Coney in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

shaphan, from the root "to hide"; the S. Arab, thofun; the Syrian Arab, weber. A pachydermatous animal, gregarious, greybacked, white on the belly, with long hair, short tail, and round ears; common on the ridges of Lebanon; living in caves and clefts; the Hyrax Syriacus, not the rabbit or coney. Proverbs 30:26; "the coneys are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks:" exactly true of the hyrax; with weak teeth, short incisors, and nails instead, it seems defenseless, but its security is in rocky hiding places, such as Ain Feshkah on the Dead Sea shore. "No animal" (says Tristram). "gave us so much trouble to secure." It is described as "chewing the cud" (Leviticus 11:5; Deuteronomy 14:7), in phenomenal language, because the motion of its jaws is like that of ruminating animals; so also the hare. Though in some respects like the rodentia, it is really akin to the rhinoceros; its molar teeth differ only in the size; its body is as large as the rabbit. The "exceeding wisdom" of the coneys is illustrated in their setting an old male sentry near their holes to warn his companions when danger approaches, by a whistling sound.

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