Song of Solomon 4: Is it about Mary?


#1

1 LOVER: How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves, behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats surging down Mount Gilead.

2 Your teeth, a flock of sheep to be shorn when they come up from the washing. Each one has its twin, not one unpaired with another.

3 Your lips are a scarlet thread and your words enchanting. Your cheeks, behind your veil, are halves of pomegranate.

4 Your neck is the Tower of David built on layers, hung round with a thousand bucklers, and each the shield of a hero.

5 Your two breasts are two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies.

6 Before the day-breeze rises, before the shadows flee, I shall go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.

7 You are wholly beautiful, my beloved, and without a blemish.

8 Come from Lebanon, my promised bride, come from Lebanon, come on your way. Look down from the heights of Amanus, from the crests of Senir and Hermon, the haunt of lions, the mountains of leopards.

9 You ravish my heart, my sister, my promised bride, you ravish my heart with a single one of your glances, with a single link of your necklace.

10 What spells lie in your love, my sister, my promised bride! How delicious is your love, more delicious than wine! How fragrant your perfumes, more fragrant than all spices!

11 Your lips, my promised bride, distil wild honey. Honey and milk are under your tongue; and the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.

12 She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride; a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain.

13 Your shoots form an orchard of pomegranate trees, bearing most exquisite fruit:

14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the incense-bearing trees; myrrh and aloes, with the subtlest odours.

15 Fountain of the garden, well of living water, streams flowing down from Lebanon!

16 BELOVED: Awake, north wind, come, wind of the south! Breathe over my garden, to spread its sweet smell around. Let my love come into his garden, let him taste its most exquisite fruits.


#2

The Song of Solomon can be understood on many levels, as concerning two human lovers, especially Solomon and one of his wives, in which case the garden mentioned is an ordinary garden or God and the Jewish People in which case the garden is the Promised Land, or God and the Christian Church in which case the garden is Heaven, or God and the Christian soul in which case the garden is perhaps the prayerful state of contemplation. Since the Blessed Virgin Mary is the exemplar of the Jewish People, of the Christian Church, and of Christian souls, it is especially applicable to her in all but the first, most literal sense.


#3

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