Song of Solomon 7:6
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights!

King James Bible
How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

American Standard Version
How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

Douay-Rheims Bible
How beautiful art thou, and how comely, my dearest, in delights!

English Revised Version
How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

Webster's Bible Translation
How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

Song of Solomon 7:6 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Encouraged by Shulamith's unassuming answer, the daughters of Jerusalem now give utterance to an entreaty which their astonishment at her beauty suggests to them.

13 Come back, come back, O Shulamith!

     Come back, come back, that we may look upon thee!

She is now (Sol 6:10.) on the way from the garden to the palace. The fourfold "come back" entreats her earnestly, yea, with tears, to return thither with them once more, and for this purpose, that they might find delight in looking up her; for ב חזה signifies to sink oneself into a thing, looking at it, to delight (feast) one's eyes in looking on a thing. Here for the first time Shulamith is addressed by name. But השּׁוּ cannot be a pure proper name, for the art. is vocat., as e.g., הבּת ירו, "O daughter of Jerusalem!" Pure proper names like שׁלמה are so determ. in themselves that they exclude the article; only such as are at the same time also nouns, like ירדּן and לבנון, are susceptible of the article, particularly also of the vocat., Psalm 114:5; but cf. Zechariah 11:1 with Isaiah 10:34. Thus השּׁוּ will be not so much a proper name as a name of descent, as generally nouns in (with a few exceptions, viz., of ordinal number, הררי, ימני, etc.) are all gentilicia. The lxx render השׁו by ἡ Σουναμῖτις, and this is indeed but another form for השּׁוּנמּית, i.e., she who is from Sunem. Thus also was designated the exceedingly beautiful Abishag, 1 Kings 1:3, Elisha's excellent and pious hostess, 2 Kings 4:8 ff. Sunem was in the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:18), near to Little Hermon, from which it was separated by a valley, to the south-east of Carmel. This lower Galilean Sunem, which lies south from Nain, south-east from Nazareth, south-west from Tabor, is also called Shulem. Eusebius in his Onomasticon says regarding it: Σουβήμ (l. Σουλήμ) κλήρου Ισσάχαρ καὶ νῦν ἐστὶ κώμη Σουλὴμ κ.τ.λ., i.e., as Jerome translates it: Sunem in tribue Issachar. et usque hodie vicus ostenditur nomine Sulem in quinto miliario montis Thabor contra australum plagam. This place if found at the present day under the name of Suwlam (Slam), at the west end of Jebel ed-Duhi (Little Hermon), not far from the great plain (Jisre'el, now Zer'n), which forms a convenient way of communication between Jordan and the sea-coast, but is yet so hidden in the mountain range that the Talmud is silent concerning this Sulem, as it is concerning Nazareth. Here was the home of the Shulamitess of the Song. The ancients interpret the name by εἰρημεύουσα, or by ἐσκυλευμένη (vid., Lagarde's Onomastica), the former after Aquila and the Quinta, the latter after Symm. The Targum has the interpretation: השׁלמה באמונתה עם ה (vid., Rashi). But the form of the name (the Syr. writes שׁילוּמיתא) is opposed to these allegorical interpretations. Rather it is to be assumed that the poet purposely used, not hshwb', but hshwl', to assimilate her name to that of Solomon; and that it has the parallel meaning of one devoted to Solomon, and thus, as it were, of a passively-applied שׁלומית equals Σαλόμη, is the more probable, as the daughters of Jerusalem would scarcely venture thus to address her who was raised to the rank of a princess unless this name accorded with that of Solomon.

Not conscious of the greatness of her beauty, Shulamith asks -

1ba What do you see in Shulamith?

She is not aware that anything particular is to be seen in her; but the daughters of Jerusalem are of a different opinion, and answer this childlike, modest, but so much the more touching question -

1bb As the dance of Mahanaim!

They would thus see in her something like the dance of Manahaaοm. If this be here the name of the Levitical town (now Mahneh) in the tribe of Gad, north of Jabbok, where Ishbosheth resided for two years, and where David was hospitably entertained on his flight from Absalom (Luthr.: "the dance to Mahanaaοm"), then we must suppose in this trans-Jordanic town such a popular festival as was kept in Shiloh, Judges 21:19, and we may compare Abel-meholah equals meadow of dancing, the name of Elisha's birth-place (cf. also Herod. i.:16: "To dance the dance of the Arcadian town of Tegea"). But the Song delights in retrospective references to Genesis (cf. Genesis 4:11, Genesis 7:11). At Genesis 32:3, however, by Mahanaaοm

(Note: Bφttcher explains Mahanaaοm as a plur.; but the plur. of מצנה is מצנות and מחנים; the plur. termination ajim is limited to מים and שׁמים.)

is meant the double encampment of angels who protected Jacob's two companies (Genesis 32:8). The town of Mahanaam derives its name from this vision of Jacob's. The word, as the name of a town, is always without the article; and here, where it has the article, it is to be understood appellatively. The old translators, in rendering by "the dances of the camps" (Syr., Jerome, choros castrorum, Venet. θίασον στρατοπέδων), by which it remains uncertain whether a war-dance or a parade is meant, overlook the dual, and by exchanging מחנים with מצנות, they obtain a figure which in this connection is incongruous and obscure. But, in truth, the figure is an angelic one. The daughters of Jerusalem wish to see Shulamith dance, and they designate that as an angelic sight. Mahanaam became in the post-bibl. dialect a name directly for angels. The dance of angels is only a step beyond the responsive song of the seraphim, Isaiah 6:1-13. Engelkoere angel-choir and "heavenly host" are associated in the old German poetry.

(Note: Vid., Walther von der Vogelweide, 173. 28. The Indian mythology goes farther, and transfers not only the original of the dance, but also of the drama, to heaven; vid., Gtting. Anziegen, 1874, p. 106.)

The following description is undeniably that (let one only read how Hitzig in vain seeks to resist this interpretation) of one dancing. In this, according to biblical representation and ancient custom, there is nothing repulsive. The women of the ransomed people, with Miriam at their head, danced, as did also the women who celebrated David's victory over Goliath (Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6). David himself danced (2 Samuel 6) before the ark of the covenant. Joy and dancing are, according to Old Testament conception, inseparable (Ecclesiastes 3:4); and joy not only as the happy feeling of youthful life, but also spiritual holy joy (Psalm 87:7). The dance which the ladies of the court here desire to see, falls under the point of view of a play of rival individual artistes reciprocally acting for the sake of amusement. The play also is capable of moral nobility, if it is enacted within the limits of propriety, at the right time, in the right manner, and if the natural joyfulness, penetrated by intelligence, is consecrated by a spiritual aim. Thus Shulamith, when she dances, does not then become a Gaditanian (Martial, xiv. 203) or an Alma (the name given in Anterior Asia to those women who go about making it their business to dance mimic and partly lascivious dances); nor does she become a Bajadere (Isaiah 23:15 f.),

(Note: Alma is the Arab. 'ualmah (one skilled, viz., in dancing and jonglerie), and Bajadere is the Portug. softening of baladera, a dancer, from balare (ballare), mediaev. Lat., and then Romanic: to move in a circle, to dance.)

continued...

Song of Solomon 7:6 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Songs 7:10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

Songs 1:15,16 Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves' eyes...

Songs 2:14 O my dove, that are in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice...

Songs 4:7,10 You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you...

Psalm 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire your beauty: for he is your Lord; and worship you him.

Isaiah 64:4,5 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside you...

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in the middle of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will rest in his love...

Cross References
Song of Solomon 1:15
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.

Song of Solomon 1:16
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green;

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 7:7
Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters.

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