“For one who finds me (Torah) has found life and he has elicited favor from HaShem. But one who sins against me (Torah) despoils his soul; all who hate me (Torah) love death.” Proverbs 8:35-36
We are now entering the end phase of this study of Shir HaShirim! There are eight chapters to this book and this Op is the sixth chapter which has a total of twelve verses to it. I hope and pray thus far you find this book to be amazing and shows the astounding relationship between HaShem and His Bride i.e. Israel, in a much more significant light!
When studying His Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament), there is a very tangible and noticeable difference between being immersed in His Word and immersed in the news/world around us! One is life and the other is death. One produces hope and the other produces despair!
Unfortunately there is much opposition against HaShem and His Torah which in turn causes intense conflict as those who rail against Him fight tooth and nail to silence anyone espousing the greatness of HaShem, His Torah and His Messiah, the real one!
We will see shortly as we begin to get into chapter six of Shir HaShirim, the nations of the world are continuing to rail and taunt Israel to attempt to get Israel to reject HaShem and His Torah and to embrace the nations gods in exchange for promised favor and peace. The irony is while this same concept is alive and well today, even if a person does give up HaShem and His Torah in favor of embracing the gods of the nations to include Christendom and its Replacement Theology doctrine and messiah, that person will still not be accepted. The truth is, there will still not be any favor nor will there be any peace! The Adversary and his minions hate anyone who belongs to HaShem and who embrace His Torah, and will continue to hate them even if that person gives up on HaShem and His Torah! They hate simply because you exist!!
There is a profound statement from the Perkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) which is even more relevant today than ever before, in my opinion. It states “Be diligent in the study of Torah and know what to answer a heretic. Know before Whom you toil; and know that your Employer can be relied upon to pay you the wage of your labor.” In other words, always be ready because the heretics are everywhere and they are on a feeding frenzy to attempt to not just silence those who belong to HaShem but to humiliate, discredit and destroy their reputation for in doing so they will silence the Torah of HaShem. Guard yourself from being influenced by the nonsense they spew and instead be the influencer! Keep this in mind as we proceed.
Keep in mind, Shir HaShirim Chapter four allegorizes the First Temple period in Jerusalem and Shir HaShirim Chapter six allegorizes the Second Temple period in Jerusalem in which Israel was lacking many of the qualities it had during the First Temple period.
Always remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem and His Torah for in remembering these facts, will expose and destroy the doctrine of Replacement Theology:
- 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
Now let’s dive deep into chapter six of Shir HaShirim and further see the state of the relationship between HaShem and His Bride i.e. Israel!
Shir HaShirim 6:1 says “Where has your Beloved gone, O forsaken fairest among women? Where has your Beloved turned to rejoin you? Let us seek Him with you and build His Temple with you.” The nations continue to taunt Israel!
The following excerpt from The Illuminated Shir HaShirim on verse one states: “The last chapters (Shir HaShirim) speak of the yearning for closeness that we feel toward our Beloved, HaShem. We heard Him knocking, reaching out to us, and when we finally wanted to reciprocate His love for us, we went to find Him, and He was gone. In this chapter we are chided by the nations of the world, ‘Where is your Elohim, and why has He forsaken you?’ The nations recognize us as the fairest of women, they see the internal qualities that should make us beloved to HaShem. If so, they ask, ‘Where is your Elohim, and why has He abandoned you to the predatory nations?'”
“The wiles of the nations are such that they even offer to help us look for Him; and in that camaraderie lies perhaps the greatest danger of all. At the time of Ezra and Nechemiah and the gathering of the Jews to rebuilt the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), we were graciously offered the opportunity of the assistance of the nations in its rebuilding.” The nations had zero interest in legitimately helping with rebuilding the Temple, they simply wanted to disrupt and ultimately stop the rebuilding from taking place!
The commentary from the Artscroll Shir HaShirim book says “Where has He gone? Why has He left you alone, widowed? The inference here is, ‘If He is as you say He is, tell us where He has gone. We will help you in your quest and no longer attempt to sway you from Him.’ This query refers to the period of 52 years after the Destruction of the First Temple during which Judah lay desolate; the roads and villages were deserted, not even cattle or birds inhabited the land.'”
“Several commentators, however, detect in these words a sincere appreciation and recognition of Israel’s superior moral and ethical qualities. Although bereft of HaShem, and subject to Exile, beaten, downtrodden, and oppressed, Israel’s sterling qualities shine forth. Even if the appreciation is tinged with envy and disdain, her qualities must be acknowledged.”
