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