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A second Attestation of Šnm in the Song of Songs

 = Paper = 

by Herman MOORS, in Res Antiquae 17, 2020.

In a previous article published in issue XV of this journal, I proposed to read šmn, “oil”, in verse 1: 3b of the Song as šnm, “erected, lifted up”, cognate of šnm in Ugaritic and sanim in Arabic. This correction made it possible to decipher the name of the beloved of the Shulamite and to identify the latter as “she of Šunam”. In the present short note, I will argue that Song 5:14 contains a second attestation from the same root, which not only provides further argument for the proposed emendation, but also sheds unexpected light on one of the most debated phrases of the biblical text in question. The verse, which could be translated “his genitals are eager to stand up,” turns out to be part of the Lady’s hymn to her newly born son, and seems to illustrate the name given to the latter in verse 1: 3b supra. Since other passages clearly evoke a love story between two adult lovers, the obvious conclusion is that the male protagonist of the Song is to be identified as the son-consort of the Shulamite, who ascends to the status of mother goddess of the same level as the Moabite Ashtar-Chemosh or the Aramaic ʿAtar-ʿAta. Even if the divine halo of the protagonists disappears in the background, everything indicates that the Canticle perpetuates one of the oldest religious traditions of humanity.

Keywords: Canticle, hapax legomena, Shulamite, origin of the Canticle
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