“I rejoice over Your Word, like one who finds abundant spoils. I hate falsehood and I abhor it, but Your Torah I love.” Psalms 119:162-163
HaShem, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel, is awesome, wonderous, beyond our limited comprehension and yet He desires to have a deep, personal relationship with each individual person. Sadly, we all succumb to our Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) and embrace our sinful, fleshly desires, rather than pursue developing a deep, personal relationship with Him. But, we are a work in progress! This is precisely why Shir HaShirim is my most favorite book of the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament), because this book shows us just how much HaShem desires and pursues His Bride i.e. Israel!
This book also reveals what exactly Yeshua did when He completed His mission as HaShem’s Agent on Pesach (Passover). Was it to end the Torah, change the Feasts of HaShem, change Shabbat, render the Temple obsolete and replace Israel with Christendom and the Church? No, absolutely not. Only the False Messiah, whose nature and main characteristic is all about change, claims to have done all that under his doctrine i.e. Replacement Theology.
This all said, this Op will be a direct continuation from the previous Op which discussed Shir HaShirim chapter five, verses 1-2. Like that Op, there is an enormous amount of information we will be covering and I hope I can capture the remaining verses of chapter five in this one Op.
Keep all this in mind as we continue to explore chapter five of Shir HaShirim. 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 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
Shir HaShirim 5:3 says: “I have doffed my robe of devotion; how can I don it? I have washed my feet that trod Your path; how can I soil them?” This is Israel responding to HaShem’s knocking on the door as shown in verses one and two.
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary says “Continuing the metaphor, Israel reacts to HaShem’s knocking on the door with the following rationale: I had already taken off my robe, how shall I don it? I had already washed my feet, how can I soil them? Allegorically, ‘I had already accustomed myself to the service of other gods and I had even accepted their ways as proper, how can I possibly return to HaShem?’ The verse in the literal sense reflects of thoughts of a straying wife who wished not to open the door for her husband.”
“Hearing the above reply, the Sovereign of the Universe replied to them through the prophets: ‘And as for Me, I have already removed My Presence from your midst. How then can I return, seeing that you have done these evil things? And having cleansed My feet of your uncleanness, how can I soil them in your midst through your wicked actions?'”
“Metzudas David explains this as one, who, ready to retire, is reluctant to dress again. Allegorically he refers it to the Jews in Babylon who became acculturated in their new country and were not well disposed towards sustaining the hardships of travel back to Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).”
Why this catches my attention is because remember HaShem says there is nothing new under the sun and that which has been is that which shall be per Ecclesiastes 1:9? Babylon is today the United States, no doubt, hands down! And just like then, many Jews who live in the US today are not only eligible but also strongly encouraged to return to the Land of Israel today, but many are too comfortable in Babylon and have ended up embracing idolatry and other gods.
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah has an interesting perspective on this verse. It says “I have taken off my robe, how shall I don it? On the day when the wicked Nebuchadnezzar (Of Babylon) fought against Israel and destroyed the Temple, he stripped off two great garments from them i.e. the priestly vestments, which could no longer be used, and the garments of royalty, which was now defunct.”
“I have washed my feet, how shall I soil them? The phrase I have washed my feet means, I have cleansed myself from the filth of idolatry; I knew that the very dust of that place (Babylon) could lure me to idol worship. Nevertheless, although I had my precious garments taken from me, My Beloved sent for His hand from the opening i.e. He extended His hand to me and brought the Babylonian exile to an end.”
The Shir HaShirim Judaica Press commentary on this verse says “I have already accustomed myself to other ways; I can no longer return to You, as it is stated quoting Jeremiah 44:18 ‘But since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven, etc….’, for these ways were proper in their eyes, and the expression, ‘I have taken off my tunic….I have bathed my feet,’ is the language of an adulterous wife, who does not wish to open the door for her husband. And since Scripture commenced with the language of, ‘I sleep…Hark! My Beloved is knocking,’ it concludes with an expression apropos to an expression of knocking at the door at the time of retiring to sleep at night.”
“Mezudath David explains: ‘And I replied to Him: Behold, I have already taken off my tunic in order to retire. How will I put it on again? That involves much trouble. Moreover, before going to bed, I bathed my feet. How can I soil them by walking on the ground to open the door for you? Allegorically, Israel says: I was too lazy to go up to Jerusalem, because I was already settled in Babylon, and that land pleased me so much that I did not wish to take the trouble to travel to Jerusalem.”
Again, today, the same excuses are made from some, obviously not all of the Jews in Babylon (USA) who refuse to go back to the Land of Israel, even though HaShem has opened the doors for the return! This in turn causes me to want to know exactly what Jeremiah 44:18 is referring too as it relates to Israel in Babylon offering incense to the Queen of Heaven and do we see something similar today in Babylon (USA)?
Jeremiah 7:18 says “The sons gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make pastries in honor of the QUEEN OF HEAVEN and to pour out libations to the gods of others, in order to provoke Me.”
Per the Jewish Encyclopedia on the Queen of Heaven, it is a name for The Sun but is also a name for the god Ishtar/Ashtoreth the god of love and fertility. In Babylon this same god was also known as Marduk/Merodach. It adopted Mithraism into its traditions and required pigs be offered to it. To very quickly and succinctly encapsulate this ‘Queen of Heaven’, its the basis for what became Christendom today. It is highly influential in Rome i.e. the capital of Christendom and has its tentacles per se in Judaism and Islam as well.
My point is, the Babylon of the biblical era was highly involved with the Queen of Heaven and seduced a large portion of exiled Israel living in Babylon. Since there is nothing new under the sun and HaShem reveals the end from the beginning, we must see the same once again in Babylon today i.e. the USA, which prides itself of primarily being a Christian nation i.e. the Queen of Heaven. Something to consider.
Shir HaShirim 5:4 says “In anger at my recalcitrance my Beloved sent forth His Hand from the portal in wrath and my intestines churned with longing for Him.” Israel is again responding to HaShem’s pleading for His bride to repent and her continued rejection of His Hand.
The commentary from the Artscroll Shir HaShirim book says it best “He (HaShem) sent forth His Hand from the portal i.e. the key hole of the door, like a poor man asking for alms. For despite its disloyalty and transgressions, HaShem pleaded with Israel to repent. After which Israel changed its ways i.e. ‘And my intestines stirred for Him’. Intestines be used interchangeably with ‘heart’ as the Biblical term referring to the seat of emotion.”
Jeremiah 31:19 says “Is Ephraim (Israel) My favorite son or a delightful child, that whenever I speak of him I remember him more and more? Therefore, My inner self yearns for him; I will surely take pity on him, the Word of HaShem.” Here HaShem likens Israel to a son and relates to him as a Father yearns for his child. The commentary says “The Sages expound that ‘The Word’ can be rendered ‘My Word’ i.e. the Torah. HaShem says that the Torah Israel studies is reason enough to earn His compassion.”
Lamentations 1:20 says “See, HaShem, for I (Israel) am in distress; my innards churn! My heart is turned over inside me for I rebelled grievously. Outside the sword bereaved, inside was deathlike.” The commentary says “This verse begins with a supplication to HaShem to bear witness to the extent of Zion’s affliction, and it culminates with an appeal for Divine retribution against the enemy. The term ‘my innards’ is used extensively in Scripture to denote emotion so strong that it affects the innermost depths. ‘Inside was deathlike’ i.e. the fear of death, even within the house, was a real as the enemy’s sword causing destruction from without.”
