1O rarest of beauty,
where then has your lover gone?
We long to see him too.
Where may we find him?
We will follow you as you seek after him.
The Shulamite Bride
2My lover has gone down
into his garden of delight,
to the flowerbeds of spices # 6:2 Jesus went down into a garden tomb and lay in a flowerbed of spices. In his death, he was longing to gather his bride from her broken place. He met us there with him in his tomb, for we are the lilies he longs to gather. Adam fell in a garden, and in his garden tomb, Jesus gathered the chosen of Adam’s race and made them his where he lay in the flowerbed of spices.
to feast with those pure in heart.
3I am fully devoted to my beloved,
and my beloved is fully devoted to me.
4O my beloved, you are lovely.
When I see you in your beauty,
I see a radiant city where we will dwell as one. # 6:4 The text includes a reference to Jerusalem. For the Jew, it is the city where God and man lived together. For the believer, it points to the New Jerusalem, where God and man dwell in holy union.
More pleasing than any pleasure,
more delightful than any delight,
you have ravished my heart,
stealing away my strength to resist you.
Even hosts of angels stand in awe of you. # 6:4 This is how various Hebrew scholars have interpreted the phrase: “[you are] awe inspiring, as an army with banners.”
5Turn your eyes from me; I can’t take it anymore!
I can’t resist the passion of these eyes that I adore.
Overpowered by a glance, my ravished heart—undone.
Held captive by your love, I am truly overcome! # 6:5 The Hebrew word for “overcome” is rahab. Like the harlot who was chosen, favored, saved from Jericho’s destruction, and included in the genealogy of Jesus, so you have “overcome” his heart. No one would have thought Rahab would be so honored, and many have said that about you. You have overcome many things, but to overcome him is love’s delight.
For your undying devotion to me
is the most yielded sacrifice. # 6:5 Literally “Your hair is like a wave of goats streaming down Mount Gilead.” We see hair as a picture of our devotion to Christ. See Song. 4:1 and footnote.
6The shining of your spirit # 6:6 The word used in most translations is “teeth,” which is taken from a Hebrew root word that some believe means “white” or “shining.” With our teeth we chew the Word of God and process its truths.
shows how you have taken my truth
to become balanced and complete.
7Your beautiful blushing cheeks
reveal how real your passion is for me,
even hidden behind your veil of humility.
8I could have chosen any from among the vast multitude
of royal ones who follow me. # 6:8 The Hebrew text literally means “sixty queens, eighty brides, and endless numbers of women.”
9But unique is my beloved dove—unrivaled in beauty,
without equal, beyond compare,
the perfect one, the favorite one.
Others see your beauty and sing of your joy.
Brides and queens chant your praise:
“How blessed is she!”
10Look at you now—
arising as the dayspring of the dawn,
fair as the shining moon,
bright and brilliant as the sun in all its strength—
astonishing to behold as a majestic army
waving banners of victory.
The Shulamite Bride
11I decided to go down to the valley streams
where the orchards of the king grow and mature.
I longed to know if hearts were opening.
Are the budding vines blooming with new growth?
Has their springtime of passionate love arrived?
12Then suddenly my longings transported me.
My divine desire brought me next to my beloved prince,
sitting with him in his royal chariot.
We were lifted up together! # 6:12 Considered to be the most difficult verse to translate in the Song of Songs, the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Zion Maidens, Brides-to-Be
13Come back! Return to us, O maiden of his majesty.
Dance for us as we gaze upon your beauty.
The Shulamite Bride
Why would you seek a mere Shulamite like me?
Why would you want to see my dance of love?
Because you dance so gracefully,
as though you danced with angels! # 6:13 This is literally “the dance of Mahanaim” or “the dance of two armies.” When Jacob (Israel) returned to the promised land, he entered at Mahanaim, the place where two camps of angels gathered. See Gen. 32:1–2 and the footnote on 32:2.