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Song of Songs 1:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest [thy flock], Where thou makest [it] to rest at noon: For why should I be as one that is veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture [your flock], Where do you make [it] lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest [thy flock], Where thou makest it to rest at noon; For why should I be as one veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Tell me, thou loved of my soul! Where wilt thou pasture thy flock? Where wilt thou let them recline at noon? For why should I be as one that wrappeth a veil about her, by the flocks of thy companions?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Declare to me, thou whom my soul hath loved, Where thou delightest, Where thou liest down at noon, For why am I as one veiled, By the ranks of thy companions?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Tell me, (O thou whom my soule loueth) where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flocke] to rest at noone: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flockes of thy companions?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Tell me, [thou] whom my soul loves, where thou tendest thy flock, where thou causest [them] to rest at noon, lest I become as one that is veiled by the flocks of thy companions.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Tell 5046
{5046} Prime
נָגַד
nagad
{naw-gad'}
A primitive root; properly to front, that is, stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise.
z8685
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
me, O thou whom my soul 5315
{5315} Prime
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
loveth, 157
{0157} Prime
אָהַב
'ahab
{aw-hab'}
A primitive root; to have affection for (sexually or otherwise).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
x7945
(7945) Complement
שֶׁל
shel
{shel}
For the relative H0834; used with prepositional prefix, and often followed by some pronoun affixed; on account of, what soever, which soever.
where x349
(0349) Complement
אֵיךְ
'eyk
{ake}
Prolonged from H0335; how? or how!; also where.
thou feedest, 7462
{7462} Prime
רָעָה
ra`ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to tend a flock, that is, pasture it; intransitively to graze (literally or figuratively); generally to rule; by extension to associate with (as a friend).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
where 349
{0349} Prime
אֵיךְ
'eyk
{ake}
Prolonged from H0335; how? or how!; also where.
thou makest [thy flock] to rest 7257
{7257} Prime
רָבַץ
rabats
{raw-bats'}
A primitive root; to crouch (on all four legs folded, like a recumbent animal); by implication to recline, repose, brood, lurk, imbed.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
at noon: 6672
{6672} Prime
צֹהַר
tsohar
{tso'-har}
From H6671; a light (that is, window); dual double light, that is, noon.
for y4100
[4100] Standard
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
why x7945
(7945) Complement
שֶׁל
shel
{shel}
For the relative H0834; used with prepositional prefix, and often followed by some pronoun affixed; on account of, what soever, which soever.
x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
should I be x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
as one that turneth aside 5844
{5844} Prime
עָטָה
`atah
{aw-taw'}
A primitive root; to wrap, that is, cover, veil, clothe or roll.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
by x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the flocks 5739
{5739} Prime
עֵדֶר
`eder
{ay'-der}
From H5737; an arrangement, that is, muster (of animals).
of thy companions? 2270
{2270} Prime
חָבֵר
chaber
{khaw-bare'}
From H2266; an associate.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Song of Songs 1:7

_ _ my soul loveth — more intense than “the virgins” and “the upright love thee” (Song of Songs 1:3, Song of Songs 1:4; Matthew 22:37). To carry out the design of the allegory, the royal encampment is here represented as moving from place to place, in search of green pastures, under the Shepherd King (Psalms 23:1-6). The bride, having first enjoyed communion with him in the pavilion, is willing to follow Him into labors and dangers; arising from all absorbing love (Luke 14:26); this distinguishes her from the formalist (John 10:27; Revelation 14:4).

_ _ feedest — tendest thy flock (Isaiah 40:11; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 7:17). No single type expresses all the office of Jesus Christ; hence arises the variety of diverse images used to portray the manifold aspects of Him: these would be quite incongruous, if the Song referred to the earthly Solomon. Her intercourse with Him is peculiar. She hears His voice, and addresses none but Himself. Yet it is through a veil; she sees Him not (Job 23:8, Job 23:9). If we would be fed, we must follow the Shepherd through the whole breadth of His Word, and not stay on one spot alone.

_ _ makest ... to rest — distinct from “feedest”; periods of rest are vouchsafed after labor (Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 49:10; Ezekiel 34:13-15). Communion in private must go along with public following of Him.

_ _ turneth aside — rather one veiled, that is, as a harlot, not His true bride (Genesis 38:15), [Gesenius]; or as a mourner (2 Samuel 15:30), [Weiss]; or as one unknown [Maurer]. All imply estrangement from the Bridegroom. She feels estranged even among Christ’s true servants, answering to “thy companions” (Luke 22:28), so long as she has not Himself present. The opposite spirit to 1 Corinthians 3:4.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Song of Songs 1:7-11

