Song of Solomon 5:1 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Ch. Son 5:1. The great question regarding this verse is how the perfect tenses in it are to be understood. Some maintain that they must be rigorously taken as perfects; others think that they should be understood in one or other of the modified perfect senses which this tense may have in Heb. Grammatically we may render either, I have come, or I come (cp. Ges. Gr. § 106 i); or lastly I will come, perf. of confidence (Ges. § 106 n). Those who, like Delitzsch, suppose that the marriage has taken place, take the first; Budde, who regards the song as one sung after the marriage has been celebrated, but during the week of festivities, takes the second; those who regard the marriage as still in the future cannot but take the perfs. in the third sense. In that case the words indicate that after what the bride has revealed of her love, the bridegroom feels that the marriage is as good as accomplished.
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice ] Rather, I have plucked my myrrh with my balsam.
eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved ] The chief difficulty here is whether dôdhîm, the word translated ‘friends,’ should not be rendered ‘caresses,’ as it has meant hitherto throughout the book, or whether it is to be taken in the sense of ‘beloved friends,’ as its parallelism to rç‘îm would suggest. That dôdhîm may have this latter meaning seems clear, for in many languages the abstract word, ‘love,’ is used in a concrete signification. On the whole this rendering beloved friends seems the best here. Siegfried seeks to establish a distinction between dôdhîm written defectively ( רדים ), and the same word written fully ( רֹודים ), the former being used, he says, only of caresses, the latter of friends, quoting König, Lehrgeb. vol. 11. 2, 262 b. He translates, “Eat ye too, O companions, and intoxicate yourselves, O friends,” and says that the clause would mean in prose, ‘do ye marry also.’ But in that case some way of emphasising the ye would have been expected. It seems preferable to understand the words of an invitation to his friends to come to the marriage feast he has spoken of as being as good as made (Ewald).
drink abundantly ] That the bridegroom should invite them to drink to satiety is in accord with what would appear to have been the custom, viz. to shew sympathy at such a feast by departing from the habitual abstemiousness of the East in regard to wine. Cp. Joh 2:10, the marriage at Cana of Galilee. That shâkhar may mean merely to drink to satiety, not to drunkenness, is proved by Hag 1:6, “Ye eat, but ye have not enough, ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink”; where lěsŏbh âh is parallel to lěshokhr âh. Some prefer to take the last clause as an address by the daughters of Jerusalem (Ginsburg), or by the poet to the young pair (Hitzig).
With Son 4:8 a new song, representing another scene, begins. In it the peasant lover of the Shulammite comes to beseech her to flee from the mountain region where she is detained, the home of wild beasts and the scene of other dangers. In Son 4:9-15 he breaks forth into a passionate lyric, expressive of his love for her, and in Son 4:16 she replies, yielding to his love and his entreaties. Ch. Son 5:1 contains his reply.
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".