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Song of Solomon Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Chapter 1


Love Is Better than Wine
1This is Solomon's
most beautiful song.


She Speaks:
2Kiss me tenderly!
Your love is better than wine,
3and you smell so sweet.
All the young women adore you;
the very mention of your name
is like spreading perfume.
4Hurry, my king! Let's hurry.
5Take me to your home.
We are happy for you!
And we praise your love
even more than wine.
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.


The Young Women Speak:


She Speaks:
6Don'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.
7I'm not one of those women
who shamelessly follow
after shepherds. My darling, I love you!
Where do you feed your sheep
and let them rest at noon?


He Speaks:
8My dearest, if you don't know,
just follow the path
of the sheep.
Then feed your young goats
near the shepherds' tents.
9You move as gracefully
as the pony
that leads
the chariot of the king.
10Earrings add to your beauty,
and you wear a necklace
of precious stones.
11Let's make you some jewelry
of gold,
woven with silver.


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

He Speaks:
15My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely--
your eyes are those of a dove.


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


Chapter 2


Love Makes Everything Beautiful


She Speaks:
1I am merely a rose from the land
of Sharon,
a lily
from the valley.


He Speaks:
2My darling, when compared
with other young women,
you are a lily among thorns.


She Speaks:
3And you, my love,
are an
apple tree
among trees of the
forest.
Your shade brought me pleasure;
your fruit was sweet.
4You led me to your banquet room
and showered me with love.
5Refresh and strengthen me
with raisins and apples.
I am hungry for love!
6Put your left hand under my head
and embrace me
with your right arm.
7Young women of Jerusalem,
promise me by the power
of deer and gazelles never to awaken love
before it is ready.


Winter Is Past


She Speaks:
8I
hear the voice
of
the one I love,
as he comes leaping
over mountains and hills
9like a deer or a gazelle.
Now he stands outside our wall,
looking through the window
10and speaking to me.
My darling, I love you!
Let's go away together.


He Speaks:
11Winter is past,
the rain has stopped;
12flowers cover the earth,
it's time to sing. The cooing of doves

is heard in our land.
13Fig trees are bearing fruit,
while blossoms on grapevines
fill the air with perfume.
My darling, I love you!
Let's go away together.
14You are my dove
hiding among the rocks
on the side of a cliff.
Let me see how lovely you are!
Let me hear the sound
of your melodious voice.
15Our vineyards are in blossom;
we must catch
the little foxes
that
destroy the vineyards.

She Speaks:
16My darling, I am yours,
and you are mine,
as you feed your sheep

among the lilies
.
17Pretend to be a young deer
dancing on mountain slopes until daylight comes
and shadows fade away.


Chapter 3


Beautiful Dreams


She Speaks:
1While in bed at night,
I reached for the one I love
with heart and soul.
I looked for him,
but he wasn't there.
2So I searched through the town
for the one I love.
I looked on every street,
but he wasn't there.
3I even asked the guards
patrolling the town,
"Have you seen the one
I love so much?"
4Right after that, I found him.
I held him and would not let go
until I had taken him
to the home of my mother.
5Young women of Jerusalem,
promise me by the power
of deer and gazelles, never to awaken love
before it is ready.


The Groom and the Wedding Party


Their Friends Speak:
6What do we see approaching
from the desert
like a cloud of smoke?
With it comes the sweet smell
of spices,
including myrrh
and frankincense.
7It is King Solomon
carried on a throne,
surrounded by sixty
of Israel's best soldiers.
8Each of them wears a sword.
They are experts at fighting,
even in the dark.
9The throne is made of trees
from Lebanon.
10Its posts are silver,
the back is gold,
and the seat is covered
with purple cloth.
You women of Jerusalem
have taken great care
to furnish the inside.
11Now come and see the crown
given to Solomon
by his mother
on his happy wedding day.


