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Scott Noegel and Gary Rendsburg have cut and faceted a real gem here in SOLOMON'S VINEYARD (SBL, 2009). Not at all shy about the erotic content of the Song of Songs, comparing it to other literature as well, including Greek poetry of Archilochus and Arabic poetry, their erudition of Hebrew makes this book worth delving and mining the subtlest wordplays like paronomasia and Janus parallelism. They bring out many hermeneutic ironies, some double-edged, as well as comparanda to Arabic tashbib and hija forms, with deliberate ambiguities of both praise and invective. It's refreshing to see scholars stick to their guns about evidence for their choice of an early date (900 BCE) and unity of the songs due to, among other points they evidence, consistent alliterative style, parallelism and repetitions. Also informative is their extended unfolding of the role of Israelian (Northern) Hebrew as opposed to Judahite Hebrew and how much biblical literature like the Song of Songs is in this dialect. This is a needed tome no lover of Hebrew poetry can live without.
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