Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

The Song of Songs 7:4


Your neck is like a tower made of ivory. 1  Your eyes are the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-Rabbim. 2  Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.


Ge 15:2; Nu 21:25; 2Sa 8:6; 1Ki 7:2; 1Ki 9:19; 1Ki 10:18,22; 1Ki 22:39; 2Ch 8:6; Ps 45:8; Ps 144:12; So 1:10; So 4:1,9; So 4:4; So 4:8; So 5:14; So 5:15; So 6:5; Isa 54:4; Eph 1:17,18; Eph 3:18,19; Php 1:9,10; Heb 5:14

NET © Notes

tn Alternately, “the ivory tower.” The noun הַשֵּׁן (hashshen, “ivory”) is a genitive of composition, that is, a tower made out of ivory. Solomon had previously compared her neck to a tower (Song 4:4). In both cases the most obvious point of comparison has to do with size and shape, that is, her neck was long and symmetrical. Archaeology has never found a tower overlaid with ivory in the ancient Near East and it is doubtful that there ever was such a tower. The point of comparison might simply be that the shape of her neck looks like a tower, while the color and smoothness of her neck was like ivory. Solomon is mixing metaphors: her neck was long and symmetrical like a tower; but also elegant, smooth, and beautiful as ivory. The beauty, elegance, and smoothness of a woman’s neck is commonly compared to ivory in ancient love literature. For example, in a piece of Greek love literature, Anacron compared the beauty of the neck of his beloved Bathyllus to ivory (Ode xxxix 28-29).

sn It is impossible at the present time to determine the exact significance of the comparison of her eyes to the “gate of Bath-Rabbim” because this site has not yet been identified by archaeologists.

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