Song of Solomon. What is it about? The Song of Songs is one of the books of Scripture found in the Old Testament. It is a didactic book, whose main theme is love. It is also considered to be one of the most beautiful erotica.
The Song of Songs is also known as the Song of Solomon. For good reason, because it is King Solomon who is most often credited with the authorship of this Old Testament book. This is despite the fact that so far no evidence has been found that he wrote the Song of Songs. The only suggestion is that Solomon’s name appears in this book. Always in the third person.
The Song of Songs consists of six songs in which the love of the Bridegroom and the Bride is described. They are Solomon and the Sulamite woman. The songs take the form of a dialogue between the Bride and the Bridegroom and a chorus commenting on them.
Song of Songs. When was it written?
The Song of Songs was written between the 6th and 2nd centuries BC. Determining the exact date has not been possible so far. Numerous arameisms and single Persian and Greek words in the book indicate when it may have been written. Perhaps Song of Songs was written in the early fourth century BC as a wedding songbook, which was used to sing in honor of the newlyweds. The second thesis is that Song of Songs is a metaphorical work that was written based on wedding songs.
However, numerous allusions to Egyptian love songs known at the time of Ramses II suggest that Song of Songs may have been written somewhat earlier.
What is Song of Songs about?
The Song of Songs is a love story, full of eroticism rooted in Jewish folklore. However, it is not an easy story. Its action begins at night, when the bride was waiting for her beloved. When he came, she pretended to shake his hand, but the Bridegroom misunderstood her and left. Then the bride ran out of the house to look for him. She screamed in the darkness, was recognized by the guards as a prostitute, beaten, stripped and mutilated. After such an unpleasant experience, she asked the women of Jerusalem to tell her beloved how much she loved him. At the same time, the Bridegroom delighted in his beloved, claiming that she was an ideal of beauty.
The third song describes a lavish royal wedding. This causes the previous two songs to be taken as a depiction of betrothal. In the third Song of Songs, there are mutual assurances of love and sensual comparisons. It is a picture of the development of the affection of the bride and bridegroom from friendship and passion to the marital dilemmas that appear in the fourth song.
A love poem
Compared to the other books of the Old Testament, the Song of Songs is unique in its lack of mention of God, the chosen people and religion. Therefore, read literally, it is treated as a love poem about the feelings of two people or about wedding celebrations. It contains two specific hymns about love. The first of these reads as follows (Pnp 8:6-7b):
“Put me like a seal upon your heart,
like a seal on your shoulder,
For love is mighty as death,
and its jealousy is as implacable as Sheol,
its heat is the heat of fire,
the flame of the Lord. (The rivers shall not drown her.”
While the other is a shorter passage from Deuteronomy 8:7cd:
“If anyone gives up all the wealth of his house for love,
they will only despise him.”
Interpretations of Song of Solomon
Some believe that the Song of Songs is a written dream. But in addition to such literal approaches to this work, there are also numerous interpretations. According to cultic-mythic interpretations, the Song of Songs is a described relationship between a god and a goddess. There are also theories that Song of Songs is a metaphor for God’s love for the Jewish people. The Jews are portrayed as the Bride who, after years of unfaithfulness to God, returns to his favor.
More expansive is the Christian interpretation, which holds that the Song of Songs describes the relationship between God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, or between God and Israel, Christ and the New Testament Church, or between God and redeemed humanity called to unite with him in love. The Song of Songs is also considered a metaphor for the relationship between Christ the Bridegroom and each member of the Church the Bride. God is the Bridegroom who demonstrates His love for man from the beginning. Humanity, on the other hand, is the Bride who matures over time to eventually reciprocate the Bridegroom’s love.
In short, the plot concerns the religion and marriage of a girl called a salamite. Some interpreters believe that this young woman may have been Abishag, who raised King David in the last days of his life. Although she slept with David to keep him warm, she remained a virgin.
It was written in Hebrew – Aramaic (Semitic) and translated into Hellenistic by the Septuagint, a committee of Jewish Hellenists.
According to the Jewish classification of biblical works, the Song of Songs belongs to the third group of books in the Hebrew Bible, the “Holy Scriptures,” and according to the Christian classification, to the second group, the “Poetic-Didactic Books” of the Old Testament.
The expression “Song of Songs,” by which the biblical work is labeled, is “Hebraism.” By similar combinations of the same words, where the second is put in the plural, the superimposition is indicated, so that the title of the book means: ‘The most beautiful song’.
According to tradition, its author is Solomon (10th century BC) but the factual elements of the text, its language and style, do not support this view. The prevailing view is that it was probably composed several centuries later, spread orally and acquired a definitive form when it was recorded between 450-400 BC.