Song of Songs 5-8
5 I come to my garden, my sister, my bride;
I gather my myrrh with my spice;
I eat my honeycomb with my honey;
I drink my wine with my milk.
Friends of the Man
Drink, and be drunk with love!
2 I slept, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My beloved is knocking. “Open to me, my sister, and my love,
my dove, my perfect one;
for my head is wet with dew,
my locks with the drops of the night.”
3 I had taken off my garment;
how could I put it on again?
I had bathed my feet;
how could I soil them?
4 My beloved put his hand by the latch,
and my heart yearned for him.
5 I rose up to open to my beloved,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh
on the handles of the bolt.
6 I opened to my beloved,
but my beloved had turned and was gone.
My soul failed me when he spoke.
I sought him, but found him not;
I called him, but he gave no answer.
7 The watchmen found me
as they went about the city;
they struck me, they wounded me;
they took away my mantle,
those watchmen of the walls.
8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
if you find my beloved,
that you tell him I am faint with love.
Friends of the Woman
9 What is your beloved more than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
that you so charge us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy,
distinguished among ten thousand.
11 His head is the finest gold;
his locks are wavy,
black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
beside rivers of water,
bathed in milk,
13 His cheeks are like beds of spices,
mounds of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies,
dripping liquid myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold,
set with jewels.
His body is bright ivory,
inlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are alabaster columns,
set on bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as the cedars.
16 His mouth is most sweet,
and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.
Friends of the Woman
6 Where has your beloved gone,
O fairest among women?
Where has your beloved turned aside,
that we may seek him with you?
2 My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to feed his flock in the gardens,
and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he feeds his flock among the lilies.
4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
comely as Jerusalem,
awesome as an army with banners!
5 Turn your eyes away from me,
for they overwhelm me!
Your hair is like a flock of goats
streaming down from Gilead.
6 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;
7 your cheeks are like halves
of a pomegranate behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens
and eighty concubines,
and virgins without number.
9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
the only one of her mother,
choice to her who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
10 Who is this who looks forth like the dawn,
fair as the moon, radiant as the sun,
awesome as an army with banners?
11 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.
12 Before I was aware, my soul set me in a chariot beside my prince.
Friends of the Woman
13 Return, return, O Shulammite![a]
Return, return, that we may look upon you.
Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
as upon a dance before two armies?[b]
7 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
2 Your navel is a round bowl
that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower,
your eyes pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
5 Your head crowns like Carmel,
and your flowing hair is like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.
6 How fair and pleasant you are,
O loved one, with all your delights!
7 Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
8 I say I will climb the palm tree
and take hold of its branches.
Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth like the best wine.
It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
gliding over lips and teeth.
10 I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the fields,
and lodge in the villages;
12 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.
13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and at our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
8 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 no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you and bring you
into the house of my mother,
she who used to instruct me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the juice of my pomegranates.
3 His left hand is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me!
4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
do not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
Friends of the Woman
5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning upon 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.
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its fires of desire are as ardent flames,
a most intense flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly condemned.
Brothers of the Woman
8 We have a little sister,
and she has no breasts.
What will we do for our sister
on the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build upon her a battlement of silver;
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon;
he leased the vineyard to keepers;
each man was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.
13 O you who dwell in the gardens,
my companions listen for your voice;
let me hear it!
14 Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle or a young stag
on the mountains of spices!
2 Corinthians 9
The Offering for the Saints
9 It is redundant for me to write to you concerning the ministry to the saints. 2 I know your willingness, for which I boast of you to those in Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 Yet I have sent the brothers, lest our boasting of you might be in vain in this case, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 and lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers to go ahead to you and arrange beforehand your bountiful gift you previously promised, that it might be prepared as a gift, not as a matter of greed.
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Let every man give according to the purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having enough of everything, may abound to every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor;
His righteousness remains forever.”[a]
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and supplies bread for your food will also multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 11 So you will be enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which makes us give thanks to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the need of the saints, but is abundant also through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Meanwhile, through the performance of this ministry, they glorify God for the profession of your faith in the gospel of Christ and for your liberal sharing with them and with all others. 14 And in their prayer for you, they long for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.
For the Music Director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the Prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your lovingkindness;
according to the abundance of Your compassion,
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Your sight,
so that You are justified when You speak,
and You are blameless when You judge.
5 I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward parts,
and in the hidden part You make me to know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
that the bones that You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and uphold me with Your willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
and sinners will return to You.
14 Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God,
God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in Your good pleasure;
build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
with burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
then they will offer young bulls on Your altar.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
and with a furious man you will not go,
25 lest you learn his ways
and get a snare to your soul.