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Song of Songs 5:1-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalms 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25 (English Standard Version)

Song of Solomon 5-8

He

I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
    I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
    I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
    I drank my wine with my milk.

Others

Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!

The Bride Searches for Her Beloved

She

I slept, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My beloved is knocking.
“Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”
I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on?
I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?
My beloved put his hand to the latch,
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    on the handles of the bolt.
I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned and gone.
My soul failed me when he spoke.
I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city;
they beat me, they bruised me,
    they took away my veil,
    those watchmen of the walls.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    if you find my beloved,
that you tell him
    I am sick with love.

Others

What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O most beautiful among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus adjure us?

The Bride Praises Her Beloved

She

10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
    distinguished among ten thousand.
11 His head is the finest gold;
    his locks are wavy,
    black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
    beside streams of water,
bathed in milk,
    sitting beside a full pool.[a]
13 His cheeks are like beds of spices,
    mounds of sweet-smelling herbs.
His lips are lilies,
    dripping liquid myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold,
    set with jewels.
His body is polished ivory,[b]
    bedecked with sapphires.[c]
15 His legs are alabaster columns,
    set on bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
    choice as the cedars.
16 His mouth[d] is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.

Others

Where has your beloved gone,
    O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
    that we may seek him with you?

Together in the Garden of Love

She

My beloved has gone down to his garden
    to the beds of spices,
to graze[e] in the gardens
    and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;
    he grazes among the lilies.

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    lovely as Jerusalem,
    awesome as an army with banners.
Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me—
Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping 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;
    not one among them has lost its young.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and virgins without number.
My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the only one of her mother,
    pure to her who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.

10 “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
    beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
    awesome as an army with banners?”

She

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 desire set me
    among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.[f]

Others

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

He

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

How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
    O noble daughter!
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,
    which looks toward Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.

How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights![i]
Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your mouth[j] like the best wine.

She

It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
    gliding over lips and teeth.[k]

10 I am my beloved's,
    and his desire is for me.

The Bride Gives Her Love

11 Come, my beloved,
    let us go out into the fields
    and lodge in the villages;[l]
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 beside our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

Longing for Her Beloved

Oh that you were like a brother to me
    who nursed at my mother's breasts!
If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
    and none would despise me.
I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother—
    she who used to teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning on 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,
    jealousy[m] is fierce as the grave.[n]
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he[o] would be utterly despised.

Final Advice

Others

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 on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
    we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

She

10 I was a wall,
    and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
    as one who finds[p] peace.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
    he let out the vineyard to keepers;
    each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
    you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
    and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.

He

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

She

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

Footnotes:

  1. Song of Solomon 5:12 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  2. Song of Solomon 5:14 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  3. Song of Solomon 5:14 Hebrew lapis lazuli
  4. Song of Solomon 5:16 Hebrew palate
  5. Song of Solomon 6:2 Or to pasture his flock; also verse 3
  6. Song of Solomon 6:12 Or chariots of Ammi-Nadib
  7. Song of Solomon 6:13 Ch 7:1 in Hebrew
  8. Song of Solomon 6:13 Or dance of Mahanaim
  9. Song of Solomon 7:6 Or among delights
  10. Song of Solomon 7:9 Hebrew palate
  11. Song of Solomon 7:9 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew causing the lips of sleepers to speak, or gliding over the lips of those who sleep
  12. Song of Solomon 7:11 Or among the henna plants
  13. Song of Solomon 8:6 Or ardor
  14. Song of Solomon 8:6 Hebrew as Sheol
  15. Song of Solomon 8:7 Or it
  16. Song of Solomon 8:10 Or brings out
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2 Corinthians 9

The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem

Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending[a] the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift[b] you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.[c]

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[d] will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency[e] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they[f] will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 9:3 Or I have sent
  2. 2 Corinthians 9:5 Greek blessing; twice in this verse
  3. 2 Corinthians 9:5 Or a gift expecting something in return; Greek greed
  4. 2 Corinthians 9:6 Greek with blessings; twice in this verse
  5. 2 Corinthians 9:8 Or all contentment
  6. 2 Corinthians 9:13 Or you
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Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51 Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 Or Be gracious to me
  2. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast
Read More
Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.

Read More
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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