Solomon, Song of

▪ biblical canticle
also called  Canticle of Canticles , or  Song of Songs 

      an Old Testament book that belongs to the third section of the biblical canon, known as the Ketuvim, or “Writings.” In the Hebrew Bible the Song of Solomon stands with Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther and with them makes up the Megillot, five scrolls that are read on various religious festivals of the Jewish year. This book is the festal scroll for Pesaḥ ( Passover), which celebrates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The book in its present form postdates the Babylonian Exile (5th century BC onward), but the poems that it preserves date from about the 10th century BC, the period of the Davidic monarchy.

      The book, whose author is unknown (Solomon's name is a later addition), is a collection of love poems spoken alternately by a man and a woman. There is no coherent story in the book. A number of the poems systematically describe the beauty and excellence of the beloved. The Song of Solomon has received various interpretations, the most common being allegorical, dramatic, cultic, and literal. Among Jews, the allegorical interpretation regards the book as an allegory of God's love for the Israelites, with whom he has made a sacred covenant. Among Christians, the book is interpreted as describing the covenantal love of Christ for his church. In medieval mysticism, the Song of Solomon was construed to apply to the love between Christ and the human soul.

      Dramatic interpretations of the Song of Solomon are based on much of the book's being in dialogue form. According to this view, the speakers in it are enacting roles in a dramatic love story that varies in outline according to the particular interpretation. In view of the absence of drama in ancient Semitic literatures, however, such interpretations are not very probable. The cultic interpretation views the book as a collection of songs associated with the practice of sacred marriage as observed by the Sumerians and other ancient Mesopotamian peoples.

      The fourth interpretation, and the one that has perhaps gained the most credence among modern scholars, is simply that the Song of Solomon is a collection of secular love poems without any religious implications. According to this interpretation, the songs celebrate the joy and goodness of human love between the sexes and the sense of inner fulfillment and harmony with God's creation that arise from such love.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Solomon, Song of —    Called also, after the Vulgate, the Canticles. It is the song of songs (1:1), as being the finest and most precious of its kind; the noblest song, das Hohelied, as Luther calls it. The Solomonic authorship of this book has been called in… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Solomon — /sol euh meuhn/, n. 1. fl. 10th century B.C., king of Israel (son of David). 2. an extraordinarily wise man; a sage. 3. a male given name. * * * I flourished 10th century BC Son and successor of David. Nearly all that is known about him comes… …   Universalium

  • Solomon's knot — Not to be confused with Sigillum Solomonis, a name for the Polygonatum genus. Basic Solomon s knot …   Wikipedia

  • Song — n. 1 a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung. 2 singing or vocal music (burst into song). 3 a musical composition suggestive of a song. 4 the musical cry of some birds. 5 a short poem in rhymed stanzas. 6 archaic… …   Useful english dictionary

  • song — n. 1 a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung. 2 singing or vocal music (burst into song). 3 a musical composition suggestive of a song. 4 the musical cry of some birds. 5 a short poem in rhymed stanzas. 6 archaic… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Solomon — Sol|o|mon 1.) (10th century BC) a king of Israel, the son of King ↑David, who built the ↑temple in Jerusalem. He is famous for being extremely wise. 2.) the wisdom of Solomon a very special ability to make the right decision in situations where… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • SONG OF SONGS — (Heb. שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים), the book of the Hebrew Bible which normally follows Job in the Hagiographa and precedes the Book of Ruth. It thus stands first among the Five Scrolls. In Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles, the book follows Proverbs… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • SOLOMON — (Heb. שְׁלֹמֹה; tenth century B.C.E.), son of david , king of Israel. Born of Bath Sheba, Solomon was so named by David (II Sam. 12:24; according to the keri, Targ. Jon., and according to the Pesh., by his mother), while Nathan called him… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Solomon Grundy — is a 19th century children s nursery rhyme, and was presented by James Orchard Halliwell Phillipps in 1842. The poem is essentially a riddle in which the life of Solomon Grundy appears to take place in the process of a single week, the answer… …   Wikipedia

  • Solomon Linda — Datos generales Nacimiento 1909 Sudáfrica …   Wikipedia Español

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