This article suggests a new possible etymology of mlk, mentioned in Song of Songs 7:6. E. Ben-Yehuda identified the noun mal, in the possessive case, as malekh (your mal). The form resembles that of roshekh (your head) and dalat roshek (the dal of your head) mentioned in the same verse, together with other physical discriptions of the woman in this and in other chapters, about twenty five of them (cf. 4:1—5, 11; 6:5—7; 7:2—10), all in the possessive case. It seems that the three body parts (rosh, dal, mal) refer to the girl's head, suggesting the possibility that the origin of mal is not Hebrew. In Akkadian Malu refers to a strand of hair, of unkept hair or body hair. The girl's mal is bound by rehatim. These rehatim might have been ribbons or laces. In Rabbinic Hebrew rahitani refers to one of the barber's tools (Mishnah, Makkot 3, 5). Indeed, a large number of ancient artistic representations exist in which women are depicted with various hairdos, some with ribbons.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Beauty and the King? An Interpretation of Song of Songs 7:6|
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Shnaton: An Annual for Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies / שנתון לחקר המקרא והמזרח הקדום|
|State||Published - 2002|