Title. Internal evidence suggests that this v. is secondary, and does not represent an ancient tradition of authorship. Song of Songs is a superlative phrase meaning “the greatest or preeminent song.” By Solomon, or “about Solomon.” According to Jewish tradition, Solomon authored the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.
These attributions are based on Song 1.1 and Eccl. 1.1
. Also, biblical tradition describes Solomon as the author of Proverbs and the Song, an expert in flora and fauna (1 Kings 5.9–14
), and a lover of many women (1 Kings 11.1
). In both the Targum and the midrash, the name “Shlomo” (Solomon) is interpreted as a reference to God. According to this
interpretation, the Song is a description of the love between God and Israel. Modern scholars do not accept the idea of Solomonic
The woman expresses her desire for her lover.
Wine: The repeated references to wine (
2.4, 7; 4.10; 5.1; 7.10; 8.2
) may suggest an original context in wedding feasts or other celebrations where wine was drunk. Alternatively, wine is used
poetically as a symbol of sensuous pleasure. Finest oil, or, “oil poured out”; the lover's excellent reputation is widespread.
The king: References to a king and to King Solomon (
1.12; 3.9, 11; 6.8–9; 7.6
) support interpretations of the Song as a royal wedding song or cultic song. In rabbinic interpretations, references to the
king are understood as references to God, and the royal chambers refer to the Temple. In most modern readings, the references
to the king are complimentary references to the male lover.
The woman describes herself.
Dark, but comely, or “dark and comely.” In
, fair skin is a sign of masculine beauty. Here, the woman's darkness may be either an asset or a liability, and is the likely
result of her work outdoors, described in the following vv. Kedar, northern Assyrian nomadic tribe. Kedar means “dark.”
Vineyard: In the Song, the vineyard often represents both a physical place and the woman's own sexuality (
1.14; 2.15; 7.13; 8.12
Dialogue between the lovers.
I have likened‐.‐.‐.‐: Throughout the Song, the lovers use comparison to praise one another's beauty and charm. Mare in Pharaoh's chariots, either an image of adorned majesty (the horses were decorated with ornaments) or a reference to an ancient battle strategy
in which a mare was let loose among cavalry to distract the stallions.
The physical closeness of the lovers—their scent—is described. Nard‐.‐.‐.‐myrrh‐.‐.‐.‐henna, precious spices used in perfumes. Nard and myrrh were exotic imports while henna was indigenous to biblical Israel.
En‐gedi, a fertile oasis in the Judean wilderness. Given that wine grapes did not grow there, this too is a likely allusion to the
woman's own sexuality.
Your access is brought to you by: