Song of Solomon 6:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Come back, come back, O Shulammite; come back, come back, that we may gaze on you! He Why would you gaze on the Shulammite as on the dance of Mahanaim?

New Living Translation
Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again. Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?

English Standard Version
Return, return, O Shulammite, return, return, that we may look upon you. He Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies?

New American Standard Bible
"Come back, come back, O Shulammite; Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!" "Why should you gaze at the Shulammite, As at the dance of the two companies?

King James Bible
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Come back, come back, Shulammite! Come back, come back, that we may look at you! M Why are you looking at the Shulammite, as you look at the dance of the two camps?

International Standard Version
Return, return, Shulammite, return, return, so we may look at you! Why should you look at the Shulammite, like you watch the dance of the two camps?

NET Bible
Turn, turn, O Perfect One! Turn, turn, that I may stare at you! The Beloved to Her Lover: Why do you gaze upon the Perfect One like the dance of the Mahanaim?

New Heart English Bible
Return, return, Shulammite. Return, return, that we may gaze at you. Why do you desire to gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of Mahanaim?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Come back! Come back, young woman from Shulam! Come back! Come back so that we may look at you! Why do you look at me, the young woman from Shulam, as you look at the dance of Mahanaim?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulammite? As it were a dance of two companies.

New American Standard 1977
“<,>Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
            Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!”
            

      “Why should you gaze at the Shulammite,
            As at the dance of the two companies?



Jubilee Bible 2000
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? She shall be as a multitude of tabernacles.

King James 2000 Bible
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon you. Why will you look upon the Shulamite? As upon a dance before two armies?.

American King James Version
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look on you. What will you see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

American Standard Version
Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, As upon the dance of Mahanaim?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Return, return, O Sulamitess : return, return that we may behold thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Return, return, O Shulamite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. -- What would ye look upon in the Shulamite? -- As it were the dance of two camps.

English Revised Version
Return, return, O Shulammite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, as upon the dance of Mahanaim?

Webster's Bible Translation
Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

World English Bible
Return, return, Shulammite! Return, return, that we may gaze at you. Lover Why do you desire to gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of Mahanaim?

Young's Literal Translation
Return, return, O Shulammith! Return, return, and we look upon thee. What do ye see in Shulammith?

Study Bible
The Friends
12"Before I was aware, my soul set me Over the chariots of my noble people." 13"Come back, come back, O Shulammite; Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!" "Why should you gaze at the Shulammite, As at the dance of the two companies?
Cross References
Genesis 32:2
Jacob said when he saw them, "This is God's camp." So he named that place Mahanaim.

Judges 21:21
and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

2 Samuel 17:24
Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

Song of Solomon 6:12
"Before I was aware, my soul set me Over the chariots of my noble people."
Treasury of Scripture

Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look on you. What will you see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

return

Songs 2:14 O my dove, that are in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places …

Jeremiah 3:12-14,22 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you …

Hosea 14:1-4 O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity…

what

Songs 1:6 Look not on me, because I am black, because the sun has looked on …

Luke 7:44 And he turned to the woman, and said to Simon, See you this woman? …

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels …

2 Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints…

shulamite

Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between …

Psalm 76:2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.

