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In Practice

Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) Perspectives From Faith Communities In Practice

Getting Biblical in Daily Life

Jewish Perspective

Love poetry during services? Yes, please.

Jewish writers over the centuries have had their way with the Song of Songs. The allegorical implications of the text—that it's about God and the Israelites—were actually created in a midrash. Midrash is a form of commentary and creative writing in which a writer (often a rabbi) would supplement details to a biblical story to make it more accessible.

Jewish messianists in the 16th century also used some text from Song of Songs (7:2) in composing Lecha Dodi, a messianic song about God and his bride that is sung in most synagogues today. And certain Jewish sects—particularly Sephardic Jews—still sing the Song of Songs while observing the Sabbath.

Who knew synagogue could be so romantic?

Christian Perspective

Jesus didn't seem to care too much about Song of Songs. You know how he's always throwing around quotes from the Old Testament? Song of Songs never makes it in there. But that doesn't mean biblical scholars haven't taken their hand at it. Many people read this book as an allegory for the love between Jesus and his followers.

Biblical scholarship might be millennia old, but Christians are still thinking about Song of Songs today. The late Pope John Paul II offered a new analysis of the Song in one of his speeches about the modern nature of marriage. This kind of modern analysis on such an old text is what keeps things interesting.

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