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"I rest my case"

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: MOHAMEDIM not MACHMAD

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Apr 11, 2010 at 06:58

To Dawud

Thank you for your response to my exegesis of Song of Solomon 5:16 and for those unfamiliar with it, I resubmit my original comments almost verbatim, showing the absurdity of seeking to "find" Muhammad mentioned there

The Qur'an claims at Surah's 7:157 and 61:6 that Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible, and for 1,400 years, Muslims have without succeeding, searched the "Law and the Gospel" (the Tawrat and the Injil, the Old and New Testaments respectively) for proof that these do indeed contain prophecies of the coming of Muhammad, it being suggested by the Qur'an that these prophecies would be found in them without much difficulty, and in saying that "The Qur'an mentions in Surah Al-Araf chapter 7 verse 157:

'Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures) in the law and the Gospel.'"

your claim that the word machmad at Song of Solomon 5:16 is a prediction of Muhammad, is a typical example of Islamic eisegesis, rather then exegesis, eisegesis being the forcing of one's own ideas into the text, exegesis being the taking out of the text what is really there, so let's "shine the bright light of Scripture on the narrow way of truth," and closely examine the Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon 5:16

Like Psalms, Proverbs, and Lamentations, with which the Song of Songs is grouped in the Old Testament, the book is entirely poetical in form, the primary message of the book being that human love, marriage, and sexual love, are a gift from the Triune God, it is a poetic love story between the beloved and her lover. It is a piece that explores the beauty of a marriage relationship between a king and his wife.

The Song of Solomon is neither part of the Torah nor the Gospel, so that this verse wouldn't help at all to satisfy this demand of the Qur'an even if it were to speak about Muhammad, which I will go on to conclusively demonstrate that it doesn't, drawing on work prepared by Jay Smith, and posted at,

http://debate.org.uk/topics/trtracts/t05.htm#4

Here is what Song of Solomon 5:16 says,

"His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

In this passage Muslims such as yourself, claim that the Hebrew word machmad ("altogether lovely") can be translated "praise" or "Ahmad," but in claiming this, the adjectival clause "altogether lovely" is changed to a proper noun, "Muhammad," and in doing this, when translated into English, the text then reads,

"His mouth is sweetness itself; he is Muhammad. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

This rendering, however, raises a number of difficult questions according to the context of the entire book.

  1. Who are the daughters of Jerusalem? Did Muhammad ever court one of his many wives in Jerusalem?
  2. If this is Muhammad, which of his wives is speaking? Was Muhammad ever married to a dark woman he wooed from Lebanon?
  3. Did Muhammad ever claim kingship?

What, then, is this prophecy saying? The stressed words in the text above are the English renderings of the Hebrew word, machmad.

Strong's concordance defines machmad as: desire, goodly, lovely, beloved, pleasant, pleasant thing.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4261&t=KJV

So, can machmad signify Muhammad? When one verse is in doubt, it is justified to explain one passage of the Bible by another, that is to "let Scripture explain/interpret Scripture." The word machmad appears another twelve times in the Old Testament. Since Muslims are so intent on finding the Arabic name of Muhammad in the Hebrew word machmad, it is important that they remain consistent. Therefore, three of the twelve verses where machmad is used are quoted below, and it is left to the reader to decide whether translating it as "Muhammad" fits.

1 Kings 20:6"Yet I will send my servants to thee tomorrow about this time, and they shall search thy house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, [that] whatever is Muhammad in thy eyes, they shall take [it] in their hand, and carry [it] away."

Lamentations 1:11"All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their Muhammad things for food to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile."

Ezekiel 24:21"Speak to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellence of your strength, the Muhammad of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword."

If this mutilation of Scripture seems ridiculous to you, it is meant to be, as it shows the absurdity of your claim to "find" Muhammad mentioned at Song of Solomon 5:16 But don't just take my word for it. Look up the other nine references which employ machmad and see for yourself whether Muhammad would fit. They are:

2 Chronicles 36:19, Isaiah 64:11, Lamentations 1:10, Lamentations 2:4, Ezekiel 24:16, Ezekiel 24:25, Hosea 9:6, Hosea 9:16 and Joel 3:5.

and these can be referred to using the online Bible at, http://www.biblegateway.com/

Translating an adjectival clause as a proper noun makes a mockery of Hebrew grammar. Machmad already has a proper noun counterpart, 'Chemdan' (or 'Hemdan', the eldest son of Dishon of Anah the Horite). If machmad should have been written as a proper noun the author would have written Chemdan.

I conclude by commenting on the incongruity that whilst Muslims such as Osama Abdallah are "outraged" that something like the Song of Solomon could be part of the Word of God, the Bible, describing it as "X-rated Pornography in the Bible"

http://www.answering-christianity.com/x_rated.htm

whilst Muslims such as yourself, determined to "find" Muhammad mentioned in the Bible, "find" his name in the middle of this very same love poem, expressing the woman's sexual desire for her lover.

I rest my case.

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr

Submitting....

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