Song of Solomon 4:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies.

King James Bible
Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

American Standard Version
Thy two breasts are like two fawns That are twins of a roe, Which feed among the lilies.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

English Revised Version
Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a roe, which feed among the lilies.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 4:5 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 4:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

two breasts

Songs 1:13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved to me; he shall lie all night between my breasts.

Songs 7:3,7 Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins...

Songs 8:1,10 O that you were as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find you without, I would kiss you; yes...

Proverbs 5:19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and be you ravished always with her love.

Isaiah 66:10-12 Rejoice you with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her...

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:


Songs 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feeds among the lilies.

Songs 6:3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feeds among the lilies.

Cross References
Proverbs 5:19
a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.

Song of Solomon 2:16
My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 6:2
My beloved has gone down to his garden to the beds of spices, to graze in the gardens and to gather lilies.

Song of Solomon 6:3
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 7:3
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.

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