בסיעתא דשמיא

שיר השירים | The Song of Songs, English translation by Paltiel Birnbaum (Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949)

שיר השירים is recited every Friday evening because of the religious idealism attached to it by tradition. The poem has been accepted throughout the ages as an allegory of the relations between God and his people. Some nineteen centuries ago, Rabbi Akiba declared: “All the Kethubim are holy, but the Song of Songs is the holiest of all.״ According to the paraphrase of the Targum, the poem portrays the history of Israel till the times of the Messiah. It has been regarded also as a representation of the affection of Israel for the Sabbath. The author of the poem לכה דודי, “one of the finest pieces of religious poetry in existence,״ used the theme of the Sabbath bride and borrowed the title of his famous hymn from the Song of Songs (7:12). Although its meaning has been extended by various methods of interpretation, one cannot miss the beauty of the poem in its literal interpretation. Its author takes us along with him into the open air, to the vineyards, the villages, the mountains. He awakens us at daybreak to catch the scent of the forest trees, to gather the apples and the pomegranates. His verse is fragrant with the breath of spring.



שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִשְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ יִשָּׁקֵ֙נִי֙ מִנְּשִׁיק֣וֹת פִּ֔יהוּ כִּֽי־טוֹבִ֥ים דֹּדֶ֖יךָ מִיָּֽיִן׃ לְרֵ֙יחַ֙ שְׁמָנֶ֣יךָ טוֹבִ֔ים שֶׁ֖מֶן תּוּרַ֣ק שְׁמֶ֑ךָ עַל־כֵּ֖ן עֲלָמ֥וֹת אֲהֵבֽוּךָ׃ מָשְׁכֵ֖נִי אַחֲרֶ֣יךָ נָּר֑וּצָה הֱבִיאַ֨נִי הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ חֲדָרָ֗יו נָגִ֤ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה֙ בָּ֔ךְ נַזְכִּ֤ירָה דֹדֶ֙יךָ֙ מִיַּ֔יִן מֵישָׁרִ֖ים אֲהֵבֽוּךָ׃ שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה אֲנִי֙ וְֽנָאוָ֔ה בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם כְּאָהֳלֵ֣י קֵדָ֔ר כִּירִיע֖וֹת שְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ אַל־תִּרְא֙וּנִי֙ שֶׁאֲנִ֣י שְׁחַרְחֹ֔רֶת שֶׁשֱּׁזָפַ֖תְנִי הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ בְּנֵ֧י אִמִּ֣י נִֽחֲרוּ־בִ֗י שָׂמֻ֙נִי֙ נֹטֵרָ֣ה אֶת־הַכְּרָמִ֔ים כַּרְמִ֥י שֶׁלִּ֖י לֹ֥א נָטָֽרְתִּי׃ הַגִּ֣ידָה לִּ֗י שֶׁ֤אָהֲבָה֙ נַפְשִׁ֔י אֵיכָ֣ה תִרְעֶ֔ה אֵיכָ֖ה תַּרְבִּ֣יץ בַּֽצָּהֳרָ֑יִם שַׁלָּמָ֤ה אֶֽהְיֶה֙ כְּעֹ֣טְיָ֔ה עַ֖ל עֶדְרֵ֥י חֲבֵרֶֽיךָ׃ אִם־לֹ֤א תֵדְעִי֙ לָ֔ךְ הַיָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים צְֽאִי־לָ֞ךְ בְּעִקְבֵ֣י הַצֹּ֗אן וּרְעִי֙ אֶת־גְּדִיֹּתַ֔יִךְ עַ֖ל מִשְׁכְּנ֥וֹת הָרֹעִֽים׃ לְסֻסָתִי֙ בְּרִכְבֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה דִּמִּיתִ֖יךְ רַעְיָתִֽי׃ נָאו֤וּ לְחָיַ֙יִךְ֙ בַּתֹּרִ֔ים צַוָּארֵ֖ךְ בַּחֲרוּזִֽים׃ תּוֹרֵ֤י זָהָב֙ נַעֲשֶׂה־לָּ֔ךְ עִ֖ם נְקֻדּ֥וֹת הַכָּֽסֶף׃ עַד־שֶׁ֤הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ בִּמְסִבּ֔וֹ נִרְדִּ֖י נָתַ֥ן רֵיחֽוֹ׃ צְר֨וֹר הַמֹּ֤ר ׀ דּוֹדִי֙ לִ֔י בֵּ֥ין שָׁדַ֖י יָלִֽין׃ אֶשְׁכֹּ֨ל הַכֹּ֤פֶר ׀ דּוֹדִי֙ לִ֔י בְּכַרְמֵ֖י עֵ֥ין גֶּֽדִי׃ הִנָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י הִנָּ֥ךְ יָפָ֖ה עֵינַ֥יִךְ יוֹנִֽים׃ הִנְּךָ֨ יָפֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ אַ֣ף נָעִ֔ים אַף־עַרְשֵׂ֖נוּ רַעֲנָנָֽה׃ קֹר֤וֹת בָּתֵּ֙ינוּ֙ אֲרָזִ֔ים רחיטנו רַהִיטֵ֖נוּ בְּרוֹתִֽים׃
1. The Song of Songs by Solomon.
O that he would kiss me with his lips! Indeed, your caresses are better than wine. Sweet is the fragrance of your perfumes; your very self is a precious perfume; therefore do the maidens love you. Take me with you; let us hasten! The king brings me into his chambers. We will thrill with delight over you; we will celebrate your caresses more than wine! Rightly do they love you.

I am dark yet comely, maidens of Jerusalem: dark as the tents of Kedar, comely as the curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am dark, for the sun has tanned me; my mother’s sons were angry with me, they made me keeper of the vineyards; I did not look after my own vineyard.

Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you feed the flocks, where you make them rest at noon; why should I wander among the flocks of your companions?

If you do not know, fairest of women, follow the sheep-tracks, and pasture your kids beside the tents of the shepherds. I compare you, my love, to a mare in Pharaoh’s chariots. Beautiful are your cheeks with circlets, your neck with strings of beads! Circlets of gold will we make for you, with studs of silver.

While the king sits at his table, my nard gives forth its fragrance. My beloved is my bunch of myrrh that lies between my breasts. My beloved is my cluster of henna-blossom from the gardens of Engedi.

You are beautiful, my love, you are beautiful; your eyes are dove-like.

You are handsome, my beloved, and pleasant; and our couch is leafy. The beams of our houses are cedars, and our rafters are firs.


אֲנִי֙ חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת הַשָּׁר֔וֹן שֽׁוֹשַׁנַּ֖ת הָעֲמָקִֽים׃ כְּשֽׁוֹשַׁנָּה֙ בֵּ֣ין הַחוֹחִ֔ים כֵּ֥ן רַעְיָתִ֖י בֵּ֥ין הַבָּנֽוֹת׃ כְּתַפּ֙וּחַ֙ בַּעֲצֵ֣י הַיַּ֔עַר כֵּ֥ן דּוֹדִ֖י בֵּ֣ין הַבָּנִ֑ים בְּצִלּוֹ֙ חִמַּ֣דְתִּי וְיָשַׁ֔בְתִּי וּפִרְי֖וֹ מָת֥וֹק לְחִכִּֽי׃ הֱבִיאַ֙נִי֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הַיָּ֔יִן וְדִגְל֥וֹ עָלַ֖י אַהֲבָֽה׃ סַמְּכ֙וּנִי֙ בָּֽאֲשִׁישׁ֔וֹת רַפְּד֖וּנִי בַּתַּפּוּחִ֑ים כִּי־חוֹלַ֥ת אַהֲבָ֖ה אָֽנִי׃ שְׂמֹאלוֹ֙ תַּ֣חַת לְרֹאשִׁ֔י וִימִינ֖וֹ תְּחַבְּקֵֽנִי׃ הִשְׁבַּ֨עְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֜ם בְּנ֤וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ בִּצְבָא֔וֹת א֖וֹ בְּאַיְל֣וֹת הַשָּׂדֶ֑ה אִם־תָּעִ֧ירוּ ׀ וְֽאִם־תְּעֽוֹרְר֛וּ אֶת־הָאַהֲבָ֖ה עַ֥ד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּֽץ׃ ק֣וֹל דּוֹדִ֔י הִנֵּה־זֶ֖ה בָּ֑א מְדַלֵּג֙ עַל־הֶ֣הָרִ֔ים מְקַפֵּ֖ץ עַל־הַגְּבָעֽוֹת׃ דּוֹמֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ לִצְבִ֔י א֖וֹ לְעֹ֣פֶר הָֽאַיָּלִ֑ים הִנֵּה־זֶ֤ה עוֹמֵד֙ אַחַ֣ר כָּתְלֵ֔נוּ מַשְׁגִּ֙יחַ֙ מִן־הַֽחֲלֹּנ֔וֹת מֵצִ֖יץ מִן־הַֽחֲרַכִּֽים׃ עָנָ֥ה דוֹדִ֖י וְאָ֣מַר לִ֑י ק֥וּמִי לָ֛ךְ רַעְיָתִ֥י יָפָתִ֖י וּלְכִי־לָֽךְ׃ כִּֽי־הִנֵּ֥ה הסתו הַסְּתָ֖יו עָבָ֑ר הַגֶּ֕שֶׁם חָלַ֖ף הָלַ֥ךְ לֽוֹ׃ הַנִּצָּנִים֙ נִרְא֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ עֵ֥ת הַזָּמִ֖יר הִגִּ֑יעַ וְק֥וֹל הַתּ֖וֹר נִשְׁמַ֥ע בְּאַרְצֵֽנוּ׃ הַתְּאֵנָה֙ חָֽנְטָ֣ה פַגֶּ֔יהָ וְהַגְּפָנִ֥ים ׀ סְמָדַ֖ר נָ֣תְנוּ רֵ֑יחַ ק֥וּמִי לכי לָ֛ךְ רַעְיָתִ֥י יָפָתִ֖י וּלְכִי־לָֽךְ׃ יוֹנָתִ֞י בְּחַגְוֵ֣י הַסֶּ֗לַע בְּסֵ֙תֶר֙ הַמַּדְרֵגָ֔ה הַרְאִ֙ינִי֙ אֶתּ־מַרְאַ֔יִךְ הַשְׁמִיעִ֖ינִי אֶת־קוֹלֵ֑ךְ כִּי־קוֹלֵ֥ךְ עָרֵ֖ב וּמַרְאֵ֥יךְ נָאוֶֽה׃ אֶֽחֱזוּ־לָ֙נוּ֙ שֽׁוּעָלִ֔ים שֽׁוּעָלִ֥ים קְטַנִּ֖ים מְחַבְּלִ֣ים כְּרָמִ֑ים וּכְרָמֵ֖ינוּ סְמָדַֽר׃ דּוֹדִ֥י לִי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י ל֔וֹ הָרֹעֶ֖ה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ עַ֤ד שֶׁיָּפ֙וּחַ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וְנָ֖סוּ הַצְּלָלִ֑ים סֹב֩ דְּמֵה־לְךָ֨ דוֹדִ֜י לִצְבִ֗י א֛וֹ לְעֹ֥פֶר הָאַיָּלִ֖ים עַל־הָ֥רֵי בָֽתֶר׃
2. I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Like a lily among thorns, so is my loved one among the maidens.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the youths; in his shadow I long to sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He brings me to the house of wine, and looks at me with love. Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am love-sick. O that his left hand were under my head, and his right hand were embracing me! I adjure you, maidens of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, or by the deer of the field, do not stir up, do not rouse love, until it please.

The voice of my beloved! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle, like a young deer; here he stands, behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.

My beloved called and said to me: “Rise, my love, my beauty, come away. For, lo, the winter is over, the rain is past and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of song has come; and the call of the turtle-dove is heard in our land; the fig-tree is ripening its early figs, and the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance. Rise, my love, my beauty, come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice, and your form is comely.

