Song of Solomon

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians.
A song written by Solomon around 1000-BCE.

Note: The Song of Solomon can be some of the most difficult reading in the Bible, for it is a two-way conversation between a man and a woman separated by the unlikely distance of the private suite of the king and the place of shepherds in the fields, and just who is speaking is not always identified. However, remember that it is a song, not a narration. And to clarify who is speaking, we have placed what appear (from the tenses) to be the woman’s words in Bold Type.

Chapter 1

1 The song of all songs by Solomon.

2 May you kiss me with kisses from your mouth,
For, the feel] of your chest is better than wine.
3 And the smell of your scent is much better,
Than the odor of all the perfumes,
Which have been poured in your name.
And because of this, young women have loved you.
4 For, they are the ones who drew me toward you;
So, toward the scent of your fragrance we ran.

But the king has carried me off,
Into his private apartments.
Yet I shout in joy and am glad over you,
For I love your chest more than wine…
And what I have for you is [pure] love.

5 O daughters of JeruSalem;
I am as pretty and tan,
As the tents in the Valley of Cedars,
And as [King] Solomon’s leathers.

6 Don’t bother to look, for I’m very dark,
Because [I’ve worked hard] in the sun.
For the sons of my mother quarreled with me,
And made me work hard in a vineyard.
Yes, I was a keeper of vineyards,
Which were never my own.

7 O tell me, you who are loved by my life;
Where indeed do you tend [your sheep]…
Yes, where are you napping at noon?
For I wish to be wrapped all around you,
There among your companions of flocks.
8 If you aren’t sure, O my fair one,
Follow at the heels of the flocks,
And tend your kids close to the tents of the Shepherds.

9 As my horse from the chariots of Pharaoh…
That’s how I [view] you, my dear one.
10 Your cheeks are as pretty as doves,
And your neck’s like the pendant that I’ll make,
11 Out of gold that's accented with silver.

12 When the king came to lie down,
The oils I was wearing gave off their smell.
13 But to me, the man that I love,
Is like a bundle of balsam,
And between my breasts he will stay.
14 For my love is a cluster of cypress;
He’s like the vineyards of EnGedi.

15 {Look!} You’re so pretty my dear one,
And your eyes are like those of doves.

16 {Look!} And you’re so handsome, my dearly-loved man;
And pretty [will be] our bed in the shade,
17 Where the beams of our house made out of cedar,
And our barns will be made out of cypress.

Chapter 2

1 I am a flower of the fields…
Yes, I am a lily of the valley.

2 As a lily in the midst of thorn bushes,
Is my dear one among many daughters.

3 And as an apple among trees in the groves,
Is my loved one amidst other sons.
To rest in his shadow, I have desired,
And I’ve found his fruit to be sweet.

4 Bring me into the tavern,
And therein order me love!
5 Cover me with fragrant oils,
And then pile apples upon me,
For I’ve been pierced through with love.
6 His left hand is under my head,
And he draws me close with his right.

7 O you daughters of JeruSalem;
Swear by the powers and strengths of the fields:
That you won’t arise and awaken your love,
Until [the time] it's desired.

8 Hear the voice of my dearly-loved man.
{Look!} He comes, springing over the mountains,
And leaping above all the hills;
9 For my dearly-loved man is [a fawn],
And a stag among many hinds!

{Look!} He’s standing outside of my window,
And peeking in through the shades.
10 The man that I love calls out and says,

‘Get up and come here, my dear one…
O my fair one and dove; 11 For look, the winter has passed,
And the rains have poured down and ended.
12 Flowers have blossomed throughout the whole land,
And the time for pruning's arrived.
You can hear the voices of doves;
13 The fig trees are putting out buds;
And you can smell the blossoms of grapes.

