The opening verses of this closing chapter of the Song of Songs begin with a seemingly strange statement by the bride that she wishes that she
and the king had been brother and sister. She simply means by this that she wishes she had been given the privilege of knowing him all of her life, growing together, and even receiving the benefit of instruction from him through the years. In that context, she longs for his embrace, but once again speaks of not stirring up or awakening love until it pleases.
The Shulammite girl is in love with her husband, but she does not regret having kept herself chaste. She thinks once again, more fondly this time, of the protection of her brothers as she grew up. They, who still regard her as a little girl with no breasts, around whom they would build a wall to keep her chaste. – should she instead of being a wall herself become a door.
The Shulammite states that though she grew into a woman with very large breasts, she also had become a wall – keeping chastity as her companion until love awakened at the proper time – in marriage to her beloved. She now invites the king (who had kept his own vineyard) into the vineyard that is that is theirs to share as man and wife.
Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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