The sheer idiocy of some of these claims move us to ignore them entirely. However, there is one claim that seems to be gaining in popularity: that Muhammad's name appears in the fifth chapter of Shir HaShirim, or "The Song of Songs." This line of thought has reached its greatest glory thanks to Shibli Zaman, the only Muslim on the net who understands even a little Hebrew. His arguments will be confronted here.
Now, the literal translation of V'khulo machamadim is as follows:
It would seem that to come up with the translation Shibli offers, we would have to throw grammar out the window. We know that this is not a person being discussed, because there is no hu ("he is"), which is needed to make the sentence work in that sense. Shibli has conviniently ignored this fact, or has tried to escape it by working within the fact that V'khulo is related to the verb root kalal (kaph-lamed-lamed). He tried to support this stance by pointing to a conjugation of kalal, found elsewhere in the TaNaKh, that sounds mildly similar to khulo. He was actually pointing to a totally unrelated verses, to a word that was not connected at all, and it makes one wonder if he's struggling with a concordance. This sort of verbal twisting brings Shibli's knowledge of Hebrew into question, as it implies that he's working from a Christian concordance rather than actual knowledge of the language. Kalal (the root of likhlol, "to include") is related to khulo, but not in the sense that Shibli was arguing. I was recently reading online that the infinitive salama in Arabic, meaning `the stinging of a snake' or `the tanning of the leather', has a similar root to the word salam which means `peace' and the verb salima which means `to be saved or to escape from danger'. While certain words may ultimately have the same root, they may mean very different things in their present context.
After that, we get our next problem: if machamadim is referring to Muhammad, why is his name plural? Shibli tried to answer this problem by claiming that this is some sort of "royal plurality" given as a show of respect, but in reality he is only making an appeal to Christian fantasy. The Christians originally came up with the idea of "royal plurality" to explain why elohim is plural. This does not find its root in Hebrew, as can be seen in the Kuzari, an eighth century document that records Jewish, Christian, and Muslim attempts to convert the king of an Eastern European tribe. When the king asks the Rabbi why god is in the plural, the Rabbi knows nothing of any "royal plurality," showing that this is an idea that was constructed at a later date. Shibli tried to further this claim by pointing to the name Ephraim, but his claim as to what this name means only dug a deeper hole. It is more obvious that Shibli is working from a Christian concordance; the name Ephraim is derived from a play on words that can only be grasped by reading the Hebrew text of the 41st chapter of Genesis (it is a play on hifrani, which follows efraim).
So, thus far I have shown that the grammar does not support Shibli's translation, nor does the fact that machmad is plural. However, these two facts support each other. Machmad is plural (machamadim) because it is discussing not one thing, but all of his parts, and all of him (V'khulo). That being said, there is still the problem of context. After V'chulo makhamadim, we get zeh dodi, which means "this is my lover." Did one of Muhammad's wives write this scroll? Me thinks not!
Shibli tries to escape this by again making an appeal to the sentiments of the believers in the Bible. He quotes Rabbinic tradition that calls Shir HaShirim "the holiest of the holy." Regardless, this is not something Shibli himself believes, as he ignores the context pf the story over all. He further tried to escape this problem by throwing context out the window, and claiming that dodi means "my uncle." This is true, as dod can mean both "uncle" and "lover/beloved" (just like achot can mean both "nurse" and "sister"), but one can understand the different through context. Reading the entire scroll, it is obvious that this is a love story, and not some girl talking about her "uncle," or a future prophet from the mythical "Ishmaelite" nation.
Finally, I would like to make a point about this whole issue over Muhammad being in the bible from an Atheist point of view. Shibli and others have been arguing that several verses in the TaNaKh allegedly mention Muhammad's name. To assert that Muhammad is found in the Torah, as is insinuated in the Qur'an (surah al-A'raaf, and elsewhere), is to commit a fallacy of logic known as petitio principii. This fallacy, also called "begging the question," occurs when the premises are at least as questionable as the conclusion reached.
I would argue that to claim Muhammad is in the Bible is to only attempt to support one myth with another myth. The holes in such a claim, as far as an Atheist is concerned, are quite numerous. Let's look at a couple of these holes...
(2) Question: Assuming this is true, how did Muhammad's name get into the TaNaKh (OT), which was written at a time before he lived?