Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

The Song of Songs 3:6

Context
NETBible

The Speaker: 1  Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, like 2  a fragrant billow 3  of myrrh and frankincense, 4  every kind of fragrant powder 5  of the traveling merchants? 6 

XREF

Ex 13:21,22; De 8:2; So 1:3,13; So 4:12-14; So 5:5,13; So 8:5; Isa 43:19; Jer 2:2; Jer 31:2; Joe 2:29-31; Ac 2:18-21; 2Co 2:14-16; Php 4:18; Col 3:1,2; Re 5:8; Re 12:6,14

NET © Notes

sn It is not certain whether the speaker here is the Beloved or not.

tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

tn The proper nuance of מְקֻטֶּרֶת (mÿqutteret, Pual participle fs from קָטַר, qatar, “to make a sacrifice, go up in smoke”) is illusive. The lexicons take the participle adjectivally and translate מְקֻטֶּרֶת מוֹר (mÿqutteret mor) as “completely filled with fragrance or incense” (HALOT 1094 s.v. I קטר) or “fumigated with myrrh” (BDB 883 s.v. קָטַר). Most translations take it adjectivally: “perfumed with myrrh” (KJV, NASB, NIV); however, NJPS takes it as a substantive: “clouds of myrrh.” It is better to take the participle as a substantive and to nuance מְקֻטֶּרֶת מוֹר as “billow of myrrh,” as suggested by its parallelism with כְּתִימֲרוֹת עָשָׁן (kÿtimarotashan, “like a column of smoke”). While this is the only usage of the Pual stem of the verb, the root קטר appears frequently in other stems, all of which connote smoke, e.g., Piel: “to make a sacrifice, to go up in smoke” and Hiphil: “to cause to go up in smoke” (HALOT 1094-95 s.v. I קתר). In Middle Hebrew the root קִטְרָא (qitra’) meant “to steam, smell” (Qal) and “to smoke” (Hiphil). The Hebrew root is related to Ugaritic qtr “smoke, incense” (UT 19.2220; WUS 1404); Akkadian qataru “to billow (of smoke)” (AHw 2:907; CAD Q:166); Old South Arabic mqtr “incense; Ethiopic qetare “fragrance, spice”; Arabic qatara “to smell, smoke”; and Syriac `etar “vapour, fume, incense” (HALOT 1094). Due to the rarity of the Pual stem of this root, the Targum mistakenly vocalized the form as Piel participle מִקְּטֹרֶת (miqqÿtoret, “going up in smoke”).

tn The term לְבוֹנָה (lÿvonah, “frankincense”) refers to fragrant incense (Exod 30:34; Lev 2:1, 15; 5:11; 6:8; 24:7; Num 5:15; Isa 43:23; 66:3; Jer 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; Neh 13:5, 9; 1 Chr 9:29; Song 3:6; 4:6, 14). It is composed of the white (sometimes yellow) resin of Boswellia Carteri and Frereana from Hadramawt and Somaliland (HALOT 518 s.v. לְבֹנָה).

tn The term אַבְקַת (’avqat, “fragrant-powder”) means “scent-powders” (HALOT 9 s.v. אַבָקָה) or “ground spice” (HALOT 1237 s.v. I רכל 2.a). The noun אֲבָקָה (’avaqah) is from the root אָבָק (’avaq, “dust, powder”) (HALOT 9 s.v.).

tn The singular form of רוֹכֵל (rokhel, “merchant”) may be classified as a generic singular, representing the genus of the merchant guild of which there are many. The term רוֹכֵל means “trader, vendor,” as small retailer (HALOT 1237 s.v. I רכל) distinct from סָתַר (satar) “shopkeeper, dealer” as large wholesaler (HALOT 750 s.v. סתר). It may refer to a traveling merchant, as in Middle Hebrew רוֹכְלָה (rokhÿlah) “traveling merchant” and Old South Arabic rkl “to go about as a trader” (Conti 242a). The general nuance appears in Judean Aramaic רוֹכְלָא (rokhÿla’, “hawker, peddler”) and Syriac rakkala “merchant.”



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