She’s been awakened to her lover at the door; she comes to the door only to find he has left myrrh as a token of his love for her. She now opens the door to find him gone. She resumes her yearning search for him.
6 I opened to my beloved,
but my beloved had turned and was gone.
My soul failed me when he spoke.
I sought him, but did not find him;
I called him, but he gave no answer.
Now she encounters the sentinels — some say they mistake her for a prostitute while others say the imagery is her own language for what happens inside of a person who missed her chance to be with her lover … I’m with Exum in saying this: there is no explanation for this part of the story.
7 Making their rounds in the city
the sentinels found me;
they beat me, they wounded me,
they took away my mantle,
those sentinels of the walls.
Now she pleads with the women of Jerusalem to help her find her lover.
8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
if you find my beloved,
tell him this:
I am faint with love.