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Song of Solomon 1The Message (MSG)

The Song—best of all songs—Solomon’s song!

The Woman

2-3 Kiss me—full on the mouth!
    Yes! For your love is better than wine,
    headier than your aromatic oils.
The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook.
    No wonder everyone loves to say your name!

Take me away with you! Let’s run off together!
    An elopement with my King-Lover!
We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing,
    we’ll make great music.
Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine.
    Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?

5-6 I am weathered but still elegant,
    oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem,
Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents,
    time-softened like Solomon’s Temple hangings.
Don’t look down on me because I’m dark,
    darkened by the sun’s harsh rays.
My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.
    They made me care for the face of the earth,
    but I had no time to care for my own face.

Tell me where you’re working
    —I love you so much—
Tell me where you’re tending your flocks,
    where you let them rest at noontime.
Why should I be the one left out,
    outside the orbit of your tender care?

The Man

If you can’t find me, loveliest of all women,
    it’s all right. Stay with your flocks.
Lead your lambs to good pasture.
    Stay with your shepherd neighbors.

9-11 You remind me of Pharaoh’s
    well-groomed and satiny mares.
Pendant earrings line the elegance of your cheeks;
    strands of jewels illumine the curve of your throat.
I’m making jewelry for you, gold and silver jewelry
    that will mark and accent your beauty.

The Woman

12-14 When my King-Lover lay down beside me,
    my fragrance filled the room.
His head resting between my breasts—
    the head of my lover was a sachet of sweet myrrh.
My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers
    picked just for me from the fields of Engedi.

The Man

15 Oh, my dear friend! You’re so beautiful!
    And your eyes so beautiful—like doves!

The Woman

16-17 And you, my dear lover—you’re so handsome!
    And the bed we share is like a forest glen.
We enjoy a canopy of cedars
    enclosed by cypresses, fragrant and green.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Song of Solomon 2The Message (MSG)

I’m just a wildflower picked from the plains of Sharon,
    a lotus blossom from the valley pools.

The Man

A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—
    that’s my dear friend among the girls in the village.

The Woman

3-4 As an apricot tree stands out in the forest,
    my lover stands above the young men in town.
All I want is to sit in his shade,
    to taste and savor his delicious love.
He took me home with him for a festive meal,
    but his eyes feasted on me!

5-6 Oh! Give me something refreshing to eat—and quickly!
    Apricots, raisins—anything. I’m about to faint with love!
His left hand cradles my head,
    and his right arm encircles my waist!

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
    until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.

8-10 Look! Listen! There’s my lover!
    Do you see him coming?
Vaulting the mountains,
    leaping the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;
    like a young stag, virile.
Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,
    all ears, all eyes—ready!
My lover has arrived
    and he’s speaking to me!

The Man

10-14 Get up, my dear friend,
    fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
    the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over.
    The whole world’s a choir—and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest
    with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
    and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.
Oh, get up, dear friend,
    my fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove—
    leave your seclusion, come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice.
For your voice is soothing
    and your face is ravishing.

The Woman

15 Then you must protect me from the foxes,
    foxes on the prowl,
Foxes who would like nothing better
    than to get into our flowering garden.

16-17 My lover is mine, and I am his.
    Nightly he strolls in our garden,
Delighting in the flowers
    until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.

Turn to me, dear lover.
    Come like a gazelle.
Leap like a wild stag
    on delectable mountains!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Song of Solomon 3The Message (MSG)

1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
    I longed for my lover.
    I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
    hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
    I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
    as they patrolled the darkened city.
    “Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
    found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
    wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
    safe at home beside the fire.

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
    until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.

6-10 What’s this I see, approaching from the desert,
    raising clouds of dust,
Filling the air with sweet smells
    and pungent aromatics?
Look! It’s Solomon’s carriage,
    carried and guarded by sixty soldiers,
    sixty of Israel’s finest,
All of them armed to the teeth,
    trained for battle,
    ready for anything, anytime.
King Solomon once had a carriage built
    from fine-grained Lebanon cedar.
He had it framed with silver and roofed with gold.
    The cushions were covered with a purple fabric,
    the interior lined with tooled leather.

11 Come and look, sisters in Jerusalem.
    Oh, sisters of Zion, don’t miss this!
My King-Lover,
    dressed and garlanded for his wedding,
    his heart full, bursting with joy!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Song of Solomon 4The Message (MSG)

The Man

1-5 You’re so beautiful, my darling,
    so beautiful, and your dove eyes are veiled
By your hair as it flows and shimmers,
    like a flock of goats in the distance
    streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.
Your smile is generous and full—
    expressive and strong and clean.
Your lips are jewel red,
    your mouth elegant and inviting,
    your veiled cheeks soft and radiant.
The smooth, lithe lines of your neck
    command notice—all heads turn in awe and admiration!
Your breasts are like fawns,
    twins of a gazelle, grazing among the first spring flowers.

6-7 The sweet, fragrant curves of your body,
    the soft, spiced contours of your flesh
Invite me, and I come. I stay
    until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.
You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
    beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.

8-15 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride.
    Leave Lebanon behind, and come.
Leave your high mountain hideaway.
    Abandon your wilderness seclusion,
Where you keep company with lions
    and panthers guard your safety.
You’ve captured my heart, dear friend.
    You looked at me, and I fell in love.
    One look my way and I was hopelessly in love!
How beautiful your love, dear, dear friend—
    far more pleasing than a fine, rare wine,
    your fragrance more exotic than select spices.
The kisses of your lips are honey, my love,
    every syllable you speak a delicacy to savor.
Your clothes smell like the wild outdoors,
    the ozone scent of high mountains.
Dear lover and friend, you’re a secret garden,
    a private and pure fountain.
Body and soul, you are paradise,
    a whole orchard of succulent fruits—
Ripe apricots and peaches,
    oranges and pears;
Nut trees and cinnamon,
    and all scented woods;
Mint and lavender,
    and all herbs aromatic;
A garden fountain, sparkling and splashing,
    fed by spring waters from the Lebanon mountains.

The Woman

16 Wake up, North Wind,
    get moving, South Wind!
Breathe on my garden,
    fill the air with spice fragrance.

Oh, let my lover enter his garden!
    Yes, let him eat the fine, ripe fruits.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Ephesians 6The Message (MSG)

1-3 Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.

5-8 Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.

Masters, it’s the same with you. No abuse, please, and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them.

A Fight to the Finish

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

19-20 And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.

21-22 Tychicus, my good friend here, will tell you what I’m doing and how things are going with me. He is certainly a dependable servant of the Master! I’ve sent him not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith.

23-24 Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ. Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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