Song of Solomon 4:5
Thy 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. Song of Solomon 4:55 Thy two breasts are like two fawns,

   Twins of a gazelle,

   Which feed among lilies.

The dual, originating in the inner differ. of the plur., which denotes in Heb. not two things of any sort, but two paired by nature or by art, exists only in the principal form; שׁדים, as soon as inflected, is unrecognisable, therefore here, where the pair as such is praised, the word שׁני is used. The breasts are compared to a twin pair of young gazelles in respect of their equality and youthful freshness, and the bosom on which they raise themselves is compared to a meadow covered with lilies, on which the twin-pair of young gazelles feed. With this tender lovely image the praise of the attractions of the chosen one is interrupted.

If one counts the lips and the mouth as a part of the body, which they surely are, there are seven things here praised, as Hengst. rightly counts (the eyes, the hair, teeth, mouth, temples, neck, breasts); and Hahn speaks with right of the sevenfold beauty of the bride.

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