Fred Miller's Revised King James' Version
SONG OF SONGS
Song of Songs
Introduction: The Song of Solomon is a treatise about the value of dedicated commitment justifying sensuality between two young people who love each other and remain so committed in spite of interference by powerful outside influences. The Plot: King Solomon has seen and desired to have a beautiful dark skinned maiden, probably a Bedouin girl already espoused to a handsome youth of similar description. Solomon had her taken, by his soldiers, to his harem, so he can woo her with lavish perfumes, clothes, riches and flowery words and thereby hopefully win her love. But after many attempts he concedes defeat and restores the lovers to each other. His conclusion to the experiment is in chapter 8:6,7 and it may indicate that Solomon, though he craved and was awed by it, never found true love and commitment for himself.
The scheme of the book is: It is the dialog of a play, without the characters' names being inserted into the dialog. I have inserted names where I believe they belong. You may decide for yourself who is speaking.
The characters include:
The Shulamite maiden
The Youth she loves
A Chorus of Jerusalem maidens
A city watchman
Some of Solomon's troops
1The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
2Shulamite:Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for your love is better than wine.
the savor of your good ointments your name is as ointment poured out, therefore the virgins
love you. 4Draw me, we will run after you. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will
be glad and rejoice in you, we will remember your love more than wine. The upright love you.
5I am black, but comely, O you daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of
Solomon. 6Do not look on me, because I am black, because the sun has looked on me. My
mother's children were angry with me, they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but I have
not kept my own vineyard.
7Solomon: Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at
noon, for why should I be as one who turns aside by the flocks of your companions?
8If you do
not know, O you fairest among women, go your way out by the footsteps of the flock and
feed your kids beside the shepherds' tents. 9I have compared you, O my love, to a company of
horses in Pharaoh's chariots. 10Your cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, your neck with
chains of gold. 11We will make you borders of gold with studs of silver.
12Shulamite: While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth its smell. 13A bundle of myrrh is my well beloved to me, he shall lie all night between my breasts. 14My beloved is to me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
15Solomon: Behold, you are fair, my love, behold, you are
fair, you have doves' eyes. 16Behold, you are fair, my beloved, yes, pleasant, our bed also is
green. 17The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters of fir.
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1The Shulamite dreams: I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. 2As the lily among thorns, so is my love
among the daughters. 3As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4He brought me to the banqueting house and his banner over me was love. 5Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love. 6His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me. 7I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that you do not stir up nor awake my love, till he pleases. 8The voice of my beloved! behold, he comes leaping on the mountains, skipping on the hills. 9My beloved is like a roe or a young hart, behold, he stands behind our wall, he looks out at the windows, showing himself through the lattice. 10My beloved spoke and said to me,
Shepherd: Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away. 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds has come and the voice of the dove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth her green figs and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one and come away.
14Solomon: O my dove, which is in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see
your countenance, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your countenance is
comely. 15Take the foxes for us, the little foxes, that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender
16Shulamite:My beloved is mine and I am his. He feeds among the lilies. 17Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved and be like a roe or a young hart on the
mountains of Bether.
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1The Shulamite dreams: I sought him whom my soul loves by night on my bed. I sought him, but I did not find him. 2I will rise now and go about the city in the streets and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I did not find him. 3The watchmen who go about the city found me, to whom I said, Did you see him whom my soul loves? 4It was but a little that I passed from them and I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house and into the chamber of her who conceived me. 5I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that you do not stir up nor awake my love, till he pleases.
6Solomon: Who is this who comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
7Solomon's guards: Behold his bed, which is Solomon's, sixty valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel. 8They all hold swords, being expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh because of fear in the night. 9King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. 10He made the pillars of it of silver, the bottom of it of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst of it being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem. 11Go forth, O you daughters of Zion and behold king Solomon with the crown with which his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
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1Soloman: Behold, you are fair, my love, behold, you are fair, you have doves' eyes within your locks,
your hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead. 2Your teeth are like a flock of
sheep that are shorn, which came up from the washing, of which every one bore twins
and none is barren among them. 3Your lips are like a thread of scarlet and your speech is comely, your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within your locks. 4Your neck is like the tower of David built for an armory, on which there hangs a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. 5Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. 6Until the day break and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. 7You are all fair, my love, there is no spot in you.
