Rabbi Elazar Rokeach of Worms, the Rokeach (1176-1238)

The Rokeach in his commentary on Shir Hashirim speaks about the oaths and offers two new explanations of the word “bitzvaos.” 1) It means that Hashem made the Jewish people swear by Tzevaos, one of His holy names. 2) It means the legions of the Jewish people (as in Shemos 12:41).

Then he offers an entirely new explanation of the verse, “I adjure you…” The word “hishbati” (I adjure you) can also be read “hisbati” (I sated you). “When the proper time comes, I will sate you with the nations, who are like gazelles and deer.” In order words, the Jews will dominate the other nations. We find that the Torah uses the word “eating” in the sense of dominating: “And you will eat all the nations that Hashem your G-d gives you” (7:16). According to this interpretation, says the Rokeach, we can understand the second half of the verse as a warning not to do things too early: “That time will come. Do not hurry to dominate the nations before the time. Do not arouse or awaken the love before it is desired – until moshiach comes.”


Rabbinic Quotations