Her response (Song 4:16-4:16)

Female lover

“Awake!

O north wind!

Come!

O south wind!

Blow upon my garden!

Let its fragrance be wafted abroad.

Let my beloved come to his garden.

Let him eat its choicest fruits.”

The female lover wants the winds, both north and south, to blow on her garden so that the fragrance would go out. Thus her male lover would smell this and come to the garden to eat her choicest fruits. There may be sexual overtures in this metaphor. However, this is one of the biblical passages that puts an emphasis on the sense of smell.

The cruel painful illness of King Antiochus IV (2 Macc 9:5-9:10)

“But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him an incurable and unseen blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels with sharp internal tortures, for which there was no relief. That was very just, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions. Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence. He was even more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews. He gave orders to drive even faster. So it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along. The fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body. Thus only a little while before, he had thought in his super human arrogance that he could command the waves of the sea. He imagined that he could weigh the high mountains in a balance. Finally, he was brought down to earth. He was carried in a litter, making the power of God manifest to all. Worms swarmed all over the ungodly man’s body. While he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away. Because of the stench, the whole army felt revulsion at his decay. Because of his intolerable stench, no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought that he could touch the stars of heaven.”

Here the cause of the illness of King Antiochus IV was not depression but the God of Israel who struck him down. Notice that it is the God of Israel not the almighty Shaddai God who struck him down. This biblical author went into great detail about his illness. The king had a bowel problem because he had tortured others with infliction of various stomach disorders. He still wanted to get to Jerusalem so he asked his chariot to go faster. However, then he fell out of the chariot causing him even more pain. King Antiochus IV had been arrogant so that he thought that he could command the sea waves, measure the height of mountains, and touch the stars. However, his body swarmed with worms as it rotted away. There was a terrible smell about him that kept people away from him. The great king was reduced to a smelly sick pain filled old man.

What to do with the fish gall, heart, and liver (Tob 6:6-6:9)

“The two continued on their way together until they were near Media. Then the young man questioned the angel.

‘Brother Azariah,

What medicinal value is there in the fish’s heart, liver and gall?’

He replied.

‘As for the fish’s heart and liver,

You must burn them to make smoke

In the presence of a man or woman afflicted by a demon or evil spirit. Every affliction will flee away

And never remain with that person any longer.

As for the gall,

Anoint a person’s eyes where white films have appeared on them. Blow upon them,

Upon the white films,

And the eyes will be healed.’”

As they approached Media, Tobias asked the angel what kind of medicinal value was the fish’s heart, liver, and gall. He always called him Azariah. The angel explained that the heart and liver had to be burned to make smoke in the presence of anyone who was afflicted with an evil spirit or demon. Done properly, all the evil spirit afflictions will flee and never return. The fish gall, on the other hand, should be put on the eyes of a man who has white film on his eyes. This fish gall anointing would heal the eyes after you blow on it. Thus the fish parts are a key to this story as it unfolds.