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

Chapter 8

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1If only you were to me like a brother nursed at my mother's breast! Then if I came upon you outside, I could kiss you, and no one would despise me. 2I should lead you to the house of my mother, bring you to her who conceived me a 8:2 who conceived me: prob. rdg based on Gk; Heb. who taught me. ; I should give you mulled wine to drink and the fresh juice of my pomegranates. 3His left arm pillows my head, his right arm is round me.

4I charge you, maidens of Jerusalem: Do not rouse or awaken love until it is ready.

5Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?

Under the apple tree I roused you. It was there your mother was in labour with you, there she who bore you was in labour. 6Wear me as a seal over your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion cruel as the grave b 8:6 the grave: Heb. Sheol. ; it blazes up like a blazing fire, fiercer than any flame. 7Many waters cannot quench love, no flood can sweep it away; if someone were to offer for love all the wealth in his house, it would be laughed to scorn.

8We have a little sister who as yet has no breasts. What shall we do with our sister when she is asked in marriage? 9If she is a wall, we shall build on it a silver parapet; if she is a door, we shall bar it with a plank of cedar-wood.

10I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers; so in his eyes I am as one who brings content. 11Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he has given his vineyard to others to guard; each is to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver. 12My vineyard is mine to give; keep your thousand pieces, O Solomon; those who guard the fruit shall have two hundred.

13My bride, you sit in my garden, and my friends are listening to your voice. Let me hear it too.

14Come into the open, my beloved, and show yourself like a gazelle or a young stag on the spice-bearing mountains.

Notes:

a 8:2 who conceived me: prob. rdg based on Gk; Heb. who taught me.

b 8:6 the grave: Heb. Sheol.

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