“He who loves purity of heart, and whose lips are gracious, the King is his friend.” Proverbs 22:11
As I began to put this Op together it is 22 September 2022. There is much going on in the world! Everything from weather storms, earthquakes and not just physical earthquakes but also political earthquakes per se! Wars are erupting and or escalating! But, one of the most amazing and encouraging news reports in the last few days are the reports of the five red heifers which were shipped from Texas to Israel, for the Parah Adumah ceremony per Bamidbar (Numbers 19), which is required for a rebuilt Temple!
Now the biblical requirements for the Red Heifer is extremely strenuous and so stringent people will know it only came from HaShem! Mankind could not in any way, shape or form manipulate the Red Heifer! Unfortunately, while encouraging as it is, the reports of these red heifers has provoked and brought out those who are extremely threatened and enraged by the thought of a red heifer because of its connection to the Temple of HaShem!
The common objection to these red heifers and to the Temple primarily emerges from Replacement Theology Christendom who see these red heifers, the korbonot (Offerings) and the Temple itself as being the domain of HaSatan and the epitome of wickedness and the absolute abomination against the one Christendom serves. I say this not to bash anyone, but to point this out as being another giant indicator of where I believe, in my opinion, where we are on the timeline of HaShem!
Because the Temple of HaShem is SO important and central in His entire Word, I thought it would be a good reminder as we begin chapter five i.e. the middle of Shir HaShirim and the beginning of the second half of Shir HaShirim, to remember just how important the Temple of HaShem is.
The following is an excerpt from the book ‘The Temple: Its symbolism and meaning then and now’ by Joshua Berman. Pages 40-41 says “Virtually every law and commandment listed from Exodus chapter 25, until the consecration of the Tabernacle in Leviticus, chapter 10, pertain DIRECTLY to the Sanctuary (Temple). Significantly, Moses is told to construct the Tabernacle vessels in accordance with the prototype he had seen of each while convening with HaShem on Mount Sinai. The sustained and focused attention to the Tabernacle laws immediately following the theophany narrative is a sign of a connection between the Revelation at Sinai and HaShem’s continued presence among the people in the Sanctuary. The meaning of this connection is explained by Cassuto:
‘In order to understand the significance and purpose of the Tabernacle, we must realize that the children of Israel, after they had been privileged to witness the Revelation of HaShem on Mount Sinai, were about to journey from there and thus draw away from the site of the theophany. So long as they were encamped in the place, they were conscious of HaShem’s nearness; but once they set out on their journey, it would seem to them as though the link had been broken, unless there were in the midst a tangible symbol of HaShem’s presence among them. It was the function of the Tabernacle (literally meaning Dwelling), to serve as such a symbol. Not without reason, therefore, does this section come immediately after the section that describes the making of the Covenant at Mount Sinai. The nexus between Israel and the Tabernacle is a perpetual extension of the bond that was forged at Sinai between the people and their Elohim.”
So, we can see the Temple is akin to Mount Sinai but also to the Garden of Eden! Consider the following link to a previous Op I did earlier this year discussing the need for a Temple in Jerusalem:
Continuing from the book ‘The Temple: Its symbolism and meaning then and now’ by Joshua Berman, page 28-29 discussing how the Torah of HaShem is akin to the Tree of Life which was in the center of the Garden of Eden. “In place of eternal physical life offered by the Tree of Life, in the post-Eden era, HaShem offers spiritual life in the form of the Torah per Deuteronomy 30:15-18 which says ‘See, I set before you this day life and good, death and evil. For I command you this day, to love the Lord your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His laws, and His norms, that you may live and increase…but if your heart turns away…you shall certainly perish.’ The Torah is portrayed here as a source of life. Its depiction as the difference between good and evil and between life and death may be a deliberate reference to the Tree of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life in the Eden narrative and an indication that the Torah supplants them in the aftermath of man’s sin. The Book of Proverbs refers to the wisdom of HaShem’s ways as a tree of life: ‘She is a tree of life for those who grasp her’ per Proverbs 3:18.”
