The Mutual Delight of the Bride and Bridegroom
6 1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither hath thy beloved turned him, That we may seek him with thee? 2 My beloved is gone down to his garden, To the beds of spices, To feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. 3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine; He feedeth [his flock] among the lilies,
4 Thou art fair, O my love, as Tirzah, Comely as Jerusalem, Terrible as an army with banners. 5 Turn away thine eyes from me, For they have overcome me. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, That lie along the side of Gilead. 6 Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes, Which are come up from the washing; Whereof every one hath twins, And none is bereaved among them. 7 Thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate Behind thy veil. 8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, And virgins without number. 9 My dove, my undefiled, is [but] one; She is the only one of her mother; She is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; [Yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, Fair as the moon, Clear as the sun, Terrible as an army with banners?
11 I went down into the garden of nuts, To see the green plants of the valley, To see whether the vine budded, [And] the pomegranates were in flower. 12 Before I was aware, my soul set me [Among] the chariots of my princely people. 13 Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, As upon the dance of Mahanaim?
7 1 How beautiful are thy feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! Thy rounded thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of a skilful workman. 2 Thy body is [like] a round goblet, [Wherein] no mingled wine is wanting: Thy waist is [like] a heap of wheat Set about with lilies. 3 Thy two breasts are like two fawns That are twins of a roe. 4 Thy neck is like the tower of ivory; Thine eyes [as] the pools in Heshbon, By the gate of Bath-rabbim; Thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon Which looketh toward Damascus. 5 Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, And the hair of thy head like purple; The king is held captive in the tresses [thereof]. 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! 7 This thy stature is like to a palm-tree, And thy breasts to its clusters. 8 I said, I will climb up into the palm-tree, I will take hold of the branches thereof: Let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine, And the smell of thy breath like apples, 9 And thy mouth like the best wine, That goeth down smoothly for my beloved, Gliding through the lips of those that are asleep.
10 I am my beloved's; And his desire is toward me. 11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; Let us lodge in the villages. 12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine hath budded, [And] its blossom is open, [And] the pomegranates are in flower: There will I give thee my love. 13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance; And at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
8 1 Oh that thou wert as my brother, That sucked the breasts of my mother! [When] I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; Yea, and none would despise me. 2 I would lead thee, [and] bring thee into my mother's house, Who would instruct me; I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, Of the juice of my pomegranate. 3 His left hand [should be] under my head, And his right hand should embrace me. 4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, That ye stir not up, nor awake [my] love, Until he please.
Love Is Strong as Death
5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple-tree I awakened thee: There thy mother was in travail with thee, There was she in travail that brought thee forth. 6 Set me as a seal upon thy heart, As a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong as death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol; The flashes thereof are flashes of fire, A very flame of Jehovah. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can floods drown it: If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, He would utterly be contemned.
8 We have a little sister, And she hath no breasts: What shall we do for our sister In the day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver: And if she be a door, We will inclose her with boards of cedar. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like the towers [thereof] Then was I in his eyes as one that found peace. 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; He let out the vineyard unto keepers; Every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver. 12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand, And those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
4 1 But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all; 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed of the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world: 4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8 Howbeit at that time, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods: 9 but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain.
12 I beseech you, brethren, become as I [am], for I also [am become] as ye [are]. Ye did me no wrong: 13 but ye know that because of an infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you the first time: 14 and that which was a temptation to you in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but ye received me as an angel of God, [even] as Christ Jesus. 15 Where then is that gratulation of yourselves? for I bear you witness, that, if possible, ye would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then am I become your enemy, by telling you the truth?
17 They zealously seek you in no good way; nay, they desire to shut you out, that ye may seek them. 18 But it is good to be zealously sought in a good matter at all times, and not only when I am present with you.
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the freewoman. 23 Howbeit the [son] by the handmaid is born after the flesh; but the [son] by the freewoman [is born] through promise. 24 Which things contain an allegory: for these [women] are two covenants; one from mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage, which is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to the Jerusalem that now is: for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For more are the children of the desolate than of her that hath the husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 Howbeit what saith the scripture? Cast out the handmaid and her son: for the son of the handmaid shall not inherit with the son of the freewoman. 31 Wherefore, brethren, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the freewoman.