_ _ Here is, I. The humble petition which the spouse presents to her beloved, the shepherdess to the shepherd, the church and every believer to Christ, for a more free and intimate communion with him. She turns from the daughters of Jerusalem, to whom she had complained both of her sins and of her troubles, and looks up to heaven for relief and succour against both, Song of Songs 1:7. Here observe, 1. The title she gives to Christ: O thou whom my soul loveth. Note, It is the undoubted character of all true believers that their souls love Jesus Christ, which intimates both the sincerity and the strength of their love; they love him with all their hearts; and those that do so may come to him boldly and may humbly plead it with him. 2. The opinion she has of him as the good shepherd of the sheep; she doubts not but he feeds his flock and makes them rest at noon. Jesus Christ graciously provides both repast and repose for his sheep; they are not starved, but well fed, not scattered upon the mountains, but fed together, fed in green pastures and in the hot time of the day led by the still waters and made to lie down under a cool refreshing shade. Is it with God's people a noon-time of outward troubles, inward conflicts? Christ has rest for them; he carries them in his arms, Isaiah 40:11. 3. Her request to him that she might be admitted into his society: Tell me where thou feedest. Those that would be told, that would be taught, what they are concerned to know and do, must apply to Jesus Christ, and beg of him to teach them, to tell them. “Tell me where to find thee, where I may have conversation with thee, where thou feedest and tendest thy flock, that there I may have some of my company.” Observe, by the way, We should not, in love to our friends and their company, tempt them or urge them to neglect their business, but desire such an enjoyment of them as will consist with it, and rather, if we can, to join with them in their business and help to forward it. “Tell me where thou feedest, and there I will sit with thee, walk with thee, feed my flocks with thine, and not hinder thee nor myself, but bring my work with me.” Note, Those whose souls love Jesus Christ earnestly desire to have communion with him, by his word in which he speaks to us and by prayer in which we speak to him, and to share in the privileges of his flock; and we may learn from the care he takes of his church, to provide convenient food and rest for it, how to take care of our own souls, which are our charge. 4. The plea she uses for the enforcing of this request: “For why should I be as one that turns aside by (or after) the flocks of thy companions, that pretend to be so, but are really thy competitors, and rivals with thee.” Note, Turning aside from Christ after other lovers is that which gracious souls dread, and deprecate, more than any thing else. “Thou wouldst not have me to turn aside, no, nor to be as one that turns aside; tell me then, O tell me, where I may be near thee, and I will never leave thee.” (1.) “Why should I lie under suspicion, and look as if I belonged to some other and not to thee? Why should I be thought by the flocks of our companions to be a deserter from thee, and a retainer to some other shepherd?” Good Christians will be afraid of giving any occasion to those about them to question their faith in Christ and their love to him; they would not do any thing that looks like unconcernedness about their souls; or uncharitableness towards their brethren, or that savours of indifference and disaffection to holy ordinances; and we should pray to God to direct us into and keep us in the way of our duty, that we may not so much as seem to come short, Hebrews 4:1. (2.) “Why should I lie in temptation to turn aside, as I do while I am absent from thee?” We should be earnest with God for a settled peace in communion with God through Christ, that we may not be as waifs and strays, ready to be picked up by him that next passes by.

_ _ II. The gracious answer which the bridegroom gives to this request, Song of Songs 1:8. See how ready God is to answer prayer, especially prayers for instruction; even while she is yet speaking, he hears. Observe, 1. How affectionately he speaks to her: O thou fairest among women! Note, Believing souls are fair, in the eyes of the Lord Jesus, above any other. Christ sees a beauty in holiness, whether we do or no. The spouse has called herself black, but Christ calls her fair. Those that are low in their own eyes are so much the more amiable in the eyes of Jesus Christ. Blushing at their own deformity (says Mr. Durham) is a chief part of their beauty. 2. How mildly he checks her for her ignorance, in these words, If thou know not, intimating that she might have known it if it had not been her own fault. What! dost thou not know where to find me and my flock? Compare Christ's answer to a like address of Philip's (John 14:9), Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? But, 3. With what tenderness he acquaints her where she might find him. If men say, Lo, here is Christ, or, Lo, he is there, believe them not, go not after them, Matthew 24:23, Matthew 24:26. But, (1.) Walk in the way of good men (Proverbs 2:20), follow the track, ask for the good old way, observe the footsteps of the flock, and go forth by them. It will not serve to sit still and cry, “Lord, show me the way,” but we must bestir ourselves to enquire out the way; and we may find it by looking which way the footsteps of the flock lead, what has been the practice of godly people all along; let that practice be ours, Hebrews 6:12; 1 Corinthians 11:1. (2.) Sit under the direction of good ministers: “Feed thyself and thy kids besides the tents of the under-shepherds. Bring thy charge with thee” (it is probable that the custom was to commit the lambs and kids to the custody of the women, the shepherdesses); “they shall all be welcome; the shepherds will be no hindrance to thee, as they were to Reuel's daughters (Exodus 2:17), but helpers rather, and therefore abide by their tents.” Note, Those that would have acquaintance and communion with Christ must closely and conscientiously adhere to holy ordinances, must join themselves to his people and attend his ministers. Those that have the charge of families must bring them with them to religious assemblies; let their kids, their children, their servants, have the benefit of the shepherds' tents.

