Codex Sinaiticus – Song of Solomon


Rubrics in Codex Sinaiticus

This is Song of Songs 1:1-4 in Old Greek from the Codex Sinaiticus. Codex Sinaiticus dates from about 360 ce.

The rubrics (the writing in red ink) serve to provide a narrative framework and to distribute portions of the Song to various speakers. Here is a translation of this section into English:

 1 The Song of Songs which is Solomon’s.

The bride

Let him kiss me from the kisses of his mouth,
because your breasts are better than wine,
and the aroma of your myrrh than all aromatic herbs.
Your name is myrrh poured out.
Because of this, the maidens have loved you.
They have drawn you. We shall run after you to the aroma of your myrrh.

The bride tells the maidens the things about the groom that he gave to her

The king has brought me into his chamber.

While the bride was talking to the maidens, they said

Let us leap for joy and rejoice in you.
We shall love your breasts more than wine.

The maidens call out to the groom the name of the bride, “Uprightness has come to love you”

Uprightness has come to love you!

For more information, see Jay Treat, Lost Keys: Text and Interpretation in Old Greek Song of Songs and its Earliest Manuscript Witnesses, Ph.D. Dissertation (University of Pennsylvania, 1996), chapters 3 and 4.

This image has been scanned at 200% normal size from Tischendorf’s facsimile edition of Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus

 Last Modified: June 24, 1996

Jay Treat


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