“Where has your Beloved turned, that we may seek Him with you? This verse refers to the period when Cyrus, was inspired by HaShem to allow the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. When the Jews commenced construction, the heathens harrassed them and said, ‘Where has your Beloved turned? If He is returning to you, we will help you look for Him?’ In this manner it is recorded in Ezra 4:1-2 ‘Now, when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the exiles were building the Temple to HaShem, Elohim of Israel, they approached Zerubavel and said ‘Let us build with you, for we seek your Elohim as you do…’ But their intention was sinister, designed to disrupt the construction.”
Very interesting! The taunts of the nations directed at Israel sound eerily familiar. Let’s see what the Midrash Shir HaShirim says on this verse: “The idolatrous nations of the world say to the people of Israel tauntingly, ‘Where has your Beloved gone? Has He perhaps gone to Egypt, to the Sea of Reeds, or to Mount Sinai? Where has your Beloved turned, that we may seek Him with you?’ What does the Congregation of Israel answer the idolatrous nations of the world? She answers ‘What business do you have asking about HaShem when you have no portion in Him? As for me, once I became attached to Him, do you think I can ever separate from Him? And once He became attached to me, do you think He can ever separate from me? Certainly not! Wherever He is, He will one day come back to me.'”
To sum up the tauntings of the nations to Israel: “If He had indeed gone to perform miracles for you, we would join you in seeking Him. But since this is not the case, it would appear that HE HAS ABANDONED YOU IN FAVOR OF US. THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING IN OUR WAYS!” This right here is Replacement Theology Christendom which constantly teaches Israel has been tossed aside and replaced by Christendom and its Torah abolishing Jesus, therefore the only way to truly walk with G-d requires to dump everything associated with Israel and embrace Christianity and its lawless doctrine. My point for highlighting this, this taunting of Israel is nothing new and the doctrine of Replacement Theology is the common tactic used to try and separate Israel from HaShem! Truly HaShem reveals the end from the beginning and there is nothing new under the sun! Keep this in mind while proceeding!
The Shir HaShirim Judaica Press commentary goes further and says “The nations taunt and provoke Israel, ‘Where has your Beloved gone? Why has He left you abandoned like a widow? When He returned and caused His Spirit to rest on Cyrus, and sanctioned the rebuilding of the Temple (Second Temple), and they commenced to build, they came and said to them, ‘Where has your Beloved turned? If He is returning to you, we will seek Him with you, as is stated per Ezra 4:1 ‘Now the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a Temple. And they approached Zerubbabel. Let us build with you, for like you we seek your G-d.’ But their intentions was for evil, in order to stop the work.”
Shir HaShirim 6:2 says “My Beloved has descended to His Temple garden, to His Incense Altar, yet still He grazes my brethren remaining in gardens of exile to gather the rose fragrance of their words of Torah.”
Again, we see HaShem likening His Temple to a spectacular garden to include the fragrance of the roses in His garden! He likens the pleasing aroma of roses to His Torah! Additionally, a rose is an allegorical allusion to righteousness!
The commentary from the Artscroll Five Megillos Shir HaShirim says “Since HaShem commanded us to build the Temple, He will surely be with us. The prophets refer to Israel as HaShem’s Own vineyard per Isaiah 5:7 ‘Now the vineyard of HaShem, Master of Legions, is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah are the shoot of His delight; He had hoped for justice, be behold, affliction! For righteousness, but behold, an outcry!’ HaShem descends to the yeshivos (Study halls) and synagogues to enjoy the sweet sound of Torah study. The deeds of the righteous are like the fragrant aroma of spices, in that they set an example and have an influence on others, like an aroma that spreads. Israel says HaShem rests His Shechinah on the exiled Jews wherever they are. He only appears to have abandoned Israel, but in reality, He remains with them, though He is concealed.“
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah expounds further and says “The nations of the world have taunted Israel with their oft repeated jeer, ‘Where has your Beloved gone? Has He not abandoned you?’ Israel’s response in the preceding section of the Midrash is not quite finished. It is our Midrash that completes it. My Beloved has gone down to His garden, to the world at large, to revel, as it were, in His creations. But He does not find the people in the world at large to be as He wished them to be. So, He turns to the beds of spices i.e. the people of Israel, who accepted the Torah and made themselves fitting abodes for the resting of the Divine Presence. But there, too, all is not as it should be. So, He turns to graze in the gardens i.e. to stroll in hallowed precincts of the synagogues and study halls, filled with prayer and Torah study; surely there will be found those whose lives proclaim the glory of Heaven. But even there He finds true Torah life to be lacking among many. And so, in place of grazing in those wonderful gardens, He turns to pick roses, to remove some of the finest and most beautiful flowers i.e. the righteous ones among Israel, whose disappearance will jolt the holy nation from its reverie and rouse it to true repentance. His true desire, however, is not to pluck the roses but to graze among them. Thus, when Israel repents fully and the objective of plucking the roses is achieved, the next verse concludes, ‘I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine, Who grazes among the roses.’ HaShem will no longer pluck the roses but graze among them, in the wondrous floral gardens of this earthly world.”
