Bible Animals : Hyena


Hyena in Wikipedia Hyena. - This word is not to be found in any of the English translations of the Bible; it occurs twice in the Septuagint, Jer., xii, 9, and Ecclus., xiii, 22, being in both places the rendering for the Hebrew name bh. The hyenas are very numerous in the Holy Land, where they are most active scavengers; they feed upon dead bodies, and sometimes dig the tombs open to get at the corpses therein buried. Two Hebrew names are supposed to designate the hyena: (1) bh'. This word, which has been interpreted "speckled bird", Jer., xii, 9, by modern translators following the Vulgate, has been rendered by "holy man", Ecclus., xiii, 22. Despite the authorities that favour the above mentioned translation of Jer., xii, 9, the consistency of the Septuagint on the one hand, and on the other the parallelism in the latter passage, in addition to the analogy with the Arabic and rabbinical Hebrew names for the hyena, fairly support the identification of the bh' with this animal. (2) yym, rendered in divers manners in different places: wild beasts, Is., xiii, 21; demons, Is., xxxiv, 14; dragons, Ps. lxxiii (hebr., lxxiv), 14; Jer., 1, 39.