Song of Solomon 4:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead.

King James Bible
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; Thine eyes are doves behind thy veil; Thy hair is as a flock of goats, On the slopes of mount Gilead.

World English Bible
Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is as a flock of goats, that descend from Mount Gilead.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, thou art fair, my friend, lo, thou art fair, Thine eyes are doves behind thy veil, Thy hair as a row of the goats That have shone from mount Gilead,

Song of Solomon 4:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks - Perhaps this refers rather to a sort of veil worn by many of the Eastern women, but especially in Egypt. It is a species of black cloth made of the hair of some animal, probably the black goat; is suspended from the head by silken cords, one of which comes from the crown of the head, down the forehead, to the upper part of the nose, just under the eyes, at which place the veil begins; for the forehead and the eyes are uncovered, except the cord above mentioned, which is ornamented with gold, silver, and precious stones, according to the circumstances of the wearer. This partial veil not only covers all the face, the eyes and forehead excepted, but the neck also, and hangs loosely down over the bosom. One of them, lately brought from Egypt, now lies before me.

But the clause, within thy locks, מבעד למתך mibbaad letsammathech, is not well translated, either by ourselves or by the versions. Jerome's translation is an indication of the meaning: Absque eo quod intrinsecus latet; without that, or independently of that, which lies hidden within. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic have, besides thy silence. Calmet contends that none of these gives the true meaning, and that the word tmu tsemath has not the meaning of hair or locks wherever it occurs, and has quite a different meaning in Isaiah 47:2. St. Jerome on this place expresses himself thus: Nolentibus gui interpretati sunt transferre nomen quod in Sancta Scriptura sonat turpitudinem - Ergo Ktmu tsammathech, quod Aquila posuit, verenda mulieris appellanatur cujus etymologia apud eos sonat sitiens tuus. Calmet translates: Vous etes toute belle, won amie; vous etes toute belle: vos yeux sont des yeux de colombe; sans ce que la pudeur et la modestie tiennent cache. I leave the translation of these to the learned reader. See another description under Sol 4:7 (note).

As a flock of goats - Because it was black and sleek, as the hair of the goats of Arabia and Palestine is known to be; which, with its fine undulation, is supposed to bear some resemblance to the curls or plaits of a woman's tresses. The mountains of Gilead were beyond Jordan, on the frontiers of Arabia Deserta.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thou art fair

Songs 4:9,10 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck...

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

Songs 2:10,14 My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away...

Psalm 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire your beauty: for he is your Lord; and worship you him.

Ezekiel 16:14 And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put on you...

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory...

thou hast

Songs 5:12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

Philippians 2:3-5 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves...

thy hair

Songs 5:11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

Songs 6:5,7 Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me: your hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead...

Songs 7:5 Your head on you is like Carmel, and the hair of your head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

appear from

Numbers 32:1,40 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer...

Song of Songs
The contents of this book justify the description of it in the title, i. 1, as the "loveliest song"--for that is the meaning of the Hebrew idiom "song of songs." It abounds in poetical gems of the purest ray. It breathes the bracing air of the hill country, and the passionate love of man for woman and woman for man. It is a revelation of the keen Hebrew delight in nature, in her vineyards and pastures, flowers and fruit trees, in her doves and deer and sheep and goats. It is a song tremulous from
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

What is Meant by "Altogether Lovely"
Let us consider this excellent expression, and particularly reflect on what is contained in it, and you shall find this expression "altogether lovely." First, It excludes all unloveliness and disagreeableness from Jesus Christ. As a theologian long ago said, "There is nothing in him which is not loveable." The excellencies of Jesus Christ are perfectly exclusive of all their opposites; there is nothing of a contrary property or quality found in him to contaminate or devaluate his excellency. And
John Flavel—Christ Altogether Lovely

Cross References
Song of Solomon 1:15
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

Song of Solomon 5:12
His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.

Song of Solomon 6:5
Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead.

Song of Solomon 6:7
Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.

Jeremiah 22:6
For this is what the LORD says about the palace of the king of Judah: "Though you are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, I will surely make you like a wasteland, like towns not inhabited.

Micah 7:14
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago.

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