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

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

The Young Woman’s Matchless Beauty

You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    comely as Jerusalem,
    terrible as an army with banners.(D)
Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me!
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
    moving down the slopes of Gilead.(E)
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.(F)
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.(G)
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines
    and maidens without number.(H)
My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the darling of her mother,
    flawless to her who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her happy;
    the queens and concubines praised her.(I)
10 “Who is this that looks forth like the dawn,
    fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
    terrible as an army with banners?”(J)

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.(K)
12 Before I was aware, my desire 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](L)

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.(M)
Your navel is a rounded bowl;
    may it never lack mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
    encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.(N)
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.(O)
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.(P)

How fair and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, delectable maiden![d](Q)
You are stately[e] as a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I said, “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,(R)
and your kisses[f] like the best wine
    that goes down[g] smoothly,
    gliding over lips and teeth.[h]

10 I am my beloved’s,
    and his desire is for me.(S)
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;
    let us 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.(T)
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.(U)

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 my mother’s house
    and into the chamber of the one who bore me.[i]
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    from the juice of my pomegranates.(V)
O that his left hand were under my head
    and that his right hand embraced me!(W)
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    do not stir up or awaken love
    until it is ready!(X)


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.(Y)

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.(Z)
Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
    all the wealth of one’s house,
    it[j] 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?(AA)
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.(AB)
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.(AC)

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


  1. 6.12 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 6.13 7.1 in Heb
  3. 6.13 Or dance of Mahanaim
  4. 7.6 Syr: Heb in delights
  5. 7.7 Heb This your stature is
  6. 7.9 Heb palate
  7. 7.9 Heb to my lover
  8. 7.9 Gk Syr Vg: Heb lips of sleepers
  9. 8.2 Gk Syr: Heb my mother; she (or you) will teach me
  10. 8.7 Or he
  11. 8.10 Or finds

My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than those who are enslaved, though they are the owners of all the property, but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental principles[a] of the world.(A) But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,(B) in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.(C) And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our[b] hearts, crying, “Abba![c] Father!”(D) So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir through God.[d]

Paul Reproves the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods.(E) Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental principles?[e] How can you want to be enslaved to them again?(F) 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.

12 Brothers and sisters, I beg you: become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. 13 You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; 14 though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them. 18 It is good to be made much of for a good purpose at all times and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,(G) 20 I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by an enslaved woman and the other by a free woman.(H) 23 One, the child of the enslaved woman, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise.(I) 24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia[f] and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother.(J) 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children,
    burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs,
for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous
    than the children of the one who is married.”(K)

28 Now you,[g] my brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.(L) 30 But what does the scripture say? “Drive out the enslaved woman and her child, for the child of the enslaved woman will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.”(M) 31 So then, brothers and sisters, we are children, not of an enslaved woman but of the free woman.


  1. 4.3 Or spirits
  2. 4.6 Other ancient authorities read your
  3. 4.6 Aramaic for Father
  4. 4.7 Other ancient authorities read an heir of God through Christ
  5. 4.9 Or spirits
  6. 4.25 Other ancient authorities read For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
  7. 4.28 Other ancient authorities read we