The Judaica Press commentary has an interesting different take on Shir HaShirim 5:4. It states: “When I saw His Hand stretched out from the hole (In the door), I was pained because of Him, and my feelings toward Him were stirred up. The allegorical meaning is that the Omnipresent, blessed be He, sent His Word through Haggai and Zechariah to prophesy that the end had arrived, and through that, they were inspired to rebuild the Temple, as it is written in Ezra 5:1: ‘Now the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, etc. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel…arose and commenced to build the House of God, etc.'”
Shir HaShirim 5:5 says “I arose to open for my Beloved and my hands dripped myrrh of repentant devotion to Torah and HaShem and my fingers flowed with myrrh to remove the traces of my foolish rebuke from the handles of the lock.”
This verse is very interesting and very detailed in explaining. The Artscroll Commentary says “In eager and tender delight she (Israel) rose to unbolt the door as one who perfumes herself to be endearing to her husband. Allegorically, Rashi explains that this refers to Israel’s reaction to HaShem’s wrath as described previously in verse four. Hezekiah, Ahaz’s son, reacted to His father’s punishment by repenting with all his heart and sought HaShem. His entire generation was perfect and there never arose in Israel another generation like it. As the Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 94b relates: ‘Hezekiah planted a sword by the door of the house of study and proclaimed ‘He who will not study the Torah will be pierced with the sword.’ They searched from Dan to Beersheva and found no ignoramus; from Gabath to Antipris, and found no boy or girl, man or woman who was not thoroughly versed in the intricate and difficult laws of purity and impurity. This is the significance of ‘My hands dripped with myrrh’ i.e. in my attempt to make myself pleasing to Him as possible, I prepared myself by figuratively anointing and purifying myself with precious ointment, its effects overflowing, thus removing the foul odor of my past deeds.”
Even II Kings 23:25 discusses the righteousness of King Hezekiah and says “And like him there was no king before him that turned to HaShem with all his heart” because he witnessed the punishment that befell his grandfather Menashe and his father Amon, in fulfillment of ‘He sent forth His hand from the portal of the door and my intestines stirred for him.’
The dripping myrrh referenced here in this verse alludes to the sacrificial incense, which we discussed briefly in the Shir HaShirim 5:1-2 Op.
Isaiah 9-5-6 is extremely important as it relates to Shir HaShirim 5:5 above! These verses should sound very familiar! It says the following: “For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and the dominion will rest on his shoulder; the Wondrous Adviser, Mighty Elohim, Eternal Father, called Hezekiah’s name Sar-Shalom (Prince of Peace); upon the one with the greatness in dominion and boundless peace that will prevail on the throne of David and on his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it through justice and righteousness, from now to eternity. The zealousness of HaShem, Master of Legions, will accomplish this!” These verses not only reference Hezekiah but also apply as prophecies concerning the Messiah!
What I find so interesting is Hezekiah, considered to be one of Israel’s greatest king’s, ruled figuratively with a sword i.e. the sword he put before the Yeshiva (Torah study hall) and everyone who comprised the nation of Israel learned the Torah, specifically the purity commandments and the result was they had a very long era of unprecedented peace and prosperity because of their zeal for HaShem and His Torah!
If Hezekiah is a picture of Messiah Yeshua and verses in Revelation specifically Revelation 2:27 and 19:15 confirm Yeshua will rule with a rod of iron and with a SWORD! And what is the result? The world will know unprecedented peace and prosperity and why? Because the world will be learning and living the Torah of HaShem! Remember He reveals the end from the beginning!! Nothing new under the sun!
Shir HaShirim 5:6 says “I opened to my Beloved, but alas, my Beloved turned His back on my plea and gone. My soul departed at His decree! I sought His closeness but could not find it, I beseeched Him but He would not answer.”
The Artscroll commentary on this verse reveals a lot. It says “I (Israel) responded to my Beloved, but it was too late, He did not annul His decree, as it is said of Hezekiah per Isaiah 39:6-7 ‘Behold, days are coming that all that is in your house shall be carried to Babylon…and of your children which shall descend from you’, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Similarly was Josiah forewarned by Chuldah, the prophetess per II Kings 22:16 ‘I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants’; and in addition per II Kings 23:25 ‘And like him there was no king before him, etc’. Nevertheless, HaShem did not turn back from the fierceness of that great anger with which His anger burned against Judah, on account of all the provocation with which Menashe had provoked Him. And HaShem said, ‘I will remove Judah also out of My sight as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city, Jerusalem, which I have chosen.'”
Will HaShem’s anger last forever? Baruch HaShem no!! Jeremiah 3:12-15 says “Go and proclaim these words towards the North (Israel), and say: ‘Return, O wayward Israel, the Word of HaShem, I will not cast down My anger upon you, for I am the Beneficent One, the Word of HaShem, and I will not bear a grudge forever. But you must recognize your sin, that you have rebelled against HaShem, your Elohim, and that you have spread out your ways to seek strange gods, under every leafy tree, and you did not heed My Voice, the Word of HaShem. Return, O wayward sons, the Word of HaShem, for I shall be your Master. I shall take you, even one from a city and two from a family, and I shall bring you to Zion. I shall appoint shepherds for you according to My Own heart, and they will care for you with knowledge and wisdom.'”
Then HaShem says in Jeremiah 3:18 says “In those days (The End of Days) the House of Judah will walk with the House of Israel (Remember, because of sin/rebellion/idolatry/etc, HaShem turned Israel over to Babylon and scattered into the world. Judah remained with HaShem while Israel i.e. the Ten Tribes, were devoured and scattered. Now does it make more sense when Yeshua says ‘I came ONLY for the lost sheep of the House of Israel’ per Matthew 15:24?), and they will come together from the land of the North to the land that I have given as a possession to your fathers.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash expounds on this and says “I opened for my Beloved, by my Beloved had turned and gone away, this means that despite my opening up for Him, He hid Himself and became full of anger against me, as full as a pregnant woman. My soul departed as He spoke, this means that I became disheartened because of His spoken Word, because the sound of His first spoken Word to me, which I had transgressed by worshiping the Golden Calf, when He said, I am HaShem, your Elohim…You shall have no other gods before Me per Exodus 20:2-3. At that time, I sought Him but did not find Him; I called Him but He did not answer me.” HaShem heard and granted to Israel His forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf only when Moshe interceded on behalf of Israel before HaShem. Sound familiar? Messiah Yeshua intercedes for Israel before HaShem and HaShem grants forgiveness!
HaShem commands in His Torah per Exodus 20:2 “I am HaShem, your Elohim, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” It is the basis for the 25th Commandment from the Torah i.e. ‘The Obligation to Believe in the Existence of HaShem, Blessed Be He.’ The Book of the Mitzvos #25 expounds on this further and says “We are commanded to believe that the world has One G-d Who brought into existence all that exists, and that His Power and His Will have brought about and continue to bring about everything that is, and that was, and that will be, forever and ever i.e. He is the Controller of everything that has transpired, that does transpire, and that will transpire from the beginning to the end of history, and that He took us out of bondage in the land of Egypt and gave us the Torah. We are so commanded, as it is stated, at the beginning of the Giving of the Torah at Sinai per Exodus 20:2: ‘I am HaShem, your Elohim, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.’ Each clause in the verse conveys a principle:
- ‘I am HaShem conveys that there is One Elohim Who brought everything into existence. The Name (Yod Hey Vav Hey) represents that He exists eternally and that He brought everything into existence.’
- ‘Your Elohim conveys that He is All-Powerful, and thus the One Who controls and is the Cause of everything that has occurred and that will occur forever and ever.’
- ‘Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery conveys that it was He Who miraculously delivered us from the Egyptian bondage.’
