Song of Songs

Song of Songs

Song of Songs

Song of Songs

Synopsis

Relationships are a wonderful, mysterious, often elusive, sometimes painful part of the human experience. The most intimate of all human relationships, according to the Bible, is that between a husband and a wife. It is no surprise, therefore, that there is a book of the Bible, the Song of Songs, that focuses on this relationship. What is surprising is how little attention is given to the Song of Songs by scholars, by the church, and by readers of the Bible. With this volume Tremper Longman III unpacks for modern people what this ancient love poem says about the male-female relationship -- and, by analogy, about God's love for his people.

Longman's superb study begins with a thorough introduction to the Song of Songs and its background. Longman discusses the book's title, authorship, date, literary style, language, structure, cultural milieu, and theological content. He also canvasses the long history of interpretation of the Song of Songs, a history too often characterized by repression of the text. In the commentary itself, Longman structures the Song of Songs according to its twenty-three poetic units and explains its message verse by verse. The exposition is made clearer by Longman's adoption of an anthropological approach to the text and by his frequent comparisons of the Song of Songs with other ancient Near Eastern literature.

Learned yet highly accessible, innovative yet fully informed by past scholarship, this commentary shows the beautiful Song of Songs to be a timeless celebration of human love and sexuality.

Excerpt

Long ago St. Paul wrote: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6, NRSV). He was right: ministry indeed requires a team effort — the collective labors of many skilled hands and minds. Someone digs up the dirt and drops in seed, while others water the ground to nourish seedlings to growth. the same team effort over time has brought this commentary series to its position of prominence today. Professor E. J. Young “planted” it forty years ago, enlisting its first contributors and himself writing its first published volume. Professor R. K. Harrison “watered” it, signing on other scholars and wisely editing everyone’s finished products. As General Editor, I now tend their planting, and, true to Paul’s words, through four decades God has indeed graciously “[given] the growth.”

Today the New International Commentary on the Old Testament enjoys a wide readership of scholars, priests, pastors, rabbis, and other serious Bible students. Thousands of readers across the religious spectrum and in countless countries consult its volumes in their ongoing preaching, teaching, and research. They warmly welcome the publication of each new volume and eagerly await its eventual transformation from an emerging “series” into a complete commentary “set.” But as humanity experiences a new century of history, an era commonly called “postmodern,” what kind of commentary series is NICOT? What distinguishes it from other similarly well-established series?

Its volumes aim to publish biblical scholarship of the highest quality. Each contributor writes as an expert, both in the biblical text itself and in the relevant scholarly literature, and each commentary conveys the results of wide reading and careful, mature reflection. Ultimately, its spirit is eclectic, each contributor gleaning interpretive insights from any useful source, whatever its religious or philosophical viewpoint, and integrating them into his or her interpretation of a biblical book. the series draws on recent methodological innovations in biblical scholarship, e.g., canon criticism, the so-called . . .

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