Singing of sex

Rereading the Song of Songs

Some exegetes and preachers have tried to persuade us that the Song of Songs is an elaborate allegory about the love of God for Israel or of Christ for the church. Yes, the book may have something to teach us about the divine-human relationship, but it is also, and without doubt, a song of erotic love. It is sensual, playful, beautiful and filled with longing. It is an expression of joy in the pleasures of the flesh, and it revels in the beauties of the human body. The Song mostly speaks in a woman’s voice—a woman who expresses forthrightly her erotic longings.

In speaking so joyously of sexuality and in adopting a woman’s voice, the Song of Songs offers a remarkable and welcome minority report within the scriptures. Renita Weems points this out in her New Interpreter’s Bible commentary:

 

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