Varda Books



 View book pages:
 Buy this book:
  eBookshuk
  




SONG OF S O L O M O N.

by Manasseh Ben Israel
SONG OF S O L O M O N. QUESTION 1. Cant. 1: 5. 1 am black and handsome, Cant. 1: 8. If thou knowest not, O fairest daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of among women. Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. RECONCILIATION. Solomon, to whom the Divine Majesty and All- wise gave greater wisdom than to any other mortal, by holy inspiration here wrote that reciprocal love between God and his beloved spouse, the congregation of Israel; it is so superior a work that the ancients say of it כל השירים קדש ושיר השירים קדש קדשים  All the songs of Solomon were holy, but this in a superlative degree is holy of holies. R. Akiba says, from the Creation there was not a superior or more eloquent dialogue ; for under the allegorical title of an espoused, with the most affectionate love, he explains the grandeur, beauty, and power of Her spouse, acknowledging herself indebted to His kindness for the welfare and riches she enjoys, and at the same time He sings the origin, grace, and per-fections of His beloved  spouse. R. Jonathan 1 considers  this to have been Solomons first work, Proverbs next, and lastly Ecclesiastes, saying that the divine influence adapted itself to his age and actual temperament, therefore in youth he wrote this dialogue, replete with affection and love; at maturity, Proverbs; and in old age, Ecclesiastes, when from his own experience he declares all worldly happiness to be vanity and folly. Nevertheless, the Cabalists and R. Elhazar ben Azariah 2  are of a different opinion; they consider that he wrote Ecclesiastes first, then Proverbs, and lastly this song, which seems the most probable ; for as the proper mode to establish an axiom is in the first place to refute false ones and whatever may be opposed to truth, as Aristotle does in physic; so Solomon, after propounding and refuting in Ecclesiastes the various opinions entertained respecting human felicity, shows that all on earth is the height of vanity, and concludes the work saying,  The sum of the matter, after all hath been heard, is to fear God and observe his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Next to this, and originating from it, comes Proverbs, which commences as in continuation,  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The work explains by most excellent ethics the moral precepts in which this fear consists, and lays down rules and laws that will lead man to beatitude and human perfection, and with the same golden key closes, that grace is deceptive, beauty nothing, but the woman who fears God is she who ought to be praised. And finally, in old age, when his genius was already adapted to the most elevated meditation by holy inspiration, he dictated this last book of songs, in which he represents by the sublimest theology the happy state resulting from this fear, which is the love and connection with that Sovereign Divine Majesty— the utmost felicity man can attain. And as at Mount Sinai God communicated and showed Himself to this His beloved spouse, loading her with innumerable favours, they arrived at that degree of unitive love, that Solomon allegorically sings in various cantos, this excessive and reciprocal affection, the spouse and espoused 1 Medras. 2 Medras a Nehelam.   Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t t

Zoom in  zoom  Zoom out
  << Topic >>  | Contents | Index             |<   <<    Page       >>   >|  
SONG OF S O L O M O N. QUESTION 1. Cant. 1: 5. 1 am black and handsome, Cant. 1: 8. If thou knowest not, O fairest daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of among women. Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. RECONCILIATION. Solomon, to whom the Divine Majesty and All- wise gave greater wisdom than to any other mortal, by holy inspiration here wrote that reciprocal love between God and his beloved spouse, the congregation of Israel; it is so superior a work that the ancients say of it כל השירים קדש ושיר השירים קדש קדשים \\" All the songs of Solomon were holy, but this in a superlative degree is holy of holies.\\" R. Akiba says, from the Creation there was not a superior or more eloquent dialogue ; for under the allegorical title of an espoused, with the most affectionate love, he explains the grandeur, beauty, and power of Her spouse, acknowledging herself indebted to His kindness for the welfare and riches she enjoys, and at the same time He sings the origin, grace, and per-fections of His beloved spouse. R. Jonathan 1 considers this to have been Solomon's first work, Proverbs next, and lastly Ecclesiastes, saying that the divine influence adapted itself to his age and actual temperament, therefore in youth he wrote this dialogue, replete with affection and love; at maturity, Proverbs; and in old age, Ecclesiastes, when from his own experience he declares all worldly happiness to be vanity and folly. Nevertheless, the Cabalists and R. Elhazar ben Azariah 2 are of a different opinion; they consider that he wrote Ecclesiastes first, then Proverbs, and lastly this song, which seems the most probable ; for as the proper mode to establish an axiom is in the first place to refute false ones and whatever may be opposed to truth, as Aristotle does in physic; so Solomon, after propounding and refuting in Ecclesiastes the various opinions entertained respecting human felicity, shows that all on earth is the height of vanity, and concludes the work saying, \\" The sum of the matter, after all hath been heard, is to fear God and observe his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.\\" Next to this, and originating from it, comes Proverbs, which commences as in continuation, \\" The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.\\" The work explains by most excellent ethics the moral precepts in which this fear consists, and lays down rules and laws that will lead man to beatitude and human perfection, and with the same golden key closes, that grace is deceptive, beauty nothing, but the woman who fears God is she who ought to be praised. And finally, in old age, when his genius was already adapted to the most elevated meditation by holy inspiration, he dictated this last book of songs, in which he represents by the sublimest theology the happy state resulting from this fear, which is the love and connection with that Sovereign Divine Majesty— the utmost felicity man can attain. And as at Mount Sinai God communicated and showed Himself to this His beloved spouse, loading her with innumerable favours, they arrived at that degree of unitive love, that Solomon allegorically sings in various cantos, this excessive and reciprocal affection, the spouse and espoused 1 Medras. 2 Medras a Nehelam. << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index t t
Zoom in  zoom  Zoom out
  << Topic >>  | Contents | Index             |<   <<    Page       >>   >|  

Varda Books - 1590450027


 Already viewed books:
THE CONCILIATORTHE CONCILIATOR


TANAKH - INTERACTIVE HEBREW BIBLE