Working Thesis Statement for the Song of Solomon Exegesis

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The assignment is due tomorrow and is limited to 1500 words (1500 words!!!!!) so I have to be concise. I am exegeting Song of Solomon 2.2-3.4 which deals with the song from the Beloved (female) to the Lover, an offer, and the plight of trying to find the Lover in the dark of the night.

My main concern is not to interpret the Song as a hyper-erotic tale of ancient pornographic love, but to try to focus on de-euphemizing the text and setting the whole work with in the frame of the ANE love poem as often performed (and ‘written’ in some cases) by women who were challenging the patriarchal worldview at the moment. Here, I rely upon ]] in his JBL entry, Gender and the Shaping of Desire in the Song of Songs and Its Interpretation, for some this backdrop. It’s not a feminist interpretation, to be sure, but one which seeks to analyze the why of the ‘whoa, should I be reading this’ aspect of the book while tempering the rush to see it as an oppressed view, oppressed by males for centuries.

So the thesis statement is essentially this:

The Song of Solomon is a work which is often purposely clouded in allegorical mystery, set either for or against sexual oppression and often times read in the tenor male voice; however as this exegesis will show, the work fits well into the subtle, but sexually passionate, protest songs as often song by women in the Ancient Near East, with this passage in particular showing the work of the more humanistic Deuteronomist.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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