The Old Testament

A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction


18. Song of Songs

Bible Reading Guide

Note: The numbers of the questions correspond to the chapters from which they come.

  1. In the opening three verses, which senses are employed in the description?
  2. What season has arrived according to the male?
  3. How is Solomon described in Song 3?
  4. How does the male describe the female’s beauty in Song 4?
  5. What is the ending of the story of the female’s search for her beloved?
  6. Why does the male go down to the grove in the valley?
  7. In the description of the female, what parts of her body are associated with grapes and wine?
  8. What images are used to describe how strong love is?

Study Questions

  1. What does the term “Song of Songs” mean?
  2. What is a wasf?
  3. Which type of interpretation begins as early as there is evidence?
  4. Poetry does not reflect reality so much as what?
  5. What date do elements pictured in the Song imply for a date?
  6. In the proposed six divisions of the Song, where are the lovers in each?
  7. Outside of the Bible, where is the earliest wasf located?
  8. What is stronger in the Song than anywhere else in the Bible?
  9. Application of military and architectural images to the female suggests what?
  10. Why is the Song a unity rather than an anthology?
  11. How does the Song’s teaching about sex fit with that found elsewhere in the Bible?
  12. Love in the Song is not concerned with sex alone, but also with what?
  13. The erotic love of the Song points to what?