The Beautiful Woman behind the Veil

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (1200 word vocabulary) on the Song of Songs

Sarah Ruth

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are comments on the text.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.


About the Song of Songs

People in the book

This is a book about love. It is a story about a man and a woman. The man loves only the woman. The woman loves only the man.

We read about the woman’s brothers. We read about the woman’s mother. We do not read anything about her father. There is also a group of friends. All or almost all of them are women.

We do not know a lot about the man or about the woman. In parts of the story, the writer calls the man a king. He may be King Solomon. But maybe the writer uses the word ‘king’ only to show that the woman *respects him.

Also, we must ask, ‘Did the man and woman really live? Or, is this about any man and woman who love each other?’

The words in the book

Some people believe that this book is a set of songs. Together they make one larger song. The songs are like each other. The songs may be words only with no music. The songs have the same ideas. The writer repeats ideas in different ways. Maybe the songs are about different people. It is difficult to find the beginning and the end of each song.

Other people believe that this is one song, not a set of songs. It tells one story only. It is about the same people. It is not the whole story from beginning to end. It seems that the writer has told only parts of the story. The story is not easy to understand. But love is not easy to understand!

The person who wrote this book was from the East. The way that the writer puts the words together shows this fact to us. Sometimes we have to ask, ‘Has an event already happened?’ ‘Is this happening now?’ ‘Will this happen at some future time?’ We are not always sure.

We do not know, always, who is speaking. Also, we may not know which person they are speaking to. For example, the woman sometimes speaks to the man. Sometimes she speaks to the group of women friends. Sometimes she may only be speaking aloud. This is to show her thoughts to us. Maybe sometimes the woman is only thinking and hoping. It may not be happening outside of her mind. To help you, we have put the names of the people above their words. This is how we understand it.

When you read this book, you may feel certain things. You may think that you are with the man and woman in the story. The writer has caused this to happen. We read about how the man and the woman touch. And we read about how they kiss. We read about how they taste *wine and apple. We read about the smell of things. We know that the story is really happening!

The man and the woman in the book

We do not know what the man and the woman are like. But we see how they are together. They have a large and very strong love for each other. They do not love anyone else as much. They do not love anyone else in the same way. They are beginning to know each other more. The book describes how they are feeling then.

The book tells us that we can be very happy about love like this. It shows how a man and a woman can show this love to each other. When God made the world, he made both male and female. He said that they were very good. Now we see that God makes them for each other. A man and a woman are different. But God has made a man and his wife to be as one person.

The book is more about how the woman, rather than the man, feels. Sometimes she thinks that she is not beautiful. Sometimes she is very happy. Sometimes she is afraid to be away from the man. Sometimes she is afraid that he may not love her any longer.

The man sees that the woman is beautiful. The woman thinks that the man is handsome. There are many ways that this is true. They show that they want to be together in their *spirits. That is, they want to be friends. And they want to agree about many things. God knows what they are thinking about each other. God sees this. And God says that this is good.

The song tells us what the man and the woman say to each other. It describes how they kiss. The way that they touch each other is important. The song explains this. It describes the way that they show love by sex. God has rules about how we should show love like this. And he has rules about when we should show it. Other parts of the Bible teach us this. But Song of Songs is not a book about rules. Here what we see are the results of love and sex together. That is all.

Men and women are very different. They are different in how they think. They are different in what they do. But in this book, we often see them the same. For example, the man is sometimes the leader. Sometimes the woman is the leader.

The man and the woman sometimes do things when they have not asked the other person. But also, they do things because they want to make the other person happy. The man is not powerful over the woman. He does not cause her to do something that she does not want to do.

Marriage in the book

In some countries, the parents decide about the person that their child will marry. The man and woman may not know each other much until after they are married. In other countries, they meet each other. But their parents have not decided this. The man and woman may have a long time to be best friends. Then they marry.

This book does not say anything about the marriage. It seems that the man and woman do have some time together before the marriage. They enjoy that time. But they do not have sex until after the marriage.

There may be a time when the husband and his wife become parents. The book seems to say that they can have children. But it is not about the birth of children. It is not about *families. The book is about the man and woman as best friends.

How the writer describes things in the book

The book describes what God has made. It also describes things that people have made. These ideas cause the reader to think about the man and woman. For example, we read about land where there are farms. This gives the idea that a man and his wife can make a new life. They may have a baby together. The man can see a long way from the hills. This shows that his love can become larger. Valuable stones show that the man and woman are very valuable to each other.

Often a word or a group of words can mean two things. For example, the word *vineyard can mean that the woman is in a *vineyard. Also, the word *vineyard can mean that she is like a *vineyard. The word garden can mean that the man and woman are in a garden. But it can also mean that the woman’s body is like a garden. The writer uses the word garden to mean the woman’s body in chapter 4. This is when the man and woman are enjoying sex.

Chapter 1

The writer

v1 Solomon’s Song of Songs.

Solomon was a very rich king. He lived more than 900 years before Christ (BC). He had a group of about 1000 songs. This is the most important song. Perhaps he liked this song best.

Solomon may have written the book. Or it may be a book about Solomon, or about another rich man. Many people *respected King Solomon. So the writer may have used Solomon’s name here. Another person may have written the book. He or she put it with Solomon’s other songs.

King Solomon accepted this book. He had a very good mind. He understood many things. This is how it became part of the Bible.

The book is more about the woman than about the man. Also, the book is more about how a woman, rather than a man, thinks. And it is more about how a woman feels. So a woman may have written the book.


v2 I really want him to kiss me with his lips.

         Your love makes me happier than *wine does.

v3 You have put something on your body.

         Certainly, it has a lovely smell.

The sound of your name causes me pleasure like that too.

         I am not surprised that the young women love you!

v4a Take me away with you. Come quickly.

         I want the king to take me into his rooms.

The woman may be with the man. Or, he may be near to her. She can see him. But he may not hear her because he is not very near to her. She may glance at him. In this way, she tells him that she loves him.

Or maybe the woman is only thinking about him. She may say some words aloud and some words may be thoughts. She talks about what she wants. Perhaps there will be a time when she will go into his house. That is what she is hoping for. We read about when the man and woman are near each other. We read about what they are like at that time. The writer tells us that the woman really wants to be with the man.

It does not take long to read about this. What the woman feels happens quickly. She did not know that she would feel this. It seems like a strong powerful wind that is blowing round her. This is something that she cannot stop. The woman does not know the man yet. So we do not know if she really loves him yet.

The man may be a king. Or, to her, he may be like a king. This is because she has a lot of *respect for him.

Women friends

v4b We are very happy!

You make us happy.

         Your love is better than *wine. We will speak and sing about it.

The woman is with some friends. The women friends are speaking about the man, not about the woman. They like the man very much also. But they are happy for the woman to be his best friend.


v4c I agree! They are right to think about you like that. And they are right to love you like that.

v5 *Daughters of Jerusalem, my skin is dark but lovely.

         It is dark like the *tents of Kedar.

         It is dark but lovely like the curtains in Solomon’s *tent.

v6 Do not continue to look at me because my skin is dark.

         The sun has made my skin like this.

My mother’s sons were angry with me.

         They caused me to work in the *vineyards. I had to watch over the vineyards.

         So I could not watch over my own *vineyard.

The writer calls the friends the ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’. Jerusalem was the capital city where Solomon was king. Kedar was a group of people. They moved from place to place. They lived in *tents. They made *tents of black goats’ hair.

Her brothers are not very kind to her. She does not even call them ‘brothers’ here. This may be because she does not know them very well. They are not kind or friendly to her as some brothers are to their sisters. We do not read about the woman’s father. Maybe he is dead. Or maybe he has left the *family.

The woman has worked in the *vineyards. This may have been her duty. But she has had too much work to do. She has not had enough time to make herself beautiful. Her skin is dark because she has been in the sun. Maybe she has not washed her hair. She may be wearing old clothes.

A *vineyard is like a country place. In country places, we see what God has made. We see plants and wild animals. It is beautiful. Verse 6 says that the woman’s body is like a *vineyard. God makes women’s bodies beautiful. But people watch over a *vineyard. So it is also like a garden. Women can watch over their bodies. And they can be careful about their bodies. They can dress well. They can change their hair with a brush to make it lovelier. Women can become even more beautiful.

The women are looking at her with eyes that are completely open. This may be because she is very pretty. But she thinks that the women see something different or strange about her. This is because the sun has made her skin too dark.

