Shir ha Shirim???

Shir ha shirim (שיר השירים in Hebrew) means ‘Song of Songs‘. It is a Hebrew superlative that means something like ‘the song of all songs’, ‘the greatest/best song’. It is one of the shorter books of the Bible and also known under the title ‘the Song of Solomon’ or ‘Canticles’. It was most probably written in the 4th century BC.

The book contains erotic poetry that sometimes even subtly hints at pornography. As erotic poetry the text is quite comparable to poetry on the same subject from the same region and time in which the Song of Songs was written. It is composed as a dialogue between an man and a woman, at times interrupted by what in some translations is indicated as the ‘daughters of Jerusalem’ or ‘a choir’.
Both Jewish and Christian theologians have tried hard to explain away the physicality of the work. Whole libraries have been filled with interpretations. In the course of history the man and the woman, often referred to as ‘bridegroom’ and ‘bride’, have been variously interpreted as God and His chosen people, the believer and Wisdom, Christ and His church, God and mankind or simply ‘lovers’.

The 2nd century rabbi Akiva considered the Song of Songs the holiest book of Scripture and worth even more than creation itself (Mishna Yadayim 3:5).

Lots of people get to this page looking for the Hebrew text of Song of Songs. This can be found here (for those who can read Hebrew) or here with parallel English translation.

2 Responses to “Shir ha Shirim???”

  1. Where can i find hebrew shir hashirim for printing on my computer.
    My wife reads shir hashirim everyday a a segulah for the children (especially for a shidduch (a match))

    aaron1963@gmail.com

  2. shirhashirim Says:

    See the above two links.
    I’m not sure how they fare on your printer though…

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