Song of Solomon

  • Song of Solomon Facts

    8 chapters
    117 verses
    2,531 words
    Wisdom Genre

  • Song of Solomon Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Song of Solomon

  • Writings about Song of Solomon

    Christian education materials about Song of Solomon, including book overviews, reading guides for the Wisdom genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and throught-provoking essay.

  • Song of Solomon Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Song of Solomon and its associated daily readers on Day 308 when Song of Solomon begins

Daily Reader for Day 309: Song of Solomon 4 - 8


by Dave Moore

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me!  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.  – Song of Solomon 8:3-4

These two lines appeared together yesterday in chapter 2, and today make another appearance near the end of the Song.  Perhaps they are an ancient hook, meant to ground the Song in the ear of the listener.  Maybe the line “…that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” – that appears thrice total – was a well-known refrain of deep, implicit meaning at the time it was written.  Or it could just be a lyrical exhortation, meant to be just mysterious enough to encourage contemplation.

Nonetheless, they indicate a consistent poetic hand that has a story to tell.  As I cautioned yesterday, opinions that this Song is a metaphor for God’s relationship with His people must still contend with the language in which it is framed.  There is a breadth of simile connecting the natural world with the marriage chamber.  Perhaps you’ve noticed that physical attributes – outward beauty and strength – dominate the celebration. 

The musical conversation continues today and, even if your translation does not parse the speakers explicitly, it’s usually possible to tell whether it is the bride, groom, or their friends that is speaking.  Chapter 4 is the groom’s answer to the bride’s song that we read yesterday, and the remaining dialogue shifts between adulation and longing.  Listen closely for the moment of dawning wisdom of chapter 8, the only mention of the LORD anywhere in this Song, which exerts: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.

Our verse for this week is Ephesians 6:12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Song of Solomon 4 through 8.  Now let’s read it!

Song of Solomon 4 - 8

4:1   Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
    behold, you are beautiful!
  Your eyes are doves
    behind your veil.
  Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
  Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
    that have come up from the washing,
  all of which bear twins,
    and not one among them has lost its young.
  Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
    and your mouth is lovely.
  Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
  Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built in rows of stone;
  on it hang a thousand shields,
    all of them shields of warriors.
  Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle,
    that graze among the lilies.
  Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
  I will go away to the mountain of myrrh
    and the hill of frankincense.
  You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.
  Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
    come with me from Lebanon.
  Depart from the peak of Amana,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
  from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.
  You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace.
  How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
    How much better is your love than wine,
    and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
  Your lips drip nectar, my bride;
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
    the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
  A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
    a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
  Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,
  nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
    with all trees of frankincense,
  myrrh and aloes,
    with all choice spices—
  a garden fountain, a well of living water,
    and flowing streams from Lebanon.
  Awake, O north wind,
    and come, O south wind!
  Blow upon my garden,
    let its spices flow.

  Let my beloved come to his garden,
    and eat its choicest fruits.
5:1   I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
    I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
    I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
    I drank my wine with my milk.
  Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!

  I slept, but my heart was awake.
  A sound! My beloved is knocking.
  “Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
  for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”
  I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on?
  I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?
  My beloved put his hand to the latch,
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
  I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
  my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    on the handles of the bolt.
  I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned and gone.
  My soul failed me when he spoke.
  I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
  The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city;
  they beat me, they bruised me,
    they took away my veil,
    those watchmen of the walls.
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    if you find my beloved,
  that you tell him
    I am sick with love.
  What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O most beautiful among women?
  What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus adjure us?

  My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
    distinguished among ten thousand.
  His head is the finest gold;
    his locks are wavy,
    black as a raven.
  His eyes are like doves
    beside streams of water,
  bathed in milk,
    sitting beside a full pool.
  His cheeks are like beds of spices,
    mounds of sweet-smelling herbs.
  His lips are lilies,
    dripping liquid myrrh.
  His arms are rods of gold,
    set with jewels.
  His body is polished ivory,
    bedecked with sapphires.
  His legs are alabaster columns,
    set on bases of gold.
  His appearance is like Lebanon,
    choice as the cedars.
  His mouth is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
  This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.
6:1   Where has your beloved gone,
    O most beautiful among women?
  Where has your beloved turned,
    that we may seek him with you?

  My beloved has gone down to his garden
    to the beds of spices,
  to graze in the gardens
    and to gather lilies.
  I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;
    he grazes among the lilies.

  You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    lovely as Jerusalem,
    awesome as an army with banners.
  Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me—
  Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
  Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
    that have come up from the washing;
  all of them bear twins;
    not one among them has lost its young.
  Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
  There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and virgins without number.
  My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the only one of her mother,
    pure to her who bore her.
  The young women saw her and called her blessed;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
  “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
    beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
    awesome as an army with banners?”
  I went down to the nut orchard
    to look at the blossoms of the valley,
  to see whether the vines had budded,
    whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
  Before I was aware, my desire set me
    among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.
   Return, return, O Shulammite,
    return, return, that we may look upon you.
  Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
    as upon a dance before two armies?
  7:1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
    O noble daughter!
  Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
    the work of a master hand.
  Your navel is a rounded bowl
    that never lacks mixed wine.
  Your belly is a heap of wheat,
    encircled with lilies.
  Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.
  Your neck is like an ivory tower.
  Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
  Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
    which looks toward Damascus.
  Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.
  How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights!
  Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
  I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
  Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
  and your mouth like the best wine.
  It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
    gliding over lips and teeth.
  I am my beloved's,
    and his desire is for me.

  Come, my beloved,
    let us go out into the fields
    and lodge in the villages;
  let us go out early to the vineyards
    and see whether the vines have budded,
  whether the grape blossoms have opened
    and the pomegranates are in bloom.
  There I will give you my love.
  The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
    and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
  new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

8:1   Oh that you were like a brother to me
    who nursed at my mother's breasts!
  If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
    and none would despise me.
  I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother—
    she who used to teach me.
  I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranate.
  His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.
  Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning on her beloved?
  Under the apple tree I awakened you.
  There your mother was in labor with you;
    there she who bore you was in labor.
  Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm,
  for love is strong as death,
    jealousy is fierce as the grave.
  Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    the very flame of the LORD.
  Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
  If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he would be utterly despised.

  We have a little sister,
    and she has no breasts.
  What shall we do for our sister
    on the day when she is spoken for?
  If she is a wall,
    we will build on her a battlement of silver,
  but if she is a door,
    we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
  I was a wall,
    and my breasts were like towers;
  then I was in his eyes
    as one who finds peace.
  Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
    he let out the vineyard to keepers;
    each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
  My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
    you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
    and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.
  O you who dwell in the gardens,
    with companions listening for your voice;
    let me hear it.
  Make haste, my beloved,
    and be like a gazelle
  or a young stag
    on the mountains of spices.

(ESV)

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