Or maybe the woman only thinks that they are looking at her a lot. Perhaps the man will think that she is beautiful. She believes that he will think that.

Maybe now the man walks near to the woman. The woman speaks to him.


v7 I love you.

Tell me where your sheep eat the grass.

         Where do you lead your sheep so that they can rest at midday?

When I am near your friends with their animals,

I do not want to wear a *veil over my face!


v8 You are the most beautiful woman of all.

If you do not know where to find me,

         follow the marks from the feet of the sheep.

Let your young goats eat grass by the *tents of those who watch over the sheep.

The woman wants to be the man’s friend. She wants to know him more. She wants to know him in a different way. She wants to show her love to him. This makes her a stronger person in her *spirit. She becomes brave when she speaks to the man.

A man’s work is very important to him. He must be free to do his work and to have his own interests. But the woman wants to be with him all the time!

She speaks to him. She wants to know where he will be. She does not want to look here and there for him. She might wear a *veil. Nobody except the man would recognise her. But she does not want to seem like a woman who has sex for money. So she does not want to cover her face.

The man has sheep. He will be out with the men who watch over the sheep. So he suggests that she meets him there. She can go with her goats to where the sheep are eating.

She will also be with other people. So they will not think that she does anything wrong. While everyone is resting at midday, she will be with the man. Perhaps they will have some time alone together.

So the man and woman meet as they have agreed.


v9 You are my best friend. I love you more than anyone else.

         You seem to me like a female horse that pulls one of *Pharaoh’s *chariots.

v10 Your face is beautiful with ear-rings.

         Round your neck are valuable stones, which make it very pretty.

         v11 We will make ear-rings for you. We will make them out of gold with pieces of *silver in.

Pharaoh is the name that people use for all the kings of Egypt. Egypt is a country near to where King Solomon lived.

The man says that people will see the woman easily in a group of men and women. He sees that she is wearing pretty things. They are hanging from her ears and round her neck. She has dressed very well. So, he is happy to be with her when other people are there.

The word ‘we’ in verse 11 shows that the man is already thinking about himself and the woman together. He wants her to wear even more beautiful things than she wears now.

After this meeting, the woman talks to her friends about her time with the man.


v12 The king was lying down and he was eating.

         I had put something on my skin that has a lovely smell.

         This smell moved into the air.

v13 To me, the man that I love is like a little bag of *myrrh.

         He is like the little bag of *myrrh that lies between my breasts.

v14 To me he is like a group of *henna flowers.

         He is like flowers that grow in the *vineyards at En Gedi.

The woman is out again in the fields with the man. They are resting together. They are eating. They are very near to each other. They are enjoying this!

En Gedi is the name of a lovely pool of water in a very dry place.


v15 How beautiful you are!

         My best friend, you are very beautiful! Your eyes are like *doves.

*Doves are small, beautiful birds. They cause us to think about people who are kind to each other. They move their *wings quickly when they fly. The woman may move her eyes like this. The shape of her eyes may be like a *dove’s shape.

The man and woman are lying down and they are resting after their lunch. They look up into the branches of the trees. Maybe they are thinking about a time when they will be living together.


v16 You are very handsome and you love me.

         You are very lovely!

This green field of fresh, long grass is our bed.


v17 The beams of our house are the *cedar trees.

         The trees, with green leaves all of the time, are above us like a roof.

Chapter 2


v1 I am a wild flower of Sharon.

         I am a *lily from the valleys.


v2 Among other young women, my best friend that I love is like a *lily among *thorns.

Sharon is a place near to where the man and the woman live. It is near the sea and it is flat. There is a lot of rain there, so there are many pretty wild flowers. The *lily is also a pretty flower but it is very common.

The woman is saying that there is nothing special about her. But the man knows that, to him, she is special. She is really lovely. Now other women do not seem beautiful at all.

Now the woman talks to her friends again.


v3 Among the other young men, the man who loves me is like an apple tree.

         He is like an apple tree among the trees of the forest.

I love to sit in his shade.

         His fruit is sweet.

         It tastes nice.

v4 He has taken me to the *banquet hall.

         Everyone can see that he loves me.

v5 I am weak with love.

         So, give *raisins to me to make me strong.

         Give apples to me to keep me awake.

v6 His left arm is under my head.

         His right arm draws me near to him.

v7 *Daughters of Jerusalem,

                   please do not cause someone to feel love for another person;

         not until he or she wants to.

I am saying this because I really mean it.

         I *beg you on behalf of the *gazelles and the young female *deer in the field.

The woman tells her friends about the time when she was with the man.

Where the woman lived, it would not be usual to find an apple tree among the other trees. It was a foreign tree. Someone would have planted it there. So if someone found an apple tree there, it would be a surprise. The woman is saying that the man is a lovely surprise. She has found him. He is special and he is not like other men.

A *banquet hall is a place where there are many happy people. They eat good food and they drink plenty of *wine. The lunch that she has had with the man was, to her, like this special meal. Perhaps she has tasted apple for the first time and she has enjoyed it. This also explains to us something else. She has enjoyed her time with the man. It was *fun! This is what she means. She now knows him a little. Maybe they had kissed each other.

She remembers when she was under the trees. It was lovely to sit under the trees where the sun could not burn her. But she also says that she loves to sit under the man’s branches. A woman likes to have a man to keep her safe. She wants a man to have enough money for what she needs. But a man can give to a woman more than food and a home. He can help her to become stronger in her *spirit. She will not be afraid if he is strong in his *spirit. This is what she explains here.

The man’s love for her is the important thing. He does not hide this from her. She wants other people to know that he loves her.

Now that she is away from the man, she feels weak. She would rather be in the man’s arms. When a woman first loves a man a lot, there are some changes in her body. She may not want to eat. She may feel sick. She wants to be with the man all the time. If she really wants to know the man, this is good. If not, it is better that she does not draw the man near to her.

The woman knows that the man loves her. She knows this because of the way that he has looked at her. He has put his arm round her. This is all that she wants. She does not want him to touch her in any other way. The pleasure that she feels is very strong. She wants to wait before he touches her in any other way.


v8 Listen! I hear the man who loves me!

         Look! He is coming!

         He moves quickly across the mountains.

He runs and he jumps. He comes over the hills.

         v9 The man who loves me is like a *gazelle or like a young male *deer.

It is best for a man that he is not always with his woman. He needs time alone. He needs time with other men, with no women in the group. This will cause him to feel good. So he will want to be with his woman again.

The woman is happy that the man likes to be outside. She wants him to run and to make himself stronger. She does not want him to be sitting inside a room all the time. But now the woman is very happy that the man is coming to her.


Look! There he is! He is standing behind our wall.

He is looking through the windows.

         He is trying to see through the *lattice.

v10 The man who loves me spoke. He said to me,

         ‘My beautiful best friend, I love you.

                   Please get up and come with me.

v11 See! The winter is past. The rains have finished.

         v12 Flowers are appearing in country places.

         It is now the season to sing.

         Near here, we can hear the lovely sound that the *doves are making.

v13 The new fruit on the *fig trees is growing.

         The smell from the flowers on the *vines is moving into the air.

My beautiful best friend, I love you.

         Please get up and come with me.’

The woman is still telling her friends about the man.

When we read the words ‘window’ and ‘wall’, we think about home. We feel safe and happy inside our home. But when we read the words ‘mountains’, ‘hills’ and ‘*gazelles’ (verses 8-9), we think about outside places. We might feel free and happy outside too. Verses 10 to 13 tell us that the man has asked the woman to come with him already. He wants her to leave things and people that she knows well. He wants her to go outside and to enjoy the spring. The flowers have appeared and the birds are singing. He wants her to have more adventure in her life.

Now he speaks to her again.


v14 You are like a *dove that is hiding in a rock.

         You are like a *dove that is hiding in the mountains.

Show your face to me because it is lovely.

Let me hear your voice because it has a beautiful sound.

v15 Catch the *foxes for us.

         Catch the little *foxes that destroy the *vineyards.

         They destroy our *vines when the flowers are appearing.

The man wants to see her. He wants to see her face. But he also wants to find out about her in every way. He wants her to show to him more about herself.

It seems that she wants to hide. Perhaps she does not want to see him.

When *foxes dig holes they may destroy *vines. Maybe the *foxes in this story mean her brothers. Perhaps they do not want her to see him. She is beginning to become a lovely lady. But the brothers want to make her a child again.

The *foxes may mean anyone or anything that stops the man and woman being friends.


v16 The man who loves me is mine.

