1. Song of Solomon 8:13 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why is the young woman dwelling in gardens with companions listening to her voice?

Song of Solomon 8:13 (ESV)

13 O you who dwell in the gardens, with companions listening for your voice; let me hear it.

Song of Solomon 8:13–14 is the epilogue not just to this section (Song of Solomon 8:5–14) but to the whole Song.

The Hebrew makes clear that it is the woman who dwells in the garden. As throughout the Song, the garden is the place of love. So, to dwell there permanently is to be surrounded by love, to be settled in love.

The reference to companions recalls Song of Solomon 1:7 where the same word described the man’s fellow shepherds. Here they represent the wider society with which the couple have had such an ambivalent relationship throughout the Song. But at the end they are an affirming presence, a group listening attentively to her voice, so that they too may understand the lessons of love that she has learned. As the readers, we are invited to listen and learn as well.1