Song of Solomon 4:5
Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
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4:1-7 If each of these comparisons has a meaning applicable to the graces of the church, or of the faithful Christian, they are not clearly known; and great mistakes are made by fanciful guesses. The mountain of myrrh appears to mean the mountain Moriah, on which the temple was built, where the incense was burned, and the people worshipped the Lord. This was his residence till the shadows of the law given to Moses were dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. And though, in respect of his human nature, Christ is absent from his church on earth, and will continue to be so till the heavenly day break, yet he is spiritually present in his ordinances, and with his people. How fair and comely are believers, when justified in Christ's righteousness, and adorned with spiritual graces! when their thoughts, words, and deeds, though imperfect, are pure, manifesting a heart nourished by the gospel!The "tower of David" may be that mentioned in Nehemiah 3:25-27; Micah 4:8. For the custom of hanging shields and other weapons in and upon buildings suited for the purpose, see Ezekiel 27:10-11. 5. breasts—The bust is left open in Eastern dress. The breastplate of the high priest was made of "two" pieces, folded one on the other, in which were the Urim and Thummim (lights and perfection). "Faith and love" are the double breastplate (1Th 5:8), answering to "hearing the word" and "keeping it," in a similar connection with breasts (Lu 12:27, 28).

roes—He reciprocates her praise (So 2:9). Emblem of love and satisfaction (Pr 5:19).

feed—(Ps 23:2).

among the lilies—shrinking from thorns of strife, worldliness, and ungodliness (2Sa 23:6; Mt 13:7). Roes feed among, not on the lilies: where these grow, there is moisture producing green pasturage. The lilies represent her white dress (Ps 45:14; Re 19:8).

Thy two breasts; another part in which beauty consists, Ezekiel 16:7. By which some understand the two testaments, or the two sacraments; but these are rather Christ’s than the church’s breasts. Others, the church’s fervent love to Christ, and to all the saints, for the breasts signify love, Proverbs 5:9 Song of Solomon 1:13. Others, her fruitfulness, both in good works, and in bringing up children unto Christ, like a nurse with her breasts. But the following similitude seemeth not to respect the use of the breasts, or the love which is signified or manifested by them, but their comeliness. And therefore this is generally to be understood of the church’s beauty in all parts, as hath been said.

Among the lilies, i.e. in the fields where lilies grew, as is evident, both from Matthew 6:28, where they are called the lilies of the field, and from other scriptures, and from the testimony of other writers. The lilies being white and swelling, and the roes of a reddish colour, and their bodies being hid from sight by the lilies, their heads only appearing above them, bear some resemblance to the red nipples appearing in the top of the lily white breasts. But we must remember that this book is a sacred pastoral, and the Bridegroom is represented as a shepherd, and the bride as a country maid; and therefore such similitudes are used as are agreeable to persons of that quality, and such are usual in profane writers of this kind, as the learned have observed. They are compared to

roes for their loveliness, of which see Proverbs 5:19; to young ones for their smallness, which in breasts is a beauty; to twins for their exact likeness. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins,.... Or, "two fawns, the twins of a doe": Providence, as Plutarch observes (p), has given to women two breasts, that, should they have twins, both might have a fountain of nourishment; and are fitly compared to twins of the doe. The hind, for the most part, brings but one roe at a time; but there are some, the philosopher says (q), bring twins; by which the beauty of the breasts is expressed: "young roes" may point at the smallness of them, large breasts are not accounted handsome; and "twins", at their equal size and shape, not one larger nor higher than the other, that would be a deformity; twins are generally alike;

which feed among the lilies; and are fat and plump: the allusion may be to the putting of lilies in the bosom, between the breasts, as other flowers; lilies are reckoned among the decorations of women, in the Apocryha:

"And pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and braided the hair of her head, and put on a tire upon it, and put on her garments of gladness, wherewith she was clad during the life of Manasses her husband.'' (Judith 10:3)