         And I am his.

         He eats slowly among the *lilies.

v17 My best friend that I love,

                   turn round until the dawn.

Until the shadows have gone, be like a *gazelle.

         Or be like a young male *deer on the hills of rock.

*Lilies are pretty flowers. But the writer uses the word ‘*lilies’ to mean that they are kissing on the lips. The man feels pleasure when he is kissing the woman.

The man and woman are together for a short time, perhaps. She enjoys it when she kisses him. The way that they kiss now is different. It shows that they do not want to be friends only. They want to belong together.

The woman really likes to be with the man. She feels happy now. But she also knows that she is hoping for more than this. She wants those things to become true future events. At some future time, she wants very much to enjoy sex with him. But she may know that she is not yet ready for this. Maybe in some ways she still feels like a child. So, when it is evening, the woman asks him to leave. She asks him to go until the dawn.

She is saying that she wants him to go. But she does want him to return. She needs him to wait for her. This is like people who have to wait for the dawn.

Chapter 3

The woman has a dream. Some time after that, she tells her friends about it.


v1 All night I lay in bed.

         I looked for the man that I love.

         I looked for him but he did not appear.

v2 I thought, ‘I will get up now and I will go into the city.

         I will look everywhere for the man that I really love.

         I will go through all the streets.

         I will look in all the market places.’

So I looked for him.

         But I did not find him.

v3 The *security guards were working.

         They walked through the streets of the city.

         They found me.

         I said, ‘Have you seen the man that I love very much?’

v4 I passed them.

Just then, I found the man that I love!

         I hugged him. I would not let him go.

         I held him until I had brought him to my mother’s house.

I brought him to my mother’s room.

         (There my life started, in my mother’s body.)

v5 *Daughters of Jerusalem,

         please do not cause someone to feel love for another person;

                   not until he or she wants to.

I am saying this because I really mean it.

         I *beg you on behalf of the *gazelles and the young female *deer in the field.

When the man has gone, the woman begins to sleep. But she does not sleep well. Half-awake and half-asleep, she has a dream. The man has gone to a country place, perhaps. But, in her dream, she thinks that he has gone to the city. Alone in her bed, she had felt lonely. So, in her dream, she looks everywhere for him. She is afraid that she will not see the man again. She would not have said this to anyone the day before. But after her sleep, she understands her thoughts.

The dream shows that she wants to be with the man. Verse 4 may show that she wants to be married to the man. This would mean that he was now part of her *family. Or, the woman may believe that God chose the man for her before her birth. Also, it shows that she wants to be safe. She was safe when she was in her mother’s body. So now, the woman decides that she wants to be always with the man.

In verse 5, the woman repeats what she had said earlier. You may feel that you love someone very much. Be careful then! A result of love can be that someone is no longer alone. But there are times when a man and a woman will not be together. That can be difficult for them. When someone loves another person, good events can happen. But sad events can happen too. For example, one of them may die and so leave the other person alone.

The Writer

v6 Who is this who is appearing from the empty land?

         What is this smoke that is rising?

         There is a lovely smell of *myrrh and *incense.

The smell of the *trader’s *spices fills the air.

v7 Look! It is King Solomon’s *sedan chair and 60 soldiers are travelling with it.

         The soldiers are very brave. They are the best in Israel.

v8 All of them wear a *sword. Each man is ready to use it.

         They have all fought in many wars.

         They are ready for the dangers of the night.

v9 King Solomon made the *sedan chair for himself.

         He made it out of wood from Lebanon.

v10 He made the *posts out of *silver.

         He used gold for the part where the passenger’s feet rest.

The *Daughters of Jerusalem put a comfortable *purple cloth over the seat to cover it.

         They were careful to make it beautiful inside.

v11 *Daughters of Zion, come out.

Look at King Solomon who is wearing his *crown.

         His mother put the *crown on him.

         She put it on him on his marriage day.

         It was the day that he was very happy.

The ‘smoke’ that is rising may be sand or dirt from the ground. It blows about because many people are moving. But there is a lovely smell of *spice. So the writer is thinking about lovely smells from the smoke of plants that are burning.

Lebanon is a country in the Middle East where there are mountains and many trees. It is next to the country where Solomon was king.

In this book, the writer uses the word *purple to mean something valuable. It is a colour that kings and queens would use.

Verses 7 and 9 may mean that King Solomon is the man in the story. But, if not, maybe the man and woman are singing a song at their marriage. The song that they sing is about Solomon’s marriage.

‘Daughters of Zion’ seems to be another name for the friends. Zion is the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use the word Zion to mean all Jerusalem.

This is the one time that we read about the marriage event. This is an important day. So the writer describes things that we can see. He or she describes things that we can touch. The writer describes the soldiers and the *sedan chair. Many people were there. But it seems that we cannot read more about this event. We can find out only that it has happened already. The writer only tells us about the man and woman. The writer does not tell us about all the other people at the marriage day.

The man and his wife have now married. So they will now live together.

Chapter 4

The man and his wife are now alone together. The writer continues to speak about things that people find in country places. But the man and his wife are not outside. The writer is using these words to describe the two people.

In this chapter, the man speaks more than in any other part of the book. The man sees how beautiful his wife is. He describes her in a song without music. He speaks first about her head and then about her body. This is like other love songs from the East.


v1 How beautiful you are!

         My best friend that I love, you are certainly very beautiful!

         Your eyes behind your *veil are like *doves.

Your hair is like a group of goats.

         It is like goats that are coming down *Mount Gilead.

Mount Gilead is a mountain in the country where Solomon was king.

The man likes to look at his wife. The woman’s hair moves when she turns. It seems like a group of goats that are following each other down the mountain.


v2 Your teeth are white like a group of sheep.

         They are like sheep after someone has cut off their dirty *wool.

         They are like sheep that are coming out of the pool of water.

                   Each tooth is one of a pair. Not one of them is alone.

v3 Your lips are bright red.

         They are bright red like a *ribbon.

         Your mouth is lovely.

The sides of your face are round like the halves of a *pomegranate.

         Your *veil hides them.

The man can see his wife’s teeth. So perhaps she smiles a lot. Her teeth are white and clean. The mouth here means the voice. The woman is not only pretty but she speaks well too.

The woman may be wearing a *veil. This may show that she has just married the man. But the word *veil may mean only that her husband does not know her very well yet.

The man wants to know her better. He wants to find out about her body. He wants to find out about her as a person. The man and his wife are alone together. They can tell each other about themselves. This is like someone who is taking off a *veil.


v4 Your neck is like the beautiful, important *tower that King David built.

         The *shields of 1000 soldiers hang from the stones round it.

King David was Solomon’s father.

The woman’s neck is long. It has many valuable rings round it. From them hang little plates. They make her even more beautiful.

Maybe the woman’s neck holds her head up high. This shows that she feels good. She feels important. When she is with her husband, she feels very important.


v5 Your breasts are like two young *gazelles that were born to their mother on the same day.

         They walk slowly among the *lilies and they eat the grass.

The writer explains the man’s thoughts to us. The writer seems to be describing a lovely, happy picture in a country place. The animals are eating and they are not in a hurry. It is quiet.

But the writer is really describing the man and his wife together. The woman may be very young. Her breasts are small and soft. The man is kissing her. And he is enjoying that because she is very beautiful.

What is happening is new for her. The man knows that. Already he has helped her because he has spoken to her about her beautiful body. And now he is kind and he does not hurry.

The woman had covered the other parts of her body.


v6 Until the dawn, I will go to the mountain of *myrrh.

         Until the shadows go, I will go to the hill with the lovely smell.

The mountain of *myrrh and the hill with the lovely smell mean the woman’s lower body.

v7 You are my best friend and I love you.

         I find that every part of you is beautiful.

         There is no part of you that is not lovely.

v8 Come with me from Lebanon.

         You are my new wife.

Come with me from Lebanon.

         Come down from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir.

         Come down from the highest part of Hermon.

         Come away from the *lions’ homes

                  and from the places in the mountains where there are *leopards.

Lebanon, Amana, Senir and Hermon are all places that are a long way away. But the woman is not in any of those places. Her husband is saying that she seems difficult to reach. He wants to draw her to him. Her body is already near to him. But he asks her to come to him. He thinks that her *spirit is still not near to him. That is how he feels. So he asks her to come to him.

*Lions and *leopards are wild and dangerous animals. He wants to keep her from danger. The man is saying that she will be safe with him. There is no reason to be afraid.


v9 I love you so much that I never want to leave you.

