Apple tree (Song 2:3-2:5)

Female lover

“As an apple tree

Among the trees of the wood,

So is my beloved

Among young men.

With great delight

I sat in his shadow.

His fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me

To the banqueting house.

His intention toward me

Was love.

Sustain me with raisins.

Refresh me with apples.

I am faint with love.”

The female lover compares her lover to an apple tree in a forest. Thus she can sit in his shadow as this shady apple tree stands out among the other young men. His fruit was sweet and tasty. He brought her to the banquet hall with his love intentions. He sustained her with raisins. He refreshed her with apples. There could be sexual connotations here, but certainly the setting is romantic love. She is love sick, fainting with love. Clearly, she has fallen in love with this handsome young man who is like an apple tree.

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The enemy is after David (Ps 143:3-143:4)

“The enemy has pursued me.

He has crushed my life to the ground.

He has made me sit in darkness

Like those long dead.

Therefore my spirit faints within me.

My heart within me is appalled.”

The situation of David is described as being pursued by his enemies. He seems like he has been crushed to the ground. He sat in darkness as if he were dead. His spirit was fainting as mentioned above. His heart was appalled. He was in bad shape.

Yahweh helped those wandering in the desert (Ps 107:4-107:9)

“Some wandered in the desert wastes.

They found no way to an inhabited town.

They were hungry and thirsty.

Their soul fainted within them.

Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.

He delivered them from their distress.

He led them by a straight way.

They finally reached an inhabited town.

Let them thank Yahweh

For his steadfast love!

Let them thank Yahweh

For his wonderful works to humankind!

He satisfies the thirsty.

He fills the hungry with good things.”

This section points out how Yahweh has helped those wandering Israelites in the desert. I am not sure what particular event this refers to since these wanderers seem to be looking for inhabited towns. This does not seem to be a reference to the 40 years of wandering in the desert, but a smaller group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty. Their souls were fainting. In their distress they called out to Yahweh. Yahweh heard them. He led them in a straight path to an inhabited town. Thus they have to give thanks again to Yahweh for his steadfast love and the all the works that he has done for all humans. He has satisfied the thirsty. He has filled the hungry with good food.

Israel is in mourning (1 Macc 1:25-1:28)

“Israel mourned deeply in every community.

‘Rulers and elders groaned.

Maidens and young men became faint.

The beauty of women faded.

Every bridegroom took up the lament.

She who sat in the bridal chamber was mourning.

Even the land trembled for shook for its inhabitants.

All the house of Jacob was clothed with shame.’”

This is some kind of poem. The desecration of the Temple had a huge impact on the Jerusalem community. The rulers and elders were upset. The young men and women were fainting and lamenting. The land shook because the house of Jacob was clothed in shame. Notice it is not the house of Israel, but the house of Jacob.