On a woman, the bosom; on a man the upper part of the chest. Female breasts are primarily referred to as a means of feeding young and as a figurative description of Israel and God as nursing mothers. Beating of the breast is a sign of remorse. The breast is protected in physical and spiritual warfare.
Breasts as a symbol of fertility
Breasts as the means of feeding youngSee also 1Sa 1:23 until they are weaned; 1Ki 3:20; Job 3:12; Ps 22:9; SS 8:1; Joel 2:16; Lk 11:27 “Nursing” includes breast-feeding.
Nursing mothers and their children experience acute distress Lk 23:29 See also Job 24:9; Mt 24:19 pp Mk 13:17 pp Lk 21:23 The implication is that children nursing at their mothers’breasts are completely vulnerable and defenceless.
Other creatures breast-feed their young La 4:3
Female breasts are attractive
Breasts are a source of temptation Pr 5:20
Undeveloped breasts are a sign of youth SS 8:8
The figurative breasts of Israel
Jerusalem as a breasted woman Eze 16:7
Jerusalem as a nursing mother Isa 66:10-12
Dry breasts are a sign of God’s punishment Hos 9:14
God’s care exceeds that of nursing mothers
Beating of breasts
Protection of the breast
Animal breasts used in sacrificial offerings
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