The next time you happen to see a rose garden or see roses sold at the store, remember what special significance roses have to HaShem and remember the pleasant aroma of a rose is likened to the aroma of His Torah and to His people Israel!
Shir HaShirim 6:3 says “I alone am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine, He Who grazes His sheep in rose like pastures.”
This verse has very special, personal meaning to me as this verse was the favorite verse of my grandmother, and is etched into her grave stone as a testament to who she was in HaShem! May we see each other very soon!
The commentary from the Artscroll Five Megillah concerning this verse says “Israel responds to its enemies insincere offer to help build the Temple. I alone am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. The acrostic of this phrase spells ‘Elul’, the month of repentance and preparation for the Days of Awe. It is a time when Israel proclaims its allegiance to HaShem, even though it has stumbled, and HaShem responds with longing for Israel’s return. Thus, Metzudos writes, ‘Israel declares, just as I have never forsaken Him for another god, so He has never forsaken me.'”
“He Who grazes His sheep in rose like pastures. A dedicated shepherd grazes his flock in pleasant surroundings. HaShem, too, cares for Israel by rewarding it for its Torah study and good deeds, even though He is unseen when His people is in exile.”
It is not a coincidence this verse spells, in Hebrew, the acrostic ‘Elul’. Elul is the name of the sixth month in the Biblical calendar when the year begins with Nissan! It is the last month of the year when the year begins with Tishrei. It is the month of teshuvah (Repentance/returning to HaShem and His Torah). If we are going to draw near to HaShem we must first repent of our sins! On a quick side note there are several calendars in the Torah, with two major ones: From Genesis 1 – Exodus 11 it is the Civil Calendar i.e. Tishrei through Elul. From Exodus 12 – Revelation 22 it is the Religious Calendar i.e. Nissan through Adar. But this is a whole Op in itself to try and explain. I digress.
The commentary from ‘The Book of Our Heritage’ referencing Elul says “Since Elul is the last month of the year and immediately precedes Rosh HaShanah the Day of Judgment for all the world’s inhabitants, it was established as a time for repentance.” It further says “Although true repentance is always accepted, the days of Elul are especially suited for repentance, for during this period Divine mercy is aroused and HaShem’s Hand is outstretched to welcome those who return to Him.”
The following excerpt from the Illuminated Shir HaShirim sums it up best by saying “The statement of I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me is perhaps the most poignant answer to the nations of the world. While they claim that He has forsaken us, we issue a firm declaration of our connection to Him. The Jewish nation, particularly during the auspicious month of Elul, makes the first gesture of return to HaShem. Because I am for my Beloved, I reach out to Him in repentance, therefore He is for me, showing me reciprocal love.”
Shir HaShirim 6:4 says “You are beautiful, My love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, awe inspiring as bannered hosts.”
Now, here in verse four, HaShem responds to Israel. It should be noted, Israel at this time is divided between two kingdoms i.e. the Southern Kingdom which is comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Northern Kingdom which is comprised of the remaining ten tribes. Jerusalem is the capitol of the Southern Kingdom and the city of Tirzah is the capitol of the Northern Kingdom.
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse is very interesting. It says “You are beautiful, My love, as Tirzah. Allegorically interprets Tirzah not as a reference to a place, but as a form of the Hebrew word which means ‘Pleasing, desirable and comments ‘You are beautiful, My love, when you are desirable i.e. when you perform deeds that please Me.’ You are beautiful when you appease My anger as Rashi comments on the verse per Leviticus 26:34 ‘Then the land will appease the wrath of HaShem.’ The Midrash renders in consonance with this: ‘You are beautiful, My beloved, when you desire. When you desire to serve HaShem, you have no need to learn from anyone else. Literally, Tirzah, as explained by the commentators, refers to the ancient Canaanite city of that name per Joshua 12:24 which was captured by Joshua. It was subsequently made a royal city by Jeroboam per I Kings 16:24, and served as the capital of Israel i.e. the Northern Kingdom until the time of Omri who replaced it with Samaria per II Kings 16:23.”
“You are comely as Jerusalem i.e. you are as comely now as was Jerusalem in its prime. Jerusalem the city which was referred to as perfect in beauty per Psalms 50:2 and Lamentations 2:15. As the Targum paraphrases ‘Beautiful is the Second Temple which you have built for Me, as was the First Temple which King Solomon built for Me in Jerusalem.”