‘Since this is the introductory verse in the Giving of the Torah, it obviously means that the One Elohim, Who created everything, Who is All-Powerful, and Who delivered us from Egypt, is the One Who gave us the Torah. It is noteworthy that the three principles mentioned are the subjects of the three passages recited in the daily Shema:
- ‘The first passage discusses the Oneness of Elohim’
- ‘The second passage discusses His providential control of natural events, whereby He rewards goodness and punishes evil’
- ‘The third passage discusses the Exodus from Egypt.’
You may be asking why all of this is important for me to cite in this Op? Because, all of us are constantly, every second of every day faced with being pulled away from HaShem and to embrace Avodah Zarah (Idolatry), whether we recognize it or not! That’s why I was so stunned when He began to teach me His definition of what constitutes Avodah Zarah and suddenly realized a great majority of what Christendom teaches and celebrates constitutes Avodah Zarah and as such since I had practiced that garbage for many years of my life had to truly make teshuvah (Repentance).
This leads to explaining what true ‘Emunah’ or ‘Faith’ defined by HaShem looks like per Mitzvah #25 which we briefly discussed above. The commentary from the Book of the Mitzvot expounds further and says “The laws of this mitzvah i.e. To believe in the existence of HaShem, include, for example: The details of what we are obligated to believe regarding HaShem, including that all ability, and all greatness, strength, and splendor, and all glory, and all blessing and all endurance, must be ascribed to Him; and that we lack the faculty and intellect to even grasp in our minds, and certainly to convey with words, His greatness and His benevolence, as, due to the exaltedness of His stature and His glory, He i.e. His Essence, cannot be grasped by any being, we must, with all our mental faculties, recognize Him as precluded from any deficiency, or anything inconsistent with absolute perfection and absolute virtue.”
Hilchot Avodah Zarah 1.3 from the Mishneh Torah “Describes how our forefather Abraham arrived at an awareness of HaShem through carefully studying the universe, which led him to recognize decisively the existence of a Higher Authority Who governs the world. Accordingly, he concluded there is One G-d, Who created and Who controls the entire universe. Thus, Abraham did not merely believe in the existence of G-d; he came to KNOW it. Ideally, one should strive to attain this highest form of emunah (Faith), through contemplation of the world and its events, and even more so through study of the Torah.”
Point is, true emunah (Faith) is NOT just belief, it is knowing and then taking that knowing and putting it into our choices and actions. James 2:18 sums it up and says “But someone will say ‘You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith BY my deeds.'” In other words, if we truly have faith in HaShem, then we will want to strive to walk in His Torah as the means to demonstrate to Whom we have put our faith in! Torah is not about obtaining salvation, Torah is about emunah i.e. demonstrating to Whom we believe, just as James 2:18 says it i.e. “I will show you my faith by my works!”
Shir HaShirim 5:7 says “They found me, the enemy watchmen patrolling the city; they struck me, they bloodied me wreaking Elohim’s revenge on me. They stripped my mantle of holiness from me, the angelic watchmen of the wall.”
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse explains and says “The watchmen who patrol the town found me. The watchmen metaphorically refers to Nebuchadnezzar and his forces who patrolled the City to wreak the vengeance of Elohim i.e. who acted as Elohim’s instrument in implementing His plan of retribution against the Jews. The Destruction of the First Temple was to begin.”
“In Shir HaShirim 3:3 the same word ‘Watchman’ is used and is referring to Moses and Aaron whereas here, in Shir HaShirim 5:7, it is rendered as referring to Nebuchadnezzar and his horde, an apparent incongruity. In truth, however, there is no discrepancy. Any person who carries out the will of Elohim is His ‘watchman’, whether he does it consciously as did Moses and Aaron, or like Nebuchadnezzar, without even knowing that he was Elohim’s instrument. Nebuchadnezzar’s purpose, was to force Israel to repent by making them realize that only in HaShem lay their salvation. Therefore, Scripture calls him ‘My servant Nebuchadnezzar’ per Jeremiah 25:9 and in that sense, he is here called Elohim’s watchman.” So, we again can see the Mastery of HaShem in controlling all of His creation at all times to serve His purposes, just as we briefly discussed in the previous verse!
The Shir HaShirim Midrash 5.4 discussing Shir HaShirirm 5:7 is very interesting and says “The Midrash first interprets this verse as an allusion to the return from Babylonian exile under Cyrus. This is referring to Tattenai, governor of the Trans-Euphrates region and his cohorts, who tried to have the construction of the Temple halted.” Ezra 5:3 says “At that time, Tattenai, governor of the Trans-Euphrates region, approached them, along with Shethar-bozenai and their accomplices. They said this to them, ‘Who issued you a decree to construct this building (The Second Temple) and to lay the foundation for these ramparts?'”
The Midrash goes on and says “They struck me, they wounded me. This refers to the enemies of the Jews at that time, when they wrote a calumny (Defined as – a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something) against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, who sought successfully to have the Persian king Artaxerxes bring a halt to the building of the Temple.”
“The Guards of the Walls stripped my mantle from me. These guards of the walls refer to the walls of Jerusalem. Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said: ‘In the past, a wall in Jerusalem was built of massive stone of eight cubits and stone of ten cubits in length per I Kings 7:10, whereas here the Temple wall was being built of gelal stone per Ezra 5:8, meaning stones that were small enough that they could be rolled from place to place. That is, the Persians sent guards to ensure the walls would not be fortified too greatly.”
I Kings 7:10 says “It was founded upon valuable stones, large stones, stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits.” The note attached to this verse says “The foundation stones of the buildings were larger than those used for the walls. Some of these foundation stones were above ground as well. The ten cubit stones protruded two cubits beyond the eight cubit stones, forming ledges. The senior Kohanim slept on these ledges, since beds were not brought into the Temple, while the younger Kohanim slept on the ground, using their garments as improvised mattresses.” Consider one cubit is equal to 20.67 inches, so ten cubit stones are a little over 16 feet stones…gigantic stones!
So, you can see how quickly this exploration of Shir HaShirim 5:7 connects to the Temple of HaShem! Just to go off on what I call a Rabbi Trail, lets quickly explore where the Kohanim would sleep in the Temple of HaShem!
Per Tractate Middot 1.8 from the Mishnah it says “Beit HaMoked, a dome, and it was a large structure, surrounded by stone slabs, and the elders of the Beit Av would sleep there, and the keys of the Azarah were in their hands, and the young Kohanim, each one was with his cushion on the ground.”
Tractate Tamid 26a from the Talmud Bavli says “It the Hall of the Fire was a large structure, whose interior was encircled with ledges of stone. The elders of the Beis Av scheduled to perform the service the next day would sleep there on the ledges, and the keys of the Courtyard were in their hands. The young Kohanim who were not accorded the privilege of sleeping on the ledges, would sleep each with his cushion on the ground. They would not sleep in their holy vestments; rather, they would remove them and fold them, and place them beneath their heads, and cover themselves with their personal garment.”
Okay, so lets get back on track and quickly discuss Ezra 5:8 which the Midrash references above. Ezra 5:8 says “Let it be known to the king that we have gone to the province of Judah, to the Temple of the great Elohim; it is being built of marble stone (Gelal stone), with wood reinforcing the walls. This work is proceeding rapidly and is succeeding in their hands.” The note associated with this verse says “Midrash Rabbah to Shir HaShirirm 5:7 states that the word ‘Gelal’ alludes to the relatively small size of the building stones of the Second Temple compared to those of the First Temple. The stones were small and could have been rolled with relative ease. This is in contrast with the massive stones, measuring eight and ten cubits in length, which were used in the First Temple.”
