Song of Songs 1:4-6
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
5 W I am black and beautiful,
Daughters of Jerusalem[b]—
Like the tents of Qedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not stare at me because I am so black,[c]
because the sun has burned me.
The sons of my mother were angry with me;
they charged me with the care of the vineyards:
my own vineyard I did not take care of.
- 1:4 Another change, but from second to third person (cf. 1:2). The “king” metaphor recurs in 1:12; 3:5–11; 7:6. Let us exult: perhaps she is addressing young women, calling on them to join in the praise of her lover.
- 1:5 Daughters of Jerusalem: the woman contrasts herself with the elite city women, who act as her female “chorus” (5:9; 6:1). Qedar: a Syrian desert region whose name suggests darkness; tents were often made of black goat hair. Curtains: tent coverings, or tapestries. Solomon: it could also be read Salma, a region close to Qedar.
- 1:6 So black: tanned from working outdoors in her brothers’ vineyards, unlike the city women she addresses. My own vineyard: perhaps the woman herself; see 8:8–10 for her relationship to her brothers.