Today is a beautiful animal that is also referred to as a ‘splendor of youth.’ This is the ‘tzvi’ and its female, ‘tzvia.’
We saw earlier this month that the ‘dove’ is mentioned as the female beloved imagery. The ‘tzvi’ is also imagery for both male and female beloved.
“Until the day cools, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether”
The name ‘tzvi’ is also mentioned in the Bible with the meaning of “beauty” or “glory.” We see several times the expression ‘eretz hatzvi,’ meaning ‘the land of beauty’:
“But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the land of beauty, in his hand shall be destruction”
‘Tzvi’ as beauty or glory also appears in Isaiah’s prophecy:
“In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for those of Israel who have escaped”
In another metaphor, Isaiah uses the name ‘tzvi’ to describe the destruction of the glorious kingdom of Babylon:
“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah”
‘Tzvi’ is a very common male’s name in modern Hebrew, although no biblical personality was referred to using this name. There was, however, a female who was called ‘Tzivya’ (Zibiah in English):
“In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba”
Both names are still popular in modern Hebrew.