Sunday, November 11, 2007
Return to the Garden of Paradise
The image of the Garden, which reminds us of Paradise, is related to the wilderness, but is also different. The garden, an enclosed, walled in place, is also a cultivated, protected world. It is in the City, or particularly in the palace. It has a fountain in the centre. It represents the wilderness, but within the context of the city. It here becomes a symbol of a new integration between the civilized community, and its primal history.
The garden is also a figure for Israel. It is the fruitful community, which is always in danger of being destroyed by external forces, who want to come and break down its protective boundary, and to turn the garden back once again into a wilderness.
“Going down to his garden”
The theme of coming back, of returning, is another recurring motif of the Song of Songs. Like the idea of “Maranatha”—come Lord. But here it is the return of the Bride that is eagerly awaited.