“Awe inspiring as bannered hosts. Israel’s dread is upon all the people now, just as it was when their regiments marched in the desert.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah on this verse says “Rabbi Yehudah bar Simone interprets this verse with regard to the sacrificial offerings brought in the Holy Temple. HaShem says to Israel ‘You are beautiful, My love, as Tirzah, these being a reference to the sacrificial offerings, as it states regarding sacrificial offerings, ‘And it shall become accepted for him, to atone for him’ per Leviticus 1:4. Comely as Jerusalem, this being a reference to the consecrated offerings that are eaten throughout Jerusalem.”
It should be noted there are two classes of korbonot (Offerings) i.e. Most Holy Offerings and Less Holy Offerings:
- Most Holy Offerings may be eaten ONLY inside of the Temple Courtyard or they must be completely burned on the Altar.
- Less Holy Offerings are slaughtered inside the Temple but may be eaten anywhere within the walls of Jerusalem.
This is all connected to the concept of Holiness i.e. Kedusha. The best definition of what Kedusha is, is from Joseph 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!”
Kedusha is the key to growing in our relationship with HaShem! We are saved per se by faith but then we put that faith into action per learning and walking in the Torah. Are we capable of being kadosh (Holy) by our own merits and actions? Not at all. It takes HaShem and His Ruach (Spirit) to get is there, but we have to choose to pursue being kadosh. Torah and His Temple are the tools He has given us so we can see, learn and live what kedusha is. Its a life long effort! Baruch HaShem for His unwavering mercy, compassion and grace!
Shir HaShirim 6:5 says “Turn your pleading eyes from Me lest I be tempted to bestow upon you holiness more than you can bear. But with all your flaws, your most common sons are as dearly beloved as the children of Jacob in the goat like procession descending the slopes of Gilead Mountain.”
The Artscroll Five Megillos commentary says “According to Rashi, it is as if a bridegroom tells his adored fiancée that when he sees her eyes he is overwhelmed beyond control with conceit at his good fortune. Alternatively, the Beloved pleads with His bride to turn her gaze back to Him as she had in the past. Allegorically, the eyes are the Sages, whose intense Torah study increases the strength of the Heavenly realm. Although Rashi and Metzudos appear to contradict each other, both are based on the principle HaShem craves the spiritual devotion of Israel.”
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim commentary explains this verse by saying “Allegorically, HaShem addresses the Jews concerning the appurtenances (Accessories) of the Second Temple. Truly you are as beautiful to Me now as you always were. But beware, in this Temple, it will be impossible to return to the Ark, Cherubim and Curtain, those things which excessively endeared you to Me in the First Temple and inspired Me to manifest a special love to you, until you were faithless to Me. That excess of love caused you to take Me for granted and led you to betray Me. It was more love than you could bear.”
“Another interpretation: ‘Turn your pleading eyes from Me’ says HaShem. Endure the exile and don’t anticipate the End because there is an appointed time for every event. Your eyes overwhelm Me and fill Me with compassion, but the Edict has already been proclaimed; until the pre-established time, you must faithfully bear the yoke. Rather, turn away your eyes, and if you repent, I will respond accordingly by redeeming you sooner.”
The reference to the ‘Goat like procession…’ is believed to be a reference to those who have taken a Nazarite Vow per Numbers 19. In taking a Nazarite Vow, the person is prohibited from shaving his hair for at least 30 days as he sets himself apart to HaShem i.e. holiness (Kedusha). “In Exile they (A Nazarite) could not offer a sacrifice at the completion of their period of Nazarite Vow, nevertheless, they were beloved of HaShem.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah commentary on this verse enlightens the meaning in a parable. It says “This can be compared to a king who became angry at the matron i.e. his queen, and expelled her and sent her out of the palace. What did she do? She went and hid her face behind the pillar outside the palace. When the king passed and saw her, the king said, ‘Remove her from before my face, for I cannot bear to see her pain.’ The king in the parable said to remove the matron because her presence aroused his love for her, yet he could not bring her back because of her misconduct.”
In my opinion, this enhances what Yeshua did on Pesach with His death and resurrection. As the Agent of HaShem, Yeshua’s death released HaShem from His Own law which says He could not remarry the bride He divorced for adultery i.e. idolatry. By Yeshua, as His Agent, dying, this released HaShem from this prohibition in His Torah and thus He could restore and renew the marriage contract with His Bride! My point is, once more this completely and utterly destroys Christendom’s Replacement Theology doctrine. HaShem did NOT toss out His Torah nor His Temple and He certainly didn’t toss Israel aside and replaced Israel with a new entity i.e. the Church which is free to make all the same mistakes and more which Israel did, only this time HaShem supposedly blesses this entity and tosses Israel into Hell and blesses the Church for its utter rebellion and idolatry. Its utter madness and insanity and why per Scripture, this doctrine does NOT work! I digress.
