Song of Songs 1
The Passion Translation
1 The most amazing song of all, by King Solomon.
2 Let him[b] smother me with kisses—his Spirit-kiss divine.[c]
So kind are your caresses,[d]
I drink them in like the sweetest wine![e]
3 Your presence releases a fragrance so pleasing—
over and over poured out.
For your lovely name is “Flowing Oil.”[f]
No wonder the brides-to-be adore you.[g]
4 Draw me into your heart.
We will run away together into the king’s cloud-filled chamber.[h]
The Chorus of Friends
We will remember your love, rejoicing and delighting in you,[i]
celebrating your every kiss as better than wine.
No wonder righteousness adores you!
5 Jerusalem maidens, in this twilight darkness[j]
I know I am so unworthy—so in need.
Yet you are so lovely!
I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents
of the wandering nomads.[k]
Yet you are so lovely—
like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.
The Shulamite to Her Friends
6 Please don’t stare in scorn
because of my dark and sinful ways.[l]
My angry brothers quarreled with me
and appointed me guardian of their ministry vineyards,
yet I’ve not tended my vineyard within.
7 Won’t you tell me, lover of my soul,
where do you feed your flock?
Where do you lead your beloved ones[m]
to rest in the heat of the day?
For I wish to be wrapped all around you
as I wander among the flocks of your shepherds.
It is you I long for, with no veil between us![n]
8 Listen, my radiant one—
if you ever lose sight of me,
just follow in my footsteps where I lead my lovers.
Come with your burdens and cares.
Come to the place near the sanctuary of my shepherds.[o]
9 My dearest one,[p]
let me tell you how I see you—
you are so thrilling to me.
To gaze upon you is like looking
at one of Pharaoh’s finest horses—
a strong, regal steed pulling his royal chariot.[q]
10 Your tender cheeks are aglow—
your earrings and gem-laden necklaces
set them ablaze.
11 We will enhance your beauty,[r]
encircling you with our golden reins of love.
You will be marked with our redeeming grace.[s]
12 As the king surrounded me at his table,[t]
the sweet fragrance of my praise perfume[u]
awakened the night.
13 A sachet of myrrh is my lover,
like a tied-up bundle of myrrh[v] resting over my heart.
14 He is like a bouquet of henna blossoms—
henna plucked near the vines at the fountain of the Lamb.[w]
I will hold him and never let him part.
16 My beloved one,[z]
both handsome and winsome,
you are pleasing beyond words.
Our resting place[aa] is anointed and flourishing,
like a green forest meadow bathed in light.
17 Rafters of cedar branches are over our heads
and balconies of pleasant-smelling pines.[ab]
- Song of Songs 1:2 The word for Shulamite and the word for Solomon are taken from the same Hebrew root word; one is masculine, the other feminine. The name Solomon occurs seven times in this book, which points us to the perfect King, Jesus Christ. We are one spirit with our King, united with him. You have become the Shulamite.
- Song of Songs 1:2 To enter the doorway of Jesus’ heart we must begin by saying, “Let him.” We only bring him a yielded heart and must “let him” do the rest. God’s loving grace means that he will be enough for us. We can “let him” be everything to us. We don’t begin by doing but by yielding.
- Song of Songs 1:2 This Spirit kiss is what made Adam, the man of clay, into a living expression of God. Dust and deity met when the Maker kissed his Spirit wind into Adam. The Word of God is the kiss from the mouth of our Beloved, breathing upon us the revelation of his love.
- Song of Songs 1:2 Or “your breasts” or “your loves.” This speaks of his saving love, keeping love, forgiving love, and embracing love. The love of Jesus cannot be singular; it is so infinite it must be described in the plural.
- Song of Songs 1:2 There is a wordplay in the Hebrew, similar to a pun. The word for “kisses” and the word for “take a drink [wine]” is nearly the same. The implication, as seen by ancient expositors, is that God’s lovers will be drunk with love, the intoxicating kisses of his mouth. The Hebrew word for “kiss” is nashaq, which can also mean “to equip” or “to arm (for battle).” We need his kisses to become equipped warriors for him.
