Song of Solomon 1-4
1 The Song of Songs, which is for Solomon.
2 If only he would give me some of his kisses . . .
Oh, your loving is sweeter than wine!
3 Your fragrance is sweet;
your very name is perfume.
That’s why the young women love you.
4 Take me along with you; let’s run!
My king has brought me into his chambers, saying,
“Let’s exult and rejoice in you.
Let’s savor your loving more than wine.
No wonder they all love you!”
5 Dark am I, and lovely, daughters of Jerusalem—
like the black tents of the Kedar nomads,
like the curtains of Solomon’s palace.
6 Don’t stare at me because I’m darkened
by the sun’s gaze.
My own brothers were angry with me.
They made me a caretaker of the vineyards—
but I couldn’t care for my own vineyard.
7 Tell me, you whom I love with all my heart—
where do you pasture your flock,
where do you rest them at noon?—
so I don’t wander around with the flocks of your companions.
8 If you don’t know your way,
most beautiful of women,
then follow the tracks of the herds
and graze your little goats
by the tents of the shepherds.
9 I picture you, my dearest,
as a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots!
10 Lovely are your cheeks, adorned with ear hoops;
your neck, with beads.
11 Let’s make hoops of gold beaded with silver for you!
12 With my king close by,
my perfume filled the air.
13 A sachet of myrrh is my love to me,
lying all night between my breasts.
14 A cluster of henna flowers is my love to me
in the desert gardens of En-gedi.
15 Look at you—so beautiful, my dearest!
Look at you—so beautiful! Your eyes are doves!
16 Look at you—so beautiful, my love!
Yes, delightful! Yes, our bed is lush and green!
17 The ceilings of our chambers are cedars;
our rafters, cypresses.
Love in bloom
2 I’m a rose of the Sharon plain,
a lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among thornbushes,
so is my dearest among the young women.
3 Like an apple tree among the wild trees,
so is my lover among the young men.
In his shade I take pleasure in sitting,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
4 He has brought me to the house of wine;
his banner raised over me is love.
5 Sustain me with raisin cakes,
strengthen me with apples,
for I’m weak with love!
6 His left arm is beneath my head,
his right embraces me.
7 Make a solemn pledge, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the wild deer:
Don’t rouse, don’t arouse love
until it desires.
8 Listen! It’s my lover: here he comes now,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands now,
outside our wall,
peering through the windows,
peeking through the lattices.
10 My lover spoke and said to me,
“Rise up, my dearest,
my fairest, and go.
11 Here, the winter is past;
the rains have come and gone.
12 Blossoms have appeared in the land;
the season of singing[b] has arrived,
and the sound of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13 The green fruit is on the fig tree,
and the grapevines in bloom are fragrant.
Rise up,[c] my dearest,
my fairest, and go.
14 My dove—in the rock crevices,
hidden in the cliff face—
let me catch sight of you;
let me hear your voice!
The sound of your voice is sweet,
and the sight of you is lovely.”
15 Catch foxes for us—
those little foxes
that spoil vineyards,
now that our vineyards are in bloom!
16 I belong to my lover and he belongs to me—
the one grazing among the lilies.
17 Before the day breeze blows
and the shadows flee,
turn about, my love; be like a gazelle
or a young stag
upon the jagged mountains.[d]
3 Upon my bed, night after night,
I looked for the one whom I love with all my heart.
I looked for him but couldn’t find him.[e]
2 “I will rise now and go all around the city,
through the streets and the squares.
I will look for the one whom I love with all my heart.”
I looked for him but couldn’t find him.
3 The guards found me,
those who make their rounds in the city.
“The one whom I love with all my heart—
have you seen him?”
4 No sooner did I depart from them
than I found the one whom I love with all my heart.
I held on to him and now I won’t let him go,
until I’ve brought him to my mother’s house,
to the chamber of the one who conceived me.
5 I place you under oath, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the wild deer:
don’t rouse, don’t arouse love
until it desires.
Visions of grandeur
6 Who is this, coming up from the wilderness,
like pillars of smoke?
She is perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
selected from all the spice merchant’s powders.
7 Picture Solomon’s bed—
sixty heroic men round about it,
all from the heroes of Israel,
8 all of them skilled with the sword,
expert in warfare,
each with his sword ready at his thigh
against terrors that come by night.
9 King Solomon made a canopied couch for himself
from the trees of Lebanon.
10 Its pillars he made of silver,
its covering, cloth of gold,
its cushions, royal purple;
its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, 11 go forth!
Look, daughters of Zion—
on King Solomon wearing the crown
with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
on the day of his heart’s joy.
In praise of her
4 Look at you—so beautiful, my dearest!
Look at you—so beautiful! Your eyes are doves
behind the veil of your hair!
Your hair is like a flock of goats
as they stream down Mount Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like newly shorn ewes
as they come up from the washing pool—
all of them perfectly matched,
not one of them lacks its twin.
