8 I wish you were like my brother who ·fed [L sucked] at my mother’s breasts [C so she could be affectionate toward him in public]. If I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would ·look down on [shame] me. 2 I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house; she is the one who taught me. I would give you a drink of spiced wine from my pomegranates.
The Woman Speaks to the Friends
3 My lover’s left hand is under my head, and his right arm ·holds me tight [embraces me; 2:6]. 4 ·Women [L Daughters] of Jerusalem [1:5], ·promise [I adjure you] not to awaken or ·excite [arouse] love until it ·is ready [so desires; C likely a warning to the women to wait for love until the right person comes along; 2:7; 3:5].
The Friends Speak
5 Who is this coming out of the ·desert [wilderness; 3:6], leaning on her lover?
The Man Speaks to the Woman
I ·woke [aroused] you under the apple tree where ·you were born [L your mother conceived you]; there ·your mother gave birth to you [L the one who gave you birth conceived you]. 6 ·Put [Set] me like a seal [C leaving an impression on clay, showing ownership] on your heart [C inside], like a seal on your arm [C outside]. Love is as strong as death; ·jealousy [or passion] is as ·strong [tenacious] as the grave. ·Love bursts into flames [L Its flame is an intense fire] ·and burns like a hot fire [or a godlike flame]. 7 Even much water cannot put out the flame of love; floods cannot ·drown [flood] love. If a man offered ·everything [L all the wealth] in his house for love, ·people would totally reject it [or he would be completely despised].
The Woman’s Brothers Speak
8 We have a ·little [small] sister, and ·her breasts are not yet grown [L she has no breasts]. What should we do for our sister on the day she ·becomes engaged [L is spoken for; C brothers were in charge of marriage negotiations]? 9 If she is a wall [C chaste], we will put silver towers on her [C support and honor her]. If she is a door [C promiscuous], we will ·protect [enclose] her with cedar boards [C put a stop to her sexual activity].
The Woman Speaks
10 I am a wall [C chaste], and my breasts are like towers [C she is mature]. So I ·was to him [or will be in his eyes], as one who brings ·happiness [peace; contentment]. 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon. He ·rented [entrusted] the vineyards ·for others to tend [or to guards], and everyone who rented had to pay ·twenty-five pounds [L a thousand pieces] of silver for the fruit. 12 But my own vineyard is mine ·to give [alone]. Solomon, the ·twenty-five pounds [L thousand pieces] of silver are for you, and ·five pounds [L two hundred] are for those who ·tend [guard] the fruit.
The Man Speaks to the Woman
13 You who live in the gardens, my friends are listening for your voice; let me hear it.
The Woman Speaks to the Man
14 ·Hurry [Sneak away], my lover, be like a gazelle or a young deer on the mountains where spices grow.
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