The next part of this verse No. 16 is:

זה דודי וזה רעי (زه+ د ودي + و+زه + رع ي)

This is my beloved, and this is my friend,

The Heb. word which has been translated here as ‘beloved’, is ‘דוד’ (dod). Strong’s Dic. explains it as:

Lover, friend, spec. an uncle, beloved, father’s brother, uncle.[1]

It shows that the ‘beloved Muhammadim’, whom King Solomon (pbAh) is mentioning here, does not belong to his real brothers, i. e. the Israelites. He rather belongs to Israel (Jacob)’s (pbAh) uncle Ishma‘el (pbAh). The Israelites have applied it to Jesus Christ (pbAh) without any ground, but he can by no means be called an uncle from the paternal side, as he was not from the seed of any man. He was miraculously born without any father whatsoever. As to his maternal side as well he cannot be called Solomon’s dod (uncle or cousin), firstly, because his mother, the Virgin Mary, was not from the seed of any of Solomon’s uncles, but was from the direct lineage of King Solomon (see Mt, chapter i; Lk 3:23-38); and secondly, because the word can only be applied to ‘father’s brother’ and cannot be applied to ‘mother’s brother’. In this way King Solomon (pbAh) made his statement more clear by saying that my this ‘beloved’ is not a stranger to me, he is rather my cousin. If Solomon (pbAh) had intended to point to some of his friends, he should have used the word ‘אהב’ (’ahab) here, which means:

Love; beloved; lovely; friend.[2]

But the more pertinent Heb. word would have been ‘ידיד’ (yedeed), whose feminine is ‘ידידה’ (yedeedeh), both of which are from the same primary root as ‘dod’ and, according to Strong’s Dic. these words mean:

Loved, amiable, beloved, an Israelite or Israelitess’.[3]

Had Solomon’s ‘beloved’ been from the Israelite lineage, he must have used the word ‘ידיד’ (yedeed) and not ‘דוד’ (dod). But he has intentionally, scrupulously, cautiously, and precisely used the proper word ‘דוד’ (dod), which exclusively means a cousin from the line of father’s brother and not a brother from the real father’s side.

The last word of this clause is ‘friend’, which is one of the most important and decisive words of this prophecy. The Hebrew word used for it by King Solomon is ‘רעor ריע’ (rea‘ or reya‘). According to Strong’s Dic. it means:

7453. From 7462; an associate (more or less close); companion, fellow, lover, neighbour, another.[4]

No. 7462 ‘רעה’ (ra‘ah), referred to in entry 7453, means:

A prim. Root, to tend a flock, generally to rule, to associate with (as a friend), companion, herdman shepherd.[5]

The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the OT has also recorded, inter alia, its meanings as:

Comrade, companion, neighbour, someone’s colleague, neighbour with a shared boundary, another.[6]

In this way King Solomon (pbAh) makes his this prophecy more clear. He explains that his this friend is:

i)      His Comrade, companion, and colleague (Muhammadim) is an apostle, a prophet, and a king like him (Solomon). It may be borne in mind here that Jesus Christ had never been a king in worldly terms.

ii)     He (Muhammadim) does not belong to his (Solomon’s) own land, Canaan, but he is from his neighbouring country with shared boundary, i. e. Arabia, which is the ground reality without any doubt. On the contrary, Jesus was his country-fellow and cannot be called his neighbour with shared boundary.

iii)    He (Muhammadim) is his associate in prophethood; but at the same time he is not from the lineage of Israel, because:

iv)   He (Muhammadim) is ‘ריע’ (reya‘) ‘another’, i.e. he is an Ishma‘elite, whereas Jesus Christ was an Israelite and cannot be attributed as ‘another’. Had Solomon meant to mention Jesus, he would have used the word ‘ידיד’(yadeed), i.e. ‘an Israelite beloved’.

v)    He (Muhammadim) is a ruler (according to the meanings recorded in Strong’s Dic., entry 7462), whereas Christ had never been a ruler in worldly terms.

vi)   He (Muhammadim) had also remained a herd-man or shepherd (at his early age) whereas Jesus Christ had never been a shepherd or herdman. He can hardly be claimed to be other than a carpenter.[7]

All these qualities can truly be applied only to Prophet Muhammad (pbAh).

To sum up and recapitulate the theme of the chapter, it is to be remarked that King Solomon (pbAh) has used here two words for his beloved ‘Muhammadim’ (pbAh).The first word is ‘דוד’ (dod), which shows that Solomon’s (pbAh)this beloved does not belong to the direct progeny of Abraham’s (pbAh)son Isaac (pbAh), who is the forefather of Israelites. He rather belongs to the progeny of Ishma‘el (pbAh), who is Abraham’s (pbAh)first-born son and Isaac’s (pbAh)elder brother, and, as such, the ‘uncle ancestor’ of Solomon.

The second word used by Solomon is ‘רעor ריע’ (rea‘ or reya‘), which has been translated as ‘friend’. It indicates that Solomon’s ‘Muhammadim’ is his ‘comrade (prophet), a shepherd, a neighbour with a shared boundary, and does not belong directly to his own family (Israelites). He is rather an ‘other’, i.e. a non-Israelite’.

Had Solomon intended that this ‘Muhammadim’ related directly to his own family of ‘Israelites’, he would have used the proper word ‘ידיד’ (yedeed) at this place, and had this ‘Muhammadim’ been a quite stranger, having no relation whatsoever, he would have used the proper word of ‘אהב’ (’ahab) for him.

The use of meticulously applied proper words ‘דוד’ (dod) and ‘רע’ (rea‘) make it abundantly clear that the King and Prophet Solomon (pbAh) meant to mention here that his beloved ‘Muhammadim’ (pbAh) is neither an Israelite nor quite alien and stranger to him. He is from the progeny of his uncle ancestor Ishma‘el (pbAh) and belongs to Arabia, which is a neighbouring country to his own motherland Canaan having a shared boundary. In this way he has made it clear with quite minute details that the object of his this prophecy is none other than Prophet Muhammad (pbAh).

Now there remains only the following last phrase of the prophecy which is to be explored in the next chapter:

O daughters of Jerusalem.