Seize us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards; for our vineyards are in blossom.

My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feeds his flock among the lilies. When the day grows cool, and the shadows flee, return, my beloved, and be like a gazelle, or like a young deer, on the mountains of Bether.


עַל־מִשְׁכָּבִי֙ בַּלֵּיל֔וֹת בִּקַּ֕שְׁתִּי אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֖יו וְלֹ֥א מְצָאתִֽיו׃ אָק֨וּמָה נָּ֜א וַאֲסוֹבְבָ֣ה בָעִ֗יר בַּשְּׁוָקִים֙ וּבָ֣רְחֹב֔וֹת אֲבַקְשָׁ֕ה אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֖יו וְלֹ֥א מְצָאתִֽיו׃ מְצָא֙וּנִי֙ הַשֹּׁ֣מְרִ֔ים הַסֹּבְבִ֖ים בָּעִ֑יר אֵ֛ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֥ה נַפְשִׁ֖י רְאִיתֶֽם׃ כִּמְעַט֙ שֶׁעָבַ֣רְתִּי מֵהֶ֔ם עַ֣ד שֶֽׁמָּצָ֔אתִי אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י אֲחַזְתִּיו֙ וְלֹ֣א אַרְפֶּ֔נּוּ עַד־שֶׁ֤הֲבֵיאתִיו֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית אִמִּ֔י וְאֶל־חֶ֖דֶר הוֹרָתִֽי׃ הִשְׁבַּ֨עְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֜ם בְּנ֤וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ בִּצְבָא֔וֹת א֖וֹ בְּאַיְל֣וֹת הַשָּׂדֶ֑ה אִם־תָּעִ֧ירוּ ׀ וְֽאִם־תְּעֽוֹרְר֛וּ אֶת־הָאַהֲבָ֖ה עַ֥ד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּֽץ׃ מִ֣י זֹ֗את עֹלָה֙ מִן־הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר כְּתִֽימֲר֖וֹת עָשָׁ֑ן מְקֻטֶּ֤רֶת מוֹר֙ וּלְבוֹנָ֔ה מִכֹּ֖ל אַבְקַ֥ת רוֹכֵֽל׃ הִנֵּ֗ה מִטָּתוֹ֙ שֶׁלִּשְׁלֹמֹ֔ה שִׁשִּׁ֥ים גִּבֹּרִ֖ים סָבִ֣יב לָ֑הּ מִגִּבֹּרֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ כֻּלָּם֙ אֲחֻ֣זֵי חֶ֔רֶב מְלֻמְּדֵ֖י מִלְחָמָ֑ה אִ֤ישׁ חַרְבּוֹ֙ עַל־יְרֵכ֔וֹ מִפַּ֖חַד בַּלֵּילּֽוֹת׃ אַפִּרְי֗וֹן עָ֤שָׂה לוֹ֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה מֵעֲצֵ֖י הַלְּבָנֽוֹן׃ עַמּוּדָיו֙ עָ֣שָׂה כֶ֔סֶף רְפִידָת֣וֹ זָהָ֔ב מֶרְכָּב֖וֹ אַרְגָּמָ֑ן תּוֹכוֹ֙ רָצ֣וּף אַהֲבָ֔ה מִבְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃ צְאֶ֧ינָה ׀ וּֽרְאֶ֛ינָה בְּנ֥וֹת צִיּ֖וֹן בַּמֶּ֣לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹ֑ה בָּעֲטָרָ֗ה שֶׁעִטְּרָה־לּ֤וֹ אִמּוֹ֙ בְּי֣וֹם חֲתֻנָּת֔וֹ וּבְי֖וֹם שִׂמְחַ֥ת לִבּֽוֹ׃
3. On my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but I did not find him. “I will rise [I said] and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares—I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but I did not find him. The watchmen who go about the city found me: “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” Scarcely had I left them, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go, until I brought him into my mother’s house, into the chamber of her who conceived me.

I adjure you, maidens of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, or by the deer of the field, do not stir up, do not rouse love, until it please.

What is this coming up from the wilderness, like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all aromatic powders of the merchant? It is Solomon’s palanquin; sixty heroes are around it, heroes of Israel. All of them are armed with swords, and are trained in war; each has his sword on his hip, because of danger at night. King Solomon made himself a palanquin of the wood of Lebanon. He made its columns of silver, its top of gold, its seat of purple, its interior inlaid with love, from the maidens of Jerusalem. Go forth, maidens of Zion, and gaze upon King Solomon, wearing a crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his marriage, on the day of his profound joy.


