Song of Solomon5:11

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His head is like

the finest and purest gold;

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his locks of hair are wavy

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and black

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as a raven.

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He is noble because he is absolutely full of integrity; he is totally uncompromising; he is the purest form of pure there is;

yet the ordinary things about him are so ordinary.

Common people can feel comfortable around him; he does not put on pretenses.



This phrase uses two Hebrew words for gold. The first one means “gold” but it also can be used as an adjective meaning “finest or most.” The second word for gold means “pure, or pure gold.” This is a purposeful doubling of the word gold, we could say “gold-like gold.” The first one serves as an adjective to describe the second word for gold, but the fact that two words for gold were chosen would not have gone unnoticed by the people of Solomon’s day. It is a powerful way to emphasize purity, which is at the core of the second word for gold. You will notice that the paraphrase column struggles to adequately communicate the power of this phrase and must use a long explanation to do so; even then, the full impact of the phrase is not achieved.


“Wavy”—think curly. Many Jews have curly hair; this is common.


Black hair is also common among Jews.


There is nothing special about a raven. It is a scavenger, feeding on seeds and bugs, but also on carrion, thus it was probably unclean for the Jews. God later used it to feed Elijah, so it could not have been seen by them as entirely bad, rather as ordinary. There is layering here using four images, hair, curly, black and ravens, that all communicate the same thing—he is ordinary. So first she says he is special, one in a million, then she says he is ordinary. It means that “he lets his special characteristics demonstrate themselves to be special, and he is happy to let the ordinary things about him remain ordinary. He is not playing games. What you see is what you get.” Even though Solomon had wealth and power, according to the meaning of the symbolism used here, he knew how to be a normal guy; he did not let his wealth and power go to his head. Maybe that is why he fell in love with a beautiful, yet ordinary girl from the working class or the peasant class. In his youth he may have grown tired of all the games the rich girls had played in trying to impress him. Now as the king, his other wives were either political trophies or economic status symbols; everyone had something to prove, yet he was tired of playing that game and wanted to just be himself. For that reason he found refreshing his relationship with the one he called the “Peaceful One.”