1Night after night I’m tossing and turning on my bed of travail.
Why did I let him go from me?
How my heart now aches for him,
but he is nowhere to be found!
2So I must rise in search of him,
looking throughout the city, # 3:2 The city is a picture of the local church, a place with government, order, and overseers. She goes from church to church, looking for the one she loves.
seeking until I find him.
Even if I have to roam through every street,
nothing will keep me from my search.
Where is he—my soul’s true love?
He is nowhere to be found.
3Then I encountered the overseers as they encircled the city.
So I asked them, “Have you found him—
my heart’s true love?”
4Just as I moved past them, I encountered him.
I found the one I adore!
I caught him and fastened myself to him,
refusing to be feeble in my heart again. # 3:4 Or “I hugged him and sank down into his arms.”
Now I’ll bring him back to the temple within
where I was given new birth—
into my innermost parts, the place of my conceiving.
5Promise me, O Jerusalem maidens,
by the gentle gazelles and delicate deer,
that you’ll not disturb my love until she is ready to arise.
The Voice of the Lord
6Who is this one ascending from the wilderness
in the pillar of the glory cloud?
He is fragrant with the anointing oils
of myrrh and frankincense # 3:6 These spices are found in the Bible as ingredients of the sacred anointing oil. Myrrh points to the suffering and death of Christ, while frankincense reveals the fragrance of his perfect life and ministry. —
more fragrant than all the spices of the merchant.
7Look! It is the king’s marriage carriage—
the love seat surrounded by sixty champions, the mightiest of Israel’s host,
are like pillars of protection.
8They stand ready with swords
to defend the king and his fiancée
from every terror of the night.
9The king made this mercy seat for himself
out of the finest wood that will not decay.
10Pillars of smoke, like silver mist—
a canopy of golden glory dwells above it.
The place where they sit together
is sprinkled with crimson.
Love and mercy cover this carriage,
blanketing his tabernacle throne.
The king himself has made it
for those who will become his bride.
11Rise up, Zion maidens, brides-to-be!
Come and feast your eyes on this king
as he passes in procession on his way to his wedding.
This is the day filled with overwhelming joy—
the day of his great gladness.