The Beloved about Her Lover: While the king was at his banqueting table, 1 my nard 2 gave forth its fragrance. 3
While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.
"While the king was at his table, My perfume gave forth its fragrance.
Young Woman: "The king is lying on his couch, enchanted by the fragrance of my perfume.
When my King-Lover lay down beside me, my fragrance filled the room.
While the king is seated at his table, my spices send out their perfume.
While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance.
THE SHULAMITE While the king is at his table, My spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
While the king
[sitteth] at his table
|NET © [draft] ITL|
The Beloved about Her Lover: While
was at his banqueting table
, my nard
forth its fragrance.
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The lexicons suggest that מֵסַב (mesav) refers to a round banquet table (HALOT 604 s.v. מֵסַב) or divan with cushions (BDB 687 s.v. מֵסַב 2). In Mishnaic Hebrew the noun מֵסַב refers to a dining couch, banquet table, as well as cushions or pillows (HALOT 604). The related noun מְסִבָּה (mÿsibbah) refers to a banqueting party (HALOT 604 s.v. מְסִבָּה; Jastrow 803 s.v. מְסִבָּה). The versions took it as a reference to a resting place (see LXX, Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta). R. E. Murphy (Song of Songs [Hermeneia], 131) suggests that it refers to (1) a couch or divan on which a person declined while eating, (2) a group of people gathered in a circle, that is, an entourage, or (3) a private place such as an enclosure.
tc The MT בִּמְסִבּוֹ (bimsibbo, “his banquet table”) is enigmatic: “While the king was at his banquet table, my nard gave forth its fragrance.” W. Rudolph suggests emending to מְסִבִּי (mÿsibbi, “around me”): “While the king surrounded me, my nard gave forth its fragrance” (Des Buch Ruth, das Hohe Lied, die Klagelieder [KAT], 27).
2 sn “Nard” (נֵרְדְּ, nerdÿ) was an aromatic oil extracted from the Valerian nardostachys jatamansi which was an aromatic drug from a plant which grew in the Himalaya region of India, used for perfume (HALOT 723 s.v. נֵרְדְּ). Nard was an expensive imported perfume, worn by women at banquets because of its seductive charms. It was used in the ANE as a love potion because of its erotic fragrance (R. K. Harrison, Healing Herbs of the Bible, 48-49).
3 tn Or “The fragrance of my myrrh wafted forth.”