Why the Bride is Black but Beautiful

Sermon 25 on The Song of Songs

I mentioned in the previous sermon that the bride was compelled to give an answer to her envious assailants, who seemed to be physically part of the group of maidens, but alienated from them in spirit. She said: "I am black but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem." It would appear that her dark skin is the object of their slanderous taunting. But we cannot help noting her patience and kindness....

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On the Song of Songs: Bernard of Clairvaux