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The Strange Use of דגל in Song of Songs 5:10

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The use of the word דגל in the Song of Songs 5:10 has caused considerable confusion among commentators. Most occurrences of the word in the Song are thought to be related to an army or host carrying banners, except in 5:10, where this usage is said to make little sense. Scholars therefore interpret the woman’s use of דגל in 5:10 differently from when the man uses it to describe her awe-striking an unnerving appearance in 6:4 and 6:10. This has given some the impression that the lovers view each other differently. This article attempts to show that the description of דגל in 6:4 and 6:10 actually illuminates its meaning in 5:10, so that when the woman uses it to describe the physical appearance of the man, it communicates similar feelings of awe and fear, that is, an awe-striking and unnerving appearance.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of DivinityUniversity of Cambridge jla44@cam.ac.uk

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685330-12341307
2018-01-12
2018-04-23

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