- Song of Songs 1:3 The Hebrew contains a wordplay with the words “name” (shem) and “oil” (shemen).
- Song of Songs 1:3 Because of the order of the consonants, some Jewish sources translate this “The maidens love you unto death.” See Goldin, Song, 116; J. Sason, “On Pope’s Song,” 191.
- Song of Songs 1:4 The Hebrew text literally means “the king’s chamber inside of a chamber.” This points us to the Holy of Holies inside the temple chamber.
- Song of Songs 1:4 The Hebrew word for “love” (‘ahab) is found seven times in the Song of Songs (1:3, 4, 7; 3:1, 2, 3, 4). The Hebrew root word for “rejoice” (gyl) is a homonym for “spinning in a circle or dance.” The implication is that we dance for joy when we remember his love.
- Song of Songs 1:5 Or “black.” The Hebrew root word used here for “black” or “dark” means “twilight darkness” or “morning gray.”
- Song of Songs 1:5 Literally “dark as the tent curtains of Kedar.” There is a wordplay in the Hebrew, as the word Kedar means “a dark one” or “a dark place.” This was the name of one of the sons of Ishmael and represents our old Adam life. See Ps. 120:5.
- Song of Songs 1:6 Or “Many morning suns have darkened (stared) at me.”
- Song of Songs 1:7 She sees her beloved as a shepherd. This is a metaphor of the role he takes in her eyes. We need not develop a literal storyline of a lover and a shepherd, but a representation of the relationship between you and your Beloved, which cannot be described by one symbol or role.
- Song of Songs 1:7 The Hebrew uses the verb ‘atah, which means “to wrap [cloak/veil].” The Aramaic and Latin Vulgate use the verb for “to wander.” This translation has included both concepts.
- Song of Songs 1:8 Or “graze your goats by the shepherds’ tents.” This is a metaphor that speaks of her responsibilities and labors.
- Song of Songs 1:9 Or “darling.” The Hebrew word r’yh is found ten times in the Bible and nine of them are in the Song of Songs. The Hebrew wordplay is seen in that “tend the flock” and “darling” are homonyms.
- Song of Songs 1:9 The finest horses in Solomon’s stables were imported from Egypt. See 2 Chron. 1:14-17.
- Song of Songs 1:11 This is the Trinity (“we”), which will be involved in making every Shulamite holy and radiant.
- Song of Songs 1:11 Or “with studs of silver.” The concept of silver in the Bible always points to redemption, the price paid to set us free. The cross is a “stud of silver” planted into Calvary’s hill that opened the grace fountain for all world to drink from.
- Song of Songs 1:12 This points to our enjoyment of the Lord as we have communion at the Lord’s table.
- Song of Songs 1:12 Or “spikenard.” See Mark 14:1-11 and John 12:1-11.
- Song of Songs 1:13 This bundle of tied-up myrrh is an incredible picture of the cross. Myrrh, known as an embalming spice, is always associated with suffering. The suffering love of Jesus will be over her heart for the rest of her days—the revelation of our Beloved tied onto the cross like a bundle of myrrh.
- Song of Songs 1:14 Or “at Engedi.” Engedi means “fountain of the Lamb.” The Hebrew word for “henna” is a homonym that can mean “atonement” or “redeeming grace.”
- Song of Songs 1:15 The Hebrew word for “beautiful,” yāpāh, is used five times to describe the Shulamite, and three times she is called hayyāp̄āh bannāšîm (the most beautiful of women). Eight times her beauty is extolled. Eight is the number for new creation life.
- Song of Songs 1:15 The Hebrew text literally means “Your eyes are doves.” Some see this as a hypocorism, but the dove points us to the Holy Spirit. She is commended for seeing him with spiritual revelation as she perceives the glory of the cross with its “myrrh.”
- Song of Songs 1:16 The Hebrew word dôd̠î, usually translated “beloved,” is taken from a root word that means “to boil.” The implication is that the beloved causes her heart to boil over with passion.
- Song of Songs 1:16 Or “canopied bed” or “luxuriant couch.”
- Song of Songs 1:17 Or “cypress.” Cedars and cypress were the two most common woods used in the construction of Solomon’s temple.