This study tackles the problem of the Song of Song's structure by beginning at the bottom, the microstructure of the Song, rather than at the top. By employing a new type of rhetorical method, Professor Roberts defines each of the minimal structural units of the Song by identifying the formal poetic features that mark its opening and closing, coupled with the poetic features that create cohesion within it. Moving up the Song's structural ladder, larger units are identified with the same technique. While this study does not identify an overall structure, it does demonstrate how recognition of these formal structuring devices can help the interpreter define the structural units of the Song with far greater precision. The final chapter presents a catalog of these formal, poetic features that typically mark the opening and closure of structural units in the Song, as well as those that effect cohesion. Within is a catalog that can be refined and enlarged by application of the same method to other poetic texts. Other exegetical insights abound. Professor Roberts demonstrates a more highly structured pattern of the wasfs than has been recognized heretofore, and proposes a new interpretation of the adjuration refrain. He identifies a type of phonological anacrusis employed numerous times in the Song, and addresses almost every text-critical issue in the Song, many of which are resolved by attention to poetic structuring devices.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 466
Weight: 939 g
Dimensions: 256 x 180 x 29 mm
Phil Roberts has written a careful study of the poetry of Song of Songs. His insights shed light on the form and meaning of the Song, and his ideas on how to approach the study of biblical poetry deserve serious consideration. -- Adele Berlin, Robert H. Smith Professor of the Hebrew Bible, University of Maryland
Anyone who has worked on the Song of Songs knows how difficult it is to determine the structure of the book. D. Phillip Roberts' Let Me See Your Form makes a major contribution towards the solution to this problem. His masterful use of rhetorical method distinguishes his study from previous attempts. Future study of the Song will be required to interact and appropriate Roberts' insights. -- Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College