Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background
First Reading: Song of Songs Chapter 1 and 2 and 3
Song of Solomon 1
1:1 Solomon's Love for a Shulamite Girl
The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth For your love is better than wine. 3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,Your name is ointment poured forth;Therefore the virgins love you. 4 Draw me away!
We will run after you.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will be glad and rejoice in you.
We will remember your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.
5 I am dark, but lovely,O daughters of Jerusalem,Like the tents of Kedar,Like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not look upon me, because I am dark,Because the sun has tanned me.My mother's sons were angry with me;They made me the keeper of the vineyards,But my own vineyard I have not kept.
7 Tell me, O you whom I love,Where you feed your flock,Where you make it rest at noon.For why should I be as one who veils herself By the flocks of your companions?
8 If you do not know, O fairest among women,Follow in the footsteps of the flock,And feed your little goats Beside the shepherds' tents. 9 I have compared you, my love,To my filly among Pharaoh's chariots. 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,Your neck with chains of gold.
11 We will make you ornaments of gold With studs of silver.
12 While the king is at his table,My spikenard sends forth its fragrance. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,That lies all night between my breasts. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna bloomsIn the vineyards of En Gedi.
15 Behold, you are fair, my love!Behold, you are fair!You have dove's eyes.
16 Behold, you are handsome, my beloved!Yes, pleasant!Also our bed is green. 17 The beams of our houses are cedar,And our rafters of fir.
Song of Solomon 2
2:1 A Country Girl in a Palace
I am the rose of Sharon,And the lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among thorns,So is my love among the daughters.
3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods,So is my beloved among the sons.I sat down in his shade with great delight,And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house,And his banner over me was love. 5 Sustain me with cakes of raisins,Refresh me with apples,For I am lovesick.
6 His left hand is under my head,And his right hand embraces me. 7 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,By the gazelles or by the does of the field,Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.
The Beloved's Request
8 The voice of my beloved!Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains,Skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.Behold, he stands behind our wall;He is looking through the windows,Gazing through the lattice.
10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:"Rise up, my love, my fair one,And come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past,The rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth;The time of singing has come,And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell.Rise up, my love, my fair one,And come away!
14 "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,In the secret places of the cliff,Let me see your face,Let me hear your voice;For your voice is sweet,And your face is lovely."
15 Catch us the foxes,The little foxes that spoil the vines,For our vines have tender grapes.
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his.He feeds his flock among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks And the shadows flee away,Turn, my beloved,And be like a gazelle Or a young stag Upon the mountains of Bether.
Song of Solomon 3
3:1 A Troubled Night
By night on my bed I sought the one I love;I sought him, but I did not find him. 2 "I will rise now," I said,"And go about the city;In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love."I sought him, but I did not find him. 3 The watchmen who go about the city found me;I said,"Have you seen the one I love?"
4 Scarcely had I passed by them,When I found the one I love.I held him and would not let him go,Until I had brought him to the house of my mother,And into the chamber of her who conceived me.
5 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,By the gazelles or by the does of the field,Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.
The Coming of Solomon
6 Who is this coming out of the wilderness Like pillars of smoke,Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,With all the merchant's fragrant powders? 7 Behold, it is Solomon's couch,With sixty valiant men around it,Of the valiant of Israel. 8 They all hold swords,Being expert in war.Every man has his sword on his thigh Because of fear in the night.
9 Of the wood of LebanonSolomon the King Made himself a palanquin: 10 He made its pillars of silver,Its support of gold,Its seat of purple,Its interior paved with love By the daughters of Jerusalem. 11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion,And see King Solomon with the crown With which his mother crowned him On the day of his wedding,The day of the gladness of his heart.
4:1 Sons and Heirs Through Christ
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from
a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until
the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were
in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time
had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to
redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8 Fears for the Church
But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature
are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God,
how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you
desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and
years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.
21 Two Covenants
(Gen 21:8-21; Isa 54:1)
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:
"Rejoice, O barren,You who do not bear!Break forth and shout,You who are not in labor!For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband."
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
SONG OF SOLOMON
The Song of Solomon was believed to be written by King Solomon about 900 B.C. Its content includes speeches in Hebrew poetry. It depicts the beauty and pure love between a man and a woman which develops into a mature undying relationship. More in-depth symbolism shows the relationship between Christ and his bride, the body of believers, which will be consummated at his return. The basic message is the purity and sacredness of love.
Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background