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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 2


1 I am a flower of Sharon,
a lily of the valley.


G As a lily among thorns,
so is my beloved among women.


B As an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
so is my lover among men.
I delight to rest in his shadow,
and his fruit is sweet to my mouth.


2 He brings me into the banquet hall
and his emblem over me is love.


Strengthen me with raisin cakes,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.


His left hand is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.


3 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and hinds of the field,
Do not arouse, do not stir up love
before its own time.


B 4 Hark! my lover-here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.


My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.


My lover speaks; he says to me,
"Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!


"For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.


The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.


The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!


5 "O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely."


B 6 Catch us the foxes, the little foxes
that damage the vineyards; for our vineyards are in bloom!


My lover belongs to me and I to him;
he browses among the lilies.


7 Until the day breathes cool and the shadows lengthen,
roam, my lover,
Like a gazelle or a young stag
upon the mountains of Bether.



1 [1] Flower of Sharon: probably the narcissus, which grows in the fertile Plain of Sharon lying between Mount Carmel and Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast.

2 [4-6] The banquet hall: the sweet things of the table, the embrace of the bride and bridegroom, express the delicacy of their affection and the intimacy of their love.

3 [7] By the gazelles and hinds: the swiftness of these animals and the luster and soft expression of their eyes are suggestive of love; cf Proverb 5:19.

4 [8-13] In this sudden change of scene, the bride pictures her lover hastening toward her dwelling until his voice is heard bidding her come to him.

5 [14] The bride is addressed as though she were a dove in a mountain fastness out of sight and reach.

6 [15] A snatch of song in answer to the request of Song 2:14; cf Song 8:13, 14. Foxes: all who threaten to disturb the security of love symbolized by the vineyard; cf Song 2:16.

7 [17] Breathes cool: in the evening when the sun is going down. Cf Genesis 3:8. Bether: a very obscure word; some interpret it in the sense of ruggedness; others, of spices; still others, of sacrifice ( Genesis 15:10).

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