Song of Solomon 1; Song of Solomon 2; Song of Solomon 3; Galatians 2

1 The most beautiful of songs, by Solomon. 2 Your lips cover me with kisses; your love is better than wine. 3 There is a fragrance about you; the sound of your name recalls it. No woman could keep from loving you. 4 Take me with you, and we'll run away; be my king and take me to your room. We will be happy together, drink deep, and lose ourselves in love. No wonder all women love you! 5 Women of Jerusalem, I am dark but beautiful, dark as the desert tents of Kedar, but beautiful as the draperies in Solomon's palace. 6 Don't look down on me because of my color, because the sun has tanned me. My brothers were angry with me and made me work in the vineyard. I had no time to care for myself. 7 Tell me, my love, Where will you lead your flock to graze? Where will they rest from the noonday sun? Why should I need to look for you among the flocks of the other shepherds? 8 Don't you know the place, loveliest of women? Go and follow the flock; find pasture for your goats near the tents of the shepherds. 9 You, my love, excite men as a mare excites the stallions of Pharaoh's chariots. 10 Your hair is beautiful upon your cheeks and falls along your neck like jewels. 11 But we will make for you a chain of gold with ornaments of silver. 12 My king was lying on his couch, and my perfume filled the air with fragrance. 13 My lover has the scent of myrrh as he lies upon my breasts. 14 My lover is like the wild flowers that bloom in the vineyards at Engedi. 15 How beautiful you are, my love; how your eyes shine with love! 16 How handsome you are, my dearest; how you delight me! The green grass will be our bed; 17 the cedars will be the beams of our house, and the cypress trees the ceiling.
1 I am only a wild flower in Sharon, a lily in a mountain valley. 2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling among women. 3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my dearest compared to other men. I love to sit in its shadow, and its fruit is sweet to my taste. 4 He brought me to his banquet hall and raised the banner of love over me. 5 Restore my strength with raisins and refresh me with apples! I am weak from passion. 6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand caresses me. 7 Promise me, women of Jerusalem; swear by the swift deer and the gazelles that you will not interrupt our love. 8 I hear my lover's voice. He comes running over the mountains, racing across the hills to me. 9 My lover is like a gazelle, like a young stag. There he stands beside the wall. He looks in through the window and glances through the lattice. 10 My lover speaks to me. Come then, my love; my darling, come with me. 11 The winter is over; the rains have stopped; 12 in the countryside the flowers are in bloom. This is the time for singing; the song of doves is heard in the fields. 13 Figs are beginning to ripen; the air is fragrant with blossoming vines. Come then, my love; my darling, come with me. 14 You are like a dove that hides in the crevice of a rock. Let me see your lovely face and hear your enchanting voice. 15 Catch the foxes, the little foxes, before they ruin our vineyard in bloom. 16 My lover is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies 17 until the morning breezes blow and the darkness disappears. Return, my darling, like a gazelle, like a stag on the mountains of Bether.
1 Asleep on my bed, night after night I dreamed of the one I love; I was looking for him, but couldn't find him. 2 I went wandering through the city, through its streets and alleys. I looked for the one I love. I looked, but couldn't find him. 3 The sentries patrolling the city saw me. I asked them, "Have you found my lover?" 4 As soon as I left them, I found him. I held him and wouldn't let him go until I took him to my mother's house, to the room where I was born. 5 Promise me, women of Jerusalem; swear by the swift deer and the gazelles that you will not interrupt our love. 6 What is this coming from the desert like a column of smoke, fragrant with incense and myrrh, the incense sold by the traders? 7 Solomon is coming, carried on his throne; sixty soldiers form the bodyguard, the finest soldiers in Israel. 8 All of them are skillful with the sword; they are battle-hardened veterans. Each of them is armed with a sword, on guard against a night attack. 9 King Solomon is carried on a throne made of the finest wood. 10 Its posts are covered with silver; over it is cloth embroidered with gold. Its cushions are covered with purple cloth, lovingly woven by the women of Jerusalem. 11 Women of Zion, come and see King Solomon. He is wearing the crown that his mother placed on his head on his wedding day, on the day of his gladness and joy.
1 Fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went because God revealed to me that I should go. In a private meeting with the leaders I explained the gospel message that I preach to the Gentiles. I did not want my work in the past or in the present to be a failure. 3 My companion Titus, even though he is Greek, was not forced to be circumcised, 4 although some wanted it done. Pretending to be believers, these men slipped into our group as spies, in order to find out about the freedom we have through our union with Christ Jesus. They wanted to make slaves of us, 5 but in order to keep the truth of the gospel safe for you, we did not give in to them for a minute. 6 But those who seemed to be the leaders - I say this because it makes no difference to me what they were; God does not judge by outward appearances - those leaders, I say, made no new suggestions to me. 7 On the contrary, they saw that God had given me the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as he had given Peter the task of preaching the gospel to the Jews. 8 For by God's power I was made an apostle to the Gentiles, just as Peter was made an apostle to the Jews. 9 James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be the leaders, recognized that God had given me this special task; so they shook hands with Barnabas and me, as a sign that we were all partners. We agreed that Barnabas and I would work among the Gentiles and they among the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should remember the needy in their group, which is the very thing I have been eager to do. 11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. 12 Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there, Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers. But after these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who were in favor of circumcising them. 13 The other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. 14 When I saw that they were not walking a straight path in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile, not like a Jew. How, then, can you try to force Gentiles to live like Jews?" 15 Indeed, we are Jews by birth and not "Gentile sinners," as they are called. 16 Yet we know that a person is put right with God only through faith in Jesus Christ, never by doing what the Law requires. We, too, have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be put right with God through our faith in Christ, and not by doing what the Law requires. For no one is put right with God by doing what the Law requires. 17 If, then, as we try to be put right with God by our union with Christ, we are found to be sinners, as much as the Gentiles are - does this mean that Christ is serving the cause of sin? By no means! 18 If I start to rebuild the system of Law that I tore down, then I show myself to be someone who breaks the Law. 19 So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead - killed by the Law itself - in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, 20 so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 21 I refuse to reject the grace of God. But if a person is put right with God through the Law, it means that Christ died for nothing!
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