Camel

gamal. A ruminant animal, the chief means of communication between places separated by sandy deserts in Asia, owing to its amazing powers of endurance. The "ship of the desert," able to go without food, and water for days, the cellular stomach containing a reservoir for water, and its fatty hump a supply of nourishment; and content with such coarse, prickly shrubs as the desert yields and its incisor teeth enable it to divide. Their natural posture of rest is lying down on the breast; on which, as well as on the joints of the legs, are callosities. Thus, Providence by their formation adapts them for carriers; and their broad, cushioned, elastic feet enable them to tread sure-footedly upon the sinking sands and gravel. They can close their nostrils against the drifting sand of the parching simoom. Their habitat is Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, S. Tartary, and part of India; in Africa from the Mediterranean to Senegal, and from Egypt and Abyssinia to Algiers and Morocco.

The dromedary (beeker) is from a better breed, and swifter; from the Greek dromas, a runner; going often at a pace of nine miles an hour (Esther 8:10; Esther 8:14). The Bactrian two-humped camel is a variety. Used in Abraham's time for riding and burdens (Genesis 24:64; Genesis 37:25); also in war (1 Samuel 30:17; Isaiah 21:7). Camel's hair was woven into coarse cloth, such as what John the Baptist wore (Matthew 3:4). The Hebrew gamal is from a root "to revenge," because of its remembrance of injuries and vindictiveness, or else "to carry." In Isaiah 60:6 and Jeremiah 2:23 beeker should be translated not "dromedary," but "young camel." In Isaiah 66:20 kirkaroth, from karar to bound, "swift beasts," i.e. dromedaries. Its milk is used for drink as that of the goats and sheep for butter.