SONG OF SONGS (Continental Commentary by Othmar Keel)($43)*


In addition to a comprehensive introduction and an analysis of text and form, Othmar Keel focuses on the metaphorical and symbolic language of the Song of Songs. He makes full use of parallels—textual and iconographic—from Palestine, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. More than 160 illustrations, prepared by Hildi Keel-Leu, add to the interpretation of the songs.

About the Author: Othmar Keel is Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Studies at the University of Freibourg, Germany.

"Thoughtful, judicious, unpretentious, with a special penchant for the ancient Near Eastern iconographic background, Keel's analysis [is] perhaps the best commentary on the Song of Songs in recent years." -- Francis Landy, Journal of Biblical Literature

"The strength of this commentary [lies in its] relating biblical texts to ancient Near Eastern iconography . . . All in all, this is a strong and illuminating book." -- Elizabeth F. Huwiler, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Table of Contents

Translator’s Preface


Origins and Allegorizing of the Song of Songs
The Cultural Background
The Date of Composition
Typological and Allegorical Recasting
Sitz im Leben, composition, Literary Forms, and Language
The Sitz im Leben
Does a Comprehensive plan Underlie the Song of Songs?
Normal Elements and Categories
Excursus: The Source of the Praise of Bodily Features in the Descriptive Songs
Formal Elements and Categories: Conclusion
Similes, Metaphors, Roles, and Situations
The Song of Songs and Yahwism
Love as an Elemental Power
The Theological Relevance of Love as an Elemental Force


Longing for the Greatest Pleasure
Different from the Others
If You Want to Find Him
The Charms of the Beloved
The Fragrance of Nard
What He Means to Me
“Under the linden”
“Love’s sweet breath, -- a new-born life”
Sick with Love
Do Not Stir up Love! I
“Nothing restrains love”
The Time Has Come
The Dove in the Clefts of the Rock
The Free-Running Admirers
“You are mine, I am yours”
Yearnings in the Night
Tremendum et fascinosum I
A Magnificent Palanquin
A Day of Gladness of Heart
All Beauty and Delight Reside in You (Descriptive Song I)
Descend from the Peaks
You Drive Me Crazy!
The Paradise of Love
A Missed Opportunity
Distinguished among Ten Thousand (Descriptive Song II)
Tremendum et fascinosum II
Like a Goddess
Patient/Impatient Checking
Shulammite Is Too Good for That!
The Prince’s Daughter (Descriptive Song III)
The Tree of Life
Lifting the Curse
How Pleasant to Go to the Fields
If You Were Only My Brother
Do Not Stir Up Love! II
Who Has Become So Complaisant?
From Generation to Generation
Love as the Opponent of Death
Futile Pride
Solomon’s Vineyard and Mine
A Secret Understanding

Sources of the Illustrations
Index of Biblical References

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