1 Oh that you were like my brother,
who nursed from the breasts of my mother!
If I found you outside, I would kiss you;
yes, and no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you, bringing you into the house of my mother,
who would instruct me.
I would have you drink spiced wine,
of the juice of my pomegranate.
3 His left hand would be under my head.
His right hand would embrace me.
4 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,
that you not stir up, nor awaken love,
until it so desires.
5 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother conceived you.
There she was in labor and bore you.
6 Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
for love is strong as death.
Jealousy is as cruel as Sheol.*
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a very flame of Yahweh.†
7 Many waters can’t quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man would give all the wealth of his house for love,
he would be utterly scorned.
8 We have a little sister.
She has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
in the day when she is to be spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build on her a turret of silver.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers,
then I was in his eyes like one who found peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon.
He leased out the vineyard to keepers.
Each was to bring a thousand shekels‡of silver for its fruit.
12 My own vineyard is before me.
The thousand are for you, Solomon,
two hundred for those who tend its fruit.
13 You who dwell in the gardens, with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!
14 Come away, my beloved!
Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices!
*8:6 Sheol is the place of the dead.
†8:6 “Yahweh” is God’s proper Name, sometimes rendered “LORD” (all caps) in other translations.
‡8:11 A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces, so 1000 shekels is about 10 kilograms or about 22 pounds.