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Song of Solomon 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Love Is Better than Wine

This is Solomon’s
    most beautiful song.

She Speaks:

Kiss me tenderly!
Your love is better than wine,
    and you smell so sweet.
All the young women adore you;
the very mention of your name
    is like spreading perfume.
Hurry, my king! Let’s hurry.
    Take me to your home.

The Young Women Speak:

We are happy for you!
And we praise your love
    even more than wine.

She Speaks:

Young women of Jerusalem,
it is only right
    that you should adore him.
My skin is dark and beautiful,
like a tent in the desert
    or like Solomon’s curtains.
Don’t stare at me
just because the sun
    has darkened my skin.
My brothers were angry with me;
they made me work in the vineyard,
    and so I neglected
    my complexion.

Don’t let the other shepherds
    think badly of me.[a]
I’m not one of those women
who shamelessly follow
    after shepherds.[b]
My darling, I love you!
Where do you feed your sheep
    and let them rest at noon?

He Speaks:

My dearest, if you don’t know,
just follow the path
    of the sheep.
Then feed your young goats
    near the shepherds' tents.
You move as gracefully
as the pony
that leads
    the chariot of the king.
10 Earrings add to your beauty,
and you wear a necklace
    of precious stones.
11 Let’s make you some jewelry
    of gold,
woven with silver.

She Speaks:

12 My king, while you
were on your couch,
    my love was a magic charm.[c]
13 My darling, you are perfume
    between my breasts;
14 you are flower blossoms
    from the gardens of En-Gedi.[d]

He Speaks:

15 My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely—
    your eyes are those of a dove.

She Speaks:

16 My love, you are handsome,
    truly handsome—
the fresh green grass
    will be our wedding bed
17 in the shade of cedar
    and cypress trees.

Footnotes:

  1. 1.6 Don’t. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 1.7 I’m. . . shepherds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 1.12 magic charm: The Hebrew text has “spikenard” (or “nard”), a sweet-smelling ointment made from a plant that comes from India. The ointment was sometimes used as a love charm.
  4. 1.14 En-Gedi: An oasis west of the Dead Sea.

Song of Solomon 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Young Shulammite Bride and Jerusalem’s Daughters

The [a]Song of Songs [the best of songs], which is Solomon’s.

[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.”

[c](The Chorus)

“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?”

Solomon, the Lover, Speaks

(The Bridegroom)


“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.
10 
“Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
Your neck with strings of jewels.”

(The Chorus)

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.”

(The Bridegroom)

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.

Footnotes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Song of Solomon 1:14 An oasis on the western side of the Dead Sea.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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