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Song of Solomon 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Love Is Better than Wine

This is Solomon’s
    most beautiful song.

She Speaks:

Kiss me tenderly!
Your love is better than wine,
    and you smell so sweet.
All the young women adore you;
the very mention of your name
    is like spreading perfume.
Hurry, my king! Let’s hurry.
    Take me to your home.

The Young Women Speak:

We are happy for you!
And we praise your love
    even more than wine.

She Speaks:

Young women of Jerusalem,
it is only right
    that you should adore him.
My skin is dark and beautiful,
like a tent in the desert
    or like Solomon’s curtains.
Don’t stare at me
just because the sun
    has darkened my skin.
My brothers were angry with me;
they made me work in the vineyard,
    and so I neglected
    my complexion.

Don’t let the other shepherds
    think badly of me.[a]
I’m not one of those women
who shamelessly follow
    after shepherds.[b]
My darling, I love you!
Where do you feed your sheep
    and let them rest at noon?

He Speaks:

My dearest, if you don’t know,
just follow the path
    of the sheep.
Then feed your young goats
    near the shepherds' tents.
You move as gracefully
as the pony
that leads
    the chariot of the king.
10 Earrings add to your beauty,
and you wear a necklace
    of precious stones.
11 Let’s make you some jewelry
    of gold,
woven with silver.

She Speaks:

12 My king, while you
were on your couch,
    my love was a magic charm.[c]
13 My darling, you are perfume
    between my breasts;
14 you are flower blossoms
    from the gardens of En-Gedi.[d]

He Speaks:

15 My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely—
    your eyes are those of a dove.

She Speaks:

16 My love, you are handsome,
    truly handsome—
the fresh green grass
    will be our wedding bed
17 in the shade of cedar
    and cypress trees.

Footnotes:

  1. 1.6 Don’t. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 1.7 I’m. . . shepherds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 1.12 magic charm: The Hebrew text has “spikenard” (or “nard”), a sweet-smelling ointment made from a plant that comes from India. The ointment was sometimes used as a love charm.
  4. 1.14 En-Gedi: An oasis west of the Dead Sea.
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