Reading for September 19th

Song of Solomon 1-4 (Listen)

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!

For your love is better than wine;

your anointing oils are fragrant;

your name is oil poured out;

therefore virgins love you.

Draw me after you; let us run.

The king has brought me into his chambers.

 

Others

We will exult and rejoice in you;

we will extol your love more than wine;

rightly do they love you.

 

She

I am very dark, but lovely,

O daughters of Jerusalem,

like the tents of Kedar,

like the curtains of Solomon.

Do not gaze at me because I am dark,

because the sun has looked upon me.

My mother's sons were angry with me;

they made me keeper of the vineyards,

but my own vineyard I have not kept!

Tell me, you whom my soul loves,

where you pasture your flock,

where you make it lie down at noon;

for why should I be like one who veils herself

beside the flocks of your companions?

 

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

If you do not know,

O most beautiful among women,

follow in the tracks of the flock,

and pasture your young goats

beside the shepherds' tents.

 

I compare you, my love,

to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots.

Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,

your neck with strings of jewels.

 

Others

We will make for you ornaments of gold,

studded with silver.

 

She

While the king was on his couch,

my nard gave forth its fragrance.

My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh

that lies between my breasts.

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms

in the vineyards of Engedi.

 

He

Behold, you are beautiful, my love;

behold, you are beautiful;

your eyes are doves.

 

She

Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.

Our couch is green;

the beams of our house are cedar;

our rafters are pine.

 

I am a rose of Sharon,

a lily of the valleys.

 

He

As a lily among brambles,

so is my love among the young women.

 

She

As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,

so is my beloved among the young men.

With great delight I sat in his shadow,

and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house,

and his banner over me was love.

Sustain me with raisins;

refresh me with apples,

for I am sick with love.

His left hand is under my head,

and his right hand embraces me!

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles or the does of the field,

that you not stir up or awaken love

until it pleases.

 

The Bride Adores Her Beloved

The voice of my beloved!

Behold, he comes,

leaping over the mountains,

bounding over the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle

or a young stag.

Behold, there he stands

behind our wall,

gazing through the windows,

looking through the lattice.

My beloved speaks and says to me:

“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away,

for behold, the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land.

The fig tree ripens its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away.

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

in the crannies of the cliff,

let me see your face,

let me hear your voice,

for your voice is sweet,

and your face is lovely.

Catch the foxes for us,

the little foxes

that spoil the vineyards,

for our vineyards are in blossom.”

 

My beloved is mine, and I am his;

he grazes among the lilies.

Until the day breathes

and the shadows flee,

turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle

or a young stag on cleft mountains.

 

The Bride's Dream

On my bed by night

I sought him whom my soul loves;

I sought him, but found him not.

I will rise now and go about the city,

in the streets and in the squares;

I will seek him whom my soul loves.

I sought him, but found him not.

The watchmen found me

as they went about in the city.

“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”

Scarcely had I passed them

when I found him whom my soul loves.

I held him, and would not let him go

until I had brought him into my mother's house,

and into the chamber of her who conceived me.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles or the does of the field,

that you not stir up or awaken love

until it pleases.

 

Solomon Arrives for the Wedding

What is that coming up from the wilderness

like columns of smoke,

perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,

with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?

Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!

Around it are sixty mighty men,

some of the mighty men of Israel,

all of them wearing swords

and expert in war,

each with his sword at his thigh,

against terror by night.

King Solomon made himself a carriage

from the wood of Lebanon.

He made its posts of silver,

its back of gold, its seat of purple;

its interior was inlaid with love

by the daughters of Jerusalem.

Go out, O daughters of Zion,

and look upon King Solomon,

with the crown with which his mother crowned him

on the day of his wedding,

on the day of the gladness of his heart.

 

Solomon Admires His Bride's Beauty

He

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.

 

Together in the Garden of Love

She

Let my beloved come to his garden,

and eat its choicest fruits.