Song of Solomon 5:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.

New Living Translation
His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk.

English Standard Version
His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool.

New American Standard Bible
"His eyes are like doves Beside streams of water, Bathed in milk, And reposed in their setting.

King James Bible
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, washed in milk and set like jewels.

International Standard Version
His eyes are like doves by streams of water, bathed in milk, mounted like jewels.

NET Bible
His eyes are like doves by streams of water, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.

New Heart English Bible
His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks, washed with milk, mounted like jewels.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
His eyes are set like doves bathing in milk.

JPS Tanakh 1917
His eyes are like doves Beside the water-brooks; Washed with milk, And fitly set.

New American Standard 1977
“His eyes are like doves,
            Beside streams of water,
            Bathed in milk,
            And reposed in their setting.

Jubilee Bible 2000
His eyes are as doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, as doves that are next to abundance.

King James 2000 Bible
His eyes are like doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

American King James Version
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

American Standard Version
His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks, Washed with milk, and fitly set.

Douay-Rheims Bible
His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams.

Darby Bible Translation
His eyes are like doves by the water-brooks, Washed with milk, fitly set;

English Revised Version
His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks; washed with milk, and fitly set.

Webster's Bible Translation
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

World English Bible
His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks, washed with milk, mounted like jewels.

Young's Literal Translation
His eyes as doves by streams of water, Washing in milk, sitting in fulness.
Study Bible
Admiration by the Bride
11"His head is like gold, pure gold; His locks are like clusters of dates And black as a raven. 12"His eyes are like doves Beside streams of water, Bathed in milk, And reposed in their setting. 13"His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, Banks of sweet-scented herbs; His lips are lilies Dripping with liquid myrrh.…
Cross References
Exodus 25:7
onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

Song of Solomon 1:15
"How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves."

Song of Solomon 4:1
"How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Mount Gilead.
Treasury of Scripture

His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

his eyes

Songs 1:15 Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves' eyes.

Songs 4:1 Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves' …

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight…

fitly set

(12) Fitly set.--Literally, sitting in fulness, which the Margin explains, according to one received method of interpretation, as beautifully set, like a precious stone in the foil of a ring. If the comparison were to the eyes of the dove, this would be a sufficient interpretation, the image being perfect, owing to the ring of bright red skin round the eye of the turtle-dove. But there is no necessity to have recourse to the figure comparatio compendiana here, since doves delight in bathing; and though there is a certain delicious haze of indistinctness in the image, the soft iridescence of the bird floating and glancing on the face of the stream might not too extravagantly suggest the quick loving glances of the eye. Keats has a somewhat similar figure:--

"To see such lovely eyes in swimming search

After some warm delight, that seems to perch

Dove-like in the dim cell lying beyond

Their upper lids;"

and Dr. Ginsburg aptly quotes from the Gitagovinda: "The glances of her eyes played like a pair of water-birds of azure plumage, that sport near a full-grown lotus in a pool in the season of dew." The words washed in milk refer to the white of the eye, which swells round the pupil like the fulness of water, i.e., the swelling wave round the dove. The parallelism is like that of Song of Solomon 1:5.

His eyes are as the eyes of doves,.... the church's eyes are said to be, Sol 1:15; which are her ministers, endowed with dove like gifts in measure, as Christ is without measure, in fulness; but these are Christ's eyes, which may signify his omniscience, who has seven eyes, Zechariah 3:9; especially as that has respect unto and is concerned with his people in a way of grace and mercy, and so must look very beautiful in their view: his eyes are like "doves' eyes"; not fierce and furious, but loving and lovely; looking upon his people, under all their trials and afflictions, with sympathy and concern, to deliver them out of them: and like the eyes of doves

