Song of Songs 4:7-16

Song of Songs 4:7-16
A Women’s Lectionary – Fourth Sunday in Lent

You are altogetherA beautiful,B my love;C
    there is no flawD in you.

Notes on verse 7

A “altogether” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
B “beautiful” = yapheh. From yaphah (to be beautiful, decorate; root means being bright, which implies being beautiful). This is beautiful in a literal or figurative sense – appropriate, handsome, godly, pleasant.
C “love” = rayah. 10x in OT – 9x in Song of Songs. From raah (to associate with). This is a companion, a love.
D “flaw” = mum. This is a blemish or defect, whether in a literal sense or a moral one.

ComeE with me from Lebanon,F my bride;G
    come with me from Lebanon.

Notes on verse 8a

E “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
F “Lebanon” = Lebanon. From laben (to be white, make white, make bricks) OR form Aramaic lebab (heart); corresponding to Hebrew lebab (heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will). This is Lebanon. The sense of “white” comes from the snow on the top of its mountains. See
G “bride” = kallah. Related to “altogether” in v7. Perhaps related to kalal (see note A above). This is bride or daughter-in-law and the term is used before and after marriage.

DepartH from the peakI of Amana,J
    from the peak of SenirK and Hermon,L

Notes on verse 8b

H “depart” = shur. 16x in OT. This is to look, see, spy out, lurk for, care for.
I “peak” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
J “Amana” = Amanah. 1x in OT. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is Amana, a mountain whose name may man “permanent,” “a confirmation,” or “constant.” See
K “Senir” = Shenir. 4x in OT. May come from a word that means pointed. It is what the Amorites call Mount Hermon. It may mean “peak.”
L “Hermon” = Chermon. 13x in OT. From charam (to ban, destroy, devote, seclude; to dedicate to a religious purpose, often for destruction). This is Hermon, meaning “sacred mountain” or “abrupt.” It is in southern Syria and northern Israel.

from the densM of lions,N
    from the mountainsO of leopards.P

Notes on verse 8c

M “dens” = menoah. 10x in OT. From maon (dwelling, den, haunt, retreat; can refer to the Tabernacle or Temple; can also be used for homes or animal lairs); from anah (to answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify; to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk; singing, shouting, testifying, etc.) OR from the same as onah (marriage, living together, marital duty). This is a dwelling place or refuge. It can be used to describe God’s dwelling in Zion or a place where animals live.
N “lions” = ari. From arah (to gather or pluck). This is a young lion.
O “mountains” = harar. 12x in OT. From the same as har (mountain, hill, hilly region). This is hill or mountain.
P “leopards” = namer. 6x in OT. Root may mean to filtrate. This would refer to spots dripped and, thereby, to a leopard.

You have ravished my heart,Q my sister,R my bride,
    you have ravished my heart with aS glance of your eyes,T
    with one jewelU of your necklace.V

Notes on verse 9

Q “ravished my heart” = labab. 5x in OT. This is to encourage. Properly, it is to be encased as with fat. Used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love. Used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses.
R “sister” = achot. From the same as ach (brother, kindred, another, other, like). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean another or together.
S “a” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
T “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
U “jewel” = anaq. 3x in OT. From anaq (to encircle like a necklace or function as a necklace; figuratively, to furnish with supplies). This is a necklace or its pendant.
V “necklace” = tsavvar. Perhaps from tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress, adversary). This is the neck or the back of the neck.

10 How sweet isW your love,X my sister, my bride!
    how much better isY your loveZ than wine,AA

Notes on verse 10a

W “sweet is” = yaphah. Related to “beautiful” in v7. 7x in OT. See note B above.
X “love” = dod. This may come from a word that means to boil. It is love or lover. It can also refer to one who is beloved, like an uncle, or a love-token.
Y “better is” = tob. This is to be good, go well, please.
Z “love” = dod. Same as “love” in v10. See note X above.
AA “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.

    and the fragranceBB of your oilsCC than anyDD spice!EE

Notes on verse 10b

BB “fragrance” = reyach. From ruach (to blow, breath; smell, anticipate; figuratively, to perceive, understand). This is a scent or breath – a savor, ointment. It is also used for the odor of sacrifices that pleases God.
CC “oils” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
DD “any” = kol. Same as “altogether” in v7. See note A above.
EE “spice” = bosem. From the same as basam (spice, balsam tree). This is balsam, spice, perfume, odor, the balsam tree.

11 Your lipsFF distillGG nectar,HH my bride;

Notes on verse 11a

FF “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge, border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
GG “distill” = nataph. 18x in OT. This is to drip, ooze, or drop. It can also refer to the process of gradual distillation that causes liquid to fall drop by drop. Figuratively, it can mean prophesying or inspired speech.
HH “nectar” = nopheth. 5x in OT. Perhaps from nuph (to rock back and forth, wave, sprinkle, quiver, beckon, offer, present). This is dripping as honey flowing from a honeycomb.

    honeyII and milkJJ are under your tongue;KK
    the scentLL of your garmentsMM is like the scent of Lebanon.

