The Young Shulammite Bride and Jerusalem’s Daughters

The [a]Song of (A)Songs, which is Solomon’s.

[b]The Bride

“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your (B)love is [c]sweeter than wine.
Your (C)oils have a pleasing fragrance,
Your (D)name is like [d]purified oil;
Therefore the [e](E)young women love you.
Draw me after you and let’s run together!
The (F)king has brought me into his chambers.”

The Chorus

“We will rejoice in you and be joyful;
We will praise your (G)love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.”

The Bride

“I am black and (H)beautiful,
You (I)daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the (J)tents of (K)Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am [f]dark,
For the sun has tanned me.
My (L)mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me (M)caretaker of the vineyards,
But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.
Tell me, you (N)whom my soul loves,
Where do you (O)pasture your flock,
Where do you have it (P)lie down at noon?
For why should I be like one who [g]veils herself
Beside the flocks of your (Q)companions?”

Solomon, the Lover, Speaks

“If you yourself do not know,
(R)Most beautiful among women,
Go out on the trail of the flock,
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.

[h]To me, (S)my darling, you are like
My (T)mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.
10 Your (U)cheeks are delightful with jewelry,
Your neck with strings of (V)beads.”

The Chorus

11 “We will make for you jewelry of gold
With beads of silver.”

The Bride

12 “While the king was at his table,
My [i](W)perfume gave forth its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a pouch of (X)myrrh
Which lies all night between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of (Y)henna blossoms
In the vineyards of (Z)Engedi.”

The Groom

15 [j](AA)How beautiful you are, my darling,
[k]How beautiful you are!
Your (AB)eyes are like doves.”

The Bride

16 [l]How handsome you are, (AC)my beloved,
And so delightful!
Indeed, our bed is luxuriant!
17 The beams of our house are (AD)cedars,
Our rafters, (AE)junipers.

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 1:1 Or Best of the Songs
  2. Song of Solomon 1:2 The speaker identifications are not from the Hebrew text nor the Septuagint, but reflect an ancient tradition which appears in some manuscripts.
  3. Song of Solomon 1:2 Lit more pleasant
  4. Song of Solomon 1:3 Lit oil poured from one vessel to another
  5. Song of Solomon 1:3 Or virgins
  6. Song of Solomon 1:6 Or swarthy, blackish
  7. Song of Solomon 1:7 Some ancient versions wanders
  8. Song of Solomon 1:9 Lit I have compared you to
  9. Song of Solomon 1:12 Lit nard
  10. Song of Solomon 1:15 Lit Behold
  11. Song of Solomon 1:15 Lit Behold
  12. Song of Solomon 1:16 Lit Behold

The Bride’s Admiration

“I am the [a](A)rose of (B)Sharon,
The (C)lily of the valleys.”

The Groom

“Like a lily among the thorns,
So is (D)my darling among the [b]young women.”

The Bride

“Like an (E)apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the [c]young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his (F)fruit was sweet to my [d]taste.
He has (G)brought me to his [e]banquet hall,
And his (H)banner over me is love.
Refresh me with (I)raisin cakes,
Sustain me with (J)apples,
Because (K)I am lovesick.
(L)His left hand is under my head,
And (M)his right hand (N)embraces me.”

The Groom

(O)Swear to me, you (P)daughters of Jerusalem,
By the (Q)gazelles or by the (R)does of the field,
(S)That you will not disturb or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

The Bride

“Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he is coming,
Leaping (T)on the mountains,
Jumping on the hills!
My beloved is like a (U)gazelle or a (V)young [f]stag.
Behold, he is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows,
He is peering (W)through the lattice.

10 “My beloved responded and said to me,
(X)Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
11 For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
12 The blossoms have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for [g]pruning the vines,
And the voice of the (Y)turtledove has been heard in our land.
13 The (Z)fig tree has ripened its fruit,
And the (AA)vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’”

The Groom

14 (AB)My dove, (AC)in the clefts of the [h]rock,
In the hiding place of the mountain pathway,
Let me see [i]how you look,
(AD)Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is pleasant,
And [j]you look (AE)delightful.”

The Chorus

15 (AF)Catch the [k]foxes for us,
The [l]little [m]foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our (AG)vineyards are in blossom.”

The Bride

16 (AH)My beloved is mine, and I am his;
He (AI)pastures his flock among the lilies.
17 (AJ)Until the cool of the day, when the shadows flee,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a (AK)gazelle
Or a young stag (AL)on the mountains of [n]Bether.”

