Song of Solomon.
Counted among the writings.
None on site.
CCEL: Song of Solomon (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Song of Solomon (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Song of Solomon
(Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Song of Solomon (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Song of Solomon (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts: Song of Solomon (polyglot).
Song of Songs at the OT Gateway.
Song of Songs in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Song of Solomon at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
Song of Solomon from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to the Song of Solomon (David Malick).
Outline of the Song of Solomon (David Malick).
Sights and Sounds of the Song of Songs (Jay Treat).
What to Read on the Song of Solomon
(James T. Dennison, Junior).
Reading the Song of Songs as a Classic
(David J. A. Clines).
The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs or as Canticles,
ranks among the writings in the Jewish scriptures.
The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek
translation known as the Septuagint
(abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of the Song
Samuel Sandmel writes: "There is nothing particularly religious in Song
of Songs. One must hasten to add that neither is there anything irreligious
or antireligious, except to those prurient minds who identify sensual love with
impiety. But in the same way that the secular wisdom of Proverbs became identified
with Torah, so the presence of Song of Songs in Scripture caused the love poetry
to be invested with a deeper significance. In Judaism, there are echoes of opposition
to the inclusion of Song of Songs in Scripture, that is, until it was interpreted
as God's love for Israel. In Christianity, similarly, Song of Songs was considered
an allegory expressing Christ's love for the Church." (The Hebrew Scriptures,
Jay G. Williams writes: "Although thte text does appear to be somewhat
disjointed, there seems to be no good reason to think that this is merely a
collection of love verses composed by various authors. The style and imagery
certainly seem to be quite consistent throughout. Furthermore, the more one
reads these lyrics, the more one discerns the outline of dramatic plot. The
principal characters are three: the comely Shulammite girl, her shepherd lover,
and King Solomon. Just why the girl is called a Shulammite (6:13) is unclear.
Some think that the word should really be read Shunammite and that the girl
should be identified as Abishag the Shunammite, a girl who kept King David warm
in his old age (I Kings 1:3-4) and who later became Solomon's. Others believe
that Shulammite really means a Solomoneess, i.e., the female counterpart of
Solomon." (Understanding the Old Testament, p. 295)
Marcia Falk writes: "About the Song's authorship and origins very little
is known. Tradition ascribes the work to King Solomon, but this view is discounted
by modern scholars, who generally agree that the Song's authorship cannot be
specified. Nor is its date of composition determined: scholarly speculation
ranges from 950 to 200 B.C. In the past two centuries, scholars have hypothesized
about the original context and function of the Song, proposing, for example,
that it was a cycle of wedding songs or the liturgy of an ancient fertility
cult. These theories, however, are not only unprovable but unconvincing, because
they attempt to force the varied material of the text into confining molds.
It is finally simpler and more illuminating to view the Song as a collection
of different types of love poems that did not necessarily all derive from the
same author or serve the same function in their original society. The stylistic
similarities and repetitions among the poems may best be explained as literary
conventions of ancient Hebrew verse, particularly if one accepts the view that
the Song was, in its earliest stages, popular oral literature." (Harper's
Bible Commentary, p. 525)
J. Alberto Soggin writes: "The most probable explanation of the book seems
to be that it is a collection of various songs on similar themes, if not the
same theme; this would also explain the linguistic variations which can be found
in the work. Firm ground has been discovered since J. G. Wetzstein, Prussian
consul in Damascus, made an investigation into the practices and customs of
Arab peasants in the area which he completed in 1873. Among other things, he
established that during the long marriage festivals the marrid couple bore the
title of king and queen of the festival; they sat at a special table which was
called the 'throne' for the occasion, while the public sang special hymns, essentially
in honour of the wife. Meanwhile available material has been increased considerably,
to such a degree that we have now virtually reached a certainty. The identity
of the king and the Shulamite of the book has thus unexpectedly become clear;
they were the bride and bridegroom during the feast in their honour." (Introduction
to the Old Testament, pp. 400-401)
Roland E. Murphy writes: "The love lyrics of ancient Egypt provide an
atmosphere in which this work can be understood (cf. ANET 467-69). We
do not mean that there is any direct dependence of the OT songs upon the Egyptian
lyrics, but there is a similar approach with a common topiclove between
the sexes. In Ct, 'the song of the dove is heard in our land,' and spring is
the time for love (Ct 2:12-13); similarly, in the Egyptian poems the voice of
a swallow invites the Egyptian girl to contemplate the beauty of the countryside.
It is a commonplace that true love brooks no obstacles: 'Deep waters cannot
quench love, nor floods sweep it away' (8:7). Neither can the Egyptian lover
be put offeven by crocodiles in the stream that separates themfrom
his beloved (ANET 468). The Egyptian poetry uses the same term, 'sister,'
to designate the beloved as does Ct (4:9-10; 4:12; 5:1-2). In short, this is
the language of love, no matter what culture is in question." (The Jerome
Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 507)