Lover on the loose
- 5:1a Here I am. I’ve come into my garden,
My woman, and my bride.
I’ve taken it all: myrrh and spice,
Honey. In fact, I took the entire honeycomb,
Wine and milk, too.
- 5:1b Oh yeah. Eat and drink that lovin’.
Eat your fill and drink till you’re love drunk.
Lady in love
- 5:2 I was trying to sleep, but my mind kept racing.1
I heard a knock and my lover’s voice.
"Open up, my lady, my darling,
My perfect little dove.
My head is wet with evening dew,
And my hair is soaked."
- 5:3 But I had already undressed.
Was I supposed to get dressed again?
I had already washed my feet.2
Was I supposed to get them dirty again?
- 5:4 My lover grabbed the door bolt.
I wanted him so badly.
- 5:5 I rose to let my lover in.
I had dipped my hands in myrrh.3
Myrrh dripped from my fingers
And onto the door bolt.
- 5:6 I opened the door
But my lover was gone.
My heart sank after what he had said.
I started looking for him, with no luck.
I called out for him, but he didn’t answer.
- 5:7 Night guards patrolling the city found me.
They beat me and injured me.
Then they stole my cloak.
- 5:8 Jerusalem women, I need your help.
If you find my lover
Tell him I love him so much
That I feel sick when we’re not together.
Ladies of Jerusalem
- 5:9 5:9. Beautiful lady, what’s so special about your lover?
Why would you ask us to tell him something like this?
Lady in love
- 5:10 My lover is a handsome and healthy hunk of a man.
A man like this comes along
Once in 10,000.
- 5:11 The head on his shoulders is golden.
His wavy locks hang like clusters of dates,
- 5:12 His eyes are like doves
Resting by a stream,
Bathed in milk,
And set in place.
- 5:13 His cheeks are like a bouquet of fragrant balsam,4
A display of sweet-smelling spices.
His lips are soft as lilies,
And dipped in myrrh.
- 5:14 His arms are golden rods,
Inlaid with beryl5 jewels.
His abs are chiseled ivory
Inlaid with sapphire jewels.
- 5:15 His legs are columns of alabaster6 stone,
Resting on pedestals of golden feet.
He stands in the majesty of Lebanon,
With its towering cedar forests.
- 5:16 His mouth is delicious.
He’s a keeper.
Ladies of Jerusalem,
This is my lover,
And this is my friend.
More literally, “I was asleep, but my mind was awake.” To which some scholars say, “What?” Was she dreaming or in a light sleep or trying to fall asleep? Who knows but God and the poet?
Washing feet before going to bed makes sense. But scholars say writers in Bible times often used “feet” as a euphemism, a polite way of referring to private parts.
Myrrh comes from dried sap of an evergreen shrub, Commiphora abyssinica, which grew in parts of Egypt and neighboring nations in Africa. People mixed it with olive oil and other scents and spices, to create perfume. People used these scented oils in place of soap and deodorant, neither of which seems to have been invented in King Solomon’s day, some 3,000 years ago.
Balsam is a fragrant sap from trees and shrubs. Perfumers used it as a base for aromatic scents mixed with olive oil, to produce perfume. People also burned hardened sap as incense.
Emeralds are one of many forms of beryl, a mineral composed of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate.
Alabaster is a fine-grained stone, typically white, and often used to make statues.