         You are my sister and my new wife.

         After one glance of your eyes, I knew that I wanted you more than anyone else.

I see one of the valuable stones that hang round your neck.

         And then I know that you are the most valuable person to me.

The man says the word ‘sister’ because now he is part of her *family.


v10 Your love to me is certainly very good, my sister, my new wife.

         It gives to me more pleasure than when I drink *wine.

You have a smell that is lovelier than any *spice!

v11 Your lips taste sweet, my new wife.

They taste like *honey that falls from the *honeycomb.

         Milk and *honey are under your *tongue.

The smell of your clothes is like the smell of Lebanon.

The way that the woman touches her husband is better than a drink of the best *wine. The words in verse 11 show that he enjoys her kisses even more now. The man now really wants to enjoy sex. Quickly his body is changing ready for this.

The woman’s clothes here are those that she wears at night. Or, they are the clothes that she wears next to her body. The man holds his wife very near to him.


v12 You are like a garden that you have locked up, my sister, and my new wife.

         You are like a *spring that someone has covered.

         You are like a *fountain that nobody has opened.

         Water cannot rise from it.

The woman has never enjoyed sex before. She has waited for the right man for her. So she has ‘locked her garden’.

God has made her the woman that she is. God has made her body, her nature and her *spirit. But she may not have had a special man friend before. A man has not yet completely seen what she is like.

The man does not know how she will show her love to him. The woman loves her husband. There may be ways that she would like him to touch her. But this is a new event for her.

If he touches her in these ways, she will feel her love for him in her body. Then, when she is ready, she will find more love inside her. She will be able to give a lot of pleasure to her husband.


v13 Your garden is full of *pomegranate trees with their sweet fruit.

         There are fruits that many people like.

There are *henna and *nard.

         v14 There are *nard, *saffron, *calamus and *cinnamon.

There are many different plants that have lovely smells.

         There are *myrrh and *aloes.

                   All the best *spices are there.

Henna, nard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon, myrrh and aloes are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

The man certainly wants very much to come into the garden that is his wife’s body. He can already enjoy it. His wife is nearly ready to enjoy sex completely. Now the ‘garden’ is open.


v15 You are like a *fountain in a garden.

         You are like a well that is full of water.

                   The water now comes quickly down from Lebanon.


v16 Awake, north wind! Come, south wind!

         Blow on my garden so that its lovely smell will move all over the place.

I really want the man that I love to come into his garden.

         Let him taste the best fruits.

The woman asks her husband into her ‘garden’. She says ‘Come into it.’ Then she calls her body ‘his’ garden.

Now the time is right. The man and his wife show their love to each other. They give to each other even more pleasure than before. They have never before known love like this!

Chapter 5


v1a I have come into my garden, my sister and my new wife.

         I have taken my *myrrh with my *spice.

         I have eaten my *honeycomb and my *honey.

         I have drunk my *wine and my milk.

Almost all the songs are about how the woman feels. But here we read about how the man feels. He is saying, ‘I have done it!’

Yes! It has certainly been very good!

The man uses the word ‘my’. The man and his wife feel so near to each other that they feel like one person.

The Writer

v1b Eat, friends, and drink. You love each other!

         Drink until you no longer need a drink.

Verse 1 is the middle of the Song. It is also an important point in the story. It is the greatest event until now. They have enjoyed sex completely.

The man and his wife are certainly very happy! Oh! They have known a lot of pleasure! It was like a drink of the best *wine and a meal of the best food. They enjoyed all of it together.

What the man and his wife are doing is right and good. They may enjoy each other’s love for as long as they want to. They can give pleasure to each other many times.

God wants a man and his wife to stay together. If they do, they can enjoy sex many times. We see that, in this story, it has been good the first time. So the man and his wife will want to continue.

The woman sleeps. She has another dream. The woman is telling her friends about her dream.


v2 I slept but my *heart was awake.

         Listen! The man who loves me is knocking.

         ‘Open the door for me, my sister’, he said.

         ‘You are my best friend that I love the most.

                  To me you are like a *dove.

                  Nobody is lovelier than you.

         Water from the night air covers my head.

                  My hair is very wet.’

v3 I said, ‘I have taken off my day clothes.

         I do not want to put them on again.

         I have washed my feet.

                  I do not want them to get dirty again.’

v4 The man who loves me pushed his hand through the hole in the door.

         My heart began to go quicker for him.

                   I could feel it and I could almost hear it.

v5 I stood up to open the door for the man who loves me.

         My hands were wet with *myrrh.

         *Myrrh was dropping from my fingers onto the door handle.

The woman has started to dream. Her mind and her *heart are still awake in some ways. She has enjoyed a night of sex with her husband. So, in the dream story, she has good thoughts about this. She wants her husband very much.


v6 I opened the door for the man who loves me. But he had left.

         He was gone.

I felt full of love for him when he spoke.

         I looked for him but I did not find him.

         I spoke his name loudly but he did not answer.

The lovely dream, about the time when the man came to her, now changes. It is a very bad dream. She no longer thinks good thoughts.

Now she dreams, instead, that her husband has gone. She is very sad. She thinks that she will not see her husband again. She will do anything that she can to find him.

It is worse than the dream in chapter 3 because this is after her marriage. She has enjoyed sex with him.

For another man and woman this might be a fact, not a dream. Sometimes a man and a woman have sex. It is the first time. Then the next morning the man leaves the woman. He does not love her and he no longer wants her. This is not good for the woman. She will feel very bad. The woman will think, ‘I am like something that the man has used. He used me once and then he threw me out.’ She will not even feel like a person. God’s idea for sex is not like this.

The woman continues to dream.


v7 The *security guards were working.

They found me while they were walking through the streets of the city.

         They hit me and they hurt me.

         And the marks on my body show this.

         Those *security guards of the walls took away my *shawl.

v8 Please find the man who loves me, *Daughters of Jerusalem!

         If you find him, please speak to him about me.

         Please tell him that I am weak with love.

When the woman was with her husband, she was sure about his love. But perhaps this dream shows that she is still not very sure about herself. She is still afraid of many things. Her life with her brothers was not good. They should have watched over her but they were not kind to her. Maybe other men had been cruel to her or they had hurt her.

In the same way, the *security guards should have watched over her. But instead, they hit her. This shows that the woman needs more of her husband’s love. She needs him to be very kind to her.

The woman tells her friends about the dream. Then they know how the woman feels.


v9 You are the most beautiful among women.

         How is the man that you love better than other men?

         How is he better than other men, that you ask us to say this?


v10 His face and his body shine because of the sun.

         He is the greatest among 10 000 men.

v11 His head is valuable like *pure gold.

         The hairs on his head are black, but they are not straight.

         They are black like the night with no moon.

v12 His eyes are like *doves by the water streams.

         They are like *doves that someone has washed in milk.

         They sometimes shine like valuable stones.

v13 The sides of his face are like *spice plants in the ground that have a lovely smell.

         His lips are like *lilies with *myrrh that falls from them.

v14 His arms are like long round pieces of gold

         and some valuable stones are over them.

His body is like *ivory that someone has caused to shine.

         A few valuable, blue stones make it even more beautiful.

v15 His legs are straight and strong like round pieces of beautiful stone.

         His feet are of *pure gold.

He is tall like Lebanon, quite as handsome as its best *cedars.

v16 His mouth is very nice in every way.

         Everything about him is lovely.

         This is the man who loves me.

         This is my friend, *Daughters of Jerusalem.

The woman describes her husband from his head to his feet. He has good health. And he has a red-brown face because he is often outside. He is handsome and tall like a tree. He is strong. He is as strong as he will ever be. His arms, legs and body are hard when anyone touches them. So maybe he works a lot. People will see him easily in a crowd.

But it will not be easy for anyone to find him! She has not described carefully what his face and his body are like. Rather, she has described what he is like as a person. This tells us how she thinks about him. He is very sure in his *spirit. He knows what he wants. Nobody can change his mind.

The woman feels safe with him because he is kind. She describes his eyes like *doves in a quiet place. His eyes show that he wants to be kind. And so she understands that she is special to him. She likes his mouth. Maybe he smiles at her. And she likes his kisses!

To her there is nobody greater! She finds that everything about him is lovely. So she has said that parts of his body are like valuable metals and stones. She finishes with, ‘This is the man who loves me. This is my friend.’ She is sure that nobody will argue with her.

