Chapter-XII

 

The next clause of the verse is:

וכלו מחמדים(و ك ل و + م ح م د ي م = هو كله محمد يم) 

Pronunciation: ‘Wa kullu Muhammadim’ (Arabic: huwa kulluhu Muhammadim [Muhammad the Magnificent]).

KJV has translated it as: ‘He is altogether lovely.’

The English word ‘altogether’ of the clause stands for the Hebrew word ‘כל’ (k+l, i.e. Kull), which means:

From 3634: the whole; (in) all manner, altogether, whatsoever.[1]

Entry No. 3634 means:

To complete:- (make) perfect.[2]

The next word is ‘lovely’ which, according to the Revised Standard Version, is ‘desirable’. In Hebrew it is ‘םחםדים’ (M+H+M+D+I+M). Strong’s Dic records the meanings of 'םחםד'(m+h+m+d) as:

From 2530; delightful; hence a delight, i.e. object of affection or desire:- beloved, desire, goodly, lovely, pleasant.[3][And entry No. 2530 is: (h+m+d): a prim. Root; to delight in;- beauty, greatly beloved, covet (desire eagerly); delectable (delightful, pleasant) thing, delight, desire, pleasant, precious[4]].

First of all,it is to be noted that it is the sole place in the whole of the Hebrew Bible where this word ‘םחםדים’ (M-H-M-D-I-M) has been used in its present form and has nowhere else been used in the Bible in this form.

Secondly, the Hebrew word consists of six letters (m-h-m-d-i-m). The last two letters (i-m) stand for plurality. But this plurality does not denote the plurality of number; it denotes the plurality for majesty and honour. The word ‘Elohim’ (the Lord, God) is a very pertinent and relevant example of it. It is a well-known fact that the people of this book, the Jews, are monotheist people and they believe in the unity of God. Its singular form, Eloha, is also used, but generally they use the plural form of the word (Elohim) as a gesture of majesty and honour. This is not the sole example of the plural of majesty or grandeur. There are examples in the Bible where this suffix has been used with the words other than ‘God’ as well. The preceding clause of this very verse (his mouth is ‘most sweet’) is another example of it. Here the Hebrew word for ‘most sweet’ is 'םםתקים' (mamittaqim), which is the plural of ‘mamittaq’ and means ‘plural of sweet: sweets’. It has been rendered as ‘most sweet’ by the translators of the Bible, which denotes the grandeur of quality and not the plurality of number. It indicates that ‘His utterance (mouth) bears every kind of sweetness and beauty in the most perfect form.’ There are examples of a number of names of places which have been given in the Bible in the plural or dual form, whereas they stand for singular places, e. g. Mt. Gerizim, Mizraim, etc. The translators of the Bible use singular verbs and pronouns in these instances. In most of the cases where this plural form is used for majesty or grandeur, it is used in singular sense and takes singular verbs or pronouns. The same is the case here. No translator of the Bible has translated this clause as ‘they are altogether lovely (Mhmdim)’. They have rather rendered it as ‘he is altogether lovely’ which means ‘He is altogether Muhammad [pbAh]the Magnificent, Muhammad [pbAh]the Great, or Muhammad [pbAh]the Choicest [among ten thousand, as indicated in the first verse of this passage]’. It is out of the love and respect of Solomon [pbAh] for this ‘M-h-m-d’ that he uses a plural of majesty for him. The reason of his love and respect will be given later in this book (at the end of Chapter XIV).

Thirdly, under entry 2530, Strong’s Dic. describes that its primary root is ‘hmd’. ‘Muhammad’ [pbAh] is an adjectival passive participle from this root, which means ‘Object of love and praise and liking’. Of course it is a meaningful word, but here it has been used as a proper noun. It is a common practice in the Bible that most of its proper nouns are meaningful words as well. It is the context that ascertains whether the word has been used as a proper noun or as a meaningful word.

In the passage under study, Solomon describes attributes of his beloved: he is beautiful; he is powerful; he has such and such attributes; he belongs to Arabia; his speech or the utterance of his mouth is most sweet; etc. The listener would now naturally like to know his proper identity. That’s why Solomon tells them ‘he is by all means Muhammad (pbAh) the Magnificent [about whom I have already told you that he is the inhabitant of Arabia and is from among my cousins through the seed of Ishma‘el].’

