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Abstract

This essay is intended to demonstrate that the Song of Songs (Canticles) is a product of a Hellenistic and Jewish intellectual background. It takes up motifs from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and is based on the Hellenistic poetry from Greece–Sicily–Alexandria. Its basic literary forms (Paraklausithyron, runaway love, descriptive songs of man and woman) were derived from the Hellenism of Alexandria, e.g. Theocritus and Moschus or its predecessors as an amalgam of these cultures. This conclusion is further supported by the manuscript evidence for the Songs of Songs found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

in Journal of Ancient Judaism