So muslims point to Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon, chapter 5 verse 16 and make the startling claim that even Muhamad’s name is in the Jewish Bible. I’ve seen multiple muslim webpages referring to it and some of their teachers cite it as evidence that Muhamed is obviously there for a Jewish reader.
Here’s what it says in English.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
I ask you to please read the context, even the whole book if you want to. It’s important.
Let me get the very clear stuff out of the way. There is nothing in the context that explicitly states that the section is a prophecy. In fact, everything is in the present tense, nothing about the future. So it’s not even a prophecy or prediction of the future.
The next thing is that the context doesn’t even claim to be speaking about a prophet, much less a specific one. There is nothing in the text and context that would give you the impression that it was anything except a form of love song.
So that’s two crucial points: the context is not predictive about the future, and it says nothing at all about prophecy or a prophet.
With those things in mind, it’s already clear that this passage has nothing to do with foretelling Mohamed. The muslims are just taking not a verse but a single word out or context. The passage has nothing to do with its future or a prophet, but let’s just take one solitary word and claim that this is the name of our prophet?!?!
OK, so let’s take a look at this name then.
חִכּוֹ מַמְתַּקִּים וְכֻלּוֹ מַחֲמַדִּים
Transliterated, that’s as follows: chikko mamtaqqeem vekhullo machamaddeem
The ch sound is similar to the say Scottish people say “Loch” like in “loch ness monster,” or how Bach is supposed to be pronounced, like a throat clearing sound, not like the “ch” in “chair.” And the small “a” is a very slight “ah” sound like in “dad.”
So the word muslims want you to focus on is מַחֲמַדִּים, machamaddeem.
I want to be blunt with you. “Muhammad” is not machamaddim. I’m happy to say that they sound similar, but there are different sounds in both words, like the first “u” or “o” sound in Muhammad compared to the strong “a” sound (like “dad”) in machamaddeem. And also the fact that the Hebrew word ends with an “eem” sound like “seem.” So on the very superficial level, although there are similarities, they are not the same word.
Also, the “eem” ending at the end of the Hebrew word, machamaddeem, is at least a clue that it is not a proper name but is just a common noun. In fact, if you look at Hebrew dictionaries, the word is in fact a common noun meaning “something desired” rather than a proper noun, like a name. For the most, when “eem” is added to the end of common nouns, they normally (not always) become plural. Either that or they become a heightened sense of that word. But the word is not the proper name, Muhammad. This why all translations, all Jewish translations, even the most ancient ones, translate its meaning and don’t try to put it across as a proper noun: because it is not a proper noun!
So what I see in the Hebrew text and the context is as follows:
1) The context is not prophetic in the predictive sense.
2) There is no explicit sign of a prophet in the context.
3) And the proper noun, Muhammad, is not in the text.
For me, another sign that this is special pleading from muslims in the construction of this first part of Song of Songs 5:16. The muslim focuses on the fourth word, machamaddeem. But the second word has the same structure, having an “eem” ending. But strangely enough, but not surprising, the muslim who is trying to rip words out of context to make his point ignores this word. There is no “mamtaq” or “mamtaqqeem” relevant to his argument so he ignores the word of similar structure close by, just two words before his treasured but mispronounced word.
Why did I say “mispronounced?”
An example of how muslims distort the Hebrew text can be seen on one of the webpages trying to push the notion that Muhammed is in this text.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16:
“Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem.”
“His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters
In the Hebrew language im is added for respect. Similarely im is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to make it Muhammadim. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as “altogether lovely”, but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is yet present. (PROPHET MUHAMMAD (pbuh) IN THE BIBLE, by Dr. Zakir Naik, http://www.islam101.com/religions/christianity/mBible.htm)
Take special note of how they mispronounce or put the wrong vowels in the Hebrew word in order to make it sound more like their prophet, removing the initial “a” sound and replacing it with the letter “u.” They also make the claim that “im” is added for respect, but note the hidden assumption. Although the Hebrew text itself gives no sign of this being a proper noun, the writer of the muslim webpage assumes that it must be talking about a person and therefore, for him, “im” or “eem” is added for respect. I don’t know of any Hebrew source that states that “eem” is added for respect. But for common nouns in Hebrew, “eem” is not added for respect. It either increases the number, making it plural, or emphasizes the word. When it comes to the latter understanding, that’s what happens for words like behemah, a domesticed animal, and behemoth, an animal of immense size. The former understanding of plurality is so well known, I won’t waste time typing it out.
It should also be noted that the word “Muhammad” is supposed to come from an Arabic word meaning “praise” and it is passive, meaning something praised. The Hebrew word which machamaddeem is derived from means to desire or covet, not to praise. So they mean different things. I would advise you to do a concordance word search for the Hebrew word and see how it used in the Jewish Bible. You’ll soon find out that muslims have simply picked this one solitary usage out for their own purposes.
Look, in so many way, the muslim claim that the name “Muhammad” is in the Jewish Bible is one which a person can throw in the trash, burn like garbage, because it has nothing to do with the Hebrew word or the biblical context.
Just like their christian brethren, and much like the conman, Paul of Tarsus, the muslim takes a word out of context for his own agenda. But a good examination of what he has done undermines the veracity of his own muslim worldview and makes him seem like a liar and his muslim worldview a lie.