“The Midrash now interprets the verse (Shir HaShirirm 5:7) as alluding to the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the incident of the Golden Calf. The watchmen found me, this refers to the Tribe of Levi, of whom it is written, for they observed i.e. watched Your Word. (Not even one member of the Tribe of Levi worshiped the Golden Calf.) Who go about in the city, this aptly describes the Levites, as it is stated that Moses said to them, ‘Every man, put his sword on his thigh and pass back and forth from gate to gate in the camp. They struck me, they wounded me, as it is stated further that Moses said to them, ‘Let every one of you kill his brother, every man his fellow, and every man his near one.’ They stripped my mantle from me, this is referring to the weapon that the Israelites had at that time. The weapon that was given to the people of Israel at Horeb i.e. Mount Sinai, had the Ineffable Name engraved upon it, but once they sinned with the Golden Calf, it was taken away from them. The guardians of the walls, this refers to the Levites, the guardians of the walls of the Torah. The Levites are the archetypical guardians and teachers of Torah, as it is stated concerning them, ‘They observed Your Word and Your Covenant they preserve; they shall teach Your Ordinances to Jacob and Your Torah to Israel’ per Deuteronomy 33:9-10”
Tractate Yoma 26a from the Talmud Bavli explains further and says “Apropos this passage in Deuteronomy, Rava said: ‘You do not find a young Torah scholar who gives halakhic instruction unless he comes from the Tribe of Levi or from the Tribe of Issachar. The assertion with regard to the Tribe of Levi is as it is written ‘They shall teach Jacob Your ordinances and Israel Your Torah per Deuteronomy 33:10.’ And the assertion with regard to the Tribe of Issachar is as it is written: ‘And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do’ per I Chronicles 12:33. The Gemara asks: ‘And say that scholars from the Tribe of Judah also, as it is written: ‘Judah is My lawgiver’ per Psalms 60:9. Rava answers: ‘While it is true that the Tribe of Judah also taught Torah, in my statement I was speaking only of those who can draw conclusions according to the halakha. Although Judah produces great scholars, men capable of translating abstract analysis of the Torah into legal principles come from the two tribes mentioned.'”
Shir HaShirim 5:8 says “I adjure you, O nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem, when you see my Beloved on the future Day of Judgment, won’t you tell Him that I bore all travails for love of Him?”
This single verse alone is incredibly important and very prophetic in nature! An entire Op could be done on this one verse alone as there is so much to unpack! Again, we see where HaShem reveals the end from the beginning and in doing so, completely dismantles and destroys Replacement Theology which is permeating and dominating the world today! We will explore what the underlined term ‘Day of Judgment’ means and how it is a term for a specific Feast of HaShem!
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary encapsulates and begins to explain this verse well. It says “Israel is in Exile. But, faithfully enduring all suffering, they cling to their faith and address their captors: ‘I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem’ i.e. O nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem. According to Rashi, the adjuration in this verse is addressed to Nebuchadnezzar and his armies: ‘who have seen Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah submit themselves to the fiery furnace per Daniel 3:20, and Daniel cast into the lion’s den per Daniel 6:17 in punishment for his praying; and to the generation of Mordechai in the time of Haman.'”
“When you see my Beloved i.e. in the future, on the Day of Judgment, when you will be called upon to bear witness for me, as is written per Isaiah 43:9 ‘Let them bring forth their witness that they may be justified.'” What is HaShem saying here? Let’s examine Isaiah 43:9-10!
Isaiah 43:9-10 says “Were all the nations gathered together and all the regimes assembled, who among them could have declared this and let us hear the early prophecies? Let them bring their witnesses and they will be vindicated; or else let them hear me and then say, ‘It is true’. You are My witnesses, the Word of HaShem, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you will know and believe in Me, and understand that I am He; before Me nothing was created by a god nor will there be after Me!” In a nut shell, on the future Day of Judgment, HaShem will bring forth the nations who will testify they witnessed HaShem’s miracles and protection of Israel while in exile…they will not be able to deny this!
The following excerpt from Tractate Yoma 86a from the Talmud Bavli which expounds on this further says “Abaye said: ‘As it was taught in a baraita (Interpretations not included in the Mishnah) And you shall love the L-rd your G-d’ per Deuteronomy 6:5, which means one do so? One should do in that he should read Torah, and learn Mishnah, and serve Torah scholars, and he should be pleasant with people in his business transactions. What do people say about such a person? Fortunate is his father who taught him Torah, fortunate is his teacher who taught him Torah, woe to the people who have not studied Torah. So and so, who taught him Torah, see how pleasant are his ways, how proper are his deeds. The verse states about him and others like him ‘You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified’ per Isaiah 49:3.'”
Tractate Avodah Zarah 3a from the Talmud Bavli says “The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to the heathens (Nations): ‘Even some of you will testify that Israel observed the entire Torah. Let Nimrod come and testify that Abraham did not consent to worship idols; let Laban come and testify that Jacob could not be suspected of theft; let Potiphar’s wife testify that Joseph was above suspicion of immorality; let Nebuchadnezzar come and testify that Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah did not bow down to an image; let Darius come and testify that Daniel never neglected the prayers; let Bildad, Tzofar, and Eliphaz testify that Israel observed the whole Torah, as it is said: ‘Let them i.e. the nations bring their own witnesses, that they i.e. Israel, may be justified’ per Isaiah 43:9.”
Another interpretation of Shir HaShirim 5:8 says “Israel says to the nations ‘When you recognize HaShem’s greatness, testify that I realize that the cause of my suffering is not due to inability on His part to rescue me, or because He has decided to cast me off, never to return to me. I am fully aware that my travail is because I am sick by virtue of His love for me. His chastisements are chastisements of love, designed to awaken me and bring me to repentance. As it is written per Proverbs 3:11-12 ‘Do not despise the chastening of HaShem nor be weary of His correction; for HaShem reproves him who He loves’; and in the Torah per Deuteronomy 8:5 ‘As a man chastens his son, so HaShem your Elohim chastens you.'” Again we see the love HaShem has for His people!
In order to further explore the Day of Judgment, lets first establish via Tractate Rosh HaShanah from the Mishnah how HaShem has set up FOUR periods during a year in which the world is judged!
Rosh HaShanah 1.2 says “The world is judged at four periods: On Pesach for the produce; on Shavuot for the fruits of the tree; on Rosh HaShanah all the inhabitants of the world pass before Him like flocks of sheep, as it is written, ‘He that fashioned the hearts of them all, Who understands all their doings’ per Psalms 33:15; and on THE Festival (Sukkot) they are judged for water.”
Psalms 33:15 says “He Who fashions their hearts all together, Who comprehends all their deeds.” The commentary on this says “Because He alone fashioned their hearts, only He can truly understand them. Although He made them (Humanity) all together, each (Person) has a unique personality and must be understood according to his particular characteristics. As the Sages teach, just as no two faces are alike so are no two personalities alike.”
So, we can see Rosh HaShanhah IS the Day of Judgment in Scripture! This day has many different names attached to it throughout Scripture which we will see some of them shortly.
Leviticus 23:24 says “Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month (Tishri) on the first of the month, there shall be a rest day for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation.'”
There are at least 85 different titles for this day in Scripture!! Per the book ‘Rosh HaShanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come’ by Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries, he compiled a list of these titles in his book. Here are just a few (Used with his permission):
- The Judgment of the Great Day per Jude 6
- The Great Day of His Wrath per Revelation 6:17
- The Day of Wrath per Job 21:30
- The Day of Battle and War per Job 38:23
- The Day of Your Power per Psalm 110:3
- The Day of Adversity per Proverbs 11:4/24:10
- The Day of Messiah per Philippians 1:10
- The Day of Jacob’s Trouble per Jeremiah 30:7
- The Day of Trouble per Nahum 1:7/Psalm 50:15/Habakkuk 3:16
- The Day of Punishment per Hosea 9:7
- The Day of Battle per Amos 1:14
- The Day of Our King per Hosea 7:5
I hope you can see once more, in order to grasp what HaShem is saying here in Shir HaShirim, we MUST know His Torah, His Feasts and His Temple!! Not having an understanding of these will lead to making very wrong interpretations and in doing so you end up with Replacement Theology Christendom as an example! I digress.
