas or insight on things when some of these may be from God and need to be shared, leaving the reception to those who either choose to hear or not. 🙂

  2. After reading the context of the scripture…”why should I be like a veiled woman in the flock of your friends?” it seems that maybe she felt that she should hide her relationship and that it was not right to conceal something so great and special. I agree with her…my background often lead to a “private and personal” relationship with Christ, when it is definitely something to be shared in a loving and genuine way.

  3. Hi Dee hope your few days away were what you hoped in the Lord & some more.
    It is amazing how easy it is to get caught up in the discovery of what one line may mean. I got out a parallel bible plus a few other books.
    My first impression as I first read my bible, she didn’t want to be hidden away under veil. She wanted to be seen & to be there & to be there with ‘whom her soul loves”, to be exactly where he was, she didn’t want to miss him.
    My study bible (esv) said the veil had a negative connotation as in Gen38:14,15, she didn’t want to be mistaken as a postitute, which took me by surprise. I just saw the veil as something as a covering she was expected to wear but she just didn’t want to hide from Him. A couple of other versions talk of “wandering like a vagabond” & “a wander” & “turning aside’.
    So for me to apply this is not to hide under a veil which can easily come between seeing my Lord in a clear way, as He is & I shouldn’t hide the fact of who is the lover of my soul to anyone else… a challenge to share about My Lord. A veil can allow deception into
    your heart.

  4. I think that the veiled woman does mean a prostitute. If I were to interpret this verse, I think, it would go something like, “Please, please show me where you are! Help me to find that place, so my heart does not wander (go a-whoring) away from you.” I think it’s a recognition of her own heart, her propensity to go astray and her plea to Christ to help her! It’s strong though, because she is asking, “Why” should I be like that? Maybe, she is speaking to her own heart also!

  5. Mary P’s last comment about the “veiled woman” asking why, makes me think of David and the Psalms where he says things like: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Ps.43 David, here is speaking to his own soul, encouraging himself to trust in God, whom he says – he shall yet praise – saying in effect – God, I know you will come through and I shall yet praise you! I think the veiled woman is taking her request directly to God, showing, I think both her intimacy with him and her own vulnerability.

  6. Hi Dee, neat thoughts. I believe I see how a prostitute could groan to be naked and NOT ashamed anymore. A return to innocence, purity, where she seeks God’s approval and not man’s anymore. A place of true freedom and truest of all love. A place of abandon, fierce awakening of a holy kind yearns within her. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God Matthew 5:8.


  7. I think of relational idolatry also, and just idolatry in general, when I read, “For why should I wander like a prostitute among your friends and their flocks?”, seeking other things and other people to fill our needs. I think the word wander is interesting also, going from one person or thing to the next trying to fill up her needs.

      1. I am starting to make friends with a woman who happens to be the associate pastor of my church. God delivered me from perversions with other women as I have been following God for 28 years, so I tread slowly or trying to as my emotions at times rage between fear and lust; having to take every thought captive.

        However, I asked myself today if I would be willing to give up this relationship for Christ. I had to say yes, regardless of fear of not being deeply loved by another female friend.

        Its scary, but Christ is so worth it, at least that is what the Holy Spirit says within me, and my spirit agrees; for the joy set before I endure the cross and share in His sufferings.

        Your stories, empowered me, thank you!

  8. Thank you, Dee. These are comforting words to me. For the past week or so, I’ve have been in such a spiritual battle of the mind. Thoughts that I know must come from corruptible flesh, but things I would never utter. How can that be? But what you said about family and holding tightly rings so true to me. My younger daughter and grandson moved back to my town about 15 months ago. Have I ever loved having them near me. She is a single mom, although she has been divorced for awhile. I know that God has prompted me to release her to Him. I believe that she will marry a young man who has recently fallen in love with Christ. He has been saved a long time, but during the summer, he really awoke to Christ in him. He does not live in this area, so if they do eventually marry, she and my grandson will move away. And I will be okay – after a while. I do want all that Christ has for them. It is good for me to glean from your wisdom and your frank honesty. Thank you for sharing your pain and your gain.
    Love, Deidra

  9. Wow, thank you very much for your prayers, suggestion and comment. It was very encouraging.

  10. Thanks Dee for sharing that – that was alot to think about – good stuff! Christ is our life! Once in a while, I think – how we grieve him. He is the one who is always there, always helping, always loving us, encouraging us, comforting us and how quick we are to turn to other people or things – without saying thank you – without stopping to think of his constant loving care for us! Thanks for reminding us (me) again!

  11. Greetings Dee and commenters, I was reading through Song of Songs seeing it through a relationship between Husband and Wife, and God and Humanity, and I came to this same veiled question. My initial thought was that the woman wants to be special and standout among other women. Agreeing with many of the above posts, she wants to be known intimately with the man.

    Looking at this from a God and Humanity relationship, we want to know that not only does God love everyone. but he would have sent his Son to die just for our one life to be saved. He cares about the one sheep as much as the 99. God loves each one so specially. He doesn’t see a crowd of veiled people. But he see’s through our hiding and sins and sees our true faces. He sees each individuals characteristics, faults, weaknesses, and still loves us and invites us into his intimacy!

    Thanks for everyone’s insights on “prone to wander” and individual stories about their journeys and races with God. I was blessed to hear everyone’s testimony. After almost 4 years I’m sure God is still working and pursuing you all!