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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Shir Hashirim - Song of Songs - Chapter 3

Shir Hashirim - Song of Songs - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. On my bed at night, I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him but I did not find him.   א. עַל מִשְׁכָּבִי בַּלֵּילוֹת בִּקַּשְׁתִּי אֵת שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי בִּקַּשְׁתִּיו וְלֹא מְצָאתִיו:
On my bed at night: when I was troubled; when I sat in the dark for the entire thirty-eight years that the Israelites were under reproach.  
I sought him but I did not find him: (Exod. 33:3): “For I shall not go up in your midst” ; (Deut. 1:42): “for I am not in your midst.”  
2. I will arise now and go about the city, in the market places and in the city squares. I will seek him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but I did not find him.   ב. אָקוּמָה נָּא וַאֲסוֹבְבָה בָעִיר בַּשְּׁוָקִים וּבָרְחֹבוֹת אֲבַקְשָׁה אֵת שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי בִּקַּשְׁתִּיו וְלֹא מְצָאתִיו:
I will arise now, etc., I will seek: (Exod. 32:11): “And Moses prayed” ; (ibid. verse 30): “I will go up to the Lord.”  
3. The watchmen who patrol the city found me: "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"   ג. מְצָאוּנִי הַשֹּׁמְרִים הַסֹּבְבִים בָּעִיר אֵת שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי רְאִיתֶם:
The watchmen who patrol the city found me: Moses and Aaron.  
Have you seen him whom my soul loves: What did you find in His mouth?  
4. I had just passed them by, when I found him whom my soul loves; I held him and would not let him go, until I brought him into my mother's house and into the chamber of her who had conceived me.   ד. כִּמְעַט שֶׁעָבַרְתִּי מֵהֶם עַד שֶׁמָּצָאתִי אֵת שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי אֲחַזְתִּיו וְלֹא אַרְפֶּנּוּ עַד שֶׁהֲבֵיאתִיו אֶל בֵּית אִמִּי וְאֶל חֶדֶר הוֹרָתִי:
I had just passed them: shortly before their separation from me, at the end of the forty years.  
when I found: that He was with me in the days of Joshua to vanquish the thirty-one kings.  
I held him and would not let him go: I did not loosen my grasp from Him until I brought Him to the Tabernacle at Shiloh because of all that He had done for me.  
5. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, that you neither awaken nor arouse the love while it is desirous.   ה. הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם בִּצְבָאוֹת אוֹ בְּאַיְלוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה אִם תָּעִירוּ | וְאִם תְּעוֹרְרוּ אֶת הָאַהֲבָה עַד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּץ:
I adjure you: [you] nations, while I am exiled among you.  
that you neither awaken nor arouse: my beloved’s love from me through seduction or enticement to forsake him, to turn from following him.  
while it is desirous: as long as I still desire his love.  
6. Who is this coming up from the desert, like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, of all the powder of the peddler?   ו. מִי זֹאת עֹלָה מִן הַמִּדְבָּר כְּתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן מְקֻטֶּרֶת מֹר וּלְבוֹנָה מִכֹּל אַבְקַת רוֹכֵל:
Who is this coming up from the desert: When I was traveling through the desert and the pillar of fire and cloud were going before me and killing the snakes and scorpions and burning the thorns and thistles to make a straight road, and the cloud and the smoke were ascending, the nations saw them, and were astounded by my greatness, and they said, “Who is this,” i. e., “How great is this one coming up from the desert, etc.!”  
like columns of smoke: Heb. כְּתִימְרוֹת, tall and erect as a palm tree (תָּמָר).  
perfumed with myrrh: the cloud of incense which would rise straight up from the inner altar.  
the peddler: a spice merchant who sells all types of spices.  
powder: Heb. אַבְקַת, since they crush it and pound it as fine as dust (אַבַק).  
7. Behold the litter of Solomon; sixty mighty men are around it, of the mighty men of Israel.   ז. הִנֵּה מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁלִּשְׁלֹמֹה שִׁשִּׁים גִּבֹּרִים סָבִיב לָהּ מִגִּבֹּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Behold the litter of Solomon: the Tent of Meeting and the Ark, which they carried in the desert.  
sixty mighty men are around it: sixty myriad surround it.  
of the mighty men of Israel: of those who go out to the army, in addition to those under twenty [years of age] and those over sixty.  
