(Heb 'ayal), a stag or male deer. It is ranked among the clean animals (De 12:15; 14:5; 15:22), and was commonly killed for food (1Ki 4:23). The hart is frequently alluded to in the poetical and prophetical books (Isa 35:6; Song 2:8-9; La 1:6; Ps 42:1).
ayal. The male of the stag, Cervus Duma. Resorting to the mountains (Song 8:14); sure-footed there (2Sa 22:34; Hab 3:19). Monogamous and constant in affection (Pr 5:19). In Ps 42:1 the verb is feminine; the hind therefore, not the hart, is meant; her weakness intensifies her thirst. The emblem of activity (Isa 35:6). So Naphtali is described by Jacob prophetically (Ge 49:21), "a hind let loose." His active energy was shown against Jabin the Canaanite oppressor (Jg 4:6-9; 5:18). The Targums say he first told Jacob that Joseph was yet alive; "he giveth goodly words." The Hebrew sheluchim, "the apostles," answers to shelucha "let loose." So the prophecy hints at what Isaiah (Isa 52:7) more clearly unfolds, "how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings."
Easily agitated (Song 2:7; 3:5), so that the hunter must advance on them with breathless caution if he would take them; an emblem of the resting (Zep 3:17) but easily grieved Holy Spirit (Eze 16:43; Mt 18:7; Eph 4:30). The thunder so terrifies them that they prematurely bring forth (Ps 29:9). The case of their parturition, through the instinct given them by God's care, stands in contrast to the shepherd's anxiety in numbering the months of the flock's pregnancy, and is an argument to convince Job (Job 39:1-3) of God's consummate wisdom; why then should he harbour for a moment the thought that God, who cares so providentially for the humblest creature, could be capable of harshness and injustice toward His noblest creature, man?
The masculine ayal, Septuagint elafos, is the fallow deer (Dama commonis) or the Barbary deer (Cervus Barbarus) according to Appendix, Smith's Bible Dictionary Timid and fleet especially when seeking and not able to find pasture (La 1:6); emblem of Zion's captive princes at Babylon. Septuagint and Vulgate read eylim, "rams." Ajalon abounded in the ayal, whence it took its name. Aijeleth, "the hind," in the title Psalm 22 symbolizes one shot at by the archers and persecuted to death, namely, Messiah; as the persecutors are symbolized by "bulls," "lions," "dogs."
The addition "of the morning" (shahar) implies prosperity dawning after suffering. The hind is emblematic of the grace, innocence, and loveliness (Song 2:9) of the Antitype to Joseph (Ge 49:23-24). The hind's sure footing in the rocks typifies the believer's preservation in high places and difficulties. The Arabs call a deer by a like name to the Hebrew, (iyal). The deer is represented on the slabs at Nineveh, and seems to have abounded anciently in Syria, though not there now.
ayyal. A species of deer which is not now definitely known. Many suppose it to be the red deer, the Cervus elaphus. It was a clean animal, and was one supplied to Solomon's table. De 12:15,22; 1Ki 4:23. Its desire for the water-brooks is used as a symbol of a soul's panting after God. Ps 42:1. The bride in the Canticles compares the bridegroom to a young hart. Cant. 2:9, 17; Cant. 8:14. In predicting God's blessing upon Israel in a future day it is said, "the lame man shall leap as a hart." Isa 35:6. The deer are remarkable for their pleasing form, their graceful movements, and their great agility.
the male stag. The word denotes some member of the deer tribe either the fallow deer or the Barbary deer. The hart is reckoned among the clean animals,
De 12:15; 14:5; 15:22
and seems from the passages quoted, as well as from
to have been commonly killed for food.
HART, ???, De 12:15; 14:5; Ps 42:1; Isa 35:6, the stag, or male deer. Dr. Shaw considers its name in Hebrew as a generic word including all the species of the deer kind; whether they are distinguished by round horns, as the stag; or by flat ones, as the fallow deer; or by the smallness of the branches, as the roe. Mr. Good observes that the hind and roe, the hart and the antelope, were held, and still continue to be, in the highest estimation in all the eastern countries, for the voluptuous beauty of their eyes, the delicate elegance of their form, or their graceful agility of action. The names of these animals were perpetually applied, therefore, to persons, whether male or female, who were supposed to be possessed of any of their respective qualities. In 2Sa 1:19, Saul is denominated "the roe of Israel;" and in the eighteenth verse of the ensuing chapter, we are told that "Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe:" a phraseology perfectly synonymous with the epithet swift-footed, which Homer has so frequently bestowed upon his hero Achilles. Thus again: "Her princes are like harts which find no pasture; they are fled without strength before their pursuers," La 1:6. The Lord Jehovah is my strength; he will make my feet like hinds' feet; he will cause me to tread again on my own hills," Hab 3:19. See HIND.