Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, MA

First Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Second Advisor

Roy E. Gane



The watchmen are a shocking feature in the Song of Songs that have received limited exploration and research. Their dual nature in the Song of Songs is illustrated by their two responses to the women in the song; benign indifference illustrated in Song of Songs 3:1-5 and hostility exemplified in Song of Songs 5:2-8. This has led to a myriad of interpretations regarding their function and identity; however, none have been subject to a thorough examination. The watchmen have not been previously investigated as a potential metaphorical or symbolic representation of the brothers related to the woman in the Song of Songs. The goal of this study is to determine if such a relationship between these two entities is plausible.


The investigation will initially seek to determine the range of meanings, semantic domains, and the Hebrew term for watchmen in the Song of Songs to serve as a basis for the comparison between the watchmen and the brothers. Further, it will identify actions and characteristics of the watchmen and brothers, as expressed by key words and phrases, so that parallel passages in the wider MT canon can be identified, interpreted, and compared. Ultimately, it will present a theory as to the relationship between the watchmen and the brothers.


The present investigation has discovered a significant overlap between the semantic domains of the “watchmen” and the “brothers” in their identification as guardians and antagonists. It also outlines thematic connections that they share in the Song of Songs, specifically in how they relate to the woman of the Song. However, the investigation does not provide a definitive answer concerning the relationship between the watchmen and the brothers, as the text of the Song of Songs does not provide a metaphor or a statement that explicitly connects them together. Thus, any connection can only be inferred through shared linguistic and thematic features.

Subject Area

Bible. Song of Solomon--Criticism, interpretation, etc.