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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Song of Songs

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1.1–11 : Opening songs of man and woman, telling of their love.

1 :

Song of songs: Hebrew idiom for the best of songs.

2 :

Bride (see Tfn.): the maiden appears more like a young lover than a bride, but the songs would be appropriate for a wedding, recalling early love and courtship.

4 :

The girl is often portrayed as taking the initiative. King: bridegroom; see 3.11 n.

5 :

Daughters (or “maidens”) of Jerusalem: used in 2.7 and elsewhere. The bride is addressing the chorus-companions of v. 4 where the chorus is female, perhaps consisting of wedding guests (see 5.1 n. ); in 8.8–9 the chorus is male. Kedar: in northern Arabia. Shalmah: a frequent correction of the text, which reads Solomon; possibly it was near Kedar.

6 :

Dark of hue: She is more sunburned than city girls, but no less pretty.

7 :

That … lice: the Heb. text here is obscure.

1.12–2.7 : The lovers together.

14 :

En-gedi: on the western edge of the Dead Sea, the only southern Israelite reference, except for Jerusalem, in the book.

2.1 :

Sharon: the coastal plain in north central Israel.

7 :

A refrain (see 3.5; 8.4 ), perhaps marking the end of a section. Goddesses: see Tfn.

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