8Shepherd: Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon, look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the
leopards. 9You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, you have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck. 10How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is your love than wine! and the smell of your ointments than all spices! 11Your lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb, honey and milk are under your tongue and the smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon. 12My sister is an inclosed garden, my spouse a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 13Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, camphor, with spikenard, 14Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.
15Shulamite: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters and streams from Lebanon. 16Awake, O
north wind and come, you south, blow on my garden, so that its spices may flow out. Let my
beloved come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits.
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1Shepherd: I have come into my garden, my sister, my spouse. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends, drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved.
2The Shulamite dreams: I sleep, but my heart wakes. It is the voice of my beloved who knocks, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled, for my head is filled with dew and my locks with the drops of the night. 3I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? 4My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door and my inward parts were moved for him. 5I rose up to open to my beloved and my hands dropped with myrrh and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, on the handles of the lock. 6I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone. My soul failed when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him, I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7The watchmen who went about the city found me, they struck me, they wounded me, the keepers of the walls took my veil away from me. 8I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him, that I am sick of love.
9Harem daughters: What is your beloved more than another beloved, O you fairest among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you charge us so?
10Shulamite: My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. 11His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy and black as a raven. 12His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set. 13His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
14His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl, his belly is as
bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. 15His legs are like pillars of marble, set on sockets of fine gold, his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. 16His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
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1Harem daughters: Where is your beloved gone, O you fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned aside that we may seek him with you?
2Shulamite: My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies. 3I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.
He feeds among the lilies.
4Solomon: You are beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. 5Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me, Your hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead. 6Your teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, of which every one bears twins and there is not one barren among them. 7As a piece of a pomegranate are your temples within your locks. 8There are sixty queens and eighty concubines and virgins without number. 9My dove, my undefiled is but one, she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her who bore her. The daughters saw her and blessed her, yes, the queens and the concubines and they praised her. 10Who is she who looks out as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners? 11I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded. 12When I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. 13Return, return, O Shulamite, return, return, that we may look on you. What will you see in the Shulamite? As the company of two armies.
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1Shepherd: How beautiful are your feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 2Your navel is like a round goblet, which does not lack liquor, your belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies. 3Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. 4Your neck is as a tower of ivory, your eyes like
the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim. Your nose is as the tower of Lebanon
which looks toward Damascus. 5Your head on you is like Carmel and the hair of your head like purple, the king is held in the galleries. 6How fair and how pleasant are you, O love, for delights! 7This your stature is like a palm tree and your breasts to clusters of grapes. 8I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its boughs. Now also your breasts shall be as clusters of the vine and the smell of your nose like apples, 9And the roof of your mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goes down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
10Shulamite: I am my beloved's and his desire is toward me. 11Come, my beloved, let us go out into the field, let us lodge in the villages. 12Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vine flourishes, whether the tender grapes appear and the pomegranates bud forth. There I will give you my loves. 13The mandrakes give a smell and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.
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1Shulamite continues to dream: O that you were like my brother, who sucked the breasts of my mother! when I would find you outside, I would kiss you. Yes, I would not be despised. 2I would lead you and bring you into my mother's house, who would instruct me. I would cause you to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate. 3His left hand would be under my head and his right hand would embrace me. 4I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you do not stir up nor waken my love, until he pleases.
Solomon admits defeat:
5Solomon: Who is this who comes up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? I raised you up under the apple tree. There your mother brought you forth, there she brought you forth who bore you.
Solomon's disappointment and admission of the power of love that he never found for himself.
6Solomon: Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death. My jealousy is as cruel as the grave and its coals are coals of fire, which have a vehement burning flame.
Solomon's insight and final conclusion
7Solomon: Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly insufficient.
8The Shulamite is released. We have a little sister and she has no breasts, what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? 9If she is a wall, we will build on her a palace of silver and if she is a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar. 10I am a wall and my breasts like towers. Then I was as one who found favor in his eyes.
11Shepherd: Solomon has a vineyard at Baalhamon, He let out the vineyard to keepers. Every one from the fruit of it was to bring a thousand pieces of silver. 12You, O Solomon, have a thousand and those who keep the fruit of it two hundred. But my vineyard is mine and is before me.
13The Shulamite calls her Shepherd home. You who dwells in the gardens, the companions listen to your voice, Cause me to hear it. 14Make haste, my beloved and be like a roe or a young hart on the mountains of spices.
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