Song of Solomon 5-8
5 I have come to my garden, my sister, my bride!
I have gathered my myrrh and my spices.
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, dear friends!
Drink and get drunk on love!
A missed encounter
2 I was sleeping, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My love is knocking:
“Open for me, my sister, my dearest,
my dove, my perfect one!
My head is soaked with dew,
my hair, with the night mists.”
3 “I have taken off my tunic—
why should I put it on again?
I have bathed my feet—
why should I get them dirty?”
4 My love put his hand in through the latch hole,
and my body ached for him.
5 I rose; I went to open for my love,
and my hands dripped myrrh,
my fingers, liquid myrrh,
over the handles of the lock.
6 I went and opened for my love,
but my love had turned, gone away.
I nearly died when he turned away.
I looked for him but couldn’t find him.
I called out to him, but he didn’t answer me.
7 They found me—the guards
who make their rounds in the city.
They struck me, bruised me.
They took my shawl away from me,
those guards of the city walls!
8 I place you under oath, daughters of Jerusalem:
If you find my love, what should you tell him?
That I’m weak with love!
[Daughters of Jerusalem]
9 How is your lover different from any other lover,
you who are the most beautiful of women?
How is your lover different from any other lover,
that you make us swear a solemn pledge?
In praise of him
10 My lover is radiant and ruddy;
he stands out among ten thousand!
11 His head is finest gold;
his wavy hair, black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
by channels of water.
They are bathing in milk,
sitting by brimming pools.
13 His cheeks are like fragrant plantings,
towers of spices.
His lips are lilies
dripping liquid myrrh.
14 His arms are gold cylinders
studded with jewels.
His belly is smooth ivory
encrusted with sapphires.
15 His thighs are pillars of whitest stone
set on pedestals of gold.
His appearance—like Lebanon,
stately, like the cedars.
16 His mouth is everything sweet,
every bit of him desirable.
This is my love, this my dearest,
daughters of Jerusalem!
[Daughters of Jerusalem]
6 Which way did your lover go,
you who are the most beautiful of women?
Which way did your lover turn,
that we may look for him along with you?
2 My lover has gone down to his garden,
to the fragrant plantings,
to graze in the gardens,
to gather the lilies.
3 I belong to my lover and my lover belongs to me—
the one grazing among the lilies.
An overwhelming sight
4 You are as beautiful, my dearest, as Tirzah,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
formidable as those lofty sights.
5 Turn your eyes away from me,
for they overwhelm me!
Your hair is like a flock of goats
as they stream down from Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
as they come up from the washing pool—
all of them perfectly matched,
not one of them lacks its twin.
7 Like a slice of pomegranate is the curve of your face
behind the veil of your hair.
8 There may be sixty queens
and eighty secondary wives,
young women beyond counting,
9 but my dove, my perfect one, is one of a kind.
To her mother she’s the only one,
radiant to the one who bore her.
Young women see her and declare her fortunate;
queens and secondary wives praise her.
10 Who is this, gazing down like the morning star,
beautiful as the full moon,
radiant as the sun,
formidable as those lofty sights?
11 To the nut grove I went down
to look upon the fresh growth in the valley,
to see whether the vine was in flower,
whether the pomegranates had bloomed.
12 I hardly knew myself;
she had set me in an official’s chariot![a]
7 How graceful are your sandaled feet,
The smooth curves of your thighs—like fine jewelry,
the work of an artist’s hands!
2 Your navel, cupped like the full moon—
may it never lack spiced wine!
Your belly is a mound of winnowed wheat
edged with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle doe;
4 your neck, like a tower of ivory;
your eyes, pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of that lordly city.[d]
Your profile is like the tower of Lebanon,
looking out toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel,
and your hair, braided in royal purple—
a king is bound by the tresses!
6 You are so beautiful, so lovely—
my love, delightful one![e]
7 Your stately form resembles a date palm,
and your breasts are like clustered fruit.
8 I say, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will hold its fruit!”
May your breasts be now
like grape clusters,
and the scent of your breath like apples!
9 Your palate is like excellent wine . . .
. . . flowing smoothly for my love,
gliding through the lips and teeth.[f]
10 I belong to my lover,
and his longing is only for me.
The ripeness of love
11 Come, my love:
Let’s go out to the field
and rest all night among the flowering henna.
12 Let’s set out early for the vineyards.
We will see if the vines have budded
and the blossoms opened,
see if the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I’ll give my loving to you.
13 The mandrakes give off their scent,
and at our doorways is every delicacy—
fresh or ripened—
my love, I have kept them hidden for you.
