1 Solomon's Song of Songs: 2 BELOVED: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love-making is sweeter than wine; 3 delicate is the fragrance of your perfume, your name is an oil poured out, and that is why girls love you. It’s the tale of a young woman preparing to marry her love: a handsome gent who adores her. Song of Solomon. The following are recommended for further exploration: Robert D. Austin and Lee Devin, “Knowledge Work, Craft Work and Calling” in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark Valeri, eds., Global Neighbors: Christian Faith and Moral Obligation in Today's Economy (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008). , The Song offers no clue to its author or to the date, place, or circumstances of its composition. In the Song, the whole of life is integrated. The Greek world, whose influence is still deeply present in contemporary culture, regarded work as the enemy of beauty. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Song of Solomon. Song of Songs should probably be thought of as a concert piece created for an aristocratic audience in Solomon’s court. The Song of Songs gives us an ideal picture of love and family, life and work. , The next section reports a royal wedding procession. Contributors: Duane Garrett Yet it is also a profound depiction of the meaning, value and beauty of work. / 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. Song 3:11 confirms that this text celebrates “the day of his wedding.”. The section closes with the woman telling the daughters of Jerusalem not to stir up love such as hers until it is ready. It’s an exchange of love notes. See Theology of Work Project article, Revelation and Work at www.theologyofwork.org for more on work in the ultimate kingdom of God. In 1:2–2:6, the woman introduces herself and expresses desire for her beloved. , The woman tells the daughters of Jerusalem of another dream. Furthermore, her job has prepared her for the future, when she will tend her own vineyard (Song 8:12).  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! The unpaid work that remains to be done within the household often gets less respect than the paid work done outside. In the Song, work has a beauty that is integrated into a wholesome and joyful life. It is clear that this poem is a wedding song and it reveals the glories of love. 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. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008). Throughout these verses, we see imagery drawn from the landscape of Israel and its agriculture and shepherding. 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). The joy of their love is intimately connected to the world of their work. 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). Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) Summary. Third Song: The fiancée is brought to the fiancé. Song of Solomon explores the quest for cultural identity. 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. This suggests that family and work belong together. It is also interpreted where God is the Groom, and Israel is the bride. Marriage and household relationships should support — and be supported by — work. 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. A song about the passion between two lovers on their wedding day would be missing something if it failed to mention sex!  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". , The literal subject of the Song of Songs is love and sexual longing between a man and a woman, and it has little (or nothing) to say about the relationship of God and man; in order to find such a meaning it was necessary to resort to allegory, treating the love that the Song celebrates as an analogy for the love between God and Church. 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.  These theological themes are not in the poem, but derive from a theological reading; nevertheless, what is notable about this approach is the way it leads to conclusions not found in the overtly theological books of the Bible. It contains 8 chapters. The woman invites the man to enter the garden and taste the fruits. 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". It gently displays the emotion involved in losing love (Song. , The Song of Songs is unique within the Hebrew Bible: it shows no interest in Law or Covenant or the God of Israel, nor does it teach or explore wisdom like Proverbs or Ecclesiastes (although it does have some affinities to wisdom literature, as the ascription to Solomon indicates); instead, it celebrates sexual love, giving "the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy". We will explore themes of hardship, beauty, diligence, pleasure, passion, family and joy as they are depicted in the wide variety of work seen in the Song of Songs. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have not kept! Truckers shouldn’t text their families while driving, and lawyers shouldn’t receive a visit from their spouses during closing arguments. This is the plain sense of the text. For centuries, the common wisdom concerning the Song of Songs was to view it strictly as an allegory. “Who is this?” (3:6) — translated misleadingly as “What is that?” in the NRSV — is feminine in Hebrew, indicating that it refers to the woman. Happiness does not consist in wealth or in having others to do your work for you; it consists in working for the benefit of those you love. Set in the late 19th Century sometime after the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, newspaperman John (Erik Wolf) and his wife Sally (Ruth Warwick) travel from their home in Atlanta to the rural plantation of Sally's mother, Miss Doshy (Lucile Watson), accompanied by their seven-year-old son Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) and