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Choral Intermezzo (Song 3:6–11)

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Chapter Summary

Song 3:6-11 constitutes a kind of intermezzo between the songs of the beloved woman (2:7-3:5) and those of the beloved man (4:1-5:1). The first three strophes describe the progressive approach of the nuptial procession to the city from the standpoint of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The identification of the 'desert' with that of Judaea does not exclude the symbolic significance of this passage. The symbolism of the desert is ambivalent. On the one hand, as v. 8 recalls, the desert is a place of death and dangers, an image of the kingdom of the dead. On the other hand, it is also the place of the forces of life and love. The description of the litter is a piece of bravura, rich in neologisms which makes one think of certain passages in Homer where the author seems to forget the action and dwells at length on minute details.

Keywords: beloved man; beloved woman; desert; intermezzo; Jerusalem; Judaea; litter



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