SONG OF SOLOMON

The most amazing song of all, by King Solomon.
(The Passion Translation)

Love Is Better than Wine

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

Smother me with kisses—your Spirit-kiss divine
So kind are your caresses,
I drink them in like the sweetest wine !
Your presence releases a fragrance so pleasing—
over and over poured out
For your lovely name is “Flowing Oil”
No wonder the brides-to-be adore you
Draw me into your heart and lead me out
We will run away together into your cloud-filled chamber.

(Hurry, my king ! Let’s hurry.
Take me to your home)

The Chorus of Friends Speak:

We will remember your love as we laugh and rejoice in you,
celebrating your every kiss as better than wine
No wonder righteousness adores you !

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

Young women of Jerusalem, in this twilight darkness
i know i am so unworthy—so in need.

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Yet you are so lovely !

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

i feel as dark and dry as the desert tents
of the wandering nomads.

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Yet you are so lovely—
like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.

She Speaks to her friends:

Please don’t stare in scorn
because of my dark and sinful ways
My angry brothers quarreled with me
and appointed me guardian of their ministry vineyards,
yet i’ve not tended my vineyard within.
Won’t you tell me, Lover of my soul,
where do you feed your flock ?
Where do you lead your beloved ones
to rest in the heat of the day ?
For i wish to be wrapped all around you,
as i go among the flocks of your under-shepherds
It is you i long for, with no veil between us !

(just because the sun
has darkened my skin
My brothers were angry with me;
they made me work in the vineyard,
and so i neglected
my complexion
Don’t let the other shepherds
think badly of me
I’m not one of those women
who shamelessly follow
after shepherds
My darling, I love you !
Where do you feed your sheep
and let them rest at noon ?)

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Listen, my radiant one—
if you ever lose sight of me
just follow in my footsteps where I lead my lovers
Come with your burdens and cares
Come to the place near the sanctuary of my shepherds—
there you will find me.
My dearest one …
Let me tell you how I see you—
you are so thrilling to me
To gaze upon you is like looking
at one of Pharaoh’s finest horses—
a strong, regal steed pulling his royal chariot.
Your tender cheeks are aglow—
your earrings and gem-laden necklaces
set them ablaze
We will enhance your beauty,
encircling you with our golden reins of love
You will be marked with our redeeming grace.

(My dearest, if you don’t know,
just follow the path
of the sheep
Then feed your young goats
near the shepherds’ tents
You move as gracefully
as the pony that leads
the chariot of the king
Earrings add to your beauty,
and you wear a necklace
of precious stones
Let’s make you some jewelry
of gold, woven with silver)

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

As the king surrounded me,
the sweet fragrance of my praise-perfume
awakened the night
A sachet of myrrh is my lover,
like a tied-up bundle of myrrh resting over my heart
He is like a bouquet of henna blossoms—
henna plucked near the vines at the fountain of the Lamb
i will hold him and never let him part.

(My king, while you
were on your couch,
my love was a magic charm
My darling, you are perfume
between my breasts;
you are flower blossoms
from the gardens of En-Gedi)

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Look at you, my dearest darling,
You are so lovely !
You are beauty itself to me
Your passionate eyes are like gentle doves.

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

My beloved one,
both handsome and winsome,
you are pleasing beyond words
Our resting place is anointed and flourishing,
like a green forest meadow bathed in light
Rafters of cedar branches are over our heads
and balconies of pleasant-smelling pines.

(My love, you are handsome,
truly handsome—
the fresh green grass
will be our wedding bed
in the shade of cedar
and cypress trees)

Love Makes Everything Beautiful

i am truly his rose,
the very theme of his song
i’m overshadowed by his love,
growing in the valley !

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Yes, you are my darling companion
You stand out from all the rest
For though the curse of sin surrounds you,
still you remain as pure as a lily,
even more than all others.

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

My beloved is to me
the most fragant apple tree—
he stands above the sons of men
Sitting under his grace-shadow,
i blossom in his shade,
enjoying the sweet taste of his pleasant, delicious fruit,
resting with delight where his glory never fades
Suddenly he transported me into his house of wine—
he looked upon me with his unrelenting love divine
Revive me with your goblet of wine
Refresh me again with your sweet promises
Help me and hold me, for i am lovesick !
i am longing for more—
yet how could i take more ?
His left hand cradles my head
while his right hand holds me close
i am at rest in his love.

