Song of Solomon 1:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?

New Living Translation
Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today? Where will you rest your sheep at noon? For why should I wander like a prostitute among your friends and their flocks?

English Standard Version
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?

New American Standard Bible
"Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?"

King James Bible
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Tell me, you, the one I love: Where do you pasture your sheep? Where do you let them rest at noon? Why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions? M

International Standard Version
Tell me, you whom I love, where do you graze your flock? Where do you make your flock lie down at noon? Why should I be considered a veiled woman beside the flocks of your companions?

NET Bible
Tell me, O you whom my heart loves, where do you pasture your sheep? Where do you rest your sheep during the midday heat? Tell me lest I wander around beside the flocks of your companions!

New Heart English Bible
Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Please tell me, you whom I love, where do you graze your flock? Where does your flock lie down at noon? [Tell me,] or I will be considered a prostitute [wandering] among the flocks of your companions.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; For why should I be as one that veileth herself Beside the flocks of thy companions?

New American Standard 1977
“Tell me, O you whom my soul loves,
            Where do you pasture your flock,
            Where do you make it lie down at noon?
            For why should I be like one who veils herself
            Beside the flocks of your companions?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loves, where thou dost feed, where thou dost make thy flock to rest at noon; for why did I have to be as a wanderer after the flocks of thy companions?

King James 2000 Bible
Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turns aside by the flocks of your companions?

American King James Version
Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turns aside by the flocks of your companions?

American Standard Version
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest thy flock , Where thou makest it to rest at noon: For why should I be as one that is veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions.

Darby Bible Translation
Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest [thy flock], Where thou makest it to rest at noon; For why should I be as one veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions?

English Revised Version
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest thy flock, where thou makest it to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that is veiled beside the flocks of thy companions?

Webster's Bible Translation
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

World English Bible
Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions? Lover

Young's Literal Translation
Declare to me, thou whom my soul hath loved, Where thou delightest, Where thou liest down at noon, For why am I as one veiled, By the ranks of thy companions?
Study Bible
The Bride
6"Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard. 7"Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?" 8"If you yourself do not know, Most beautiful among women, Go forth on the trail of the flock And pasture your young goats By the tents of the shepherds.…
Cross References
Song of Solomon 2:16
"My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 3:1
"On my bed night after night I sought him Whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him.

Song of Solomon 6:2
"My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies.

Song of Solomon 6:3
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies."

Song of Solomon 8:13
"O you who sit in the gardens, My companions are listening for your voice-- Let me hear it!"

Isaiah 13:20
It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.

Jeremiah 33:12
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'There will again be in this place which is waste, without man or beast, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks.
Treasury of Scripture

Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turns aside by the flocks of your companions?

o thou

Songs 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among …

Songs 3:1-4 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, …

Songs 5:8,10,16 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that …

Psalm 18:1 I will love you, O LORD, my strength.

Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching …

Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired you in the night; yes, with my spirit …

Matthew 10:37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: …

John 21:17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? …

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, …

1 Peter 2:7 To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which …

thou feedest

Genesis 37:16 And he said, I seek my brothers: tell me, I pray you, where they …

Psalm 23:1,2 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want…

Psalm 80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that lead Joseph like a flock; …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty …

John 10:11,28,29 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep…

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, …

for

1 Samuel 12:20,21 And Samuel said to the people, Fear not: you have done all this wickedness: …

Psalm 28:1 To you will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if …

John 6:67-69 Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away…

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been …

turneth aside

Colossians 3:14-18 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection…

(7) Where thou feedest . . . thy flock . . . For why should I be . . .?--The marginal reading, that is veiled, follows the LXX. in rendering the Hebrew literally. But it has been found somewhat difficult to assign a meaning to a literal translation. The suggestions=unknown (Ewald), veiled as a harlot (Delitzsch, &c; comp. Genesis 38:15), fainting (Gesenius), seem all wide of the mark, since the question only refers to the danger of missing her beloved through ignorance of his whereabouts. A transposition of two letters would give a word with a sense required = erring, wandering about, a sense, indeed, which old Rabbinical commentators gave to this word itself in Isaiah 22:16 (Authorised Version, cover); and probably the idea involved is the obvious one that a person with the head muffled up would not find her way easily, as we might say, "Why should I go about blindfold?"

