Greyhound (see Dog).
Greyhound (see Dog).
Greyhound (see Dog).
Hyena. Hyenas were plentiful in Bible times. “Doleful creatures” (KJV) and “beasts of the field” (Is. 13:21; Jer. 12:9) may refer to hyenas. The place name Zeboim (1 Sam. 13:18; Neh. 11:34) means “hyena.” A member of the dog family, hyenas have square snouts and powerful jaws. They run down prey and may even attack human beings. The Israelites hated hyenas and considered them unclean because they are scavengers. Sometimes they would even dig up and devour dead bodies. Hyenas hunt at night. Their eerie howls sound like demented laughter. A reference by the prophet Isaiah to the hyena is also translated as jackal (Is. 13:22), (RSV). Also see Jackal.
Jackal. The prophet Isaiah spoke of jackals– wild dogs that make their dens in desolate places (Is. 34:13). As scavengers, jackals also fed on garbage in towns and villages in Bible times.
Jackals have an unpleasant smell, and they make a yapping and howling noise at night. They are also agricultural pests. Palestinian farmers put up shelters for watchmen, who guarded their cucumber fields against jackals. Some farmers heaped up whitewashed stones to frighten the jackals, just as scarecrows are used in other places.
Bible references to jackals are confusing, since jackal, fox, dragon, and wolf may be used interchangeably, depending on the translation. The “foxes” to whose tails Samson tied torches were probably jackals which, unlike foxes, travel in packs (Judg. 15:4). Also see Fox.
Hounds are a kind of dog, usually one that is used for hunting men or animals.
Whereas today in America, many people have a canine as a pet, this was not so much the case in ancient times. Today people kiss their dog on their mouth (dogs lick their rear ends and genitals with that same mouth making that kissing of their dogs a filthy custom), dogs were seen as unclean animals in the Bible. Dogs were mainly used for their character of barking at strangers, so they were more of a natural alarm system. This extensions to attacking intruders.
2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Luke 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
So dogs are accustomed to filthy habits.
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
You cannot understand this warning by Paul unless you understand true evangelism, taking the gospel out into the street or door to door to explain the gospel to people on a one on one basis. When doing that, you will meet guard dogs that will bark and try to bite you. Paul says to be careful with them. — David Cox
Fox. Foxes were common predators in Bible times. Since they fed on small rodents like rats and mice, they helped to protect the grain crops. But their fondness for grapes caused farmers much grief. Sometimes they even tunneled under protective walls to feast on grapevines (Song 2:15). Foxes also settle in holes and burrows, often those abandoned by other animals. Jesus pointed out that foxes have holes, but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head (Matt. 8:20).
Foxes have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing. They are also clever enough to lie in wait for prey. They may even play dead to attract a bird within striking range. When hunted, they are cunning and devious, misleading their pursuers. Jesus compared Herod, the Roman tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, to a fox, because of his crafty, devious nature (Luke 13:32).
Dog. In ancient Israel, the dog was not “man’s best friend.” In fact, calling someone a dog was one of the most offensive ways of insulting that person. The Bible mentions dogs frequently; most of the references are derogatory. Even in New Testament times, Jews called Gentiles “dogs” (Matt. 15:26). The term “dog” also referred to a male prostitute (Deut. 23:18). Unbelievers who were shut out of the New Jerusalem were also termed “dogs” (Rev. 22:15)– probably a reference to their sexual immorality. Moslems later applied the insult to Christians.
Wolves were a menace to the sheep farmers of Palestine. Man’s first dogs were probably tamed wolf pups. Perhaps this kinship enabled wolves to lurk near sheepfolds and gain their reputation for treachery.
Of his youngest son, the patriarch Jacob said: “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf” (Gen. 49:27). The Hebrew word translated ravenous means “to rip and tear,” indicating the bloodthirsty nature of the wolf. Wolves seem particularly cruel because they seek out the weak, old, and defenseless as victims. The flow of blood incites them to rip and tear even more with their powerful jaws.
In many Bible references, wolves represent ruthless enemies. Jesus warned of false prophets “who come… in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly… are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).
The wolf is rather larger than our largest dogs, and looks somewhat like them; but he seems more wild, savage and cruel. The wolves go in large companies, making a terrible howling noise; and though they are in general cowardly, yet when they are very hungry they attack large animals, and even men. They almost always go out by night, and the Bible refers to this when it says, “Their horses are more fierce than the evening wolves.” Jacob, just before his death, said of one of his sons, “Benjamin shall raven as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at evening he shall divide the spoil.”
There were once a great many wolves in New England and in other parts of the United States, and some are left yet, although many have been killed or driven away. There are still great numbers of them in some countries. In England the month of January used to be called Wolf- monat, or wolf-month; “because,” as an old book says, “people are wont in that moneth to be more in danger to be devoured of wolves than in any season els of the yeare, for that through the extremity of cold and snow those ravenous creatures could not find other beasts sufficient to feed upon.”
A sad story is told of something that happened in Russia a few years since. A woman was one day riding on a sledge with her three children over a lonely road, when suddenly she heard the noise of wolves behind her. She was not very far from home, and tried to urge her horse on, to get out of their reach; but they gained upon her every moment, and were just on the point of rushing on the sledge, when the poor woman, to save the lives of the rest, caught up one of the children and threw it to the wolves. This stopped them but a short time; they devoured it at once and again ran howling after the sledge. The mother threw out a second child, hoping to escape with the other; but in vain. Again the cruel animals were close behind her, and to save her own life, hardly knowing what she did, she threw over her only remaining child. She succeeded in reaching home herself, in safety, but where were her children? She told the terrible story; but while she was endeavoring to excuse herself by telling of her exceeding fright and danger, a man who stood by struck her on the head with an axe and killed her at one blow-saying that a woman who would thus give up her children to save her life, was not fit to live.
The Bible tells us of a time yet to come, when “The wolf shall feed with the lamb.” Perhaps this will be exactly true of the animals in those days, though it now seems so unlikely; but I suppose it means also that wicked and cruel men shall become holy and Christ-like. Then all will be peace on earth, and “none shall hurt or destroy in all” God’s “holy mountain.”
[Cook, Scripture Alphabet of Animals]