Song of Songs


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Song of Songs:

see Song of SolomonSong of Solomon,
 Song of Songs,
or Canticles,
book of the Bible, 22d in the order of the Authorized Version. Although traditionally ascribed to King Solomon, many scholars date it as late as the 3d cent. B.C. It is in form a collection of love poems.
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Song of Songs

 

(Song of Solomon, Canticle of Canticles), a book of the Old Testament; a collection of lyric songs in Hebrew. According to the canon of the Jewish Bible the book is divided into eight chapters; in the Christian Bible there are six. Although the sacredness of the Song of Songs remained in dispute for several centuries (until approximately the second century A.D.), nevertheless it was an integral part of religious tradition, which has treated it as an allegorical description of the love of believers for god. The authorship of the Song of Songs was attributed to King Solomon, but this has been refuted by scholars.

Researchers are coming to the conclusion that the Song of Songs has its origins in folklore and represents a cycle of intimate lyric songs and wedding songs. The most recent of them may be dated to the third century B.C., which is also the time that the book was most likely compiled and given a literary treatment. The main theme of the Song of Songs is passionate love that overcomes all obstacles. The language of the songs is emotional and rich in hyperbolic imagery. The work exerted an influence on the development of lyric poetry both in Hebrew and in the languages of all the peoples who adopted Christianity. In Russian literature, A. S. Pushkin and A. I. Kuprin (in the novella Sulamith), among others, dealt with the motifs of the Song of Songs. In Jewish literature the motifs have inspired a novella by Shalom Aleichem, Song of Songs.

TEXT

In Poeziia i proza Drevnego Vostoka. Moscow, 1973.

REFERENCES

Amusin, I. D. Rukopisi Mertvogo moría. Moscow, 1960.
Eissfeldt, O. Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 3rd ed. Tubingen, 1964.
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Fishbane, acclaimed author of Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel, uses a multi-faceted approach to interpreting the Song of Songs.
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Biblical exegeses embraced both the Old Testament (developing Basil on Genesis and the Psalms, homilies on Ecclesiastes and The Song of Songs, a Life of Moses that adapted the 'Royal Road' of Numbers 20.
Song of Songs serves as another example of a Hebrew Bible passage that can be used as a contrast to an overtly patriarchal passage.
She discusses in detail the Song of Songs, Lucretius' De rerum natura, Chaucer's Parlement of Foules, Spenser's Amoretti and Faerie Queene, book 4, and Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Lost and Winter's Tale.
Not suprisingly, a central biblical text on which Christian writers through the centuries focused was the Song of Songs, sometimes joined with an exegesis of Psalm 45 (the king and his bride) and various passages depicting God's covenant with the Israelites (the latter image, as Belden Lane shows in his essay, "Two Schools of Desire," served as a primary trope for the marriage relation for Puritan writers).