A Love Story

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!

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

1 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.

Woman

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

            Your love makes me happier than wine does.

3 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!

4 Take me away with you. Come quickly.

            I want the king to take me into his rooms.

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

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.

Woman

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

5 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.

6 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.

The woman now speaks to the man that she loves.

Woman

7 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!

Man

8 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 speaks to the man. 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.

So the man and woman meet as they have agreed.

Man

9 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.

10 Your face is beautiful with ear-rings.

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

11 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.

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

Woman

12 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.

13 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.

14 To me he is like a group of henna flowers.

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

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

Man

15 How beautiful you are!

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

Woman

16 You are very handsome and you love me.

            You are very lovely!

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

Man

17 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

Woman

1 I am a wild flower of Sharon.

            I am a lily from the valleys.

Man

2 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.

Woman

3 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.

4 He has taken me to the banquet hall.

            Everyone can see that he loves me.

5 I am weak with love.

            So, give raisins to me to make me strong.

            Give apples to me to keep me awake.

6 His left arm is under my head.

            His right arm draws me near to him.

7 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.

8 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.

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

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

He is looking through the windows.

            He is trying to see through the lattice.

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

            ‘My beautiful best friend, I love you.

            Please get up and come with me.

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

            12 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.

13 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.’

Man

14 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.

15 Catch the foxes for us.

            Catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyards.

            They destroy our vines when the flowers are appearing.

When foxes dig holes they may destroy vines. The foxes may mean anyone or anything that stops the man and woman being friends.

Woman

16 The man who loves me is mine.

            And I am his.

            He eats slowly among the lilies.

17 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.

Chapter 3

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

Woman

1 All night I lay in bed.

            I looked for the man that I love.

            I looked for him but he did not appear.

2 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.

3 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?’

4 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.)

5 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 Writer

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 King Solomon made the sedan chair for himself.

            He made it out of wood from Lebanon.

10 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.

11 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.

Chapter 4

Man

1 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.

Man

2 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.

3 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 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.

Man

4 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.

Man

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

Man

9 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.

Man

10 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!

11 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.

12 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.

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

            There are fruits that many people like.

There are henna and nard.

14 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.

Man

15 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.

Woman

16 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.

Chapter 5

Man

1 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.

The Writer

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

            Drink until you no longer need a drink.

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

Woman

2 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.’

3 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.’

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

Friends

9 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?

Woman

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

            He is the greatest among 10 000 men.

11 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.

12 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.

13 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.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

Chapter 6

Friends

1 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?

Woman

2 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.

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

            He is walking among the lilies.

Man

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

Another way to translate the end of verse 4 may be,

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

People might be afraid of an army like that!’

Man

8 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!

9 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,

10 ‘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.’

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!

Man

11 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.

12 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.

Friends

13 Come back, come back, Shulammite woman.

            Come back! Come back!

We want to look at you for a long time.

Man

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’.

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.

Chapter 7

Man

1 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.

Man

2 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.

3 Your breasts are like two young gazelles

            born to their mother on the same day.

4 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.

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.

Man

5 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!

6 You are very, very beautiful.

            I love you.

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

7 You are tall like a palm tree.

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

8 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.

9 I want your mouth to be like wine.

Woman

            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.

10 This man loves me and I am his.

            He wants me very much.

            11 You love me!

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

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

12 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.

13 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.

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.

Chapter 8

Woman

1 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.

2 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.

Woman

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

4 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.

Friends

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

            Her head is against the man’s shoulder.

Woman

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.

6 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.

7 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.

Woman

8 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?’

9 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.’

10 I am a wall.

            My breasts are like towers.

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

11 King Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon.

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

12 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.

Man

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

            Let me hear your voice!

Woman

14 You love me. Come away.

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

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.
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.
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.
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.

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

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

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2012

This version published March 2012

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.