Shir HaShirim 5:9 says (Nations speak to Israel) “With what does your Beloved G-d excel all others that you suffer for His Name, O fairest of nations? With what does your Beloved G-d excel all others that you dare to adjure us?”
The nations of the world are recorded here taunting and questioning Israel. The commentary from the Artscroll Shir HaShirim says “This was the response of the heathens to the Jews: ‘In what way is your G-d so superior to other gods that you are ready to be burned and tortured for Him? You are handsome, you are mighty. Come intermingle with us.'”
“Are you truly the fairest among nations by virtue of clinging to this G-d of yours? Surely not! Just look at yourselves; the reverse is true! Therefore, why do you insist upon the superiority of your G-d over all others, and so adjure us that we should not dare disturb your love and cause Him to love us? Never! It would be better for all if you forgot Him. Join us in serving our god and let us all prosper together.”
The Judaica Press Shir HaShirim commentary says “This is what the nations were asking Israel, ‘What is it about your G-d more than all the other gods, that you allow yourselves to be burned and hanged because of Him?'”
Basically the nations are taunting Israel to give up HaShem, reject His Torah and join them and worship their gods. In a round about way this is precisely what Christendom has taught throughout the centuries and continues to teach and taunts Israel today with the exact same message: “Give up your Torah in exchange for our Jesus and then we will have peace and prosperity!” I read these exact sentiments constantly today from pastors and others within Christendom taunting and threatening Israel into forsaking HaShem and His Torah in exchange for what they call ‘salvation’ via ‘Jesus’. It is insidious and so very, very wrong but there is nothing new under the sun!
The enemy of HaShem and Israel has several goals but one of the main goals is to separate Israel not only from HaShem but more importantly from His Torah! He knows, to get Israel to forsake the Torah means Israel is now defeated and can be destroyed! The Midrash Rabbah Vayishlach Insights section 77.3 is very enlightening as it explains the significance of the struggle between Ya’akov (Jacob/Israel) and the angel in Genesis 32:26 as it pertains to this topic:
“Man, particularly Israel, is locked in constant war with his evil inclination. HaShem says ‘I created the evil inclination, I have create the Torah as its antidote’ per Kiddushin 30b from the Talmud Bavli. The Sages teach that Israel’s most far reaching sin is neglect of Torah study. Why was the land destroyed, left desolate as a desert without passerby? HaShem said, ‘Because they forsook My Torah’ per Jeremiah 9:11-12.”
“In another verse in Jeremiah 16:11, HaShem says ‘But Me they forsook; and My Torah they did not observe’, which the Midrash interprets to mean ‘O that they would have forsaken Me but observed the study of My Torah, for the light in it would have brought them back.’ Such is the spiritual strength inherent in the study of Torah, that it can transform sinners. Thus, Torah represents the Jew’s capacity to fight the war against evil. DESTROY THE JEW’S CAPACITY TO STUDY TORAH, AND EVIL HAS WON!”
Consider what HaShem says about His Torah in Jeremiah 23:29 “Behold, My Word (Torah) is like fire, the Word of HaShem, and like a hammer that shatters a rock.” This is precisely why the nations of the world hate and despise Israel and the Torah so much, because the Torah of HaShem is the only truth there is and as such the nations are not only exposed but their false gods are revealed and they are enraged because of it. If the nations cannot defeat Israel militarily then they adopt a more insidious tactic i.e. love and acceptance! They get Israel to assimilate and in doing so Israel gives up the Torah and embraces the various religious systems to include Christendom and are destroyed. Thank HaShem He promises He won’t let the nations succeed!
Shir HaShirim 5:10 says (Israel replies to the nations taunts) “My Beloved is pure and purifies sin, and ruddy with vengeance to punish betrayers, surrounded with myriad angels.”
The Artscroll Five Megillos Shir HaShirim commentary expounds on this and says “Israel responds to the nations. She will describe her Beloved as a bride would describe her fiancé. Then the nations will understand her persistent devotion to Him.”
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary expounds further on this verse and says “My Beloved is clear skinned and ruddy. Rashi translates the word ‘White’ to ‘Clear’. He is anxious to whiten my deeds even when He sits in judgment as He is depicted in Daniel 7:9 ‘His garment was white as snow and the hair on His hand was like pure wool.’ And ruddy i.e. red in readiness to exact retribution from His enemies as Isaiah 63:2 declared in surprise upon seeing a vision of HaShem depicted as a solitary and majestic figure in blood red vesture approaching victoriously from the direction of Edom, after having wreaked vengeance on Israel’s enemies: ‘Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the wine vat?’ White signifying purity and atonement and red signifying sin and punishment seemingly contradictory attributes, both of which are embodied within Him simultaneously.”
“White signifies purity, while red signifies sin and punishment, apparently contradictory terms. HaShem is white in the sense that He longs to forgive my sins, and He is red in the sense that He will punish my enemies. HaShem is immeasurably more exalted than the countless angels that surround Him, as it were. He is like a banner that towers above the army.”
In my opinion the key point to get from this is Israel responds to the nations in a way which she will describe her relationship with HaShem as a bride describes her Fiancé! Why is this significant to me? Because it once again shows HaShem never tossed His bride overboard per se and brought in a new one called ‘The Church!’ Its just impossible! I digress!
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah describes the meaning of ‘White’ and ‘Ruddy’. It says “The nations of the world are saying here to Israel, ‘What is your Beloved more than another beloved?’ i.e. ‘What is your G-d more than other gods? What is your Patron more than other patrons?’ And Israel replies to them: ‘He was white i.e. forbearing toward me in the land of Egypt, but ruddy i.e. harsh, toward the people of Egypt. He was white toward me in the land of Egypt, as it is stated, ‘I shall go through the land of Egypt on this night, and I shall strike every firstborn in the land of Egypt…And the blood shall be a sign for you upon the houses where you are; when I shall see the blood I shall pass over you; there shall not be a plague of destruction upon you when I strike the land of Egypt’ per Exodus 12:12-13.”
HaShem is STILL faithful to His Bride i.e. Israel to this day today! He WILL rescue her at the appointed time!
Shir HaShirim 5:11 says “His opening words were finest gold, His crowns hold mounds of statues written in raven black flame.”
This verse is so descriptive of HaShem, His majesty and His Torah! The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary says “His head is like finest gold. Interpreting ‘His Head’ to mean ‘His beginning’ i.e. the beginning of His Words i.e. the Ten Commandments, HaShem’s direct communication to the entire people shone forth like the finest gold, as suggested by the verse per Psalms 119:130 ‘The preamble of Your words give light.’ By proclaiming the first commandment i.e. ‘I am HaShem your Elohim’, He established His sovereignty over them, and then decreed His ordinances upon them.”
“As the Midrash esoterically comments: ‘The Scroll which HaShem gave to Moses was of white fire and its writing was of black fire. It was itself fire and it was hewn out of fire; completely formed of fire and given in fire, as it says in Deuteronomy 33:2 ‘From His right Hand He presented the fiery Torah to them.'”
Remember, HaShem says He Himself is a consuming fire per Deuteronomy 4:24 “For HaShem, your Elohim, He is a consuming fire.” Again showing the Torah comes from HaShem Himself and if He is eternal, unchanging and His Word is firmly established, then how could His Torah be something terrible, burdensome and ultimately tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage as Christendom so often teaches in its Replacement Theology doctrine?
