Animals of The Bible

The funniest animal in the Holy Land is the hoopoe named for its ugly, short, sharp call. This laughable bird darts around about in unending motion and flashes like a living sapphire over fields enameled with countless flowers. The hoopoe is the bright blue roller-bird, the most common and prettiest bird of Palestine and gives more amusement than any other living thing. It is a stubby creature, about 8 inches long with a black and white body and a pinkish head. Always seeming busy, scurrying around like he is on an important mission but forgot what it is so he goes around in circles trying to remember. This comical bird can fly but chooses not to and walks around the ground in what seems to be incessant redundant activity.

Israel abounded with many large animals for hunting, such as lions, bears, panthers. wolves, jackals, deer and gazelles. Smaller game thrived as well including such birds as partridges and quail. Hunting was primarily for food but also for sport or to protect their herds from predators. Hunters used a variety of weapons including the bow and arrow, lances, swords, slings and clubs. Sometimes traps and snares were used and pits and nets. A pit was a hole dug in the ground where large game would break through the covering of brush and become trapped in the pit. Hopefull yuou don't come across a lion in this way. Nets were used in various ways including just letting it sit and waiting until the animals walked across them.

Psalms 22 mentions several animals. The bulls of Bashan are of a district that produced extremely large cattle. In David's day lions still roamed parts of Israel, portrayed with fangs bared and hungry for their supper. The word David uses for dogs are not the domesticated household variety but wild dogs which ran in packs searching for food. The term wild oxen probably referred to autochs, the wild ancestors of domestic cattle, some commentators identify them with the oryx, large, straight horned antelope.

The locusts of Palestine were similar to our grasshoppers. Four of the seven or more species were allowed by the Mosaic law to be eaten.

Not a single species of fish is mentioned in the Bible by name. Animals mentioned in the Bible are: adders, antelope, ants, apes, arrowsnake, ass, badger, locust, bat, bear, bees, beetle, birds, boar, ox, calf, camel, cankerworm, cat, caterpillar, chameleon, chamois, chicken, cock, colt, coral, cow, crane, cricket, crocodile, deer, doe, dog, doleful creatures, dove, eagle, elephant, ewe (sheep), falcon, fish, flea, fly, fox, frog, gazelle, gnat, goat, grasshopper, hare, hawk, hoopoe, hornet, horse, hyena, jackal, kid, kite, lamb, leopard, lice, lion, lizard, locust, mouse, mole, moth, muke, night hawk, ospray, ostrich, owl, ox, palmerworm, partridge, pelican, pigeons, quail, raven, sand flies, sand lizard, scorpion, seal, serpent, snail, sparrow, spider, sponge, stallion, stork, swallow, swan, swine, tortoise, turtle, turtle-dove, unicorn, viper, vulture, wasp, weasel, whale, wolf, worm.
[309, BD, 380, 392]

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