Krishna in love

In the aforementioned article, Rabin suggests that the poet of the Song lived in a time of extensive trade between Judea and the east, and that this fits the time of Solomon. He also suggests that the poem was likely written as an allegory: The poet “had in mind a contribution to religious or . . . . Continue Reading »

Dating the Song

In a 1973 article comparing the Song of Songs to Tamil poetry, Chaim Rabin points to evidence of contacts between the Indus Valley and lower Mesopotamia during the time of Solomon. On the spices listed in Song 4:12-14, he writes that these verses evoke the “atmosphere of a period when Indian . . . . Continue Reading »

Black goddess

Many of the goddesses of ancient paganism were domestic types. The goddesses were mother goddesses, or weaver goddesses or sometimes associated with higher arts of civilization – writing and other cultivated elite arts. Tikva Frymer-Kensky notes ( In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture . . . . Continue Reading »

Like the tents of Kedar

The first phrase of Song of Songs 1:5 is usually taken as a contrast – “black but lovely,” though some have noted that this is not a necessary translation of the phrase. It seems the most likely, though, that the blackness is seen as a negative, but in spite of her blackness, she . . . . Continue Reading »


The word “maiden” is used twice in the Song, first in 1:3, where the Bride says that the maidens love her Lover, and then in 6:8, where the maidens join with the queens and concubines in praising the bride. At the beginning, the maidens love the lover, but by the end of the Song they . . . . Continue Reading »

Memory, Fragrance, Name

Aroma and memory are linked liturgically and spiritually as well as literally. The sacrifices were offered as “memorials” before Yahweh, as was incense. He was called to remember and act. The fragrance of the lover arouses the bride to remember him, and the reputation and name of our . . . . Continue Reading »


What excites erotic desire? Our pornographic culture highlights the sheerly sensual - the visible form of the face and body, the aroma of a perfume, the allure of sexy clothing. Eros is aroused when the lovers are stripped of all external definitions, including finally their clothes and their . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

Song of Songs 8:14: Hurry, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices. John came to announce the imminent Advent of the Bridegroom. Jesus came to promise He would come again through His Spirit, who readies the Queen for yet another Advent of the Bridegroom. As . . . . Continue Reading »


“Cosmetic” comes from the Greek kosmos , which typically means “world,” and from techne , which means “art” or even “technique.” The etymology throws lines in several directions. A kosmos is an adorned, arranged, and beautified world. In the Genesis . . . . Continue Reading »