Chapter 6


v1 You are the most beautiful among women.

         Where has the man who loves you gone?

         Which way did he turn so that we can look for him with you?


v2 The man who loves me has gone down to his garden.

         He has gone to where the plants with a lovely smell grow.

         He has gone there to walk in the gardens and to pick *lilies.

v3 This man loves me and I am his. And he is mine.

         He is walking among the *lilies.

Maybe the fact is that the man got up early in the morning. The woman saw him leave the room but she was half-asleep. She began to sleep again. That is when she had the bad dream.

Now she is awake. The friends have asked her where he will be. She thinks that he has gone down to his garden. The words ‘garden’ and ‘*lilies’ cause her to think about the times when he has kissed her. She remembers that they have enjoyed sex. She knows that he does still love her. It is a fact. So she goes to him.


v4 You are my best friend that I love the most.

         You are as beautiful as Tirzah.

         You are as lovely as Jerusalem.

                  Everyone sees you easily.

  You are like an army that is holding up its beautiful cloth with bright colours.

v5 Turn your eyes away from me.

         They cause a lot of pleasure for me.

         But the pleasure is too strong for me!

Your hair is like a group of goats.

         It is like goats that are coming down from *Mount Gilead.

v6 Your teeth are white like a group of sheep.

         They are like clean sheep that come out of the pool.

         Each tooth is one of a pair. Not one of them is alone.

v7 The sides of your face are round like the halves of a *pomegranate.

Your *veil hides them.

Tirzah and Jerusalem are both beautiful capital cities.

The man and woman meet in the garden. Again, the man tells his wife how beautiful she is. She is so beautiful that her husband can hardly look at her! Some people may be surprised when they look at her. They may even be afraid of her, as they would be afraid of a large army. That is what the man thinks.


v8 There may be 60 queens.

And a king may have 80 other wives.

He may have many young women who do not yet have children.

         There may be too many for him to count!

v9 But there is only one woman that I want.

         Nobody is like her in any way.

         She is lovely like a *dove.

                  She is mine.

                  Nobody else is lovelier.

She is the special daughter of her mother.

         The woman who gave birth to her likes her best among all her children.

The young women saw that she was now happier.

The queens and the other wives said ‘Well done!’

         They all said,

v10 ‘She appears like the dawn.

                   She is lovelier every moment like the sunrise.

         She is as pretty as the moon.

                  She is very beautiful to look at!

         She is bright, like the sun.

There she stands, beautiful and important.

         It is like the way that God has put each star like a king or a queen in its place.’

Maybe verses 8 to 10 are only in the man’s mind. He uses the word ‘she’, not the word ‘you’.

The numbers in verse 8 are big numbers. That is all. The writer does not mean more than that. The man is saying that there are many women. He may know many women. But the woman that he loves is very different from any of them. There is nobody as lovely as she is!

The woman’s mother may have had one daughter. Or she may have had more than one daughter. But she liked this daughter more than her other children. All the women have agreed that she is very special and lovely. Now that she has married her man, she is stronger in her *spirit. And now she feels happier when other people look at her.

When the man looks at his wife, she gives pleasure to him. She is so beautiful that even he may be a little afraid of her.


v11 I went down to the small wood where there are trees with dry, hard fruit.

         I wanted to see what had started to grow in the valley.

         I wanted to see if the *vines had flowers now.

         I wanted to see if the *pomegranates had flowers.

v12 I did not have time to understand everything about it.

         But I knew that I really wanted her.

         This put me among the king’s *chariots with the king’s men.

The man has gone to the garden. He wants to know how the plants are growing. Then he sees his wife. He feels pleasure in his body. And he knows that he wants her. He wants her even more now than he did before. This makes him sure in his mind. This is the most important thing to him now. He thinks about it all the time. He wants her to be his woman only. He may be afraid of future events. But he is really happy that she has chosen to be his wife.

It is difficult to know what the writer means in verse 12. It may mean that these thoughts are the same as soldiers’ thoughts during a war. When they are fighting, they are thinking about the war. They may be afraid. But the king has chosen them to fight for him. So they think about how to fight. They do not think about anything else. They must get what they want. They must beat their enemies.

Or the writer may mean only that the man feels very special and important. This is because such a beautiful lady has become his wife.


v13a Come back, come back, *Shulammite woman.

         Come back! Come back!

We want to look at you for a long time.


v13b Do not look for a long time at the *Shulammite woman.

         Do not look at her as you would look at the dance at *Mahanaim.

Shulammite is a woman’s name like Solomon. Also, it may mean, ‘People who are near her feel good and happy’. The lady was very lovely to look at! Even the friends wanted to continue to look at her. She was walking, or maybe she was dancing. It was beautiful.

Mahanaim is the name of a place. King David put his soldiers together in groups there before they fought. They stopped to eat and to sleep there. Sometimes a young woman danced in front of the soldiers. The man is saying that his wife is not like a young dancing woman. She is certainly more important to him than that. She does not dance so that everyone can enjoy it. Maybe she only wants to dance for her husband. Or, she dances because she is happy. That is all.

Chapter 7

The woman is still in the garden with her husband and with her friends. The man now talks to the woman again. He describes her whole body. He politely describes her feet first and her hair last. He knows her well now, so he can do that. He likes every part of her body.

She is dancing or she is moving beautifully. Usually she covers almost all her body. But today she has not covered some parts, for example, part of her legs. Or, her clothes show clearly the shape of her body.


v1 How beautiful are your feet in *sandals, my *princess!

         How beautifully your legs move!

         They are like valuable stones

                  that a *craftsman’s hands have made into a lovely shape.

The woman has married someone who is in the king’s *family. Or this is to show only that she is special. That is all. So people would think that she is like someone in a king’s *family. She feels important. She walks and she talks like a lady.


v2 Your *navel is like a round cup that is full of good *wine.

         Your stomach is the shape of many plants that a farmer has picked for food.

                   *Lilies are round the edge.

The man thinks about farmers that bring food from plants ready for the winter. He is thinking about the good time that they have had together. It was like a drink of the best *wine and a meal of the best food in a *banquet hall.

Maybe the woman has not covered the middle of her body. So her husband can see her *navel. The top edge of her trousers or of her skirt is like *lilies. The lower edge of the cloth that covers her breasts is the same.

The *navel may also mean the part between the top of her legs. So, in verse 2, it says that it is full of good *wine. If a woman likes a man a lot, she will think about him often. She will feel in her body that she loves him. She may feel this even when she is not with him.


v3 Your breasts are like two young *gazelles

         born to their mother on the same day.

v4 Your neck is like an *ivory *tower.

         Your eyes are like the pools in Heshbon, by the gate that is called Bath Rabbim.

Your nose is like the *tower of Lebanon,

         the building from where people can look towards Damascus.

The breasts are the same size. They may be small because she is young. A *gazelle is a wild animal but it is not cruel. A young *gazelle will not yet have fought another gazelle. So the writer may be saying that the woman is friendly. She has not done anything wrong.

Heshbon was a town in the country where Solomon was king. Damascus was an important capital city. Nobody has discovered the gate that is called Bath Rabbim. So we do not know anything about it.


v5 At the top, your head is like the mountain that is called Mount Carmel.

         Like a *crown, it makes your whole body even more beautiful.

Your hair hangs down and it shines like long, thin pieces of *silk.

         It is like *silk that queens use for their clothes.

         It is so beautiful that a king would keep his eyes towards it all the time!

v6 You are very, very beautiful.

         I love you.

         Many things about you give a lot of pleasure to me.

v7 You are tall like a *palm tree.

         Your breasts are like groups of fruit that are very near to each other.

v8 I said, ‘I will climb the *palm tree. I will take hold of its fruit.’

         I want your breasts to be like the groups of fruit on the *vine.

         I want the smell from your mouth to be like apples.

v9a I want your mouth to be like *wine.


         v9b I want the *wine to go immediately to the man who loves me.

                  I want to pour it slowly over his lips and over his teeth.

v10 This man loves me and I am his.

         He wants me very much.

         v11 You love me!

                  Come! I want us to go away from the towns.

                  I suggest that we stay in the villages for the night.

v12 We can go early to the *vineyards.

         We can see if the *vines have flowers on them now.

         We can see if the flowers have opened.

         We can see if the *pomegranates have flowers.

                  There I will give my love to you.

v13 The *mandrakes send out their lovely smell.

         There is every good thing to eat at our door.

         You love me and I have stored new and old things for you.

