Song of Songs 4:1

Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves' eyes behind your veil: your hair is like a flock of goats, going down from mount Gilead.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
But Christ, beholding his church, for whom he himself, as you find in the book of the prophet Zechariah, had put on filthy garments, now clothed in white raiment, seeing, that is, a soul pure and washed in the laver of regeneration, says, “Behold, you are fair, my love, behold you are fair, your eyes are like a dove’s,” in the likeness of which the Holy Spirit descended from heaven. The eyes are beautiful like those of a dove, because in the likeness of a dove the Holy Spirit descended from heaven. - "On the Mysteries 7.37"

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
[The church] mourns in its eyes, that is in its faithful, because it is written, “Your eyes are as doves apart from your reticence,” because they see spiritually and know how to keep silent about the mysteries which they have seen. - "Consolation on the Death of Emperor Valentinian 7"


AD 500
Having been cleansed from every habit of the vices of the flesh and converted to the one true God from the worship of a multitude of shameful gods, Christ the Lord praises the twin beauty of the church of the Gentiles, both body and soul. For the first beauty of the soul is that it would know its Creator, second that it would know itself, the kind of thing it is or the reason for which it was created. - "Exposition of Song of Songs 6.1"

Aquinas Study Bible

AD 2017
Next the bride is praised by using the parable of a beautiful woman. By means of this parable, one should see the spiritual beauty of the bride, that is, the spiritual beauty of Israel during the Old Testament.(Nicholas of Lyra) Or all these descriptions are extended on account of the multiplicity of the Church. (glossa ordinaria) eyes: because God's people see things spiritually. (Theodoret of Cyrus) doves: because the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove. hairs like a flock of goats: these are the weaker of God's people who are present in large numbers. (St. Bede) Gilead: in Hebrew means 'testimony.' The people of God give witness to Him. see Mt 10:32 (glossa ordinaria)

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
We are not to administer rebukes until we have removed from our eye the beam of envy or malice or pretense, so that we may have clear vision to cast out the speck from a brother’s eye. For we shall then see that speck with the eyes of the dove, the kind of eyes that are commended [as belonging to] the spouse of Christ, the glorious church which God has chosen for himself, the church which has neither spot nor wrinkle, that is, the church which is pure without guile. - "Sermon on the Mount 2.19.66"


AD 735
For if goats and the hair or skins of goats always signified the foulness of sinners and never the humility of penitents, that animal would by no means have been reckoned among the clean [animals], nor would it have been said in praise of the bride: “Your hair is like a flock of goats.” - "On the Tabernacle 2.3"

Cassiodorus Senator

AD 585
So they say that these eyes have fainted after the Lord’s salvation, because of the holy coming of the incarnation, which they bore with such longing that it could allow them no rest. So they were right to faint, because they had no period of leisure. - "Exposition of the Psalms 119.123"

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
How. Christ again praises the beauty of his Church. (Worthington) The dialogue takes place in the country. (Haydock) From corporal beauty, which is often dangerous, and the portion of the most dissolute, we must raise our minds to spiritual advantages, which the Holy Spirit has here in view. Within. St. Ambrose, "besides thy taciturnity. "Septuagint, "silence. "Rabbins, "hair. "Protestants, "within thy locks. "But what renders this version of tsammathec (Haydock) suspicious is, that none of the ancients knew of it, and the hair is afterwards specified, chap. vi. 4. Moreover, Isaias, (xlvii. 2.) uses it for (Calmet) "turpitude "(St. Jerome) or the parts which are usually "covered. "(Septuagint) (Haydock) Si qua latent, meliora putat. ( Met. 1500.) All the glory of the king's daughter is within, Psalm xliv. 14. Modesty and silence are the best encomium. (Calmet) The Lord praises the intention, occupations and doctrine of the Church, the twins of faith and good works; the preaching ...

Richard Challoner

AD 1781
How beautiful art thou: Christ again praises the beauties of his church, which through the whole of this chapter are exemplified by a variety of metaphors, setting forth her purity, her simplicity, and her stability.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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