Day 264

Daily Bible Reading

(ESV: Through The Bible)

Song of Solomon 1-3 (Listen)

1:1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She [1]

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
  your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
  therefore virgins love you.
Draw me after you; let us run.
  The king has brought me into his chambers.


We will exult and rejoice in you;
  we will extol your love more than wine;
  rightly do they love you.


I am very dark, but lovely,
  O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
  like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
  because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
  they made me keeper of the vineyards,
  but my own vineyard I have not kept!
Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
  where you pasture your flock,
  where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
  beside the flocks of your companions?

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other


If you do not know,
  O most beautiful among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
  and pasture your young goats
  beside the shepherds' tents.

I compare you, my love,
  to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
  your neck with strings of jewels.


We will make for you [2] ornaments of gold,
  studded with silver.


While the king was on his couch,
  my nard gave forth its fragrance.
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
  that lies between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
  in the vineyards of Engedi.


Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
  behold, you are beautiful;
  your eyes are doves.


Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
Our couch is green;
  the beams of our house are cedar;
  our rafters are pine.

2:1 I am a rose [3] of Sharon,
  a lily of the valleys.


As a lily among brambles,
  so is my love among the young women.


As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
  so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
  and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house, [4]
  and his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with raisins;
  refresh me with apples,
  for I am sick with love.
His left hand is under my head,
  and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, [5] O daughters of Jerusalem,
  by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
  until it pleases.

The Bride Adores Her Beloved

The voice of my beloved!
  Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
  bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
  or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
  behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
  looking through the lattice.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
  and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
  the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
  the time of singing [6] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
  is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
  and the vines are in blossom;
  they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
  and come away.
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
  in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
  let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
  and your face is lovely.
Catch the foxes [7] for us,
  the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
  for our vineyards are in blossom.”

My beloved is mine, and I am his;
  he grazes [8] among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
  and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
  or a young stag on cleft mountains. [9]

The Bride's Dream

3:1 On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
  I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
  in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
  I sought him, but found him not.
The watchmen found me
  as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them
  when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
  until I had brought him into my mother's house,
  and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
  by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
  until it pleases.

Solomon Arrives for the Wedding

What is that coming up from the wilderness
  like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
  with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
Behold, it is the litter [10] of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
  some of the mighty men of Israel,
all of them wearing swords
  and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
  against terror by night.
King Solomon made himself a carriage [11]
  from the wood of Lebanon.
He made its posts of silver,
  its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
  by the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go out, O daughters of Zion,
  and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
  on the day of his wedding,
  on the day of the gladness of his heart.

2 Corinthians 12 (Listen)

Paul's Visions and His Thorn

12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, [12] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthian Church

I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.


[1] 1:2 The translators have added speaker identifications based on the gender and number of the Hebrew words
[2] 1:11 The Hebrew for you is feminine singular
[3] 2:1 Probably a bulb, such as a crocus, asphodel, or narcissus
[4] 2:4 Hebrew the house of wine
[5] 2:7 That is, I put you on oath; so throughout the Song
[6] 2:12 Or pruning
[7] 2:15 Or jackals
[8] 2:16 Or he pastures his flock
[9] 2:17 Or mountains of Bether
[10] 3:7 That is, the couch on which servants carry a king
[11] 3:9 Or sedan chair
[12] 12:7 Or hears from me, even because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. So to keep me from becoming conceited




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