“May Your mercies come upon me so that I may live, for Your Torah is my preoccupation.” Psalms 119:107
Can you see the contrast between HaShem and man in this series thus far? HaShem is ALL about life, living, peace, relationship, abundance, liberty, blessing, prosperity, freedom, purpose, order, color, grandeur, limitless wonder and beauty. Man apart from HaShem is dull, colorless, death, destruction, war, solitude, enslavement, curses, chaos, futility and rebellion….just look at the latest trends in the world today? They are all about death, destruction and enslavement!
HaShem desires for all of us to live and live abundantly in His creation, but that is only possible when we submit and surrender our will and desires for His! That therein is where the battlefield is located! Someday’s we are successful and have victory on the battlefield and other days we retreat in defeat, but this is why He commands we are to choose EACH day to whom will we serve! Each and every day we have to make a conscious choice to either serve HaShem or not too.
Understanding kedusha (Holiness) is key to having that relationship with HaShem. As my teacher, Joseph Good has said so well when describing what kedusha is: “The time, space and objects that are limited to us through the agency of kedusha (Holiness) are signs that as HaShem’s covenantal partners, we must relinquish some control in every sphere of our existence and reserve those elements for His service!” What has HaShem given to us to teach us the concept of kedusha and how to have that relationship with Him? It is His Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem! Keep this in mind as the Temple is the key to Shir HaShirim and especially in this part of our study! Remember He commands we are to study, learn and know everything about His Temple per Ezekiel 43:10-11! He has a purpose for this command!!
This weeks Torah portion, ‘Vayetze’ which is found in Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-32:3, fits in perfectly with part four of our Shir HaShirim study which I hope you will see shortly.
Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-12 says “Ya’akov (Jacob) departed from Beer-sheva and went toward Haran. He encountered HaMakom (THE PLACE) and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took from the stones of HaMakom (THE PLACE) which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! Angels of Elohim were ascending and descending on it.” What is the significance of HaMakom? It is Mount Moriah, it is THE PLACE where Avraham went to offer up Yitzhak (Isaac)! Mount Moriah is THE PLACE where HaShem has placed His Name, it is THE PLACE where the Temple stood and most importantly it is THE PLACE where the Throne of HaShem on earth will sit forever! There is only ONE place in all of His creation which is called ‘HaMakom’ and that is Mount Moriah!! No wonder the world is doing all it can to separate Israel from the Temple Mount and no wonder Replacement Theology works so hard to teach it has been rendered completely obsolete and null and void!
Bereshit (Genesis) 28:13-15 says “And behold! HaShem was standing over him, and He said, ‘I am HaShem, Elohim of Avraham your father and Elohim of Yitzhak; the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendants. Your offspring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and by your offspring. Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoken about you.'” HaMakom is THE PLACE from where HaShem gave His promise to Ya’akov concerning Israel and how He WILL bring all of Israel home one day at the appointed time….May it be very soon in our days!
This again is why studying the Temple is SO vitally important especially now in our day and time because the idolatry of the world is truly at epic levels! Keep all of this mind as we proceed in part four because we will see the Temple plays an enormous role in our relationship with HaShem as His people and His bride!
But first never forget the following:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
Chapter four of Shir HaShirm begins with HaShem speaking to His bride i.e. Israel. Pay close attention to His verbiage because much of it will only be understood in the context of the Torah and the Temple.
Shir HaShirim 4:1 says “Behold, you (Israel) are lovely My friend, behold you are lovely, your very appearance radiates dove like constancy from behind your modest veil. The most common sons within your encampments are as dearly beloved as the children of Ya’akov in the goat like procession descending the slopes of Gilead Mountain.”