3 Like a crimson ribbon are your lips;
when you smile, it is lovely.
Like a slice of pomegranate is the curve of your face
behind the veil of your hair.
4 Like David’s tower is your neck,
A thousand shields are hung upon it—
all the weapons of the warriors.
5 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle doe,
that graze among the lilies.
6 Before the day breeze blows
and the shadows flee,
I will be off to the mountain of myrrh,
to the hill of frankincense.
7 You are utterly beautiful, my dearest;
there’s not a single flaw in you.
Garden of delight
8 Come down with me from Lebanon, my bride—
if only you would come down with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the peak of Amana,
from the peaks of Senir and Hermon,
from the lions’ dens,
from the mountain lairs of leopards.
9 You have captured my heart, my sister,[f] my bride!
You have captured my heart with one glance from your eyes,
with one strand of your necklace.
10 How beautiful is your loving, my sister, my bride!
Your loving is so much better than wine,
and your fragrance better than any perfume!
11 Sweetness drops from your lips, my bride;
honey and milk are under your tongue,
and the fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 An enclosed garden is my sister, my bride;
an enclosed pool, a sealed spring.
13 Your limbs are an orchard of pomegranates
with all kinds of luscious fruit,
henna, and spices:
14 nard and saffron,
sweet cane and cinnamon,
with all scented woods,
myrrh, and aloes,
with the very choicest perfumes!
15 You are a garden spring, a well of fresh water,
streams from Lebanon.
16 Stir, north wind, and come, south wind!Blow upon my garden;
let its perfumes flow!
Let my love come to his garden;
let him eat its luscious fruit!
- Song of Solomon 1:2 Identification of speakers here and throughout the Song is hypothetical and in several cases uncertain.
- Song of Solomon 2:12 Or pruning
- Song of Solomon 2:13 LXX and Kethib add go; but Qere, DSS, Vulg, Syr, and Tg lack the verb; cf 2:10.
- Song of Solomon 2:17 Or upon the mountains of Bether; cf 8:14 mountains of spice
- Song of Solomon 3:1 LXX adds I called him, but he didn't answer me; cf 5:6.
- Song of Solomon 4:9 Sister here and below is a common term in ancient love poetry; it doesn't imply blood relation.
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Plans for the Collection
16 But thank God, who put the same commitment that I have for you in Titus’ heart. 17 Not only has he accepted our challenge but he’s on his way to see you voluntarily, and he’s excited. 18 We are sending the brother who is famous in all the churches because of his work for the gospel along with him.
19 In addition to this, he is chosen by the churches to be our traveling companion in this work of grace, which we are taking care of for the sake of the glory of the Lord himself, and to show our desire to help. 20 We are trying to avoid being blamed by anyone for the way we take care of this large amount of money. 21 We care about doing the right thing, not only in the Lord’s eyes but also in the eyes of other people.
22 We are sending our brother with them. We have tested his commitment in many ways and many times. Now he’s even more committed, because he has so much confidence in you. 23 If there is any question about Titus, he is my partner and coworker among you. If there is any question about our brothers, they are the churches’ apostles and an honor to Christ. 24 So show them the proof of your love and the reason we are so proud of you, in such a way that the churches can see it.
A psalm of Asaph.
50 From the rising of the sun to where it sets,
God, the Lord God, speaks,
calling out to the earth.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines brightly.
3 Our God is coming;
he won’t keep quiet.
A devouring fire is before him;
a storm rages all around him.
4 God calls out to the skies above
and to the earth in order to judge his people:
5 “Bring my faithful to me,
those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 The skies proclaim his righteousness
because God himself is the judge. Selah
7 “Listen, my people, I will now speak;
Israel, I will now testify against you.
I am God—your God!
8 I’m not punishing you for your sacrifices
or for your entirely burned offerings,
which are always before me.
9 I won’t accept bulls from your house
or goats from your corrals
10 because every forest animal already belongs to me,
as do the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every mountain bird;
even the insects in the fields are mine.
12 Even if I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you
because the whole world and everything in it already belong to me.
13 Do I eat bulls’ meat?
Do I drink goats’ blood?
14 Offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving!
Fulfill the promisesyou made to the Most High!
15 Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble;
I will deliver you, then you will honor me.”
16 But to the wicked God says,
“Why do you talk about my laws?
Why do you even mention my covenant?
17 You hate discipline, and
you toss my words behind your back.
18 You make friends with thieves whenever you see one;
you spend your time with adulterers.
19 You set your mouth free to do evil,
then harness your tongue to tell lies.
20 You sit around, talking about your own siblings;
you find fault with the children of your very own mother.
21 You’ve done these things and I’ve kept quiet.
You thought I was just like you!
But now I’m punishing you;
I’m laying it all out, right in front of your face.
22 So consider this carefully, all you who forget God,
or I’ll rip you to pieces with no one to deliver you:
23 The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving is the one who honors me.
And it is to the one who charts the correct path that I will show divine salvation.”