or rather to the creatures mentioned, the roes and hinds, which feed among lilies, in fields where lilies grow; for these grow in fields as well as in gardens, and are called the "lilies of the field", Matthew 6:28; and we read (r) sometimes of harts and hinds among lilies. By "breasts" may be meant, either the ministers of the word, who impart "the sincere milk of the word", and who deliver out the nourishing doctrines of grace, like milk out of the breast, 1 Corinthians 3:2; and may be like to "roes" for their affection to those who are under their ministry; and pleasant to them, to whom they are made useful; and for their sharp sightedness and penetration into the mysteries of grace; and for their quick dispatch in doing their work, though through many difficulties, which, like young roes, they leap and skip over: and "two" of them show a sufficient number of them Christ provides for his church; and being "twins" express their equal authority, and harmony of doctrine; and feeding "among lilies" is where Christ himself feeds, Sol 2:16; where Christ feeds they feed, and where they feed Christ feeds, even among his saints, comparable to lilies, Sol 2:2; or these "breasts" may design the two Testaments, the Old and New, which contain the whole sincere milk of the word; are like "young roes", pleasant and delightful to believers; and, as "twins", are alike, agree in their doctrines concerning Christ, and the blessings of grace through him; the types, figures, prophecies, and promises of the one, have their completion in the other; and both abound with the lilies of Gospel doctrines and promises: though rather these "breasts" may point at the two ordinances of the Gospel, baptism, and the Lord's supper; which are breasts of consolation to believers, out of which they suck, and are satisfied; and through feeding on Christ in both, they receive much nourishment and strength; and are very amiable and lovely to the saints, when they enjoy the presence of Christ in them, and have the discoveries of his love to them; and may be said to be "twins", being both instituted by Christ, and both lead unto him, and require the same subjects; and are received and submitted to by saints, comparable to lilies, as before.

(p) De Liberis Educand. vol. 2. p. 3.((q) Aristot. de Animal. l. 6. c. 29. (r) "En aspicis ilium, candida qui medius cubat inter lilia, cervum?" Calphurnius apud Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 24. col. 924.

Thy two {c} breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

(c) In which are knowledge and zeal two precious jewels.

5. two young roes, &c.] two fawns that are twins of a gazelle.

which feed among the lilies] pasturing among the lilies. Probably the comparison is meant to be limited merely to the twin fawns, and the feeding among the lilies is simply a familiar and somewhat conventional background (cp. Song of Solomon 2:16 and Song of Solomon 6:2-3), intended to complete the picture of the fawns in their native haunts.Verse 5. - Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a roe, which feed among the lilies. This is a beautiful and yet perfectly delicate figure, describing the lovely equality and perfect shape and sweet freshness of the maiden's bosom. The meadow covered with lilies suggests beauty and fragrance. Thus the loveliness of the bride is set forth in seven comparisons, her perfections being sevenfold. "A twin pair of the young of the gazelle, lying in a bed covered with lilies, representing the fragrant delicacy and elegance of a chaste virgin besom, veiled by the folds of a dress redolent of sweet odour" (cf. Song of Solomon 1:13). The bridegroom, having thus delighted himself in praise of his bride's loveliness, then proceeds to declare his desire for her sweet society, but he is interrupted by the bride. Another voice now describes the splendour of the bed of state which Solomon prepared in honour of Shulamith:

9 A bed of state hath King Solomon made for himself

   Of the wood of Lebanon.

10 Its pillars hath he made of silver,

     Its support of gold, its cushion of purple;

     Its interior is adorned from love

     By the daughters of Jerusalem.

The sound of the word, the connection and the description, led the Greek translators (the lxx, Venet., and perhaps also others) to render אפּריון, by φορεῖον, litter palanquin (Vulg. ferculum). The appiryon here described has a silver pedestal and a purple cushion - as we read in Athenaeus v. 13 (II p. ed. Schweigh.) that the philosopher and tyrant Athenion showed himself "on a silver-legged φορεῖον, with purple coverlet;" and the same author, v. 5 (II p. , also says, that on the occasion of a festal procession by Antiochus Epiphanes, behind 200 women who sprinkled ointments from golden urns came 80 women, sitting in pomp on golden-legged, and 500 on silver-legged, φορεῖα - this is the proper name for the costly women's-litter (Suidas: φορεῖον γυναικεῖον), which, according to the number of bearers (Mart. VI 77: six Cappadocians and, ix. 2, eight Syrians), was called ἑξάφορον (hexaphorum, Mart. II 81) or ὀκτώφορον (octophorum, Cicero's Verr. v. 10). The Mishna, Sota ix. 14, uses appiryon in the sense of φορεῖον: "in the last war (that of Hadrian) it was decreed that a bride should not pass through the town in an appiryon on account of the danger, but our Rabbis sanctioned it later for modesty's sake;" as here, "to be carried in an appiryon," so in Greek, προιέναι (καταστείχειν) ἐν φορείω. In the Midrash also, Bamidbar rabba c. 12, and elsewhere, appiryon of this passage before us is taken in all sorts of allegorical significations in most of which the identity of the word with φορεῖον is supposed, which is also there written פּוּרון (after Aruch), cf. Isaiah 49:22, Targ., and is once interchanged with פאפליון, papilio (parillon), pleasure-tent. But a Greek word in the Song is in itself so improbable, that Ewald describes this derivation of the word as a frivolous jest; so much the more improbable, as φορεῖον as the name of a litter (lectica) occurs first in such authors (of the κοινή) as Plutarch, Polybuis, Herodian, and the like, and therefore, with greater right, it may be supposed that it is originally a Semitic word, which the Greek language adopted at the time when the Oriental and Graeco-Roman customs began to be amalgamated. Hence, if mittā Sol 3:7, means a portable bed, - is evident from this, that it appears as the means of transport with an escort, - then appiryon cannot also mean a litter; the description, moreover, does not accord with a litter. We do not read of rings and carrying-poles, but, on the contrary, of pillars (as those of a tent-bed) instead, and, as might be expected, of feet. Schlottm., however, takes mittā and appiryon as different names for a portable bed; but the words, "an appiryon has King Solomon made," etc., certainly indicate that he who thus speaks has not the appiryon before him, and also that this was something different from the mittā. While Schlottm. is inclined to take appiryon, in the sense of a litter, as a word borrowed from the Greek (but in the time of the first king?), Gesen. in his Thes. seeks to derive it, thus understood, from פּרה, cito ferri, currere; but this signification of the verb is imaginary.