(And you, my love,
are an apple tree
among trees of the forest.
Your shade brought me pleasure;
your fruit was sweet.
You led me to your banquet room
and showered me with love.
Refresh and strengthen me
with raisins and apples.
I am hungry for love !
Put your left hand under my head
and embrace me
with your right arm)

The Shepherd-King, He Speaks:

Promise me, brides-to-be,
by the gentle gazelles and delicate deer,
that you’ll not disturb my love until she is ready to arise.

Winter Is Past

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

Listen ! i hear my lover’s voice
i know it’s him coming to me—
leaping with joy over mountains,
skipping in love over the hills that separate us,
to come to me.
Let me describe him:
he is graceful as a gazelle—
swift as a wild stag
Now he comes closer,
even to the places where i hide
He gazes into my soul,
peering through the portal
as he blossoms within my heart
The one i love calls to me.

(i hear the voice
of the one i love,
as he comes leaping
over mountains and hills
like a deer or a gazelle.
Now he stands outside our wall,
looking through the window
and speaking to me)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling
Come along with me !
I have come as you have asked
to draw you to my heart and lead you out
For now is the time, my beautiful one.
The season has changed,
the bondage of your barren winter has ended
and the season of hiding is over and gone
The rains have soaked the earth
and left it bright with blossoming flowers
The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived
I hear the cooing of doves in our land,
filling the air with songs to awaken you
and guide you forth.

Can you not discern this new day of destiny
breaking forth around you ?
The early signs of my purposes and plans
are bursting forth.

The budding vines of new life
are now blooming everywhere
The fragrance of their flowers whispers:
“There is change in the air”
Arise, my love, my beautiful companion
and run with me to the higher place
For now is the time to arise and come away with me
For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock
It was I who took you and hid you up high
in the secret stairway of the sky.
Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice
How beautiful your eyes of worship
and lovely your voice in prayer.

You must catch the troubling foxes,
those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship
For they raid our budding vineyard of love
to ruin what I’ve planted within you.
Will you catch them and remove them for me ?
We will do it together.

(My darling, I love you!
Let’s go away together.
Winter is past,
the rain has stopped;
flowers cover the earth,
it’s time to sing.
The cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
Fig trees are bearing fruit,
while blossoms on grapevines
fill the air with perfume.
My darling, I love you!
Let’s go away together.
You are my dove
hiding among the rocks
on the side of a cliff.
Let me see how lovely you are!
Let me hear the sound
of your melodious voice.
Our vineyards are in blossom;
we must catch the little foxes
that destroy the vineyards)

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

i know my lover is mine and i have everything in you,
for we delight ourselves in each other
But until the day springs to life
and the shifting shadows of fear disappear,
turn around, my lover, and ascend
to the holy mountains of separation without me
Until the new day fully dawns,
run on ahead like the graceful gazelle
and skip like the young stag
over the moountains of separation
Go on ahead to the mountain of spices—
i’ll come away another time.

(My darling, I am yours,
and you are mine,
as you feed your sheep
among the lilies.
Pretend to be a young deer
dancing on mountain slopes
until daylight comes
and shadows fade away)

Beautiful Dreams

Night after night i am tossing and turning on my bed of travail
Why did i let him go from me ?
How my heart now aches for him,
but he is nowhere to be found !
So i must rise in search of him,
looking throughout the city,
seeking until i find him
Even if i have to roam through every street,
nothing will keep me from my search.
Where is he—my soul’s true love ?
He is nowhere to be found.

Then i encountered the overseers as they encircled the city
So i asked them, “Have you found him—
my heart’s true love ?”
Just as i moved past them, i encountered him
i found the one i adore !
i caught him and fastened myself to him,
refusing to be feeble in my heart again.
Now i’ll bring him back to the temple within
where i was given new birth—
into my innermost parts, the place of my conceiving.

(While in bed at night,
I reached for the one I love
with heart and soul.
I looked for him,
but he wasn’t there.
So I searched through the town
for the one I love.
I looked on every street,
but he wasn’t there.
I even asked the guards
patrolling the town,
“Have you seen the one
I love so much?”
Right after that, I found him.
I held him and would not let go
until I had taken him
to the home of my mother)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Promise me, O Jerusalem maidens,
by the gentle gazelles and delicate deer,
that you’ll not disturb my love until she is ready to arise.

The Groom and the Wedding Party

The Voice of the Lord

Who is this one ascending from the wilderness
in the pillar of the glory cloud ?
He is fragrant with the anointing oils
of myrrh and frankincense—
more fragrant than all the spices of the merchant.

