The Bible begins with the garden planted by God in Eden (cf. Gen 2:8). It ends with the evocation of a garden-city, the heavenly Jerusalem: “In the middle of the city square and on either side of the river, there is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:2).
Even at its center, the Bible houses a garden, that of the Song of Songs. The “center” in question, it should be specified, is that of the sequence of books in the Catholic tradition, taken from the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. At the center of this “book of books,” in the booklet that Rabbi Akiva described as the “Holy of Holies” of the Scriptures, there is a garden with flowing waters and flowering trees.
The phenomenon just described is repeated with regard to the human couple.
The Bible recounts in its opening pages the appearance of the human couple (cf. Gen 2-3), and in its last lines we hear the invitation of the bride to the groom, of the Church to Christ who comes in glory: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” (Rev 22:17).
The Bible also rings out the entwined voices of the lover and the beloved in the center of its corpus, in the sanctuary that is the Song of Songs: “Ah, you are beautiful, my love!”; “Ah, you are beautiful, my beloved!” (Song 1:15-16).