1 The Song of Songs,a which [is] forb Solomon.

References for Song of Solomon 1:1

    • a 1:1 - This construction conveys a superlative connotation, e.g., "The most exquisite song"
    • b 1:1 - Or "by Solomon" or "about/concerning Solomon"

      Maiden’s Soliloquy

      2 {Mayc you kiss me}d {passionately with your lips},e for your love [is] better than wine.f

      References for Song of Solomon 1:2

        • c 1:2 - In the maiden's soliloquy, she thinks about her beloved in her thoughts ("May he kiss me!"), then poetically speaks to him as if he were in her presence ("for your love is better than wine"). To avoid confusion, the translation uses the second-person form throughout vv. 2-4
        • d 1:2 - Literally "May he kiss me"
        • e 1:2 - Literally "with the kisses of his mouth"
        • f 1:2 - The shift from the third person "he ... his" to the second person "you ... your" in vv. 2-4 should not be interpreted as suggesting two different referents, that is, one male whom the maiden is addressing as "you," and another to whom she refers as "he." Rather, this shift is a poetic device (called "grammatical differentiation") that is not uncommon in Hebrew poetry (e.g., Gen 49:4; Deut 32:15; Psa 23:2-5; Isa 1:29; 42:20; 54:1; Jer 22:24; Amos 4:1; Mic 7:19; Lam 3:1; Song 4:2; 6:6). This shift is characteristic of a soliloquy, a dramatic or literary form in which a character reveals her thoughts without addressing a listener who is actually present (e.g., 2 Sam 19:4). In this case, the maiden's private thoughts about her beloved (v. 2a) shift to an imaginary address to her beloved (vv. 2b-4a)
          3 As fragrance, {your perfumes}g [are] {delightful};h your name is poured out {perfume};i therefore young women love you.

          References for Song of Solomon 1:3

            • g 1:3 - Literally "your oil lotions"
            • h 1:3 - Literally "good"
            • i 1:3 - Literally "oil lotion"
              4 Draw me after you, let us run! May the king bring me into his chambers!j Let us be joyful and let us rejoice in you; let us extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you!

              References for Song of Solomon 1:4

                • j 1:4 - Or "The king has brought me into his chambers"

                  Maiden’s Self-Description

                  5 I [am] black but beautiful,k {O maidens of Jerusalem},l like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

                  References for Song of Solomon 1:5

                    • k 1:5 - Or "black and beautiful"
                    • l 1:5 - Literally "O daughters of Jerusalem"
                      6 Do not gaze at me because I am black, m because the sun has stared [at] me. The sons of my mother were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, [but] my own "vineyard"n I did not keep.

                      References for Song of Solomon 1:6

                        • m 1:6 - This is figurative for the maiden's physical appearance; her skin was darkly tanned
                        • n 1:6 - Literally "my vineyard that for me"

                          Dialogue between Shepherdess and Shepherd

                          7 Tell me, [you] whom my {heart}o loves, where do you pasture your flock, where do your sheep lie down at the noon? {For why should I be like}p one who is veiledq beside the flocks of your companions?

                          References for Song of Solomon 1:7

                            • o 1:7 - Literally "soul"
                            • p 1:7 - Literally "For to what will I be like"
                            • q 1:7 - The reading of the MT ("like one who is veiled") is supported by the LXX. However, several ancient versions (Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate, Symmachus) reflect an alternate Hebrew textual tradition in which two letters are transposed, resulting in the reading "like one who wanders about." This makes good sense contextually, since the maiden does not know where her beloved would be at noon
                              8 If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow {the tracks}r of the flock, and pasture your little lambss beside the tents of the shepherds.

                              References for Song of Solomon 1:8

                                • r 1:8 - Literally "in the tracks"
                                • s 1:8 - Or "your kids"

                                  Man’s Poetic Praise of His Beloved

                                  9 To a maret among the chariotsu of Pharaoh, I compare you, my beloved.

                                  References for Song of Solomon 1:9

                                    • t 1:9 - Or "my mare"
                                    • u 1:9 - Or "chariot horses"
                                      10 Your cheeks are beautiful with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.
                                      11 We will make ornaments of gold for you with studsv of silver.

                                      References for Song of Solomon 1:11

                                        • v 1:11 - Or "droplets"

                                          Maiden’s Poetic Praise of Her Beloved

                                          12 While the king [was] on his couch, my nard gave its fragrance.

                                          References for Song of Solomon 1:12

                                              13 My beloved [is] to me {a pouch}w of myrrh, he spends the nightx between my breasts.

                                              References for Song of Solomon 1:13

                                                • w 1:13 - Literally "the bag"
                                                • x 1:13 - Or "he lays"
                                                  14 My beloved [is] to me a cluster of blossoms of henna in the vineyards of En Gedi.

                                                  Mutual Admiration

                                                  15 Look! You [are] beautiful, my beloved. Look! You [are] beautiful; your eyes [are] doves.

                                                  References for Song of Solomon 1:15

                                                      16 Look! You [are] beautiful, my beloved, truly pleasant. Truly our couch [is] {verdant};y

                                                      References for Song of Solomon 1:16

                                                        • y 1:16 - Literally "green"
                                                          17 the beams of our house [are] cedar; our rafter [is] cypress.