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Song of Songs

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Last updated Mar 8, 2024
God's view of human love



Key verse

"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame." 8:6
Table of Contents

Solomon is linked to the Song of Songs in 1:1, but this can also be understood as the book being written in Solomon’s wisdom tradition. 8:12 makes it less likely that Solomon is the author, as he is placed at a distance in the 3rd person and in contrast to the main characters in the book. The engaged couple the book is about is also a shepherd (1:7) and a shepherd girl (1:8).

The title is literally “Song of Songs” as the Song of all songs. It has been interpreted as the relationship between God and Israel or between Christ and the congregation, but why is it then placed among the books of wisdom that deal with practical life wisdom? Love poems from ancient times have also been found that are very similar to the Song of Songs, and this suggests that the book is about human love. Perhaps the purpose of the Song of Songs is to show God’s view of human love as it was meant to be before sin destroyed it. The song contains many “garden images” that evoke memories of the Garden of Eden. As part of the Bible’s wisdom tradition, the Song of Songs says that love is a gift from God.

Love is beautiful but dangerous. A line that repeats itself sometimes is “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). Perhaps because it is “strong as death” (8:6). And even if the Song of Songs should not be interpreted as the relationship between Jesus and the congregation, the marriage between a man and a woman is nevertheless a picture of Jesus and the congregation (Eph 5:32).