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 and is one of our major codices of the Greek Bible.

The rubrics (the writing in red ink) serve to provide a narrative framework and to distribute portions of the Song to various speakers.

Codex Sinaiticus translation

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 made new.

Because of this, the maidens have loved you.

They have drawn you. We shall run after you
into the aroma of your myrrh.

The bride describes to 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. And they

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.

Sights and Sounds of Song of Songs

Last Modified: September 11, 2020
Jay Treat