_ _ III. The high encomiums which the bridegroom gives of his spouse. To be given in marriage, in the Hebrew dialect, is to be praised (Psalms 78:63, margin), so this spouse is here; her husband praises this virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:28); he praises her, as is usual in poems, by similitudes. 1. He calls her his love (Song of Songs 1:9); it is an endearing compellation often used in this book: “My friend, my companion, my familiar.” 2. He compares her to a set of strong and stately horses in Pharaoh's chariots. Egypt was famous for the best horses. Solomon had his thence; and Pharaoh, no doubt, had the choicest the country afforded for his own chariots. The church had complained of her own weakness, and the danger she was in of being made a prey of by her enemies: “Fear not,” says Christ; “I have made thee like a company of horses; I have put strength into thee as I have done into the horse (Job 39:19), so that thou shalt with a gracious boldness mock at fear, and not be affrighted, like the lion, Proverbs 28:1. The Lord has made thee as his goodly horse in the day of battle, Zechariah 10:3. I have compared thee to my company of horses which triumphed over Pharaoh's chariots, the holy angels, horses of fire.Habakkuk 3:15, Thou didst walk through the sea with thy horses; and see Isaiah 63:13. We are weak in ourselves, but if Christ make us as horses, strong and bold, we need not fear what all the powers of darkness can do against us. 3. He admires the beauty and ornaments of her countenance (Song of Songs 1:10): Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, the attire of the head, curls of hair, or favourites (so some), or knots of ribbons; thy neck also with chains, such as persons of the first rank wear, chains of gold. The ordinances of Christ are the ornaments of the church. The graces, gifts, and comforts of the Spirit, are the adorning of every believing soul, and beautify it; these render it, in the sight of God, of great price. The ornaments of the saints are many, but all orderly disposed in rows and chains, in which there is a mutual connexion with and dependence upon each other. The beauty is not from any thing in themselves, from the neck or from the cheeks, but from ornaments with which they are set off. It was comeliness which I put upon thee, said the Lord God; for we were born not only naked, but polluted, Ezekiel 16:14.

_ _ IV. His gracious purpose to add to her ornaments; for where God has given true grace he will give more grace; to him that has shall be given. Is the church courageous in her resistance of sin, as the horses in Pharaoh's chariots? Is she comely in the exercise of grace, as with rows of jewels and chains of gold? She shall be yet further beautified (Song of Songs 1:11): We will make thee borders of gold, inlaid, or enamelled, with studs of silver. Whatever is wanting shall be made up, till the church and every true believer come to be perfect in beauty; see Ezekiel 16:14. This is here undertaken to be done by the concurring power of the three persons in the Godhead: We will do it; like that (Genesis 1:26), “Let us make man; so let us new-make him, and perfect his beauty.” The same that is the author will be the finisher of the good work; and it cannot miscarry.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Song of Songs 1:7

Tell me — Notwithstanding all these discouragements and afflictions which I suffer for thy sake, and for my love to thee. Being reproached and persecuted by others, I flee to thee, O my only refuge and joy. Feedest — Thy flock, discover to me which is thy true church, and which are those assemblies and people where thou art present. This is the request of particular believers. At noon — In the heat of the day, when the shepherds in those hot countries used to lead their flocks into shady places. Whereby he means the time of persecution, when it is hard to discover the true church, because she is deformed by it, and because she is obscured and driven into the wilderness. That turneth — Or, a wanderer, or vagabond; like a neglected and forlorn creature exposed both to censure and danger. The flocks — The assemblies of corrupt teachers and worshippers. These he calls Christ's companions because they profess the name of Christ, and their conjunction with him in God's worship.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Song of Songs 1:7

Tell me, (n) O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of (o) thy companions?

(n) The spouse feeling her fault flees to her husband only for comfort.

(o) Whom you have called to the dignity of pastors, and they set forth their own dreams instead of your doctrine.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
O thou:

Song of Songs 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so [is] my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit [was] sweet to my taste.
Song of Songs 3:1-4 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. ... [It was] but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
Song of Songs 5:8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I [am] sick of love.
Song of Songs 5:10 My beloved [is] white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
Song of Songs 5:16 His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Psalms 18:1 [[To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day [that] the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,]] I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
Psalms 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice [and] my supplications.
Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [are] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

thou feedest:

Genesis 37:16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed [their flocks].
Psalms 23:1-2 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. ... He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psalms 80:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph.]] Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest [between] the cherubims, shine forth.
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.
Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. ... My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

for:

1 Samuel 12:20-21 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; ... And turn ye not aside: for [then should ye go] after vain [things], which cannot profit nor deliver; for they [are] vain.
Psalms 28:1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, [if] thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
John 6:67-69 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? ... And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

turneth aside:
or, is veiled,
Colossians 3:14-18 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness. ... Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 37:16. 1S 12:20. Ps 18:1; 23:1; 28:1; 80:1; 116:1. So 2:3; 3:1; 5:8, 10, 16. Is 5:1; 26:9; 40:11. Mi 5:4. Mt 10:37. Jn 6:67; 10:11, 28; 21:17. Col 3:14. 1P 1:8; 2:7. 1Jn 2:19. Rv 7:17.

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