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By Athalya Brenner

This quantity is the 1st in a sequence which gives a primary source for feminist biblical scholarship, containing a complete number of essays, either reprinted and especially written for the sequence, by way of prime feminist students.

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2. 745. 3. 2. 4. Tacitus, Germ. 18. 5. Michaelis, The Laws of Moses, §85; Rosenmuller, Orient, I, p. ; Grant's Nestorians, p. 214; Perkins, Eight Years in Persia, p. 236. GlNSBURG The Importance of the Book 51 able to make, those that could afford it purchased as many as they pleased. Hence the practice of polygamy, than which nothing produces more contempt for the proper character of women, or tends more to their degradation. As these contracts were formed without the parties being previously known to each other, and without any affection subsisting between them, the woman, instead of being the help-mate or companion of man became his slave, and was kept for the gratification of his carnal appetites, or at best was regarded as a plaything for a leisure hour.

We must therefore re-examine the question, who is the author of the Song? This question is closely interlinked with another, namely, what is the date of its composition? There is near unanimity in biblical scholarship that the Song is a composition of the Second Temple era, since its language is close to mishnaic Hebrew and it has a Persian word (prds, 'orchard') and even a Greek one (pprywn, 'palanquin'). In regard to this it can be argued that the derivation of 'pprywn from the Greek is extremely dubious.

In the first part of this section, two 'gardens' are compared: that of the SoS and that of Eden. P. Trible collates the SoS and the story of the Garden (Gen. 4b-3), and strives to show through her analysis how the Bible can be 'depatriarchalized'. Of the two versions of her work on this topic1 only the later one is presented, since it is an elaboration of the first. Opposite Trible's feminist views, two non-feminist responses are reproduced. The first is a summary and critique of Trible's first study from Pope's commentary.

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