Notes on verse 11b

II “honey” = debash. Root may mean being gummy. This is honey or honeycomb because it is so sticky. It can also refer to syrup.
JJ “milk” = chalab. Perhaps from the same as cheleb (fat, finest, marrow; fat in a literal or figurative sense; the richest or best part). This is milk or cheese or suckling.
KK “tongue” = lashon. This is tongue, talker, language, or wedge. It can also be a tongue of flame or a water cove.
LL “scent” = reyach. Same as “fragrance” in v10. See note BB above.
MM “garments” = salmah. 16x in OT. From simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is the same word as simlah with the letters transposed. So, this is clothing, a cloak, or mantle.

12 A gardenNN lockedOO is my sister, my bride,
    a gardenPP locked, a fountainQQ sealed.RR

Notes on verse 12

NN “garden” = gan. From ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden in that it is fenced in. It can also be an enclosure.
OO “locked” = na’al. 8x in OT. This is properly to secure with a bar or cord. It is to lock, bolt, enclose, or to secure with a cord i.e. to put on a sandal.
PP “garden” = gal. From galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is a wave, billow, rock pile, something rolled, a spring of water.
QQ “fountain” = mayan. Related to “eyes” in v9. From ayin (see note T above). This is a spring, well, or fountain. Figuratively, this is a source of contentment.
RR “sealed” = chatham. To seal, close up, shut, stop, bring to an end. It is used especially for affixing a seal.

13 Your channelSS is an orchardTT of pomegranatesUU

Notes on verse 13a

SS “channel” = shelach. 8x in OT. From shalach (to send, send for, forsake, give a slave freedom). This is a weapon, spear, defense, plant, shoot, branch, missile.
TT “orchard” = pardes. 3x in OT. Of foreign origin. This is a preserve or an orchard.
UU “pomegranates” = rimmon. Of foreign origin OR from ramam (to rise in a literal or figurative sense; to get up or exalt). This is a pomegranate or a decoration in that shape. It can also refer to the pomegranate tree.

    with all choicestVV fruits,WW
    hennaXX with nard,YY

Notes on verse 13b

VV “choicest” = meged. 8x in OT. This is something of value or excellent. It is usually a product or produce.
WW “fruits” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
XX “henna” = kopher. 17x in OT– including covering Noah’s ark with pitch in Genesis 6. From kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, cleanse, pardon). This is ransom, bribe, price of a life. Properly, it means something that covers something else. S, it can be a village, bitumen as a coating, a henna plant that dyes, or a ransom price.
YY “nard” = nerd. 3x in OT. This is spikenard or perfume.

14 nard and saffron,ZZ calamusAAA and cinnamon,BBB

Notes on verse 14a

ZZ “saffron” = karkom. 1x in OT. This is saffron or the crocus.
AAA “calamus” = qaneh. Perhaps from qanah (to get, buy, redeem, create, possess). This is reed, branch, stalk, beam, or measuring rod.
BBB “cinnamon” = qinnamon. 3x in OT. Perhaps of Phoenician origin OR from a word meaning to erect. This is cinnamon. See

    with allCCC treesDDD of frankincense,EEE
myrrhFFF and aloes,GGG
    with all chiefHHH spices—

Notes on verse 14b

CCC “all” = kol. Same as “altogether” in v7. See note A above.
DDD “trees” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.
EEE “frankincense” = lebonah. Related to “Lebanon” in v8. From laban (white); from laben (see note F above). This is frankincense – it may be because it is white itself or because its smoke is.
FFF “myrrh” = mor. 12x in OT. From marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled). This is myrrh as liquid and bitter.
GGG “aloes” = ahalim. 4x in OT. This is wood or sticks of aloe.
HHH “chief” = rosh. Same as “peak” in v8. See note I above.

15 a gardenIII fountain, a wellJJJ of livingKKK water,LLL
    and flowing streamsMMM from Lebanon.

Notes on verse 15

III “garden” = gan. Same as “garden” in v12. See note NN above.
JJJ “well” = beer. From baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain). This is a well or pit.
KKK “living” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
LLL “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
MMM “streams” = nazal. 16x in OT. This is to drip or flow, pour down, flood, distill, or melt.

16 Awake,NNN O northOOO wind,
    and come, O southPPP wind!

Notes on verse 16a

NNN “awake” = ur. This is to arise, lift, exult, or stir. It is to wake in a literal or figurative sense.
OOO “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
PPP “south” = teman. From the same as yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}. This is south, towards the south, wind from the south.

Blow uponQQQ my gardenRRR
    that its fragranceSSS may be waftedTTT abroad.
Let my belovedUUU come to his garden,VVV
    and eatWWW its choicest fruits.

Notes on verse 16b

QQQ “blow upon” = puach. 14x in OT. This is to puff, breathe or blow, whether the breath or air. It can also mean to light a fire, utter, speak, snore, hasten, or scoff.
RRR “garden” = gan. Same as “garden” in v12. See note NN above.
SSS “fragrance” = bosem. Same as “spice” in v10. See note EE above.
TTT “wafted” = nazal. Same as “streams” in v15. See note MMM above.
UUU “beloved” = dod. Same as “love” in v10. See note X above.
VVV “garden” = gan. Same as “garden” in v12. See note NN above.
WWW “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Lovers” by Twanda Baker, 2007.

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