Song of Songs 6

A garden of love

The young women of Jerusalem:

1 You are the most beautiful among women.

Where has the man who loves you gone?

Which way did he turn so that we can look for him with you?

The young woman:

2 The man who loves me has gone down to his garden.

He has gone to where the plants with a lovely smell grow.

He has gone there to walk in the gardens and to pick lilies.

3 This man loves me and I am his. And he is mine.

He is walking among the lilies.

A best friend

The young man:

4 You are my best friend that I love the most.

You are as beautiful as Tirzah.

You are as lovely as Jerusalem.

6:4Tirzah and Jerusalem are both beautiful capital cities.

Everyone sees you easily.

You are like an army that is holding up its beautiful cloth with bright colours.

6:4Another way to translate the end of verse 4 may be: You are like an army that is holding up its beautiful cloth with bright colours. People might be afraid of an army like that!

5 Turn your eyes away from me.

They cause a lot of pleasure for me.

But the pleasure is too strong for me!

Your hair is like a group of goats.

It is like goats that are coming down from Mount Gilead.

6 Your teeth are white like a group of sheep.

They are like clean sheep that come out of the pool.

Each tooth is one of a pair. Not one of them is alone.

7 The sides of your face are round like the halves of a pomegranate.

Your veil hides them.

8 A king may have 60 wives who are queens.

He may have 80 slave wives.

He may have many other young women too.

There may be too many for him to count!

6:8The numbers in verse 8 are big numbers. That is all. The writer does not mean more than that. The man is saying that there are many women. He may know many women. But the woman that he loves is very different from any of them. There is nobody as lovely as she is!

9 But there is only one woman that I want.

Nobody is like her in any way.

She is lovely like a dove.

She is mine.

Nobody else is more lovely.

She is the special daughter of her mother.

The woman who gave birth to her likes her best among all her children.

The young women saw her and they praised her.

The queens and the other wives said, ‘Well done!’

They all said:

10 ‘She appears like the dawn.

She is more lovely every moment like the sunrise.

She is as pretty as the moon.

She is very beautiful to look at!

She is bright, like the sun.

There she stands, beautiful and important.

It is like the way that God has put each star like a king or a queen in its place.’

11 I went down to the small wood where there are trees with dry, hard fruit.

I wanted to see what had started to grow in the valley.

I wanted to see if the vines had flowers now.

I wanted to see if the pomegranates had flowers.

12 I did not have time to understand everything about it.

But I knew that I really wanted her.

This put me among the king's chariots with the king's men.

The young women of Jerusalem:

13 Come back, come back, Shulammite woman.

6:13Shulammite is a woman's name like Solomon. Also, it may mean, ‘People who are near her feel good and happy’.

Come back! Come back!

We want to look at you again.

The young man:

Do not look at the young Shulammite woman.

Do not look at her as you would watch the dance at Mahanaim.

6:13Mahanaim is the name of a place. King David put his soldiers together in groups there before they fought. They stopped to eat and to sleep there. Sometimes a young woman danced in front of the soldiers.