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Song of Solomon 6-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Where has your beloved gone,
    O fairest among women?
Which way has your beloved turned,
    that we may seek him with you?

My beloved has gone down to his garden,
    to the beds of spices,
to pasture his flock in the gardens,
    and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
    he pastures his flock among the lilies.

The Bride’s Matchless Beauty

You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    comely as Jerusalem,
    terrible as an army with banners.
Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me!
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
    moving down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of ewes,
    that have come up from the washing;
all of them bear twins,
    and not one among them is bereaved.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and maidens without number.
My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the darling of her mother,
    flawless to her that bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her happy;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
10 “Who is this that looks forth like the dawn,
    fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
    terrible as an army with banners?”

11 I went down to the nut orchard,
    to look at the blossoms of the valley,
to see whether the vines had budded,
    whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12 Before I was aware, my fancy set me
    in a chariot beside my prince.[a]

13 [b] Return, return, O Shulammite!
    Return, return, that we may look upon you.

Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
    as upon a dance before two armies?[c]

Expressions of Praise

How graceful are your feet in sandals,
    O queenly maiden!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
    the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl
    that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
    encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
    overlooking Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.[d]

How fair and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, delectable maiden![e]
You are stately[f] as a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its branches.
O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your kisses[g] like the best wine
    that goes down[h] smoothly,
    gliding over lips and teeth.[i]

10 I am my beloved’s,
    and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved,
    let us go forth into the fields,
    and lodge in the villages;
12 let us go out early to the vineyards,
    and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
    and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
    and over our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.
O that you were like a brother to me,
    who nursed at my mother’s breast!
If I met you outside, I would kiss you,
    and no one would despise me.
I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother,
    and into the chamber of the one who bore me.[j]
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranates.
O that his left hand were under my head,
    and that his right hand embraced me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    do not stir up or awaken love
    until it is ready!

Homecoming

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
    there she who bore you was in labor.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
    passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
    all the wealth of one’s house,
    it would be utterly scorned.

We have a little sister,
    and she 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 upon her a battlement of silver;
but if she is a door,
    we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I was a wall,
    and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
    as one who brings[k] peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
    he entrusted the vineyard to keepers;
    each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is for myself;
    you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
    and the keepers of the fruit two hundred!

13 O you who dwell in the gardens,
    my companions are listening for your voice;
    let me hear it.

14 Make haste, my beloved,
    and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
    upon the mountains of spices!

Footnotes:

  1. Song of Solomon 6:12 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Song of Solomon 6:13 Ch 7.1 in Heb
  3. Song of Solomon 6:13 Or dance of Mahanaim
  4. Song of Solomon 7:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Song of Solomon 7:6 Syr: Heb in delights
  6. Song of Solomon 7:7 Heb This your stature is
  7. Song of Solomon 7:9 Heb palate
  8. Song of Solomon 7:9 Heb down for my lover
  9. Song of Solomon 7:9 Gk Syr Vg: Heb lips of sleepers
  10. Song of Solomon 8:2 Gk Syr: Heb my mother; she (or you) will teach me
  11. Song of Solomon 8:10 Or finds
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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