Bible Animals : Coney


Coney in Wikipedia Cherogrillus (Leviticus 11:5; Deuteronomy 14:7), a mere transliteration of the Greek name of the porcupine, corresponds to the Hebrew shăphăn, translated, Ps. ciii (Hebr., civ), 18, by irchin, and Prov., xxx, 26, by rabbit. As St. Jerome noticed it, the shăphăn is not the porcupine, but a very peculiar animal of about the same size, dwelling among the rocks, and in holes, and called in Israel "bear-rat", on account of some resemblance with these two quadrupeds. We call it coney, or daman (hyrax syriacus). Its habit of lingering among the rocks is alluded to, Ps. ciii, 18; its wisdom and defencelessness, Prov., xxx, 24-26. "It cannot burrow, for it has no claws, only nails half developed ; but it lies in holes in the rocks, and feeds only at dawn and dusk, always having sentries posted, at the slightest squeak from which the whole party instantly disappears. The coney is not a ruminant (cf. Leviticus 11:5), but it sits working its jaws as if re-chewing. It is found sparingly in most of the rocky districts, and is common about Sinai" (Tristram).