Song of Songs 6–8

1 Where has your beloved gone,

O fairest among women?

Where has your beloved turned aside,

that we may seek him with you?

2 My beloved has gone down to his garden,

to the beds of spices,

to feed his flock in the gardens,

and to gather lilies.

3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;

he feeds his flock among the lilies.

4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,

comely as Jerusalem,

awesome as an army with banners!

5 Turn your eyes away from me,

for they overwhelm me!

Your hair is like a flock of goats

streaming down from Gilead.

6 your teeth are like a flock of ewes

that have come up from the washing;

all of them bear twins; not one among them has lost its young;

7 your cheeks are like halves

of a pomegranate behind your veil.

8 There are sixty queens

and eighty concubines,

and virgins without number.

9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,

the only one of her mother,

choice to her who bore her.

The maidens saw her and called her blessed;

the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.

10 Who is this who looks forth like the dawn,

fair as the moon, radiant as the sun,

awesome as an army with banners?

11 I went down to the nut orchard

to look at the blossoms of the valley,

to see whether the vines had budded,

whether the pomegranates were in bloom.

12 Before I was aware, my soul set me in a chariot beside my prince.

13 Return, return, O Shulammite!

Return, return, that we may look upon you.

Why should you look upon the Shulammite,

as upon a dance before two armies?

Chapter 7

1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,

O prince’s daughter!

The curves of your thighs are like jewels,

the work of a master hand.

2 Your navel is a round bowl

that never lacks mixed wine.

Your belly is a heap of wheat,

encircled with lilies.

3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,

twins of a gazelle.

4 Your neck is like an ivory tower,

your eyes pools in Heshbon,

by the gate of Bath Rabbim.

Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,

overlooking Damascus.

5 Your head crowns like Carmel,

and your flowing hair is like purple;

a king is held captive in the tresses.

6 How fair and pleasant you are,

O loved one, with all your delights!

7 Your stature is like a palm tree,

and your breasts are like its clusters.

8 I say I will climb the palm tree

and take hold of its branches.

Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,

and the scent of your breath like apples,

9 and your mouth like the best wine.

It goes down smoothly for my beloved,

gliding over lips and teeth.

10 I am my beloved’s,

and his desire is for me.

11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the fields,

and lodge in the villages;

12 let us go out early to the vineyards,

and see whether the vines have budded,

whether the grape blossoms have opened

and the pomegranates are in bloom.

There I will give you my love.

13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance,

and at our doors are all choice fruits,

new as well as old,

which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

Chapter 8

1 Oh, that you were like a brother to me,

who nursed at my mother’s breasts!

If I found you outside,

I would kiss you,

and no one would despise me.

2 I would lead you and bring you

into the house of my mother,

she who used to instruct me.

I would give you spiced wine to drink,

the juice of my pomegranates.

3 His left hand is under my head,

and his right arm embraces me!

4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

do not stir up or awaken love

until it pleases.

5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness,

leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.

There your mother was in labor with you;

there she who bore you was in labor.

6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is strong as death,

passion fierce as the grave.

Its fires of desire are as ardent flames,

a most intense flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love,

neither can floods drown it.

If a man offered for love

all the wealth of his house,

it would be utterly condemned.

8 We have a little sister,

and she has no breasts.

What will we do for our sister

on the day when she is spoken for?

9 If she is a wall,

we will build upon her a battlement of silver;

but if she is a door,

we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

10 I was a wall,

and my breasts were like towers;

then I was in his eyes

as one who finds peace.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon;

he leased the vineyard to keepers;

each man was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.

12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;

you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,

and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.

13 O you who dwell in the gardens,

my companions listen for your voice;

let me hear it!

14 Make haste, my beloved,

and be like a gazelle or a young stag

on the mountains of spices!

Galatians 4

1 Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ from a servant though he is lord of all. 2 But he is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father. 3 So when we were children, we were in bondage to the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

8 Previously, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now, after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how do you turn again to the weak and beggarly elemental forces to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have worked for you in vain.

12 Brothers, I ask you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. 13 You know that it was because of an infirmity of the flesh that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 Though my infirmity was a trial to you, you neither despised nor rejected me, but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 So where is your blessing? For I bear witness of you that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

17 They would zealously influence you, but not favorably. Yes, they would exclusively control you, so that you might consult them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good manner always and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, of whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am displeased with you.

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. 23 But he who was of the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but he of the free woman through the promise.

24 These things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants. The one is from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and represents the present Jerusalem, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, barren woman

who does not bear;

break forth and shout,

you who have no labor pains!

For the desolate has many more children

than she who has a husband.”

28 Now we, brothers, like Isaac, are the children of promise. 29 But as it was then, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.” 31 So then, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.