By Steve Gillespie / Managing Editor
The story came to him in a dream.
Craig Ziemba, military aviator and author, wrote "A Lily in the Harem: Song of Songs — A Novel Approach" after he awoke from that dream while stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Ziemba used Kings, Chronicles, and Song of Songs from the Old Testament of the Bible and filled in the narrative — as it might have happened — to write this story.
"The best love story you've ever read is in the scripture," Ziemba said. "To me Song of Songs is completely ignored by the church. It's ignored because it is not understood."
What's missed in the common interpretations of Song of Songs, Ziemba says, is that it refers to a love triangle between King Solomon, a maiden, and the maiden's true love, a poor shepherd boy. The maiden chooses love over being queen.
Ziemba admits that it is an old, but largely unknown interpretation he has embraced. It is one which he says he was first introduced while in college. What he's done to put it in short novel form has made an impression among those who have read it.
"It's received the strongest reception of anything I've written," Ziemba said.
He also says: "God's idea of romantic love is very powerful."
In the book's Foreword, Ziemba writes: "Being cognizant of the warnings not to add or take away from the Holy Scripture, I claim no Divine inspiration for my narrative. The Scriptures will be in italics and directly quoted from the New International or New King James Versions in the exact sequence they appear in Song of Songs, with only a handful of verses omitted for tempo and clarity. Other Scriptures are included in italics as well."