It should be noted, HaShem says He gave wayward/rebellious Israel a bill of divorce for her adultery i.e. Idolatry per Jeremiah 3:7-8. At this point, this is where Israel became a divided kingdom i.e. the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. In doing so, the bill of divorce was for the Northern Kingdom i.e. the ten tribes of Israel. The Southern Kingdom comprised of Judah and Benjamin was not considered to have been divorced by HaShem! This backs up precisely what Yeshua said in Matthew 15:24 which He said He came ONLY for the lost sheep of the House of Israel i.e. the Northern Kingdom! Can you again see understanding the Temple and the Torah will absolutely put the pieces of the puzzle of the Apostolic Writings in their proper places? By Christendom tossing out the Torah and the Temple, results in very incorrect understandings and allows for idolatry and Replacement Theology to flourish! Moving on.
The Shir HaShirim commentary from Judaica Press says regarding this verse: “The allegorical meaning is as follows ‘In this Temple (Second Temple), it is impossible to restore to you the Ark, the Ark cover and the Cherubim, which made Me proud in the First Temple, to show you great affection, until you betrayed Me.'”
Shir HaShirim 6:6 says “Your mighty leaders are perfect, as a flock of ewes come up from the washing, all of them unblemished with no miscarriage of action in them.”
The Shir HaShirim Artscroll commentary on this verse expounds further and explains “Your teeth (Literal Hebrew translation) i.e. leaders are entirely good like a flock of ewes (Female sheep). The simile of Israel to the ewe is appropriate because the ewe can be utilized entirely for holy purposes. Its wool is used for the purple thread of tzitzis; its flesh for sacrifice; its horns for the shofar; its leg bone for the flutes; its sinews for harp strings; its skin for the timbrel i.e. the musical instruments in the Temple. The heathen nations (Idolatrous/Pagan worshiping nations) are compared to dogs, for they are entirely unusable for holy purposes.”
As has been previously discussed in earlier chapters of Shir HaShirim, concerning kedusha (Holiness), just as a quick review of being kadosh/kedusha really means, its being set apart to HaShem and reserved to service unto Him by formal, legal restrictions! Its not a quick prayer and then just a thought/concept as were taught in Christendom, its physical and literal and has spiritual applications as well. Shabbat is kadosh i.e. separated unto Him and separate from the rest of the week. Not one person is ever called ‘kadosh’ in His Word, but the people of Israel, collectively are called ‘kadosh’. HaShem, Himself IS the epitome of being kadosh! His Temple is called the ‘House of Kedusha’, because the closer one draws unto HaShem, the higher level of kedusha is required! In fact there is a direct link between Shabbat and His Temple per Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:30 in which HaShem commands ‘Keep My Shabbat AND reverence My Sanctuary!’
For example, consider the following list of ten levels of kedusha referenced from Tractate Kelim 1.6-9 from the Mishnah:
- Eretz Israel (Land of Israel) is more sanctified than any of the other lands. And what is its sanctity? That we may bring from it the omer and the first fruits and the two loaves of bread, which we may not bring from any of the other lands.
- Cities (Within Israel) surrounded by a wall are more sanctified than this, for we send the metzora’im out of them, and they may carry a dead body around within them until they decide. Once out, they not bring it back.
- Within the walls of Jerusalem is more sanctified than these, for we may eat there kodashim kalim (Lesser holy korbonot i.e. offerings) and ma’aser sheni (Tithes of produce).
- Har HaBayit (Temple Mount) is more sanctified for zavim, zavot, niddot and yoldot may not enter there.
- The Cheil (Outside area of the Temple) is more sanctified than this, for Gentiles and one rendered impure by a corpse may not enter there.
- Ezrat Nashim (Court of the Women in the Temple) is more sanctified than this, for a tevul yom may not enter there.
- Ezrat Yisrael (Court of Israel in the Temple) is more sanctified than this for one lacking atonement may not enter there. Ezrat Kohanim (Court of the Priests in the Temple) is more sanctified than this as they may only enter there for laying hands, for slaughtering or heaving.
- Between the Ulam and the Altar is more sanctified than this, for those with a blemish and those with wild hair may not enter there.
- The Heikhal (Sanctuary building in the Temple) is more sanctified than this, for one may not enter there without washing hands and feet.
- The Holy of Holies is more sanctified than these, for only the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) may enter there on Yom Kippur at the time of the service.
Can you see the progression? The closer one draws to the Throne of HaShem i.e. the Most Holy Place in the Temple, the higher level of kedusha is required! Remember, this is ALL given by HaShem to teach us and simply for our benefit!! I recently did an Op on this topic if you wish for more info, refer to the following link: https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2023/03/01/for-your-benefit/
Shir HaShirim 6:7 says “As many as a pomegranate’s seeds are the merits of your unworthiest within your modest veil.”
