Song of Solomon 4:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.

King James Bible
Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

American Standard Version
Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armory, Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, All the shields of the mighty men.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.

English Revised Version
Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all the shields of the mighty men.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thy neck is like the tower of David built for an armory, on which hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

Song of Solomon 4:4 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

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


Song of Solomon 4:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Songs 1:10 Your cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.

Songs 7:4 Your neck is as a tower of ivory; your eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim...

2 Samuel 22:51 He is the tower of salvation for his king: and shows mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for ever more.

Ephesians 4:15,16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ...

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together...

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

an armoury

Nehemiah 3:19 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah...

a thousand

2 Chronicles 9:15,16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target...

2 Chronicles 12:9-11 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD...

Cross References
2 Samuel 1:21
"You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

Psalm 144:12
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace;

Song of Solomon 7:4
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, which looks toward Damascus.

Ezekiel 27:10
"Persia and Lud and Put were in your army as your men of war. They hung the shield and helmet in you; they gave you splendor.

Ezekiel 27:11
Men of Arvad and Helech were on your walls all around, and men of Gamad were in your towers. They hung their shields on your walls all around; they made perfect your beauty.

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