Song of Solomon 5

The Torment of Separation

(The Bridegroom)

“I have come into my garden, my sister, my [promised] bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam and spice [from your sweet words].
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.
Eat, friends;
Drink and drink deeply, O lovers.”

(The Shulammite Bride)


“I was asleep, but my heart was awake.
A voice [in my dream]! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with the [heavy night] dew;
My hair [is covered] with the dampness of the night.’

“I had taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I had washed my feet,
How could I get them dirty again?

“My beloved extended his hand through the opening [of the door],
And my feelings were aroused for him.

“I arose to open for my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid [sweet-scented] myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.

“I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart went out to him when he spoke.
I searched for him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he did not answer me.

“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took my shawl from me.

“I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you tell him—
[Say that] I am sick from love [sick from being without him].”

(The Chorus)


“What is your beloved more than another beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
That you should so command us to take an oath?”

Admiration by the Bride

(The Shulammite Bride)


“My beloved is exquisitely handsome and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.

“His head is like [precious] gold, pure gold;
His hair is [curly] like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.

“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk
And reposed in their setting.

“His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet, fragrant herbs.
His lips are lilies
Dripping sweet-scented myrrh.

“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is a figure of carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.

“His legs are [strong and steady] pillars of alabaster
Set upon pedestals of fine gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
Stately and choice as the cedars.

“His mouth is full of sweetness;
Yes, he is altogether lovely and desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”

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Song of Solomon 6

Mutual Delight in Each Other

(The Chorus)

“Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where is your beloved hiding himself,
That we may seek him with you?”

(The Shulammite Bride)


“My beloved has gone down to his garden,
To the beds of balsam,
To feed his flock in the gardens
And gather lilies.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who feeds his flock among the lilies.”

(The Bridegroom)


“You are as beautiful as [a]Tirzah, my darling,
As lovely as Jerusalem,
As majestic as an army with banners!

“Turn your [flashing] eyes away from me,
For they have confused and overcome me;
Your hair is like [the shimmering black fleece of] a flock of [Arabian] goats
That have descended from Mount Gilead.

“Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
Which have come up from their washing,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.

“Your temples are like a slice of the pomegranate
Behind your veil.

“There are sixty queens and eighty [b]concubines,
And maidens without number;

But my dove, my perfect one, stands alone [above them all];
She is her mother’s only daughter;
She is the pure child of the one who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her blessed and happy,
The queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying,


‘Who is this that looks down like the dawn,
Fair and beautiful as the full moon,
Clear and pure as the sun,
As majestic as an army with banners?’

“I went down to the orchard of nut trees
To see the flowers of the valley,
To see whether the grapevine had budded
And the pomegranates were in flower.

“Before I was aware [of what was happening], my desire had brought me
Into the area of the princes of my people [the king’s retinue].”

(The Chorus)


“Return, return, O Shulammite;
Return, return, that we may gaze at you.”


Footnotes
  1. Song of Solomon 6:4 A city in northern Israel known for its gardens and natural beauty.
  2. Song of Solomon 6:8 See note Gen 22:24.

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Song of Solomon 7

(The Bridegroom)

“Why should you gaze at the Shulammite,
As at the dance of the two armies?

Admiration by the Bridegroom

“How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your hips are like jewels,
The work of the hands of an artist.

“Your navel is a round goblet
Which never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is like a heap of wheat
Surrounded with lilies.

“Your two breasts are like two fawns,
The twins of a gazelle.

“Your neck is like a tower of ivory,
Your eyes the [sparkling] pools of Heshbon
By the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
Which looks toward Damascus.

“Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel,
And the flowing hair of your head like purple threads;
I, the king, am held captive by your [a]tresses.

“How beautiful and how delightful you are,
My love, with all your delights!

“Your stature is like that of a palm tree
And your breasts like its clusters [of dates].

“I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree;
I will grasp its branches.
Let your breasts be like clusters of the grapevine,
And the fragrance of your breath like apples,

‘And your kisses like the best wine!’”

(The Shulammite Bride)

“It goes down smoothly and sweetly for my beloved,
Gliding gently over his lips while he sleeps.

The Union of Love


“I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me.

“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,
Let us spend the night in the villages.

“Let us go out early to the vineyards;
Let us see whether the vine has budded
And its blossoms have opened,
And whether the pomegranates have flowered.
There I will give you my love.

“The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
And over our doors are all [kinds of] choice fruits,
Both new and old,
Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.


Footnotes
  1. Song of Solomon 7:5 I.e. the long, unbound hair of a woman.

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Song of Solomon 8

The Lovers Speak

“Oh, that you were like a brother to me,
Who nursed at the breasts of my mother.
If I found you out of doors, I would kiss you;
No one would blame me or despise me, either.

“I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.

“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

(The Bridegroom)


“I command you to take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem,
That you do not rouse nor awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

(The Chorus)


“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning upon her beloved?”

(The Shulammite Bride)

“Under the apple tree I awakened you [to my love];
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.

“Put me like a seal on your heart,
Like a seal on your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead).
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
[A most vehement flame] the very flame of the [a]Lord!

“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can rivers drown it.
If a man would offer all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly scorned and despised.”

(The Chorus)


“We have a little sister
And she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for [in marriage]?

“If she is a wall (discreet, womanly),
We will build on her a turret (dowry) of silver;
But if she is a door (bold, flirtatious),
We will enclose her with planks of cedar.”

(The Shulammite Bride)


“I was a wall, and my breasts were like the towers.
Then I became in the king’s eyes
As one [to be respected and allowed] to find peace.

“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers;
Each one was to bring him a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.

“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand [shekels of silver] are for you, O Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who tend the fruit.”

(The Bridegroom)


“O you who sit in the gardens,
My companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it.”

(The Shulammite Bride)


“Hurry, my beloved and come quickly,
Like a gazelle or a young stag [taking me home]
On the mountains of spices.”


Footnotes
  1. Song of Solomon 8:6 Heb YHWH (Yahweh).

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