The Word Made Fresh
1I looked for him upon my bed at night – the one my soul loves.
I looked for him but could not find him.
I called for him but received no answer.
2“I will leave my bed,” she says, “and go through the city,
and I will search for the one my soul loves.
I will search for him in the streets and in the squares,”
she says, but fails to find him.
3However, making their rounds in the city, the guards find her.
“Have you seen the one my soul loves?” she asks.
4Then, remembering that encounter, she says,
“Scarcely had I passed them when I found him!
I found the one my soul loves.
I held him and wouldn’t let him go
until I brought him into my mother’s house
to the bedroom where she had conceived me.
5I tell you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and the wild deer,
‘Don’t stir up or awaken love until it is ready!’
6What is that coming out of the countryside like a column of smoke?
I smell the perfume – the myrrh and frankincense,
with all the merchant’s sweet-smelling preparations.
7Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
surrounded by sixty of the mighty soldiers among the men of Israel!
8All of them are bearing swords, experts in warfare,
each with his sword at the ready because of the dangers of the night.
9King Solomon made for himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon.
10Its posts are silver; its sides of gold; its seats of purple cloth;
Its interior surrounded with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, come out!
11Look at king Solomon, daughters of Zion.
Look at the crown his mother placed on his head
on his wedding day, the day when his heart was most glad.
1-5: Another fantasy: unable to sleep for thoughts of love, she leaves her chamber and goes out into the streets to search for him. After an encounter with sentinels in the street she finds him and clings to him, then brings him to her mother’s bed for a night of love.
6-11: The scene has suddenly changed: Now we have a description of King Solomon approaching the city with his entourage. The girls are all aflutter at the sight of him. He is wearing the crown his mother gave him as a wedding gift. The scene seems to be unrelated to the fantasy described in the previous verses, but some commentators believe the girl is flattering her lover by “mistaking” him for the king — sort of like a modern girl saying something like, “he’s my hero.”
Again, we cannot fail to escape the similarity between this young girl’s affections and a modern girl swooning over the team captain at her high school. The locations and specific imagery changes, but the attraction and the imagination is so familiar, isn’t it?