The Judaica Press Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse expounds and discusses how HaShem is discussing the Temple in Jerusalem and likening it to a pomegranate: “Your temple is like a split pomegranate. The disciples, who reached the level of giving instruction in the Torah, who were near the eyes of the community i.e. the Sanhedrin, as the temple is near the eyes, were like a split pomegranate, which, although not a complete pomegranate, is tasty and beautiful. So were they full of knowledge of the Master in study and in deed.”
The Illuminated Shir HaShirim book highlights this verse and enhances its translation: “Your temple is like a split pomegranate, containing seeds as numerous as mitzvot (Commandments in the Torah), which even the least worthy among you possess, from behind your veil.”
The following excerpt from an article from Chabad concerning the pomegranate:
“Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah. For this reason and others, it is customary to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah. Moreover, the pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning and wisdom.”
From the book ‘Koren Tanach of Israel Samuel ‘ discussing the pomegranate says the following “The pomegranate is counted among the seven species with which the land of Israel is blessed per Deuteronomy 8:8, and the spies brought back a pomegranate to demonstrate the quality of the land’s produce per Numbers 13:23. Pomegranate trees bloom in the beginning of the summer. The beauty of the fruit and its form has served as a source of inspiration for objects and decorations. Elohim commanded that their shapes be affixed to the hem of the High Priest’s garment per Exodus 28:33-34, and four hundred were placed on the top of the pillars in the Temple per I Kings 7:42.”
Again we see how HaShem uses His creation to teach us His principles of life and His Torah!
Shir HaShirim 6:8 says “There are sixty queens, representing the descendants of Abraham, and eighty concubines, the generations of Noah, and countless maidens, like the nations of the world.”
There is a ton of information to unpack in this single verse!! Remember nothing is a coincidence and nothing is in His Word just because! There is a purpose for everything in His Word! Remember, this verse is HaShem addressing His bride Israel!
Let’s first start off exploring the reason behind the numbers 60 and 80 and what they represent:
“There are many peoples in the world, but for Elohim, there is only one, His ‘dove’, the perfect one, Israel!”
The Artscrol Shir HaShirim commentary explains this verse “There are sixty queens i.e. the family heads who descended from Abraham:
- The sixteen of Keturah
- Isaac and his two children
- Ishmael and his twelve family heads
- The twelve sons of Jacob
- The sixteen family heads of Esau
- A total of 60!
“The eighty concubines refers to Noah and his descendants until Abraham. The family heads descending from those leaving the Ark to rebuild and repopulate the earth add up to eighty. And just as queens are superior to concubines, so are Abraham and his descendants more esteemed than all others.”
“And maidens without number. Each of the above having branched out into many families. Allegorically, therefore, render ‘nations without number’. The use of ‘Maidens’ for ‘Nations’ is consistent with its use in Shir HaShirim 1:3 which says ‘Therefore have maidens i.e. nations, loved you.'”
Now we will explore what the meaning of the numbers sixty and eighty represent! I think you will be amazed!!
From the book Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers, it explains the significance of sixty:
“The complete expression into the natural world within the number six extends to 60. Whereas six is completion on an individual scale, 60 is a synonym for the complete k’lal (Assembly of Israel). The number 60 relates to the full expression of the Jewish congregation. The count of Israelites assembled at Sinai, as numbered in the category of men between the ages of 20 and 60, was 600,000 strong, often termed 60 myriads. The symbol of the collective general roots of Israel, the number 60 myriads was the hallmark of HaShem’s Chosen Nation. Significantly, this number is said to constitute the perfect, unified national identity of Israel.”
So, we see the number 60 relates to the entirety of Israel which is comprised of everyone, Jew and Non-Jew, who have CHOSEN to serve HaShem and walk in His Torah as His people!!
Further, this book says “60 Tractates: The expansion of six into 60 is similarly apparent in the acquisition of Torah wisdom in the Oral Torah. The six orders of the Mishnah, that were formulated by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince are subdivided and arranged as a total of 60 tractates. This, too, serves as an extension of the Torah laws that are then to be enacted in the physical realm. The 60 tractates are the completed works of the six orders of the Mishnah.”
“The number 80 is associated with ‘Gevurah’ or ‘Might’. The quality associated with man reaching the age of 80 years of that of power or might. Obviously, the ultimate gevurah is wielded only by HaShem, Who, in rabbinic literature, is described with the phrase, from the Almighty. In other words, HaShem is the One with Absolute Might. He called Creation into existence and can easily overpower any force at will by negating its existence or by other Divine means.”
Creation itself is only in existence because HaShem has desired and willed it! Likewise, the strength we each have in our bodies to include heart beats, breathing, walking, etc, is all because HaShem has willed it and there is nothing any of us can do to thwart His plans!