by rivers of waters: Sanctius thinks the allusion is to the humours in which the eye is enclosed, and, as it were, swims in; hence the eyes are called "natantia lumina", by Virgil (h); but it denotes eyes like those of doves, quick and lively, as clean as milk white doves, as if they had been "washed in milk"; clear and perspicuous, sharp sighted, and behold all persons and things, in all places, and at once; and as doves look only to their mates, so Christ's eyes of love are only on his church; he looks to none but her with his eye of special and peculiar love. Moreover, his eyes are like the eyes of doves "by the rivers of waters"; which denotes the fixedness and constancy of them: doves, by the river side, keep their eyes fixed on the purling streams, and in drinking, as Pliny (i) observes, do not erect their necks, and lift up their heads, but, keeping their eyes upon the water, drink a large draught, in the manner the beasts do; and they delight in clean water, of which they drink, and with which they wash (k): Christ, being greatly delighted with his people, has fixed his eyes on them, and he never withdraws them from them; for these waters may point at the object of Christ's love, even Gospel churches, consisting of such as are justified and sanctified by his grace, compared to "clean water"; among whom the doctrines of the Gospel are powerfully preached, the ordinances purely administered, the waters of the sanctuary flow, by which souls are delighted and refreshed; and to these Christ looks, Isaiah 66:2; and his eyes being like doves' eyes,

washed with milk, may denote the purity of them, being purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and the meekness and mildness of them, not red and wrathful, but full of mercy, pity, and compassion, as if they had been washed with milk. And they are said to be,

fitly set; or "sitting in fulness" (l); such as exactly fill up their holes; are set neither too, high nor too low; neither sunk in too much, nor stand out too far; but are like precious stones, in an enclosure of gold or silver, to which the allusion is; as diamonds set in a ring; or as the precious stones in the high priest's breast plate, which exactly filled the cavities made for them, and hence are called "stones of fulness", Exodus 25:7; or, "set by fulness" (m); that is, by full channels of water, where doves delight to be; and may denote the fulness of grace, and the flows of it, by which Christ sits and dwells, and leads his people to, Revelation 7:17; or, "setting upon fulness" (n); on the world, and the fulness of it, which is his, and he gives as much of it to his people as he think fit; and on the vast numbers of persons and things in it, and the vast variety of actions done therein; which shows the extensiveness of his omniscience: and on the "fulness" of time, fixed by him and his Father, for his coming into the world, to do the great work of redemption in it; and which, before it came, he was looking, waiting, and watching, and as it were longing till it came: and on his "fulness", the church, which is the fulness of him that filleth all in all, until he has gathered them all in, and filled them with all the gifts and graces of the Spirit, designed for them: and on the "fulness" of the Gentiles, until they are all brought in: and on his own "fulness"; both personal, "the fulness of the Godhead", which he had his eyes upon, when he undertook the work of redemption, and which supported him in it, and carried him through it; and upon his dispensatory "fulness", or fulness of grace, as Mediator, to supply the wants of his people, under all their straits and difficulties, temptations and afflictions: all which must make him exceeding lovely in the eyes of his people.

(h) Aeneid. l. 5. So Ovid. Fast. l. 6. "animique oculique natabant". (i) Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 34. (k) Varro de Rustic. c. 3. s. 7. (l) "siti insitione", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (m) "Ad plenitudinem", Tigurine version, Bochart; "juxta plenitudinem", Vatablus; so some in Brightman; "juxta fluenta plenissima" V. L. Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions. (n) "Super plenitudinem", Montanus, Mercerus. 12. as the eyes of doves—rather, "as doves" (Ps 68:13); bathing in "the rivers"; so combining in their "silver" feathers the whiteness of milk with the sparkling brightness of the water trickling over them (Mt 3:16). The "milk" may allude to the white around the pupil of the eye. The "waters" refer to the eye as the fountain of tears of sympathy (Eze 16:5, 6; Lu 19:41). Vivacity, purity, and love, are the three features typified.

fitly set—as a gem in a ring; as the precious stones in the high priest's breastplate. Rather, translate as Vulgate (the doves), sitting at the fulness of the stream; by the full stream; or, as Maurer (the eyes) set in fulness, not sunk in their sockets (Re 5:6), ("seven," expressing full perfection), (Zec 3:9; 4:10).5:9-16 Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ, cannot but see amiable beauty in others who bear his image. There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ and his perfections. Christians, who are well acquainted with Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know something of him. Divine glory makes him truly lovely in the eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He is white in the spotless innocence of his life, ruddy in the bleeding sufferings he went through at his death. This description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of person and of grace of manners; but the aptness of some of the allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his love constrain us to live to his glory.
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