Tractate Sotah 8.3 from the Talmud Yerushalmi says “The Torah that the Holy One, Blessed is He, gave to Moses, its parchment was white fire, and its ink was black fire. It, the Torah, is fire and it is mixed with fire, hewn from fire, given from fire, as it is written ‘From His right hand He presented the fire of the Torah to them.’ This teaching is not intended literally. It is a metaphor that expresses the profoundly spiritual nature of the Torah. Fire is used to convey spirituality, because it lacks substance, yet possesses great energy and brilliance. The wisdom of the Torah emanates from HaShem, about Whom it is written ‘For HaShem, your Elohim, He is a consuming fire. This, of course, is meant metaphorically and not literally. Alternatively, the Gemara (Commentary of the Talmud), refers to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which was executed amidst tremendous fire as described in Deuteronomy 4:11-12.”
The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim says “His head, this is an allusion to the Torah, as it is stated, ‘HaShem made me as the beginning of His way’ per Proverbs 8:22.” Let’s quickly examine Proverbs 8:22 closer and see what HaShem is saying!
Proverbs 8:22 says “HaShem made me (Torah) at the beginning of His way, before His deeds of yore.” The commentary is very interesting and says “The speaker of these verses is Wisdom/Torah, describing how it preceded all stages of Creation. Torah is thus the essence of all that is created; the manifold facets of the universe are but manifestations of the Torah’s wisdom. To assume the commandments are nothing more than Heavenly guidelines necessary to direct and maintain civilization is a great error. The commandments of the Torah were not promulgated to confirm the needs of society; rather, it is society that was created to conform to the dictates of Torah. The commandment to honor one’s parents, for example, is not imposed upon the child because this is his duty to his elders. Rather, HaShem ordained that children be born of parents so that they may perform the commandment of Honor your father and mother per Exodus 20:12. It follows, then, that the continuity of Creation is contingent upon man’s adherence to the Torah.” In other words, when man tosses Torah aside, there is chaos as Creation reacts. When man guards and keeps His Torah, there is blessing and shalom in Creation!
It further says “HaShem created the Torah before He created the world. Torah served as a blueprint for the entire creation. The Sages teach ‘The Holy One, Blessed is He, looked into the Torah and created the world per Bereishis Rabbah 1:2. The Torah begins with the words ‘Bereishis Bara’, which may be interpreted to mean, ‘With the Torah, which is called Beginning, Elohim created heaven and earth’. Every detail of Creation followed a master plan designed and executed for one purpose, the Torah.”
Tractate Pesachim 54a from the Talmu Bavli says “Seven phenomena were created before the world was created, and they are: Torah, and repentance, and the Garden of Eden, and Gehenna, and the Throne of Glory, and the Temple, and the name of Messiah. This statement means that HaShem created these phenomena before He created the world, as without them the world either could not exist or its existence would not be justified. Torah, repentance, the Throne of Glory, and the Temple all enable man to know HaShem and serve Him, which is the ultimate purpose of Creation. The Garden of Eden and Gehenna represent the concept of reward and punishment. The name of the Messiah relates to hope and anticipation of the ultimate redemption. As these foundational ideas were essential to the world. It was necessary for them to precede Creation.”
The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim 5.7 says “Finest gold, these are the words of Torah, which are comparable to gold, as it is stated, ‘They are more valuable than gold, than even much fine gold’ per Psalm 19:11. His locks are curly. This is referring to the scoring of the Torah scroll i.e. the ruled lines that are scored into the parchment, which guide the writing of the lines of text, ensuring that they are straight, neat, and easy to read. Black as the raven. These words are referring to the letters of the Torah scroll, which are written in black ink. Even those words in the Torah that you see as thorns i.e. as trivial and insignificant as thorns, are actually full of heaps upon heaps of Torah laws. With whom are they properly established? Black as raven i.e. they are established with one who begins at dawn and stays through the late evening continuously involved with them.”
The Midrash lists three objectives of Torah study:
- To fulfill the obligation of constant Torah study i.e. to devote as much time as possible to Torah study. This obligation does not require that one become proficient in all of Torah, or even that one remember the Torah he learns. As long as one engages in Torah study, even if he limits his study to a single area, and even if he learns and forgets, he discharges this obligation.
- To accumulate stores of Torah knowledge. This is the obligation of the verse from Deuteronomy 6:7 ‘And you shall teach them diligently’, which requires that one become thoroughly knowledgeable in the entire Torah.
- To master the evil inclination. The Gemara states per Tractate Kiddushin 30b ‘I have created the evil inclination, and I have created the Torah as its antidote. If you involve yourself in Torah, you will not be delivered into the hand of the evil inclination.
Can you see the greatness of His Torah and why Israel i.e. the Bride, is telling the nations why she is devoted to her Fiancé i.e. HaShem? How can His Torah be something terrible, evil, Satanic in origin as I have literally heard so many Christians over the years state in their absolute ignorance and their efforts to regurgitate the Torah hating propaganda originating from the pulpits?
If all of Creation is dependent upon the Torah to not only exist but to function, then if the Torah was rendered obsolete and tossed aside, then all of Creation would cease to exist. My point is to once again show how utterly absurd and so destructive Christendom and its Replacement Theology doctrine is!
Shir HaShirim 5:12 says “Like the gaze of doves toward their cotes, His eyes are fixed on the waters of Torah, bathing all things in clarity, established upon creation’s fullness.”
This single verse here is incredibly revealing and amazing as we will soon see as we explore this verse in-depth! But first, let me quickly add this tidbit from a great book I have entitled ‘My Father, my King’ which addresses the issue of a person being inundated with their past mistakes to discourage them from learning the Torah and drawing near towards HaShem. On page 140-141 of this book it states the following regarding mistakes:
“Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you – Mistakes are great teachers. Let your mistakes teach you how to avoid other mistakes. Let your mistakes teach you humility. They show you that you are fallible. Let your mistakes teach you to have compassion for others when they err. Let your mistakes show you what you can teach others so they avoid making similar mistakes. But never allow a mistake to diminish your awareness that you are My valuable child. Never let a mistake prevent you from learning, doing, and accomplishing. Never let a mistake cause you to give up out of discouragement. Have the strength to keep going if what you are doing is worthwhile. Mistakes test you. They test your honesty. Having the courage to admit a mistake raises you in My eyes. So, never be afraid to say, ‘I was wrong. I made a mistake.’ Let My view of your courage give you the courage to acknowledge and learn from mistakes.” Keep this in mind as we proceed.
The commentary on Shir HaShirim 5:12 begins with the following: “His eyes alludes to HaShem’s governing of the Universe as in II Chronicles 16:9 it states ‘For the eyes of HaShem run to and fro throughout the earth’; and Psalms 33:18 says ‘HaShem’s eyes are upon those that fear Him.’ Just as doves gaze toward their cotes, per Isaiah 60:8 which says ‘Who are these who fly like a cloud, like pigeons to their cote-windows’.”
The significance of this verse in Isaiah 60:8 is this is a prophetic picture of when at the Final Redemption, the pigeons (In this case a picture of exiled and scattered Israel) who is described as “A pigeon returning to feed its young does so with greater haste than when leaving to forage for food. So too, Israel will hasten to the original source of its spiritual connection, like a pigeon returning to its brood. In the end, observers will be struck by the swiftness of the return, and will wonder aloud who are these that return so quickly? Just as clouds and birds seem to be unencumbered by the earth’s gravitational pull, so Israel will be freed from the natural pull of human materialistic desires. When the Redemption comes, they will quickly rise to the lofty spiritual grandeur of the Holy City.”
