Shulamite

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Albert Joseph Moore, The Shulamite relating the Glories of King Solomon to her Maidens, 1894.
Gustave Moreau, Song of Songs: The Shulammite Maiden
Franz Pforr, Maria und Sulamith, 1811

A Shulamite is a person from Shulem. It is the ascription given to the female protagonist in the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible. In the King James Version and other Bibles, it is the Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles.

She is most likely called the Shulammite because she came from an unidentified place called Shulem. Many scholars consider Shulammite to be synonymous with Shunammite (“person from Shunem”). Shunem was a village in the territory of Issachar, north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa. Other scholars link Shulem with Salem, believing Solomon’s bride was from Jerusalem. Still others believe that the title Shulammite (“peaceful”) is simply the bride’s married name, being the feminine form of Solomon (“peaceful”) and only used after her marriage to the king.

Solomon uses passionate language to describe his bride and their love (Song 4:1–15). Solomon clearly loved the Shulammite—and he admired her character as well as her beauty (Song 6:9). Everything about the Song of Solomon betrays the fact that this bride and groom were passionately in love and that there were mutual respect and friendship, as well (Song 8:6–7). This points to the fact that the Song of Solomon is the story of Solomon’s first marriage, before he sinned by adding many other wives (1 Kings 11:3). Whoever the Shulammite was, she was Solomon’s first and truest love.

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