The Rabbinical interpretation of this verse is a good instance of the fanciful treatment the book has received: "When the time came for Moses to depart, he said to the Lord, 'It is revealed to me that this people will sin and go into captivity; show me how they shall be governed and dwell among the nations whose decrees are oppressive as the heat; and wherefore is it they shall wander among the flocks of Esau and Ishmael, who make them idols equal to thee as thy companions?'"

Verse 7. - Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest thy flock, where thou makest it to rest at noon: for why should I he as one that is veiled beside the flock of thy companions? These words carry on the associations suggested by the previous verse. The bride is longing for the bridegroom; but she cannot think of him yet in any other light than as a companion of her simple country life - he is a shepherd, and she a shepherdess. "Take me into closer fellowship with thyself; let me not remain still only one amongst the many." Perhaps there is intended to be an allusion to the common metaphor - the king as the shepherd and the people as his flock; but the uppermost thought of the bride is separation unto her husband. The soul which longs for the enjoyment of fellowship with God desires to be carried away out of all distractions, out of all restraints, lifted above reserve and above doubt into the closest and most loving union. The idea of the veil may be either the veil of mourning or the veil of modesty and reserve. Probably the latter is the true reference. The LXX. has, ὡς περιβαλλομένη. There is some difference of opinion among critics. Ewald thinks it refers to strangeness - "like one unknown," and therefore veiled; Gesenius says, "one fainting;" others connect the word with the root "to roam," "to wander" (see Isaiah 22:17), which is confirmed by Symmachus, the Vulgate, the Syriac, the Chaldee, Jerome, Venetian, and Luther. The simplest explanation is that the bride compares herself, in her absence from her lord, among the ladies of the court, to a veiled woman travelling beside the flocks of the shepherds, seeking her friend, but not yet brought to him. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth,.... With all her heart, cordially and sincerely; for, notwithstanding her sinful compliance with others, and neglect of her own affairs, she had not lost her love to Christ; and, being sensible of her sin and folly, whereby she was deprived of his company, and communion with him, applies to him to guide, direct, and restore her wandering soul; and particularly inform her

where, says she,

thou feedest; that is his flock, like a shepherd: for this phrase supposes him to be a shepherd, as he is, of God's choosing, appointing, and setting up, the chief, the good, the great, and only Shepherd of the sheep; and that he has a flock to feed, which is but one, and a little one, is his property, given him by God, purchased by his blood, called a flock of slaughter, and yet a beautiful one, he has undertook to feed; and feeding it includes the whole business of a shepherd, in leading the sheep into pastures, protecting them from all enemies, restoring them when wandering, healing their diseases, watching over them in the night seasons, and making all necessary provisions for them. Or, "tell me how thou feedest" (f); the manner of it, and with what; which he does by his ministers, word, and ordinances; with himself, the bread of life; with the doctrines and promises of the Gospel, and with the discoveries of his love;

where thou makest thy flocks to rest at noon, either at the noon of temptation, when Satan's fiery darts fly thick and fast; when Christ is a shadow and shelter in his person, grace, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, Isaiah 25:4; or the noon of affliction, when he makes their bed in it, and gives them rest from adversity; or the noon of persecution, when Christ leads his flocks to cooling shades, and gives them rest in himself, when troubled by others: the allusion, is to shepherds, in hot countries, leading their flocks to some shady place, where they may be sheltered from the scorching heat of the sun; which, as Virgil says (g), was at the fourth hour, or ten o'clock, two hours before noon; we read of (h), sheep nooning themselves, or lying down at noon, under a shade, by a fountain, asleep;

