Q&A: Muhammad and Machmaddim - Song of Songs 5:16

Muhammad and Machmaddim - Song of Songs 5:16

Question

Does Machmaddim refer to Muhammad?

Answer

Song of Songs 5:16 "His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem."

The phrase "altogether lovely" is the Hebrew word "machmaddim." Islam claims that this word is a reference to Muhammad for two reasons: (1) The word "machmad" (singular of "machmaddim") "sounds like" Muhammad (the root of the Hebrew word machmad is chamad, pronounced with the guttural sound (khaw-mad), similar to the Arabic name Muhammad). (2) The word "machmad" means "the praised one" or "the one worthy of praise."

First, just because two words sound alike does not mean they are the same thing, for example frog vs. dog.

Second, if we read the verse the way Muslims believe it to be read, it would say "His mouth is sweetness itself; yes, he is [Muhammad]. This is my lover, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." Did Muhammad have a Shulamite girl in Jerusalem? No, Song of Solomon is about King Solomon and the Shulamite girl who was his wife, and not about Muhammad (who lived 2000 years later). The remainder of the chapter describes Solomon (see Song 5:10-15). It describes a person in that time period not in Muhammad's time! (Song 3:11; 6:13).

Third, what about the other references to "machmad"? Islam quotes only this one reference and not the others: (1) possessions were destroyed (2 Chron. 36:19), (2) desolate (Isa. 64:10-11), (3) taken prisoner (Lam. 1:10), (4) traded for food (Lam. 1:11), (5) slain by God (Lam. 2:4; Hos. 9:16), (6) is to be profaned by God (Ezek. 24:21), (7) is to be buried in nettles (Hos. 9:6), and (8) been carried away by pagans into their temples (Joel 3:5). Are these Muhammad too? If not, why not?

If it does not fit, we must acquit. That is, we must simply say this is not true! Machmaddim and Muhammad are NOT the same person.

Please see: Christianity and Islam Contrasted

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).