Two examples of tough times (Jer 12:5-12:5)

“If you have raced with foot runners

That have wearied you,

How will you compete with horses?

If in a safe land

You fall down,

How will you fare

In the thickets of the Jordan?”

Yahweh responds to Jeremiah by reminding him that if he has a hard time in a foot race that tires him out, what will happen if he has to race against horses? The same is true that if he is falling down in a safe land, how would he do if he was lost in the thickets along the Jordan River? Things could be worse than they are.

Restraint (Song 8:4-8:4)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

The male lover responds as he did in chapters 2 and 3 by asking that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep. Then it awakens. However, here there is no mention of gazelles or wild does. He is swearing or adjuring to the daughters of Jerusalem to hold him back from his desires.

Restraint (Song 3:5-3:5)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

By the gazelles,

By the wild does,

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

This male lover responds by repeating the same verses that were in the preceding chapter. He asks that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep before it awakens. He is swearing or adjuring by these wild swift young animals of gazelles and does to hold him back from his desires. Strangely, it is the female lover who seems more determined that he does for his love affair. Once again, this may be an allusion to Yahweh and Israel with their relationships.

Restraint (Song 2:7-2:7)

Male lover

“I adjure you!

O daughters of Jerusalem!

By the gazelles,

By the wild does,

Do not stir up love!

Do not awaken love

Until it is ready!”

The male lover responds by asking that the daughters of Jerusalem keep him from his lover until the right time, until her love is ready. Love should simmer and sleep before it awakens. The mention of the gazelles and the wild doe seem to be a way of talking about God. He is swearing or adjuring to these wild swift young animals to hold him back from his desires.