“So, just as doves gaze toward their windows i.e. cotes, so are His eyes directed toward synagogues and study houses from which emanates Torah which is compared to water. Water refers to Torah!” Tractate Bava Kama 17a from the Talmud Bavli says “And the reference to water refers ONLY to the study of Torah, as it is stated with regard to Torah study per Isaiah 55:1 ‘Ho, all who are thirsty, go to water.'”
Isaiah 55:1 says specifically “Ho, everyone who is thirsty go to the water, even one with no money, go, buy and eat; go and buy wine and milk without money and without price.” The commentary on this verse explains “Water is a metaphor for Torah and wisdom, for just as the world cannot exist without water, it cannot exist without the Torah. Furthermore, just as one who is thirsty yearns for water, the wise soul yearns for Torah and wisdom. Torah is compared to water to teach that just as water leaves heights and flows to lower places, Torah wisdom can only remain in one who is humble. A humble person realizes that he has much to learn. He will not let pride prevent him from learning from others or from asking questions that will expose his lack of knowledge.”
“Sitting upon the fullness i.e. upon the fullness of the earth. ‘They are the eyes of HaShem hovering through the whole earth’ per Zechariah 4:10; watching evil and good per Proverbs 15:3. Eyes refers to Torah scholars whom HaShem provides with eyes to enlighten the world as man’s eyes enlighten him. Just as the dove wanders from cote to cote in quest of food, so do scholars go from the study house of one sage to that of another seeking explanations of the Torah.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.10 says “His eyes, these are referring to the Sanhedrin for they are the eyes for the assembly as it is stated ‘If because of the eyes of the assembly’ per Numbers 15:24. The Sanhedrin is referred to as the eyes for the following reason – There are two hundred and forty eight limbs within a man and they all follow after the eyes. Similarly, the people of Israel cannot do anything without their Sanhedrin.”
The Bereshis Midrash Rabbah 54.1 expounds further and says “Solomon said, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him bread; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink per Proverbs 25:21.’ Feed him bread, this means from the bread of Torah, as it is stated ‘Come, eat of my bread’ per Proverbs 9:5, and give him water to drink, this means from the waters of Torah, as it is stated, ‘Ho, everyone that is thirsty come for water’ per Isaiah 55:1”
So, once again we see HaShem’s Torah is eternal and is what the entire universe is sustained by! Further, it reveals the more mankind tells HaShem to take His Torah and take a hike, in the name of Christendom and its Replacement Theology doctrine, the more creation falls into darkness and collapses into utter chaos!
If you want a clear picture of what the Torah is, read Proverbs 8, the entire chapter as the chapter is recorded from the point of view of the Torah itself is speaking! And then ask yourself again if the Torah is something which can be tossed aside as easily as yesterday’s trash as Christendom teaches? Is this really what Paul was teaching in his letters in the Apostolic Writings?
It is summed up with these two verses from Proverbs 8:35-36 “For one who finds me (Torah) has found life and he has elicited favor from HaShem. But one who sins against me despoils his soul, all who hate me (Torah) love death.”
Shir HaShirim 5:13 says “Like a bed of spices are His Words from Sinai, like towers of perfume. His comforting words from the Tabernacle are roses dripping flowing Myrrh.”
Tractate Shabbos 88b from the Talmud Bavli comments upon this verse and says “With every single word that went forth from the Mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, the whole world was filled with spices i.e. fragrance, for His Words spiritually purified and prepared the souls of the people, just as fragrant spices revive and rejuvenate the flesh.” His Words are life to those who take hold of them!
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary says “His comforting words from the Tabernacle are roses dripping flowing Myrrh. His words in the Tent of Meeting, words of conciliation and atonement, teaching Israel the laws of the various offerings which please HaShem and atone for sin.” Remember, the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the Mikdash (Temple) are commanded by HaShem and are the epitome of kedushah in action i.e. holiness/separation to HaShem for His service! The Mikdash is to be The Place where HaShem has chosen to place His Name so He may dwell among His people i.e. Israel and to where the whole world can come and worship Him at His throne on earth!
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.11 says “Like a bed of spices are His Words from Sinai, this refers to the study of Torah. The towers of perfume is an allegory for Torah scholars. Just as a perfumer’s closet contains in it all kinds of spices, so must a Torah scholar be full of knowledge of Scripture, Mishnah, Talmud, Halachos and Aggados.” To learn the Torah of HaShem requires all the tools He gave i.e. the Written and Oral Torah, yes both are directly from HaShem and are not the ‘traditions of men’ to be tossed out as many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic crowds teach, I digress.
Comparing HaShem’s Words to that of a blossoming rose is a common theme throughout His Word, which we have previously discussed in Shir HaShirim chapter two. Needless to say, not only are the Words of HaShem compared to a blossoming rose , but also His bride i.e. Israel is compared to a blossoming rose per Isaiah 35 1-2 which says “The wilderness and the wasteland will rejoice over them (Israel); the desert will be glad and blossom like a rose. It will blossom abundantly and will rejoice, with joyousness and glad song; the glory of Lebanon has been given to her; the majesty of the Carmel and the Sharon; they will see the glory of HaShem, the majesty of our Elohim.”
Additionally, He uses the allegory of a rose per the Judaica Press Shir HaShirim commentary which says “Symbolizing the prophets sent by HaShem to preach His words, which are like roses, whose fragrance wafts over long distances, for they foretell what will take place at the End of Days, and they herald much good and prosperity.”
Shir HaShirim 5:14 says “The Tablets, His handiwork, are desirable above even rolls of fine gold; they are studded with commandments precious as gems, the Torah’s innards are sparkling as ivory intricately overlaid with precious stone.”
Pay close attention to the picture associated with this verse and notice the various colors as well as the stars and the comet! You will see why this is important here shortly.
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary says regarding this verse the following “The Tablets which He gave with His right hand and which were the handiwork of Elohim per Exodus 32:16 which says ‘The Tablets were Elohim’s handiwork, and the script was the script of Elohim, engraved on the Tablets.’ Rods of Elohim are the Ten Commandments, of which it is said per Psalms 19:1 ‘They are more desirable than gold, even than much fine gold.’ Rods i.e. rolls alludes to the Midrash that the Tablets were of a miraculous nature, they were of hard stone, yet they rolled up. The Ten Commandments are like rods of gold studded with precious stones because all 613 Commandments are alluded to in the Ten Commandments.”
“Tarsis (Sapphire) is a precious stone, described by the commentators as blue in color: The Bible names it per Exodus 28:20 as one of the stones set into the fourth row of the Choshen, the Breastplate of Judgment worn by the Kohen HaGadol. According to others, the verse allegorizes the expanse of the heavens i.e. the product of His Hands per Psalms 8:4 ‘The heavens, work of Your fingers’, which glow abright like gold and are studded with jewel like stars.”
So, when we look up into the night sky and see the stars in the heavens fashioned by the Fingers of HaShem, we are literally, in my opinion, see the Torah of HaShem in action. I know I keep pounding this fact home in this Op, but again the question must be asked, is it truly a biblical fact HaShem sent this Jesus figure to earth to release humanity from the bondage of His demonic Torah. Yes, many Christians I have had the displeasure of encountering over the recent years refer to His Torah as being demonically inspired and the epitome of death and destruction citing Paul’s letters as the proof text….makes me see purple because of just how utterly absurd and utterly demonically inspired this Replacement Theology doctrine truly is and just how much damage it has and continues to do…okay, I am off my rant again. Moving on.
