My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.
"My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, Outstanding among ten thousand.
Young Woman: "My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
My dear lover glows with health--red-blooded, radiant! He's one in a million. There's no one quite like him!
My loved one is white and red, the chief among ten thousand.
My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
THE SHULAMITE My beloved is white and ruddy, Chief among ten thousand.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn The Beloved’s praise of his appearance follows the typical literary structure of the ancient Near Eastern wasfs song: (1) introductory summary praise (5:10), (2) detailed descriptive praise from head to foot (5:11-16a), and (3) concluding summary praise (5:16b). There are several striking features about this song that are unique from the typical wasfs. (1) The ordinary setting of the ancient Near Eastern wasfs songs was the wedding night. (2) They were ordinarily sung only by a man in praise of his bride. (3) Normally, the wasfs song will conclude with the feet after the legs; however, the Beloved concludes by praising his mouth after his legs.
2 sn The term צַח (tsakh, “dazzling”) is ordinarily used to describe the shining surface of jewelry or of smoothed rocks (Ezek 24:7-8; 26:4, 14; Neh 4:7). Likewise, אָדֹם (’adom, “ruddy”) can describe the redness of rubies (Lam 4:7). Throughout 5:11-15 she compares his appearance to valuable jewels, gems, and precious metals.
3 tn The adjective אָדֹם (’adom) denotes either “manly” or “ruddy,” depending upon whether it is derived from אָדָם (’adam, “man”; HALOT 14 s.v. I אָדָם) or אָדֹם (“red”; HALOT 14 s.v. אָדֹם). If it is “manly,” the idea is that he is the epitome of masculinity and virility. On the other hand, the emphasis would be upon his health and virility, evidenced by his ruddy complexion, or it could be a comparison between his ruddy coloring and the redness of rubies (Lam 4:7).
4 tn Heb “outstanding.” The participle דָּגוּל (dagul) functions as a predicate adjective: “My beloved is…outstanding among ten thousand.” The verb דָּגַל (dagal) is relatively rare, being derived from the noun דֶּגֶל (degel, “banner”) which often refers to a military standard which, when lifted up, was conspicuous for all to see (Num 2:3-4; 10:14-15). The verb דָּגַל only occurs three other times, all referring to raising military banners for all to see (Ps 20:6; Song 6:4, 10). Song 5:10 uses the term figuratively (hypocatastasis) to denote “outstanding” (HALOT 213 s.v. דֶּגֶל). This sense is closely related to the cognate Akkadian verb dagalu “to look, contemplate” and the noun diglu “eyesight, view (what is looked at).” Like a banner lifted high, he attracted the attention of all who looked at him.
5 tn Heb “from, among.” The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to רְבָבָה (rÿvavah, “ten thousand”) is taken in a comparative, locative sense: “outstanding among ten thousand” (e.g., KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, NJPS).
6 tn Heb “among ten thousand.” The numeral “ten thousand” is the highest number used in comparisons in Hebrew poetry (1 Sam 18:7-8; 21:12; 29:5; Ps 91:7). It is not used to mark out a specific number, but to denote an indefinite number of persons of the largest possible proportions (Gen 24:60; Num 10:36; Deut 33:2; Ps 3:7). Her point is simply this: no other man could possibly compare to him in appearance, even if he were in a group of an infinite number of men.