Monday, March 22, 2010

The Song of Songs which is of Solomon - Part V

Because I divided the Song by the charges, Part V is short. It completes several themes. The desert, a rebuke of Solomon, and the hidden imagery of the animals that was missing from the charge in parts III and IV.
VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
המִי זֹאת עֹלָה
מִן הַמִּדְבָּר
מִתְרַפֶּקֶת עַל דּוֹדָהּ
תַּחַת הַתַּפּוּחַ עוֹרַרְתִּיךָ
שָׁמָּה חִבְּלַתְךָ אִמֶּךָ
שָׁמָּה חִבְּלָה יְלָדַתְךָ
who is this coming up
from the desert
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apricot tree I aroused you
there your mother laboured with you
there she laboured, gave you birth
In the first desert passage, it is the bridegroom who emerges. Here he emerges with the bride who has shared the cost.
ושִׂימֵנִי כַחוֹתָם
עַל לִבֶּךָ
כַּחוֹתָם עַל זְרוֹעֶךָ
  כִּי עַזָּה כַמָּוֶת אַהֲבָה
קָשָׁה כִשְׁאוֹל קִנְאָה
רְשָׁפֶיהָ רִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ שַׁלְהֶבֶתְיָה
Set me as a seal
upon your heart
as a seal upon your arm
for strong as death is love
jealousy as hard as Sheol
its coals are coals of the flaming fire of יָה
The flaming fire gives away the story. יָה has been in this work all along.
זמַיִם רַבִּים
לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת
אֶת הָאַהֲבָה
וּנְהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּהָ
אִם יִתֵּן אִישׁ
אֶת כָּל הוֹן בֵּיתוֹ בָּאַהֲבָה
בּוֹז יָבוּזוּ לוֹ ס
many waters
are not able to quench
such love
nor will torrents drown it
if anyone would give
all the substance of his house for love
they will surely despise him
John Ireland's anthem is a favorite among many choirs (I could not find a recording online).

the target of this despising בּוֹז בּוֹז is to come. Repeating the verb, infinitive + conjugated, is common for intensifying the meaning.
חאָחוֹת לָנוּ קְטַנָּה
וְשָׁדַיִם אֵין לָהּ מַה
נַּעֲשֶׂה לַאֲחֹתֵנוּ
בַּיּוֹם שֶׁיְּדֻבַּר בָּהּ
a little sister we have
and her breasts, they are not much
What will we do for our sister
on the day that she is spoken for?

טאִם חוֹמָה הִיא
נִבְנֶה עָלֶיהָ
טִירַת כָּסֶף
וְאִם דֶּלֶת הִיא
נָצוּר עָלֶיהָ
לוּחַ אָרֶז
If she is a wall
we will build on it
a battlement of silver.
And if she is a door
we will enclose her
with boards of cedar,

יאֲנִי חוֹמָה
וְשָׁדַי כַּמִּגְדָּלוֹת
אָז הָיִיתִי בְעֵינָיו
כְּמוֹצְאֵת שָׁלוֹם
I am a wall
and my breasts as towers
Then I became in his eyes
as finding peace

יאכֶּרֶם הָיָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה
בְּבַעַל הָמוֹן
נָתַן אֶת הַכֶּרֶם לַנֹּטְרִים
אִישׁ יָבִא בְּפִרְיוֹ
אֶלֶף כָּסֶף
 a vineyard, Solomon had
at Baal Hamon
he gave the vineyard to the keepers
someone brought for its fruit
a thousand in silver
It seems to me this is a repudiation of e.g. Simony
יבכַּרְמִי שֶׁלִּי לְפָנָי
הָאֶלֶף לְךָ שְׁלֹמֹה
וּמָאתַיִם לְנֹטְרִים אֶת פִּרְיוֹ
My vineyard that is mine is before me
The thousand is for you, Solomon
and two hundred for the keepers of its fruit
There can be no abusive or even controlling power taken to control the vineyard. The phrase to you (masculine) occurs only twice. Here and in Song 2:14
יגהַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת בַּגַּנִּים
חֲבֵרִים מַקְשִׁיבִים
לְקוֹלֵךְ הַשְׁמִיעִנִי
The one sitting in the gardens
companions who pay attention
your voices let me hear 

ידבְּרַח דּוֹדִי
וּדְמֵה לְךָ לִצְבִי
אוֹ לְעֹפֶר הָאַיָּלִים
עַל הָרֵי בְשָׂמִים
O haste, my beloved
and be like yourself the hosts of roe
or the young of the goodly hart
on the mountains of spices.
Revelation 22:20. The resumption of wordplay ends the song.
This series on the Song I | 2:4 II 3:5 | III | 5:10 IV 8:4 V

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