Summary of the Song of Songs


General Summary:

  • Summary of The Bible Project’s Overview of The Song of Songs (click here)


  • What does the “Song of Songs” mean? (click here)


  • The 5 major approaches of interpretation (click here)


  • Summary document: click here



  • Summary document: click here
  • Canonicity (click here)



  1. The intent desire expressed through constant seeking & finding.
  2. The joy of physical attraction


Overall: No clear indication. 8 chapters of love poetry. A collection of poems meant to be read as a flowing whole and simply enjoyed.

Title & Prologue (1:1-4)

The prologue indicates the movement of the poem: it is the beloved, that is, the bride, who has the first word.

1st Poem = The Encounter (1:5 – 2:7)

The beloved goes in search of the lover; they meet. The poem ends with the call for love to be let sleep (2:7) that each sings of the other—“I adjure you … that you do not awaken love …”—words that act as a refrain, since they also occur at the end of the second and fifth poems (3:5; 8:4).

2nd Poem = Celebration of Love (2:8 – 3:5)

It is springtime; the lovers celebrate their love—in the daytime, communing with nature; in the night-time through search and discovery. The poem ends again with union and the plea to let love sleep.

3rd Poem = The Wedding Day (3:6 – 5:1)

This is the central poem and it describes the day of King Solomon’s marriage (3:11). It begins by introducing the engaged couple and ends with the consummation of marriage and the invitation to the bridegroom’s friends to celebrate the event with a banquet. Unlike the other poems, this one does not have a refrain.

4th Poem = The Beloved Celebrates Her Lover (5:2 – 6:3)

As far as the story-line of the Song is concerned, this poem marks a new beginning. The beloved is the main speaker: the one she loves is unique (5:10); she tries to describe him. The poem ends with a declaration that lover and beloved belong to each other. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (6:3), a phrase that becomes a second refrain, having appeared already in the second poem (2:16) and which we will find also in the fifth (7:10).

5th Poem = The Lover Celebrates Her Beloved (6:4 – 8:4)

In line with the previous poem, the lover now speaks; try as he may to describe her, she is unique, “the only one” (6:9). But now her beauty awakens the lover’s passion; he must have her. The beloved agrees to his suit, and the poem ends with the same refrain as used in the first two poems: “Do not awaken love.”

Epilogue (8:5–7)

These verses extolling love are perhaps the most intricate in the book. Love’s origin is divine; love is not something changeable; it is a seal whose impression not even death can efface, a flame that no created thing can put out.

Appendixes (8:8–14)

These verses, which have a tone different from that of the rest of the poem, seem to be additions in which in reaction to suggestions from her siblings, the beloved expresses a desire to decide for herself as to what she should do to protect her love.

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