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 2:1 Lit asphodel
  2. Song of Solomon 2:2 Lit daughters
  3. Song of Solomon 2:3 Lit sons
  4. Song of Solomon 2:3 Lit palate
  5. Song of Solomon 2:4 Lit house of wine
  6. Song of Solomon 2:9 Lit of the stags
  7. Song of Solomon 2:12 Or singing
  8. Song of Solomon 2:14 Or crag
  9. Song of Solomon 2:14 Lit your appearance
  10. Song of Solomon 2:14 Lit your appearance
  11. Song of Solomon 2:15 Or jackals
  12. Song of Solomon 2:15 Or young
  13. Song of Solomon 2:15 Or jackals
  14. Song of Solomon 2:17 Or ravines; or perfumes

The Bride’s Troubled Dream

“On my bed night after night I sought him
(A)Whom my soul loves;
I (B)sought him but did not find him.
[a]I must arise now and [b]go around in the city;
In the (C)streets and in the public squares
[c]I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.
(D)The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’
(E)Hardly had I [d]left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I (F)held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had (G)brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”

The Groom

(H)Swear to me, you daughters of Jerusalem,
By the (I)gazelles or by the does of the field,
That you will not disturb or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

Solomon’s Wedding Day

The Bride

[e](J)What is this coming up from the wilderness
Like (K)columns of smoke,
Perfumed with (L)myrrh and (M)frankincense,
With all the scented powders of the merchant?

The Chorus

Behold, it is [f]the traveling couch of Solomon;
Sixty warriors around it,
Of the warriors of Israel.
All of them are wielders of the sword,
(N)Expert in war;
Each man has his (O)sword at his side,
Guarding against the [g](P)terrors of the night.
King Solomon has made for himself a [h]sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.
10 He made its posts of silver,
Its [i]back of gold
And its seat of purple fabric,
With its interior lovingly inlaid
By the (Q)daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go out, you (R)daughters of Zion,
And look at King Solomon with the [j]crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the (S)day of his wedding,
And on the day of the joy of his heart.”

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 3:2 Or Let me arise
  2. Song of Solomon 3:2 Or Let me go about
  3. Song of Solomon 3:2 Or Let me seek
  4. Song of Solomon 3:4 Lit passed
  5. Song of Solomon 3:6 Lit Who
  6. Song of Solomon 3:7 I.e., an elegant couch designed to be carried with poles by servants
  7. Song of Solomon 3:8 Lit terror in the nights
  8. Song of Solomon 3:9 I.e., an elegant throne with poles, carried by servants
  9. Song of Solomon 3:10 Or support
  10. Song of Solomon 3:11 Or wreath

Solomon’s Love Expressed

[a]How beautiful (A)you are, my darling,
[b]How beautiful you are!
Your (B)eyes are like doves (C)behind your veil;
Your (D)hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Mount (E)Gilead.
Your (F)teeth are like a flock of newly shorn sheep
Which have come up from their watering place,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.
Your lips are like a (G)scarlet thread,
And your (H)mouth is beautiful.
Your (I)temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil.
Your (J)neck is like the tower of David,
Built with layers of stones
On which are (K)hung a thousand shields,
All the round (L)shields of the warriors.
Your (M)two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle
That (N)graze among the lilies.
(O)Until [c]the cool of the day
When the shadows flee,
I will go my way to the mountain of (P)myrrh
And to the hill of (Q)frankincense.

(R)You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
And there is no blemish on you.
Come with me from (S)Lebanon, my (T)bride,
You shall come with me from Lebanon.
You shall [d]come down from the summit of (U)Amana,
From the summit of (V)Senir and Hermon,
From the dens of lions,
From the mountains of leopards.
You have [e]enchanted my heart, (W)my sister, my bride;
You have [f]enchanted my heart with a single glance of your eyes,
With a single strand of your (X)necklace.
10 (Y)How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much [g](Z)sweeter is your love than wine,
And the (AA)fragrance of your oils
Than that of all kinds of balsam oils!
11 Your lips (AB)drip (AC)honey, my bride;
Honey and milk are under your tongue,
And the fragrance of your garments is like the (AD)fragrance of Lebanon.
12 A locked garden is my sister, my bride,
A locked spring, a (AE)sealed (AF)fountain.
13 Your branches are an [h](AG)orchard of (AH)pomegranates
With (AI)delicious fruits, (AJ)henna with nard plants,
14 (AK)Nard and saffron, spice reed and (AL)cinnamon,
With all the trees of (AM)frankincense,
(AN)Myrrh, and aloes, along with all the finest balsam oils.
15 You are a garden spring,
A well of [i](AO)fresh water,
And flowing streams from Lebanon.”

