Song of Solomon 1
The Young Shulammite Bride and Jerusalem’s Daughters
[b](The Shulammite Bride)
“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” [Solomon arrives, she turns to him, saying,]
“For your love is better than wine.
“The aroma of your oils is fragrant and pleasing;
Your name is perfume poured out;
Therefore the maidens love you.
“Draw me away with you and let us run together!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.”
“We will rejoice and be glad in you;
We will remember and extol your love more [sweet and fragrant] than wine.
Rightly do they love you.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
“I am deeply tanned but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
[I am dark] like the tents of [the Bedouins of] Kedar,
Like the [beautiful] curtains of Solomon.
“Do not gaze at me because I am deeply tanned,
[I have worked in] the sun; it has left its mark on me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me keeper of the vineyards,
But my own vineyard (my complexion) I have not kept.”
“Tell me, O you whom my soul loves,
Where do you pasture your flock,
Where do you make it lie down at noon?
For why should I be like one who is veiled
Beside the flocks of your companions?”(B)
Solomon, the Lover, Speaks
“If you do not know [where your lover is],
O you fairest among women,
Run along, follow the tracks of the flock,
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.
“To me, my love, you are like
My [favorite] mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.
“Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
Your neck with strings of jewels.”
“We will make for you chains and ornaments of gold,
[Studded] with beads of silver.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
“While the king was at his table,
My perfume (Solomon) sent forth [his] fragrance [surrounding me].
“My beloved is to me like a pouch of myrrh
Which lies all night between my breasts.
“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna flowers
In the [fragrant] vineyards of [d]Engedi.”
“Behold, how beautiful you are, my darling,
Behold, how beautiful you are!
Your eyes are dove’s eyes.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
“Behold, how fair and handsome you are, my beloved;
And so delightful!
Our arbor is green and luxuriant.
“The beams of our houses are cedars,
Our rafters and panels are cypresses.
- Song of Solomon 1:1 Some theologians believe the Song of Solomon to be a collection of songs, but it is more generally understood to be a sort of drama or lyric poem celebrating the wholesomeness of a growing love that leads to maturity in marriage. The ancient rabbis understood it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel, and viewed the details as symbolic.
- Song of Solomon 1:2 The parenthetical headings indicate that the speakers are not from the Hebrew text nor the Septuagint, but reflect an ancient tradition which appears in some manuscripts.
- Song of Solomon 1:5 The purpose of the chorus is to echo and expand the sentiments of the bride and her bridegroom. The members of the chorus are not always known, but have been variously identified as “daughters of Jerusalem,” “daughters of Zion,” “ladies in waiting,” “friends” or “relatives” of the bride.
- Song of Solomon 1:14 An oasis on the western side of the Dead Sea.
Song of Songs 1
New International Version
1 Solomon’s Song of Songs.(A)
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love(B) is more delightful than wine.(C)
3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;(D)
your name(E) is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women(F) love you!
4 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.(G)
How right they are to adore you!
5 Dark am I, yet lovely,(J)
daughters of Jerusalem,(K)
dark like the tents of Kedar,(L)
like the tent curtains of Solomon.[c]
6 Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
and made me take care of the vineyards;(M)
my own vineyard I had to neglect.
7 Tell me, you whom I love,
where you graze your flock
and where you rest your sheep(N) at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled(O) woman
beside the flocks of your friends?
8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women,(P)
follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
by the tents of the shepherds.
9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare
among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.(Q)
10 Your cheeks(R) are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.(S)
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
studded with silver.
12 While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.(T)
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh(U)
resting between my breasts.
14 My beloved(V) is to me a cluster of henna(W) blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.(X)
16 How handsome you are, my beloved!(AA)
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.
17 The beams of our house are cedars;(AB)
our rafters are firs.
- Song of Songs 1:2 The main male and female speakers (identified primarily on the basis of the gender of the relevant Hebrew forms) are indicated by the captions He and She respectively. The words of others are marked Friends. In some instances the divisions and their captions are debatable.
- Song of Songs 1:4 The Hebrew is masculine singular.
- Song of Songs 1:5 Or Salma