Chapter 4


What a Beautiful Bride


He Speaks:
1My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely--
as you look through your veil,
your eyes are those of a dove.
Your hair tosses about
as gracefully as goats
coming down from Gilead.
2Your teeth are whiter
than sheep freshly washed;
they match perfectly,
not one is missing.
3Your lips are crimson cords,
your mouth is shapely;
behind your veil are hidden
beautiful rosy cheeks.
4Your neck is more graceful
than
the tower of David,
decorated with thousands
of warriors' shields.
5Your breasts are perfect;
they are twin deer
feeding among lilies.
6I will hasten to those hills
sprinkled with sweet perfume
and stay there till sunrise.
7My darling, you are lovely
in every way.
8My bride, together
we will leave Lebanon!
We will say good-by
to the peaks
of Mount Amana,
Senir, and Hermon,
where lions and leopards
live in the caves.
9My bride, my very own,
you have stolen my heart!
With one glance from your eyes
and the glow of your necklace,
you have stolen my heart.
10Your love is sweeter than wine;
the smell of your perfume
is more fragrant than spices.
11Your lips are a honeycomb;

milk and honey
flow from your tongue.
Your dress has the aroma
of cedar trees from Lebanon.
12My bride, my very own,
you are a garden,
a fountain
closed off to all others.
13Your arms are vines, covered with delicious fruits
and all sorts of spices--
henna, nard,
14saffron,
calamus, cinnamon,
frankincense, myrrh, and aloes
--all the finest spices.
15You are a spring in the garden,
a fountain of pure water,
and a refreshing stream
from Mount Lebanon.


She Speaks:
16Let the north wind blow,
the south wind too!
Let them spread the aroma
of my garden,
so the one I love
may enter
and taste
its delicious fruits.


Chapter 5


He Speaks:
1My bride, my very own,
I come to my garden
and enjoy its spices.
I eat my honeycomb and honey;
I
drink my wine and milk.
Eat and drink
until
you are drunk with love.


Their Friends Speak:


Another Dream


She Speaks:
2I was asleep, but dreaming:
The one I love was at the door,
knocking and saying,
"My darling, my very own,
my flawless dove,
open the door for me!
My head is drenched
with evening dew."
3But I had already undressed
and bathed my feet.
Should I dress again
and get my feet dirty?
4Then my darling's hand
reached to open the latch,
and my heart stood still.
5When I rose to open the door,
my hands and my fingers
dripped with perfume.
6My heart stood still
while he spoke to me,
but when I opened the door,
my darling had disappeared.
I searched and shouted
,
but I could not find
him--
there was no answer.
7Then I was found by the guards
patrolling the town
and guarding the wall.
They beat me up
and stripped off my robe.
8Young women
of Jerusalem,
if y
ou find the one I love,
please say to him,
"She is weak with desire."


Their Friends Speak:
9Most beautiful of women,
why is the one you love
more special than others?
Why do you ask us
to tell him how you feel?


She Speaks:
10He is handsome and healthy,
the most outstanding
among ten thousand.
11His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy,

black as a raven.
 
12His eyes are a pair of doves
bathing in a stream
flowing with milk.
13His face is a garden
of sweet-smelling spices;
his lips are lilies
dripping with perfume.
14His arms are branches of gold
covered with jewels;
his body is ivory decorated with sapphires.
15His legs are columns of marble
on feet of gold.
He stands there majestic
like Mount Lebanon
and its choice cedar trees.
16His kisses are sweet.
I desire him so much!
Young women of Jerusalem,
he is my lover and friend.


Chapter 6


Their Friends Speak:
1Most beautiful of women,
tell us where he has gone.
Let us help you find him.


She Speaks:
2My darling has gone down
to his garden of spices,
where he will feed his sheep
and gather lilies.
3I am his, and he is mine,
as he feeds his sheep

among the lilies.
 