Look ! It is the king’s marriage carriage
The love seat surrounded by sixty champions,
the mightiest of Israel’s host,
are like pillars of protection.
They are angelic warriors standing ready with swords
to defend the king and his fiancee
from every terror of the night.

The king made this mercy seat for himself
out of the finest wood that will not decay
Pillars of smoke, like silver mist—
a canopy of golden glory dwells above it
The place where they sit together
is sprinkled with crimson.
Love and mercy cover this carriage,
blanketing this tabernacle throne
The king himself has made it
for those who will become his bride.

Rise up, Zion maidens, brides-to-be !
Come and feast your eyes on this king
as he passes in procession on his way to his wedding.
This is the day filled with overwhelming joy—
the day of his great gladness.

(What do we see approaching
from the desert
like a cloud of smoke?
With it comes the sweet smell
of spices,
including myrrh
and frankincense.
It is King Solomon
carried on a throne,
surrounded by sixty
of Israel’s best soldiers.
Each of them wears a sword.
They are experts at fighting,
even in the dark.
The throne is made of trees
from Lebanon.
Its posts are silver,
the back is gold,
and the seat is covered
with purple cloth.
You women of Jerusalem
have taken great care
to furnish the inside.
Now come and see the crown
given to Solomon
by his mother
on his happy wedding day)

What a Beautiful Bride

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Listen, my dearest darling,
you are so beautiful—you are beauty itself to me !
Your eyes glisten with love,
like gentle doves behind your veil
What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you
You are like a sacrifice ready to be offered
When I look at you,
I see how you have taken my fruit and tasted my word
Your life has become clean and pure,
like a lamb washed and newly shorn
You now show grace and balance with truth on display.

Your lips are as lovely as Rahab’s scarlet ribbon,
speaking mercy, speaking grace,
the words of your mouth are as refreshing as an oasis.
What pleasure you bring to me !
I see your blushing cheeks
opened like the halves of a pomegranate,
showing through your veil of tender meekness.

When I look at you,
I see inner strength so stately and strong
You are as secure as David’s fortress
Your virtues and grace cause a thousand famous soldiers
to surrender to your beauty
Your pure faith and love rest over your heart
as you nurture those who are yet infants.

(My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely—
as you look through your veil,
your eyes are those of a dove.
Your hair tosses about
as gracefully as goats
coming down from Gilead.
Your teeth are whiter
than sheep freshly washed;
they match perfectly,
not one is missing.
Your lips are crimson cords,
your mouth is shapely;
behind your veil are hidden
beautiful rosy cheeks.
Your neck is more graceful
than the tower of David,
decorated with thousands
of warriors’ shields.
Your breasts are perfect;
they are twin deer
feeding among lilies.
I will hasten to those hills
sprinkled with sweet perfume
and stay there till sunrise)

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

i’ve made up my mind
Until the darkness disappears and the dawn has fully come,
in spite of shadows and fears,
i will go to the mountaintop with you—
the mountain of suffering love
and the hill of burning incense
Yes, i will be your bride.

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Every part of you is so beautiful, my darling
Perfect your beauty without flaw within
Now you are ready, bride of the mountains,
to come with me as we climb the highest peaks together
Come with me through the archway of trust
We will look down
from the crest of the glistening mounts
and from the summit of your sublime sanctuary
Together we will wage war
in the lion’s den and the leopard’s lair
as they watch nightly for their prey.

For you reach into my heart
With one flash of your eyes I am undone by your love,
my beloved, my equal, my bride
You leave me breathless—
I am overcome
by merely a glance from your worshipping eyes,
for you have stolen my heart
I am held hostage by your love
and by the graces of righteousness shining upon you.

How satisfying to me, my equal, my bride
Your love is my finest wine-intoxicating and thrilling
And your sweet, perfumed praises-so exotic, so pleasing
Your loving words are like the honeycomb to me;
your tongue releases milk and honey,
for I find the Promised Land flowing within you
The fragance of your worshipping love
surrounds you with scented robes of white.

My darling bride, my private paradise,
fastened to my heart
A secret spring are you that no one else can have—
my bubbling fountain hidden from public view
What a perfect partner to me now that I have you
Your inward life is now sprouting, bringing forth fruit
What a beautiful paradise unfolds within you
When I’m near you, I smell aromas of the finest spice,
for many clusters of my exquisite fruit
now grow within your inner garden.