The Bride

16 “Awake, north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
[j]Make my (AP)garden breathe out fragrance,
May its balsam oils flow.
May (AQ)my beloved come into his garden
And eat its (AR)delicious fruits!”

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 4:1 Lit Behold
  2. Song of Solomon 4:1 Lit Behold
  3. Song of Solomon 4:6 Lit the day blows
  4. Song of Solomon 4:8 Or look
  5. Song of Solomon 4:9 Or stolen
  6. Song of Solomon 4:9 Or stolen
  7. Song of Solomon 4:10 Lit better
  8. Song of Solomon 4:13 Or park; or garden
  9. Song of Solomon 4:15 Lit living; i.e., running
  10. Song of Solomon 4:16 Or Drift through my

The Torment of Separation

The Groom

“I have (A)come into my garden, (B)my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my (C)myrrh along with my balsam.
I have eaten my honeycomb with my (D)honey;
I have (E)drunk my wine with my milk.
Eat, (F)friends;
Drink and [a]drink deeply, lovers.”

The Bride

“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, (G)my sister, my darling,
(H)My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is [b]drenched with dew,
My (I)locks with the dew drops of the night.’
I have (J)taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have (K)washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?
My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my (L)feelings were stirred for him.
I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands (M)dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with drops of myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had (N)turned away and had gone!
My [c]heart went out to him as he (O)spoke.
I (P)searched for him but I did not find him;
I (Q)called him but he did not answer me.
The (R)watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guards of the walls took my shawl away from me.
(S)Swear to me, you daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For (T)I am lovesick.”

The Chorus

[d]What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O (U)most beautiful among women?
[e]What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That you make us swear in this way?”

Admiration by the Bride

The Bride

10 “My beloved is dazzling and [f](V)reddish,
(W)Outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is like gold, pure gold;
His (X)locks are like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.
12 His (Y)eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
And perched in their (Z)setting.
13 His cheeks are like a (AA)bed of balsam,
[g]Banks of herbal spices;
His lips are (AB)lilies
(AC)Dripping with drops of myrrh.
14 His hands are rods of gold
Set with (AD)topaz;
His abdomen is panels of ivory
Covered with [h](AE)sapphires.
15 His thighs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like (AF)Lebanon,
Choice as the (AG)cedars.
16 His [i](AH)mouth is full of sweetness.
And he is wholly (AI)desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
You daughters of Jerusalem.”

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 5:1 Or become drunk
  2. Song of Solomon 5:2 Lit filled
  3. Song of Solomon 5:6 Lit soul
  4. Song of Solomon 5:9 Or What is your beloved more than another beloved
  5. Song of Solomon 5:9 Or What is your beloved more than another beloved
  6. Song of Solomon 5:10 I.e., of reddish hair or skin
  7. Song of Solomon 5:13 Lit Towers
  8. Song of Solomon 5:14 Lit lapis lazuli
  9. Song of Solomon 5:16 Lit palate

Mutual Delight in Each Other

The Chorus

(A)Where has your beloved gone,
O (B)most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
That we may seek him with you?”

The Bride

“My beloved has gone down to his (C)garden,
To the (D)beds of balsam,
To (E)pasture his flock in the gardens
And gather (F)lilies.
(G)I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who (H)pastures his flock among the lilies.”

The Groom

(I)You are as beautiful as (J)Tirzah, my darling,
As (K)lovely as (L)Jerusalem,
As (M)awesome as an army with banners.
Turn your eyes away from me,
For they have confused me;
(N)Your hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Gilead.
(O)Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
That have come up from their watering place,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.
(P)Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil.
There are sixty (Q)queens and eighty concubines,
And [a](R)young women without number;
But (S)my dove, my perfect one, is [b]unique:
She is her mother’s [c]only daughter;
She is the pure child of the one who gave birth to her.
The [d](T)young women saw her and called her [e]blessed,
The (U)queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying,

10 ‘Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
As beautiful as the full (V)moon,
As pure (W)as the sun,
As (X)awesome as an army with banners?’
11 I went down to the orchard of nut trees
To see the plants of the valley,
To see whether (Y)the vine had grown
Or the (Z)pomegranates had bloomed.
12 [f]Before I was aware, my soul set me
Over the chariots of [g]my noble people.”