“The Midrash employs this verse (Proverbs 3:18) to demonstrate that the Torah is a substitute for the Tree of Life of Eden: HaShem hid the tree that granted eternal life to all who ate from it and in its place He gave us His Torah. ‘This is the tree of life, for it says, she is a tree of life for those who grasp her, Proverbs 3:18. When a man beholds it, and sees in it HaShem’s wisdom, and His righteous and just laws and statutes, he is immediately induced to adopt a new mind, and observe them. In so doing he acquires for himself reward in this world and in the world to come, as it says, ‘The Lord commanded us to observe all these laws for our lasting good and to grant us life’ per Deuteronomy 6:24.”
The Temple of HaShem is also known as the House of Kedushah i.e. Holiness. What is the definition of the word ‘Kedushah/kadosh/holy?’ The best answer is the following from my very good friend and teacher Joe Good of HaTikvah Ministries which says: “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!”
Keep all this in mind as we explore chapter five of Shir HaShirim. Understand, there is SO much to explore, it would literally take enormous amounts of space on this blog to cover, so I must do this in sections, thus, this first part of Part 5 will only cover verses one and two. But as always, never forget the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:
- 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 the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 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 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
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
- He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
- He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
- He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13
- He says His Torah is the bread of life per Proverbs 9:5
There are sixteen verses in chapter five of Shir HaShirim and we will explore each one, however, verses one and two alone will take an enormous amount of time to explore because there is so much in the verses!
Shir HaShirim 5:1 says “To your Tabernacle Dedication, My sister, O bride, I came as if to My garden. I gathered My myrrh with My spice from your princely incense; I accepted your unbidden as well as your bidden offerings to Me; I drank your libations pure as milk. Eat, My beloved priests! Drink and become G-d intoxicated, O friends!“
What needs to be understood is even though this chapter begins here with verse one, which implies a new trend of thought, it is not a new trend of thought, but a continuation of chapter four! The commentary on this verse from the Artscroll Shir HaShirim book says “According to the Mesorah, therefore, this verse does not begin a new chapter and a new trend of thought. Hence, the commentators view this verse contextually as HaShem’s response to Israel’s request that His Shechinah (Presence) descend upon them and eat of their precious fruit. ‘I have already done as you requested!’ HaShem replies.”
The commentary goes on and says “As it is written in Shemot (Exodus) 40:33-34, ‘And Moshe finished the work, and a cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of HaShem filled the Tabernacle.'” Remember HaShem likens His Temple to His Garden of Eden!
The dedication of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness is explained in Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter seven. After Moshe erected the Tabernacle the dedication of the Tabernacle took eight days. Per the Torah, Moshe began on the 23rd day of the month of Adar and finished on the 1st day of the month of Nissan for a total of eight days! The completion of the dedication of the Tabernacle was also Rosh Chodesh Nissan i.e. the new moon for the beginning of the month of Nissan!
The dedication of the Mizbe’ach (The Altar) however, took twelve days! HaShem commands in Bamidbar 7:11 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘One leader each day, one leader each day shall they bring their offering for the dedication of the Mizbe’ach.'” There are twelve tribes which comprise Israel which correspond to the twelve stones on the Breastplate worn by the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest)! See the image below for example.
Now remember HaShem is unchanging and He reveals the end from the beginning as there is nothing new under the sun! The dedication and the twelve tribes during this ceremony, which is comprised of Minchah (Bread) offerings, incense, Olah (Burnt), Chatat (Sin) and Shelamim (Peace) offerings. Now remember, as it pertains to the korbonot (Offerings): “The truest offering is when the owner brings himself as the offering. The owner of the animal or grain offering, sets himself apart to HaShem, subservient to the teachings of the Torah. The animal or grain offering is secondary in that it is an indication of what the owner feels and what the owner is striving for!” The meaning of the word ‘Korbonot’ means ‘To draw near to HaShem’. The purpose of the korbonot is not simply to obtain forgiveness from sin, but for the purpose of communing with HaShem, drawing near to Him. To give thanks, gratitude, cleansing from ritual impurity and atonement.
