English Standard Version
your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.
King James Bible
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
American Standard Version
Thine oils have a goodly fragrance; Thy name is as oil poured forth; Therefore do the virgins love thee.
Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out: therefore young maidens have loved thee.
English Revised Version
Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance; thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the virgins love thee.
Webster's Bible Translation
Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
Song of Solomon 1:3 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
From the words of Koheleth the author comes to the words of the wise man in general; so that what he says of the latter finds its application to himself and his book: "Words of the wise are as like goads, and like fastened nails which are put together in collections - they are given by one shepherd." The lxx, Aq., and Theod. translate darvonoth by βούκεντρα, the Venet. by βουπλῆγες; and that is also correct. The word is one of three found in the Jerus. Gemara, Sanhedrin x. 1, to designate a rod for driving (oxen) - דרבן (from דרב, to sharpen, to point), מלמד (from למד, to adjust, teach, exercise), and מרדּע (from רדע, to hold back, repellere); we read ka-dārevonoth; Gesen., Ewald, Hitz., and others are in error in reading dorvonoth; for the so-called light Metheg, which under certain circumstances can be changed into an accent, and the Kametz chatuph exclude one another.
(Note: The Kametz is the Kametz gadhol (opp. Kametz chatuph), and may for this reason have the accent Munach instead of Metheg. Vid., Michlol 153b, 182b. The case is the same as at Genesis 39:3, where mimmachoraath is to be read. Cf. Baer's Metheg-Setz. 27 and 18.)
If דרבן is the goad, the point of comparison is that which is to be excited intellectually and morally. Incorrectly, Gesen., Hitz., and others: like goads, because easily and deeply impressing themselves on the heart as well as on the memory. For goads, aculei, the Hebrews use the word קוצים; darevonoth also are goads, but designed for driving on, thus stimuli (Jerome); and is there a more natural commendation for the proverbs of the wise men than that they incite to self-reflection, and urge to all kinds of noble effort? Divre and darevonoth have the same three commencing consonants, and, both for the ear and the eye, form a paronomasia. In the following comparison, it is a question whether ba'ale asuppoth (plur. of ba'al asuppoth, or of the double plur. ba'al asuppah, like e.g., sare missim, Exodus 1:11, of sar mas) is meant of persons, like ba'al hallashon, Ecclesiastes 10:11, cf. ba'al kenaphayim, Ecclesiastes 10:20, or of things, as ba'al piphiyoth, Isaiah 41:15; and thus, whether it is a designation parallel to חכמים or to דברי. The Talm. Jer. Sanhedrin x. 1, wavers, for there it is referred first to the members of the assemblies (viz., of the Sanedrium), and then is explained by "words which are spoken in the assembly." If we understand it of persons, as it was actually used in the Talm., then by asuppoth we must understand the societies of wise men, and by ba'ale asuppoth, of the academicians (Venet.: δεσπόται ξυναγμάτων; Luther: "masters of assemblies") belonging to such academies. But an appropriate meaning of this second comparison is not to be reached in this way. For if we translate: and as nails driven in are the members of the society, it is not easy to see what this wonderful comparison means; and what is then further said: they are given from one shepherd, reminds us indeed of Ephesians 4:11, but, as said of this perfectly unknown great one, is for us incomprehensible. Or if we translate, after Isaiah 28:1 : and (the words of the wise are) like the fastened nails of the members of the society, it is as tautological as if I should say: words of wise men are like fastened nails of wise men bound together in a society (as a confederacy, union). Quite impossible are the translations: like nails driven in by the masters of assemblies (thus e.g., Lightfoot, and recently Bullock), for the accus. with the pass. particip. may express some nearer definition, but not (as of the genit.) the effective cause; and: like a nail driven in are the (words) of the masters of assemblies (Tyler: "those of editors of collections"), for ellipt. genit., dependent on a governing word carrying forward its influence, are indeed possible, e.g., Isaiah 61:7, but that a governing word itself, as ba'ale, may be the governed genit. of one omitted, as here divre, is without example.
(Note: Regarding this omission of the muḍâf the governing noun, where this is naturally supplied before a genitive from the preceding, cf. Samachschari's Mufaṣṣal, p. 43, l. 8-13.)
