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Song of Solomon 8Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Maiden’s Fanciful Wish

How I wish that you were my little brother,[a][b]
    who nursed upon my mother’s breasts![c]
If I met you outside,[d] I would kiss you,
    and no one would despise me![e]
I would surely bring you[f][g] to the house of my mother,
    who would surely teach me;[h]
I would give you spiced wine to drink,[i]
    the sweet wine[j] of my pomegranates.[k]

Double Refrain: Embrace and Adjuration

His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces[l] me.
I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,[m]
    do not[n] arouse or awaken love until it pleases![o]

Up from the Wilderness and under the Apple Tree

Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning upon her beloved?
Under the apple tree I awakened you;
    there your mother conceived you;[p]
        there she who was in labor gave birth to you.

The Nature of Genuine Romantic Love

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death;
    passion is fierce as Sheol;
its flashes are flashes of fire;
    it is a blazing flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
    rivers cannot sweep it away.[q]
If a man were to give all the wealth of his house for love,[r]
    he would be utterly scorned.[s]

Maiden’s Virtuous Chastity and Voluptuous Beauty

We have a little sister,[t]
    and she does not yet have any breasts.[u]
What should we do for our sister
    on the day when she is betrothed?[v][w]
If she is a wall,
    we will adorn her with a turret of silver;[x][y]
but if she is a door,
    we will barricade her with boards of cedar.[z]
10 I was a wall, and my breasts were like the towers,
    so my betrothed viewed me with great delight.[aa]

Solomon’s Vineyard and the Maiden’s Gift

11 Solomon had a vineyard[ab] at Baal-hamon;
    he entrusted his vineyard to the keepers;[ac]
    people paid a thousand silver pieces for its fruit.[ad]
12 My own “vineyard” belongs to me;[ae]
    the “thousand” are for you, O Solomon,
        and “two hundred” for those who tend its fruit.[af]

Closing Words of Mutual Love

13 O you who dwell in the garden,
    my companions are listening to your voice.
        Let me hear it!
14 Flee, my beloved!
    Be like a gazelle[ag] or a young stag[ah]
        upon the perfumed mountains![ai]

Footnotes:

  1. Song of Solomon 8:1 Literally “O that he would give you like a brother to me”
  2. Song of Solomon 8:1 The Hebrew construction (which is somewhat misleading if rendered in a woodenly literal sense) is an idiom expressing one’s fanciful wish
  3. Song of Solomon 8:1 Literally “at the breast of my mother”
  4. Song of Solomon 8:1 Literally “I will find you in the street”
  5. Song of Solomon 8:1 Literally “also they would not despise me”
  6. Song of Solomon 8:2 Literally “I would lead you and I would bring you”
  7. Song of Solomon 8:2 The combination of the two verbs creates a hendiadys which may be rendered more cogently as “I would surely bring you …”
  8. Song of Solomon 8:2 Literally “she will teach me”
  9. Song of Solomon 8:2 Literally “I would give you to drink from the wine of the spice”
  10. Song of Solomon 8:2 Or “juice”
  11. Song of Solomon 8:2 The traditional Hebrew reads the singular “my pomegranate.” However, the plural reading “my pomegranates” is attested in numerous medieval Hebrew manuscripts and is reflected in the ancient versions (Greek Septuagint, Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta). The latter makes the most sense in this context as a euphemistic description of the maiden’s delights
  12. Song of Solomon 8:3 Or “embraced”
  13. Song of Solomon 8:4 Literally “O daughters of Jerusalem”
  14. Song of Solomon 8:4 Or “Why must you … before it pleases?”
  15. Song of Solomon 8:4 Or “Do not stir up or awaken the love until it is willing,” or “Do not disturb or interrupt our lovemaking until it is satisfied”
  16. Song of Solomon 8:5 Literally “was in labor with you”
  17. Song of Solomon 8:7 Or “and rivers cannot engulf it”
  18. Song of Solomon 8:7 Literally “in the love”
  19. Song of Solomon 8:7 Literally “they will utterly scorn him”
  20. Song of Solomon 8:8 Literally “a little sister for us”
  21. Song of Solomon 8:8 Literally “and there is no breast for her”
  22. Song of Solomon 8:8 Literally “on the day when it is spoken of her”
  23. Song of Solomon 8:8 Or “on the day when she is spoken for”
  24. Song of Solomon 8:9 Literally “we will build upon her a camp of silver”
  25. Song of Solomon 8:9 The term translated “turret” refers to the decorative parapet adorning the top of a building. This image is likely figurative for a silver tiara set upon the head
  26. Song of Solomon 8:9 Or “we will enclose her”
  27. Song of Solomon 8:10 Literally “then I was in his eyes as one who finds peace”
  28. Song of Solomon 8:11 Literally “A vineyard was for Solomon”
  29. Song of Solomon 8:11 Literally “he gave the vineyard to the keepers”
  30. Song of Solomon 8:11 Literally “each one brought a thousand silver pieces for his fruit”
  31. Song of Solomon 8:12 Literally “My vineyard that for me before my face”
  32. Song of Solomon 8:12 Literally “and two hundred for the keepers of his fruit”
  33. Song of Solomon 8:14 Literally “and be like for you to a gazelle”
  34. Song of Solomon 8:14 Literally “to the fawn of the stag”
  35. Song of Solomon 8:14 Literally “the mountains of spices”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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