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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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I. M. Casanowicz, Ph.D.

United States National Museum, Washington, D. C.

Contributions:
PREY, BIRDS OF – While few clean birds are named in the Old Testament (see Poultry), there are given in Lev. xi. (13-19) and Deut. xiv. (12-21) two parallel lists of birds of prey, the former passage mentioning twenty, and the latter twenty-one....
PRIMOGENITURE – In the Old Testament as well as in the rabbinical legislation a distinction is made between the first-born of inheritance ( ) and the first-born of redemption ( ; comp. Bek. viii. 1, 46a).Primogeniture of Inheritance. The...
PYGARG – Clean animal mentioned in Deut. xiv. 5, following the Septuagint. The identity of the animal has not been established.Bibliography: Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, p. 126.E. G. H. I. M. C.
QUAIL – Mentioned in Ex. xvi. 11-13 and Num. xi. 31 (comp. Ps. lxxviii. 27, cv. 40) in connection with the miraculous feeding of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Quails pass over the Sinaitic Peninsula in vast numbers,...
RAVEN – The first bird specifically mentioned in the Old Testament (Gen. viii. 7), where it is referred to in connection with Noah and the ark. It is included among the unclean brids in Lev. xi. 15 and Deut. xiv. 14, where the term...
REPTILES – In the Biblical account of creation the "creeping things" are divided into the "moving" creatures of the sea (Gen. i. 20) and "everything that creepeth upon the ground" (Gen. i. 25). As a group parallel to the "beasts" and the...
RIME – The early Hebrews have been credited with the knowledge and use of rime. Judah Provencal, according to Azariah dei Rossi ("Me'or 'Enayim," v.), considered Hebrew poetry the mother of all other poetries, so that in adopting the...
ROE – Rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew which is sometimes translated also "roebuck" and "wild roe," and occasionally in the Revised Version "gazel." The roe is mentioned as an animal permitted as food (Deut. xiv. 5);...
SATYR – Rendering by the English versions of the Hebrew "se'irim" in Isa. xiii. 21, xxxiv. 14 (R. V., margin, "he-goats"; American R. V., "wild goats"), while in Lev. xvii. 7 and II Chron. xi. 15 the Authorized Version renders the word...
SCORPION – An arachnid resembling a miniature flat lobster, and having a poisonous sting in its tail. It is common in the Sinaitic Peninsula and the desert of El-Tih. In Palestine, where it is represented by eight species, it swarms in...
SEA-MEW – For Biblical data see Cuckoo. In the Talmud (Ḥul. 62b) is mentioned an unclean bird under the name , and (ib. 102b) under , explained by Rashi as "a very lean bird." Some would connect these words with the Latin "prava" (bad)...
SERPENT – The following terms are used in the Old Testament to denote serpents of one kind or another: (1) "naḥash," the generic and most frequently used term; (2) "peten" (asp or adder; Deut. xxxii. 33; Isa. xi. 8; et al.), perhaps...
SHEEP – Biblical Data: The most usual terms for the sheep are "seh" and "kebes" ("keseb"); "kar" (Deut. xxxii. 14; Isa. lviii. 7) denotes the young lamb in pasture; "ṭeleh" (Isa. xl. 11 et al.), the suckling lamb; "ayil," the ram;...
SNAIL – Rendering given in the English versions for "shabbelul," which occurs only in Ps. lviii. 9 (A. V. 8). An equivalent rendering is given bythe Targum and the Talmud; the Septuagint and Vulgate give "wax." The idea of melting away,...
SPARROW – Rendering given in the English versions (Ps. lxxxiv. 4 [A. V. 3], cii. 8 [A. V. 7]) for the word "ẓippor," which denotes birds in general, but is used especially of small passerine birds. Four species of sparrow are very...
STORK – Unclean bird (Lev. xi. 19; Deut. xiv. 18). The name (comp. Latin, "pia avis") alludes to the filial piety and devotion attributed by the ancients to the stork (comp. Aristotle, "Historia Animalium," ix. 14, 1). Both the white...
SWALLOW – Rendering in the English versions for "deror" (Ps. lxxxiv. 4 [A. V. 3]; Prov. xxvi. 2) and for "sus" or "sis" (Isa. xxxviii. 14: Jer. viii. 7 [A. V. "crane"]). There are about ten species of swallow (Hirundinidœ) and the closely...
SWAN – The rendering of the Authorized Version for "tinshemet" (Lev. xi. 18; Deut. xiv. 16). The Revised Version, more correctly, gives "horned owl" (see Lizard; Mole; Owl).Two species of swan have been found in Palestine, the whooper,...
SWINE – Rendering in the English versions of the Hebrew "ḥazir." The swine is enumerated among the unclean animals (Lev. xi. 7; Deut. xiv. 8); the use of its flesh as food is branded as apostasy (Isa. Ixv. 4; lxvi. 3, 17); and the...
TORTOISE – Rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew word "ẓab" (Lev. xi. 29; see Lizard). Some commentators assume "gallim" in Hos. xii. 12 to mean "tortoises," a view which has the support of the Septuagint, the Peshiṭta, and old...
TRUMPET – In Shab. 36a (comp. Suk. 34a) it is noted that since the destruction of the Temple the names for the shofar and the trumpet had been confused. The same complaint may be made against the Septuagint, which generally renders the...
UNICORN – Rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew or , following the Septuagint and the Vulgate. Aquila and Saadia, on Job xxxix. 9, read "rhinoceros"; Bochart ("Hierozoicon") and others, "oryx," or "white antelope"; Revised...
VULTURE – The Hebrew terms rendered in one or the other of the English versions by "vulture" are: "da'ah" (Lev. xi. 14) and its variant "dayyah" (Deut. xiv. 13 and Isa. xxxiv. 15 [R. V. "kite"]), "ayyah" (Lev. xi. 14; Deut. xiv. 13; Job...
WAX – In the Old Testament wax is referred to only as a simile for something easily dissolved or evanescent (Ps. lxviii. 3); for compliance and submission (Judges xvi. 18; Micah i. 4; Ps. xcvii. 5); or for fear and discouragement (Ps....
WEASEL – Unclean animal (Lev. xi. 29). Saadia, Bochart, and others render by "mole," referring to the Arabic "ḥuld" and the Aramaic "ḥuldah." The family of the Mustelidœ, to which the weasel belongs, is represented in Palestine and Syria...