Friday, December 05, 2008

Sexy Stuff In The Bible

Published in MennoDiscuss.

I've been trying to find the place of Song of Songs in the Bible for some time.

It is a pretty common-- if long-- piece of love poetry that was pretty common in the Mid East in the first millenium BC. You can read Egyptian poetry that sounds just like it.

On the surface it doesn't seem very theological-- it is just a celebration of romantic and erotic love.

I did read an interesting article on it, though. The author was saying that there are a number of parallels between Song of Songs and Genesis 1-3, but with the idea that erotic love is the "leftovers" of God's original creation of the world. It is described as the "paradise" and the lovers at one point go into a "garden".

This could very well be. In the ancient world, sex was used in two ways-- as a commitment of marriage and for prostitution (usually as an idolatrous practice). But if we think of it, the eroticism of marriage is as close to being a part of the original creation of Adam and Eve that we have left. Perhaps Song of Songs just celebrates this.

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