Here are the nine:
Pomegranates of passion,
henna from heaven,
spikenard so sweet,
saffron shining,
fragant calamus from the cross,
sacred cinnamon,
branches of scented woods,
myrrh, like tears from a tree,
and aloes as eagles ascending.

Your life flows into mine, pure as a garden spring
A well of living water springs up from within you,
like a mountain brook flowing into my heart !

(My darling, you are lovely
in every way.
My bride, together
we will leave Lebanon!
We will say good-by
to the peaks
of Mount Amana,
Senir, and Hermon,
where lions and leopards
live in the caves.
My bride, my very own,
you have stolen my heart!
With one glance from your eyes
and the glow of your necklace,
you have stolen my heart.
Your love is sweeter than wine;
the smell of your perfume
is more fragrant than spices.
Your lips are a honeycomb;
milk and honey
flow from your tongue.
Your dress has the aroma
of cedar trees from Lebanon.
My bride, my very own,
you are a garden,
a fountain
closed off to all others.
Your arms are vines,
covered with delicious fruits
and all sorts of spices—
henna, nard, saffron,
calamus, cinnamon,
frankincense, myrrh, and aloes
—all the finest spices.
You are a spring in the garden,
a fountain of pure water,
and a refreshing stream
from Mount Lebanon)

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

Then make your awakening breath
blow upon my life until i am fully yours
Breathe upon me with your Spirit wind
Stir up the sweet spice or your life within me.
Spare nothing as you make me your fruitful garden
Hold nothing back until i release your fragance
Come walk with me as you walked
with Adam in your paradise garden
Come taste the fruits of your life in me.

(Let the north wind blow,
the south wind too!
Let them spread the aroma
of my garden,
so the one I love
may enter
and taste
its delicious fruits)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

I have come to you, my darling bride,
for you are my paradise garden !

(My bride, my very own,
I come to my garden
and enjoy its spices.
I eat my honeycomb and honey;
I drink my wine and milk)

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

Come walk with me until i am fully yours
Come taste the fruits of your life in me.

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

I have gathered from your heart,
my equal, my bride,
I have gathered from my garden
all my sacred spices—even my myrrh
I have tasted and enjoyed my wine within you
I have tasted with pleasure my pure milk, my honeycomb,
which you yield to me
I delight in gathering my sacred spice,
all the fruits of my life I have
gathered from within you, my paradise garden.

Come, all my friends—
feast upon my bride, all you revealers of my palace.
Feast on her, my lovers !
Drink and drink, and drink again,
until you can take no more
Drink the wine of her love
Take all you desire, you priests
My life within her will become your feast.

Their Friends Speak:

(Eat and drink
until
you are drunk with love)

Another Dream

The Shulamite, She Speaks:

After this i let my devotion slumber,
but my heart for him stayed awake
i had a dream,
i dreamed of my beloved—
He was coming to me in the darkness of night
The melody of the man i love awakened me
i heard his knock at my heart’s door
as he pleaded with me:

(I was asleep, but dreaming:
The one I love was at the door,
knocking and saying,
“My darling, my very own,
my flawless dove,
open the door for me !
My head is drenched
with evening dew”)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Arise, my love.
Open your heart my darling, deeper still to me
Will you receive me this dark night ?
There is no one else but you, my friend, my equal
I need you this night to arise and come be with me.
You are my pure, loyal dove, a perfect partner for me
My flawless one, will you arise ?
For my heaviness and tears are more than I can bear.
I have spent myself for you throughout the dark night.

The Sleeping Bride, She Speaks:

i have already laid aside my own garments for you
How could i take them up again
since i’ve yielded my righteousness to yours ?
You have cleansed my life and taken me so far.
Isn’t that enough ?

My beloved reached into me to unlock my heart
The core of my very being trembled at his touch.
How my soul melted when he spoke to me !
My spirit arose to open for more of his touch.
As i surrendered to him, i began to sense his fragrance—
the fragance of his suffering love !
It was the sense of myrrh flowing all through me !
i opened my soul to my beloved, but suddenly he was gone !
And my heart was torn out in longing for him.

i sought his presence, his fragance,
but could not find him anywhere
i called out for him, yet he did not answer me
i will arise and search for him until i find him.

As i walked throughout the city in search of him,
the overseers stopped me as they made their rounds
They beat me and bruised me until i could take no more
They wounded me deeply
and removed their covering from me.