His declaration of Israel’s beauty i.e. “Behold you are lovely…” is NOT a reference to physical beauty but per the Midrash “You are beautiful in performing mitzvos (Commandments, Obeying the Torah), you are beautiful in performing acts of kindness, you are beautiful in performing positive mitzvos, you are beautiful in observing negative mitzvos, you are beautiful in performing mitzvos of the household i.e. in the mitzvos of separating challah (Shabbat bread), terumah (Lifting up the portion separated from one’s crop in the Land of Israel to be given to the Kohanim/Priests officiating the Temple Services) and tithes, you are beautiful in performing the mitzvos of the field (Feeding the poor), you are beautiful in kilayim (Prohibition of wearing mixtures of wool and linen fibers), you are beautiful in linen cloak with tzitzit, you are beautiful in planting, you are beautiful in orlah (Fruit grown on a newly planted fruit tree may not be eaten the first three years), you are beautiful in circumcision, you are beautiful in uncovering, you are beautiful in prayer, you are beautiful in recitation of the Shema; you are beautiful in mezuzah, you are beautiful in tefillin; you are beautiful in succah (Booths on the Feast of Sukkot), you are beautiful in lulav and esrog (Species of plants during Sukkot); you are beautiful in repentance, you are beautiful in good deeds, you are beautiful in this world, you are beautiful in the World to Come.” Basically, beauty in the eyes of HaShem is in the performance of His entire Torah as His people out of love, devotion and loyalty unto Him!
Why does He constantly liken Israel to a dove? Because doves are completely loyal to their mates! They never deviate from each other once they have paired up. Israel, obviously, is not currently like this, but in the future, Israel will be forever like a dove as a whole, serving HaShem faithfully….may it be VERY soon in our days!
In other translations, HaShem says “Your eyes are like doves” which is also very significant because He in Vayikra (Leviticus) 4:13 declared the Sanhedrin to be “The eyes of the Congregation of Israel” which is very significant because it is the Sanhedrin (Courts) He established and anointed which would render the rulings on HOW to walk in the Torah of HaShem. This is what the Oral Torah i.e. the Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, etc, are all about!
Just this one verse right here in Shir HaShirm utterly destroys Replacement Theology and the doctrine HaShem was never pleased with His Torah and everything He established from the beginning has now been rendered obsolete!
His statement of “your very appearance radiates dove like constancy from behind your modest veil…” is again another reference to the Great Sanhedrin in that they would preside behind the Temple i.e. it was an adornment or the Sanhedrin enhanced the Temple’s prominence.
The reference here in verse one to Ya’akov and Mount Gilead ties directly in with today’s Torah portion…I would recommend you read this Torah portion and see the significance for yourselves…:)
Shir HaShirim 4:2 says “Accountable in deed are your fiercest warriors like a well numbered flock come up from the washing, all of them unblemished with no miscarriage of action in them.” This verse is referencing Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and the washing i.e. the Splitting of the Red Sea and in passing through the waters, Israel became purified.
Further, this verse is in reference to the war Israel fought in Bamidbar (Numbers) 31 against Midian in that there were 12,000 Israelis who fought in that war and they defeated Midian and none of the soldiers defiled themselves in lewdness or in taking war spoils. It also is a reference to the Kohanim in the First Temple who all immersed in the Mikvah and no one blemished among them served HaShem in violation of the Torah.
Shir HaShirim 4:3 says “Like the scarlet thread, guarantor of Rachav’s safety, is the sincerity of your lips, and your word is unfeigned. As many as a pomegranate’s seeds are the merits of your unworthiest within your modest veil.” The scarlet thread is in reference to when the spies made to Rachav who sheltered them in Jericho. In gratitude they pledged to guarantee her safety and that of her family when Israel occupied the city if she would display the thread.
Further this scarlet thread reference is in connection with Yom Kippur when the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) would tie part of the scarlet thread to the scapegoat and the other to a rock on the mountain from which the goat was thrown. When the scarlet thread miraculously turned white it was symbolic the people’s sins were forgiven per Isaiah 1:18.
What is interesting about a pomegranate is it has a specific amount of seeds inside….613 seeds. How many commandments in the Torah are there? There are 613! Again, another reference to HaShem finding great pleasure in Israel keeping His Torah!! So how can Replacement Theology now be what HaShem desires? How would this work if HaShem says He never changes, there is nothing new under the sun, He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets and He says His Torah is eternal? Point is, Replacement Theology comes crashing down in flames yet again….I digress.
