Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) Masculinity and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)
Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. (NRSV 2:8-9)
The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. (KJV 2:8-9)
This guy is pretty manly—he's like a young, robust animal leaping around the countryside… and peering through lattice windows?
Groom: A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed. Bride: Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden that its fragrance may be wafted abroad. Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits. (NRSV 4:12, 16)
Groom: A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Bride: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. (KJV 4:12, 16)
Shmoopers, we're not in Eden anymore. The bride plays the role of the coy virgin with the closed lady garden. Though within a few verses, she's thrown open the gates and let the groom come inside. Yup. That means just what you think it does.
My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven. (NRSV 5:10-11)
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. (KJV 5:10-11)
These pretty basic descriptions construct an image of country masculinity that fits perfectly with the pastoral setting of the poems.