Song of Songs 5:16 prophesied Prophet Muhammad (p) by Name

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When dealing with the fact that  Bible passage in the Song of Songs or  Shir haShirim 5:16  שיר השירים  ה:טז in Hebrew  where the word “Machamadim” מַחֲמַדִּים is clearly shown, christian apologists like James White in his debate with Br. Zakir Hussain titled “Is Muhammed Prophesied in the Bible?” typically respond that it can not refer to Prophet Muhammad (p) based on the following arguments:

  1. The context of the  whole Song of Solomon is about human love or  human sexual desire.
  2. The word is in adjective form and can be found in other places in the Bible.
  3. The word is in plural form

White even boldly claim that this is the weakest argument the muslims have on finding prophet Muhammad in the Bible.


 

Let us have a closer look if this argument is valid.

Human sexual desire or God’s beloved man?

To address his first argument, nowhere in Jewish and Christian tradition reads this particular passage solely to its literal meaning of a romantic sexual poetry  between man and woman.

In Judaism,  the Song was taken not to be sexual desire but God’s love for Israel.

The Rabbis at Yabneh accepted the Song into the canon — to believe Rabbi Aqiba, without much hesitation — because they read it both pseudepigraphically, as stemming from King Solomon himself, and allegorically, as a depiction of God’s love for Israel rather than man’s love of sexual partnership.

(Anselm C. Hagedom (editor); Perspectives on the Song of Songs, page 107)

Christians also followed suit after Jewish exegetes began to read the Song allegorically, as having to do with God’s love for his people.  Christian exegetes treat the love that it celebrates as an analogy for the love between God and the Church.

The surface or “literal” subject matter of the Song was the love that joins bride and her betrothed, asexual longing that the Song celebrates cheerfully. Understood in that way, how– ever, the Song had little to say directly about the relation between God and “us”;and that relation of course defines the basic interest — the agenda — that Jews and Christians alike brought, and bring, to their reading of the ScripturesHence the traditional resort to allegory in interpretation of the Song: the love that it celebrates is treated as figure or analogy for the love between God and the people of Godthe Church.  

(Richard A. Norris Jr ; The Song of Songs: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators, page 1)

Therefore it is clear that intellectual tradition in Judeo-christiandom understood  the context of Song of Songs, not about human love or  human sexual desire  but rather as an allegory of the relationship between God and His special person or people.

Bear in mind centuries of Judeo Christian interpretation battle, why can not the muslims allow their own understanding of the text?  Why can’t muslims read the Song of Songs befitting an allegory of God’s love for someone really special, someone really who will glorify and exalt God in a manner  like anyone has ever seen before which to Muslims this can only refer to Prophet Muhammad (p), the last messenger of God who has proclaimed and spread the genuine truth about God:  the One and Only all-powerful God, guarding the false belief of  polytheism of multiple gods or god in three persons.


Just an ordinary hebrew adjective ?

It is obvious that James White has little or no familiarity in Hebrew or in any other Semitic languages. Anyone with has proficency in Semitic language must recognize that etymologically , there is no so called adjective in Arabic or in  Hebrew. In semitic  thinking the quality of a noun is described by another noun — either conrete or abstract. The main idea of an expression is stated first and it is then qualified by what immediately follows. For example “A big house” is, in the Semitic parts of speech, “a house (the main idea), a big (one)” (qualifying it) – בַּיִת גָּדוֹל (bayiṯ gāḏôl) in Hebrew  or بيت كبير (bayt kabîr) in Arabic.

