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The song of songs[a] of Solomon

A Bride Sings of Her Lover

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine.
Your ointments have a pleasing fragrance.
Your name is poured out like perfume.
No wonder maidens love you!
Draw me after you, let us run!
The king has brought me into his chambers.

Chorus: Daughters of Zion

Let us rejoice and be glad in you;
    let us extol your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you!

The Bride

I am black, but beautiful,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has looked on me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me keeper of the vineyards;
    my very own vineyard I have not kept.
Tell me, the one my soul loves,
    where you graze your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon?
Why should I be as one veiled
    beside the flocks of your companions?

The Lover and Bride Express Affection

If you yourself do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
go out yourself in the footsteps of the flock
    and graze your kids by the shepherds’ tents.
I compare you, my darling,
    to my mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
    your neck with strings of beads.
11 Ornaments of gold we will make for you
    with spangles of silver.

12 While the king is on his couch,
    my nard spreads its fragrance.[b]
13 My lover is my pouch of myrrh,
    passing the night between my breasts.
14 My love is to me a spray of henna blooms
    in the vineyards of En-gedi.

15 How lovely you are, my darling, how lovely!
    Your eyes are doves.

16 How handsome you are, my lover!
    Oh, so delightful!
    Yes, our couch is luxuriant.
17 The beams of our houses are cedar trees,
    our panels are cypress trees.

Footnotes

  1. Song of Songs 1:1 Or, the best song.
  2. Song of Songs 1:12 cf. Mark 14:3; John 12:3.

Solomon’s Song of Songs.(A)

She[a]

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love(B) is more delightful than wine.(C)
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;(D)
    your name(E) is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the young women(F) love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.(G)

Friends

We rejoice and delight(H) in you[b];
    we will praise your love(I) more than wine.

She

How right they are to adore you!

Dark am I, yet lovely,(J)
    daughters of Jerusalem,(K)
dark like the tents of Kedar,(L)
    like the tent curtains of Solomon.[c]
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;(M)
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.
Tell me, you whom I love,
    where you graze your flock
    and where you rest your sheep(N) at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled(O) woman
    beside the flocks of your friends?

Friends

If you do not know, most beautiful of women,(P)
    follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
    by the tents of the shepherds.

He

I liken you, my darling, to a mare
    among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.(Q)
10 Your cheeks(R) are beautiful with earrings,
    your neck with strings of jewels.(S)
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

12 While the king was at his table,
    my perfume spread its fragrance.(T)
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh(U)
    resting between my breasts.
14 My beloved(V) is to me a cluster of henna(W) blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.(X)

He

15 How beautiful(Y) you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.(Z)

She

16 How handsome you are, my beloved!(AA)
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

He

17 The beams of our house are cedars;(AB)
    our rafters are firs.

Footnotes

  1. Song of Songs 1:2 The main male and female speakers (identified primarily on the basis of the gender of the relevant Hebrew forms) are indicated by the captions He and She respectively. The words of others are marked Friends. In some instances the divisions and their captions are debatable.
  2. Song of Songs 1:4 The Hebrew is masculine singular.
  3. Song of Songs 1:5 Or Salma

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