Song of Songs 6

Chapter 6

I Belong to My Beloved[a]

Companions:

1 Where has your beloved gone,
O loveliest of women?
In what direction has your beloved turned
so that we may join you in searching for him?

Bride:

2 My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to browse in his garden
and to gather lilies.
3 I belong to my beloved, and my beloved is mine;[b]
he browses among the lilies.

Fifth Poem

One Alone Is My Dove, My Perfect One

You Are Beautiful, My Beloved[c]

Bridegroom:

4 You are as beautiful as Tirzah,[d] my beloved,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as majestic as an army with banners.
5 Turn away your eyes from me,
for they leave me defenseless.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
streaming down the slopes of Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
as they come up from the washing;
each of them has a twin,
and not one is alone.
7 Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
and maidens[e] beyond numbering.
9 One alone is my dove, my perfect one,
the darling of her mother,
the favorite of the one who bore her.
The maidens saw her and proclaimed her blessed;
the queens and concubines sang her praises.

Companions:

10 Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,
beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
formidable as an army with banners?

Bride:

11 I went down to the orchard of nut trees
to look at the green shoots in the valley,[f]
to see whether the vines had budded
and whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12 Before I realized it, my desire had placed me
in a chariot beside my prince.[g]

Footnotes

  1. Song of Songs 6:1 Enchanted now by the fresh passion of the bride, the young women become her accomplices and seek to help her in her search. Their services are superfluous, for the bridegroom has appeared.
    God, too, in an unexpected way, is near to those who truly seek him. And suddenly we will be called to see God as he is.
  2. Song of Songs 6:3 I . . . mine: see note on Song 2:16a.
  3. Song of Songs 6:4 The bridegroom allows himself to be led to his rendezvous and praises his beloved: he stresses above all her undivided love, which is much different from that of Solomon, which was comprised of numerous and imperfect loves. For this young man, all his delight is in his unique beloved. This is the song of true love.
    Israel can no longer forget that God prefers his people among all nations. And finally, the Lord’s love is unique for everyone, as St. Paul so boldly declares: “The Son of God . . . loved me and gave himself up for me” (Gal 2:20).
  4. Song of Songs 6:4 Tirzah: i.e., “the charming,” “the desired,” was the capital of the northern kingdom before Samaria was built (see 1 Ki 14:17). As majestic as an army with banners: the bridegroom is as struck by his beloved’s beauty as he is by watching an army majestically moving forward with its banners unfurled.
  5. Song of Songs 6:8 Queens . . . concubines . . . maidens: either all the women of Solomon’s harem or all the beautiful women in the land.
  6. Song of Songs 6:11 Look . . . in the valley: for the early signs of spring (see note on Song 2:11-13).
  7. Song of Songs 6:12 The meaning of the entire verse is uncertain. The Vulgate reads: “I did not know, and I was disturbed because of the chariots of Amminadab.”

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