There are THREE species of animals which may be brought as korbonot which, per Vayikra Midrash Rabbah 8.3 states these three species of animals correspond to one of the Patriarchs who exemplify a characteristic of each species of animal:
- Oxen – Corresponds to Abraham who exemplified the characteristic of kindness
- Rams – Corresponds to Isaac who exemplified the characteristic of strength
- Sheep – Corresponds to Jacob who exemplified the characteristic of glory
Per Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:27, an animal selected as a korbonot MUST be at a minimum EIGHT days old and from that point on, it is acceptable to HaShem. Keep this in mind.
There are EIGHT categories of korbonot (Offerings) which may be brought. Not all are for atonement from sin:
- Chatat (Sin)
- Olah (Burnt)
- Asham (Guilt)
- Shelamim (Peace)
- Todah (Thanksgiving)
- Bechor (Firstborn)
- Maaser (Tithing)
- Pesach (Passover)
***Birds may be brought as Olah and Chatat.
What is astounding is when we examine why HaShem decided on eight categories of korbonot. Why did He choose the number eight? Per the book ‘Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers’ when reading about the number eight, it says “The number 8 denotes transcendence. It symbolizes that a Jew is not subject to the natural realm. They have the ability to break free from this world and its limitations.” Further the number 8 relates to the Torah of HaShem in that the Torah is not of this natural world. The number 8 relates to the House of HaShem i.e. His Temple. But most astoundingly the number 8 relates to King Messiah! “Messiah, refers to the anointing of the Davidic Dynasty with oil. The oil used in the Menorah is related to the Messianic King who will illuminate the world with His light.” Okay, moving on.
It is the application of the blood onto the Mizbe’ach (Altar) which atones, not the burning of the meat or the fat. This is just an extremely quick review of what we have discussed in previous Op’s concerning the Korbonot. Now, we can continue with the dedication ceremony which is as follows as stated in Bamidbar (Numbers) seven beginning with the first day. Each head of the tribes brought the same korbonot on each day:
- Nachson of the tribe of Yehuda. He brought one silver bowl filled with 130 shekels worth of fine flour mixed with oil. One silver basin filled with 70 shekels worth of fine flour mixed with oil for a Minchah (Bread) offering. One gold ladle of 10 shekels worth if incense. One young bull, one ram, one sheep in its first year for an Olah (Burnt) offering. One he-goat for a Chatat (Sin) offering. Two cattle, five rams, five he-goats, five sheep in their first year for a Shelamim (Peace) offering.
- Nesanel of the tribe of Issachar.
- Eliav of the tribe of Zevulun
- Elitzur of the tribe of Reuven
- Shelumiel of the tribe of Shimon
- Eliasaph of the tribe of Gad
- Elishama of the tribe of Ephraim
- Gamaliel of the tribe of Menasheh
- Avidan of the tribe of Benyamim
- Achiezar of the tribe of Dan
- Pagiel of the tribe of Asher
- Achira of the tribe of Naphtali
Per Bamidbar (Numbers) 7:84 the twelve heads of the tribes brought a total of:
- 12 silver bowls – Each containing 130 shekels worth of fine flour mixed with oil
- 12 silver basins – Each containing 70 shekels worth of fine flour mixed with oil
- 12 gold ladles – Each containing 10 shekels worth of incense
- 12 bulls, rams, sheep in their first year for the Olah
- 12 he-goats for the Chatat
- 24 bulls
- 60 rams, he-goats, sheep in their first year for the Shelamim
I hope you can thus far see the immense detail involved in this ceremony? And this is just a very quick glance as I am leaving out so much! Continuing on.
His reference to the Incense is a giant topic worthy of its own Op in itself! I will have to summarize as much of it as possible here.
