The following lines are a puzzle for interpreters. Who is saying these words?
6:11 I went down to the nut orchard,
to look at the blossoms of the valley,
to see whether the vines had budded,
whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12 Before I was aware, my fancy set me
in a chariot beside my prince.
Does the woman say “I went down to the nut garden” or is it the man or is the chorus, the maidens/women of Jerusalem? Since 6:12 implies male companionship, it seems advisable to see these words as the woman interrupting her lover’s words of praise to her. Has she descended to the Kidron Valley? Or is this a description of her man’s body? As he delighted in his “garden,” is she now delighting in her “orchard”?
Now the maidens call her back so they can see just how beautiful she really is:
13 Return, return, O Shulammite!
Return, return, that we may look upon you.
Now the shepherd lover speaks again. He asks why they are entitled to separate him from his love so they can look upon her.
Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
as upon a dance before two armies?