Canticles in Smiths Bible Dictionary
(Song of Songs), entitled in the Authorized Version THE
SONG OF SOLOMON. It was probably written by Solomon about
B.C. 1012. It may be called a drama, as it contains the
dramatic evolution of a simple love-story. Meaning.-- The
schools of interpretation may be divided into three: the
mystical or typical, the allegorical, and the literal.
1. The mystical interpretation owes its origin to
the desire to find a literal basis of fact for the
allegorical. This basis is either the marriage of Solomon
with Pharoah's daughter or his marriage with an Israelitish
woman, the Shulamite.
2. The allegorical. According to the Talmud the
beloved is taken to be God; the loved one, or bride, is the
congregation of Israel. In the Christian Church the
Talmudical interpretation, imported by Origen, was all but
3. The literal interpretation. According to the most
generally-received interpretation of the modern literalists,
the Song is intended to display the victory of humble and
constant love over the temptations of wealth and royalty.
Canonicity.-- The book has been rejected from the Canon by
some critics; but in no case has its rejection been defended
on external grounds. It is found in the LXX. and in the
translations of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion. It is
contained in the catalog given in the Talmud,a nd in the
catalogue of Melito; and in short we have the same evidence
for its canonicity as that which is commonly adduced for the
canonicity of any book of the Old Testament.