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Song of Solomon 2:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 The fig tree has ripened its figs,
the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance.
Arise, come away my darling;
my beautiful one, come away with me!”

The Dove in the Clefts of En Gedi

The Lover to His Beloved:

14 O my dove,[a] in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places of the mountain crags,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

The Foxes in the Vineyard

The Beloved to Her Lover:

15 Catch[b] the foxes[c] for us,
the little foxes,[d]
that ruin the vineyards[e]
for our vineyard is in bloom.

Footnotes:

  1. Song of Solomon 2:14 sn The dove was a common figure for romantic love in ancient Near Eastern love literature. This emphasis seems to be suggested by his use of the term “my dove.” Just as the young man heard the voice of the turtledove in 2:12, so now he wants to hear her voice. Doves were often associated with timidity in the ancient world. Being virtually defenseless, they would often take refuge in crevices and cliffs for safety (Jer 48:28). The emphasis on timidity and the need for security is undoubtedly the emphasis here because of the explicit description of this “dove” hiding in the “clefts of the rock” and in “the hiding places of the mountain crevice.” Fortresses were sometimes built in the clefts of the rocks on mountainsides because they were inaccessible and therefore, in a secure place of safety (Jer 49:16; Obad 3). Perhaps he realized it might be intimidating for her to join him and communicate with him freely. She would need to feel secure in his love to do this. It would be easy for her to hide from such emotionally exposing experiences.
  2. Song of Solomon 2:15 tn The imperative אֶחֱזוּ (ʾekhezu, “catch”) is plural in form (Qal imperative second person masculine plural from אָחַז, ʾakhaz). Some commentators suggest that the woman is speaking to a large audience, perhaps the maidens of Jerusalem mentioned in 2:7. However, the Hebrew plural can function in an intensive sense when used in reference to a single individual (IBHS 122 §7.4.3a). As noted previously, the bride often uses the plural in reference to herself or to her bridegroom in Sumerian love literature. Thus, the woman simply may be speaking to her beloved, as in 2:16-17, but with particularly intense passion.
  3. Song of Solomon 2:15 sn The term “foxes” is used metaphorically. Foxes are always spoken of in a negative light in the OT and in the ancient world were particularly associated with their destructive tendencies with regard to vineyards (Judg 15:4; Neh 4:3; Ps 63:10; Lam 5:18; Ezek 13:4). The description of these foxes as being destructive here seems to confirm that this is the point of comparison in mind.
  4. Song of Solomon 2:15 sn In ancient Near Eastern love literature it was common to use wild animals to symbolize potential problems which could separate lovers and destroy their love. For instance, in Egyptian love songs it is the crocodile, rather than the foxes, which were used as figures for obstacles which might threaten a couple’s love. Here the “foxes” are probably used figuratively to represent potentially destructive problems which could destroy their romantic relationship and which could hinder it from ripening into marriage.
  5. Song of Solomon 2:15 sn The term “vineyard” is also a figure. In 1:6 she used the vineyard motif as a metaphor for her physical appearance, but here it is “our vineyards” which is probably a figure for their romantic relationship. The phrase “in bloom” makes the metaphor more specific, so that the phrase “our vineyards are in bloom” means that their romantic love relationship was in its initial stages, that is, before it had ripened into marriage.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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