8 If only you were as my brother—
the one who nursed at my mother’s breast.
I would find you in the street and kiss you,
and no one would shame me for it.
2 I would lead you, I would bring you
to my mother’s house;
she would teach me what to do.[g]
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
some of my fresh pomegranate juice.
3 His left arm is beneath my head,
and his right embraces me!
4 Make a solemn pledge,
daughters of Jerusalem,
never to rouse, never to arouse love
until it desires.
Love, strong and invaluable
[Daughters of Jerusalem]
5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
leaning against her lover?
Under the apple tree I aroused you—
there, where your mother labored with you,
there where, laboring, she bore you.
6 Set me as a seal over your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is as strong as death,
passionate love unrelenting as the grave.[h]
Its darts are darts of fire—
7 Rushing waters can’t quench love;
rivers can’t wash it away.
If someone gave
all his estate in exchange for love,
he would be laughed to utter shame.
[The Woman’s Brothers]
8 Our sister is small;
she has no breasts.
What will we do for our sister
on the day that she is spoken for?
9 If she is a city wall,
then we will build a turret of silver on her.[i]
And if she is a door,
then we will barricade her[j] with a panel of cedar.
10 I’m a city wall,
and my breasts are the towers.
So now I’m in his eyes
as one who brings peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard
He gave charge of the vineyard to keepers;
one would bring in exchange for its fruit
a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me.
You can have the thousand, Solomon[k]—
with two hundred for those who tend the fruit!
13 You who sit in the gardens,
my companions are listening for your voice.
Let me hear it!
14 “Take flight, my love,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spice!”
- Song of Solomon 6:12 Or I hardly knew what happened; my passion set me in an official's chariot! LXX, Vulg Aminadab's chariots; Heb uncertain
- Song of Solomon 6:13 7:1 in Heb
- Song of Solomon 6:13 A name or title for the woman
- Song of Solomon 7:4 Or by the gate of Bath-rabbim
- Song of Solomon 7:6 With Syr and Aquila daughter of delights; MT love in delights or love with every charm
- Song of Solomon 7:9 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT through the lips of those who sleep; Heb uncertain
- Song of Solomon 8:2 Or you would teach me; LXX, Syr to my mother's house, and to the chamber of the one who conceived me (cf 3:4)
- Song of Solomon 8:6 Heb Sheol
- Song of Solomon 8:9 Or on it (the city wall)
- Song of Solomon 8:9 Or it (the door)
- Song of Solomon 8:12 Cf 1 Kgs 11:3
2 Corinthians 9
9 It’s unnecessary for me to write to you about this service for God’s people. 2 I know about your willingness to help. I brag about you to the Macedonians, saying, “Greece has been ready since last year,” and your enthusiasm has motivated most of them.
3 But I’m sending the brothers so that our bragging about you in this case won’t be empty words, and so that you can be prepared, just as I keep telling them you will be. 4 If some Macedonians should come with me and find out that you aren’t ready, we (not to mention you) would be embarrassed as far as this project goes.
5 This is why I thought it was necessary to encourage the brothers to go to you ahead of time and arrange in advance the generous gift you have already promised. I want it to be a real gift from you. I don’t want you to feel like you are being forced to give anything. 6 What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.
7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever.[a]
10 The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 They will give honor to God for your obedience to your confession of Christ’s gospel. They will do this because this service provides evidence of your obedience, and because of your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 They will also pray for you, and they will care deeply for you because of the outstanding grace that God has given to you. 15 Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!
For the music leader. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him just after he had been with Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
2 Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
purify me from my sin!
3 Because I know my wrongdoings,
my sin is always right in front of me.
4 I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict,
completely correct when you issue your judgment.
5 Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places;
you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.[a]
7 Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and celebration again;
let the bones you crushed rejoice once more.
9 Hide your face from my sins;
wipe away all my guilty deeds!
10 Create a clean heart for me, God;
put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
11 Please don’t throw me out of your presence;
please don’t take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Return the joy of your salvation to me
and sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach wrongdoers your ways,
and sinners will come back to you.
14 Deliver me from violence, God, God of my salvation,
so that my tongue can sing of your righteousness.
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
16 You don’t want sacrifices.
If I gave an entirely burned offering,
you wouldn’t be pleased.
17 A broken spirit is my sacrifice, God.[b]
You won’t despise a heart, God, that is broken and crushed.
18 Do good things for Zion by your favor.
Rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
19 Then you will again want sacrifices of righteousness—
entirely burned offerings and complete offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
24 Don’t befriend people controlled by anger;
don’t associate with hot-tempered people;
25 otherwise, you will learn their ways
and become trapped.