It was performed by singers consisting of a male lead, a female lead and a chorus. Song 1:8 If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow the tracks of the flock and pasture your kids by the shepherds’ tents. He hastens to summon his beloved, saying that he is ravished by even a single glance. Work can be used for control and can humiliate, but it also makes a person stronger. Before the Industrial Revolution, most people worked with family members in the households where they lived. Her fiancé comes to her door but she isn’t sure should she let him in. A dialogue between the lovers follows: the woman asks the man to meet; he repli… The man then sings of his love for his bride (Song 4:1–15) and their wedding night is described in vivid images and metaphors (Song 4:16–5:8). Phipps, William E. (1974), "The Plight of the Song of Songs". An Invitation to See the World With Different Eyes,” in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark Valeri, eds., Global Neighbors (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008). 23B (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004) 59-81. It is clear that this poem is a wedding song and it reveals the glories of love. Notes on Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Psalms . Synopsis. , The Song offers no clue to its author or to the date, place, or circumstances of its composition. In 1:9-2:7, the man and woman sing of their devotion to each other. In a series of songs, the text describes the marriage of the man and woman and their coming together. In addition, Song 2:15 says that foxes, animals that love to eat young grapes, have to be kept from the vineyards lest they spoil the harvest. She is awesome like Jerusalem (Song 6:4). The Song of Songs, sometimes called the Song of Solomon, is one of two books in the Bible that do not mention God.. It's a love song between two lovers! The Greek world, whose influence is still deeply present in contemporary culture, regarded work as the enemy of beauty. The Song of Songs is a collection of ancient Israelite love poems that celebrates the beauty and power of God's gift of love and sexual desire. None of these are specifically applied to work, however.  Those books reveal an abiding imbalance in the relationship between God and man, ranging from slight to enormous; but reading Songs as a theological metaphor produces quite a different outcome, one in which the two partners are equals, bound in a committed relationship. And much like Shakespeare's love sonnets, the poetry in Song of Songs doesn't go from point A to point Z. Not enough churches are able to equip their members for making godly, wise, realistic choices about work in relationship to family and community. But the man and woman have light hearts. The people praise the beauty of the woman. It involves work. Through beneficent deeds and Jewish observance, the Jewish people restore cosmic harmony in the Divine realm, healing the exile of the Shechina with God's transcendence, revealing the essential Unity of God. SONG OF SOLOMON SUMMARY. , The man describes his beloved; the woman describes a rendezvous they have shared. Families might start businesses in which family members can work together. Songs Summary. Contributors: Duane Garrett For centuries, the common wisdom concerning the Song of Songs was to view it strictly as an allegory. The joy of their love is intimately connected to the world of their work. The Song depicts the value of work in terms of its overall benefit to the household, not its monetary contribution. It is one of the overtly mystical Biblical texts for the Kabbalah, which gave esoteric interpretation on all the Hebrew Bible. In 1:2–2:6, the woman introduces herself and expresses desire for her beloved. In Zoharic Kabbalah, God is represented by a system of ten sephirot emanations, each symbolizing a different attribute of God, comprising both male and female. It portrays love and desire as something that is good and fulfilling, without guilt and shame. The next day, Ruth Foster Dead, the daughter of the first black doctor in town, gives birth to the first black child born in Mercy Hospital, Milkman Dead. Ecclesiastes--Koheleth or Qoheleth is Hebrew for “Preacher”--The book is arguably very old; is a kind of extended poem--what’s odd about this text is that it doesn’t seem God is “there” in the text/the text seem to lack any notion of covenant theology This is in the context of the agricultural economy of ancient Israel, and a trip into the countryside in springtime is not just a picnic. [...] For all of eternity in its entirety is not as worthy as the day on which Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy, but Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.". Work was meant by God to be a time of celebration. was especially prized as a mark of beauty in women. THE SONG OF SONGS The Song of Songs (or Canticle of Canticles) is an exquisite collection of love lyrics, arranged to tell a dramatic tale of mutual desire and courtship. / Stern, Elsie. The descriptions in the book, both of the characters, and of their desire for each other, are filled with passionate and creative language. While the tradition ascribes the its authorship to King Solomon (Song of Songs Rabbah 1:1), who lived in the 10th century BCE, modern scholars note the many literary parallels with other love poetry and wedding songs from both Babylonia and Egypt and suggest a later date of composition, perhaps around the fourth through sixth centuries BCE. 8:8) of the bride. In modern Judaism, certain verses from the Song are read on Shabbat eve or at Passover, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest as well as commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, to symbolize the love between the Jewish People and their God. Recent decades have seen much innovation and research in this area, both in secular and Christian — especially Catholic — circles.. Following the dissemination of the Zohar in the 13th century, Jewish mysticism took on a metaphorically anthropomorphic erotic element, and Song of Songs is an example of this. This symbolizes the Jewish people, and in the body, the female form, identified with the woman in Song of Songs. The Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs) celebrates this kind of union: a man and a woman becoming one. Those who see it as an anthology or collection point to the abrupt shifts of scene, speaker, subject matter and mood, and the lack of obvious structure or narrative. The logic that prompted such a view was simple:All books in the Bible are about God.The Song of Songs is in the Bible.Therefore, the Song of Songs is about God.Consequently, the early church and Jewish rabbis completely allegorized its characters and imagery. Song of Songs Summary. She uses imagery from a shepherd's life, and she says of her lover that "he pastures his flock among the lilies". It cannot be bought (Song 8:7). Love is sacred and a thing to be protected. In developed economies, most paid work occurs outside the household. Song 2:15 Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards... For those whose hearts are light, even work can be a game. The Song begins with the woman speaking of her love for her man and, in the course of this, she speaks of how her skin has been darkened because her brothers made her work the family vineyard (Song 1:6).  