1If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
I would kiss you,
and no-one would despise me.
2I would lead you
and bring you to my mother’s house –
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.
3His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
4Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
5Who is this coming up from the wilderness
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I roused you;
there your mother conceived you,
there she who was in labour gave you birth.
6Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy8:6 Or ardour unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.8:6 Or fire, / like the very flame of the Lord
7Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it8:7 Or he would be utterly scorned.
8We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.
10I am a wall,
and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
like one bringing contentment.
11Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;
he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
a thousand shekels8:11 That is, about 12 kilograms; also in verse 12 of silver.
12But my own vineyard is mine to give;
the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
and two hundred8:12 That is, about 2.3 kilograms are for those who tend its fruit.
13You who dwell in the gardens
with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!
14Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.
1“I wish you were like a brother to me.
I wish my mother’s breasts had nursed you.
Then if I found you outside,
I could kiss you.
No one would look down on me.
2I’d bring you to my mother’s house.
She taught me everything I know.
I’d give you spiced wine to drink.
It’s the juice of my pomegranates.
3Your left arm is under my head.
Your right arm is around me.
4Women of Jerusalem, make me a promise.
Don’t stir up love.
Don’t wake it up until it’s ready.”
The other women say
5“Who is this woman coming up from the desert?
She’s leaning on the one who loves her.”
The woman says to the king
“Under the apple tree I woke you up.
That’s where your mother became pregnant with you.
She went into labor, and you were born there.
6Hold me close to your heart where your royal seal is worn.
Keep me as close to yourself as the bracelet on your arm.
My love for you is so strong it won’t let you go.
Love is as powerful as death.
Love’s jealousy is as strong as the grave.
Love is like a blazing fire.
Love burns like a mighty flame.
7No amount of water can put it out.
Rivers can’t sweep it away.
Suppose someone offers
all their wealth to buy love.
That won’t even come close to being enough.”
The woman’s brothers say
8“We have a little sister.
Her breasts are still small.
What should we do for our sister
when she gets engaged?
9If she were a wall,
we’d build silver towers on her.
If she were a door,
we’d cover her with cedar boards.”
The woman says to the king
10“I am a wall.
My breasts are like well-built towers.
So in your eyes I’ve become
like someone who makes you happy.
11Solomon, you had a vineyard in Baal Hamon.
You rented your vineyard to others.
They had to pay 25 pounds
of silver for its fruit.
12But I can give my own vineyard to anyone I want to.
So I give my 25 pounds of silver to you, Solomon.
Give 5 pounds to those who take care of its fruit.”
The king says
13“My love, you live in the gardens.
My friends listen for your voice.
But let me hear it now.”
The woman says
14“Come away with me, my love.
Be like an antelope
or like a young deer
on mountains that are full of spices.”