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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Song of Solomon 6

 

 

Verse 1

Whither, &c. Spoken by the court-ladies. See the Structure (above).

thy beloved. Masculine.


Verse 2

My beloved. The Shulamite speaks again in reply. See the Structure (above).

to feed = to feed [his flock].


Verse 3

he feedeth = he that feeds [his flock] as a shepherd.


Verse 4

Thou art beautiful. Solomon breaks in as soon as the Shulamite called for her beloved (shepherd), as he did in Song of Solomon 1:9.

my love = my friend. Hebrew. ra"yah. Feminine. See note on Song of Solomon 1:9.

Tirzah. Became the royal residence of the kings of Israel after the division of the kingdom, until Omri built Samaria (1 Kings 14:17; 1 Kings 15:21, 1 Kings 15:33; 1 Kings 16:8, 1 Kings 16:15, 1 Kings 16:17). Compare Song of Solomon 16:24. Tirzah means "delightful". Hence the flattering comparison.

terrible, &c. = majestic, or awe-inspiring, as bannered hosts.


Verse 5

overcome me = taken me by storm (as we say). This is the force of the Hiphil.

as = like.

that appear = springing down. Compare Song of Solomon 4:1.


Verse 6

Thy teeth. See notes on Song of Solomon 4:2, where the same comparison is used by the shepherd, except that the latter uses kezuboth, flocks, while the former uses rahel, ewes.


Verse 7

piece = part.

within thy locks = behind thy veil. Compare Song of Solomon 4:1, Song of Solomon 4:3.


Verse 8

There are: i.e. I have.

threescore. The numbers are not the same as in 1 Kings 11:3, because a different period is referred to.

virgins = damsels. See note on Song of Solomon 1:3.


Verse 9

My dove = But he is my dove.

but one = my only one. In contrast with the numbers of Song of Solomon 6:8. Flattery enough to turn the heart of almost any woman.

praised her: supply the Ellipsis by adding [saying]. See note on Psalms 109:5.


Verse 11

I went down. The Shulamite explains that she went down to the nut-garden quite innocently, and with no design on her part.


Verse 12

Or ever I was aware = Unwittingly, or I know not [how it was], &c.

my soul = I (emph.) Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

made me like = placed me at, or was brought.

the chariots of Ammi-nadib. So various are therenderings that the text is said to be corrupt by modern critics. The Authorized Version follows the Septuagint, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Vulgate, by treating it as a proper name (with variations in the orthography). The Hebrew is "the chariots of my People, the noble", or, of my noble People. From which, when we note the context, and who is speaking, and what fact she is referring to, the Shulamite plainly seems to be saying that she came unwittingly on the royal chariots and the retinue of nobles with Solomon when he first saw her (see p. 921).


Verse 13

Return, return. This was the entreaty of Solomon, as she turned to go away, the moment her necessary explanation had been made.

Shulamite. Shulem is thought to be the same as Shunem, now Solam, about three and a half miles from Zerin, north of Jezreel, mentioned in Joshua 19:18. 1 Samuel 28:4. 1 Kings 1:3, 1 Kings 1:15; 1 Kings 2:17, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Kings 2:22; 2 Kings 4:8, 2 Kings 4:12, 2 Kings 4:25, 2 Kings 4:36. Instead of this proper name causing "great difficulty", it is necessary, to enable us to fix the locality of the whole subject of the song. Abishag came from Shunem (1 Kings 1:4); and is here used as being synonymous with "fairest among women" (Song of Solomon 1:8; Song of Solomon 5:9; Song of Solomon 6:1).

look = gaze on.

What will ye see . . . ? This is her answer to Solomon"s request as she was departing.

see = gaze on.

the company of two armies. Instead of "of two armies", the Authorized Version margin and Revised Version text reads "of Mahanaim", and the Revised Version renders the phrase: "the dance (or steps) of Mahanaim". Modern critics say "This is another proper name which must in all probability vanish from the text". But the text needs this here, though it does not need "Ammi-nadib" in Song of Solomon 6:12. The Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund (1891, pp 244, 245) shows that in kimholath hammahdndyim, the root of the former word (hul, to be round) is the common name for a circle (hence another suggested rendering is "like a dance to double choirs"; one even ventures on "a sword-dance"), or geographical "basin", and mphanayim as meaning a plain or camp on a plain. Remembering that a man was seen by David"s watchman from "the wood Ephraim" (2 Samuel 18:6. Compare Song of Solomon 17:27) running on "a plain" (2 Samuel 18:24-27. Compare 2 Samuel 19:32), and now putting the word "plain" by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the view obtained of it, we have the suitable rendering, "Like the view of Mahanaim", i.e. a view as beautiful as that, which would be the answer to her question, "What will ye behold in the Shulamite? "For "Mahanaim" see Genesis 32:2.

Mahanaim = two camps.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 6:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/song-of-solomon-6.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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