He Speaks:
4My dearest, the cities of Tirzah
and Jerusalem
are not as lovely as you.
Your charms are more powerful
than all of the stars
in the heavens.
5Turn away your eyes--
they make me melt.
Your hair tosses about
as gracefully as goats
coming down from Gilead.
6Your teeth are whiter
than sheep freshly washed;
they match perfectly,
not one is missing.
7Behind your veil are hidden
beautiful rosy cheeks.
8What if I could have
sixty queens, eighty wives,
and thousands of others!
9You would be my only choice,
my flawless dove,
the favorite child
of your mother.
The young women, the queens,
and all the others
tell how excited you are
as they sing your praises:
10"You are as majestic
as the morning sky--
glorious as the moon--
blinding as the sun!
Your charms are more powerful
than all the stars above."

She Speaks:
11I went down to see if blossoms
were on the walnut trees,
grapevines, and fruit trees.
12But in my imagination
I was suddenly riding
on a glorious chariot.

Their Friends Speak:
13Dance! Dance!
Beautiful woman from Shulam,
let us see you dance!
Why do you want to see
this woman from Shulam
dancing with the others?

Chapter 7


She Speaks:


The Wedding Dance


He Speaks:
1You are a princess,
and your feet are graceful
in their sandals.
Your thighs are works of art,
each one a jewel;
2your navel is a wine glass
filled to overflowing.
Your body is full and slender
like a bundle of wheat
bound together by lilies.
3Your
breasts are like twins
of a deer.
4Your neck is like ivory,
and your eyes sparkle
like the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath-Rabbim.
Your nose is beautiful
like Mount Lebanon
above the city of Damascus.
5Your head is held high
like Mount Carmel;
your hair is so lovely
it holds a king prisoner.
6You are beautiful,
so very desirable!
7You are tall and slender
like a palm tree,
and your breasts are full.
8I will climb that tree
and cling to its branches.
I will discover that your breasts
are clusters of grapes,
and that your breath
is the aroma of apples.
9Kissing you is more delicious
than drinking the finest wine.
How wonderful and tasty!

She Speaks:
10My darling, I am yours,
and you desire me.
11Let's stroll through the fields
and sleep
in the villages.
12At dawn let's slip out and see
if grapevines and fruit trees
are covered with blossoms.
When we are there,
I will give you my love.
13Perfume from the magic flower fills the air, my darling.
Right at our doorstep
I have stored up for you
all kinds of tasty fruits.


Chapter 8


If Only You and I. . .


She Speaks:
1If you were my brother,
I could kiss you
whenever we happen to meet,
and no one would say
I did wrong.
2I could take you to the home
of my mother,
who taught me all I know. I would give you delicious wine
and fruit juice as well.
3Put your left hand
under my head
and
embrace me
with your right arm.
4Young women of Jerusalem,
promise me by the power
of deer and gazelles never to awaken love
before it is ready.


Their Friends Speak:
5Who is this young woman
coming in from the desert
and leaning on the shoulder
of the one she loves?
I stirred up your passions
under the apple tree
where you were born.


She Speaks:
6Always keep me in your heart
and wear this bracelet
to remember me by.
The passion of love
bursting into flame
is more powerful than death,
stronger than the grave.
7Love cannot be drowned
by oceans or floods;
it cannot be bought,
no matter what is offered.
Their Friends Speak:
8We have a little sister
whose
breasts
are not yet
formed.
If someone asks to marry her,
what should we do?
9She isn't a wall
that we can defend
behind a silver shield.
Neither is she a room
that we can protect
behind a wooden door.


She Speaks:
10I am a wall around a city,
my breasts are towers,
and just looking at me
brings him great pleasure.
11Solomon has
a vineyard
at
Baal-Hamon,
which he rents to others
for
a thousand pieces
of silver
each.
12My vineyard is mine alone!
Solomon can keep his silver
and the others can keep
their share of the profits.


He Speaks:
13You are in the garden
with friends all around.
Let me hear your voice!


She Speaks:
14Hurry to me, my darling!
Run faster than a deer
to mountains of spices.