All scriptures are from the New Revised Standard
Version (NRSV) unless otherwise stated.
1:2 - O that you would inflame me with the kisses of your mouth! For your breasts/nipples are better than wine (NCV).
Almost all modern translations, influenced by Indo-European prudery, have replaced without any sort of liguistic warranty the plain meaning of the Hebrew dideyca, "breasts/nipples" with "love". Also in most versions the English translation reads, "O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth" (NRSV) but "kiss" is a very weak metaphor for the very intense Hebrew word YISHOQANI which literally means to be "kindled" or "set afire".
In the original Hebrew "you" is actually "he" (Solomon) which demonstrates the Bride's modesty and respect for her Bridegroom. But in the second sentence the person is "you" (the Shulamite). Most translations assume that v.2 is only the woman speaking but it is actually a couplet of two sentences - and other reason why perhaps "he" was used in the first sentence. Thus it should read:
And yet the two sentences appear to be spoken by the same person - and in a way they are, for the two are one. It's almost like a duet. This passage is not about mouth-to-mouth kissing but oral stimulation of the nipples. She is rejoicing in being aroused by his kissing her breasts and he is expressing satisfaction in sucking her nipples. The writer of Proverbs said:
Wife: "O that he would inflame me with the kisses of his mouth!"
Husband: "Your breasts/nipples are better than wine"
By the second verse of the Song we have plunged into oral sex and the beauties of foreplay. But why does the poem go from anouncing the title straight into erotic sex? And why specifically the breasts? (We shall see how breasts figure many times in the Song later - see 4:5; 7:3,7-8; 8:1,8,10). Most scriptures in the Bible associate the breasts with literal (Job 3:12) or figurative nourishment: "You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isa.60:16). There is also an element of figurative comfort for Jerusalem who will be blessed by the nations: "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance" (Isa.66:10-11, NIV).
"May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer - may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love" (Prov.5:18-19, NIV).
Until the advent of modern medical ideas, breast feeding of babies was normal everywhere. In the 1950's companies manufacturing powerdered milk propagandised society into believing that their product was far better than breast milk. This lead not only to malnutrition of babies in many Third World countries but also psychological disfunction in adults. In some countries like France breast-feeding is considered a social stigma and women are pressurised to bottle-feed their young. Scientific research has since established beyond any doubt that mother's milk is far superior to anything that man can manufacture and that breast feeding is psychologically important for the baby. Breasts that are dry are considered a curse (Hos.9:14).
The scriptures speak of a woman's breasts with great reverence. Adultery on both a personal and a spiritual/national level is directly compared to a man other than a woman's lawful husband fondling her breasts and nipples:
There can be absolutely no doubt from these passages that any sort of petting involving the breasts before marriage is regarded by Yahweh as an abomination for He likens Israel's and Judah's apostacy to such activity. Unfaithfulness is described as lying between a woman's breasts (Hos.2:2), the place where only a lawful husband should be found.
"Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms (Heb. 'nipples') caressed" (Ezek.23:2-3, NIV). "So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled" (Ezek.23:21, NIV).
We have seen in the previous two chapters the importance of doublets and we see the same principle reflected in the woman's two nipples which are represented by two Yod's (). In the esoteric meaning of these terms the nipples represent two resistances that come alive in two awakenings: first, in the awakening of her sexuality (through oral sex with her husband); and second, through motherhood (though the baby sucking at her breasts). The nipples, like other organs (e.g. penis and vagina, for excretion and reproduction, the nose for breathing and smell, etc.) serve dual functions and are to be drunk from by both husband and babies. Translating v.2 from the meaning of the Hebrew letters (which I shall not detail here), we arrive at the following rendition:
Romantic, sexual love is supposed (in the divine system of things) to awaken certain faculties of man. Just as a babe is nourished by the milk of her mother's breasts, so is a husband nourished by an invisible sexual energy from the nipples of his wife, and the wife is in her turn aroused by a passionate desire for union both with her husband and with her divided self.
Herein is a dilemma of life. Adam, before Eve was taken from him, was whole but lonely. When Eve was taken out of him he was no longer whole but neither was he lonely. We live in a dual world of mutual contradictions - "what you gain on the roundabout you lose on the swing". Man's great quest is the restoration of the wholeness he once had in Eden. But that Eden is irretrievably lost because of the fall. His only hope of reunion is through the Second Adam, Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ:
The two nipples represent the duality we are in - a man may only suck at one breast at any one time whereas a woman may be inflamed by the manipulation of one or both. We shall encounter more of this mystery as we work our way through the Song in various pairs of letters: 2 Daleth's, 2 Sheen's, 2 Tayt's, 2 Samekh', and 2 Yod'.
""The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving ruach (spirit). The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven" (1 Cor.15:45-49, NIV).
Suffice to say in conclusion of our examination of this verse that the breasts hold centre stage. Little wonder that fallen man, abandoning the emet (truth) of Yahweh, turned to mother worship. But the motherly/wifely breasts must always be placed in the context of the first verse, viz. the male Deity, "I AM THAT I AM" or EHIEH-ESHER-EHIEH. For the breasts are a part of the Taw / , a manifestation of the Alef / .