Isaiah 8:6 For as much as this people refuses the waters of Shiloah that go …

John 9:7 And said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, …

Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation …

as

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must …

Romans 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, …

Ephesians 2:14-17 For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the …

two armies

Genesis 32:2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called …

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind…

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the …

Ephesians 6:10-19 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might…

Verse 13a. - Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. Shulem is the same as Shunem (see 1 Kings 1:3; 2 Kings 4:8; Joshua 19:18). Shulamite will, therefore, mean "lady of Shulem." It is the first occurrence of the name. It cannot be a pure proper name, says Delitzsch, because the article is attached to it. It is a name of descent. The LXX. has ἡ Σοοναμῖτις, i.e. "she who is from Shunem." Abishag was exceedingly beautiful, and she came from the same district. It is the country in the tribe of Issachar, near to little Hermon, to the southeast of Carmel and south of Nain, southeast of Nazareth, southwest of Tabor. It is found at present under the name Sawlam, not far from the great plain of Jiszeal (now Zer'in), "which forms a convenient way of communication between Jordan and the seacoast, but is yet so hidden in the mountain range that the Talmud is silent concerning this Sulem, as it is concerning Nazareth." It is impossible to resist the impression of the fact that this part of Galilee so closely associated with our Lord and his ministry should be the native place of the bride. Delitzsch thinks that the Shulamite is on her way from the garden to the palace. That the words are addressed to her by the admiring ladies can scarcely be disputed; hence the "we" of the address. "The fourfold 'come back' (or, 'turn') entreats her earnestly, yea, with team, to return thither (that is, to the garden) with them once more, and for this purpose, that they might find delight in looking upon her." But Delitzsch is scarcely right in thinking that the garden of nuts to which the bride referred is the garden of the palace. She is, perhaps, turning to leave the company of ladies, Solomon himself beingamong them, as though she would escape from their gaze, which is too much for her in her simplicity, and the ladies, seeing her intention to leave them, call her back. Another view is that the word "return" is for "turn round;" that is, "Let us see thee dance, that we may admire the beauty of thy form and movements." This would explain the appropriateness of the bride's reply in the latter haft of the verse. Moreover, the fourfold appeal is scarcely suitable if the bride was only slightly indicating her intention to leave. She would surely not leave hastily, seeing that Solomon is present. The request is not that she may remain, but that they may look upon her. It would be quite fitting in the mouth of lady companions. The whole is doubtless a poetic artifice, as before in the case of the dream, for the purpose of introducing the lovely description of her personal attractions. Plainly she is described as dancing or as if dancing. Delitzsch, however, thinks that the dance is only referred to by the ladies as a comparison; but in that case he certainly leaves unexplained the peculiarity of the description in Song of Solomon 7:1-5, which most naturally is a description of a dancing figure. Verse 13b. - Why will ye look upon the Shulamite as upon the dance of Mahanaim? The Shulamite, in her perfect modesty and humility, not knowing how beautiful she really is, asks why it is that they wish still to gaze upon her, like those that gaze at the dance of Mahanaim, or why they wish her to dance. But at the same moment, with the complaisance of perfect amiability, begins to move - always a pleasure to a lovely maiden - thus filling them with admiration. Mahanaim came in later times to mean "angels," or the "heavenly host" (see Genesis 32:3), but here it is generally thought to be the name of a dance, perhaps one in which the inhabitants of Mahanaim excelled, or one in which angels or hosts were thought to engage. The old translators, the Syriac, Jerome, and the Venetian, render, "the dances of the camps" (choros castrarum, θίωσον στρατοπέδων), possibly a war dance or parade. The word, however, is in the dual. Delitzsch thinks the meaning is a dance as of angels, "only a step beyond the responsive song of the seraphim" (Isaiah 6.). Of course, there can be no objection to the association of angels with the bride, but there is no necessity for it. The word would be, no doubt, familiarly known in the age of Solomon. The sacred dances wore often referred to in Scripture. and there would be nothing degrading to the dignity of the bride in dancing before the ladies and her own husband. "After throwing aside her upper garment, so that she had only the light clothing of a shepherdess or vine dresser, Shulamith danced to and fro before the daughters of Jerusalem, and displayed all her attractions before them."



Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return,.... By whom the church is meant, so called from her being the spouse of Christ, the true Solomon; it being common for the wife to have the same name with her husband; thus, with the Romans, if the man's name was Caius, the woman's name was Caia: is the name of Christ Solomon? the church's name is Shulamite; see Jeremiah 23:6. The word from which this is derived signifies both perfection and peace; and the church may be called the Shulamite from her perfection, not in herself, but in Christ, in whom she is complete, and perfectly comely through his righteousness; and is also denominated from the peace which she has from Christ, and he has made for her through his blood, and he gives unto her by his Spirit; and from what she does or should enjoy in her members, and from what she will be possessed of to all eternity. Now the church, the Shulamite, is very importunately desired by the daughters of Jerusalem to return; which is said no less than four times, which shows how vehemently desirous they were of her company: and perceiving she was about to go from them, most earnestly press her to return, or to "turn" (b); to turn herself, that her beauty and comeliness might be more plainly seen; for this is the end proposed by them,

that we may look upon thee; that they might still have more opportunity of viewing her, and more narrowly to examine her beauty, for which she was so much commended; and that they might enjoy more of her company and conversation, which had been, and they might hope would be, more useful and instructive to them. A question upon this follows,