Mount Carmel is a mountain near where the man and the woman live.

The man wants to draw his wife near to him again. She, too, wants him to kiss her. But she wants to do this when they are alone together. She is sure about her husband’s strong love for her. She is sure that she wants to stay with him. They both really want to enjoy sex again.

So she tells him that she wants to be alone with him. Earlier, the man had asked the woman to come with him. Now it is the woman who asks the man to come.

Sometimes people stored fruit in a cupboard over the door of their house. Then it would become dry, sweet fruit. People would like to eat it like that. We read about flowers and fruit and their smells. This helps us to feel that we are with the man and his wife. The story is really happening! The words ‘we can see’ show us that they want to find out something. They want to see if their love is becoming greater. The woman wants to show her love to her husband in the same and in different ways.

Chapter 8


v1 I want you to be like a brother who drank at my mother’s breasts!

         I want us to be like a brother and sister.

         So, if I found you outside, I would kiss you.

                  And nobody would think about me as a bad person.

v2 I would lead you to my mother’s house.

         I would bring you to the mother who has taught me.

I would give to you *wine with *spices to drink.

         I would give to you my *pomegranate drink that tastes lovely.

The man and his wife are with other people again. With other people present, the woman wants to be with him as a sister might be. Then it would not be wrong to kiss him. People in the same *family could kiss each other when other people were present. Other people would not be surprised to see this.

In other chapters of this book, *pomegranates mean the sides of the face. Maybe it would be a kiss on his face. Perhaps she wants other people in her husband’s *family to kiss her in that way too.

When she is not with other people, she wants to kiss her husband in a different way. She speaks again about her mother’s house. Perhaps she is thinking about a safe place. Or she may be thinking about when she was a child at home. Perhaps she saw her mother with her baby brother. The boy drank her mother’s milk. So the word *pomegranates here might mean the woman’s breasts. She can be near to her husband and he can enjoy her body.


v3 His left arm is under my head and his right arm draws me near to him.

v4 *Daughters of Jerusalem,

         please do not cause someone to feel love for another person;

                   not until he or she wants to.

I am saying this because I really mean it.

         I *beg you not to do it.

The writer may be telling us something else. The woman may not have enjoyed a father’s love. It seems that she no longer has a father. So her brothers have told her what she should do. But they do not seem to have loved her. She still needs someone like a father or an older brother to love her.

She wants her husband to be like a loving brother to her. She sometimes needs the man to love her like this. The man and his wife are standing together. The man has his hand at the back of her head. His other hand holds her near to him. This is how a person would hold a child near. It causes her to feel safe. She remembers when they first touched each other under the trees. There they were lying down. The man’s arm was under her head. His other arm was holding her near.

But the woman does not want to continue in this way. She does not really want to think about her husband as her brother.

The woman repeats what she had said. People need to be careful when they love someone. A marriage can be the result when we love someone. Maybe here she is thinking about that. When a man and a woman marry each other, they need to think about other people in the *families too. Some people in the *families may not completely accept them.


v5a Someone is coming up from the dry, empty place with the man who loves her!

         Her head is against the man’s shoulder.


v5b Under the apple tree, I woke you.

There your life started in your mother’s body.

         There your mother was in pain during your birth.

The man and his wife are walking together. His arm is round her and her head is on his shoulder. She is not old or ill. But she is showing that she wants the man to help her in her life. She wants him to make her stronger in her *spirit.

She felt like this when they were first resting together under the trees. He knew that he loved her. And he wanted to keep her safe. It was like a father’s love to his child. His father’s love brought his father and mother together. And so he was born. It is best that a man always loves his wife like this. She feels strong and she can love her children like that too.


v6 Draw me near to you like a *seal over your heart.

         Put me like a *seal over your arm.

         Keep me there always because love is as strong as death.

                   A dead person in a hole in the ground never comes out alive again.

         A man who loves his wife will never let another man take her away from him.

                   And I do not want you to love another woman.

Love burns like a red-hot fire.

         It burns like the hottest part of a large fire.

v7 Lots of water cannot put it out.

         Rivers cannot carry it away.

A rich man might give everything that he has to buy someone’s love.

         But people would tell him that he was very silly!

A man might put a *seal in something and hang it round his neck. So it would lie over his heart. Or he might wear it over his arm or on his finger. The woman is happy that she is her husband’s woman. That is what she is saying. She wants people to know that they are together always. She wants people to think about her when they think about her husband.

When we think about the word ‘*heart’, we think about love. And we think about how we feel pleasure. The woman wants her husband to love her always. The woman never wants to leave the man. The woman wants to lie down, like the *seal, over her husband’s heart. Her head and her body will not be there all the time. But she is telling us that she will love him always. Perhaps, too, that is what she means.

If a husband loves his wife, he will not want to give her to another person. He will not want another person to love her in the same way that he loves her. This is also true for the wife. She will not leave her husband if she loves him. She will not want her husband to go away. She does not want him to love another person. If he does this, she will be very angry. Nothing can destroy love like this. It will never go away.

Love wants to keep another person safe. For example, a father wants to keep his child from danger. Parents do not want to sell their children if they love them. Nobody can say that love has a certain value. It is worth a lot more than a rich person’s money. Love is very strong. It will not have an end.


v8 My brothers had said:

         ‘We have a younger sister.

         Her breasts have not yet grown.

         What will we do on her behalf when it is the time for her to marry?’

The woman is remembering when she was a girl. The woman’s brothers had talked about her then. There would be a time when she would be older. And then she would be able to marry. The brothers did not know what she would be like at that future time. They did not know what help she would need.


v9 My friends said:

         ‘If she is a wall, we will build *towers out of *silver on her.

         If she is a door, we will put boards of *cedar wood over her.’

A wall is strong and it is not easy for someone to move it. A young woman may feel strong, that is, sure in her mind like this. She sometimes speaks with authority. She may not want to do some things. And nobody can cause her to do those things. Nobody can change her mind easily. She will be safe when there are many men near her. If the woman is like this, the friends will make her beautiful. Then it will be easy for men to see her among the other women.

But she may be like a door. A door is not as strong as a wall. It is easy for people to move a door. The young woman may be a person who is often afraid. People may always tell her what she should do. They may not be kind to her. If she is like this, the friends will keep her safe. They will hide her if there are cruel men near.


v10 I am a wall.

         My breasts are like *towers.

         So, to him, I have become like someone who gives pleasure to him.

She is no longer a girl. She has grown into a woman. While the woman speaks, she stands up straight. This shows that she is sure in her mind. She has the man as a friend. He has helped her *spirit to grow. She now seems completely like a lady.

The man likes to see her like this. When she is happy, sure and not afraid, he feels good and happy too.


v11 King Solomon had a *vineyard in Baal Hamon.

People could come and they could pay 11 *kilos of *silver for its fruit.

v12 But my own *vineyard is mine. It is a gift to you, my king.

         The 11 *kilos of *silver are for you, my Solomon.

         I give 2 *kilos of *silver to those who watch over its fruit.

Baal Hamon may be the place where the *vineyard was. Or perhaps it only means the rich country where Solomon was king. 11 *kilos is the same as 24 pounds and 2 *kilos is the same as 4 pounds. The numbers are not important.

Solomon lent his *vineyard to other people. They could eat the fruit. They paid him money for this. The woman says that her body (*vineyard) is hers. She is offering her body to her husband. But it is not the man’s body. He cannot demand sex with her.

She means that her husband can enjoy her body, but not for money. He can keep his money. She gives her body to him freely. She will not refuse this because she loves him. She will pay those who help to keep her body beautiful. For example, those people who cut her hair to make it prettier. Or those who brush her hair so that it shines. This is what she means.


v13 You have been in the garden with your friends for a long time.

         Let me hear your voice!


v14 You love me. Come away.

         Be like a *gazelle or like a young *deer on the mountains that are full of *spice.

The woman is not asking the man to leave her. She does not want him to go to the mountains, as before. She says ‘Come’. She wants to be alone with the man. She wants to enjoy sex with her husband. So she suggests that they both leave the friends. She wants her husband to enjoy her again. He feels a lot of pleasure when he runs on the hills. She wants him to feel pleasure like that when he is enjoying her. They can have *fun together.


What is love?

In English, there is only one word for ‘love’. But the fact is that the word ‘love’ can mean many different things. There are many kinds of love.

