The Song of Songs/Solomon
Hebrew: Title is the first words of the book: The song of Songs or The Best of Songs
Greek: Asma ( The Song) from the first words of the book.
Latin: Canticum Canticorum: Song of Songs ( Canticles comes from the same word)
1. Internal evidence: The author is King Solomon: The book is ascribed to Solomon and refers him six other verses in this book (1;5; 3:7, 9, 11; 8:11-12). The writer is referred as King too. (1:4, 12; 3:9, 11; 7:5). There are many similar vocabulary and syntax between this book and Ecclesiastes. Twenty one varieties of plant life, fifteen species of animals and national resource report presented to him in 1 Kings 4:33; 10:28. The royal luxury indicated the reign of Solomon such as gold, expensive carriage and royal chariots. The geographical reference is also indicated the time of Solomon 930B.C
2. External evidence: There is no question of authorship of Solomone debated in the modern scholarship.
It is not an anthology of love songs without connection or lessons. It is a spiritual book unified with the same characters such as the maiden, the love and the daughters of Jerusalem. They are many figures of speech expressed throughout the book such as love is better than wine, fragrant perfumes etc. Regarding the syntax and semantic structures, it is clearly affirmed the single authorship. The progression of the book is gradual from courtship, wedding night and maturity in marriage.
Theories of Interpretation
- Allegorical: While Jewish scholars have interpreted the book as God’s love for Israel, Christian scholars have interpreted the book as God’s love for the church. The allegorical interpretation requires a spiritual counterpart for every physical detail; it is objectionable to equate Solomon and his heroism to Christ
- Typology: Solomon typifies Christ and the beloved typifies the church.However, there is no Scriptural reason for understanding Solomon to typify a relationship which God will have with his people.
- Drama with two or three characters. It is a Hebrew drama in six acts with two scenes each.
- A Collection of Weddings Songs : The groom played the role of the King and the bride played the role of the Queen.
- An Anthology of Disconnected songs: They promote human love
- Poetic song of wisdom : It provides skill for resolving conflict in the ultimate relationship of marriage.
The First Meeting (1:2—2:7)
The Second Meeting (2:8—3:5)
The Third Meeting (3:6—5:1)
The Fourth Meeting (5:2—6:3)
The Fifth Meeting (6:4—8:4)
The Literary Climax (8:5–7)
The Conclusion (8:8–14)
- To extol romantic love between a man and a woman united in marriage.
- To affirm God’s design for sexuality between a man and a woman.
- To unfold the maturing of a relationship between a man and a woman before, at, and after marriage
Key word: Love
Song of Songs 3:4: Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.
Song of Songs 6:3: I am my lover’s and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies.
Song of Songs 8:7; Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Romantic relationship is a godly expression of love within marriage.
Husbands and wives should appreciate each other's good points and compliment them.
Constant communication is important in maintaining a strong, loving marriage.
Love grows deeper over the years when both partners are loyal and committed to the relationship.
The bride thinks about Solomon in the palace — Song of Songs 1:1 - 3:5.
The bride accepts the betrothal and looks forward to the joys of marriage — Song of Songs 3:6 - 5:1.
The bride dreams of losing the groom then finds him - Song of Songs 5:2 — 6:3.
The bride and groom praise each other in passionate love — Song of Songs 6:4 - 8:14.