the Song of Songs with saintly commentary

This website has an on-going project to make a new online study Bible with quotes from many different Saints. The Song of Songs annotation was recently completed. It is a useful antidote to foolish and offensive interpretations of the Song, which claim that it is an erotic love poem. In fact, as seen in these many comments by various Saints, the Church has always regarded the Song as a figurative description of the relationship between Christ and His Church.

erotic, adj.
1. Of or concerning sexual love and desire; amatory.
2. Tending to arouse sexual desire.
3. Dominated by sexual love or desire.

The Song of Songs is not an erotic poem. It is not intended by God to arouse. It is not primarily about sexual desire. It is not even a poem about a sexual relationship, since the bride and groom in the poem are not yet married; they as yet have no sexual relationship. No sexual acts between them, which would be premarital sexual acts, are described, not even with discrete terms.

On the literal level of meaning, the Song of Songs is about the marriage of king Solomon and his bride. They are attracted to one another on many levels, including sexual attraction. But their attraction is ordered, not disordered. Sexual attraction does not have the highest place in any ordered relationship, whether of an engaged couple or a married couple. And the poem, even on this literal level, is not primarily about sexual attraction.

On the spiritual level of meaning, the Song of Songs is about the relationship between Christ and His Church. There is nothing erotic or sexual on this level of meaning. The Church is a virgin bride, and Christ is her perfectly chaste groom. And this level of meaning is most important. As a result, the commentary of the Saints about this poem is primarily about the betrothal of Christ and the Church.

Here is my own translation and commentary on the Song of Songs:

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