for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? not real associates with Christ, that keep company with him, and are attached to his word and ordinances; but false friends, hypocrites and heretics (i), rivals with him, who set up schemes of worship and doctrine in opposition to his; such as Papists, Socinians, &c. now such false teachers have had their flocks in all ages, such as have followed them, and have formed separate societies; and therefore the church, sensible of their craftiness, and her own weakness, and liableness to go astray, desires she might not be under, and left to such a temptation, as to apostatize from Christ, and join to such persons and their flocks, or seem to do so: or, "be as one that covereth herself", or "is covered" (k); as a harlot; so Tamar, Genesis 38:14; or as a widow in mourning; she chose not to be, or to be thought to be, either as one that left her husband, an unchaste woman; or had lost her husband, or as if she had none, when neither was the case: or, "as one that spreads the tent" (l); by the flocks of such; as if in communion with them, and joining with them in feeding their flocks; and therefore desires she might speedily know where Christ was, and go to him, that such an aspersion or suspicion might at once be wiped from her.

(f) "quomodo pascas?" Tigurine version; so the Syriac version and Jarchi; see Ainsworth. (g) "Inde, ubi quarta sitim coeli collegetit hora", Virgil. Georgic. l. 3. v. 327. (h) Platonis Phaedrus, p. 1230. (i) So Stockius, p. 302. (k) "quasi operiens se", Piscator; "ut obnubens", Cocceius; "sicut obvelans se", Marckius; "velut operta", Michaelis. (l) So Junius & Tremellius. 7. my soul loveth—more intense than "the virgins" and "the upright love thee" (So 1:3, 4; Mt 22:37). To carry out the design of the allegory, the royal encampment is here represented as moving from place to place, in search of green pastures, under the Shepherd King (Ps 23:1-6). The bride, having first enjoyed communion with him in the pavilion, is willing to follow Him into labors and dangers; arising from all absorbing love (Lu 14:26); this distinguishes her from the formalist (Joh 10:27; Re 14:4).

feedest—tendest thy flock (Isa 40:11; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:4; Re 7:17). No single type expresses all the office of Jesus Christ; hence arises the variety of diverse images used to portray the manifold aspects of Him: these would be quite incongruous, if the Song referred to the earthly Solomon. Her intercourse with Him is peculiar. She hears His voice, and addresses none but Himself. Yet it is through a veil; she sees Him not (Job 23:8, 9). If we would be fed, we must follow the Shepherd through the whole breadth of His Word, and not stay on one spot alone.

makest … to rest—distinct from "feedest"; periods of rest are vouchsafed after labor (Isa 4:6; 49:10; Eze 34:13-15). Communion in private must go along with public following of Him.

turneth aside—rather one veiled, that is, as a harlot, not His true bride (Ge 38:15), [Gesenius]; or as a mourner (2Sa 15:30), [Weiss]; or as one unknown [Maurer]. All imply estrangement from the Bridegroom. She feels estranged even among Christ's true servants, answering to "thy companions" (Lu 22:28), so long as she has not Himself present. The opposite spirit to 1Co 3:4.1:7,8 Observe the title given to Christ, O Thou whom my soul loveth. Those that do so, may come to him boldly, and may humbly plead with him. Is it with God's people a noon-time of outward troubles, inward conflicts? Christ has rest for them. Those whose souls love Jesus Christ, earnestly desire to share in the privileges of his flock. Turning aside from Christ is what gracious souls dread more than anything else. God is ready to answer prayer. Follow the track, ask for the good old way, observe the footsteps of the flock, look what has been the practice of godly people. Sit under the direction of good ministers; beside the tents of the under shepherds. Bring thy charge with thee, they shall all be welcome. It will be the earnest desire and prayer of the Christian, that God would so direct him in his worldly business, and so order his situation and employment, that he may have his Lord and Saviour always before him.
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