“My beloved is mine.
I am his.
He pastures his flock among the lilies.
Until the day breathes,
Until the shadows flee,
Be like a gazelle.
Be like a young stag
Upon the rugged clef mountains.”
This young female lover explains that her lover is hers and she is his. He is the shepherd among the lilies. Her beloved is once again, as earlier, a gazelle and a young stag in the rugged mountains. Is she the rugged mountains? Why did they have to wait until the day began or the shadows fled?
“You will be saved from the loose woman.
You will be saved from the adulteress
With her smooth words.
She has forsaken the partner of her youth.
She has forgotten the covenant of her God.
Her house or way sinks down to death.
Her paths lead to the shades.
Those who go to her
Never come back.
They never regain the paths of life.”
The loose or strange woman was always a problem for young men. Notice this is specifically for young men, since there is no equivalent advice for young women to watch out for males who might want to commit adultery. This is an adulterous woman who uses smooth words to lure young men. Interestingly enough, the emphasis is on the wickedness of the woman, since the assumption was that the good young men would have to be led astray. She has forsaken the partner or companion of her youth for another young man. Actually that is what middle aged men do, not middle aged women. She has forgotten her covenant with God. She and her house would lead to death, as she lives in the shadows of life, not in the bright sunlight. Now came the big warning. Those who went to her would never return. Their whole life would be ruined. They would never regain the path of life. This was a strong warning to be aware of smooth talking middle aged women.
“You have caused my companions to shun me.
You have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in
So that I cannot escape.
My eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you!
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades rise up to praise you?”
Much like Job, this psalmist said that Yahweh had caused his companions to shun him as a horrible person. He was shut in so that he could not escape. His eyes were growing dim with sorrow. Nevertheless, every day he called out to Yahweh. He spread out his hands to pray. He wondered if God would work wonders for the dead and those who live in shadows. This section again ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
“All people may take refuge
In the shadow of your wings.
On the abundance of your house.
You give them drink
From the river of your delights.
With you is the fountain of life.
In your light,
We see light.”
Everyone can take refuge in the shadows under the wings of Yahweh. They can feast from the abundance of his house. They get to drink from the delightful rivers. Yahweh is the foundation of life. Without him there would be no light. Actually through this light, we can see through his light.
“A mortal is born of a woman.
A moral has only few days.
A mortal is full of trouble.
He comes up like a flower and withers.
He flees like a shadow.
He does not last.
Do you fix your eyes upon such a one?
Do you bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing?
No one can.
Since their days are determined,
The number of their months is known to you.
You have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass.
Look away from them!
Thus they may enjoy,
Like a laborer,
They may enjoy their days.”
A human mortal is born from a woman. Mortals have only a few days filled with trouble. They grow like a flower and then wilt away. These human mortals are like shadows that do not last. Why would you fix your eyes on mortals and pass judgment on them? No one can make clean that which is unclean. Mortals have a shelf life that is determined. God has set out the monthly boundaries of their life that they cannot exceed. He wanted God to not look at them, but to turn away so that they could enjoy their few days like daily laborers do. Job clearly sees the human condition as inferior to God.