Does the Bible prophecy of Mohammed?
This passage also illustrates the least convincing arguments that Islamic supporters have advanced. And yet, there are plenty of videos circulating on the internet, presenting this text as a “clear” and “striking” mention of Muhammad in the Bible. Many Muslims throughout the world accept this without reserve.
I am referring to the popular declaration, also advanced by Ahmed Deedat and repeated by many others, that the name Mohammed itself is in the original text of the Hebrew Bible. Where exactly? In Song of Songs 5:16, or so they claim:
His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Let me explain the meaning of the passage above in order to properly examine this Islamic claim. This portion of Scripture is a celebration of the love ordained by God in marriage, resulting from the words of a bride expressing her love for her future husband. Some Christian scholars and preachers also see in these words a prophetic note, pointing to the relationship between Christ and His Church.
In the description of her love for her future husband, the bride states that the mouth of the latter is mam’takkim (in Hebrew), “very sweet”. Then, in a poetic way, she says that he is machamaddim, “full of charm”. Note the parallel, mam’takkim and machamaddim. The second term has the root chamad, which means “desire, desirable thing,” “precious object”, and “what is pleasing to the eyes”. It is used thirteen times in the Hebrew Bible. Here in the plural, it is used in the superlative. It therefore means “the most desirable”, “the most pleasant”, and is used by the bride to describe her future husband.
What does this have to do with Mohammed? Well, logically, linguistically and historically speaking, nothing at all. But many Muslims believe that here, precisely, is the name ‘Mohammed’ in the Bible.
Let us overlook for a moment the problems inherent in the passage resulting from one language being translated into another, even concerning the languages of the same family (Hebrew and Arabic are Semitic languages but with differences in grammatical and syntactic structure). The Muslims went from machamaddim to machamad (singular) to Muhammad, finally concluding that here, in the original language, is the name of Muhammad!
It is difficult to take such an argument seriously, and yet many do.
To begin with, if every mention of this term is a reference to Muhammad, is it true that:
Mohammed was seized and taken out of a house (1 Kings 20: 6)?
Mohammed was destroyed and delivered into the fire (2 Chronicles 36:19)?
Mohammed was devastated and transformed into complete ruin (Isaiah 64:10)?
If not, why? Would it not be logical and coherent to see in it a mention of Muhammad at every use of the term machamaddim? It is therefore obvious that such a methodology is inappropriate and inconsistent and would lead to the “discovery” of all sorts of things in any text of a foreign language, without any real foundation.
In Arabic, several words come from the same root, without them all denoting the person of Muhammad. A naive Muslim could equally argue that Muhammad’s name appears in Surah 1 Al Fatihah, verse 1: Alhamdo lillahi Rabbi lalamin ( “Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds”). In the same way, a Hindu might say that the name Ram or another of his deities was mentioned in the Koran, because in verse 1 of Surah 30, Ar-Rum, it is written “the Romans were overcome”. This type of argument is unworthy of those who are educated and capable of discerning reason and rational argument!
It is also interesting to note that many Muslims are outraged that a text like the Song of Songs, which is a love song, sometimes using erotic language, can be part of God’s Word, the Bible. However, they then have to completely “forget” this criticism while trying to find the name of Mohammed without being in the least embarrassed, even in the midst of this love poem expressing the desire of a woman to her lover.
Considering all that is said about Songs of Songs 5-6 a summary of the argument given by Muslims is this: This book of Solomon should not be in the Bible because such erotic language makes it unworthy to be called the Word of God, however, it is nevertheless a prophecy about Muhammad! The contradiction is obvious.
The Koran claims that Mohammed is specifically mentioned in the Torah and the Injil. Therefore, another problem is the fact that Muslims try to find a biblical mention of Mohammed to confirm the Koran’s assertions. However, the Song of Songs is not part of the Torah or the Gospels, so that even if he spoke of Muhammad, this verse (Song of Solomon 5:16 ) Would be of no use to satisfy this Koranic claim.