8. They all hold the sword, skilled in warfare; each one with his sword on his thigh because of fear at night.   ח. כֻּלָּם אֲחֻזֵי חֶרֶב מְלֻמְּדֵי מִלְחָמָה אִישׁ חַרְבּוֹ עַל יְרֵכוֹ מִפַּחַד בַּלֵּילוֹת:
skilled in warfare: the war of Torah, and similarly, the priests who surround it, who camp around the Tabernacle, skilled in the order of their service.  
each one with his sword: his weapons. These are the Masorah and the mnemonics, by which they preserve the correct version [of the Oral Law] and the masorah (the traditional spelling and reading of the Scriptures), lest it be forgotten.  
because of fear at night: lest they forget it, and troubles will befall them, and so Scripture says (Ps. 2:12): “Arm yourselves with the grain [of Torah] lest He become angry and you perish on the way.”  
9. King Solomon made himself a palanquin of the trees of Lebanon.   ט. אַפִּרְיוֹן עָשָׂה לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מֵעֲצֵי הַלְּבָנוֹן:
King Solomon made himself a palanquin: This refers to the Tent of Meeting, which was established in the Tabernacle at Shiloh. He made Himself a crowning canopy for glory.  
10. Its pillars he made of silver, its couch of gold, its curtain of purple, its interior inlaid with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.   י. עַמּוּדָיו עָשָׂה כֶסֶף רְפִידָתוֹ זָהָב מֶרְכָּבוֹ אַרְגָּמָן תּוֹכוֹ רָצוּף אַהֲבָה מִבְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם:
its couch of gold: His couch and His dwelling were on the Ark cover, which is gold.  
its curtain of purple: Heb. מֶרְכָּבוֹ. This is the dividing curtain, which hangs and “rides” (רוֹכֵב) on poles from pillar to pillar.  
its interior inlaid: arranged with a floor of love-the Ark with an Ark cover, cherubim, and Tablets.  
from the daughters of Jerusalem: Heb. יְרוּשָּׁלָיִם. These are the Israelites, who fear (יְרֵאִים) and are wholehearted (שְּׁלֵמִים) with the Holy One, blessed be He.  
11. Go out, O daughters of Zion, and gaze upon King Solomon, upon the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his nuptials and on the day of the joy of his heart.   יא. צְאֶינָה | וּרְאֶינָה בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן בַּמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה בָּעֲטָרָה שֶׁעִטְּרָה לּוֹ אִמּוֹ בְּיוֹם חֲתֻנָּתוֹ וּבְיוֹם שִׂמְחַת לִבּוֹ:
O daughters of Zion: Heb. צִיוֹן. [This refers to] the sons, who are distinguished (מְצֻיָנִין) for Him with circumcision, phylacteries, and ritual fringes.  
upon the crown with which his mother crowned him: [This refers to] the Tent of Meeting, which is crowned with hues: blue, purple, and crimson. Rabbi Nehunia said: Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai asked Rabbi Eleazar the son of Rabbi Jose, “Perhaps you heard from your father what the meaning of ‘upon the crown with which his mother crowned him’ is?” He replied: “This is a parable of a king who had an only daughter of whom he was very fond. He could not stop loving her until he called her ” my daughter, “ as it is said (Ps. 45:11): ” Hearken, daughter, and see.“ He could not stop loving her until he called her ” my sister, “ as it is said (below 5:2): ” Open for me, my sister, my beloved.“ He could not stop loving her until he called her ” my mother, “ as it is said (Isa. 51:4): ” Hearken to Me, My people, and My nation (וּלְאוּמִי), bend your ears." It is written: וּלְאֻמִי [which can be read as וּלְאִמִי, and to my mother]. Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai stood up and kissed him on his head, etc.  
on the day of his nuptials: the day of the giving of the Torah, when they crowned Him King for themselves and accepted His yoke.  
and on the day of the joy of his heart: This refers to the eighth day of the inauguration, when the Tabernacle in the desert was dedicated.  
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