Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs


For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Jennifer Andruska received her PhD in Old Testament at the University of Cambridge (2017). She has published on the Song of Songs, ancient Near Eastern love songs and metaphors, biblical wisdom literature and the Bathsheba story in 2 Samuel 11.



1 Dipping into the Discussion: a New Position among a Plethora of Interpretive Options
 1 Position in the Discussion

2 Methodological Frameworks for Approaching the Song & Its Relationship to Wisdom
 1 A Question of Genre
 2 A Literary Approach to Character
 3 Comparisons with ANE Literature
 4 The Final Form of the Text
 5 Inner-Biblical Allusion & the Repetition of Wisdom Forms

3 Instruction Concerning Love in the Song of Songs
 1 The Didactic “Do Not Awaken” Refrains
 2 Characteristics of Love in the Song of Songs
 3 The Mashal in 8:6–7
 4 The Seducer: Imitation and Perversion of Love in the Song

4 Defining Wisdom & Wisdom Influence
 1 Social Context & Place among Other Biblical Literature
 2 Approaches to Understanding the Distinctiveness and Dominant Focus of Wisdom
 3 A Way Forward in the Discussion
 4 The Value of This for the Discussion of the Song
 5 Wisdom and Wisdom Influence: a Tighter Methodology for Meaningful Connections

5 Wisdom Features in the Song of Songs
 1 Forms
 2 Themes
 3 Wisdom Graph
 4 One Further Indication of Wisdom
 5 Conclusions

6 The Didactic Nature of Wisdom Texts & The Song of Songs
 1 A Closer Definition of ‘Didactic’
 2 The Didactic Nature of the Song of Songs

7 Reflections & Avenues for Further Study
Index of Subjects
Index of Authors
Index of Ancient Sources
All interested in the Song of Songs, wisdom literature, ancient Near Eastern love songs and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, as well as academic libraries, undergraduate/post-graduate students and educated lay people.
  • Collapse
  • Expand