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The Song of Songs CONTENTS INTRODUCTION1 Canonicity1 Authorship and Dating2 INTERPRETATION4 Allegorical4 Literal5 Wedding Cycle5 Pastoral Drama6 CONCLUSION6 INTRODUCTION The Song of Songs or Song of Solomon is a unique book in the Old Testament canon The book contains exquisitely beautiful lyric poetry full of sensuous symbolism Because of the sexual nature of Song of Songs the message of this book has been debated for the past eighteen-hundred years The erotic content of this book has lead it into canonicity problems and authorship problems These issues have become central to the interpretation of the Song of Songs Canonicity The issue of the canonicity of Song of Songs was a major subject of debate at the 90 AD Council of Jamnia Jewish Rabbis from across the spectrum of Judaism assembled in order to close in Jewish Canon At that time many rabbis who opposed the Song of Songs and other works toke the opportunity to argue against their inclusion in Jewish Canon It was the Palestinian rabbinical school of Shammai that stood in the fore of the opposition for canonization of Song of Songs They argued that nothing could be considered scripture that was being employed in lewd barroom songs Fortunately the cause of Song of Songs was championed by the less stringent Babylonian rabbinical school of Hillel The entire universe is not as worthy as the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel for all the Writings are holy but the Song of Songs are the Holy of Hollies Lead by the defense of Rabbi Aqiba the Hillal school succeeded in maintaining the canonicity of Song of Songs Authorship and Dating While the different schools
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