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Song of Solomon

(567 words)

Author(s): Würthwein, Ernst
1. Contents and Form The Song of Solomon (also Canticles, also Songs of Songs—i.e., the finest song) is ascribed to Solomon (1:1). It is a collection of some 30 love lyrics. In 12 of these a woman is speaking; she expresses her longing for her lover, describes her dreams of love, and speaks of her union with her lover and of his handsome form. In 8 songs a man speaks, recounting the beauty of his beloved, of the good fortune and riches that she means for him, and of his union with her. In 6 songs both speak, admirin…

Kings, Books of

(981 words)

Author(s): Würthwein, Ernst
The two Books of Kings were originally one. The LXX divided them and put them with the two Books of Samuel to form the four books Basileiōn (of kingdoms, of reigns) dealing with the monarchy. The Vg followed this arrangement with its four books Regum (of kings). The division came into the Hebrew Bible in the 15th and 16th centuries. 1. Contents Kings may be divided into three parts: 1. 1 Kings 1–11, the age of Solomon; 2. 1 Kings 12–2 Kings 17, the age of the divided kingdoms; and 3. 2 Kings 18–25, Judah after the fall of Israel. The books assemble materials from many kinds of sources. On t…

Law

(6,408 words)

Author(s): Würthwein, Ernst | Hübner, Hans | Peters, Albrecht
1. OT 1.1. Term The idea of law has many nuances in the OT, which we see from the different words used for it. Thus we have mišpāṭı̂m (ordinances), huqqı̂m (statutes), miṣwôt (commandments), dĕbārı̂m (words), and others. These terms cover civil and criminal law and both the ethical and the cultic sphere. More comprehensively after Deuteronomy we find tôrâ, which originally denoted only the direction of the priest in cultic, legal, and moral questions (Deut. 33:10; Hos. 4:6; Mic. 4:2; Jer. 18:18; Ezek. 7:26; Mal. 2:6–7) but in Deuteronomy is used for the whole revelati…