Shir HaShirim 4:4 says “As stately as the Tower of David is the site of your Sanhedrin built as a model to emulate, with a thousand shields of Torah armor hung upon it, all the disciple filled quivers of the mighty.” This is another reference to the Sanhedrin HaShem established! The Chamber of Hewn Stone located in Beit Avtinas is a corner building on the Southeast corner of the Temple. It is here in this Chamber the Great Sanhedrin would meet and was known as the ‘spiritual stronghold of Israel’. It is from here the Torah would emanate to the world, and yes even today it is via the Oral Torah, which unfortunately so many wrongly reject!
The Talmud in Tractate Berachos 30a is clear “The Talmud interprets this verse (Shir HaShirim 4:4) to the Temple and renders all mouths turn towards in prayer per Solomon’s prayer at the consecration of the Temple as recorded in I Kings 8:29 and II Chronicles 6:20. It is from these verses that the Sages ruled a blind man should direct his heart toward his Father in heaven; one who is outside of Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) should turn towards Eretz Yisrael; who is in Eretz Yisrael should turn towards Jerusalem; one who is in Jerusalem should turn toward the Sanctuary; one who is in the Sanctuary should turn toward the Holy of Holies…in this way, all of Israel will be turning their hearts toward one place” (HaMakom – THE PLACE.)
The shields of Torah armor reference is again another reference to the Sanhedrin and the teachings and rulings they put out. Torah is also called ‘The Shield of Israel.’ There is a connection here with Psalms 105:8 which intimates HaShem commanded His Word to ‘A thousand generations.’
Shir HaShirim 4:5 says “Moshe and Aaron, your two sustainers, are like two fawns, twins of the gazelle, who graze their sheep in rose like bounty.” Moshe and Aaron figuratively speaking, nursed Israel. This also is a reference to the two tablets of the Torah Moshe brought down from Sinai.
Shir HaShirim 4:6-7 says “Until My sunny benevolence was withdrawn from Shiloh and the protective shadows were dispersed by your sin. I will go to Mount Moriah and the hill of frankincense where you will be completely fair My beloved, and no blemish will be in you.” This is referring to when HaShem’s protection was upon Israel until Israel had forfeited His protection because of sin and He withdrew from Shiloh (Where the Mishkan – Tabernacle stood). Then when His judgment was ended, He commanded the Mikdash – Temple be built on Mount Moriah and once more His Glory/Presence dwelt among Israel from the Most Holy Place and their mutual love resumed. Again can you see the need for the Temple to be rebuilt today? It is time to rebuild so we can resume the love relationship with our Great King, HaShem! Yeshua has repaired and restored the broken covenant, now its time to rebuild the Temple so we can draw near to Him!
Shir HaShirim 4:8 says “With Me will you be exiled from the Temple, O bride, with Me from the Temple until you return; then to contemplate the fruits of your faith from its earliest beginnings from your first arrival at the summit of Snir and the mountains of Hermon, the lands of mighty Sichon and Og, as impregnable dens of lions, and mountains of leopards.” What an amazing promise!!! HaShem is telling Israel that yes, Israel will be exiled from the Temple, but that He will go into exile with us until we return (The definition of repentance is to return to HaShem and His Torah.) Sichon and Og were vicious enemies of Israel and the reference to the dens of lions is a reference to Babylon and Medes/Persian empires.
Shir HaShirim 4:9 says “You have captured My heart, My sister, O bride; you captured My heart with but one of your virtues, with but one of the precepts that adorn you like beads of a necklace resplendent.” HaShem’s use of the term ‘Sister’ in reference to Israel, is a Hebrew idiom likened to a man whose brother has a daughter and refers to the daughter as his sister. Its a means to acknowledge Israel is the offspring of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’akov. The reference to the ‘beads of a necklace’ is another term for the Torah! Proverbs 1:9 likens the Torah as “Beads for your neck.”