Now, Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.12 elaborates and equates a Sapphire with the Torah. It says “The Torah weakens the strength of people (Physically) who study it, even if they are as tough as sapphire. If you say that sapphire is soft, come and see that you are mistaken, for there was once an incident that happened with a certain person who brought a sapphire to Rome to sell it. The purchaser said to him, ‘I will buy it on condition that you consent to test it and prove its genuineness.’ He tested it by trying to break off a small piece from it. He placed it on an anvil and started to beat on it with a hammer. The result was the anvil split and the hammer became flattened, but the sapphire was in its place, and was not lacking a single piece. And thus it is written, inlaid with sapphires.”
“In the millennia since (Israel being given the Torah), many hammers and many anvils (Kingdoms, nations and pagan religious systems) have south to crush the sapphire (Torah) but to no avail. As Israel said to HaShem ‘Master of the Universe, if not for Your Torah that You gave us, the nations would have long ago destroyed us.’ Therefore, the pages of world history are filled with the scattered remains of blunted hammers and fragmented anvils, and the sapphire remains UNCHANGED!” What an amazing description of HaShem and His Torah and no matter how hard the world to include Christendom seeks to destroy and tear apart His Torah, it is they who end up shattered and destroyed while His Torah remains unchanged! Baruch HaShem!!
Shir HaShirim 5:15 says “The Torah’s columns are marble set in contexts of gingold (Finest gold), its contemplation flowers like Lebanon, it is sturdy as cedars.”
The commentary expands on this verse and explains “The columns of the Torah which are interpreted in connection with what follows and what precedes them. What do they resemble? A pillar which has a pedestal below and above. So the sections of the Torah are interpreted by relating them to what follows and what precedes them. Whoever contemplates upon His Word finds flowers and shrubs like a blooming forest i.e. Lebanon being a forest. Such is Torah in that whoever meditates therein discovers limitless wisdom and understanding. He is the choicest, just as cedar is the choicest for building, strength, and height. HaShem so surpasses anything around Him that it is futile to attempt a description of Him by comparison with any other being.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 5.14 expounds “His legs are pillars of marble. This is referring to the world. The world is referred to as pillars of marble because the world was founded i.e. created in six days, as it is written per Exodus 31:17 ‘For in a six day period HaShem made heaven and earth.'”
“Set upon sockets of finest gold. These are referring to the sections of the Torah, which are expounded by virtue of their juxtapositions to sections before them and after them. So that the verse is saying the world, alluded too in the previous phrase, is set upon the sections of the Torah i.e. it is supported by the Torah. And hence what are they similar too? To a pillar, which has a base on the bottom and a capital on top.”
What’s the message being conveyed? HaShem and His Torah are inseparable, to toss His Torah out as being irrelevant now, is to toss HaShem out as well! All of creation depends upon HaShem and His Torah in order to not only be sustained but to also function as everything was created to do so!!
Shir HaShirim 5:16 says “The words of His palate are sweet and He is all delight. This is my Beloved and this is my Friend, O nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem.”
The commentary on this verse says “It is written per Amos 5:4, ‘For thus said Elohim to the House of Israel, seek Me and live.’ Could anything be sweeter than this?! When the wicked man turns away from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live per Ezekiel 33:19 i.e. if he is truly sorry for his misdeed, his iniquities shall be counted as merits. Could anything be sweeter than this?!”
“This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend and it is for all these virtues that I am sick for His love. This is the triumphant conclusion of her (Israel) answer to the cynical question posed to her in verse 9. This sums up the description of My Beloved, O nations of the world! This is why He is more beloved to me than any other, and why I willingly subject myself to every tribulation for the sanctification of His Name.”
Again, we see this is not a religious experience, but it is a personal relationship with HaShem and His Torah is the vehicle i.e. the means to know Him and to know how to serve and live our lives in service unto Him! Salvation is obtained by faith but Torah is the means to put that faith into action! Moving on.
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 6.4 says “Magnificence in the mundane. In distinguishing between Israel and other nations, the Midrash emphasizes the special nature of our mundane activities. It goes without saying that our principles of faith, modes of worship, and festival celebrations are different from theirs. Our everyday pursuits differ as well.”
“Man made religions tend to compartmentalize human life. There are times to nurture the body and times to nurture the soul, places for temporal endeavors and places for spiritual ones. There is little overlap between the two sides of this dichotomy, little communication between heaven and earth.”
“This is not HaShem’s model for Israel. There is but one focus in Jewish life i.e. to serve HaShem and sanctify His Name. So that all aspects of our lives may be permeated with thoughts of our Creator and our obligations toward Him, the Torah prescribes numerous mitzvos that places limits on, and give direction to, virtually every human activity, no matter how far removed they may seem from the dedicated religious institutions of time and space .”
“In a Midrash elsewhere, the Sages expound the verse ‘Light is sown for the righteous’ quoting Psalms 97:11, as a reference to the mitzvos, with whose light HaShem seeded the world to allow His children to earn a share of eternity.”
“What is the meaning of this ‘Seeds of light’ metaphor? In this world, of natural law, camouflaged by the illusion that man controls his surroundings and fate. To help a person remember his place and purpose in this world, to remind him of the hidden Presence of the Divine in each of man’s mundane tasks, HaShem implanted a kernel of sacred light, in the form of a mitzvah specific to that task. As a result, when a person performs a physical action, when he exercises his will in the world, he need only do the accompanying mitzvah to release the light it contains. For a moment, the concealing darkness is dispelled, and in his heart a vision of the Holy One is formed. In that flash of illumination, his path is laid out before him, and he is reminded again of his true purpose in the Creator’s grand scheme of things.”
When we truly grasp our purpose in this life is the service of HaShem as He is the Creator, Sovereign and King of all of His Creation, it can help get the eyes off of ourselves and onto Him, but it will also remind us in the difficult times of Who exactly is in control of everything!! Again, as I have stated in previous Op’s this is why I get so disgusted with Christendom and its Replacement Theology doctrine because it’s stealing so much from many of the people who legitimately want to know HaShem!
I will end this Op here and include one final point which ties in with Shir HaShirim chapter 5……….the following is from the Artscroll published book ‘My Father, my King’ which says “Hear My Voice. Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe saying to you: Hear My Voice in the sound of thunder and sirens. Hear My Voice and let it awaken you. Hear My Voice in the blast of the shofar. Hear My Voice and let it awaken you.”
“Hear My Voice in the voice of Torah scholars, and let their words and deeds teach and inspire you. Hear My Voice in the voice of those crying and let it arouse your compassion. Hear My Voice in the call to prayer, whether its a rooster, an alarm clock, or one of My loyal subjects. Hear My Voice in the sound of the rain, and in the blowing of the wind.”
“Hear My Voice in the mighty waterfalls and hear My Voice in the subtle sound of the most beautiful garden, with its multitude of colorful flowers on a spring day. Hear My Voice in the roar of a lion, and in the song of birds. Hear My Voice in the sound of every infant. Hear My Voice in the laughter of children. Hear My Voice when people rejoice at a wedding, and hear My Voice when people cry at a funeral. Hear My Voice in every call for help. Hear My Voice in every opportunity to do good. Hear My Voice and follow Me.”
Much to consider!!!
Now on to Shir HaShirim Chapter 6!
- Shir HaShirim by Artscroll
- Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah by Artscroll
- The Illuminated Shir HaShirim by Artscroll
- The Steinsaltz Chumash by Koren Publishers
- Talmud Bavli by Artscroll
- Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz and Koren Publishers
- Yerushalmi Talmud by Artscroll
- The Writings by Artscroll
- The Prophets by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition of The Chumash with the teaching of the Talmud by Artscroll
- The Midrash Kehati Edition
- The Stone Edition Tanach by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- My Father, My King by Artscroll