« PreviousContinue »
illustrated by many references to other branches of Natural History, to the physical geography of Palestine, Egypt, and Syria, the race-character of the inhabitants, and historical parallels. The importance of Zoology in elucidating the Scriptures cannot be overrated, and without its aid we shall not only miss the point of innumerable passages of the Old and New Testament, but the words of our Lord Himself will either be totally misinterpreted, or at least lose the greater part of their significance.
The object of the present work is therefore to take, in its proper succession, every creature whose name is given in the Scriptures, and to supply so much of its history as will enable the reader to understand all the passages in which it is mentioned. A general account of each animal will be first given, followed by special explanations (wherever required) of those texts in which pointed reference is made to it, but of which the full force cannot be gathered without a knowledge of Natural History.
The illustrations are all taken from the living animals, while the accessory details have been obtained either from the Egyptian or Assyrian monuments, from actual specimens, or from the photographs and drawings of the latest travellers. They have been selected and arranged so that each illustration explains one or more passages of Scripture, and it is hoped that the work will possess equal interest for the natural historian and the Biblical student.
The Monkey tribe rarely mentioned in Scripture—Why the Ape was introduced into Palestine—Solomon's ships, and their cargo of Apes, peacocks, ivory, and gold—Various species of Monkey that might have been imported—The Rhesus Monkey—The Hoonuman, or Entellus—Habits of the Monkey, and reverence in which it is held by the natives—The Egyptians and their Baboon worship—Idols and memorials—The Wauderoo—Its singular aspect—Reasons why it should be introduced into Palestine—General habits of the Wanderoo —Its love of curiosities—Probability that Solomon had a menagerie—Various species of Monkey that may be included in the term Kophim—The Satyr of Scripture—Babylon in its glory and fall—Fulfilment of prophecy—Judaic ideas of the Satyrs, or Seirim 1
The Bat mentioned always with abhorrence—Meaning of the Hebrew name—The prohibition against eating Bats—The edible species, their food and mode of life—The noisome character of the Bat, and the nature of its dwelling-place— Its hatred of light—Baruch and his prophecy—A ppropriateness of the prophecy—Singular Mahommedau legend respecting the original creation of the Bat—The legend compared with the apocryphal gospels—The Bats of Palestine —Mr. Tristram's discoveries—Bats found in the quarries from which the stone of the Temple was hewn—Edible Bats in a cave near the centre of Palestine— Another species of long-tailed Bat captured in the rock caves where hermits had been buried—Other species which probably inhabit Palestine . ..11
Frequent mention of the Lion in the Scriptures—Probability that it was once a common animal, though now extinct—Reasons for its disappearance—The Lion employed as an emblem in the Bible—Similarity of the African and Asiatic species--- The chief characteristics of the Lion—Its strength, activity, and mode of seizing its prey—Various names of the Lion—Its courage when roused—Its roar, and peculiar mode of utterance—Invisibility of the Lion at dusk—The Lion lying in wait—The dwelling-place of the Lion—Its restlessness at night—Passages illustrative of these characteristics—Modes of capturing the Lion—The pitfall and the net—Lions kept as curiosities—The Lion-hunt as depicted on the buildings of ancient Nineveh 18
The Leopard not often mentioned in the Scriptures—Its attributes exactly described —Probability that several animals were classed under the name— How the Leopard takes its prey—Craft of the Leopard—Its ravages among the flocks—The empire of man over the beast—The Leopard at bay— Localities wherein the Leopard lives—The skin of the Leopard—Various passages of Scripture explained 2'J
The Cat never mentioned by name in the canonical Scriptures, and only once in the Apocrypha—The Cat domesticated among the Egyptians, and trained in bird-catching—Neglected capabilities of the Cat—Anecdote of an English Cat that caught fish for her master—Presumed reason why the Scriptures are silent about the Cat—The Cat mentioned by Uaruch 36