Shir HaShirim 4:10 says “How fair was your love in so many settings, My sister, O bride; so superior is your love to wine and your spreading fame to all perfumes.” This is in reference to all the places the Mishkan (Tabernacle) of HaShem was located in and Israel served HaShem and He dwelt among Israel. The Mishkan was located in Gilgal, Shiloh, Nov and Gibeon and then HaShem commanded the building of the Mikdash (Temple) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the eternal location of His Throne on earth!
Israel’s love far supersedes the platitudes of the nations who only tacitly acknowledge HaShem and mix Him with their pagan ways and their pagan gods and Israel’s spreading the grandeur of His Great Name is greater than the best perfume available.
Shir HaShirim 4:11 says “The sweetness of Torah drops from your lips, like honey and milk it lies under your tongue; your very garments are scented with precepts like the scent of Lebanon.” Remember HaShem says His Torah is sweeter than honey per Psalms 19:11! The garments which are scented with precepts is a reference to the garments of the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) and the Kohanim (Priests) as well as to the scents of the korbonot (Offerings) being offered up in the Temple! Again, we can see another need to understand the Temple!
Shir HaShirim 4:12 says “As chaste as a garden locked, My sister, O bride; a spring locked up, a fountain sealed.” This is in reference to Israel being loyal to HaShem, not committing fornication/adultery i.e. idolatry. She is modest, self controlled and is always dwelling upon purity i.e. kedusha (Holiness) to HaShem!
Shir HaShirim 4:13 says “Your least gifted ones are a pomegranate orchard with luscious fruit, henna with nard.” This is very interesting because it is a reference to those in Israel who do little with Torah but He likens them to pomegranates because of their potential…remember there are 613 commandments in the Torah and pomegranate has 613 seeds! Henna and nard refers to the descendants of Israel whose reputation will waft as far as the fragrance of fine spices.
Shir HaShirim 4:14 says “Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes with all the chief spices.” He is continuing his reference from verse 13 and showing how Israel is likened to the choicest spices available in Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel)! Remember in the Temple, the Ketoret or the Incense Service every morning is comprised of 11 spices all grown in the Land which then goes up to HaShem on the Golden Altar in the Holy Place!
Shir HaShirim 4:15 says “Purified in a garden spring a well of waters alive, and flowing clean from Lebanon.” This is a reference to the entire Torah, both Written and Oral parts which is a source of sustenance, a garden spring, a well of living water which streams from Lebanon (A Hebrew idiom to mean from HaShem’s Temple).
Shir HaShirim 4:16 says “Awake from the north and come from the south! like the winds let My exiles return to My garden, let their fragrant goodness flow in Jerusalem. (Now Israel replies to HaShem) Let my Beloved come to His garden and enjoy His precious people.” This refers to the end of the exiles and the complete return of all of Israel from around the globe to return home into Eretz Yisrael, to the rebuilt Temple i.e. His Garden so He can enjoy His precious people! How close are we today to this event taking place? In my opinion, I believe we are extremely close!! Perhaps far closer than any of us truly realize!!!
I know I keep saying this, but can you see the beauty of HaShem, His Torah and His Temple? Why would any of this be bad now as Replacement Theology constantly teaches? Why would anyone want to be free from HaShem, His Torah or His Temple? I digress, I am not trying to derail this Op.
Mostly, I can never get over how He feels about Israel and yes, let me state it here, Israel is comprised of EVERYONE who has chosen to worship HaShem the Elohim of Israel regardless of DNA! He says there is ONE Torah for both the native and the stranger (Those who are grafted into Israel) per Shemot (Exodus) 12:49! Remember Rav Shaul (Paul) says we have been grafted into Israel per Romans 11!
There is much to yet to learn and if you have read today’s Torah portion, I hope you can see the connection? Nothing changes in HaShem’s plans!! He is the same from beginning to end and there is nothing new under the sun!! Be encouraged! Our exile is soon to end with the return of the Agent of HaShem i.e. Messiah Yeshua! May it be very soon in our days!
- Shir HaShirim
- The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim
- The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute of Scriptural Research