‘Arise and come here, my dear one…
Get up and come here, my dove!
14 Come, my dove, and stay near the rocks,
Which are piled outside of the wall.
Let me see what you look like,
And let me hear your voice once again;
For I [love] the sound of your voice,
And I [love to gaze at] your beauty.
15 Grab hold of the foxes destroying the vines;
For our grapevines are now in full bloom!’

16 My dearly-loved man is for me,
And for him, I am the only.
He’ll be [outside] tending lilies,
Until a new day when the clouds will be gone.

17 O my dearly-loved man;
Be like the fawn or a buck among hinds,
And [stay nearby] in the mountains.

Chapter 3

1 During the nights, there in my bed;
Whole-souled, I searched for the one that I love.
I searched, but I couldn’t find him;
I called to him, but he didn’t reply.
2 So I’ll get up and go through the city;
I’ll search the markets and squares,
For the one that I love with my whole soul.

Well, I searched, but I couldn’t find him.
3 Then they found me… the ones keeping guard…
Those who do rounds in the city.
[And I asked], ‘Have you seen the love of my life?’

4 It was shortly after I passed them,
That I found the love of my life.
I grabbed onto him and wouldn’t let go,
And took him to the house of my mother…
To the bedroom of she who conceived me.

5 O daughters of JeruSalem;
Swear by the powers and strengths of the fields:
Don’t arise and awaken your love,
Until [the time] it's desired.

6 Who is this woman that comes from the desert,
Like smoke arising from the incense,
Of myrrh, frankincense, and the powders of all the perfumers?

7 Look, there is King Solomon’s bed,
With sixty mighty men standing 'round it,
From among all of Israel’s great ones.
8 Each one is holding his broadsword,
And in ways of war, they've been trained.
They wear their swords at their thighs,
[As they keep watch] through the nights.

9 King Solomon has a carriage made from Lebanon’s cedars,
10 Which has columns of silver, couches of gold,
And purple carpets that line all its steps…
Gifts of love from the daughters of JeruSalem.

11 Come and behold, O daughters of Zion;
See Solomon and the garland he received from his mother,
On the day that he wed me,
And when his heart was so filled with joy!

Chapter 4

1 {Look!} You’re so pretty my dear one…
See how pretty you are!
Your eyes look like doves inside of your veil;
Your hair is as herds of Gilead’s goats;
2 Your teeth [are as white] as freshly-sheared sheep,
After they’ve come from the bath…
All of whom have born twins,
And none are childless among them.

3 Your lips are like scarlet ribbons,
And the way that you talk is so pretty.
Your cheeks, when they’re outside your veil,
Are red like pomegranate skins.
4 Your neck is like the tower of David
(The one that was built for protection),
In which hangs the shields of a thousand,
As well as the arrows of his mighty.
5 And your breasts are just like twin fawns,
Which are feeding there among lilies.

6 Until it comes a new day,
And all the shadows are gone,
I’ll go to the mountain of myrrh,
And wait at the frankincense hill.

7 Entirely fair is my dear one…
She is totally perfect.
8 So, come from Lebanon, my bride…
From Lebanon, please come back to me!
Come to me through the Archway of Trust…
From the peaks of Shinar and Hermon…
From that place of mountain leopards and lions.

9 You have captured my heart,
O my sister and bride;
You’ve captured my heart with your eyes,
And with your neck of garlands [and flowers].
10 Pretty are both your breasts,
O my sister and bride.
They are better than the finest of wines,
And the scent of your clothes exceeds all perfumes.
11 Your lips are like honey dripped from the comb…
Honey and milk are under your tongue,
And as frankincense is the odor your clothes.
12 But you’re locked in a garden, my sister and bride…
Like a well that’s been covered and sealed.

13 All the messages that you have sent,
Are like pomegranate gardens to me…
They are like the fruit from the trees…
They’re like the scent of cypress and nard…
14 Yes, cypress and nard,
Calamus and saffron,
Mixed with cinnamon and the smell of Lebanon's cedars,
Along with aloes and the best of perfumes.
15 They’re like life-giving springs in a garden,
And the wells of the waters of life,
Which from Lebanon, still pour down upon us.