Shemot 30:34 lists four of eleven ingredients which comprise the Temple Incense:
- Pure Frankincense
Keritot 6A from the Talmud Bavli lists seven more ingredients:
- Aromatic Bark
Per Keritot 6A, Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli, the incense is prepared according to the following manner:
“The Sages taught in a baraita: How is the blending of the incense performed? Balm, and onycha, and galbanum, and frankincense, each of these by a weight of seventy maneh, i.e., seventy units of one hundred dinars. Myrrh, and cassia, and spikenard, and saffron, each of these by a weight of sixteen maneh. Costus by a weight of twelve maneh; three maneh of aromatic bark; and nine maneh of cinnamon. Kersannah lye of the volume of nine kav; Cyprus winen of the volume of three se’a and three more kav, a half-se’a. If one does not have Cyprus wine he brings old white wine. Sodomite salt is brought by the volume of a quarter-kav. Lastly, a minimal amount of the smoke raiser, a plant that causes the smoke of the incense to rise properly. Rabbi Natan says: Also a minimal amount of Jordan amber.”
“The Sages taught in a baraita (Teaching outside of the Mishnah): The incense was prepared from ingredients amounting to the weight of 368 maneh, i.e., 368 units of one hundred dinars. Of these, 365 of them correspond to the days of the solar year. The additional three maneh are those from which the High Priest would bring in to the Sanctuary his handful required on Yom Kippur (see Leviticus 16:12), and the rest, i.e., the incense that was not used over the course of the year, was given to the artisans as their wages.”
Shemot 30:37 says “The incense that you shall make, in its measure you shall not make for yourselves; it shall remain holy to you, for HaShem.”
Mitzvah #110 – The Prohibition to Replicate the Incense – Regarding one who transgressed the prohibition and made a replica of the ketores in accordance with its proportions, in order to smell it, if he did so deliberately, he is liable to kares (excision), and if he did so inadvertently, he is liable to a fixed chatat (Sin) offering.
HaShem says here in Shir HaShirim 5:1 “…Eat, My beloved priests! Drink and become G-d intoxicated, O friends!” His Kohanim (Priests) are the ones who officiate the Temple Avodah (Services) each day and will do so once again hopefully very shortly, HaShem willing!!
The commentary from the Illuminated Shir HaShirim, page 62-63, says “The word for ‘Garden’ is used in the possessive form, meaning ‘My wedding canopy’. HaShem states that He came to His Garden. HaShem placed man on this earth after creating the luminaries, vegetation and plant life, animals, birds, and fish. The entirety of creation was placed at man’s service. HaShem is omnipresent, ‘The whole world is filled with His glory.’ Even before the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Godliness was found on the earth below. As long as mankind lived up to its Divine mission, fulfilling the directives of their Creator, the earth could be the footstool of the Almighty.”
“Man, if he comports himself in accordance with the will of Elohim, can be a vehicle to bring Godliness to himself and to share it with the world. In the time of Moses, who perfected his character and was a prophet with no equal, Elohim rested His Shechinah once more on earth with the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). On that day, the first of Nissan, the verse says, ‘The cloud covered the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting), and the glory of HaShem filled the Tabernacle’ quoting Shemot (Exodus) 40:34. The verses describing the construction of the Mishkan in many instances parallel the terms used in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the Mishkan is a miniature form of Creation itself. With the construction of the Mishkan and its dedication on the first of Nissan, HaShem once more had a place where the Divine Presence could dwell on earth.”
The more man tells HaShem to get out and spits on His Torah, the more the world collapses into insanity and chaos! And then we wonder why the world is in the abominable mess it is in today?
Now consider an excerpt from the Vayikra (Leviticus) Midrash Rabbah 8.3 Insights section which says “Our Midrash teaches that David yearned for the dedicatory offerings of the tribal princes, and that those offerings were as precious as the Song of the Sea, the two Tablets of the Covenant, and the daily offering of Aaron, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), which in turn was as precious before HaShem as the twelve tribes themselves.”
Consider the following from the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.1 when explaining verse 5.1: “Another interpretation of ‘Eat, friends…’ Why did HaShem say this to them? It may be compared to a King who made a feast and invited guests to come join Him, and at the feast the King was going around to all the guests and saying to them, ‘May the food be enjoyable for you! May it be pleasing to you!'” The king here in this parable is HaShem Himself! Again, can you see the compassion, kindness, mercy, in that He as the King is going around to His guests making sure the food is enjoyable? This again captures the heart of Shir HaShirim! HaShem reaching out and seeking out His bride i.e. Israel, who responds to His calls!
