[Heb., ʼai·ya·lahʹ; ʼai·yeʹleth].
A female deer; member of the Cervidae family. The hind is a slender, graceful creature, timid, surefooted, and swift. When heavy with young, the hinds retire to the recesses of the forest to give birth and then continue in seclusion, tenderly caring for and protecting the fawns until such time as they can care for themselves.—Job 39:1; Ps 29:9.
The gentle, graceful hind figures in the vivid imagery of the Bible. (Pr 5:18, 19; Ca 2:7; 3:5; see GAZELLE.) Allusion is made to the animal’s swiftness and surefootedness, enabling it to escape from its enemies. (2Sa 22:1, 34; Ps 18:32, 33; Hab 3:19) Possibly with reference to skillfulness and swiftness in warfare, Jacob prophetically described the tribe of Naphtali as “a slender hind.” (Ge 49:21) The psalmist, when deprived of free access to the sanctuary, compares his longing for God to the hind’s yearning for water streams. (Ps 42:1-4) The picture of a hind forsaking her newborn fawn, so contrary to her well-known solicitude for her offspring under normal conditions, indicates the severity of the droughts upon Judah.—Jer 14:1, 2, 5.