BKHD № 4 (4) 2019
Bible, exegesis, hermeneutics, philology

Song of Songs 8, 13–14: A Commentary

Yakov Eidelkind
independent researcher y.eidelkind@gmail.com

For citation: Eidelkind, Yakov “Song of Songs 8, 13–14: A Commentary”. Bible and Christian Antiquity, No 4 (4), 2019, pp. 163–202 (in Russian). DOI: 10.31802/2658-4476-2019-4-4-163-202

Abstract. The two final verses of the Song of Songs are read here as a separate poem, which is shown to depend largely on the tradition of paraclausithyron (ancient serenade). The topoi of this oral genre help explain some features of the poem usually considered to be diffi- cult: the solemn invocation of the girl as «living in the gardens», the presence of the «friends» and, above all, the fact that the girl (contrary to what is said in many commentaries) does not invite the boy, but rather sends him away. Another important aspect of the poem is that it serves as an epilogue to the lyric sequence of Song of Songs. Thus the farewell of the girl to the boy corresponds, on a metapoetic level, to the farewell of the poet to the book and to the audience.

Keywords: Song of Songs, Canticles, ancient Hebrew poetry, Biblical philology, paraclausithyron.