The Song of Songs: Its Basic Teaching and Place in the OT Canon
The Song of Songs is a love poem (or a collection of poems), full of sensuous symbols. The central theme of the book is love; it celebrates human love in all its physical dimensions. Its language is love, a language which seems daring and sometimes even shocking, considering its seeming erotic feature. The author provides a teaching on the place of love and marriage in God’s plan of creation. It focuses on fidelity and mutuality in love between the sexes. The author offers a perspective of love not found elsewhere in the biblical writings. The climax of his teaching on love is contained in Sg 8:6-7. Here the poet emphasizes the power and energy of love. He compares the consuming power of love to “a raging flame” (rišpê ’ēš) which no water can quench. He specifies the value of love: love is so priceless that no material wealth can match it.