The Midrash enhances this further and says “HaShem was like a King Who made a feast and invited guests, and then went around them saying, ‘Eat friend….I hope you like it, I hope you enjoy it!'” Can you imagine having HaShem Himself coming around to His guests i.e. you and I, and encouraging us to enjoy ourselves and to eat from His bounty? There isn’t a king or a president in human history who would do this! THIS is what HaShem does everyday and His Torah is the bounty to eat from and enjoy! Keep this in mind!
Shir HaShirim 5:2 says “I am asleep but my heart is awake. The sound of my Beloved, knocking ‘Open up for Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My perfect one! For My head is filled with dew, My locks with the droplets of the night.'”
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse says “These verses beautifully and tragically allegorize the period of the First Temple and its destruction; Israel’s evil ways; HaShem’s many compassionate warnings to repent; their recalcitrance followed by His display of wrathful vengeance. They repented, but it was too late, His prophetically foretold Decree of imminent Destruction was not to be annulled.”
The Illuminated Shir HaShirim says from page #63 “For any relationship to flourish, particularly between the people of Israel and HaShem, there has to be a constant vigilance to maintain the level of connectedness. in the time of the First Holy Temple, the Jewish nation did not fulfill its obligation to its Beloved. In a state of spiritual slumber, she drifted from the lofty level that kept her connected to HaShem. Elohim sent His prophets to rebuke and encourage the nation to return, to repent of her ways and return to her Beloved.”
“The verses describe Elohim’s Divine disappointment in His children. If no relationship ever existed, there is little expectation; when there was a strong connection, when the People of Israel were favored as HaShem’s beloved people and then strayed, the relationship is fraught with frustration. The endearing terms that HaShem uses in calling out to His beloved i.e. My sister, My beloved, My dove, My perfect one, display the attempts He has made to bring His people close to Him. Yet a relationship must have reciprocity to continue, and surely to flourish.”
The Judaica Press Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse breaks it down and says “I sleep…When I was confident and tranquil in the First Temple. I despaired of worshipping the Holy One, blessed be He, as one who sleeps and slumbers. But my heart is awake…This is the Holy One blessed be He. But my heart is awake…The Holy One, blessed be He, Who is per Psalms 73:26 ‘The Rock of my (Israel’s) heart and my portion,’ is awake to guard me and to benefit me. Hark! My beloved is knocking…He causes His Shechinah to rest upon the prophets and He admonishes through them by sending them. Open for me…Do not cause Me to withdraw from you. For my head is full of dew…A term referring to a man who comes at night, knocking on the door of his beloved. He says thus, ‘Because of love for you, I have come at night at the time of dew or rain’, and the allegory is that, ‘My head is full of dew because I am full of good will and satisfaction with Abraham your father, whose deeds pleased Me like dew, and behold, I come to you, loaded with blessings and the payment of reward for good deeds if you return to Me!'”
So, again we see HaShem reaches out to His bride, Israel, and knocks on the door hoping Israel responds and opens up for Him! My point is, again we see the astounding kindness, compassion, mercy and forgiveness of HaShem! How much more disgraceful, disrespectful and offensive is it when people not only reject HaShem but to actually refer to what He has given i.e. His Torah, His Feasts, His Shabbat, etc, as something akin to trash, the source of death, destruction, deception, bondage, sin, and the power of Satan himself as Christendom in its doctrine has and continues to teach today! Moving on.
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah expounds on this verse even more…be ready to be astounded again at the lengths HaShem goes to redeem His people!!
Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.2 says “I am asleep from anticipating the Messianic End, but my heart is awake for anticipating the Redemption.” The notes associated with this says “The Messianic End, the set time by which the Messianic Redemption will take place no matter what. Since I have been in exile for so long, I have sometimes despaired of the End ever arriving. For under certain circumstances, Elohim will redeem Israel even before the set time for the End.”
Here is the good stuff!!