Nevertheless, make me this promise, you brides-to-be:
if you find my beloved one,
please tell him i endured all travails for him.
i’ve been pierced through by love,
and i will not be turned aside !

(But I had already undressed
and bathed my feet.
Should I dress again
and get my feet dirty?
Then my darling’s hand
reached to open the latch,
and my heart stood still.
When I rose to open the door,
my hands and my fingers
dripped with perfume.
My heart stood still
while he spoke to me,
but when I opened the door,
my darling had disappeared.
I searched and shouted,
but I could not find him—
there was no answer.
Then I was found by the guards
patrolling the town
and guarding the wall.
They beat me up
and stripped off my robe.
Young women of Jerusalem,
if you find the one I love,
please say to him,
“She is weak with desire”)

Jerusalem Maidens, Brides-to-be

What love is this ?
How could you continue to care so deeply for him ?
Isn’t there another who could steal away your heart ?
We see now your beauty, more beautiful than all the others
What makes your beloved better than any other ?
What is it about him
that makes you ask us to promise you this ?

(Most beautiful of women,
why is the one you love
more special than others?
Why do you ask us
to tell him how you feel?)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

He alone is my beloved
He shines in dazzling splendor, yet is still so approachable—
without equal as he stands above all others,
waving his banner to myriads
The way he leads me is divine
His leadership—so pure and dignified
as he wears his crown of gold
Upon this crown are letters of black written
on a background of glory.
He sees everything with pure understanding
How beautiful his insights—without distortion
His eyes rest upon the fullness of the river of revelation,
flowing so clean and pure

Looking at his gentle face i see such fullness of emotion
Like a lovely garden where fragrant spices grow—
what a man !
No one speaks words so anointed as this one—
words that both pierce and heal,
words like lilies dripping with myrrh
See how his hands hold unlimited power !
But he never uses it in anger,
for he is always holy, displaying his glory
His innermost place is a work of art—
so beautiful and bright
How magnificent and noble is this one—
covered in majesty !

He’s steadfast in all he does
His ways are the ways of righteousness,
based on truth and holiness
None can rival him,
but all will be amazed by him
Most sweet are his kisses, even his whispers of love
He is delightful in every way
and perfect from every viewpoint
If you ask me why i love him so, O Brides-to-be,
it’s because there is none like him to me
Everything about him fills me with holy desire !
And now he is my beloved—my friend forever.

(He is handsome and healthy,
the most outstanding
among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy,
black as a raven.
His eyes are a pair of doves
bathing in a stream
flowing with milk.
His face is a garden
of sweet-smelling spices;
his lips are lilies
dripping with perfume.
His arms are branches of gold
covered with jewels;
his body is ivory
decorated with sapphires.
His legs are columns of marble
on feet of gold.
He stands there majestic
like Mount Lebanon
and its choice cedar trees.
His kisses are sweet.
I desire him so much !
Young women of Jerusalem,
he is my lover and friend)

Brides-to-be, They Speak:

O rarest of beauty,
where then has your lover gone ?
We long to see him too
Where may we find him ?
We will follow you as you seek after him.

(Most beautiful of women,
tell us where he has gone.
Let us help you find him)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

My lover has gone down
into his garden of delight,
the place where his spices grow,
to feast with those pure in heart.
i know we shall find him there
He is within me—i am his garden of delight
i have him fully and now he fully has me !

(My darling has gone down
to his garden of spices,
where he will feed his sheep
and gather lilies.
I am his, and he is mine,
as he feeds his sheep
among the lilies)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

O my beloved, you are lovely
When I see you in your beauty,
I see a radiant city where we will dwell as one.
More pleasing than any pleasure,
more delightful than any delight,
you have ravished my heart,
stealing away my strength to resist you
Even hosts of angels stand in awe of you.
Turn your eyes from me; I can’t take it anymore !
I can’t resist the passion of these eyes that I adore
Overpowered by a glance, my ravished heart-undone
Held captive by your love, I am truly overcome !
For your undying devotion to me
is the most yielded sacrifice.

The shining of your spirit
shows how you have taken my truth
to become balanced and complete.
Your beautiful blushing cheeks
reveal how real your passion is for me,
even hidden behind your veil of humility.
I could have chosen any from among the vast multitude
of royal ones who follow me.
But one is my beloved dove—unrivaled in your beauty,
without equal, beyond compare,
the perfect one, the only one for me.

