Midrash Rabbah 1.3.2

(4th c.?)


Freedman, H. and Maurice Simon, trs. eds., Midrash Rabbah (10 Vol. Set) (London: Socino Press, 1939), pp. 37f.

12th c Latin Bible:
12th c Latin Bible: "Odes" O

Another explanation: Thine Ointments have a goodly fragrance [SoS 1:3]. Rabbi Aha said in the name of Rabbi Tanhum b. Rabbi Hiyya: The reference is to the two oils of anointment -- the oil of priesthood and the oil of kingship. The Rabbis say: The reference is to the two Torahs, the written Torah and the oral Torah. Rabbi Judan said: Thy name is ointment poured forth:[ SoS 1:3] Thy name is magnified by everyone who busies himself with the oil of the Torah. This is the opinion of Rabbi Judan who explained: And the yoke shall be destroyed by reason of the oil [ Isa. 10:27], to mean that the yoke of Sennacherib would be destroyed because of Hezekiah and his followers who busied themselves with the oil of the Torah. Another explanation: Thy name is oil poured forth: Just as oil is in its original form bitter but afterwards becomes sweet, so though thy beginning was small, yet thy end should greatly increase [Job 8:7]. Just as oil is improved only by pounding, so Israel are brought to repentance only by chastisements. Just as oil will not mix with other liquids, so Israel do not mix with the other nations of the world, as it is written: Neither shall thou make marriages with them[ Deu. 7:3]. Just as oil on top of another liquid, when the cup is full, does not flow over with other liquids, so will the words of the Torah not flow over [the lips] in combination with words of frivolity.


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