The Song of Songs: Riddle of Riddles
The Song of Songs: Riddle of Riddles

The Song of Songs: Riddle of Riddles

in Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies

by Yair Zakovitch

Pages 144
Publisher T&T Clark
Published 2018
ISBN-13 9780567676139
The Hebrew Bible is religious literature, the fundamental interest of which lies in the relations between humankind, especially the people of Israel, and God. The Song of Songs, on the other hand, is interested in the relations between men and women. In this volume Yair Zakovitch examines the presence of the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible, and questions how this enigmatic collection of poetic writings came to be within the Bible.

Zakovitch poses and addresses a range of enticing questions in the eight chapters of this volume, including: what does this erotic poetry have to do with Israel's formative texts? What do the poems tell us about gender relations in those years, and about early Israel's attitudes towards beauty, love, women, and sex? Do we finally get to hear women's voices in the Song, where the rest of the Bible gives a male perspective? How, despite our astonishment, is the Song of Songs nonetheless intrinsically biblical? What does it have in common with the Bible's other books? Was the allegorical interpretation of the Song just an excuse in order to include the book in Scripture?

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. On Love and Beauty-The Relations between the Song of Songs and Biblical Narrative
  • 2. Song of Songs-Riddle of Riddles
  • 3. A Dream of Woman: Real or Imagined? (Song 5:2–6:3)
  • 4. “Keep your thousand, Solomon!” (Song 8:12): A History of the Tradition of Solomon's Thousand Wives
  • 5. A Poetic Portrait: A Study of Song of Songs 6:4-10
  • 6. Thrice Asked “Who is she”
  • 7. “A Woman of Valor” (Prov 31:10-31): A Critic's Response to Song of Songs
  • 8. When Did the Allegorical Interpretation Begin?
  • Final Observations
  • Index


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