Shir HaShirim 6:9 says “Unique is she, My constant dove, My perfect one. Unique is she, this nation striving for the truth; pure is she to Jacob who begot her. Nations saw her and acclaimed her; queens and concubines and praised her.”
The Artscroll Shir HaShirim sums it up best by saying “Of all the nations mentioned above, she i.e. Israel, is My chosen one, like a perfect dove, wholehearted with her mate.” Remember, doves have one mate for life! They do not jump around from one mate to another. They pair up with a mate and remain wholeheartedly faithful to that one mate, thus we see in the allegory, HaShem choses Israel i.e. His Bride and remains faithful to her for eternity! Again, destroys the doctrine of Christendom and its Replacement Theology! Moving on.
“As it is written per II Samuel 7:23 ‘And what nation is there on earth unique like Your people Israel?’ My perfect one. The Jews, children of Jacob i.e. the perfect man per Genesis 25:27, the nation which wholeheartedly endures punishment without complaint. One is this nation which has followed Me into the desert without questioning from where their sustenance will come, trusting in Me implicitly. This is the meaning of My perfect one, the one who has accompanied in absolute perfection.”
Israel isn’t perfect in the sense of being free of sin, but Israel is perfect as HaShem defines it, because true Israel shares one lofty motive: to comprehend Torah in its fundamentals and its truth!
Remember the Torah is likened to The Tree of Life in the Garden! The following excerpt from the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah says “Tree of Life is a metaphor for the Torah, i.e. It is a Tree of Life to those who grasp it per Proverbs 3:18. HaShem looked into the Torah and created the world. Since the world was created through the Torah, it follows that the entire world and everything therein is incorporated in the Torah. This includes even intangibles i.e. All wisdom, disciplines, and skills. These too may be found in the Torah.”
The Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah expounds on this verse further and says: “One is My dove, My perfect one. This is a reference to Abraham, as it is stated, Abraham was but one per Ezekiel 33:24. Abraham is called ‘one’ because he was unique before HaShem in His world, in that he was the only one who publicized His Oneness. The dove metaphor is apt for Abraham, because a dove clings to its mate, and Abraham clung faithfully to HaShem. He is likewise called ‘My perfect one’, because he was tested with ten trials and was found perfect.”
“Unique is she, this is a reference to Isaac, who was an only son to his mother, but not to his father, for Abraham had other children. She is pure to the one who begot her. This is a reference to our forefather Jacob, who was known with certainty by she who begot him to be completely righteous. Nations saw her and extolled her. These are a reference to the twelve progenitors of the Tribes, as it is stated, ‘The news was heard in Pharaoh’s palace saying Joseph’s brothers have come and it was pleasing in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants per Genesis 45:16. Queens and concubines. This is a reference to Joseph, as it is stated, Pharaoh said to his servants ‘Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the Spirit of HaShem?’ per Genesis 41:38. With this, Pharaoh was saying, ‘If we travel from one end of the world to the other, we will not find another like him!'”
On a side note, remember there are two terms for Messiah: Messiah ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) and Messiah ben David (Messiah son of David). Messiah son of Joseph i.e. the suffering Messiah, like Joseph who was sold to the Egyptians and suffered enormously. Then there is Messiah ben David, i.e. the Messiah who rules on His throne from Jerusalem. Messiah ben Joseph has already shown up with Messiah Yeshua and His death and resurrection. We are currently waiting for Messiah ben David to arrive and rule from Jerusalem!
Shir HaShirim 6:10 says “Who is this that gazes down from atop the Temple Mount, brightening like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, brilliant as the sun, awesome as the bannered hosts of kings?”
The Artscroll Shir Shirim commentary says “This verse also contains an allusion to HaShem, Himself, recalling the verse per Psalms 14:2 ‘HaShem looked down from heaven upon the children of men’; also Deuteronomy 26:15 ‘look down from Your holy habitation from Heaven.’ Beautiful as the moon, pure as the sun. Israel in the days of the building of the Second Temple, was granted self government at the pleasure of King Cyrus. Therefore, it is compared to the moon which does not possess the power of illumination, but can only reflect the light of the sun.” Can you see once more HaShem uses His creation to teach us His principles? HaShem is likened to the sun and Israel His bride to the moon because the moon reflects the light of HaShem i.e. the sun!
Consider Judges 5:31 which says “So may all Your enemies be destroyed, O HaShem! And let those who love Him be like the powerfully rising sun. And the land was tranquil for forty years.” The commentary explains “Just as the sun rises with a powerful display of light and climbs to the top of the sky at midday, so may those who love HaShem always rise in splendor. The Sages interpret this term as an illusion to Torah scholars. The true source of light is the Torah; therefore, its wise men are likened to the sun, for it is only through their teachings that people can see the world as it truly is.”
