“Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm;
for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave;
the flashes thereof are flashes of fire, a very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it;
if a man would give all the substance of his house for love,
he would utterly be contemned.” Son 8:6-7 JPS
In the Hebrew Old Testament, from whence the above translation was taken, the divisions indicating who is singing the parts, do not appear. In my English translation, this speech is attributed to the Shulamite, and the context of some of the speech of chapter 8 does require the Shulamite to be the singer. But I believe verse 5 indicates a transition of speaker. And in the Hebrew, verses 5-7, which includes the above passage, forms its own weak paragraph according to God’s paragraph divisions.
So who is the speaker? We are not told — it could be the Shulamite, but it could just as easily be the Beloved. Perhaps, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon left it ambiguous on purpose, so that the Beloved could be asking the Bride to set him as a seal upon her heart, or the Bride could be asking the Beloved to set her as a seal upon his heart. Or they both could be singing this together, to each other.
The seal is in Hebrew, Strong’s H2368, chowtham, and is a seal or signet ring (which was used to impress the seal upon the damp clay), from the primitive root Strong’s H2856, chatham, to affix a seal, to seal up. The ancients used to affix seals on many things that today we would put under lock and key.
So in essence, the passage is saying, let the heart of my Beloved (whether the Bride or the Bridegroom) be locked to all others, and let me be the only key. The love they have for each other provides the strength of the seal, and jealousy over the devotion of the beloved’s love can hurt cruelly.
So as we have been seeing throughout the Song of Solomon, that Solomon is a type of Messiah, who is the son of David. Messiah Yeshua is our Beloved and our Bridegroom, and we are His Beloved and His Bride. Yes, we are to set Him as the seal upon our hearts — just as He has already set us as the seal upon His heart. It is easy to read this passage and think of what our love for Him should be. But we also need to realize, that this passage describes the depth of His love for us. Nothing can quench it!