his black nursemaid, Aunt Tempy (Hattie McDaniel). Her stature is like that of a palm tree (Song 7:7). The loveliness of work, and working people, is often obscured by competing notions of beauty. If I want to know how to better integrate my work as a nurse, for example, with my family relationships, I probably need to talk more with other nurses than with my pastor. Yet these considerations are not available in all workplaces, and some have been cut by employers. Stern, Elsie. They desire to go to the “vineyards” (Song 7:12). Not enough churches are able to equip their members for making godly, wise, realistic choices about work in relationship to family and community. In the ancient world all poetry was sung, and the Song is, in fact, the lyrics to a song collection. At a basic level, Jewish allegory holds that the bridegroom represents God, and the bride represents Israel. The Song of Songs does not offer specific means for integrating work with family and other relationships in today’s societies. The Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs) celebrates this kind of union: a man and a woman becoming one. Date of Writing: Solomon most likely wrote this song during the early part of his reign. With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. Image by Enjoying his bride, he is like a man gathering lilies in a garden (Song 6:2). In 1:9-2:7, the man and woman sing of their devotion to each other. This would place the date of composition around 965 B.C. , In modern Judaism the Song is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest as well as commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. In her foreword to Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison says that the initial description of Smith’s note is meant to sound dry and dull, like something you’d skim in the newspaper.She’ll spend the rest of the novel unpacking this initial description. 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". Song 8:7 If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.  The Christian church's interpretation of the Song as evidence of God's love for his people, both collectively and individually, began with Origen. The Hebrew title for this verse comes from verse 1. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you.  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. Yet the Song expresses our desire — and God’s design — that our work be woven into the tapestry of our relationships, beginning with family. Another title, the Canticles, … Solomon is mentioned by name, and the daughters of Jerusalem are invited to come out and see the spectacle. Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapters 6, 7 Chapter 8 Summary: The subject of the book — the heart's affections. Her friends tell her that the obvious place to find him is at his work, where he is tending the sheep. 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 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. These are romantic songs of love in Hebrew poetry. Without sex, it could not be populated with workers (i.e. 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). The Song may pose a challenge to many churches and those who guide Christians, for it is uncommon for Christians to receive much help in arranging their work lives. 1:6; 3:4; 8:2) as well as the sister (chap. The reality of household-based labor has been marred by poverty, grinding toil, humiliation, bonded service and slavery, and abusive relationships. Labor should be an act of love. The woman seeks her beloved, whom she regards as the finest of men. The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is love poetry. Yet it is also a profound depiction of the meaning, value and beauty of work. This symbolizes the Jewish people, and in the body, the female form, identified with the woman in Song of Songs. It was performed by singers consisting of a male lead, a female lead and a chorus. But perhaps churches could do more to help their members recognize God’s design for work and relationships, express their hopes and struggles, and join with similar workers to develop viable options. The young woman. Her fiancé comes to her door but she isn’t sure should she let him in. This is still true in much of the world. was especially prized as a mark of beauty in women. Song of Songs Summary. Solomon builds himself a palanquin (a seat carried on poles) and the Song extols the beauty of the workmanship. The section becomes a "garden poem", in which he describes her as a "locked garden" (usually taken to mean that she is chaste). Song 1:6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has gazed on me. , In modern times the poem has attracted the attention of feminist biblical critics, with Phyllis Trible's foundational "Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation" treating it as an exemplary text and the Feminist Companion to the Bible series edited by Athalya Brenner and Carole Fontaine devoting to it two volumes (1993, 2000).. And believers are encouraged to see and praise the beauty in others’ — including spouses’ — work. It’s a ballad of love and longing. The couple then sings of their love for each other (Song 6:10–8:4). The other is the book of Esther.King Solomon is generally acknowledged as the author, though some scholars say that is uncertain. 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? They turn this task into a game, chasing away the “little foxes.” Their work is so amenable to games of love that it leads to the double entendre, “our vineyards are in blossom.” This glorious picture of agricultural life in springtime hearkens back to the Garden of Eden, where tending the plants was meant to be a pleasure. 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