In particular when we analyse the Song of Songs 5:16

חִכֹּו֙ מַֽמְתַקִּ֔ים וְכֻלֹּ֖ו מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים זֶ֤ה דֹודִי֙ וְזֶ֣ה רֵעִ֔י בְּנֹ֖ות יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם

Hebrew  Translit English Morph
חִכּוֹ֙ ḥikkōw His mouth Masc Noun
מַֽמְתַקִּ֔ים mamṯaq-qîm,  a sweetness Masc Noun
וְכֻלּ֖וֹ waḵullōw he wholly Masc Noun
מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים machamad-dîm; a precious man Masc Noun
זֶ֤ה zeh This Masc Pronoun
דוֹדִי֙ ḏōwḏî my beloved man Masc Noun
וְזֶ֣ה wazeh and this Masc Pronoun
רֵעִ֔י rê‘î, my friend Masc Noun
בְּנ֖וֹת banōwṯ O daughers Fem Noun
יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם yarūšālim. of Jerusalem Proper Noun

So it is clear from the passage above the word Machamad מַחֲמַדִּ֑ function as a masculine noun, not an adjective and it refer to a person, a man. The word itself comes from the stem חמד (hamad) which occurs all over the Semitic spectrum but with slightly differing meanings; in Arabic it means praiseworthy but in Hebrew it means something precious or desirable.

Some interesting point to note:

  • Most strikingly this particular form could not refer to a figure whom christians refer to Jesus  because he was  mentioned in Isaiah as a man whom would not be desired לֹֽא  נֶחְמְדֵֽהוּloneḥmaḏê-hū (Isaiah 53:2).
  • This passage also mention about “his mouth” which was full of sweetness.How can an “adjective” has mouth? So this passage must be talking about a person, a man.
  • The passage tells us that  this maḥămad is beloved (man), how can an adjective can be a beloved of anyone?
  • The masculine noun take form of what in Hebrew called Maqtal . Here hebrew root-verb חמד (hammedis given with the pre-fix מ (mem)  מחמד (mahmad)  literally denoting a place or agent of preciousness. This correspond with Arabic construct  اسم المشتق  Ism al-Mushtaq, in which the word  محمد Muhammad  takes its form.

Far from  a mere sounds similarity  or wrong part of speech, Muslims have strong case to relate the name of prophet Muhammad to its hebrew root-verb חמד (hammed)  in Song of Songs 5:16 to  a prophecy  about an individual to come, a mystery man, not about an adjective  whom God loves and desires.

The same way the word Islam relates its root-verb שלם (shalem), meaning to be whole or complete — hence the familiar words שלוםshalom, meaning peace, and Islam, meaning to be at peace or to be complete


But the word Machamad-dîm is in plural..

This can not refer to single person Muhammad or can it?

If we look at the passage  and the overall structure in the Song of Songs, it consistently retains singular in meaning for the actors involved in the plot.

Jewish and Christian translation all give singular meaning:

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely (Machamad). This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem. (New International Version)

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is  desirable (Machamad) in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend. (New Living Translation)

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is  altogether lovely (Machamad). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (King James Bible)

His mouth is most sweet; Yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (JPS 1917)

The style the Biblical Hebrew use for this particular passage is called the ‘majestic plural’. It is a plural word to refer honorifically to a single person or entity  such plural forms are most commonly used when referring to the God  also  it can also be used when referring to a human.

Here is one beautiful example: in Genesis 24:9

וַיָּ֤שֶׂם הָעֶ֙בֶד֙ אֶת־יָדֹ֔ו תַּ֛חַת יֶ֥רֶךְ אַבְרָהָ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֑יו וַיִּשָּׁ֣בַֽע לֹ֔ו עַל־הַדָּבָ֖ר הַזֶּֽה

So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter. (NIV)

Here although all the translations render this passage to… “his master”… the hebrew word used is in plural adonaw אֲדֹנָ֑יו which literally means “his masters” not in singular form אֲדֹנוֹ  adonó which means “his master”

Having said that the word מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים Machamad-dîm must denotes something not just an ordinary noun, it must refer something of godly and holy qualities.What more interesting is out of 12 variations from the hebrew root-verb חמד (hammed) taking this  majestic plural form, exists only one occurrence throughout the Bible. This boost prophetic significance for holy prophet Muhammad in this   particular passage.

Also for those with familiarity with the rule of Tajweed will notice that Muslims pronounce the word Muhammad  as Muḥammadin in the genitive case or Majrur  when reciting the  Qur’an and it sounds almost exactly when a rabbi recite מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים Machamaddîm in original Hebrew


Furthermore Song of Songs 5:10 says:

 דּוֹדִי צַח וְאָדוֹם, דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה

10 ‘My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.

