ANIMALS 522 ANIMALS were unable to identify. It stands indeed for several Hebrew names: (1) t'hdn (Job, xxx, 29; Is., x.xiv, 13; XX.XV, 7; xliii, 20; Jer., ix, 11; x, 22; xiv, 6; xlix, 33; li, 37; Mich., i, 8; Mai., i, 3), unquestion- ably meaning a denizen of desolate places, and generally identified with the jackal; (2) Utnnim, in a few passages with the sense of serpent [Deut., xxxii, 33; Ps., xc (Hebr., xci), 13; Dan., xiv, 22- 27], in others most likely signifying the crocodile [Ps., Ixxiii (Ilebr., lx.xiv), 13; Is., U, 9; Ezech., xxix, 3], or even a sea-monster (Ezech., xx.xii, 2), such as a whale, porpoise, or dugong, as rightly trans- lated Lam., iv, 3, and as probably intended Ps., cxlviii, 7; (3) liweyathan (leviathan), meaning both the crocotlile [Ps"., Ixxiii (Hebr., lx.xiv), 14] and sea- monster [Ps. ciii (Hebr., eiv), 26]; (4) <;iyyim (Ps. Ixxiii, 14; Jer., 1. 39), which possibly means the hyena. Other places, such as Esth., x, 7; xi, 6; Ecclus., XXV, 23, can be neither traced back to a Hebrew" original, nor identified with sufficient proba- bility. The author of the Apocalypse repeatedly makes mention of the dragon, by which he means "the old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world" (Apoc. xii, 9, etc.). Of the fabulous dragon fancied by the ancients, represented as a monstrous winged serpent, with a crested head and enormous claws, and regarded as verj' powerful and ferocious, no mention whatever is to be found in the Bible. The word dragon, con- sequently, should really be blotted out of our Bibles, except perhaps Is., xiv, 29 and xxx, 6, where the draco fimbriatus is possibly spoken of. See B.silisk, 4 (sup.). Dromedary. — The word so rendered. Is., Ix, 6, signifies rather a swift and finely bred camel. Dugong. — See Badger (sup.). Eagle. — So is generally rendered the Hebrew, ncshir, but there is a doubt as to whether the eagle or some kind of vulture is intended. It seems even probable that the Hebrews did not distinguish very carefully these diiTerent large birds of prey, and that all are spoken of as though they were of one kind. An}T-ay, four species of eagles are known to live in Palestine: aquila chrysactos, aquila ncrvia, aquila heliaca, and circcstos gallicus. Many allusions are made to the eagle in Scripture: its inhabiting the dizziest cliffs for nesting, its keen sight, its habit of congregating to feed on the slain, its swiftness, its longevity, its remarkable care in training its young, are often referred to (see in particular Job. xxxix, 27-30). When the relations of Israel with their neighbours became more frequent, the eagle became, under the pen of the Jewish prophets and poets, an emblem first of the Assyrian, then of the Babylonian, and finally of the Persian kings. Eleph.vnt. — We learn from Assyrian inscriptions that before the He- brews settled in Syria, there existed elephants in that country, and Tiglath-Pileser I tells us about his exploits in elephant hunting. We do not read, however, of elephants in the Bible until the Macha- bean times. True, III Kings speaks of ivory, or "elephants' teeth", as the Hebrew text puts it, yet not as indigenous, but as importetl from Opliir. In the post-exilian times, especially in the books of the Macliabecs, elephants are frec^uently mentioned; they were an important element ni the armies of the Seleiicide-s. These animals were imported either from India or from .frica. Ericid.s, a Latin name of the hedgehog, preserved in the D.V. as a translation of the Hebrew word ifippodh (Is., xiv, 23; xxxiv, 11; Soph., ii, 14, the word urcliin has been used) and qippiU (Is., xxxiv, 1.")). The above identification of the q'lppiKlh is based both on the Greek rentlering and the analogy between this Hebrew wor<l and the TalriUKlic (7ti;j/j(i(/;i), Syriac (qujdff), Arabic (minfiUl) and iCthiopian (qlnjz) names of the hedgehog. Several scholars, however, discanl this identification, because the hedgehog, contrary to the qippOdk, lives neither in marshes nor ruins, and has no voice. The bittern meets all the requirements of the texts where the qippMh is mentioned. It should be no- ticed nevertheless that hedgehogs are far from rare in Palestine. As to the qippoz of Is., xxxiv, 15, read gippi'idh by some Hebrew MSS., and interpreted accordingly by the Septuagint, Vulgate and the versions derived therefrom, its identity is a much discussed question. Some, arguing from the authori- ties just referred to, confound it with the qippodh, whereas others deem it to be the arrow-snake; but besides that no such animal as arrow-snake is known to naturalists, the context seems to call for a bird. Ewe. — The Hebrew language, generally poor, shows a remarkable opulence when there is question of all things connected with pastoral life. Six names at least, with their feminines, express the different stages of development of the sheep. Its domestication goes back to the night of time, so that the early traditions enshrined in the Bible speak of the first men as shepherds. Whate'er may be thought of tWs point, it is out of question that from the dawn of historical times down to our own, flocks have constituted the staple of the riches of the land. The ewe of Palestine is generally the oru latlcaudata, the habits of which, resembhng those of all other species of sheep, are too well known to be here dwelt upon. Let it suffice to notice that scores of allusions are made in the Holy Books to these habits as well as to the different tletails of the pastoral life. Falcon. — See HAVvav (inf.). F.llow-Deer (cer- vtis dama or dama vulgaris), beheved by .some to be signified by Hebrew, yfihmur. The fallow-deer is scarce in the Holy Land and found only north of Mount Thabor. If it is mentioned at all in the Bible, it is probably ranked among the deer. Faw.v (Prov., V, 19), for Hebrew, ydHlah, feminine of yael which should be regularly, as it is in several passages, rendered by wild goat (ibex syriacus). SeeGo.T, Wild (inf.). Faun. — An equivalent in D.V. (Jer., 1, 39), after St. Jerome, for Hebrew, 'iyyim. St. Jerome explains that they were wild beings, denizens of deserts and woods, with a hooked nose, a horned forehead, and goat feet. He translated the Hebrew by fig-faun, adding to the original the adjective ficarii, possibly follomng in this the pagan idea which, supposing that figs incline to lust, re- garded fig-groves a well fitted abode for fauns. The same Hebrew word is rendered Is., xiii, 22 by owls, and Is., xxxiv, 14, by monsters, which shows a great perplexity on the part of the translators. The true meaning being "howlers", seems to point out the jackal, called the "howler" by the Arabs. Flea, spoken of I K., xxiv, 15; xxvi, 20, as the most insignificant cause of trouble that may befall a man. Flock. — The flocks of Palestine include generally both sheep and goats: "The sheep eat only the fine herbage, whereas the goats browse on what the sheep refuse. They pasture and travel together in parallel columns, but seldom intermingle more closely, and at night they always classify themselves. The goats are for the most part black, the sheep white, dappled or piebald, forming a very marked contrast . . ." (Tristram). The shepherd usually leads the flock, calling the sheep by their names from time to time; in his footsteps follows an old he-goat, whose stately bearing alTords to the natives matter for several comparisons; the .iabs, indeed to this day, call a man of stately mien a "he-goat". The shepherd at sunset waters his flock, folds them ordinarily in some of the many caves found on every hillside, and with trained dogs guards them at night. Flv. — Two Hebrew words are thus translated: (1) 'arObh is the name of the Egj'ptian fly of the fourtli plague; this name, a collective one, though tian.slated by dog-fly in the Septuagint. seems to signify all kinds of ilies. FUes are at all times an
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/588
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