1.8 If you do not know, O fairest among women,
go forth on the trail of the flock and graze your flock of female kids
by the dwellings of the shepherds.
1.9 To my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh
I liken you, my darling companion.
10 lovely are your cheeks with ornaments
and your neck with strings of jewels.
1.11 Ornaments of gold we will make for you with beads of silver.
Comments from the So Called Experts
9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh.
Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen (I Kings 10:26) He is comparing her to the very finest of his horses. She is the very best among women.
‘my darling’ is the Hebrew word vaghah. This word has the twofold idea of 1) to guard, to care for, and 2) to take delight in having sexual intercourse with
(7) Robert Gordis, The Song of Songs (New York): The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1956), p. 51.
See also DR Otto Zockler, The Song of Songs (Lange’s Commentary, 12 vols: Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 19670) Vol V. p.62
This was a great compliment she isn’t ordinary but very special and unique.
(25) Wesley J Fuerst, The Books of Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes, the song of songs, Lamentations, (Cambridge) Cambridge University Press, 1975. Page 174
but the point of comparing the woman to a mare among pharaoh’s battle stallions is clear; with her beauty, she brings all men into confusion. An ancient Egyptian love song says, somewhat less colorfully and without the comparison: ”She makes the heads of all(the) men/turn about when seeing her.”
Verse 9 marks the first appearance of the term “my love” (friend, companion), which is used frequently in the Song to address the female partner
(29) Othmar Keel, translated by Frederick J. Gaiser, The Song of Songs, (Minneapolis), Fortress Press, 1994. Page 58
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
… the image of ornament on her cheeks and necklaces around her neck is likely a continuation of the metaphor and portrays a mare decorated with jewels, which were common on the bridles of the horses.
(22a) Dr Craig Glickman, Solomon’s Song of Love, Howard Publishing (Louisiana), 2004 page 195
If you don’t know most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.
When he says, “if you don’t know” he is letting her know that he knows she is keeping a close watch on him, he is kind of teasing her, but he is careful to follow it with a compliment and to give directions. By doing this, he is letting her know that he would be available.
Why would Solomon be out grazing the flock? He is rich beyond imagination. He could very easily have taken time to do something that his father David had done. Or he could be checking on the guys who were taking care of some of his flocks. See Ecclesiastes (a book in the Bible) for all the things that he involved himself in.