However, Rabbi Akiva famously defended the canonicity of the Song of Songs, reportedly saying when the question came up of whether it should be considered a defiling work, "God forbid! This would place the date of composition around 965 B.C. Yet it is also a profound depiction of the meaning, value and beauty of work. And the sex is intimately connected to both the household and the work in the Song. Money, rather than overall contribution to the household, becomes the measure of work’s worth, and sometimes even of individuals’ worth.  The most reliable evidence for its date is its language: Aramaic gradually replaced Hebrew after the end of the Babylonian exile in the late 6th century BCE, and the evidence of vocabulary, morphology, idiom and syntax clearly points to a late date, centuries after King Solomon to whom it is traditionally attributed. The Song of Songs does not offer specific means for integrating work with family and other relationships in today’s societies. It is literally a labor of love (Song 3:10). Song 8:7 If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned. She asks the daughters of Jerusalem to help her find him, and describes his physical good looks. Enjoying his bride, he is like a man gathering lilies in a garden (Song 6:2). The Song sings of lovers who court, then marry, and then work together in an ideal picture of life, family and work. Then, in Song 2:8–17, they sing of the glories of the arrival of springtime, and he invites her to come away with him. The two compete in offering flattering compliments ("my beloved is to me as a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En Gedi", "an apple tree among the trees of the wood", "a lily among brambles", while the bed they share is like a forest canopy). The Song of Songs is a coll... Watch our overview video on the book of Song of Songs, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Her “hair is like a flock of goats moving down the slopes of Gilead” (Song 6:5). Garrett, Word Biblical Commentary: Song of Songs, 175-184. International Planned Parenthood Federation, “FPAHK Survey on Marriage and Sex.”. It is also referred to as Canticles (Latin) or the Song of Songs (Hebrew) because it is considered the finest of all songs. Eventually, she admits her lover is in his garden, safe from harm, and committed to her as she is to him. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008). So this is actually a love poem between a bride and groom. A major culprit is that one or both partners are too busy working. Upon their marriage, the lovers create a household, the primary unit of economic activity in the ancient world. This is still true in much of the world. The poem proper begins with the woman's expression of desire for her lover and her self-description to the "daughters of Jerusalem": she insists on her sun-born blackness, likening it to the "tents of Kedar" (nomads) and the "curtains of Solomon". Solomon is the author and he wrote it sometime during his reign 970-930 B.C. On the one hand the return of the whole of Israel to Jehovah in the last days is compared to the re-establishing of an unfaithful wife (Is. Song of Songs. Truckers shouldn’t text their families while driving, and lawyers shouldn’t receive a visit from their spouses during closing arguments. These are romantic songs of love in Hebrew poetry. The text thus became a description, depending on the aspect, of the creation of the world, the passage of Shabbat, the covenant with Israel, and the coming of the Messianic age. It is as if Isaiah 65:21 were already fulfilled: “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” The kingdom of God brings not the elimination of work, but the restoration of joy and delightful relationships in work. Song of Solomon. 5:6-8), and provides a strong, repeated warning to not enter into this love before the proper time (Song. , The woman again addresses the daughters of Jerusalem, describing her fervent and ultimately successful search for her lover through the night-time streets of the city. He reportedly said, "He who sings the Song of Songs in wine taverns, treating it as if it were a vulgar song, forfeits his share in the world to come". It is also interpreted where God is the Groom, and Israel is the bride. The reality of household-based labor has been marred by poverty, grinding toil, humiliation, bonded service and slavery, and abusive relationships. Key personalities are King Solomon, the Shulammite girl, and friends. The images are the same as those used elsewhere in the poem, but with an unusually dense use of place-names, e.g., pools of Hebron, gate of Bath-rabbim, tower of Damascus, etc. Excerpts from the book have inspired composers to vocal and instrumental compositions, including: Book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, sfn error: no target: CITEREFPhipps1979 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFSchiffman1998 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFKuglerHartin (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, "Cantata Profana Performs Gustav Mahler's Das Lied Von Der Erde – Concert Program", "THE SONG Movie – The Story – Coming Soon to Digital HD + DVD", "Themes of female desire and female self-assertion in the Song of Songs and Hellenistic poetry", "Searching for a common background: Egyptian love poetry and the Biblical Song of Songs", Shir Hashirim – Song of Songs (Judaica Press), The original Hebrew version, vowelized, with side-by-side English translation, Summary Interpretation of the Song of Solomon, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Song_of_Songs&oldid=996485874, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles needing additional references from April 2019, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from June 2018, Wikipedia articles with faulty LNB identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The woman recalls a visit from her lover (2:8–17), The woman addresses the daughters of Zion (3:1–5), Sighting a royal wedding procession (3:6–11), The man describes his lover's beauty (4:1–5:1), The woman addresses the daughters of Jerusalem (5:2–6:4), The man describes his lover, who visits him (6:5–12), Observers describe the woman's beauty (6:13–8:4), "Chi e costei", a setting of Song of Songs 6:10 in, Ádám Balázs Czinege's Shir Hashirim (2017), Several passages from the Song of Songs were set to music in contemporary, The Song of Solomon played a central theme in the readings and sermon at the. It’s a story of adoration, satisfaction, delight, and sexual desire. Marriage and household relationships should support — and be supported by — work. Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, Surprised by Song of Songs, Will Messenger (Click to Watch), Hardship and the Beauty of Work (Song of Songs 1:1-8), When Work is a Pleasure (Song of Songs 1:9-2:17), Passion, Family and Work (Song of Songs 3:1-8:5), What is the difference between work and a job? It is The Song of Songs, which means “the most superlative, or best, of songs.” The English title, also from verse 1, is The Song of Solomon, which designates the author. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.