Christian Scripture

The Story of Joseph

Joseph (/ˈzəf, səf/; Hebrew: יוֹסֵף‎ meaning “Increase”, Standard Yosef Tiberian Yôsēp̄; Arabic: يوسف‎‎ Yūsuf or Yūsif; Ancient Greek: Ἰωσήφ Iōsēph) is an important figure in the Bible’s Book of Genesis and also in the Quran. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he rose to become vizier, the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where his presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt. The composition of the story can be dated to the period between the 7th century BCE and the third quarter of the 5th century BCE, which is roughly the period to which scholars date the Book of Genesis

The Song of Solomon

The Song of Songs (Hebrew: שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים‎, Šīr HašŠīrīm ; Greek: ᾎσμα ᾈσμάτων, Âisma Aismátōn), also known as the Song of Solomon, Canticles, or the Canticle of Canticles, is one of the “scrolls” (megillot) of the Writings (Ketuvim), the last section of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. It is also the fifth book of Wisdom in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Song of Songs is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, marking the beginning of the grain harvest and commemorating the Exodus from Egypt.

Scripturally, the Song of Songs is unique in its celebration of sexual love. It gives “the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy”. The two each desire the other and rejoice in their sexual intimacy. The “daughters of Jerusalem” form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers’ erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader. Jewish tradition reads it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. Christian tradition, in addition to appreciating the literal meaning of a romantic song between man and woman, has read the poem as an allegory of Christ and his “bride”, the Christian Church.