16 So wake up, O north wind… come now!
And south wind, breathe life on my garden…
Come and let its scents flow!

Chapter 5

1 May my beloved man now enter his garden,
And may he eat the fruit from its trees!

I went to my garden, my sister and bride,
And gathered my harvest of spices and myrrh.
I’ve eaten my bread and its honey,
And I’ve drunk its milk and its wine.

Yes eat, O dear one, and drink!
Let’s both get drunk, my dearly-loved man!
2 Though I [want to] sleep, my heart tells me no;
For my loved one knocks on my door, and he says:

‘Open to me, my sister…
Yes, open my dear one and my perfect dove.
For my head is covered with dew,
And my curls [are wet] with the mist of the night.
3 I've removed all of my underclothes…
Now, should I put them back on?
I have also washed off my feet…
Must I run and get them dirty again?’

4 My dearly-loved man stuck his hand through [my door],
And he was aroused [by the touch of my skin].
5 So I got up and opened to him,
As my hands were dripping with myrrh,
For my fingers dripped myrrh on the lock.
6 But when I opened for the one that I love;
The man that I love wasn’t there.

With my whole soul, I yearned for his voice;
So I searched, but I couldn’t find him…
I called out to him, but he couldn’t hear.
7 Then they found me (the guards who make rounds through the town)…
They struck me and hurt me, and took off my wrap
(Those who keep watch at the walls).

8 So, O JeruSalem’s daughters;
Swear by the powers and strengths of the fields:
Tell me if you've seen my dearly-loved man;
For, I’ve been pierced through by love!

9 But who is this man that you love above all,
O prettiest one among women?
Who is this one whom you love so dearly,
That you've bound us with such an oath?

10 My man has white skin and red cheeks…
He's the choicest and my one and only.
11 His head is like gold from Kephas;
His curls are flowing like fir trees,
And they are as black as a crow.
12 His eyes are like doves near deep pools…
As though bathed in milk over water.
13 His mouth is like a bowl filled with spice,
Which is set out to give a fresh smell.
His lips are also like lilies,
Dripping with full-bodied myrrh;
14 And his hands are like gold around Tharsis gems.
His belly is a tablet of ivory,
Upon which is mounted a sapphire.
15 His legs are like columns of marble,
Resting on bases of gold.
He looks like the finest of Lebanon's cedars,
16 And his [voice] is desirable and sweet.

O daughters of JeruSalem;
He's the man that I love and my dearest one!

Chapter 6

1 O prettiest one among women;
Where has he wandered… where has he gone,
So we can search on your behalf?

2 My loved one has gone to his garden,
To gather his bowls filled with spices.
He’s gone to tend to his garden,
And to gather his lilies.

3 I belong to my dearly-loved man,
And my dearly-loved man is [just] mine…
This one who is tending his lilies.

4 You’re so pretty, O dear one…
As pleasing [to me] as JeruSalem.
But you’re disturbing as [men] preparing for war.
5 So, turn your eyes from before me,
Because they excite me too much.
For your hair is like Gliead's goats,
6 And your teeth [are as white] as freshly-sheared sheep,
Which have just come from the bath,
All of whom have born twins,
And none are childless among them.
Your lips are like scarlet ribbons,
And the way that you talk is so pretty.
7 Your cheeks that show through your veil,
Are as red as pomegranate skins.

8 There are now sixty queens,
And eighty concubines more,
As well as unnumbered young women!
9 Yet, one of them is my perfect dove…
She’s the only daughter of her mother…
The favored one of she who gave birth.
The daughters and queens call her blest,
And the concubines all [sing] her praises.
10 ‘Who is she, this one that looks like the dawn,
And who is as fair as the moon…
The chosen one of the sun,
Who's as disturbing as men preparing for war?’

