Coming closer I saw the rabbi occupying my seat deeply involved in a sermon to a group of teenage rabbis, all dressed up in their orthodox outfits, including black hats and hair-locks
running down their temples.
Fray Luis de Leon offers various Spanish equivalents for [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] all of which mean "your hair-locks": "tus guedexas" in verses 4:1 and 4:3; "tu cabello" in verse 6:6; "cabellos," "cabellera," and "lados" in the commentary, also described with precision as "la parte de los cabellos que cae sobre la frente y ojos, que algunas los suelen traer postizos"; and "copetes" ("topknot") or "aladares" ("forelocks"--one edition reads "canaladores") in the inquisitorial response to be discussed below.
Fray Luis' translation of tsammah as hair-locks lacks medieval precedents among Christian exegetes (even Nicholas of Lyra).
Rationale for his Spanish translation of tsammah as hair-locks in Song of Songs 4:1
But even if tsammah could mean "vulva," as Jerome certainly believed, it also meant hair or hair-locks according to the Hebrew experts.
The former supposes an "adjectival" use of melekh as a type of purple ("royal purple," literally, "the purple of a king" where melekh is the second part of a construct), whereas the latter's use is strictly nominal, the hair-locks being compared to "a king captive in the tresses." The problem, in a manner of speaking, boils down to whether or not there is a comma/period before melekh.
Graetz (1871, 154-55), who may have been aware of Rashi's comment, dismisses the exegetical readings of tsammah as veil, hair-locks, or braids, and also translates it as a band, "Binde," to hold the hair (indeed, in his translation, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE INASCII] begins a new clause: "deine Augen Tauben.
Sforno ignores the latter phrase but offers a brief gloss to explain why the hair-locks are like purple: