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Maiden’s Dream (?): Seeking and Finding

On my bed in the night,
    I sought[a] him whom my heart[b] loves.
I sought him, but I did not find him.
Now I will arise, and I will go about in the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my heart[c] loves.
    I sought him, but I did not find him.
The sentinels who go about in the city found me.
    “Have you seen the one whom my heart[d] loves?”
Scarcely had I passed[e] by them
    when I found him whom my heart[f] loves.
I held him and I would not let him go
    until I brought him to the house of my mother,
        into the bedroom chamber of she who conceived me.

Adjuration Refrain

I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,[g]
    by the gazelles or by the does of the field,
do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases![h]

Royal Wedding Procession

What is this coming up from the desert
    like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense
    from all the fragrant powders of the merchant?
Look! It is Solomon’s portable couch![i]
    Sixty mighty men surround it,[j]
        the mighty men of Israel.
All of them wield swords;[k]
    they are trained in warfare,[l]
each with his sword at his thigh
    to guard against terror[m] in the night.
King Solomon[n] made for himself a sedan chair
    from the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made its column of silver, its back[o] of gold, its seat of purple;
    its interior is inlaid with leather[p] by the maidens of Jerusalem.[q]
11 Come out and look, O maidens of Zion,[r] at King Solomon,[s]
    at the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the joy of his heart!


  1. Song of Solomon 3:1 Or “I seek”
  2. Song of Solomon 3:1 Literally “soul”
  3. Song of Solomon 3:2 Literally “soul”
  4. Song of Solomon 3:3 Literally “soul”
  5. Song of Solomon 3:4 Literally “As little that I passed”
  6. Song of Solomon 3:4 Literally “soul”
  7. Song of Solomon 3:5 Literally “O daughters of Jerusalem”
  8. Song of Solomon 3:5 Or “Do not stir up or awaken the love until it is willing,” or “Do not disturb or interrupt our love-making until it is satisfied”
  9. Song of Solomon 3:7 Literally “couch” or “portable sedan chair”
  10. Song of Solomon 3:7 Literally “her”
  11. Song of Solomon 3:8 Literally “holders of sword”
  12. Song of Solomon 3:8 Literally “learnt of war”
  13. Song of Solomon 3:8 Literally “because of the fear”
  14. Song of Solomon 3:9 Literally “The king, Solomon”
  15. Song of Solomon 3:10 Or “its support,” “its base,” “its headrest,” “its litter,” “its cover”
  16. Song of Solomon 3:10 Or “love.” The Hebrew term here translated “leather” is spelled the same as the term for “love.” Most likely this is an example of a word play that puns on the intentional ambiguity: “Its interior was inlaid with leather//love by the maidens of Jerusalem”
  17. Song of Solomon 3:10 Literally “by the daughters of Jerusalem”
  18. Song of Solomon 3:11 Literally “O daughters of Zion”
  19. Song of Solomon 3:11 Literally “the king, Solomon”