on 26 March 2014
The Song of songs is a contentious book of the Bible when it comes to how we interpret it. Should we take it at face value as a celebration of human love in the context of courtship leading to marriage. Or should we see it purely in an allegorical sense. This approach to the book is the one Richard Brooks takes here. I must admit to having found Richard Brooks writing to have been helpful in several commentaries, particularly his one on Revelation but his approach to the Song of songs I feel is over allegorical and I much prefer the typical approach that is employed by writers like Stuart Olyott and Gary Brady when it comes to the Song of songs. The allegorical approach used here reads too much into the text. As Stuart Olyott says there is a danger of trying to read meaning into every plant, herb or anything that is mentioned in the text if this approach is employed. I'm rather more content to go with a reading that gives a clear impression of Christ's love for the church and individual Christian believers but also first lets the text speak for itself as a celebration of the God-given gift of love and emotions that are involved in courtship that lead to a physical expression of love in marriage. This coupled with warnings of things to avoid during the courtship and the on-going relationship make this a book to be valued. When I preached the Song of songs I use this commentary and there are some good things in it however, I don't quite feel it is quite balanced in its approach to the book.