Antipathy displayed by Orientals towards the Dog, and manifested throughout the Scriptures—Contrast between European and Oriental Dogs—Habits of the Dogs of Palestine—The city Dogs and their singular organization —Tin herdsman's Dog—Various passages of Scripture—Dogs and the crumbs— Their numbers—Signor Pierotti's experience of the Dogs—Possibility of their perfect domestication—The peculiar humiliation of Lazarus—Voracity of the Wild Dogs—The fate of Ahab and Jezebel—Anecdote of a volunteer Watchdog—Innate affection of the Dog towards mankind—Peculiar local instinct of the Oriental Dog—Albert Smith's account of the Dogs at ConstantinopleThe Dervish and his Dogs—The Greyhound—Uncertainty of the word . "y
Identity of the animal indisputable—Its numbers, past and present—The Wolf never mentioned directly—Its general habits—References in Scripture—Its mingled ferocity and cowardice—Its association into packs—The Wolf's bite —How it takes its prey—Its ravages among the flocks—Allusions to this habit -The shepherd and his nightly enemies—Mr. Tristram and the Wolf— A semi-tamed Wolf at Marsaba 50
THE FOX, OR JACKAL
The two animals comprehended under one nzune—The Jackal—lts numbers in ancient and modern 1'alestine—General habits of the J ackal—Localities where the Jackal is found—Samson, and the three hundred “ foxes ”-Popular objections to the narrative—The required number easily obtziined—Signer l'ierotti's remarks upon the Jackal—An unpleasant position—How the fields were set on tire—The dread of fire inherent in'\vild beasts—The truth of the narrative proved--The Fox and Jackal destructive among grapes—Allusions tothe Fox in the New Testament—Partially tamed Foxes . . . . _ 55
The Hymn not mentioned by name, but evidently alluded to~Signification of the “'0ril Z abuu —Translated in the Septuagint as “ Hyu:na "-A scene described by the Prophet Isaiah—The Hyaana plentiful in Palestine at the present day . —lts \i'ell-liiio\i'I1 cowardiee and fear of man—The uses of the Hyzena, and the services which it renders—The particular species of llyaena—The Hyzenn. in the burial-grounds—Hunting the Hyauna—Curious superstition respecting the ta1ismanic properties of its Skiil—Prec2\ufl0lis adopted in flaying itpopular legends of the Hyzena and its magical po\i'crs—The cavern home of the Hyseua—The Valley of Zeboim . . . . , . . _ . _ . . . 62
Translation of the Hebrew word Anll'kc¢]L—The Shrew-mouse of PalestineEtymology of the word—'l'he Gecko or Fan-foot, its habits and peculiar cry —Repngnance felt by the Arabs of the present day towards the Gecko . 69
Difficulty of identifying the Tuchash of Scripture-References to “ badgers' skins" —The Dugong thought to be the Badger—The Bedouin sandals—Nature of the materials for the Tabernacle—Habits of the Badger—The species found in Palestine—Uses of the Badgers' skins—Looseuess of zoological terms . . 70
The Syrian Bear—Identity of the Hebrew and Arabic titles—Its colour variable according to age—Bears once numerous in Palestine, and now only occasionally seen—Reason for their diminution—Present localities of the Bear, and its favourite haunts—Food of the Bear—Its general habits—Its ravages among the flocks—The Bear dangerous to mankind—The Bear robbed of her whelps—Illustrative passages—Its mode of fighting—Various references to the Bear, from the time of Samuel to that of St. John 75
THE HEDGEHOG, OK BITTEEN.
Various readings of the word Kippdd—The Jewish Bible and its object—The Syrian Hedgehog and its appearance—Its fondness for dry spots—The prophecies of Isaiah and Zephaniah, and their bearing on the subject—The Porcupine supposed to be the Kippod—The Hedgehog and Porcupine called by the same name in Greek and Arabic—Habits of the Porcupine—Its quills, and the manner of their shedding 80
Presumed identity of the Kippod with the Porcupine—The same Greek name applied to the Porcupine and Hedgehog—Habits of the Porcupine—The common Porcupine found plentifully in Palestine 85
The two Hebrew words which are translated as " Stole "—Obscurity of the former name—A parallel case in our own language—The second name—The Moles and the Bats, why associated together—The real Mole of Scripture, its different names, and its place in zoology—Description of the Mole-rat and its general habits—Curious superstition—Discovery of the species by Mr. Tristram—Scripture and science—How the Mole-rat finds its food—Distinction between the Mole and the present animal 86
Conjectures as to the right translation of the Hebrew word Akbar—Signification of the word—The Mice which marred the land—Miracles, and their economy of power—The Field-mouse—Its destructive habits and prolific nature—The insidious nature of its attacks, and its power of escaping observation—The Hamster, and its habits—Its custom of storing up provisions for the winter —Its fertility and unsociable nature—The Jerboa, its activity and destructive ness—Jerboas and Hamsters eaten by Arabs and Syrians—Various species of Dormice and Sand-rats 91