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The Song of Songs [Hardcover]

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Item Number 187133  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   539
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.98" Width: 8.6" Height: 1.22"
Weight:   4.11 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 30, 2006
Publisher   Peeters
ISBN  9042916389  
EAN  9789042916388  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
The Song of Songs A Philological Analysis of the Hebrew Book (Ancient Near Eastern Studies) (Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement Series)


Product Description
Since time immemorial the Song of Songs (SofS) has been a source of amazement and inspiration. The countless translations and interpretations of this book differ greatly from one another. Does the Hebrew text indeed justify this? To answer this question, an unprejudiced philological analysis is necessary that keeps strictly to the text, which does justice to the context, and approaches the book intrinsically and as rationally as possible. Such methods, followed by the author of this text, make clear that the SofS is a continuous story, running from SofS 1.2 to 8.14, with a cohesive structure which is readily comprehensible and logical. That even applies to verses (e.g. 2.15; 6.12), which are seen by everyone as puzzling. Emendations are practically never necessary, eliminations not at all. The analysis makes plausible that SofS 1.2-8.4 is set in the harem of Solomon. The female protagonist, who has earlier lost her heart to a shepherd, is held against her will and prepared physically and mentally for a meeting with Solomon by a personal attendant, who first appears in SofS 1.9. In the SofS a consistent use of language is employed, which means, for example, that the individual speakers are recognisable; this, together with the intrinsically cohesive structure of the work, is a strong argument for one author/editor.

The SofS is a story of love uniting two people. Full justice is done to the interpretation of this text in a satisfying and harmonious manner.