Fourthly, Muhammad (pbAh) being a meaningful word, the Prophet of Islam (pbAh) is out and out Muhammad (pbAh) in true sense of the word. Its meanings in Hebrew have been given above. In Arabic as well it has similar meanings. Edward W. Lane has given its meanings as: ‘To approve; to be such as is praised, commended, and approved’.[5]

He explains the word ‘Muhammad’ [pbAh] as:

A man praised much, or repeatedly, or time after time: (L.K.) endowed with many praiseworthy qualities.[6]

Fifthly, some prominent Christian commentators of the Bible apply the words ‘He is altogether lovely/desirable’ to Jesus Christ. The Pulpit Commentary asserts:

Ver. 16. ‘Altogether lovely [םחםדיםוכלו(w+kull+u M+h+m+d+i+m)].’ We apply these words to the Lord Jesus Christ, and affirm that they are true of him [stress added]. (...) but Christ is the Beloved of all ages.[7]

You ‘apply these words to the Lord Jesus Christ, and affirm that they are true of him.’ But on what ground? The words, spoken by Solomon in Hebrew, pronounce: ‘wa kullu Muhammadim (this is the pronunciation of the Hebrew words ‘םחםדיםוכלו’)’. They mean: ‘He is altogether Muhammad [pbAh] the Great and Magnificent’. To whom an impartial listener would apply these words: to Muhammad (pbAh) or to Jesus Christ (pbAh)? It is, moreover, to be noted that Solomon (pbAh) had just narrated the attributes of his ‘praised one’ in this passage in a fair detail which exclusively and explicitly apply to Muhammad (pbAh) only and not to Jesus Christ (pbAh) in any way. Moreover, Solomon (pbAh) had used this word in the plural of majesty: ‘Muhammadim’ which denotes the Great, Noble, and Magnificent Muhammad (pbAh) to show his profound love and respect for this person.

Sixthly, the word ‘Muhammadim’ (in the plural form for majesty) has been used only once in the entire OT of the Bible. Besides this, it has been used in the Hebrew Bible for nine times as a derivative of ‘חםד’ (h+m+d). At all these nine places it has been used in singular form and as an adjective or a noun. All these nine places are mentioned below. It has neither been used with the sign of plurality ‘im’; nor it indicates a proper noun at any of these places:

(...) and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant [obviously it is a meaningful word here and has been used as an adjective] in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away [8]

Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant [obviously it is (...) an adj.] things are laid waste.[9]

Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant [obviously, here also, it is (...) an adj.] things that she had in the days of old.[10]

I take away from thee the desire [used as a meaningful word (as a noun)] of thine eyes with a stroke.[11]

Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire [used here also as an abstract noun] of your eyes.[12]

when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire [used here also as a noun] of their eyes.[13]

the pleasant [used as an adj.] places for their silver,[14]

yet will I slay even the beloved [used here also as an adj.] fruit of their womb.[15]

Because ye have (...) carried into your temples my goodly pleasant [used here also as an adj.] things.[16]

At all these nine places the Hebrew spellings of this word are ‘םחםד’ (M+H+M+D). It can be pronounced either as: (i) ‘Mahmad[17]’; or (ii) ‘Muhammad’. The primary root of all these three words is ‘חםד’ (h+m+d), whose meanings have been noted on the first page of this chapter[18].

In the passage of the ‘Song’ under discussion here, Solomon, after giving fairly detailed attributes of his beloved from his uncle ancestor (Ishma‘el)’s progeny, pronounces his actual proper name ‘Muhammad+im’, (Muhammad the Magnificent) which, according to the unvocalized consonantal alphabet, was inevitably to be written as ‘M+H+M+D+im’. When there genuinely and physically exists an exact application of this word, it is misleading to translate this proper noun or to apply it to Jesus Christ (pbAh).

The application of the vocalization system to the text of the Bible has been discussed in Appendix-I.

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