It is also sometimes called, after the Vulgate, the "Canticles." It is the "song of songs" (1:1), as being the finest and most precious of its kind; the noblest song, "das Hohelied," as Martin Luther calls it.
The text of the book is a poetic exchange between two lovers, which is often expressed in erotic terms.
Traditionally, Solomon is considered the author, but this is not considered conclusive.
The overtly expressed eroticism of this book has led some Jews and Christians to reinterpret the literal meaning of the text by suggesting that it is actually an allegory for the relationship of the worshipper to the Church.
Many Christians have interpreted it as an allegorical poem setting forth the mutual love of Christ and the Church, under the emblem of the bridegroom and the bride. (Compare Matt. 9:15; John 3:29; Eph. 5:23, 27, 29; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17. Compare also Ps. 45; Isa. 54:4-6; 62:4, 5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 2:16, 19, 20.)
Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897 -- Please update as needed