Top Commentaries on Song of Solomon

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on the Song of Solomon that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse–by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Song of Solomon



Song of Songs (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Tremper Longman III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Song of Solomon

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Helpful introductory section treating issues of genre and interpretation. Views the book as an anthology of love poems, an erotic psalter of sorts.”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Song of Solomon, “He approaches the book as a poem (or more precisely an anthology of poems) about the male-female relationship, which itself is analogous to the relationship between God and His people.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



The Message of the Song of Songs (The Bible Speaks Today) by Tom Gledhill


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “well written, easy to read, yet profound”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Song of Solomon, “…in places it is truly profound and insightful. Gledhill sees the book for what it is – a poetic exploration of human love that points beyond itself to the Creator and Redeemer. Very highly recommended.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (New International Version Application Commentary) by Iain Provan


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “one of the most interesting commentaries…the theme of the book proclaims that true love resists coerced legal love”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Song of Solomon, “The section of the book on the Song of Songs should prove just as helpful to preachers and others looking for practical application.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Song of Songs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) by Richard S. Hess


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Song of Solomon, “In addition to careful exegesis, Hess provides insightful reflections on the theology of the book…Highly recommended.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Richard Hess has written an insightful commentary on one of the most intriguing books of the Bible, which celebrates God’s gift of love. Following an introduction to the biblical book and a history of its interpretation, Hess divides his discussion into seven major sections. Each section begins with a fresh translation, followed by paragraph-by-paragraph commentary, and concluding with a summary of the passage’s theological implications. Technical questions related to the Hebrew text or scholarly debate are addressed in the footnotes. Pastors and teachers will find here an accessible commentary that will serve as an excellent resource for their study.” See more about the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series.



The Song of Solomon (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by G. Lloyd Carr


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Song of Solomon, “Like Gledhill, Carr takes a non-allegorical approach to the book, and provides numerous insights.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



Song of Songs (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Robert W. Jenson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “Jenson is a theologian, not a biblical scholar, but he has interpretive sensitivity and sophistication”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.



Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) by Daniel C. Fredericks


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, sees “it as an anthology of love poems rather than as a drama”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and it shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. Written by an international team of scholars and edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, these commentaries are intended to serve the needs of those who preach from the Old Testament, as well as scholars and all serious students of the Bible.” See more about the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series.



Song of Songs (Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Marvin H. Pope


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “a wealth of linguistic, literary, and historical information”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



Song of Songs (Old Testament Library) by J. Cheryl Exum


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



The Song of Songs (A Continental Commentary) by Othmar Keel


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “demonstrates excellent literary and overall exegetical sensibilities…insightful theological comments”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “makes leading critical biblical scholarship from German and French scholars available to the English-speaking world. This series combines scholarly excellence with academic rigor to benefit pastors, students, and scholars of both the Old and New Testament…Each book in the Continental Commentary Series includes comprehensive introductory material, including an explanation of narrative themes, an overview of the historical and cultural context, an analysis of textual traditions, and an evaluation of recent literature. The remainder of each volume is divided according to each pericope of Scripture, with each section containing a summary of secondary literature, a fresh translation of the text, an evaluation of the literary form and the setting in life, and a lengthy commentary. Each volume also contains indexes on Hebrew words, subjects, names and authors, and other material.” See more about the Continental Commentary series.



The Song of Songs (Hermeneia) by Roland E. Murphy


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “an excellent critical reading of the text”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books… The name Hermeneia, from the Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible…The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic-theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors).” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.



Song of Songs (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by George M. Schwab


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4.5 out 5 stars, “Schwab combines the skills of an exegete with that of a person sensitivity to issues of sexuality”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (New American Commentary) by Duane A. Garrett


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



The Song of Songs (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Iain M. Duguid


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



Song of Solomon (Word Biblical Commentary) by Duane Garrett


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



Song of Solomon (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Iain M. Duigard


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



Lamentations and the Song of Songs (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Harvey Cox and Stephanie Paulsell


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and musical traditions, contemporary culture, and the Christian tradition, noted scholars focus less on traditional historical and literary angles in favor of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the texts. This series is an invaluable resource for those who want to probe beyond the backgrounds and words of biblical texts to their deep theological and ethical meanings for the church today.”



Song of Solomon (Beacon Bible Commentary) by A.F. Harper


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: “In-depth explanations of Scripture, critical analysis of key words and phrases, and outlines for expository preaching. Based on KJV.”



Song of Solomon (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Paul J. Griffiths


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries



Song of Solomon (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.



The Song of Solomon (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by James Durham


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: James Durham (1622-1658) was a minister at Glasgow’s “Inner Kirk” and was renowned as a preacher and writer during his short life. His Commentary on the Song of Solomon is his best known work.



Song of Solomon (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) by J. Robert Wright


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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