The story in the Song of Songs is about the special love that a man shows to his woman. It is a very large and good, strong love. The woman also loves the man a lot. They love each other so much that they decide to marry. Now they are husband and wife. So now, the man and his wife can enjoy sex. This is one way that they show their love for each other.

There are other kinds of love. These kinds of love do not include sex in any way, but the love can still be large. People can show love to each other in several ways. There is love that parents show to their children. There is also love that brothers and sisters show to each other, for example. There is also, sometimes, love that friends show to each other. There is love when someone is kind to another person. So it is possible even to show love to a stranger.

Love in the Bible

The Bible describes love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.

‘If I love, I will be very patient. I will be kind. I will not want to be like other people so much that I get angry with them. I will not tell people how good I am. I will not think that I am better than other people. If I love, I will always be polite. I will think about what other people want. I will not think only about what I myself want. I will not get angry quickly. And I will not always remember the wrong things that other people have done to me. If I love, I will not be happy about bad things. But instead, I will be happy about things that are right and true.’

All love like this is good. It comes from one person, that is, from God himself. We love people because he first loved us. This is what we read in the Bible in 1 John 4:19.

We can read more from the Bible. In that way, we can learn how God loves all people.

For example, in Genesis, the first book in the *Old Testament, we read about how God made a beautiful world. Then he started to be a good friend to people. God wanted a *family to love. He wanted that *family to tell everyone in the world about him and about his love to people. So he chose to be a friend to Abraham and to his *family.

After many years, the *family became a very large group of people. At first, other people were kind to them. But then they did not have a good time. They became slaves and those in authority were cruel to them.

God did not forget this group of people. In the next book of the *Old Testament, Exodus, we read about a man called Moses. God helped Moses to save these people. He led them away from the people who were cruel to them.

In the *New Testament, we read about a young woman called Mary. God was kind to her. He told her that she would have a special child. She should call him Jesus. She said ‘Yes’ to God and she accepted his words. She did what God wanted her to do. She was Jesus’ mother and she watched over him.

Jesus became a man. And Mary was surprised to see how Jesus lived. We can read about Mary and Jesus in the first 4 books of the *New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus loved people. In the same way, God loves us.

We cannot see God. But people have met Jesus. He lived on this earth 2000 years ago. People saw him and they knew him for a long time. As a man, he was like us in many ways. Jesus was like a good brother and a good friend to many people.

Colossians 1:19 in the Bible tells us that God put all of himself in Jesus. God’s nature is in Jesus. So the man Jesus, that people saw, is the same as God. Jesus shows to us the God that we cannot see. Read Colossians 1:15. Today, we can read about Jesus in the Bible. He is the same as the God that we read about in the Bible.

The 5th book of the *New Testament is called Acts. Jesus was not on the earth any longer. But we read how God helped his friends. They travelled to different places to tell other people about God’s love. God was with them and he helped them. God was with them all the time. He loved them and they loved him.

In the last books of the *New Testament we read about how God wants all of his people to live. He wants us to be like Mary. He wants us to say ‘Yes’ to him. He wants us to obey him. He also wants us to be sure in our minds because he is with us. He will help us.

What the Song of Songs teaches us about love

When the woman was young, her life was not good. Her brothers were not good friends to her. She may not have known her father at all. Or perhaps he was not a good father. He may have been a good man but perhaps he did not have a lot of interest in her. We do not know if she was happy as a child. Perhaps often she felt very tired. Maybe the woman thought about herself only as a servant rather than as a happy young woman. This was a bad thought. She does not seem to have had a lot of *fun.

People like this may not know how to understand their life. They may not understand how God made them to live. So they understand God in a way that is not completely right. They may not understand what God is like. They may think about God as a cruel person rather than as a kind person. They may not believe what people have told them about God. They may have some false ideas about God in their minds.

They may not even believe that there is a God. Or they may think about God as someone who does not have any interest in them at all. They may believe that there is a God. But they may think, ‘God has not done what he promised to do.’ They think that he has forgotten them. So they feel sad.

They may not hope any longer in anything. Even if they are good people, other people may not *respect them. So, they will feel loss. They may no longer watch over their bodies in a proper way. They do not love themselves very much.

A person like this may meet a person who will help them to understand love. He or she may find someone who is kind. That kind person may help them and may become a friend. We see how the man in the story helps the woman. She now has what she wants. She has a man to help her and to love her. She now hopes again. Good things may help to cause pleasure for her again. Sometimes a person may meet a special friend and they may marry. But then the person does not do what he or she has promised to do. There are problems and trouble. So he or she needs even more help from someone else.

The Bible teaches us that God has made men and women to be like him in some ways. Read Genesis 1:27. So men and women can show God’s love to other people. But men sometimes show love to people in different ways from the ways that women show love to people.

We will now explain the part above, ‘Love in the Bible’, as we think about the love in the Song:-

God has made the world. He made many beautiful things. In country places, we see rivers, mountains, birds and flowers. He made colour. We like to see these beautiful things. God also made fruit and *spices that taste good. He made flowers and *incense that have lovely smells. He made hard things, for example, rock. He made soft things, for example, little animals. We like to touch these things. He made music and birds’ songs. We like to hear these sounds. God wants to show us all these things. He wants us to enjoy them all.

A woman is like God in this way. She likes beautiful things. She wants to show them to us. She likes to make pretty things. She likes to make lovely food that tastes good. It has a lovely smell. She puts it on the table so that it is lovely to look at. A woman likes to wear beautiful clothes and ear-rings. She likes to make her home pretty too. These are ways that she shows her love to people.

The Bible tells us many things about God when it tells us about Abraham. One of those things is that God wants to know people well. He wants to be their friend. He wants to talk to them. He wants to listen carefully to them. He wants people to tell him about how they really feel. He wants to be with his people all the time. A woman is like this. She wants to talk to people and to listen to them. She wants people to talk to her. She needs people to listen to her. She would like people to have an interest in her. She wants people to find out what she is like.

In the love story, the woman wants her man to know her well. Men usually think that women are difficult to understand. But women are not problems that men have to understand with their minds! They are secrets that men can explore. It can be *fun to discover a woman’s nature because lovely surprises are hiding in a woman! There is something beautiful and valuable in women. People can find that but they have to continue to look for it.

In the same way, it is difficult for men and women to understand God. The fact is that it is impossible to understand him completely. Men and women must continue to look to find out what God is like. God is hiding in Jesus. God is not hiding so that we cannot find him. We can enjoy it when we discover him. That is why he is hiding in Jesus. Read Romans 16:25 and read Colossians 2:2-3.

A man may show love in a different way. He likes to do things and to explore. He may like sport or athletics. He likes adventure. He wants to meet a woman so that they can both enjoy an adventure. So too, God wants to do things for his people. He wants them today to have an adventure with him. He wants them to explore his nature. He wants them to enjoy their life with him.

A good man wants to help a woman who is in trouble. He wants a beautiful woman to save. The man in Song of Songs saves the woman. He takes her away from a difficult life of work with no *fun. He gives to her a new life of pleasure and adventure with him. She now seems a different woman and stronger in her *spirit. Sometimes a man will have to fight for his woman. God wants to fight for the people that he loves. He speaks on their behalf. He wants to save them from anyone who causes trouble for them. He wants to save them from danger.

Once a year, there is an event called Passover. This event helps people to remember the time when the events in Exodus happened. God saved the group of people from those who had been cruel to them. Moses led them out of the country where they had been slaves. At Passover, someone reads Song of Songs. The listeners then think about the man who saved the woman. They remember how he took her away from her difficult life. Then she had a new life with him. That is why someone reads Song of Songs.

The man in the Song of Songs looks for the woman. He wants her. He wants them to be together always. She also wants to be with the man. She finds him because she looks for him too.

So God looks for us. At any time that we want to come to God, we can do that. He wants us to come to him today. He is so powerful that he can do anything. But he does not use that so that we cannot choose what to do. He waits for us to be ready. We can find the God of the Bible if we read the Bible. If we ask God, he will help us to find him.

God’s love

God’s love to us is very special. It is certainly stronger and better than any other love. He loves us in a different way from the way that people often love each other. We have done wrong things. But God still loves us. We may not love God or we may only love him a little. But God does not change in the way that he loves us. We may not obey God. But he still loves us.

God is not male or female. He does not have a body, only a *spirit. So we cannot see him. God made the world and he made our *spirits too. Wrong things have come into the world since then. They have made the world a bad place. So people are sad. And when bad events happen to us, our *spirits are not good. We feel sad or angry when we might feel happy.

