Spiritual Significance of Henna in the Song of Solomon
My beloved is to me a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. — Song of Solomon 1:14
The Hebrew word for “camphire” (henna) means “a ransom,” with its root word meaning “to forgive.”
In the Middle East, a bride applies the spice of henna as a paste to her hands and feet on the night before her wedding. This spice yields a red stain which signifies the ransom of sinners who through the shedding of Yeshua’s blood on the tree.
In Isaiah 43:3-4 it says:
For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba (Sheba) for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
Think for a moment about what the hands and feet of our Lord did for us. His were stained with blood for the forgiveness of sins and as a ransom for His bride.
For the believer, the hands signify work and the feet represent the way in which we walk. Our lives are to give forth the sweet fragrance of the Messiah’s sacrifice on the tree as our ransom for sin.
1 Timothy 2:6 tells us: “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
The way we walk and behave toward all men and our acts of deeds and charity emits a fragrance for the world to savor. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.”
Ephesians 5:3-4 go on to say what is a stench in the nostrils of Yahweh:
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Through the triumph of the tree, Yeshua’s resurrection gives us victory over the enemies of God (1 John 5:4; Hebrews 2:13). The bride price and ransom He paid was very costly and is represented by saffron, a most expensive spice.
In the Song of Solomon 4:12-14, Solomon responds to the Shulamite with these words:
A garden enclosed [is] my sister, [my] spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants [are] an orchard pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.
Our garden is a private garden with walls, for Him only. It is for His pleasure and His friends, the Heavenly Father, and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to partake of our fruit, indicating the Messiah is being fruitful in our life.
The Shulamite continues in Song of Solomon 4:16:
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, [that] the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
The Shulamite bride cries out to Yah to blow upon her garden. She feels confident He will be with her regardless of any situation she will face. Whether the circumstances are harsh (north wind) or pleasant (south wind), the bride’s heart will grow in maturity with her Beloved, emitting a fragrance from her soul.