It is also inconsistent to understand ba'ale asuppoth after the analogy of ba'ale masoreth (the Masoretes) and the like. It will not be meant of the persons of the wise, but of the proverbs of the wise. So far we agree with Lang and Hoelem. Lang (1874) thinks to come to a right understanding of the "much abused" expression by translating, "lords of troops," - a designation of proverbs which, being by many acknowledged and kept in remembrance, possess a kind of lordship over men's minds; but that is already inadmissible, because asuppoth designates not any multitude of men, but associations with a definite end and aim. Hoelem. is content with this idea; for he connects together "planted as leaders of assemblies," and finds therein the thought, that the words of the wise serve as seeds and as guiding lights for the expositions in the congregation; but ba'ale denotes masters, not in the sense of leaders, but of possessors; and as ba'ale berith, Genesis 14:13, signifies "the confederated," ba'ale shevu'ah, Nehemiah 6:18, "the sworn," and the frequently occurring ba'ale ha'ir, "the citizens;" so ba'ale asuppoth means, the possessors of assemblies and of the assembled themselves, or the possessors of collections and of the things collected. Thus ba'ale asuppoth will be a designation of the "words of the wise" (as in shalishim, choice men equals choice proverbs, Proverbs 22:20, in a certain measure personified), also of those which form or constitute collections, and which stand together in order and rank (Hitz., Ewald, Elst., Zckl., and others). Of such it may properly be said, that they are like nails driven in, for they are secured against separations, - they are, so to speak, made nail-feast, they stand on one common ground; and their being fixed in such connection not only is a help to the memory, but also to the understanding of them. The Book of Koheleth itself is such an asuppah; for it contains a multitude of separate proverbs, which are thoughtfully ranged together, and are introduced into the severe, critical sermon on the nothingness of all earthly things as oases affording rest and refreshment; as similarly, in the later Talmudic literature, Haggadic parts follow long stretches of hair-splitting dialectics, and afford to the reader an agreeable repose.
And when he says of the "proverbs of the wise," individually and as formed into collections: אחד נתּנוּ מרעה, i.e., they are the gift of one shepherd, he gives it to be understood that his "words of Koheleth," if not immediately written by Solomon himself, have yet one fountain with the Solomonic Book of Proverbs, - God, the one God, who guides and cares as a shepherd for all who fear Him, and suffers them to want nothing which is necessary to their spiritual support and advancement (Psalm 23:1; Psalm 28:9). "Mēro'eh ehad," says Grtz, "is yet obscure, since it seldom, and that only poetically, designates the Shepherd of Israel. It cannot certainly refer to Moses." Not to Moses, it is true (Targ.), nor to Solomon, as the father, the pattern, and, as it were, the patron of "the wise," but to God, who is here named the ἀρχιποίμην as spiritual preserver (provider), not without reference to the figure of a shepherd from the goad, and the figure of household economy from the nails; for רעה, in the language of the Chokma (Proverbs 5:21), is in meaning cogn. to the N.T. conception of edification.
(Note: Vid., my Heb. Rmerbrief, p. 97.)
Regarding masmeroth (iron nails), the word is not used of tent spikes (Spohn, Ginsb.), - it is masc., the sing. is משׂמר (מסמר), Arab. mismâr. נטוּעים is equals תּקוּעים (cf. Daniel 11:45 with Genesis 31:25), post-bibl. (vid., Jer. Sanhedrin) קבוּעים (Jerome, in altum defixi). Min with the pass., as at Job 21:1; Job 28:4; Psalm 37:23 (Ewald, 295b), is not synonymous with the Greek ὑπό. The lxx well: "given by those of the counsel from one shepherd." Hitzig reads מרעה, and accordingly translates: "which are given united as a pasture," but in mēro'eh ehad there lies a significant apologetic hint in favour of the collection of proverbs by the younger Solomon (Koheleth) in relation to that of the old. This is the point of the verse, and it is broken off by Hitzig's conjecture.
(Note: J. F. Reimmann, in the preface to his Introduction to the Historia Litterarum antediluviana, translates, Ecclesiastes 12:11 : "The words of the wise are like hewn-out marble, and the beautiful collectanea like set diamonds, which are presented by a good friend." A Disputatio philologica by Abr. Wolf, Knigsberg 1723, contends against this παρερμεενεία.)
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
2 Corinthians 2:15
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her.
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
Song of Solomon 4:10
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
Song of Solomon 6:8
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number.
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