הִנָּ֨ךְ יָפָ֤ה רַעְיָתִי֙ הִנָּ֣ךְ יָפָ֔ה עֵינַ֣יִךְ יוֹנִ֔ים מִבַּ֖עַד לְצַמָּתֵ֑ךְ שַׂעְרֵךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הָֽעִזִּ֔ים שֶׁגָּלְשׁ֖וּ מֵהַ֥ר גִּלְעָֽד׃ שִׁנַּ֙יִךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הַקְּצוּב֔וֹת שֶׁעָל֖וּ מִן־הָרַחְצָ֑ה שֶׁכֻּלָּם֙ מַתְאִימ֔וֹת וְשַׁכֻּלָ֖ה אֵ֥ין בָּהֶֽם׃ כְּח֤וּט הַשָּׁנִי֙ שִׂפְתֹתַ֔יִךְ וּמִדְבָּרֵ֖יךְ נָאוֶ֑ה כְּפֶ֤לַח הָֽרִמּוֹן֙ רַקָּתֵ֔ךְ מִבַּ֖עַד לְצַמָּתֵֽךְ׃ כְּמִגְדַּ֤ל דָּוִיד֙ צַוָּארֵ֔ךְ בָּנ֖וּי לְתַלְפִּיּ֑וֹת אֶ֤לֶף הַמָּגֵן֙ תָּל֣וּי עָלָ֔יו כֹּ֖ל שִׁלְטֵ֥י הַגִּבּוֹרִֽים׃ שְׁנֵ֥י שָׁדַ֛יִךְ כִּשְׁנֵ֥י עֳפָרִ֖ים תְּאוֹמֵ֣י צְבִיָּ֑ה הָרוֹעִ֖ים בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ עַ֤ד שֶׁיָּפ֙וּחַ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וְנָ֖סוּ הַצְּלָלִ֑ים אֵ֤לֶךְ לִי֙ אֶל־הַ֣ר הַמּ֔וֹר וְאֶל־גִּבְעַ֖ת הַלְּבוֹנָֽה׃ כֻּלָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י וּמ֖וּם אֵ֥ין בָּֽךְ׃ אִתִּ֤י מִלְּבָנוֹן֙ כַּלָּ֔ה אִתִּ֖י מִלְּבָנ֣וֹן תָּב֑וֹאִי תָּשׁ֣וּרִי ׀ מֵרֹ֣אשׁ אֲמָנָ֗ה מֵרֹ֤אשׁ שְׂנִיר֙ וְחֶרְמ֔וֹן מִמְּעֹנ֣וֹת אֲרָי֔וֹת מֵֽהַרְרֵ֖י נְמֵרִֽים׃ לִבַּבְתִּ֖נִי אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה לִבַּבְתִּ֙ינִי֙ באחד [בְּאַחַ֣ת] מֵעֵינַ֔יִךְ בְּאַחַ֥ד עֲנָ֖ק מִצַּוְּרֹנָֽיִךְ׃ מַה־יָּפ֥וּ דֹדַ֖יִךְ אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה מַה־טֹּ֤בוּ דֹדַ֙יִךְ֙ מִיַּ֔יִן וְרֵ֥יחַ שְׁמָנַ֖יִךְ מִכָּל־בְּשָׂמִֽים׃ נֹ֛פֶת תִּטֹּ֥פְנָה שִׂפְתוֹתַ֖יִךְ כַּלָּ֑ה דְּבַ֤שׁ וְחָלָב֙ תַּ֣חַת לְשׁוֹנֵ֔ךְ וְרֵ֥יחַ שַׂלְמֹתַ֖יִךְ כְּרֵ֥יחַ לְבָנֽוֹן׃ גַּ֥ן ׀ נָע֖וּל אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה גַּ֥ל נָע֖וּל מַעְיָ֥ן חָתֽוּם׃ שְׁלָחַ֙יִךְ֙ פַּרְדֵּ֣ס רִמּוֹנִ֔ים עִ֖ם פְּרִ֣י מְגָדִ֑ים כְּפָרִ֖ים עִם־נְרָדִֽים׃ נֵ֣רְדְּ ׀ וְכַרְכֹּ֗ם קָנֶה֙ וְקִנָּמ֔וֹן עִ֖ם כָּל־עֲצֵ֣י לְבוֹנָ֑ה מֹ֚ר וַאֲהָל֔וֹת עִ֖ם כָּל־רָאשֵׁ֥י בְשָׂמִֽים׃ מַעְיַ֣ן גַּנִּ֔ים בְּאֵ֖ר מַ֣יִם חַיִּ֑ים וְנֹזְלִ֖ים מִן־לְבָנֽוֹן׃ ע֤וּרִי צָפוֹן֙ וּב֣וֹאִי תֵימָ֔ן הָפִ֥יחִי גַנִּ֖י יִזְּל֣וּ בְשָׂמָ֑יו יָבֹ֤א דוֹדִי֙ לְגַנּ֔וֹ וְיֹאכַ֖ל פְּרִ֥י מְגָדָֽיו׃
4. You are beautiful, my love, you are beautiful! Your eyes are dove-like behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats, trailing down from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep all shaped alike, which have come up from the washing; all of them are paired, and not one of them is missing. Your lips are like a thread of scarlet, and your mouth is comely; your temples, behind your veil, are like a slice of pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David built for trophies; a thousand shields hang on it, all armor of heroes. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, pasturing among the lilies. When the day grows cool, and the shadows flee, I will betake myself to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no blemish in you.

Come with me from Lebanon, bride of mine, with me from Lebanon come; depart from the top of Amana, from the peaks of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of lions, from the mountains of leopards. You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride; you have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one bead of your necklace. How lovely are your caresses, my sister, my bride! How much better than wine are your caresses, and the fragrance of your ointments than all kinds of perfume! Your lips, my bride, drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my bride, a spring inclosed, a fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with precious fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, together with all the finest perfumes. You are a fountain of gardens, a well of fresh water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.

Awake, northwind, and come, southwind! Blow upon my garden, that its perfume may waft out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat its precious fruits.


בָּ֣אתִי לְגַנִּי֮ אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּה֒ אָרִ֤יתִי מוֹרִי֙ עִם־בְּשָׂמִ֔י אָכַ֤לְתִּי יַעְרִי֙ עִם־דִּבְשִׁ֔י שָׁתִ֥יתִי יֵינִ֖י עִם־חֲלָבִ֑י אִכְל֣וּ רֵעִ֔ים שְׁת֥וּ וְשִׁכְר֖וּ דּוֹדִֽים׃ אֲנִ֥י יְשֵׁנָ֖ה וְלִבִּ֣י עֵ֑ר ק֣וֹל ׀ דּוֹדִ֣י דוֹפֵ֗ק פִּתְחִי־לִ֞י אֲחֹתִ֤י רַעְיָתִי֙ יוֹנָתִ֣י תַמָּתִ֔י שֶׁרֹּאשִׁי֙ נִמְלָא־טָ֔ל קְוֻּצּוֹתַ֖י רְסִ֥יסֵי לָֽיְלָה׃ פָּשַׁ֙טְתִּי֙ אֶת־כֻּתָּנְתִּ֔י אֵיכָ֖כָה אֶלְבָּשֶׁ֑נָּה רָחַ֥צְתִּי אֶת־רַגְלַ֖י אֵיכָ֥כָה אֲטַנְּפֵֽם׃ דּוֹדִ֗י שָׁלַ֤ח יָדוֹ֙ מִן־הַחֹ֔ר וּמֵעַ֖י הָמ֥וּ עָלָֽיו׃ קַ֥מְתִּֽי אֲנִ֖י לִפְתֹּ֣חַ לְדוֹדִ֑י וְיָדַ֣י נָֽטְפוּ־מ֗וֹר וְאֶצְבְּעֹתַי֙ מ֣וֹר עֹבֵ֔ר עַ֖ל כַּפּ֥וֹת הַמַּנְעֽוּל׃ פָּתַ֤חְתִּֽי אֲנִי֙ לְדוֹדִ֔י וְדוֹדִ֖י חָמַ֣ק עָבָ֑ר נַפְשִׁי֙ יָֽצְאָ֣ה בְדַבְּר֔וֹ בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֙יהוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א מְצָאתִ֔יהוּ קְרָאתִ֖יו וְלֹ֥א עָנָֽנִי׃ מְצָאֻ֧נִי הַשֹּׁמְרִ֛ים הַסֹּבְבִ֥ים בָּעִ֖יר הִכּ֣וּנִי פְצָע֑וּנִי נָשְׂא֤וּ אֶת־רְדִידִי֙ מֵֽעָלַ֔י שֹׁמְרֵ֖י הַחֹמֽוֹת׃ הִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם בְּנ֣וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם אִֽם־תִּמְצְאוּ֙ אֶת־דּוֹדִ֔י מַה־תַּגִּ֣ידוּ ל֔וֹ שֶׁחוֹלַ֥ת אַהֲבָ֖ה אָֽנִי׃ מַה־דּוֹדֵ֣ךְ מִדּ֔וֹד הַיָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים מַה־דּוֹדֵ֣ךְ מִדּ֔וֹד שֶׁכָּ֖כָה הִשְׁבַּעְתָּֽנוּ׃ דּוֹדִ֥י צַח֙ וְאָד֔וֹם דָּג֖וּל מֵרְבָבָֽה׃ רֹאשׁ֖וֹ כֶּ֣תֶם פָּ֑ז קְוּצּוֹתָיו֙ תַּלְתַּלִּ֔ים שְׁחֹר֖וֹת כָּעוֹרֵֽב׃ עֵינָ֕יו כְּיוֹנִ֖ים עַל־אֲפִ֣יקֵי מָ֑יִם רֹֽחֲצוֹת֙ בֶּֽחָלָ֔ב יֹשְׁב֖וֹת עַל־מִלֵּֽאת׃ לְחָיָו֙ כַּעֲרוּגַ֣ת הַבֹּ֔שֶׂם מִגְדְּל֖וֹת מֶרְקָחִ֑ים שִׂפְתוֹתָיו֙ שֽׁוֹשַׁנִּ֔ים נֹטְפ֖וֹת מ֥וֹר עֹבֵֽר׃ יָדָיו֙ גְּלִילֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב מְמֻלָּאִ֖ים בַּתַּרְשִׁ֑ישׁ מֵעָיו֙ עֶ֣שֶׁת שֵׁ֔ן מְעֻלֶּ֖פֶת סַפִּירִֽים׃ שׁוֹקָיו֙ עַמּ֣וּדֵי שֵׁ֔שׁ מְיֻסָּדִ֖ים עַל־אַדְנֵי־פָ֑ז מַרְאֵ֙הוּ֙ כַּלְּבָנ֔וֹן בָּח֖וּר כָּאֲרָזִֽים׃ חִכּוֹ֙ מַֽמְתַקִּ֔ים וְכֻלּ֖וֹ מַחֲּמַדִּ֑ים זֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ וְזֶ֣ה רֵעִ֔י בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃
5. I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh and my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends; drink, drink abundantly, beloved friends!

I was asleep, but my heart was awake; hark, my beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my innocent one; for my head is drenched with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.” But I have taken off my robe; how shall I put it on again? I have washed my feet; how shall I soil them? My beloved put his hand through the doorway, and my heart yearned for him. I rose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, and my fingers with the finest myrrh, upon the handles of the bar. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had turned away, had gone; my soul failed when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he did not answer me. The watchmen who go about the city found me; they struck me, they wounded me; the guardians of the walls stripped me of my mantle. I adjure you, maidens of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, do not tell him that I am love-sick.

What is your beloved more than another lover, O fairest of women? What is your beloved more than another lover, that you adjure us thus?

Dazzling and ruddy is my beloved, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is fine gold, his locks are curled, and as black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks, bathing in milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are beds of balsam-flower, producing sweet perfumes; his lips are [red] lilies, breathing the finest myrrh. His hands are rods of gold, studded with topaz pink; his body is polished ivory, inlaid with sapphires. His legs are pillars of marble, set on bases of fine gold; his form is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether lovely. Such is my beloved, and such is my lover, O maidens of Jerusalem.


