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Do not stare at me because I am darkish,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother’s sons burned in anger about me.
They made me a keeper of the vineyards.
But my vineyard—the one that was mine—I have not kept. Bible

“darkish.” This is the same word as in Song 1:5, but in the diminutive form, so we translated it “darkish” instead of “dark.” It seems like in 1:5 she speaks about being “dark” in contrast to what she might have been if she had not been in the sun, but now, speaking of being in the sun, she refers to herself as “darkish” instead of “dark.”

“looked upon me.” An idiom meaning burned or scorched me.

“My mother’s sons.” The Shulamite’s speech reveals that she feels distant from her brothers, whom she calls her “mother’s sons.”

“burned in anger.” The Shulamite’s brothers burned in anger (the Hebrew can mean “scorched”) at her behavior so they made her work in the sun which burned her skin.

“I have not kept.” The Shulamite has a problem that is common to humanity; we often do not take care of ourselves the way we know we should. In this case, exactly what she means is debated. Some scholars say she had given away—and not “kept”—her virginity and so her brothers were angry at her. However, it is more likely that she was simply more interested in a man than her brothers were comfortable with or there was another reason for their actions. In any case, she was not careful about herself and did not do what she needed to do.


Commentary for: Song of Songs 1:6