Song of Songs – Holy of Holies

Song of Songs

Synopsis –

Our study today takes us to the Song of Songs (or the Song of Solomon), and we study it in the context of this week’s parasha which is all about the Tabernacle of God. The Song of Songs is fundamentally a song of divine and holy love between God and His people – His dwelling place in man – typified by the Tabernacle. We study the Song verse by verse seeing the many references of the text to various events in the life of the people of Israel from the very first act of the Tabernacle (giving the people to drink after their sin at the golden calf) to the temple of Solomon and even to Ezekiel’s temple. The text is presented as the longing of a people in exile – when there is no temple and no active sacrificial system – to God and the assurance of God’s love to His people.

External Sources

Mishnah – tractate “yadaim” 3.5

Rabbi Akiva: “nothing in the entire world is worthy but for that day on which The Song of Songs was given to Israel; for all the Scriptures are holy, but The Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies!” 

Targum of Song of songs 1:14 

Listen! Then Moses came down with the two tablets of stone in his hands but his hands were heavy because of the sins of Israel–and the tablets fell and were broken! Then Moses went and crushed the calf, and scattered its dust in the river and made the Children of Israel drink, and he killed everyone who deserved to be killed. And he ascended a second time to the Firmament and prayed before YY and made atonement for the Children of Israel. Then he was commanded to make the Tabernacle and the Ark. At that time Moses hurried and made the Tabernacle, all its vessels, and the Ark, and he put in the Ark two other tablets. And he appointed the sons of Aaron the priest to offer up the sacrifice on the altar and to offer a libation of wine at the sacrifice. And where did they get the wine for libations? They were in the desert, weren’t they?–not a convenient place for agriculture; and surely no figs, vines, or pomegranates! But they went to the vineyards of En-Gedi and took bunches of grapes from there and pressed the wine from them and offered it as a libation on the altar, a quarter of a hin for each lamb.

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