The Mutual Delight of the Bride and Bridegroom
6 1 Whither is thy beloved gone, Thou fairest among women? Whither is thy beloved turned aside? And we will seek him with thee. 2 My beloved is gone down into 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, my love, as Tirzah, Comely as Jerusalem, Terrible as troops with banners: 5 Turn away thine eyes from me, For they overcome me. Thy hair is as a flock of goats On the slopes of Gilead. 6 Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep Which go up from the washing; Which have all borne twins, And none is barren among them. 7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples Behind thy veil. 8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, And virgins without number: 9 My dove, mine undefiled, is but one; She is the only one of her mother, She is the choice one of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and they called her blessed; The queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, Terrible as troops with banners?
11 I went down into the garden of nuts, To see the verdure of the valley, To see whether the vine budded, Whether the pomegranates blossomed. 12 Before I was aware, My soul set me upon the chariots of my willing people. 13 Return, return, O Shulamite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee.—What would ye look upon in the Shulamite?—As it were the dance of two camps.
7 1 How beautiful are thy footsteps in sandals, O prince's daughter! The roundings of thy thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist. 2 Thy navel is a round goblet, [which] wanteth not mixed wine; Thy belly a heap of wheat, set about with lilies; 3 Thy two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle; 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; Thine eyes, [like] the pools in Heshbon, By the gate of Bath-rabbim; Thy nose like the tower of Lebanon, Which looketh toward Damascus; 5 Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, And the locks of thy head like purple; The king is fettered by [thy] ringlets! 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, [my] love, in delights! 7 This thy stature is like to a palm-tree, And thy breasts to grape clusters. 8 I said, I will go up to the palm-tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof; And thy breasts shall indeed be like clusters of the vine, And the fragrance of thy nose like apples, 9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine, ... That goeth down smoothly for my beloved, And stealeth over the lips of them 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 fields; Let us lodge in the villages. 12 We will go up early to the vineyards, We will see if the vine hath budded, [If] the blossom is opening, And the pomegranates are in bloom: There will I give thee my loves. 13 The mandrakes yield fragrance; And at our gates are all choice fruits, new and old: I have laid them up for thee, my beloved.
8 1 Oh that thou wert as my brother, That sucked the breasts of my mother! Should I find thee without, I would kiss thee; And they would not despise me. 2 I would lead thee, bring thee into my mother's house; Thou wouldest instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, Of the juice of my pomegranate. 3 His left hand would be under my head, And his right hand embrace me. 4 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, ... Why should ye stir up, why awake [my] love, till he please?
Love Is Strong as Death
5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved? I awoke thee under the apple-tree: There thy mother brought thee forth; There she brought thee forth [that] bore thee. 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, Flames of Jah. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, Neither do the floods drown it: Even if a man gave all the substance of his house for love, It 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 enclose her with boards of cedar. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers; Then was I in his eyes as one that findeth 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 silver-pieces. 12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: The thousand [silver-pieces] be to thee, Solomon; And to the keepers of its fruit, two hundred.
4 1 Now I say, As long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a bondman, though he be lord of all; 2 but he is under guardians and stewards until the period fixed by the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the principles of the world; 4 but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, come of woman, come under law, 5 that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive sonship. 6 But because ye are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 So thou art no longer bondman, but son; but if son, heir also through God.
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8 But then indeed, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to those who by nature are not gods; 9 but now, knowing God, but rather being known by God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye desire to be again anew in bondage? 10 Ye observe days and months and times and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest indeed I have laboured in vain as to you.
12 Be as I [am], for I also [am] as ye, brethren, I beseech you: ye have not at all wronged me. 13 But ye know that in weakness of the flesh I announced the glad tidings to you at the first; 14 and my temptation, which [was] in my flesh, ye did not slight nor reject with contempt; but ye received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then [was] your blessedness? for I bear you witness that, if possible, plucking out your own eyes ye would have given [them] to me. 16 So I have become your enemy in speaking the truth to you?
17 They are not rightly zealous after you, but desire to shut you out [from us], that ye may be zealous after them. 18 But [it is] right to be zealous at all times in what is right, and not only when I am present with you—
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, ye who are desirous of being under law, do ye not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons; one of the maid servant, and one of the free woman. 23 But he [that was] of the maid servant was born according to flesh, and he [that was] of the free woman through the promise. 24 Which things have an allegorical sense; for these are two covenants: one from mount Sinai, gendering to bondage, which is Hagar. 25 For Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which [is] now, for she is in bondage with her children; 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break out and cry, thou that travailest not; because the children of the desolate are more numerous than [those] of her that has a husband. 28 But ye, brethren, after the pattern of Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born according to flesh persecuted him [that was born] according to Spirit, so also [it is] now. 30 But what says the scripture? Cast out the maid servant and her son; for the son of the maid servant shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not maid servant's children, but [children] of the free woman.