on 5 June 2012
I bought this on the recommendation of a lecturer at the London School of Jewish Studies where I took a course on the Song of Songs. This is a truly beautiful translation which benefits from the husband and wife team, she is a poet and he is a bible scholar and they lend their respective talents to this ancient and multi-layered piece of scripture. It is presented beautifully with the Hebrew text facing the English translation followed by notes and commentary. I especially liked the absence of footnotes to the translation as this preserved the feeling of poetry in the English mirroring the Hebrew (which is in a helpful legible font, fully vowelled). I can't recommend this highly enough.
on 4 March 1999
As love poetry in the midst of theology and prophecy, The Song of Songs (or "of Solomon") is an often-ignored book of scripture. This translation celebrates its important place in our faith traditions. While it is aimed for the Jewish reader, as a Christian in love I found this a moving book, and as a scholar I found the commentary useful. Thank you for showing this to me, Rebbe!
on 30 July 2008
The song of Solomon (Canticles) is a beautiful book. It's about love. It's also a difficult book.
The Canticles are attributed to Solomon, son of David, king of Israel c.970-c.930 BC. In the Bible he's traditionally associated with The Song of Solomon (Canticles), Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs. His alleged wisdom is illustrated by the Judgement of Solomon. It doesn't mean necessarily that Solomon actually wrote them. In those days it was custom to ascribe some anonymous books to a famous person.
The Canticles is a collection of love songs written in such way that the reader gets the impression to be a participant in a feast or a wedding feast. It's a dialogue, presented as love songs, between a man and a woman. That sounds obvious but it isn't because it's not clear who they really are. The Jews say that he and she are God and Israel. According to the Christians they symbolize Christ and the Church and yet another explanation says they are God and the Soul.
Today we know that Solomon was not the author, the Canticum was written in the third century BC.
The Canticles (or Canticum, Song of Solomon, Canticum Canticorum.) are not a story but a collection of songs. It provides tools to improve our knowledge of God's intentions and at the same time to understand better our own thoughts and fears.
The "Canticles" is easy to read when you take the words literally. But when you search for a deeper meaning it can be very difficult.