Others see your beauty and sing of your joy.
Brides and queens chant your praise:
“How blessed is she !”
Look at you now—
arising as the dayspring of the dawn,
fair as the shining moon
Bright and brilliant as the sun in all its strength
Astonishing to behold as a majestic army
waving banners of victory.

(My dearest, the cities of Tirzah
and Jerusalem
are not as lovely as you.
Your charms are more powerful
than all of the stars
in the heavens.
Turn away your eyes—
they make me melt.
Your hair tosses about
as gracefully as goats
coming down from Gilead.
Your teeth are whiter
than sheep freshly washed;
they match perfectly,
not one is missing.
Behind your veil are hidden
beautiful rosy cheeks.
What if I could have
sixty queens, eighty wives,
and thousands of others !
You would be my only choice,
my flawless dove,
the favorite child
of your mother.
The young women, the queens,
and all the others
tell how excited you are
as they sing your praises:
“You are as majestic
as the morning sky—
glorious as the moon—
blinding as the sun!
Your charms are more powerful
than all the stars above”)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

I decided to go down to the valley streams
where the orchards of the king grow and mature
I longed to know if hearts were opening
And the budding vines blooming with new growth ?
Has their springtime of passionate love arrived ?
Then suddenly my longings transported me.
My divine desire brought me next to my beloved prince,
sitting with him in his royal chariot.
We were lifted up together !

(I went down to see if blossoms
were on the walnut trees,
grapevines, and fruit trees.
But in my imagination
I was suddenly riding
on a glorious chariot)

Zion Maidens, Brides-to-be:

Come back ! Return to us, O maiden of his majesty
Dance for us as we gaze upon your beauty.

(Dance! Dance!
Beautiful woman from Shulam,
let us see you dance)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

Why would you seek a mere Shulamite like me ?
Why would you want to see my dance of love ?

(Why do you want to see
this woman from Shulam
dancing with the others?)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Because you dance so gracefully,
as though you danced with angels !

The Wedding Dance

How beautiful on the mountains
are the sandaled feet of this one bringing such good news
You are truly royalty !
The way you walk so gracefully in my ways
displays such dignity
You are truly the poetry of God—his very handiwork.
Out of your innermost being
is flowing the fullness of my Spirit—
never failing to satisfy.

Within your womb there is a birthing of harvest wheat;
there are the sons and daughters
nurtured by the purity you impart.
How gracious you have become !
Your life stands tall as a tower, like a shining light on a hill
Your revelation eyes are pure, like pools of refreshing—
sparkling light for a multitude
Such discernment surrounds you,
protecting you from the enemy’s advance.

Redeeming love, crowns you as royalty
Your thoughts are full of life, wisdom and virtue
Even a king is held captive by your beauty
How delicious is your fair beauty;
it cannot be described
as I count the delights you bring me
Love has become the greatest.
You stand in victory above the rest,
stately and secure as you share with me
your vineyard of love.

Now I decree, I will ascend and arise.
I will take hold of you by my power,
possessing every part of my fruitful bride.
Your love I will drink as wine,
and your words will be mine
For your kisses of love are exhilarating,
more than any delight I’ve known before
Your kisses of love awaken even the lips of sleeping ones.

(You are a princess,
and your feet are graceful
in their sandals.
Your thighs are works of art,
each one a jewel;
your navel is a wine glass
filled to overflowing.
Your body is full and slender
like a bundle of wheat
bound together by lilies.
Your breasts are like twins
of a deer.
Your neck is like ivory,
and your eyes sparkle
like the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath-Rabbim.
Your nose is beautiful
like Mount Lebanon
above the city of Damascus.
Your head is held high
like Mount Carmel;
your hair is so lovely
it holds a king prisoner.
You are beautiful,
so very desirable !
You are tall and slender
like a palm tree,
and your breasts are full.
I will climb that tree
and cling to its branches.
I will discover that your breasts
are clusters of grapes,
and that your breath
is the aroma of apples.
Kissing you is more delicious
than drinking the finest wine.
How wonderful and tasty !)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

Now i know that i am filled with my beloved
and all his desires are fulfilled in me.
Come away, my lover
Come with me to the far away fields
We will run away together to the forgotten places
and show them redeeming love.

Let us arise and run to the vineyards of your people
and see if the budding vines of love are now in full bloom
We will discover if their passion is awakened
There i will display my love for you
The love apples are in bloom,
sending forth their fragrance of spring
The rarest of fruits are found at our doors—
the new as well as the old
I have stored them for you, my lover-friend !

