Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Book uri icon

abstract

  • "Therefore, throughout the course of this commentary, we will be looking at how the context of its authors impacted what they wrote, as well as how what they wrote impacted their context. As we will see, this is not a simple task, for the words or 'argument' of Ecclesiastes are hazardous to negotiate. The flow of thought seems to chop and change, staggering between encouragement and despair. But diligence will yield us understanding, showing us how the book is unconventional and disturbing as well as enriching and crucially significant." - Introduction to Ecclesiastes, page 19

    "On even the most casual reading, the Song of Songs (hereafter, 'the Song') is likely to raise eyebrows. This short book of ancient Hebrew love poetry is replete with erotic imagery, sexual innuendo, and risqué metaphors, which, for the average Bible reader, can be quite confronting. A closer reading only heightens the sensation. It is difficult to know what to do with such sensual literature. Rabbi Aqiva (AD 50-135) spoke of those who sang the Song as a bawdy tune in taverns (t. Sanh. 12:10). He condemned such treatment of the Song, for to him, the Song was the holiest piece of Scripture, and all of history was not worthy as the day on which God gave it to Israel (m. Yad. 3:5). But why is such erotic literature in the biblical canon? What is its purpose and message? What connection does it have to God? These questions, and others like them, challenge us to read this curious book more closely in pursuit of understanding." - Introduction to Song of Songs, page 249

publication date

  • 2020

place of publication

  • Grand Rapids, Mich.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

  • 9780310491163

number of pages

  • 400 pages