“Let us spend the night in the villages,” says the Bride to her lover in Song of Songs 7:11b. “Villages” is kefariym , from kapar , to cover in the sense of atonement. Lexicons tell us that the word is used for “village” in 1 Chronicles 27:25, which may be the case. I don’t think it works for the Song, though. The Bride wants to spend the night with her lover “in the coverings.”

That points in a lot of liturgical/sacrificial directions, but I think it also points to a tiny allegory of redemptive history: Dodi and his bride stay under cover for the night, but then the next morning they arise to go to the vineyards (7:13-14). The night/covering of the OT yields to the daytime vineyard of the new.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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