Maiden’s Dream (?): Seeking and Finding
1On my bed in the night,
I sought#Or “I seek” him whom my heart#Literally “soul” loves.
I sought him, but I did not find him.
2Now I will arise, and I will go about in the city,
in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my heart#Literally “soul” loves.
I sought him, but I did not find him.
3The sentinels who go about in the city found me.
“Have you seen the one whom my heart#Literally “soul” loves?”
4Scarcely had I passed#Literally “As little that I passed” by them
when I found him whom my heart#Literally “soul” loves.
I held him and I would not let him go
until I brought him to the house of my mother,
into the bedroom chamber of she who conceived me.
Adjuration Refrain
5I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,#Literally “O daughters of Jerusalem”
by the gazelles or by the does of the field,
do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases!#Or “Do not stir up or awaken the love until it is willing,” or “Do not disturb or interrupt our love-making until it is satisfied”
Royal Wedding Procession
6What is this coming up from the desert
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense
from all the fragrant powders of the merchant?
7Look! It is Solomon’s portable couch!#Literally “couch” or “portable sedan chair”
Sixty mighty men surround it,#Literally “her”
the mighty men of Israel.
8All of them wield swords;#Literally “holders of sword”
they are trained in warfare,#Literally “learnt of war”
each with his sword at his thigh
to guard against terror#Literally “because of the fear” in the night.
9King Solomon#Literally “The king, Solomon” made for himself a sedan chair
from the wood of Lebanon.
10He made its column of silver, its back#Or “its support,” “its base,” “its headrest,” “its litter,” “its cover” of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior is inlaid with leather#Or “love.” The Hebrew term here translated “leather” is spelled the same as the term for “love.” Most likely this is an example of a word play that puns on the intentional ambiguity: “Its interior was inlaid with leather//love by the maidens of Jerusalem” by the maidens of Jerusalem.#Literally “by the daughters of Jerusalem”
11Come out and look, O maidens of Zion,#Literally “O daughters of Zion” at King Solomon,#Literally “the king, Solomon”
at the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
on the day of the joy of his heart!
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