“What does it mean when He tells Israel to ‘Open up’ for Him? The Holy One, blessed is He, is saying to the people of Israel, ‘Open up for Me an opening of repentance, LIKE THE SIZE OF A POINT OF A NEEDLE, and I, in return, will open for you openings that are so wide that wagons and carriages can enter them!‘” WOW…consider that! If we decide to make teshuvah i.e. repent, just a tiny bit, like the size of a needle, HaShem will then open that point of a needle to the size, figuratively speaking, that wagons and carriage can enter them! Meaning, if we just have a needle point of teshuvah, HaShem is that ready to move to help us!
Its important to know, this concept is NOT confined to the time of the Exodus, but “to a general, timeless message from HaShem to Israel!”
From the ‘Insights Section’ in the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah titled ‘The Prick of Needle’ it says “Where does one make this needle size opening? In the heart. Any contemplation of repentance, and good deed, any moment of triumph over one’s evil inclination forms an opening in the iron partition that separates one’s heart from his Father in Heaven. And then a wave of Divine assistance will come down through that hole, sweeping a person out of his lowly, materialistic state, and raising him up to a far higher spiritual level. There is, however, one condition. The opening one forms must truly be like that bored by a needle i.e. a penetrating hole that passes entirely through the pierced material. In other words, the breakthrough must be durable, reflecting a resolve that is hardy and sincere. If it is not, if one’s resolve is marked by hesitancy and indecision, then, it is more like a hole formed by a finger in a pool of water, which closes up on its own as soon as the finger is removed.”
“Once a person fulfills this condition, he is eligible for the grand dividends spoken of in the Midrash. And marvelous they are, compared to the principle invested i.e. a gateway spacious enough for wagons and chariots, formed from a hole as minute as a needle’s point, an exponential increase not only in size but in quality as well.”
“The Talmud derives this idea from a verse in Leviticus 11:44 which says ‘You (Israel) are to sanctify yourselves and you shall become holy.’ What seems like a redundancy actually teaches us that when a person sanctifies himself even a little, from below in this world, he will be sanctified to a much greater degree from Above, here and in the World to Come.”
“How wonderful is HaShem’s kindness! Not only does He infuse us with a generous dose of spiritual energy in response to each puny step we take in His direction, but He even gives us credit for all the progress that we subsequently make, as if we had accomplished it all on our own.”
The point I want to highlight again, is HaShem is longsuffering, wishing NONE would perish, but that ALL would repent! Just a tiny speck of sincere repentance the size of a needlepoint and He will do the rest!! This also tells us when we begin to answer His call to shrug off the religious systems of the world i.e. Christendom, and to embrace His Torah, we won’t know hardly anything and thus it can look incredibly overwhelming; but we start out small, just like a needlepoint, and He will help us progress and move forward learning more and more as time passes by. You will be surprised at how much you can learn once you begin to sincerely ask Him to help you do so! Again, the great kindness and compassion of our Great King!
So, why does HaShem refer to Israel as His ‘Sister’ or His ‘Bride’? Per the Shir HaShirirm Midrash Rabbah it tells us HaShem refers to Israel as His sister because Israel clung unto HaShem during the exile. He refers to Israel as His bride because Israel was decimated for Him while in exile and quotes Psalms 44:23 which says “Because for Your sake we are killed all day long, we are considered as sheep for slaughter.” In the Messianic future HaShem will refer to Israel as His sister because Israel will be fully attached to Him. He will refer to Israel as His bride because of Lamentations 2:15 which says “All who pass along the way clap hands at you; they whistle and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, ‘Could this be the city that was called Perfect in Beauty, Joy of All the Earth?'” The nations here realize how incredibly destructive for the world it was for them to destroy the Temple and Jerusalem and had they known just how destructive it was going to be, they wouldn’t have done so.
Further, why does He refer to Israel as His dove? Again the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah says “All doves have markings that distinguish them from each other. Similarly, the Israelites became distinguishable from others through the mitzvos (Commandments/Torah) that are unique to them.” Uh oh, Replacement Theology Christendom once again has a real problem on its hands, because once more we see it is HaShem’s Torah which distinguishes His people from the world!! If you toss out His Torah, what sets and distinguishes you from the world? Nothing!
