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Reading Hebrew Literature: The Song of Songs and Lamentations


Admission requirements

Biblical Hebrew II or the equivalent (please get in touch with the course leader if you are in doubt)


In this course, we will read two biblical books of poetry, the Song of Songs and Lamentations. We will discuss their complex literary structure as well as the many interesting grammatical and lexicographic features. We will discuss their composition (are they coherent texts by author or anthologies) as well as literary parallels from the Middle East in antiquity. Finally, we will discuss these texts impact in reception historical and critical terms.
The basis of our work will be the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (or Quinta as and where available). Other biblical texts will be provided ad hoc (Qumran, Samaritan Pentateuch) as appropriate and as desired by course participants

Course objectives

This course will provide students with the opportunity to practice and refine the language skills they have previously acquired, as well as develop a deeper understanding of the literature contained in the Hebrew Bible.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  1. Participation
  2. Essay Proposal
  3. 5,000 word essay
  4. Translation and commentary of a pericope


10% Participation
10% Essay Proposal
50% 5,000 word essay
30% Translation and commentary of a pericope


If the essay is not passed, a new attempt can be made at the following normal faculty deadline

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available on the course’s brightspace site. Access to a copy of the BHS is necessary (can be accessed in the UB).


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: [Naam Onderwijsadministratie](link naar contactgegevens OA)