About this book
The title of this book means “the most beautiful of songs”; in some translations, it is called “The Song of Solomon” (see 1.1).
This book is a collection of songs, or poems, in which a woman and a man tell about their love for each other. Sometimes they speak to themselves, sometimes to each other or to friends, and in some of the poems they seem to be remembering earlier times in their relationship.
The poems have been interpreted in different ways. Some have thought that the man was King Solomon himself. Others read the book as a drama: the woman was taken to the court of Solomon, but she was still in love with a man back in her home town, and finally the two are reunited. Some interpreters believe that the man and woman stand for God and his people or Christ and the Church.
But it is also possible to take the book as a collection of poems expressing the deep and powerful love that a woman and a man can have for each other. In fact, they may have been part of marriage celebrations in ancient Israel. As one of the poems says:
The passion of love
bursting into flame
is more powerful than death,
stronger than the grave.
Love cannot be drowned
by oceans or floods;
it cannot be bought,
no matter what is offered.
A quick look at this book
1. Love is better than wine (1.1–17)
2. Love makes everything beautiful (2.1—3.5)
3. The wedding (3.6—5.1)
4. Why is the one you love more special than others? (5.2—7.13)
5. If only you and I … (8.1–14)