1If only I could show everyone
this passionate desire I have for you.
If only I could express it fully,
no matter who was watching me,
without shame or embarrassment.
2I long to bring you to my innermost chamber—
this holy sanctuary you have formed within me.
O that I might carry you within me!
I would give you the spiced wine of my love,
this full cup of bliss that we share.
We would drink our fill until . . .
3His left hand cradles my head
while his right hand holds me close.
We are at rest in this love.
4Promise me, brides-to-be,
by the gentle gazelles and delicate deer,
that you’ll not disturb my love until he is ready to arise.
5Who is this one?
She arises out of her desert, clinging to her beloved.
When I awakened you under the apple tree,
as you were feasting upon me,
I awakened your innermost being with the travail of birth
as you longed for more of me.
6Fasten me upon your heart as a seal of fire forevermore.
This living, consuming flame
will seal you as my prisoner of love. # 8:6 The ancient Hebrew word for “seal” can also be translated “prison cell.” He longs for his bride to be his love prisoner, in the prison cell of his eternal love.
My passion # 8:6 Or “jealousy.” is stronger
than the chains of death and the grave,
all consuming as the very flashes of fire
from the burning heart of God. # 8:6 The phrase in Hebrew is “a most vehement flame” and is actually two Hebrew words. The first means “a mighty flash of fire,” and the second is “Yah,” which is the sacred name of God himself. The Hebrew shalhebet-yah could be translated “The mighty flame of the Lord most passionate!”
Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over your entire being.
7Rivers of pain and persecution
will never extinguish this flame.
Endless floods will be unable
to quench this raging fire that burns within you.
Everything will be consumed.
It will stop at nothing
as you yield everything to this furious fire
until it won’t even seem to you like a sacrifice anymore.
The Shulamite Bride
8-10My brothers said to me when I was young,
“Our sister is so immature.
What will we do to guard her for her wedding day?”
We will build a tower of redemption to protect her.
Since she is vulnerable,
we will enclose her with a wall of cedar boards.
The Shulamite Bride
But now I have grown and become a bride,
and my love for him has made me
a tower of passion and contentment for my beloved.
I am now a firm wall of protection for others,
guarding them from harm.
This is how he sees me—I am the one who brings him bliss,
finding favor in his eyes.
11My bridegroom-king has a vineyard of love
made from a multitude of followers. # 8:11 The Hebrew text literally means “Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon.” The king’s vineyard is a picture of the church, the called-out multitude of those who follow Jesus (Dan. 7:9–10; Rev. 7:9). Baal-hamon can be translated “lord of a multitude,” “lord of an uproar,” or “lord of wealth.”
His caretakers of this vineyard
have given my beloved their best.
12But as for my own vineyard of love,
I give all the glory to you. # 8:12 Or “you may have the thousand (shekels), O Solomon.” The number one thousand is a biblical symbol for the glory of God. The prize of mature sonship is a truth that defies description, and all the glory of the vineyard belongs to our King, one greater than Solomon.
And I will give double honor # 8:12 Or “the two hundred.” This is two times one hundred. The number one hundred represents the children of the promise. Abraham was one hundred when Isaac, the promised seed, was born (Gen. 21:5). Isaac was a type of the children of promise, the spiritual seed (Rom. 9:7–8; Gal. 4:28). The number one hundred is also connected to Isaac’s sowing and reaping, and the blessing of God (Gen. 26:12). The Lord will receive the hundred-fold fruit of his life in us (Matt. 13:8–9). Jesus has one hundred sheep in his fold (Matt. 18:11–12). The number two is the symbol of witness. Two hundred reveals the witness of God’s sons coming forth (Rom. 8:19–21).
to those who serve my beloved
and have watched over my soul.
13My beloved, one with me in my garden,
how marvelous that my friends, the brides-to-be,
now hear your voice and song.
Let me now hear it again.
The Bridegroom and the Bride in Divine Duet
14Arise, my darling!
Come quickly, my beloved.
Come and be the graceful gazelle with me.
Come be like a young stag with me.
We will dance in the high place of the sky,
yes, on the mountains of fragrant spice.
Forever we shall be united as one!