Publishers Description
Since time immemorial the Song of Songs (SofS) has been a source of amazement and inspiration. The countless translations and interpretations of this book differ strongly from each other. Does the Hebrew text indeed justify this? To answer this question, an unprejudiced philological analysis is necessary that keeps strictly to the text, which does justice to the context, and approaches the book intrinsically as rationally as possible. These methods followed by the author make clear that the SofS is a continuous story, which runs from SofS 1.2 to 8.14 with a cohesive structure, which is readily comprehensible and logical. That even applies to verses (e.g. 2.15; 6.12), which are seen by everyone as puzzling. Emendations are practically never necessary, eliminations not at all. The analysis makes plausible that SofS 1.2-8.4 is set in the harem of Solomon. The female protagonist, who has earlier lost her heart to a shepherd, is held their against her will and prepared physically and mentally for a meeting with Solomon by a personal attendant, who first appears in SofS 1.9; she does not succeed in winning her for Solomon. In the SofS a consistent use of language is employed, which means, for example, that the individual speakers are recognisable; this, together with the intrinsically cohesive structure of the work, is a strong argument for one author/editor. The use of veiled language for specific female or male parts of the body occurs more often than is recognised by others. The SofS is the story of the love, which unites two people. It is unique and faithful, and encompasses the whole of the person. Full justice is done to the related erotic-sexual aspect in a satisfying and harmonious manner.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Brilliant Philological Analysis of Text  Jul 3, 2007
The Song of Songs: A Philological Analysis of the Hebrew Book by P. W. T. Stoop-van Paridon (Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Peeters) Since time immemorial the Song of Songs (SofS) has been a source of amazement and inspiration. The countless translations and interpretations of this book differ strongly from each other. Does the Hebrew text indeed justify this? To answer this question, an unprejudiced philological analysis is necessary that keeps strictly to the text, which does justice to the context, and approaches the book intrinsically as rationally as possible.
These methods followed by the author make clear that the SofS is a continuous story, which runs from SofS 1.2 to 8.14 with a cohesive structure, which is readily comprehensi-ble and logical. That even applies to verses (e.g. 2.15; 6.12), which are seen by everyone as puzzling. Emendations are practically never necessary, eliminations not at all.
The analysis makes plausible that SofS 1.2-8.4 is set in the harem of Solomon. The female protagonist, who has earlier lost her heart to a shepherd, is held there against her will and prepared physically and mentally for a meeting with Solomon by a personal attendant, who first appears in SofS 1.9; she does not succeed in winning her for Solomon.
In the SofS a consistent use of language is employed, which means, for example, that the individual speakers are recognisable; this, together with the intrinsically cohesive struc¬ture of the work, is a strong argument for one author/editor. The use of veiled language for specific female or male parts of the body occurs more often than is recognised by others.
The SofS is the story of the love, which unites two people. It is unique and faithful, and encompasses the whole of the person. Full justice is done to the related erotic-sexual aspect in a satisfying and harmonious manner.
Great differences exist between commentators as regards the rendering and interpretation of the SofS. In individual cases often a differ¬ence in the choice of the starting-point for the study plays a role, a difference in the conception which one has formed of the book before or after studying it. One way or another that also has an influence on the choices which must be made again and again during the process of the analysis concerning word-form and meaning. It is for exam¬ple evident that the point of departure is completely different if one holds the opinion that the number of speakers is limited to two (for instance, Delitzsch, Murphy) or consists of three people, as many think. One or more wedding songs by or for King Solomon demands another construction to be put on it than an expression of love between a shepherdess and a shepherd, not to speak of the influence of the allegorical interpreta¬tion intended.
I will therefore forego formulating hypotheses at the beginning of my study. Ac¬cording to their form these can give the impression of preconceptions, and I wish to avoid every appearance of subjectivity.
The author tries to guard against any bias and strives to let the word and the lan¬guage tell its own story. Therefore the central question is always: What can this word mean here in the form in which it occurs and in the context in which it is placed? Questions are posed, as often as is possible, independently of the results of any prior research on the SofS or in connection with the SofS. Lexical and grammatical information, the context and logical common sense and linguistic sensitivity are the deciding factors.
There are good grounds for assuming that the vocalised consonantal text, which we know as the Masoretic Text (MT), is a faithful rendering of the original Hebrew con¬sonantal text of the SofS. The fragments of text of the SofS found in Caves 4 and 6 at Qumran support this view. The MT as it is rendered in BHK (1937; 1973) is the starting-point for the study and is respected this as much as is ever possible. Revocalisation may be applied as necessary but emendation of the consonantal text was not be accepted other than as a great exception.
The process of research is conducted in consecutive phases: collecting the lexical and grammatical information, taking as a starting point the relevant information in the concordance of Lisowsky -4 filling in the philological details from commentaries on the SofS from 1778 onwards -32 --> analysis of the possible meanings on the basis of content and form within the given context --> making a choice also with a view to the context
interpretation. In this way I will make a judgement about every word on its own merit (form and content). In each phase the whole of the SofS is gone through, from 1.1 to 8.14; only when one phase has been rounded off is the following phase begun.
In specific cases where necessary use is made of an Intermezzo to study more closely the meaning of a vocable or its use, that is with the help of texts from other books in the Hebrew Bible which are able to clarify which meaning in the SofS in a particular in¬stance can be under discussion. It is conceivable that in some instances it is not possi¬ble to establish with any certainty what is meant by a particular vocable; in such cases the author set a limit to transcribing it.
With regard to the cultural-historical background in the biblical-historical period a number of standard sources were consulted.
Many commentators demonstrate connections between the Hebrew vocables that oc¬cur in the SofS and in other languages which were spoken in the ancient Near East. It is well established that these languages influenced each other. It is striking how wide the difference of opinion is between commentators who involve other areas of philological scholarship in the analysis of the SofS. Some focus attention on the dangers attached to this approach and make it plain that an analysis of this nature should be based on what the Hebrew Bible itself has to offer (cf. e.g. SofS 1.5-2.7 n. 261, 262, 270, 296). I too will, practically without exception, limit myself to Biblical Hebrew (cf. n. 26).
For the sake of objectivity in rendering the text the original word order was maintained as much as possible in the translation. In this way a poetic lyrical render¬ing is abandoned. If a choice has to be made between two alternatives and there are no decisive arguments for one of the two, both possibilities will be given. If 'hidden language' is being used the relevant word was placed between inverted commas.
The method described above is time-consuming, laborious, perhaps monotonous and dull, and demands organisation and discipline. It is however worth the trouble to try to find in this manner, following a purely philological route, the key with which the locked door already spoken of can be opened, even if only by a chink. It is inevita¬ble that the process is characterised, certainly at the beginning, by a degree of uncer¬tainty. Hypotheses which were made at the beginning, however weak they have been at first sight, will indeed still have a rational, philological and literary foundation. However, as is the case with every scholarly investigation, a weak lead can sometimes be the key to finding out the truth. Obviously it is the responsibility of the researcher continuously to keep testing the hypothesis against the results as the study proceeds. Discrepancies are unacceptable. Compatibility strengthens the basis of a weak lead. That has been the author's guiding principle.
 

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