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At first reading the Song of Songs appears to be an unabashed celebration of the deeply rooted urges of physical attraction, mutual love and sexual consummation between a man and a woman.
Tom Gledhill maintains that the Song of Songs is in fact just that––a literary, poetic exploration of human love that strongly affirms loyalty, beauty and sexuality in all their variety. With tender metaphor and extravagant imagery, the Song writer spins a tale of human love into the cadence of verse, innocent of our quest for historical persons behind the text.
But in God’s story, human beauty, intimacy and sexuality are not ends in themselves. They are transencedental longings, whispers of immortality. Like all of creation they point beyond themselves to their divine author, who in this Song is nowhere mentioned but everywhere assumed.
Gledhill’s commentary is a refreshing reminder of the Song of Song’s ancient and vibrant affirmation of human sexuality that forms an interlude in the Old Testament story and echoes between the lines of Christian revelation.
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