Sunday, October 23, 2005

Shir HaShirim 4:1-2 And Further Thoughts On The Use of She

In an earlier post, I discussed the difference between the superscription of the book, which uses the word asher, and a few scattered verses in the rest of the book, which use she or sha, putting forth arguments that this does not necessarily imply post-Exilic authorship of the superscription and, by extension, non-Solomonic authorship of many postions of the book.

One argument I put forth was the necessity of she in the places where they occurred, and gave some examples, and one example was Shir HaShirim 4:2:
ב שִׁנַּיִךְ כְּעֵדֶר הַקְּצוּבוֹת, שֶׁעָלוּ מִן-הָרַחְצָה: שֶׁכֻּלָּם, מַתְאִימוֹת, וְשַׁכֻּלָה, אֵין בָּהֶם. 2 Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes all shaped alike, which are come up from the washing; whereof all are paired, and none faileth among them.
in which I pointed out the she of shekkullam created a sound parallelism with shakkula later in the verse. I suggested that the use of she earlier in the verse, in שֶׁעָלוּ, was influenced by the usage later in the verse, and left it at that. But that would not really account for she in the previous verse:
א הִנָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי, הִנָּךְ יָפָה--עֵינַיִךְ יוֹנִים, מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ; שַׂעְרֵךְ כְּעֵדֶר הָעִזִּים, שֶׁגָּלְשׁוּ מֵהַר גִּלְעָד. 1 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thine eyes are as doves behind thy veil; thy hair is as a flock of goats, that trail down from mount Gilead.
In fact, beside the shekkullam/shakkula sound parallelism, there is additionally a larger pattern of alliteration (like the one I mentioned in verse 1:6). Thus, looking at the alliteration pattern in the two verses:
עֵינַיִךְ יוֹנִים, מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ הִנָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי, הִנָּךְ יָפָה
שֶׁגָּלְשׁוּ מֵהַר גִּלְעָד שַׂעְרֵךְ כְּעֵדֶר הָעִזִּים
שֶׁעָלוּ מִן-הָרַחְצָה. שִׁנַּיִךְ כְּעֵדֶר הַקְּצוּבוֹת
וְשַׁכֻּלָה, אֵין בָּהֶם שֶׁכֻּלָּם, מַתְאִימוֹת
In each case a shin or sin in the first half is matched by a shin in the second half. I intend to update the previous post with this addition.

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