Background of Song of Songs
The Song of Songs is a literal translation of the Heb, title sir hassirm meaning the greatest of all songs or the most sublime composition. The editorial subtitle “The Song of Songs by Solomon “ attributes the poem of King Solomom.Israel has always regarded Solomon as the source of its wisdom.Jst a the Pentateuch was ascribed to Moses and the Psalms to David, it was believed that much of the wisdom literature including Song of Songs ,was due to Solomon.
As a matter of fact Solomon is nowhere designated among the speakers in the book; they remain anonymous in order to create an “open book” subject to variety of interpretations.
The question of authorship is closely connected with the issue of the unity of the book. It seems reasonable to consider it as a collection of individual pieces that have been assembled in order to provide a coherent description of human love between a man and a woman. I is a composition which celebrates the extent of love: from the rapture of kisses and caresses of a man and a woman yearning for constant togetherness: from the suffering caused by the absence of the loved one to the exciting joy of a reunion: from a passionate dialogue between them to the nostalgia caused by their absence.
Given the absence of an explicit reference to God, we have to ask ourselves whether it is legitimate to consider Song of Songs an integral part of the Bible. But despite some opposition, the book was acknowledged early on as canonical by both Jews and Christians.
The date of composition as a whole or i its different parts, is problematic and very little can be said with confidence about it. Though common opinion assigns a post-exilic dating in all probability individual poems might have been written much earlier.