This is a very strong case to a prophecy of Prophet Muhammad as he conquered Mecca. It is a well known historically documented fact that in the year 630 CE Muhammad entered Mecca as the leader of an army of 10,000 “ten thousand men”.

This verse and the preceeding verse (v. 11)

רֹאשׁ֖וֹ כֶּ֣תֶם פָּ֑ז קְוּצּוֹתָיו֙ תַּלְתַּלִּ֔ים שְׁחֹר֖וֹתכָּעוֹרֵֽב

11 His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are curled, And black as a raven.

This amazingly also match Prophet Muhammad’s physical description as found in hadith sources (light skin and black and wavy hair).

Then the Song of Songs verse 5:15 compares this prophetic mystery man to the land of “Lebanon” which is the land of the Arabs.

 שׁוֹקָיו עַמּוּדֵי שֵׁשׁ, מְיֻסָּדִים עַל-אַדְנֵי-פָז; מַרְאֵהוּ, כַּלְּבָנוֹן–בָּחוּר, כָּאֲרָזִים.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold; his aspect is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

This undeniably implies that the mystery man would be an from Arab lineage.

On the contrary to being the weakest  evidence , Song of Songs 5:16 give very strong evidence for the prophecy of prophet Muhammad (p) in the Bible.

What more can one ask for proof?, we have his very name mentioned letter by letter and it is referred in such a special unique form.

So the muslim translation of Song of Songs 5:16 should render like the following:

His mouth is full of sweetness; he is Muhammad in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, he is my beloved, my friend.

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him (Muhammad)  as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it]. (Q 6:20)

Sadaqa Allaahu al-‘Azeem ≡ Almighty God has spoken the truth
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11 Responses »

  1. بارك الله فيك وأسكنك فسيح جناته
    It’s been always worthy to read your articles Masha’allah! May Allah reward you in this life and hearafter

  2. Not even close to accurate. A real stretch.

    • What do we ask for more? the prophet name is mentioned letter by letter.

      • You know Muhammad didn’t come along until 635 a.d. The Quran mentions Christians and the Bible makes no mention of Islam. This is not what you make of it, but you are doing what Islam has falsely accused others of doing, changing scripture.

      • Of course prophet Muhammad came later, because he was the final prophet of God and was prophesied in the Tanakh and Gospel. Islam mention christians and the genuine bible of Jesus (not the trinitarian understanding) because Islam came to correct the false understanding of who the Christ was.

        Also in the original language of Hebrew Tanakh and the Aramaic Gospel words Muslims, Salamays, Mushlams, Mushlems, Mushlimana are mentioned. They were the original believers just like the name Islam and muslim.

      • How do you spell the prophet’s name in Arabic? what are the Arabic names of the letters that spell Muhammad, do you know them? I can’t read Arabic so I need help to see letter by letter. Can you help please?

      • It is ” mim م haa ح mim م dal د “

  3. I suggest to make these articles on the websites in forms of videos on youtube . Remember this video

    This video has spread because it was in form of visual materials, and that very video which forced Dr White to make a whole episode on trinity channel to refute it . The indication is videos make stronger impact !
    I hope most articles on the websites transform as videos containing the core of theses articles as much as you can. It would make stronger impact.

  4. Very beautiful and well detailed…
    by Allah if Christians and Jews wanted or want to defend their allegations, they ought to have their genuine text in accord with that they allege to be truthful day today…
    that’s the only way to prove us wrong which is impossible!
    This passage by Allah soothed me up as I soaked into it word by word…
    Ma shaa Allah indeed knowledge is greater than ignorance!
    A request please…
    have a video along each passage you make…
    by Allah that would be very beautiful too!
    Jazakallahu khairan for all your efforts May Allah SWT increase you more in knowledge and make it strongly befenefitial to the ignorant and those perusing more knowledge!
    AAMEEN!

    ASSALAM ALAIKUM WAR-RAHTULLAHI WA BARAKATUH!

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