Song of Solomon 8:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for?

King James Bible
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

American Standard Version
We have a little sister, And she hath no breasts: What shall we do for our sister In the day when she shall be spoken for?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Our sister is little, and hath no breasts. What shall we do to our sister in the day when she is to be spoken to?

English Revised Version
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

Webster's Bible Translation
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

Song of Solomon 8:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

If Solomon now complies with her request, yields to her invitation, then she will again see her parental home, where, in the days of her first love, she laid up for him that which was most precious, that she might thereby give him joy. Since she thus places herself with her whole soul back again in her home and amid its associations, the wish expressed in these words that follow rises up within her in the childlike purity of her love:

1 O that thou wert like a brother to me,

   Who sucked my mother's breasts!

   If I found thee without, I would kiss thee;

   They also could not despise me.

2 I would lead thee, bring thee into my mother's house;

   Thou wouldest instruct me -

   I would give thee to drink spiced wine,

   The must of my pomegranates.

Solomon is not her brother, who, with her, hung upon the same mother's breast; but she wishes, carried away in her dream into the reality of that she wished for, that she had him as her brother, or rather, since she says, not אח, but כּאח (with כּ, which here has not, as at Psalm 35:14, the meaning of tanquam, but of instar, as at Job 24:14), that she had in him what a brother is to a sister. In that case, if she found him without, she would kiss him (hypoth. fut. in the protasis, and fut. without Vav in the apodosis, as at Job 20:24; Hosea 8:12; Psalm 139:18) - she could do this without putting any restraint on herself for the sake of propriety (cf. the kiss of the wanton harlot, Proverbs 7:13), and also (גּם) without needing to fear that they who saw it would treat it scornfully (ל בּוּז, as in the reminiscence, Proverbs 6:30). The close union which lies in the sisterly relationship thus appeared to her to be higher than the near connection established by the marriage relationship, and her childlike feeling deceived her not: the sisterly relationship is certainly purer, firmer, more enduring than that of marriage, so far as this does not deepen itself into an equality with the sisterly, and attain to friendship, yea, brotherhood (Proverbs 17:17), within. That Shulamith thus feels herself happy in the thought that Solomon was to her as a brother, shows, in a characteristic manner, that "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," were foreign to her. If he were her brother, she would take him by the hand,

(Note: Ben-Asher punctuates אנהגך. Thus also P. rightly. Ben-Naphtali, on the contrary, punctuates אנהגך. Cf. Genesis (1869), p. 85, note 3.)

and bring him into her mother's house, and he would then, under the eye of their common mother, become her teacher, and she would become his scholar. The lxx adds, after the words "into my mother's house," the phrase, καὶ εἰς ταμεῖον τῆς συλλαβούσης με, cf. Sol 3:4. In the same manner also the Syr., which has not read the words διδάξεις με following, which are found in some Codd. of the lxx. Regarding the word telammedēne (thou wouldest instruct me) as incongruous, Hitzig asks: What should he then teach her? He refers it to her mother: "who would teach me," namely, from her own earlier experience, how I might do everything rightly for him. "Were the meaning," he adds, "he should do it, then also it is she who ought to be represented as led home by him into his house, the bride by the bridegroom." But, correctly, Jerome, the Venet., and Luther: "Thou wouldest (shouldest) instruct me;" also the Targ.: "I would conduct thee, O King Messiah, and bring Thee into the house of my sanctuary; and Thou wouldest teach me (וּתאלּף יתי) to fear God and to walk in His ways." Not her mother, but Solomon, is in possession of the wisdom which she covets; and if he were her brother, as she wishes, then she would constrain him to devote himself to her as her teacher. The view, favoured by Leo Hebraeus (Dialog. de amore, c. III), John Pordage (Metaphysik, III 617 ff.), and Rosenmller, and which commends itself, after the analogy of the Gtagovinda, Boethius, and Dante, and appears also to show itself in the Syr. title of the book, "Wisdom of the Wise," that Shulamith is wisdom personified (cf. also Sol 8:2 with Proverbs 9:2, and Proverbs 8:3; Proverbs 2:6 with Proverbs 4:8), shatters itself against this תלמדני; the fact is rather the reverse: Solomon is wisdom in person, and Shulamith is the wisdom-loving soul,

(Note: Cf. my Das Hohelied unter. u. ausg. (1851), pp. 65-73.)

- for Shulamith wishes to participate in Solomon's wisdom. What a deep view the "Thou wouldest teach me" affords into Shulamith's heart! She knew how much she yet came short of being to him all that a wife should be. But in Jerusalem the bustle of court life and the burden of his regal duties did not permit him to devote himself to her; but in her mother's house, if he were once there, he would instruct her, and she would requite him with her spiced wine and with the juice of the pomegranates.

continued...

Song of Solomon 8:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a little

Ezekiel 16:46,55,56,61 And your elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at your left hand: and your younger sister...

Ezekiel 23:33 You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria.

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold...

Acts 15:14-17 Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name...

Romans 15:9-12 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to you among the Gentiles...

she hath

Songs 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favor.

Songs 4:5 Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

Songs 7:3 Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.

Psalm 72:17-19 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him...

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel...

Isaiah 60:1-5,10,11 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you...

Acts 11:1-18 And the apostles and brothers that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God...

Acts 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia...

Acts 22:21 And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles.

Acts 26:17,18 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you...

Romans 10:12-15 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him...

Ephesians 2:13-15,19-22 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ...

in the day

Luke 19:44 And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone on another...

1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works...

Cross References
Ezekiel 16:7
I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

Song of Solomon 8:9
If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

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