The Bible in Its Traditions

Song of Solomon 5:2–16

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I sleep, but my heart waketh; Hark! my beloved knocketh: 'Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.'

I have arrived in my garden, O my sister, my spouse. I have harvested my myrrh, with my aromatic oils. I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey. I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, O most beloved.

I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

I sleep, yet my heart watches. The voice of my beloved knocking:

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my heart was moved for him.

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my immaculate one. For my head is full of dew, and the locks of my hair are full of the drops of the night.

I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with flowing myrrh, upon the handles of the bar.

I have taken off my tunic; how shall I be clothed in it? I have washed my feet; how shall I spoil them?

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I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had turned away, and was gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

I opened to my kinsman; my kinsman was gone: my soul failed at his speech: I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he answered me not.

My beloved put his hand through the window, and my inner self was moved by his touch.

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The watchmen that go about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my mantle from me.

I rose up in order to open to my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, and my fingers were full of the finest myrrh.

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'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, what will ye tell him? that I am love- sick.'

I have charged you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the powers and the virtues of the field: if ye should find my kinsman, what are ye to say to him? That I am wounded with love.

I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved. But he had turned aside and had gone away. My soul melted when he spoke. I sought him, and did not find him. I called, and he did not answer me.

'What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so adjure us?'

What is thy kinsman more than another kinsman, O thou beautiful among women? what is thy kinsman more than another kinsman, that thou hast so charged us?

The keepers who circulate through the city found me. They struck me, and wounded me. The keepers of the walls took my veil away from me.

10  'My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.

10  My kinsman is white and ruddy, chosen out from myriads.

10  I bind you by oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, announce to him that I languish through love.

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11  His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are curled, and black as a raven.

11  What kind of beloved is your beloved, O most beautiful among women? What kind of beloved is your beloved, so that you would bind us by oath?

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12  His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks; washed with milk, and fitly set.

12  His eyes are as doves, by the pools of waters, washed with milk, sitting by the pools.

12  My beloved is white and ruddy, elect among thousands.

13  His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs; his lips are as lilies, dropping with flowing myrrh.

13  His cheeks are as bowls of spices pouring forth perfumes: his lips are lilies, dropping choice myrrh.

13  His head is like the finest gold. His locks are like the heights of palm trees, and as black as a raven.

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14  His hands are as rods of gold set with beryl; his body is as polished ivory overlaid with sapphires.

14  His eyes are like doves, which have been washed with milk over rivulets of waters, and which reside near plentiful streams.

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15  His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold; his aspect is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

15  His legs are marble pillars set on golden sockets: his form is as Libanus, choice as the cedars.

15  His cheeks are like a courtyard of aromatic plants, sown by perfumers. His lips are like lilies, dripping with the best myrrh.

16  His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.'

16  His throat is most sweet, and altogether desirable. This is my kinsman, and this is my companion, O daughters of Jerusalem.

16  His hands are smoothed gold, full of hyacinths. His abdomen is ivory, accented with sapphires.