2 “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” [Solomon arrives, she turns to him, saying,] “For your love is better than wine. 3 “The aroma of your oils is fragrant and pleasing; Your name is perfume poured out; Therefore the maidens love you. 4 “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)
5 “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. 6 “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.” 7 “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?”
Solomon, the Lover, Speaks
8 “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.
9 “To me, my love, you are like My [favorite] mare among the chariots of Pharaoh. 10 “Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings of jewels.”
11 “We will make for you chains and ornaments of gold, [Studded] with beads of silver.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
12 “While the king was at his table, My perfume (Solomon) sent forth [his] fragrance [surrounding me]. 13 “My beloved is to me like a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts. 14 “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna flowers In the [fragrant] vineyards of [d]Engedi.”
15 “Behold, how beautiful you are, my darling, Behold, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are dove’s eyes.”
(The Shulammite Bride)
16 “Behold, how fair and handsome you are, my beloved; And so delightful! Our arbor is green and luxuriant. 17 “The beams of our houses are cedars, Our rafters and panels are cypresses.
Song of Solomon 1:1Some 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 1:2The 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 1:4The 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.
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