Song of Solomon 5:9
What is your beloved more than another beloved, O you fairest among women? what is your beloved more than another beloved, that you do so charge us?
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(9) What is thy beloved?—This question, introducing the description of the bridegroom’s person, raises almost into certainty the conjecture that the poem was actually sung, or presented as an epithalamium, by alternate choirs (or single voices) of maidens and young men, as in the Carmen Nuptiale of Catullus, vying the one in praise of the bridegroom, the other of the bride. Mere love-poems contain descriptions of the charms of the fair one to whom they are addressed, but not of the poet himself.

5:9-16 Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ, cannot but see amiable beauty in others who bear his image. There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ and his perfections. Christians, who are well acquainted with Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know something of him. Divine glory makes him truly lovely in the eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He is white in the spotless innocence of his life, ruddy in the bleeding sufferings he went through at his death. This description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of person and of grace of manners; but the aptness of some of the allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his love constrain us to live to his glory.Section Songs 5:9-6:3: The bride's commendation of the beloved. In the allegorical interpretations of Jewish expositors all is here spoken by exiled Israel of the Holy One whose praise she sings "by the waters of Babylon" Psalm 137:1. Christian interpreters apply the description directly to the Incarnate Son, partly in His Eternal Godhead, but chiefly in His risen and glorified Humanity. 9. Her own beauty (Eze 16:14), and lovesickness for Him, elicit now their enquiry (Mt 5:16); heretofore "other lords besides Him had dominion over them"; thus they had seen "no beauty in Him" (Isa 26:13; 53:2). What is thy Beloved more than another beloved? wherein doth he excel them? which professors of religion might ask, because they were ignorant of Christ’s excellency; and true believers might ask it, that they might be more fully informed of it, and might give the spouse occasion to discourse of that subject which was very grateful to them.

O thou fairest among women; whose beauty may command the respects and affections of the most worthy persons; and therefore we conclude it must be some person of transcendent excellency with whom thou art so highly enamoured. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women?.... The same title Christ gives her, Sol 1:8; and from whom these daughters seem to have taken it; and, in giving it to her, might be assured they were right, since he, who knew her perfectly well, so calls her; in what sense she was so fair; see Gill on Sol 1:8, and this they used, to show their esteem of her, and that they were willing to do all the service they could for her; and what made them so attentive to her charge, and so desirous of knowing her beloved; since they concluded he must be some extraordinary person that one so fair and beautiful as she was should make the object of her love and choice: for this question they put, not in a scornful and disdainful way; nor to shift off any trouble from themselves, through the charge she gave them; nor as altogether ignorant of her beloved, for some knowledge they had, though but small; but as desirous of knowing more of him, and of hearing his excellencies set forth, and especially those which distinguished him from the beloveds of all others: with some, the world, its riches and grandeur, are their beloved; with others, the sinful lusts and pleasures of this life; with others, the praises and applause of men; and with others near and dear relations; and, with all, self: but with a true believer in Christ, he is preferable to them all; to riches, pleasures, honours; to all creatures, and creature enjoyments; and self, in every sense of it, is parted with for him; he is fairer, wiser, and richer, than all others. And this question is repeated by the daughters,

what is thy beloved more than another beloved? to show their surprise it the charge given them; the suspicion they had of peculiar excellencies in her beloved; and to declare their seriousness and earnestness to know more of Christ; and their importunity to have a speedy answer; and the rather for what follows:

that thou dost so charge us? so awfully and solemnly, so seriously and strictly, with so much warmth and vehemence.

{h} What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

(h) Thus say they of Jerusalem.

9. What is thy beloved more than another beloved] This is the reply of the daughters of Jerusalem. The A.V. gives the meaning correctly enough, but there is considerable perplexity as to the exact translation of the Heb. As the italics in the A.V. shew, there is no Heb. word corresponding to another, and the question is whether the preposition min in the phrase middôdh is to be translated comparatively, as the A.V. takes it, or partitively, ‘what of a love is thy love?’ i.e. what kind of a love is thy love? as Ewald, Synt. § 328 a, and Davidson, Synt. § 8, R. 2, translate it. Probably the latter is the better view, but in either case the meaning is the same, ‘What is there so exceptional or extraordinary in this beloved, that thou adjurest us so?’Verse 9. - What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so adjure us? This, of course, is poetic artifice in order to give the opportunity to the bride to enter upon a glowing description of the object of her love. She wishes to say that he is perfect, everything that he can be. 3 I have put off my dress,

   How shall I put it on again?

   I have washed my feet,

   How shall I defile them again?

She now lies unclothed in bed. כּתּנת is the χιτών worn next to the body, from כתן, linen (diff. from the Arab. ḳuṭun, cotton, whence French coton, calico equals cotton-stuff). She had already washed her feet, from which it is supposed that she had throughout the day walked barefooted, - how (איככה, how? both times with the tone on the penult.;

(Note: That it has the tone on the penult., like כּכה, e.g., Sol 5:9, is in conformity with the paragog. nature of .ה The tone, however, when the following word in close connection begins with ,א goes to the ult., Esther 7:6. That this does not occur in איך אל, is explained from the circumstance that the word has the disjunctive Tifcha. But why not in איך אט? I think it is for the sake of the rhythm. Pinsker, Einl. p. 184, seeks to change the accentuation in order that the penult. accent might be on the second איך, but that is not necessary. Cf. Psalm 137:7.)

cf. איכה, where ? Sol 1:7) should she again put on her dress, which she had already put off and laid aside (פּשׁט)? why should she soil (אטנּפם, relating to the fem. רגלי, for אטנפן) again her feet, that had been washed clean? Shulamith is here brought back to the customs as well as to the home of her earlier rural life; but although she should thus have been enabled to reach a deeper and more lively consciousness of the grace of the king, who stoops to an equality with her, yet she does not meet his love with an equal requital. She is unwilling for his sake to put herself to trouble, or to do that which is disagreeable to her. It cannot be thought that such an interview actually took place; and yet what she here dreamed had not only inward reality, but also full reality. For in a dream, that which is natural to us or that which belongs to our very constitution becomes manifest, and much that is kept down during our waking hours by the power of the will, by a sense of propriety, and by the activities of life, comes to light during sleep; for fancy then stirs up the ground of our nature and brings it forth in dreams, and thus exposes us to ourselves in such a way as oftentimes, when we waken, to make us ashamed and alarmed. Thus it was with Shulamith. In the dream it was inwardly manifest that she had lost her first love. She relates it with sorrow; for scarcely had she rejected him with these unworthy deceitful pretences when she comes to herself again.

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