The Midrash goes on and says “Those who received commandments at Marah, for it was there that the Israelites were given commandments and became DISTINGUISHABLE through the mitzvos and righteous acts and good deeds that they were commanded to do.” Marah was a station in the Wilderness HaShem led Israel through when He delivered them from Egypt. The name ‘Marah’ in Hebrew means ‘Bitter‘.
What commandments were given to Israel at Marah which sets Israel apart from the nations of the world? Shemot (Exodus) 15:25-26 says “He (Moshe) cried out to HaShem, and HaShem showed him a tree; he (Moshe) threw it into the water (Bitter waters/Marah) and the water became sweet. There He established for the nation a decree and an ordinance, and there He tested it. He said, ‘If you hearken diligently to the voice of HaShem, your Elohim, and do what is just in His eyes, give ear to His commandments and observe all His decrees, then any of the diseases that I placed on Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HaShem, your Healer.”
The Chumash commentary on these two verses says “At Marah, HaShem commanded Israel to observe ten mitzvos even before the Torah was given. These include the seven mitzvos given to the sons of Noah, the mitzvah to establish courts i.e. judgment, the mitzvah to observe Shabbat, and the mitzvah to honor one’s parents!” So, again we see at the very least it is Shabbat, His Shabbat, which distinguishes His people from the world!
Tractate Sanhedrin 56b from the Talmud Bavli says “The Jewish people were commanded to observe ten mitzvot when they were in Marah: Seven that the descendants of Noah accepted upon themselves, and HaShem added to them the following mitzvos: Judgment, and Shabbat, and honoring one’s father and mother.” This was all BEFORE He gave the complete Torah at Sinai! Again this has gigantic implications for Replacement Theology because it shows once more His Shabbat IS for everyone and is very much a means to be distinguished unto Him!
What does HaShem mean when He says “My Head is filled with dew, My locks with the droplets of the night?” Per the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah it says “This verse refers to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the words for my head is filled with dew reflecting what is written concerning that event, even the heavens trickled quoting Judges 5:4, which says ‘HaShem, as You left Seir, as You strode from the field of Edom, the earth quaked and even the heavens trickled; even the clouds dripped water.'” This is the event when before HaShem offered the Torah to Israel, He first offered it to the offspring of Esau i.e. Edom, on Mount Seir. They refused it and then He went to Israel who accepted it. The commentary for Judges 5:4 expounds on this and says “Poetically, Deborah depicts the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, according to the tradition of the Sages, that before giving the Torah to Israel, HaShem offered it to the offspring of Esau, who dwelt on Mount Seir and the field of Edom. Only after they refused it out of hand did HaShem advance in splendor to Mount Sinai for His rendezvous with Israel. Since the Torah is so awesome that heaven and earth quaked when it was given, as it were, it is understandable that Israel should suffer for forsaking it, and be helped when it repented.” HaShem is describing the sky and clouds at Mount Sinai using the metaphor of His head and His hair.
Judaica Press Shir HaShirim commentary further says “For My head is full of dew, is a term referring to a man who comes at night, knocking on the door of his beloved. He says thus, ‘Because of love for you, I have come at night at the time of dew or rain,’ and the allegory is that, ‘My head is full of dew because I am full of good will and satisfaction with Abraham your father, whose deeds pleased Me like dew, and behold, I come to you, loaded with blessings and the payment of reward for good deeds if you return to Me.'”
Can you see how much HaShem loves His bride Israel and to what extent He goes to bring her back to Him? And remember this Op is covering just pieces of what is recorded in all the source materials for verses one and two of chapter five of Shir HaShirim!! The next Op will continue chapter five!
Much to consider!
- Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah by Artscroll
- Shir HaShirirm by Judaica Press
- The Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
- The Illuminated Shir HaShririm by Artscroll
- Shir HaShirim by Artscroll
- Tractate Sanhedrin Talmud Bavli Steinsaltz
- The Temple its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now by Joshua Berman
- Measure the Pattern Volume 1 by Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries