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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 5

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1I have come to my garden, my sister and bride; I have gathered my myrrh and my spices; I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey, and drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends, and drink deep, till you are drunk with love.

2I sleep, but my heart is awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: ‘Open to me, my sister, my dearest, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is drenched with dew, my locks with the moisture of the night.’ 3‘I have put off my robe; must I put it on again? I have bathed my feet; must I dirty them again?’ 4When my beloved slipped his hand through the latch-hole, my heart turned over. 5When I arose to open for my beloved, my hands dripped with myrrh; the liquid myrrh from my fingers ran over the handle of the latch. 6I opened to my love, but my love had turned away and was gone; my heart sank when he turned his back. I sought him, but could not find him, I called, but there was no answer. 7The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city. They beat and wounded me, and those on the walls stripped off my cloak. 8Maidens of Jerusalem, I charge you, if you find my beloved, to tell him that I am faint with love.

9What is your beloved more than any other, O fairest of women? What is your beloved more than any other, that you should give us this charge?

10My beloved is fair and desirable a 5:10 desirable: or ruddy. , a paragon among ten thousand. 11His head is gold, finest gold. His locks are like palm-fronds, black as the raven. 12His eyes are like doves beside pools of water, in their setting bathed as it were in milk. 13His cheeks are like beds of spices, terraces full of perfumes; his lips are lilies, they drop liquid myrrh. 14His arms are golden rods set with topaz, his belly a plaque of ivory adorned with sapphires. 15His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of finest gold; his aspect is like Lebanon, noble as cedars. 16His mouth b 5:16 mouth: lit. palate. is sweetness itself, wholly desirable. Such is my beloved, such is my darling, O maidens of Jerusalem.

Notes:

a 5:10 desirable: or ruddy.

b 5:16 mouth: lit. palate.

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