This verse is summed up with the following “Who is this nation that arose from greatness like the dawn’s increasing light, being like the dawn’s increasing light, being first a pale reflection like the moon, and then becoming as pure as the strength of the sun itself, until it became as awe inspiring as an army with banners i.e. its fear was upon all the nations, as it is written per Deuteronomy 28:10 ‘And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the Name of HaShem, and they will be afraid of you.’ For when the Jews marched in the desert, banners held high, surrounded by the Pillar of Cloud and Fire, smoke rising the nations witnessed this awesome sight and were filled with fear. And this is the meaning of awesome as an army with banners, for in heathen eyes, the camps of the Jews were like camps of the Shechinah (Presence of HaShem).”
Once more, can you again see the importance of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem as it pertains to Israel today? Again, the rebuilt Temple is NOT the domain of the False Messiah, this is just more anti-Semitic/Replacement Theology garbage doctrine Christendom spews out.
Shir HaShirim 6:11 says “I descended upon the deceptively simple holiness of the Second Temple to see your moisture laden deeds in valleys. Had your Torah scholars budded on the vine, had your merit laden righteous flowered like the pomegranates filled with seeds?”
The commentary explains “The Master of the Universe spoke: ‘At the beginning of the Second Temple, built through the hands of Cyrus, I caused My presence to dwell in order to see the goodly actions of My people, to see if perchance the wide men had increased and multiplied, those who are compared to the vine, and if their scions filled with good deeds like pomegranates. Israel is compared to a nut, one sees only a shell, but its nutritious content is not visible. When it is opened, however, it is full with nutritious food. Similarly, Israel is modest and unpretentious; her scholars are not conspicuous, nor do they praise themselves publicly. But, when they are examined, they are found to be full of wisdom. Also, when a nut falls in dirt, its contents are not defiled. So, too, although Israel, exiled among the nations, endures great tribulation, its actions are not defiled.”
In other words, HaShem is looking for people who are not just confessing with their mouths their faith in Him, He is looking for that confession to be married up to action i.e. Torah study and Torah implementation as a way of life!! Remember that verse from the Apostolic Writings per James 2:18 “I will show you my faith BY MY WORKS!” What is he referring too? He is referring to living a life of Torah while believing Yeshua is the Messiah!
Shir HaShirim 6:12 says “Alas, I knew not how to guard myself from sin! My own devices harnessed me, like chariots subject to a foreign nation’s mercies”
This is the last verse of chapter six and it is Israel responding to HaShem! The commentary says “Hearing HaShem’s praise of her glorious past, reflects on her current plight and responds sadly. I did not know; my soul set me as chariots of a noble nation. In the literal sense, this verse, both in continuity and translation is difficult, nearly incomprehensible. But the allegory is clear; ‘I did not know how to avoid sin in order to remain in my glory and greatness. Instead, I stumbled into the sin of causeless hatred and controversy which reached a peak in the time of the Hasmonean Kings Hyrkenos and Aristoblus, two brothers who battled one another for the throne, until one them invited Rome to enter the land. He accepted the throne from Rome, and became its vassal. From that point on, my own soul caused me to become as a chariot ridden upon i.e. persecuted by the nobility of foreign nations.”
“Just as you are astonished at me, she replied, ‘I, too, am astonished!’ Applying this verse, I am astounded at my elevation. It applies to the Jews in Egypt: When they became free men, the nations asked them, ‘Yesterday you were repulsive and worked with brick and mortar, and today you are free and master it over the whole world!’ I too, am astonished i.e. I don’t know by what merit I was liberated and achieved this elevation. It is only to HaShem’s mercy that this can be attributed.”
“It applies to David: ‘Yesterday he was fleeing from the land, and today he reigns over all of Israel per II Samuel 8:15.'”
“It applies to the righteous Joseph: ‘Yesterday per Psalms 105:18, his feet were hurt with fetters, his person was lid in irons’, and today per Genesis 42:6 Joseph was the governor over the land.”
“It applies to Mordechai: ‘Yesterday per Esther 4:1 ‘He put on sackcloth with ashes’ today per Esther 8:15 Mordechai left the Kings presence clad in royal apparel.'”
Can you see the theme of chapter six in totality? HaShem is able to take that which was intended for evil and work it to the good, our good and our benefit, but we must make the choice to serve Him, not just with our mouths but with our actions, decisions and time! We may not completely understand how to walk in the totality of His Torah, especially here and now in exile in Babylon i.e. America, but our hearts desire to walk perfectly with Him and reflect His light, like the moon! He takes this into consideration and is able to work with our circumstances. But, one day, may it be so very soon, we will be gathered to Him and then we can finally learn to walk in the totality of His Torah!! Again, may it be so very soon!
Much to consider!
- 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