אָ֚נָה הָלַ֣ךְ דּוֹדֵ֔ךְ הַיָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים אָ֚נָה פָּנָ֣ה דוֹדֵ֔ךְ וּנְבַקְשֶׁ֖נּוּ עִמָּֽךְ׃ דּוֹדִי֙ יָרַ֣ד לְגַנּ֔וֹ לַעֲרוּג֖וֹת הַבֹּ֑שֶׂם לִרְעוֹת֙ בַּגַּנִּ֔ים וְלִלְקֹ֖ט שֽׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ אֲנִ֤י לְדוֹדִי֙ וְדוֹדִ֣י לִ֔י הָרֹעֶ֖ה בַּשׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ יָפָ֨ה אַ֤תְּ רַעְיָתִי֙ כְּתִרְצָ֔ה נָאוָ֖ה כִּירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם אֲיֻמָּ֖ה כַּנִּדְגָּלֽוֹת׃ הָסֵ֤בִּי עֵינַ֙יִךְ֙ מִנֶּגְדִּ֔י שֶׁ֥הֵ֖ם הִרְהִיבֻ֑נִי שַׂעְרֵךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הָֽעִזִּ֔ים שֶׁגָּלְשׁ֖וּ מִן־הַגִּלְעָֽד׃ שִׁנַּ֙יִךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הָֽרְחֵלִ֔ים שֶׁעָל֖וּ מִן־הָרַחְצָ֑ה שֶׁכֻּלָּם֙ מַתְאִימ֔וֹת וְשַׁכֻּלָ֖ה אֵ֥ין בָּהֶֽם׃ כְּפֶ֤לַח הָרִמּוֹן֙ רַקָּתֵ֔ךְ מִבַּ֖עַד לְצַמָּתֵֽךְ׃ שִׁשִּׁ֥ים הֵ֙מָּה֙ מְּלָכ֔וֹת וּשְׁמֹנִ֖ים פִּֽילַגְשִׁ֑ים וַעֲלָמ֖וֹת אֵ֥ין מִסְפָּֽר׃ אַחַ֥ת הִיא֙ יוֹנָתִ֣י תַמָּתִ֔י אַחַ֥ת הִיא֙ לְאִמָּ֔הּ בָּרָ֥ה הִ֖יא לְיֽוֹלַדְתָּ֑הּ רָא֤וּהָ בָנוֹת֙ וַֽיְאַשְּׁר֔וּהָ מְלָכ֥וֹת וּפִֽילַגְשִׁ֖ים וַֽיְהַלְלֽוּהָ׃ מִי־זֹ֥את הַנִּשְׁקָפָ֖ה כְּמוֹ־שָׁ֑חַר יָפָ֣ה כַלְּבָנָ֗ה בָּרָה֙ כַּֽחַמָּ֔ה אֲיֻמָּ֖ה כַּנִּדְגָּלֽוֹת׃ אֶל־גִּנַּ֤ת אֱגוֹז֙ יָרַ֔דְתִּי לִרְא֖וֹת בְּאִבֵּ֣י הַנָּ֑חַל לִרְאוֹת֙ הֲפָֽרְחָ֣ה הַגֶּ֔פֶן הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָרִמֹּנִֽים׃ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי נַפְשִׁ֣י שָׂמַ֔תְנִי מַרְכְּב֖וֹת עַמִּי־נָדִֽיב׃
6. Where has your beloved gone, O fairest of women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?

My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the flower-beds of balsam, to pasture in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine, who pastures among the lilies.

You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my love, as comely as Jerusalem, as overawing as the most distinguished. Turn your eyes away from me, for they dazzle me. Your hair is like a flock of goats, trailing down from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep, which have come up from the washing; all of them are paired, and not one of them is missing. Your temples are like a slice of pomegranate, behind your veil. There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and maidens without number; but one alone is my dove, my innocent one; she is the only one of her mother; she is her mother’s own darling. The maidens look upon her, and bless her; the queens and the concubines praise her. Who is she that appears like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as bright as the sun, as overawing as the most distinguished?

I went down to the nut garden, to look at the green plants of the dale, to see if the grapevine was a-budding, whether the pomegranates were in flower. Before I was aware, my fancy set me among the chariots of my noble people.


שׁ֤וּבִי שׁ֙וּבִי֙ הַשּׁ֣וּלַמִּ֔ית שׁ֥וּבִי שׁ֖וּבִי וְנֶחֱזֶה־בָּ֑ךְ מַֽה־תֶּחֱזוּ֙ בַּשּׁ֣וּלַמִּ֔ית כִּמְחֹלַ֖ת הַֽמַּחֲנָֽיִם׃ מַה־יָּפ֧וּ פְעָמַ֛יִךְ בַּנְּעָלִ֖ים בַּת־נָדִ֑יב חַמּוּקֵ֣י יְרֵכַ֔יִךְ כְּמ֣וֹ חֲלָאִ֔ים מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יְדֵ֥י אָמָּֽן׃ שָׁרְרֵךְ֙ אַגַּ֣ן הַסַּ֔הַר אַל־יֶחְסַ֖ר הַמָּ֑זֶג בִּטְנֵךְ֙ עֲרֵמַ֣ת חִטִּ֔ים סוּגָ֖ה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ שְׁנֵ֥י שָׁדַ֛יִךְ כִּשְׁנֵ֥י עֳפָרִ֖ים תָּאֳמֵ֥י צְבִיָּֽה׃ צַוָּארֵ֖ךְ כְּמִגְדַּ֣ל הַשֵּׁ֑ן עֵינַ֜יִךְ בְּרֵכ֣וֹת בְּחֶשְׁבּ֗וֹן עַל־שַׁ֙עַר֙ בַּת־רַבִּ֔ים אַפֵּךְ֙ כְּמִגְדַּ֣ל הַלְּבָנ֔וֹן צוֹפֶ֖ה פְּנֵ֥י דַמָּֽשֶׂק׃ רֹאשֵׁ֤ךְ עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ כַּכַּרְמֶ֔ל וְדַלַּ֥ת רֹאשֵׁ֖ךְ כָּאַרְגָּמָ֑ן מֶ֖לֶךְ אָס֥וּר בָּרְהָטִֽים׃ מַה־יָּפִית֙ וּמַה־נָּעַ֔מְתְּ אַהֲבָ֖ה בַּתַּֽעֲנוּגִֽים׃ זֹ֤את קֽוֹמָתֵךְ֙ דָּֽמְתָ֣ה לְתָמָ֔ר וְשָׁדַ֖יִךְ לְאַשְׁכֹּלֽוֹת׃ אָמַ֙רְתִּי֙ אֶעֱלֶ֣ה בְתָמָ֔ר אֹֽחֲזָ֖ה בְּסַנְסִנָּ֑יו וְיִֽהְיוּ־נָ֤א שָׁדַ֙יִךְ֙ כְּאֶשְׁכְּל֣וֹת הַגֶּ֔פֶן וְרֵ֥יחַ אַפֵּ֖ךְ כַּתַּפּוּחִֽים׃ וְחִכֵּ֕ךְ כְּיֵ֥ין הַטּ֛וֹב הוֹלֵ֥ךְ לְדוֹדִ֖י לְמֵישָׁרִ֑ים דּוֹבֵ֖ב שִׂפְתֵ֥י יְשֵׁנִֽים׃ אֲנִ֣י לְדוֹדִ֔י וְעָלַ֖י תְּשׁוּקָתֽוֹ׃ לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים׃ נַשְׁכִּ֙ימָה֙ לַכְּרָמִ֔ים נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֙פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָרִמּוֹנִ֑ים שָׁ֛ם אֶתֵּ֥ן אֶת־דֹּדַ֖י לָֽךְ׃ הַֽדּוּדָאִ֣ים נָֽתְנוּ־רֵ֗יחַ וְעַל־פְּתָחֵ֙ינוּ֙ כָּל־מְגָדִ֔ים חֲדָשִׁ֖ים גַּם־יְשָׁנִ֑ים דּוֹדִ֖י צָפַ֥נְתִּי לָֽךְ׃
7. Return, return, O Shulammite; return, return, that we may gaze at you.

Why should you gaze at the Shulammite as upon the dance of Mahanaim?

How beautiful are your steps in sandals, O princess; the curves of your thighs are like ornaments made by an artist. Your chest is like a round goblet ever filled with wine; your body is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like a tower of ivory; your eyes are like the pools of Heshbon, at the gate of Bathrabim; your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus. Your head is on you like Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple; the king is held captive in its tresses. How beautiful, how sweet you are, O love’s delight! This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like clusters. I say: I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches; let your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the fragrance of your breath like that of apples, and your soft speech like the best wine—flowing smoothly for my beloved, gliding over the lips of those about to sleep.

I am my beloved’s, and his longing is for me. Come, my beloved, let us go into the field, let us stay in the villages; let us go early to the vineyards, to see whether the grapevine has budded, whether the vine blossoms have opened, if the pomegranates are in flower. There I will give my love to you. The love-plants yield their fragrance, and at our doors are all kinds of precious fruits, both new and old, which I have kept for you, my beloved.


מִ֤י יִתֶּנְךָ֙ כְּאָ֣ח לִ֔י יוֹנֵ֖ק שְׁדֵ֣י אִמִּ֑י אֶֽמְצָאֲךָ֤ בַחוּץ֙ אֶשָׁ֣קְךָ֔ גַּ֖ם לֹא־יָב֥וּזוּ לִֽי׃ אֶנְהָֽגֲךָ֗ אֲבִֽיאֲךָ֛ אֶל־בֵּ֥ית אִמִּ֖י תְּלַמְּדֵ֑נִי אַשְׁקְךָ֙ מִיַּ֣יִן הָרֶ֔קַח מֵעֲסִ֖יס רִמֹּנִֽי׃ שְׂמֹאלוֹ֙ תַּ֣חַת רֹאשִׁ֔י וִֽימִינ֖וֹ תְּחַבְּקֵֽנִי׃ הִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם בְּנ֣וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם מַה־תָּעִ֧ירוּ ׀ וּֽמַה־תְּעֹֽרְר֛וּ אֶת־הָאַהֲבָ֖ה עַ֥ד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּֽץ׃ מִ֣י זֹ֗את עֹלָה֙ מִן־הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר מִתְרַפֶּ֖קֶת עַל־דּוֹדָ֑הּ תַּ֤חַת הַתַּפּ֙וּחַ֙ עֽוֹרַרְתִּ֔יךָ שָׁ֚מָּה חִבְּלַ֣תְךָ אִמֶּ֔ךָ שָׁ֖מָּה חִבְּלָ֥ה יְלָדַֽתְךָ׃ שִׂימֵ֨נִי כַֽחוֹתָ֜ם עַל־לִבֶּ֗ךָ כַּֽחוֹתָם֙ עַל־זְרוֹעֶ֔ךָ כִּֽי־עַזָּ֤ה כַמָּ֙וֶת֙ אַהֲבָ֔ה קָשָׁ֥ה כִשְׁא֖וֹל קִנְאָ֑ה רְשָׁפֶ֕יהָ רִשְׁפֵּ֕י אֵ֖שׁ שַׁלְהֶ֥בֶתְיָֽה׃ מַ֣יִם רַבִּ֗ים לֹ֤א יֽוּכְלוּ֙ לְכַבּ֣וֹת אֶת־הָֽאַהֲבָ֔ה וּנְהָר֖וֹת לֹ֣א יִשְׁטְפ֑וּהָ אִם־יִתֵּ֨ן אִ֜ישׁ אֶת־כָּל־ה֤וֹן בֵּיתוֹ֙ בָּאַהֲבָ֔ה בּ֖וֹז יָב֥וּזוּ לֽוֹ׃ אָח֥וֹת לָ֙נוּ֙ קְטַנָּ֔ה וְשָׁדַ֖יִם אֵ֣ין לָ֑הּ מַֽה־נַּעֲשֶׂה֙ לַאֲחֹתֵ֔נוּ בַּיּ֖וֹם שֶׁיְּדֻבַּר־בָּֽהּ׃ אִם־חוֹמָ֣ה הִ֔יא נִבְנֶ֥ה עָלֶ֖יהָ טִ֣ירַת כָּ֑סֶף וְאִם־דֶּ֣לֶת הִ֔יא נָצ֥וּר עָלֶ֖יהָ ל֥וּחַ אָֽרֶז׃ אֲנִ֣י חוֹמָ֔ה וְשָׁדַ֖י כַּמִּגְדָּל֑וֹת אָ֛ז הָיִ֥יתִי בְעֵינָ֖יו כְּמוֹצְאֵ֥ת שָׁלֽוֹם׃ כֶּ֣רֶם הָיָ֤ה לִשְׁלֹמֹה֙ בְּבַ֣עַל הָמ֔וֹן נָתַ֥ן אֶת־הַכֶּ֖רֶם לַנֹּטְרִ֑ים אִ֛ישׁ יָבִ֥א בְּפִרְי֖וֹ אֶ֥לֶף כָּֽסֶף׃ כָּרְמִ֥י שֶׁלִּ֖י לְפָנָ֑י הָאֶ֤לֶף לְךָ֙ שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה וּמָאתַ֖יִם לְנֹטְרִ֥ים אֶת־פִּרְיֽוֹ׃ הַיוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת בַּגַּנִּ֗ים חֲבֵרִ֛ים מַקְשִׁיבִ֥ים לְקוֹלֵ֖ךְ הַשְׁמִיעִֽינִי׃ בְּרַ֣ח ׀ דּוֹדִ֗י וּֽדְמֵה־לְךָ֤ לִצְבִי֙ א֚וֹ לְעֹ֣פֶר הָֽאַיָּלִ֔ים עַ֖ל הָרֵ֥י בְשָׂמִֽים׃
8. O that you were my brother, who had been nursed by my mother! I would meet you in the street and kiss you, and none would despise me. I would lead you and bring you into my mother’s house, that you might instruct me; I would give you some spiced wine to drink, some of my pomegranate juice.