What will ye see in the Shulamite? which question is put, either by the daughters among themselves; some wishing for her return, and others asking what they expected to see in her, should she return: or rather it is put by the church herself; who asks the daughters, what they expected to see in her, a poor, mean, unworthy creature, not fit to be looked on, having nothing extraordinary, nor indeed valuable or of worth, in seeing of her? Which question is thus answered,

As it were the company of two armies: either by the daughters, declaring what they expected to see in the church; either such a glorious and joyful meeting between Christ and her, as is often between great persons, attended with singing and dancing; so the word for company is rendered by the Septuagint (c) "choroi", a "company" of those that dance and sing; see Psalm 68:24; or such an appearance as an army makes at the reception of their prince, when it is divided into two bands, for the sake of greater honour and majesty. Or rather this answer is returned by the church herself; signifying that nothing was to be seen in her but two armies, flesh and Spirit, sin and grace, continually warring against each other; which surely, she thought, could be no desirable and pleasing sight to them; see Romans 7:23.

(b) Sept. "convertere", Sanctius, Marckius. (c) , Sept. "sicut chorus", Vatablus, Marckius, Michaelis, & alii. 13. Entreaty of the daughters of Jerusalem to her, in her chariot-like flight from them (compare 2Ki 2:12; 2Sa 19:14).

Shulamite—new name applied to her now for the first time. Feminine of Solomon, Prince of Peace; His bride, daughter of peace, accepting and proclaiming it (Isa 52:7; Joh 14:27; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:17). Historically, this name answers to the time when, not without a divine design in it, the young Church met in Solomon's porch (Ac 3:11; 5:12). The entreaty, "Return, O Shulamite," answers to the people's desire to keep Peter and John, after the lame man was healed, when they were about to enter the temple. Their reply attributing the glory not to themselves, but to Jesus Christ, answers to the bride's reply here, "What will ye see" in me? "As it were," etc. She accepts the name Shulamite, as truly describing her. But adds, that though "one" (So 6:9), she is nevertheless "two." Her glories are her Lord's, beaming through her (Eph 5:31, 32). The two armies are the family of Jesus Christ in heaven, and that on earth, joined and one with Him; the one militant, the other triumphant. Or Jesus Christ and His ministering angels are one army, the Church the other, both being one (Joh 17:21, 22). Allusion is made to Mahanaim (meaning two hosts), the scene of Jacob's victorious conflict by prayer (Ge 32:2, 9, 22-30). Though she is peace, yet she has warfare here, between flesh and spirit within and foes without; her strength, as Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Jesus Christ and His host enlisted on her side by prayer; whence she obtains those graces which raise the admiration of the daughters of Jerusalem. 6:11-13 In retirement and in meditation the Christian character is formed and perfected. But not in the retirement of the idle, the self-indulgent, or the trifler. When the Christian is released from the discharge of his duties in life, the world has no attractions for him. His prayer is, that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow within him, and around him. Such are the interesting cares and employments of him whom the world wrongly deems unhappy, and lost to his true interests. In humility and self-abasement, the humble Christian would turn away from the sight of all; but the Lord delights to honour him. Chiefly, however, may the reference be to the ministering angels who shall be sent for the soul of the Christian. Their approach may startle, but the departing soul shall find the Lord its strength and its portion for ever. The church is called the Shulamite: the word signifies perfection and peace; not in herself, but in Christ, in whom she is complete, through his righteousness; and has peace, which he made for her through his blood, and gives unto her by his Spirit.
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