A term applied by the Biblical writers to men whose disposition or spirit was like that of beasts. It is used in close conjunction with "foolish" (Jer. x. 8; Ps. xlix. 10, xciv. 8), and, as indicated in the Hebrew, may mean "stupid." In a few instances it seems to indicate that the persons under consideration are both ignorant and reckless (Jer. x. 14, li. 17; Ps. lxiii. 22, xcii. 6). Again, brutishness, or beastlikeness, implies not a passive but an actively dangerous quality of character (Ezek. xxi. 31). The man who is persistently ignorant is also called "brutish" (Prov. xii. 1). The prophets who did not call upon the Lord, to inquire of Him, were included in the same category (compare Jer. x. 21). To sum up, "brutishness" in the Old Testament is descriptive of a foolish, stupid, recklessly and persistently ignorant, and dangerous man.

J. Jr. I. M. P.
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