O that his left hand were under my head, and his right hand were embracing me! I adjure you, maidens of Jerusalem, do not stir up, do not rouse love, until it please.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I woke you under the apple tree, where your mother had been in travail with you, where she had brought you forth. Place me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm. Indeed, love is strong as death itself, ardent love is severe as the grave; its flashes are flashes of fire, a flame of the Lord. Floods cannot quench love, rivers cannot drown it; if a man offered all the wealth of his house for love, he would be laughed aside.

We have a young sister, and she has no breasts yet; but what shall we do with our sister when she will be asked in marriage? If she is a wall, we will build a silver turret on her; but if she is a door, we will inclose her with cedar boards.

Now I am a wall, and my breasts like towers, then I should win his favor.

Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he gave over the vineyard to caretakers; each would bring in a thousand silver pieces for its fruits. I keep my vineyard to myself; you, Solomon, are welcome to the thousand shekels, and the caretakers of the fruit to the two hundred shekels.

O you who sit in the gardens, the companions are listening to your voice; let me hear it too!

Make haste, my beloved, be like a gazelle, or like a young deer, on the mountains of spices.


Source

Paltiel Birnbaum, Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem (The [Complete] Daily Siddur), Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949.

 

קדר a tribe of nomads who wandered in the Arabian desert.
כרמי שלי that is, my personal beauty. The phrase is often used in the sense of neglecting one’s family while being engrossed in public duties.
לסוסתי The point of comparison is the rich ornamentation of the bride.
רהיטנו our rafters, paneled ceilings. The cedar trees and fir trees form the roof over their heads as they sit in the green grass.
חבצלת השרון She modestly compares herself to the wild flowers of Sharon.
אילות ,צבאות are symbolic of shyness and timidity as well as of beauty.
עד שתחפץ that is, it should be allowed to awake of itself. A true love is spontaneous.
אחזו לנו שועלים is a couplet of a vineyard song which she sings in response to his request to let him hear her voice.
ונסו הצללים the shadows of rocks and trees disappear when the sun sets.
…על משכבי is a dream she narrates to her friends.
תמרות עשן the pillars of smoke are caused by the burning of incense.
.. שערך The bride’s dark hair, hanging down in tresses over her shoulders, is compared to a herd of black goats couching on the slopes of the hill.
מתאימות symmetrical, running accurately in pairs, the upper teeth corresponding to the lower.
כפלח הרמון like the rounded form and ruddy color of a pomegranate.
בנוי לתלפיות is an allusion to the bride’s necklace. On shields used as adornments on the outside of towers, see Ezekiel 27:10-11.
…אתי מלבנון is a warning to flee from Lebanon being full of dangers.
… תשורי מ depart; compare ותשורי (Isaiah 57:9) “you journeyed.”
אחותי is used here in the sense of “my own.”
נפת honey that drips from the honeycomb. The reference is to loving words.
תימן ,צפון The north wind clears the air in Palestine; the south wind warms and ripens. The east and west winds are stormy.
מה is here used in the sense of “not.״ Compare below מה תעירו ומה תעוררו מה לנו חלק בדוד ולא נחלה בבן־ישי;(8:4) את האהבה (I Kings 12:16).
…ידיו his fingers are delicately rounded, and his nails are as transparent as topaz.
ספירים the bright blue veins showing through the lighter skin.
תרצה (“delight״) was an ancient city famed for its attractiveness. It is mentioned in Joshua 12:24; I Kings 14:17.
מה תחזו בשולמית are the words of the Shulammite, who asks why they would stare at her as at a public spectacle.
בטנך “your body,” like נפשי ובטני (“my soul and my body”) in Psalm 31:10. צוארך כמגדל השן white, straight and slender.
ברכות בחשבון refers to the soft shimmer of her eyes.
אפך כמגדל הלבנון straight and symmetrical. The tower of Lebanon was probably some watch-tower in the direction of Damascus.
כרמל an emblem of stateliness and beauty. The point of comparison is a head proudly held.
… מי ואת עולה She points out incidents and places that are memorable to both of them.
חותם signet ring, engraved with the owner’s name or some design. The seal, affixed as signature to letters and documents, was worn on the finger or was strung on a cord and hung around the neck. She wishes to be united in the closest way with her beloved.
שלהבתיה a flame of supernatural, stupendous power.
אחות לנו קטנה was the speech of her brothers in the past, when she was still too young to marry. She recalls having heard them say that they would re-ward her modesty with adornments and provide strong protection in the case of any sign of moral weakness.
… אם חומה היא that is, if she preserves her innocence, we will reward her.
כרם היה that is, his possession is prized more than Solomon’s highly cultivated vineyard with all its rich revenues.
ברח דודי is a repetition of her song in 2:17. Allegorically, it is a prayer addressed to God: Mayest thou hasten to reappear on Mount Moriah.

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