Verse 1 – Oh, that you were like my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts! If I should find you outside, I would kiss you; I would not be despised.
In the ancient Near East, it was improper to show public affection except between family members. The girl is wishing that she could freely show affection to her lover, even in public.
Verse 2 – I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, she who used to instruct me. I would cause you to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate.
Verse 3 – (To the daughters of Jerusalem) His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
Verse 4 – I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.
Being cautious in love is important, but when the time is appropriate, don’t let its joy pass you by.
Verse 5 – (The Homecoming) Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I awakened you under the apple tree. There your mother brought you forth; there she bore you and brought you forth.
Verse 6 – Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.
Verse 7 – Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.
In these final words, Shulamite describes love’s significant characteristics. Love is stronger than death; it cannot be killed by time or disaster; and it cannot be bought for any price because it is freely given.
Verse 8 – (The Shulamite’s Brothers) We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for?
Verse 9 – If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
Shulamite is reflecting on the past, when she was younger and under the care of her brothers, who wondered how to prepare her for marriage.
Verse 10 – I am a wall and my breasts like towers; then I became in his eyes as one who found peace.
Verse 11 – Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Harmon; he leased the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring for its fruit a thousand prices of silver.
Verse 12 – My own vineyard is before me. You, O Solomon, may have a thousand and those who keep its fruit two hundred.
Verse 13 – You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice – let me hear it!
Verse 14 – Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.
Devotion and commitment were the keys to their relationship. The faithfulness of our marital love should reflect God’s perfect faithfulness to us.
Paul shows how marriage represents Christ’s relationship to his church (Ephesians 5:22-33), and John pictures the second coming as a great marriage feast for Christ and His bride (Revelation 19:7, 8; 21:1, 2). An all committed marriage, reflects God’s love for us.