The Chorus

13 [h]Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
Come back, come back, so that we may look at you!”

The Groom

“Why should you look at the Shulammite,
As at the (AA)dance of [i](AB)the two armies?

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 6:8 Or virgins
  2. Song of Solomon 6:9 Lit one
  3. Song of Solomon 6:9 Lit one
  4. Song of Solomon 6:9 Lit daughters
  5. Song of Solomon 6:9 Or happy
  6. Song of Solomon 6:12 Lit I was not aware, my soul
  7. Song of Solomon 6:12 Or Ammi-nadib
  8. Song of Solomon 6:13 Ch 7:1 in Heb
  9. Song of Solomon 6:13 Or Mahanaim

Admiration by the Groom

[a]How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
[b](A)Prince’s daughter!
The curves of your hips are like jewels,
The work of the hands of an artist.
Your navel is like a round goblet
That never lacks mixed wine;
Your belly is like a heap of wheat,
[c]Surrounded with lilies.
Your (B)two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle.
Your (C)neck is like a tower of ivory,
Your eyes like the pools in (D)Heshbon
By the gate of Bath-rabbim;
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon,
Which looks toward Damascus.
Your head [d]crowns you like (E)Carmel,
And the flowing hair of your head is like purple threads;
The king is captivated by your tresses.
How (F)beautiful and how delightful you are,
[e]My love, with all your delights!
[f]Your stature is like a palm tree,
And your breasts are like its clusters.
I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree,
I will grasp its fruit stalks.’
Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
And the fragrance of your [g]breath like (G)apples,
And your [h](H)mouth like the best wine!”

The Bride

“It (I)goes down smoothly for my beloved,
Flowing gently through the lips of those who are asleep.

The Union of Love

10 (J)I am my beloved’s,
And his (K)desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved, let’s go out to the [i]country,
Let’s spend the night in the villages.
12 Let’s rise early and go to the vineyards;
Let’s (L)see whether the vine has grown
And its buds have opened,
And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I will give you my love.
13 The (M)mandrakes have given forth fragrance;
And over our doors are all (N)delicious fruits,
New as well as old,
Which I have saved for you, my beloved.

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 7:1 Ch 7:2 in Heb
  2. Song of Solomon 7:1 Or Nobleman’s
  3. Song of Solomon 7:2 Lit Fenced around
  4. Song of Solomon 7:5 Lit is upon
  5. Song of Solomon 7:6 Or With love among your charms
  6. Song of Solomon 7:7 Lit This stature of yours
  7. Song of Solomon 7:8 Lit nose
  8. Song of Solomon 7:9 Lit palate
  9. Song of Solomon 7:11 Lit field

The Lovers Speak

“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.
I would lead you and (A)bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
Let (B)his left hand be under my head,
And his right hand embrace me.”

The Groom

(C)Swear to me, you daughters of Jerusalem:
[a]Do not disturb or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

The Chorus

(D)Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
Leaning on her beloved?”

The Bride

“Beneath the (E)apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother went into labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave birth to you.
Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a (F)seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
[b](G)Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flames are flames of fire,
[c]The flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers flood over it;
(H)If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”

The Chorus

“We have a little sister,
And she (I)has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?
If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with (J)planks of cedar.”

The Bride

10 “I was a wall, and (K)my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.
11 Solomon had a (L)vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He (M)entrusted the vineyard to (N)caretakers.
Each one was to bring a (O)thousand shekels of silver for its (P)fruit.
12 My very own vineyard is [d]at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”

The Groom

13 “You who sit in the gardens:
My (Q)companions are listening for your voice—
(R)Let me hear it!”

The Bride

14 [e]Hurry, my beloved,
And be (S)like a gazelle or a young [f]stag
On the (T)mountains of balsam trees!”

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 8:4 Lit Why should you disturb or
  2. Song of Solomon 8:6 Or Its passion is as inflexible
  3. Song of Solomon 8:6 Another reading is A vehement flame
  4. Song of Solomon 8:12 Lit before me
  5. Song of Solomon 8:14 Lit Flee
  6. Song of Solomon 8:14 Lit of the stags