We expect here, in accordance with the progress of the scene, the name of the bridal couch; and on the supposition that appiryon, Sota 12a, as in the Mishna, means the litter (Aruch) of the bride, Arab. maziffat, and not torus nuptialis (Buxt.), then there is a possibility that appiryon is a more dignified word for 'ěrěs, Sol 1:17, yet sufficient thereby to show that פּוּריא is the usual Talm. name of the marriage-bed (e.g., Mezia 23b, where it stand, per meton., for concubitus), which is wittily explained by שׁפרין ורבין עליה (Kethuboth 10b, and elsewhere). The Targ. has for it the form פּוּרין (vid., Levy). It thus designates a bed with a canopy (a tent-bed), Deuteronomy 32:50, Jerus; so that the ideas of the bed of state and the palanquin (cf. כילה, canopy, and כילת חתנים, bridal-bed, Succa 11a) touch one another. In general, פוריא (פורין, as is also the case with appiryon, must have been originally a common designation of certain household furniture with a common characteristic; for the Syr. aprautha, plur. parjevatha (Wiseman's Horae, p. 255), or also parha (Castell.), signifies a cradle. It is then to be inquired, whether this word is referable to a root-word which gives a common characteristic with manifold applications. But the Heb. פּרה, from the R. pr, signifies to split,

(Note: Vid., Friedr. Delitzsch's Indogerman.-semit. Studien, p. 72.)

to tear asunder, to break forth, to bring fruit, to be fruitful, and nothing further. Paaraa has nowhere the signification to run, as already remarked; only in the Palest.-Aram. פּרא is found in this meaning (vid., Buxt.). The Arab. farr does not signify to run, but to flee; properly (like our "ausreissen" equals be tear out, to break out), to break open by flight the rank in which one stands (as otherwise turned by horse-dealers: to open wide the horse's mouth). But, moreover, we do not thus reach the common characteristic which we are in search of; for if we may say of the litter that it runs, yet we cannot say that of a bed or a cradle, etc. The Arab. farfâr, species vehiculi muliebris, also does not help us; for the verb farfar, to vacillate, to shake, is its appropriate root-word.

(Note: The Turkish Kâmûs says of farfâr: "it is the name of a vehicle (merkeb), like the camel-litter (haudej), destined merely for women." This also derives its name from rocking to and fro. So farfâr, for farfara is to the present day the usual word for agiter, scouer les ailes; farfarah, for lgret; furfûr, for butterfly (cf. Ital. farfalla); generally, the ideas of that which is light and of no value - e.g., a babbler-connect themselves with the root far in several derivatives.)

With better results shall we compare the Arab. fary, which, in Kal and Hiph., signifies to break open, to cut out (couper, tailler une toffe), and also, figuratively, to bring forth something strange, something not yet existing (yafry alfaryya, according to the Arab. Lex. equals yaty bal'ajab fy 'amalh, he accomplishes something wonderful); the primary meaning in Conj. viii. is evidently: yftarra kidban, to cut out lies, to meditate and to express that which is calumnious (a similar metaphor to khar'a, findere, viii. fingere, to cut out something in the imagination; French, inventer, imaginer). With this fary, however, we do not immediately reach פּוּריא, אפּריון; for fary, as well as fara (farw), are used only of cutting to pieces, cutting out, sewing together of leather and other materials (cf. Arab. farwat, fur; farrā, furrier), but not of cutting and preparing wood.

But why should not the Semitic language have used פּרה, פּרא, also, in the sense of the verb בּרא, which signifies


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