God’s love is the greatest and strongest of all love. He loves us in the way described in Song of Songs 8:6-7.

Other parts of the Bible tell us how much God loves us. The Bible tells us what he has done to show his love to us. God wants to know each person in a special way. He prepares to meet us. He wants us to know him. He wants to be with us.

He wants us to talk to him about our troubles. He wants us to say ‘Yes’ to him always. Then after that, we will find out about God even more.

We can enjoy our new life with God. We can be happy that we know God. We will feel pleasure even when we still have some troubles in this life. Our pleasure will continue.

We can enjoy God with our *spirits. We *worship God when we sing to him. We can tell him how great he is. We *worship God when we thank him. In the Bible, God teaches us how we should live. When we live like that, we *worship him. This is how we can show our love to God. When we *worship God, we give pleasure to him. In many places, the Bible teaches us how we can love God.

The last book of the *New Testament is called Revelation. Here we learn about *heaven. We learn what *worship will be like there. In *heaven, we will *worship God with our *spirits in a better way than before. We will enjoy even more pleasure there and we will give more pleasure to God. In *heaven, we will know God as he knows us. There we will always enjoy God completely.

Word List

aloes ~ aloes, nard, saffron, calamus and cinnamon are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

banquet hall ~ a place where there are many happy people. They eat good food and they drink plenty of *wine.

beg ~ when a person asks another person to do something. But he or she really means it, so the words have authority.

calamus ~ calamus, nard, saffron, cinnamon and aloes are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

cedar ~ a tall, strong tree. People get good wood from it. This tree grows in Lebanon.

chariot ~ one or two people sit in a chariot. A horse pulls it. Kings and important people might use it. Someone has made it so that it can move quickly. So soldiers also use it when they have to fight. Or men use it to find out who can go the fastest.

cinnamon ~ cinnamon, nard, saffron, calamus and aloes are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

craftsman ~ a person who is able to make things with his hands. He does this very well.

crown ~ a king wears this on his head. Someone has made it from valuable metal and valuable stones.

Daughters of Jerusalem ~ this is a name for the woman’s friends.

Daughters of Zion ~ this seems to be another name for the woman’s friends. Zion is the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use the word Zion to mean all Jerusalem.

deer ~ a wild animal. It is the size of a small cow. But it is more beautiful and it moves more quickly.

doves ~ small, beautiful birds. They move their *wings quickly when they fly.

family ~ family means a father, a mother and their children; but sometimes it includes grandfathers and their children or those that they were born from.

fig ~ a sweet fruit that people eat.

fountain ~ something that people make so that water pushes up through a small hole.

fox ~ an animal with red-brown hair on its body and a big tail. It is about the size of a small sheep. It eats smaller animals and birds. It digs a hole in the ground and it lives there.

fun ~ when something is not serious all the time. People laugh when they have fun. They laugh because they are enjoying themselves.

gazelle ~ a wild animal like a *deer. It moves quickly.

grape ~ a small soft fruit.

heart ~ here it does not mean the part of us that sends blood round our body; it means the part inside us where we feel love for someone.

heaven ~ the home of God. God’s people will go there after they die. It is a happy place where there are no troubles.

henna ~ a plant that has a lovely smell. People can use it to change the colour of their hair, for example.

honey ~ some insects make this from flowers’ sugar. It is thick when someone pours it.

honeycomb ~ the insects make *honey in this.

incense ~ something that makes a lovely smell when it burns.

ivory ~ material that is almost white; people got it from the large teeth of some animals.

kilo ~ about 2 pounds.

lattice ~ a window that has many pieces of wood across it. The pieces of wood go along and down. It is not easy to see through it.

leopard ~ a large cat; a wild and dangerous animal. It has many round, black marks over the hair on its body.

lily ~ a pretty flower.

lion ~ a large cat; a wild and dangerous animal. It has long, thick hair round its neck.

Mahanaim ~ the name of a place. Sometimes a young woman danced in front of soldiers there.

mandrake ~ a plant. The part that is under the ground has a shape like a human body. People eat it. Then they have more *fun when they enjoy sex. People think that this happens.

Mount Gilead ~ a mountain in the country where Solomon was king.

myrrh ~ something that has a lovely strong smell. People get it from a plant. They use it to make *incense or *perfume.

nard ~ nard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon and aloes are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

navel ~ like a round hole that you can see on the stomach. It is where the baby and the mother had joined together in the beginning.

New Testament ~ the second part of the Bible. The writers wrote about events after the birth of Jesus.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible. The writers wrote about events before the birth of Jesus.

palm tree ~ a tree with big leaves.

perfume ~ something that has a very nice smell; people put it on their bodies.

Pharaoh ~ Pharaoh is the name that people used for all the kings of Egypt.

pomegranate ~ a tree that grows in hot countries; also, pomegranates are its round fruit.

posts ~ long, thin, round pieces of wood or metal that stand up.

princess ~ a woman or a girl in a king’s *family.

pure gold ~ clean gold; gold when someone has taken out everything else.

purple ~ a colour; someone can mix red and blue to make purple.

raisins ~ *grapes that someone has put in the sun to get dry; people can eat them.

respect ~ this is when someone wants another person to be happy. So he or she wants to do the right things. It is because that person is important to him or to her. The person may be important because the person is special, for example, a father. Or the person may be important because the person has authority, for example, a king.

ribbon ~ a long thin piece of cloth. It can tied things together.

saffron ~ saffron, nard, calamus, cinnamon and aloes are all things that people get from plants. They have bright colours or they taste lovely. They may have nice smells.

sandals ~ shoes that do not cover the toes.

seal ~ a stamp that someone had made out of a valuable stone. A person would use it to put a mark on something. Then people would know that it was his or hers.

security guards ~ men who usually work at night. They walk round the walls of a city to watch over it. If bad people come, they can send them away; or they can lock them in a prison. Security guards are like policemen.

sedan chair ~ a chair that important people travelled in. Its weight was light so their servants could carry it. Or it may have been something like a bed that people used in the day. The servants would carry it on their shoulders.

shawl ~ a piece of cloth that women may wear over their shoulders. It is like a *veil.

shield ~ a flat piece of metal that soldiers wear on their arms. They hold it in front of their bodies. It keeps their bodies safe from people who attack them.

Shulammite ~ Shulammite is a woman’s name. Also, it may mean, ‘People who are near her feel good and happy’.

silk ~ expensive cloth.

silver ~ a valuable metal that shines; it is almost white.

spices ~ people get these from plants. When someone puts them into food, the food tastes stronger and better than before.

spirit ~ the part of us that lives when our body dies. It is the person himself, his nature.

spring ~ someone may find a spring in a country place. It has water that pushes slowly through a small hole in a rock or from the ground.

sword ~ a long, sharp thing that people use to attack other people in war. Someone has made it from metal. A person pushes it deep into the enemy’s body to kill him. You can wear it in a belt.

tent ~ a place where people live for a short time. Then they can pack it and they can move to another place. They put the tent up to make a home again.

thorns ~ sharp points that grow on some plants to keep them safe.

tongue ~ the part of the mouth that a person uses to taste and to speak.

tower ~ a tall, narrow building or part of a building. Someone builds a tower so that people at the top of it can see a long way.

trader ~ someone who buys and sells things. He brings *spices from one country to another country.

veil ~ a piece of thin cloth that covers the face. The person who is wearing it can see through it. Or it may not cover the eyes.

vine ~ the name of the tree on which *grapes grow.

vineyard ~ a place where someone has planted *vines.

wine ~ a drink that has alcohol in it. People make it from *grapes.

wings ~ parts of a bird. The bird uses them to fly.

wool ~ the thick, soft hair that a sheep has over its body.

worship ~ to give thanks to God; in this way, we can show to God that we love him very much; or, to tell God that he is very great; in this way, we can give pleasure to God.

Book List

Tom Gledhill ~ The Message of the Song of Songs ~ The Bible Speaks Today series (Ed J. A. Motyer) ~ IVP (1994)

R. Murphy and E. Huwiler ~ Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs ~ New International Biblical Commentary ~ Hendrickson (1999)

I. L. Jensen ~ Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament ~ Moody Bible Institute (1978)

F. F. Bruce (editor) ~ New International Bible Commentary Revised ~ Zondervan

John and Stasi Eldredge ~ Captivating ~

John Eldridge ~ Wild at Heart ~

Translators Notes ~ The New English Translation Bible ~ Biblical Studies Press (2005)


© 1997-2012, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

March 2012

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