Song of Songs 6

The young women of Jerusalem:

1 Tell us this, most beautiful of all women.

Where has your lover gone?

Which way did he go?

Tell us, so that we can look for him with you.

The young woman:

2 My lover has gone down to his garden.

He has gone to his garden of spice trees.

He has gone there to walk in the gardens

and to pick lilies.

3 My lover belongs to me,

and I belong to him.

He moves among the lilies with his sheep.

The young man:

4 My dear friend, you are as beautiful as Tirzah.

You are as lovely as Jerusalem.

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

You are as wonderful as an army that is waving its flags.

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 give me pleasure that is too strong for me!

Your hair is like a group of goats

that are coming down from Mount Gilead.

6 Your teeth are very white

like a group of clean sheep that is coming from the pool of water.

Each tooth is one of a pair.

Not one of them is alone.

7 The sides of your face are beautiful,

like the halves of a pomegranate.

I see them through your veil.

8 A king may have 60 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 my perfect one, as lovely as a dove.

She is the special daughter of her mother.

Her mother loves her best among all her children.

The young women saw her and they praised her.

The queens and the slave wives also praised her.

10 They said, ‘She is like the light that appears at dawn.

She is as beautiful as the moon.

She is as bright as the sun.

She is as wonderful as the stars that shine brightly in their places.’

11 I went down to the garden of walnut trees.

6:11Walnuts are a kind of hard seeds (nuts) that people eat.

I wanted to see the new plants that were growing in the valley;

to see if the vines had new leaves now;

to see if the pomegranate trees had flowers.

12 I became so happy

that I did not understand what was happening.

I knew that I wanted to be with her.

I felt that I was riding with the king's men in their chariots.

The young women of Jerusalem:

13 Come back, come back, young woman from Shulam!

6:13‘Young woman from Shulam’ could also mean ‘perfect one’.

Yes, come back,

so that we can look at you again.

The young man:

Why do you want to look at the young woman from Shulam?

Do not look at her as if she is dancing the dance of Mahanaim.

6:13Mahanaim is the name of a place which means ‘two armies’. King David put his soldiers together in a camp there before they fought their enemy.