Song of Solomon 6; Song of Solomon 7; Song of Solomon 8; Galatians 4

1 Most beautiful of women, where has your lover gone? Tell us which way your lover went, so that we can help you find him. 2 My lover has gone to his garden, where the balsam trees grow. He is feeding his flock in the garden and gathering lilies. 3 My lover is mine, and I am his; he feeds his flock among the lilies. 4 My love, you are as beautiful as Jerusalem, as lovely as the city of Tirzah, as breathtaking as these great cities. 5 Turn your eyes away from me; they are holding me captive. Your hair dances like a flock of goats bounding down the hills of Gilead. 6 Your teeth are as white as a flock of sheep that have just been washed. Not one of them is missing; they are all perfectly matched. 7 Your cheeks glow behind your veil. 8 Let the king have sixty queens, eighty concubines, young women without number! 9 But I love only one, and she is as lovely as a dove. She is her mother's only daughter, her mother's favorite child. All women look at her and praise her; queens and concubines sing her praises. 10 Who is this whose glance is like the dawn? She is beautiful and bright, as dazzling as the sun or the moon. 11 I have come down among the almond trees to see the young plants in the valley, to see the new leaves on the vines and the blossoms on the pomegranate trees. 12 I am trembling; you have made me as eager for love as a chariot driver is for battle. 13 Dance, dance, girl of Shulam. Let us watch you as you dance. Why do you want to watch me as I dance between the rows of onlookers?
1 What a magnificent young woman you are! How beautiful are your feet in sandals. The curve of your thighs is like the work of an artist. 2 A bowl is there, that never runs out of spiced wine. A sheaf of wheat is there, surrounded by lilies. 3 Your breasts are like twin deer, like two gazelles. 4 Your neck is like a tower of ivory. Your eyes are like the pools in the city of Heshbon, near the gate of that great city. Your nose is as lovely as the tower of Lebanon that stands guard at Damascus. 5 Your head is held high like Mount Carmel. Your braided hair shines like the finest satin; its beauty could hold a king captive. 6 How pretty you are, how beautiful; how complete the delights of your love. 7 You are as graceful as a palm tree, and your breasts are clusters of dates. 8 I will climb the palm tree and pick its fruit. To me your breasts are like bunches of grapes, your breath like the fragrance of apples, 9 and your mouth like the finest wine. Then let the wine flow straight to my lover, flowing over his lips and teeth. 10 I belong to my lover, and he desires me. 11 Come, darling, let's go out to the countryside and spend the night in the villages. 12 We will get up early and look at the vines to see whether they've started to grow, whether the blossoms are opening and the pomegranate trees are in bloom. There I will give you my love. 13 You can smell the scent of mandrakes, and all the pleasant fruits are near our door. Darling, I have kept for you the old delights and the new.
1 I wish that you were my brother, that my mother had nursed you at her breast. Then, if I met you in the street, I could kiss you and no one would mind. 2 I would take you to my mother's house, where you could teach me love. I would give you spiced wine, my pomegranate wine to drink. 3 Your left hand is under my head, and your right hand caresses me. 4 Promise me, women of Jerusalem, that you will not interrupt our love. 5 Who is this coming from the desert, arm in arm with her lover? Under the apple tree I woke you, in the place where you were born. 6 Close your heart to every love but mine; hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself. It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire. 7 Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it. But if any tried to buy love with their wealth, contempt is all they would get. 8 We have a young sister, and her breasts are still small. What will we do for her when a young man comes courting? 9 If she is a wall, we will build her a silver tower. But if she is a gate, we will protect her with panels of cedar. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts are its towers. My lover knows that with him I find contentment and peace. 11 Solomon has a vineyard in a place called Baal Hamon. There are farmers who rent it from him; each one pays a thousand silver coins. 12 Solomon is welcome to his thousand coins, and the farmers to two hundred as their share; I have a vineyard of my own! 13 Let me hear your voice from the garden, my love; my companions are waiting to hear you speak. 14 Come to me, my lover, like a gazelle, like a young stag on the mountains where spices grow.
1 But now to continue - the son who will receive his father's property is treated just like a slave while he is young, even though he really owns everything. 2 While he is young, there are men who take care of him and manage his affairs until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way, we too were slaves of the ruling spirits of the universe before we reached spiritual maturity. 4 But when the right time finally came, God sent his own Son. He came as the son of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law, 5 to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might become God's children. 6 To show that you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, "Father, my Father." 7 So then, you are no longer a slave but a child. And since you are his child, God will give you all that he has for his children. 8 In the past you did not know God, and so you were slaves of beings who are not gods. 9 But now that you know God - or, I should say, now that God knows you - how is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again? 10 You pay special attention to certain days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am worried about you! Can it be that all my work for you has been for nothing? 12 I beg you, my friends, be like me. After all, I am like you. You have not done me any wrong. 13 You remember why I preached the gospel to you the first time; it was because I was sick. 14 But even though my physical condition was a great trial to you, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you received me as you would an angel from heaven; you received me as you would Christ Jesus. 15 You were so happy! What has happened? I myself can say that you would have taken out your own eyes, if you could, and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 Those other people show a deep interest in you, but their intentions are not good. All they want is to separate you from me, so that you will have the same interest in them as they have in you. 18 Now, it is good to have such a deep interest if the purpose is good - this is true always, and not merely when I am with you. 19 My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ's nature is formed in you. 20 How I wish I were with you now, so that I could take a different attitude toward you. I am so worried about you! 21 Let me ask those of you who want to be subject to the Law: do you not hear what the Law says? 22 It says that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the usual way, but his son by the free woman was born as a result of God's promise. 24 These things can be understood as a figure: the two women represent two covenants. The one whose children are born in slavery is Hagar, and she represents the covenant made at Mount Sinai. 25 Hagar, who stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia, is a figure of the present city of Jerusalem, in slavery with all its people. 26 But the heavenly Jerusalem is free, and she is our mother. 27 For the scripture says, "Be happy, you childless woman! Shout and cry with joy, you who never felt the pains of childbirth! For the woman who was deserted will have more children than the woman whose husband never left her." 28 Now, you, my friends, are God's children as a result of his promise, just as Isaac was. 29 At that time the son who was born in the usual way persecuted the one who was born because of God's Spirit; and it is the same now. 30 But what does the scripture say? It says, "Send the slave woman and her son away; for the son of the slave woman will not have a part of the father's property along with the son of the free woman." 31 So then, my friends, we are not the children of a slave woman but of a free woman.
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