There are passages that I will call out in my study on the Song of Solomon that make use of the word “Dowd” as meaning “beloved”. Strong’s says the root means “to boil” but is used to mean love between a man and a woman, uncle, beloved, or a love-token.
In the majority of usages within the Old Testament, the word is used for uncle, which I found strange at first (why would uncle mean the same as love or beloved?) until I found a reference indicating that the meaning of uncle means in terms of someone near to the family like a friend. One’s uncle in family relationships has generally meant someone close, someone who cared about your well-being.
I’m sure there are those who will want to say, well dowd means to boil, so it must mean passionate, erotic love. But how would this align with the meaning for uncle as friend? Perhaps it means more like the love that Jonathan had for David, loving him as his own soul. To love one with such intensity, it boils within one. The passion of Christ. Jesus loved us so intensely that He died for us. Same kind of love.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a physical passion, a physical desire going on in the love between Solomon and his bride. Sex, as we previously discussed is neither sinful nor dirty. It is a mitzvot, a good deed, we perform for our spouse. It is the giving of ourself, our whole being, not just our physical self. If you withhold a part of yourself from your spouse, then you are not truly intimate. How can you KNOW someone or be known if they hold back a part of themselves? I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. The word beloved in this is dowd. You cannot truly belong to someone with such totality unless it is a love of one’s whole self. There is a gospel song called “Withholding Nothing”. When we love God with all our heart, soul and strength, we withhold nothing from Him. That is the intimacy that exists between Christ and His people, and it is the love He intends us to have with our spouse.
It’s interesting as well to note that the name David, is the same word as Dowd. David was beloved of God. He was a man after God’s own heart. God loved David and set His favor upon him because David understood God. He understood the need to love God with everything inside of him and he understood the mercy and the lovingkindness, the blessings of following God. Throughout the books of Kings and Chronicles, God compares the later kings to David. He did many things for these later kings because of the love He had for David.
Dowd then is a love so deep, so intense, so passionate, it boils within us. It involves our total being. It can’t be held back.
Pamela Parizo © 2017