Song of Songs 8

The Beloved’s Wish Song

The Beloved to Her Lover:

8:1 Oh, how I wish you were1 my little brother,2

nursing at my mother’s breasts;

if I saw3 you outside, I could kiss you –

surely4 no one would despise me!5

8:2 I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house,

the one who taught me.6

I would give you7 spiced wine8 to drink,9

the nectar of my pomegranates.10

Double Refrain: Embracing and Adjuration

The Beloved about Her Lover:

8:3 His left hand caresses my head,

and his right hand stimulates me.11

The Beloved to the Maidens:

8:4 I admonish you, O maidens12 of Jerusalem:

“Do not13 arouse or awaken love until it pleases!”

The Awakening of Love

The Maidens about His Beloved:

8:5 Who is this coming up from the desert,

leaning on her beloved?

The Beloved to Her Lover:

Under the apple tree I aroused you;14

there your mother conceived you,

there she who bore you was in labor of childbirth.15

The Nature of True Love

The Beloved to Her Lover:

8:6 Set me like a cylinder seal16 over your heart,17

like a signet18 on your arm.19

For love is as strong as death,20

passion21 is as unrelenting22 as Sheol.

Its flames burst forth,23

it is a blazing flame.24

8:7 Surging waters cannot quench love;

floodwaters25 cannot overflow it.

If someone were to offer all his possessions26 to buy love,27

the offer28 would be utterly despised.29

The Brother’s Plan and the Sister’s Reward

The Beloved’s Brothers:

8:8 We have a little sister,

and as yet she has no breasts.

What shall we do for our sister

on the day when she is spoken for?30

8:9 If she is a wall,31

we will build on her a battlement32 of silver;

but if she is a door,

we will barricade33 her with boards34 of cedar.35

The Beloved:

8:10 I was a wall,

and my breasts were like fortress towers.36

Then I found favor37 in his eyes.38

Solomon’s Vineyard and the Beloved’s Vineyard

The Beloved to Her Lover:

8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-Hamon;

he leased out39 the vineyard to those who maintained it.

Each was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.

8:12 My vineyard,40 which belongs to me,41 is at my disposal alone.42

The thousand shekels belong to you, O Solomon,

and two hundred shekels belong to those who maintain it for its fruit.

Epilogue: The Lover’s Request and His Beloved’s Invitation

The Lover to His Beloved:

8:13 O you who stay in the gardens,

my companions are listening attentively43 for your voice;

let me be the one to44 hear it!45

The Beloved to Her Lover:

8:14 Make haste, my beloved!

Be like a gazelle or a young stag

on the mountains of spices.