11 To the grove of walnuts, I traveled…
I went down to gaze on their fruits,
Which are there by the stream in the valley.
I went there to see if grapevines had flowered,
And to view the pomegranate blossoms.
12 For my soul had made me like the chariots of nobles.

13 Please return, O Shulamite girl!
Return, return, for I’m searching for you!
How would you know it's the Shulamite girl?
She arrives like an army in the camp.

Chapter 7

1 How pretty are your feet in your sandals,
O you daughter of nobles.
Your thighs are shaped like fine pendants…
The works of the hands of a craftsman.
2 Your navel is like a finely-shaped bowl,
Not lacking a mixture of wines.
Your belly is like a mound of best grain,
That’s wrapped within fields of lilies.
3 Your breasts are like two young fawns…
A pair of twins of the doe.
4 Your neck is a tower of ivory,
And your eyes are like lakes in HeshBon
(Those by the Gates of Many Daughters).
Like Lebanon’s Tower, is your nose…
The one overlooking Damascus.
5 Your head [has the beauty of] CarMel,
And its braids are like purple cloth,
In which the king's wrapped as he passes.

6 How beautiful and delicious you are, O my love,
In the luxurious things you possess.
7 In greatness, you’re much like a palm tree,
And your breasts are as clusters of grapes.
8 I said that I’d climb up that palm tree,
And to its top, I would cling.
For your breasts are like clusters of grapes on the vine;
The scent of your nose is like apples;
9 And [the taste] of your [mouth] is like finest wine.

I’m going to my dearly-loved man straight away,
For [I need him close] to my lips and my teeth.
10 I’ll turn to the man that I love,
And he will then turn toward me.

11 Come, O man that I love;
We’ll run to the fields and lodge in the towns!
12 We’ll get up early [and go into] the vineyards,
To see if the grapevines have bloomed;
To see if the flowers have blossomed;
To see if the pomegranates have buded…
And there, I’ll give you my breasts.

13 The mandrakes have given their odor,
And new and old fruit trees are outside our doors.
O man that I love; I’ve saved them for you!

Chapter 8

1 O man that I love,
Whom I'd grant to nurse at my mother's breasts;
If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
And none would show disrespect.
2 Yes, I would come there and take you…
I’d bring you to the house of my mother,
And into the room where I was conceived,
And where I’d allow you to drink the spiced wine,
Which comes from my pomegranate nectar.

3 His left hand is under my head,
And with his right hand, he holds me.

4 O daughters of JeruSalem;
Swear by the powers and strengths of the fields:
Don’t arise and awaken your love,
Until [the time] it's desired.

5 Who is this that ascends from the desert,
Hanging onto the man that she loves?

From under apple trees, I awoke you,
And there was your mother beside you…
The one who through pain gave you birth.

6 Set me as a seal on your heart,
And as a seal on your arm!
For as strong as death is [my] love for you,
And [my] zeal is as hard as the grave.
It sparks with the fire of [love’s] flames,
7 Which can't be extinguished with water,
Nor can the rivers engulf it.
But if a man were to give all he owns for his love,
[Most] others would think him [a fool].

8 ‘Our sister is [young] and she still has no breasts;
So, what should we do on the day she's engaged?
9 If she should be like a wall,
We'd build parapets of silver around her.
But if she should be like a door,
With cedar planks, we would board her.’

10 I'm a wall and my breasts are like towers;
So in their eyes, I let them find peace.

11 In BaAl Hermon, there once was a vineyard,
Which was owned by Solomon, [the king].
Then to others, he entrusted his vineyard,
Who would thereafter maintain it.
And all men had to pay for its fruit,
With a thousand pieces of silver.
12 [For he said:] ‘The vineyard before me is mine!
So to Solomon, you must pay your thousands,
And two hundred more to those tending his fruit.’

13 O you who now sit in the garden;
My companions have noticed your voice,
And the things that you've said to me.
So, man that I love, you must now run away…
Be like the doe or the fawn of the hinds,
And [hide] in the mountain of spices!

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