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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation
Fishbane, Michael

Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2015 pp. lviii + 338. $55.00

Series Information
JPS Bible Commentary


Description: Song of Songs is a wondrous collection of love lyrics nestled in the heart of the Hebrew Bibleósongs of passion and praise between a young maiden and her beloved. It is religious lyric par excellence. But what is its true meaning? Is it an expression of human love and passion, pure and simple? A celebration of the covenant between God and Israel? Or something else? The latest volume in the Jewish Publication Societyís highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series, Song of Songs provides a line-by-line commentary of the original Hebrew Bible text, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, alongside the JPS English translation. Unique to this volume are four layers of commentary: the traditional PaRDeS: peshat (literal meaning), derash (midrashic and religious-traditional sense), remez (allegorical level), and sod (mystical and spiritual intimations). Michael Fishbane skillfully draws from them all to reveal the extraordinary range of interpretations and ideas perceived in this extraordinary biblical book. A comprehensive introduction, extensive endnotes, a full bibliography (traditional and modern), and additional explanatory materials are included to enhance the readerís appreciation of the work. This original, comprehensive commentary on the Song of Songs interprets historical, critical, and traditional sources drawn from the ancient Near East, the entire spectrum of Jewish sources and commentaries, and modern critical studies.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Song of Songs, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Literary Approaches, History of Interpretation

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Review by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, review of Michael Fishbane, Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Review by Barry Dov Walfish
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Barry Dov Walfish, review of Michael Fishbane, Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Review by Annette Schellenberg
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Annette Schellenberg, review of Michael Fishbane, Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Review by Jonathan Kaplan
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Jonathan Kaplan, review of Michael Fishbane, Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Review by Laura S. Lieber
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Laura S. Lieber, review of Michael Fishbane, Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Response by Michael Fishbane
Published 5/3/2017
Citation: Michael Fishbane, response to reviews of his Song of Songs: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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