| Quote #4
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed. (NRSV 4:12)
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. (KJV 4:12)
We're just going to come out and say it: the bride is a virgin. Not a huge deal, especially in the ancient world, but just another reminder that this girl is young.
| Quote #5
I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, (NRSV 7:8)
I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples (KJV 7:8)
The tons o' fertility images we find in Song of Songs relate directly to the bride's age. Ancient marriages were business transactions, and part of the deal included bearing children. That means you've got to be young enough to do it.
| Quote #6
We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister, on the day when she is spoken for? (NRSV 8:8)
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? (KJV 8:8)
The brothers of the bride still see her as a little girl, but little do they know…