(My darling, I am yours,
and you desire me.
Let’s stroll through the fields
and sleep in the villages.
At dawn let’s slip out and see
if grapevines and fruit trees
are covered with blossoms.
When we are there,
I will give you my love.
Perfume from the magic flower
fills the air, my darling.
Right at our doorstep
I have stored up for you
all kinds of tasty fruits)

If Only You and I…

If only i could show everyone
this passionate desire i have for you
If only i could express it fully,
no matter who was watching me,
without shame or embarrassment
i long to bring you to my innermost chamber—
this holy sanctuary you have formed within me.
O that i might carry you within me.
i would give you the spiced wine of my love,
this full cup of bliss that we share.
We would drink our fill until …
His left hand cradles my head
while his right hand holds me close
We are at rest in this love.

Promise me, brides-to-be,
by the gentle gazelles and delicate deer,
that you’ll not disturb my love until she is ready to arise.

(If you were my brother,
I could kiss you
whenever we happen to meet,
and no one would say
I did wrong.
I could take you to the home
of my mother,
who taught me all I know.
I would give you delicious wine
and fruit juice as well.
Put your left hand under my head
and embrace me
with your right arm.
Young women of Jerusalem,
promise me by the power
of deer and gazelles
never to awaken love
before it is ready)

(Who is this young woman
coming in from the desert
and leaning on the shoulder
of the one she loves ?)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

Who is this one ? Look at her now !
She arises out of her desert, clinging to her beloved
When I awakened you under the apple tree,
as you were feasting upon me,
i awakened your innermost being with the travail of birth
as you longed for more of me.

Fasten me upon your heart as a seal of fire forevermore.
This living, consuming flame
will seal you as my prisoner of love.
My passion is stronger
than the chains of death and the grave,
all consuming as the very flashes of fire
from the burning heart of God.

Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over your entire being.
Rivers of pain and persecution
will never extinguish this flame.
Endless floods will be unable
to quench this raging fire that burns within you.
Everything will be consumed
It will stop at nothing
as you yield everything to this furious fire
until it won’t even seem to you like a sacrifice anymore.

(I stirred up your passions
under the apple tree
where you were born.
Always keep me in your heart
and wear this bracelet
to remember me by.
The passion of love
bursting into flame
is more powerful than death,
stronger than the grave.
Love cannot be drowned
by oceans or floods;
it cannot be bought,
no matter what is offered)

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

My brothers said to me when i was young,
“Our sister is so immature.
What will we do to guard her for her wedding day ?”

(We have a little sister
whose breasts
are not yet formed.
If someone asks to marry her,
what should we do?
She isn’t a wall
that we can defend
behind a silver shield.
Neither is she a room
that we can protect
behind a wooden door)

The Bridegroom-King, He Speaks:

“We will build a tower of redemption to protect her
Since she is vulnerable,
we will enclose her with a wall of cedar boards.”

The Shulamite Bride, She Speaks:

But now i have grown and become a bride,
and my love for him has made me
a tower of passion and contentment for my beloved.
i am now a firm wall of protection for others,
guarding them from harm.
This is how he sees me—i am the one who brings him bliss,
finding favor in his eyes.
My bridegroom-king has a vineyard of love
made from a multitude of followers.
His caretakers of this vineyard
have given my beloved their best.

But as for my own vineyard of love,
i give it all to you forever.
And i will give double honor
to those who serve my beloved
and have watched over my soul.
My beloved, one with me in my garden,
how marvelous that my friends, the brides-to-be,
now hear your voice and song
Let me now hear it again.

(i am a wall around a city,
my breasts are towers,
and just looking at me
brings him great pleasure.
Solomon has a vineyard
at Baal-Hamon,
which he rents to others
for a thousand pieces
of silver each.
My vineyard is mine alone !
Solomon can keep his silver
and the others can keep
their share of the profits)

He Speaks:

(You are in the garden
with friends all around.
Let me hear your voice !)

She Speaks:

(Hurry to me, my darling !
Run faster than a deer
to the mountains of spices)

The Bridegroom and the Bride in Divine Duet

Arise, my darling !
Come quickly, my beloved.
Come and be the graceful gazelle with me.
Come be like a dancing deer with me.
We will dance in the high place in the sky.
Yes, on the mountains of fragrant spice.
Forever we will be united as one !