Introduction to the Song of Solomon

“Introduction to the Song of Solomon,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)


Why study this book?

The Joseph Smith Translation states, “The Songs of Solomon are not inspired writings” (quoted in Bible Dictionary, “Song of Solomon”).

Who wrote this book?

We do not know who wrote the Song of Solomon. “Whether Solomon is actually the author is doubtful” (Bible Dictionary, “Song of Solomon”).

When and where was it written?

We do not know when or where the Song of Solomon was written.

What are some distinctive features of this book?

The Song of Solomon is the only book in the standard works that is considered uninspired (see Bible Dictionary, “Song of Solomon”). When speaking to a group of seminary and institute teachers, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles commented on each of the books in the Old Testament. When he came to this book he said, “The Song of Solomon is biblical trash—it is not inspired writing” (“The Bible, a Sealed Book,” in Teaching Seminary: Preservice Readings [Church Educational System manual, 2004], 127).

“[The Song of Solomon is] sometimes called Canticles (as in Latin) or Song of Songs (as in Hebrew). … Both Jews and Christians have at times been reluctant to accept it into the canon of scripture because of its romantic content but have permitted it on the basis of its being an allegory of God’s love for Israel and of the Church” (Bible Dictionary, “Song of Solomon”).

Outline

Song of Solomon 1–8 Poetry and songs of love and affection are presented.