ga-zel' (tsebhi, and feminine tsebhiyah; compare Tabeitha
(Acts 9:36), and Arabic zabi; also Arabic ghazal; Dorkas
(Acts 9:36); modern Greek zarkadi): The word "gazelle" does
not occur in the King James Version, where tsebhi and
tsebhiyah, in the 16 passages where they occur, are
uniformly translated "roe" or "roebuck." In the Revised
Version (British and American) the treatment is not uniform.
We find "gazelle" without comment in Dt 12:15,22; 14:5;
15:22; 1 Ki 4:23. We find "roe," with marginal note "or
gazelle," in Prov 6:5; Song 2:7,9,17; 4:5; 8:14; Isa 13:14.
We find "roe" without comment in 2 Sam 2:18; 1 Ch 12:8; Song
3:5; 7:3. In the last passage cited, Song 7:3, while the
American Standard Revised Version has no note, the English
Revised Version refers to Song 4:5, where "gazelle" is
graven in the margin. In the opinion of the writer, the
rendering should be "gazelle" in all of these passages. It
must be acknowledged, however, that the gazelle and the roe-
deer are of about the same size, and are sometimes confused
with each other. The Greek dorkas may refer to either, and
in Syria the roe-deer is sometimes called ghazal or even
wa`l, which is the proper name of the Persian wild goat...
-Also called, FALLOW DEER, HART, HIND, ROEBUCK
-Designated among the ceremonially clean animals, to be eaten
De 12:15; 14:5
-Provided for Solomon's household
2Sa 2:18; 1Ch 12:8; Pr 6:5; So 8:14; Isa 35:6
(called fallow from its reddish-brown color) (Heb. yachmur).
The Hebrew word, which is mentioned only in De 14:5 and 1Kin
probably denotes the Alcelaphus bubalis (the bubale or
wild cow) of Barbary and North Africa. It is about the size of
a stag, and lives in herds. It is almost exactly like the
European roebuck, and is valued for its venison.
The Hebrew words thus translated denote some species of
antelope, probably the Gazella arabica of Syria and Arabia.
The gazelle was allowed as food, De 12:15,22 etc.; it is
mentioned as very fleet of foot, 2Sa 2:18; 1Ch 12:8 it was
hunted, Isa 13:14; Pr 6:5 it was celebrated for its
loveliness. So 2:9,17; 8:14
Deut. 14:5 (R.V., "Wild goat"); 1 Kings 4:23 (R.V.,
This animal, called in Hebrew _yahmur_, from a word
be red," is regarded by some as the common fallow-
Cervus dama, which is said to be found very
Western and Southern Asia. It is called "fallow"
pale-red or yellow colour. Some interpreters,
the name as designating the bubale, Antelope bubale,
cow" of North Africa, which is about the size of a
the hartebeest of South Africa. A species of deer
has been found
at Mount Carmel which is called _yahmur_ by the
Arabs. It is
said to be similar to the European roebuck.
ROE or ROEBUCK. Yaalah, "chamois" (Proverbs 5:19) or ibex, the
female of the wild goat. Tsebi (masculine), tsebiah
(feminine), from whence Tabitha (Greek Dorkas), "loving and
beloved": Acts 9:36. The beautiful antelope or gazelle, the
Antelope dorcas and Antelope Arabica. Slender, graceful, shy,
and timid; the image of feminine loveliness (Song of Solomon
4:5; Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of
The eye is large, soft, liquid, languishing, and of
deepest black; image of swift footedness (2 Samuel 1:19; 2
Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8). Israel ate the gazelle in the
wilderness, and the flesh of flocks and herds only when
offered in sacrifice; but in Canaan they might eat the flesh,
"even as the gazelle" (Deuteronomy 12:15; Deuteronomy 12:22);
Isaac's venison was front it (Genesis 27). The valley of Gerar
and the Beersheba plains are still frequented by it. Egyptian
paintings represent it hunted by hounds.
The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild
goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
der ('ayyal, feminine 'ayyalah, and 'ayyeleth (compare Arabic,
'ayyal and 'iyal, "deer" and 'ayil, "ram," and Latin caper and
capra, "goat," caprea, capreolus, "wild goat," "chamois," or
"roe deer"); yachmur (compare Arabic, yachmur, "deer");
ya`alah, feminine of ya`el (compare Arabic, wa`l, "Pers wild
goat"); tsebhi, and feminine tsebhiyah (compare Arabic, zabi
and feminine zabiyah, "gazelle"]; `opher (compare Arabic,
ghafr and ghufr, "young of the mountain goat")):
Of the words in the preceding list, the writer believes that
only the first two, i.e. 'ayyal (with its feminine forms) and
yachmur should be translated "deer," 'ayyal for the roe deer
and yachmur for the fallow deer. Further, he believes that
ya`el (including ya`alah) should be translated "ibex," and
tsebhi, "gazelle." `Opher is the young of a roe deer or of a
ro, ro'-buk: the King James Version has "roe" and "roebuck"
for tsehi, tsebhiyah. the Revised Version (British and
American) usually substitutes "gazelle" in the text (Dt 12:15,
etc.) or margin (Prov 6:5, etc.), but retains "roe" in 2 Sam
2:18; 1 Ch 12:8; Song 3:5; 7:3. So the Revised Version
(British and American) has "gazelle" for the King James
Version "roe" in Sirach 27:20 (dorkas). the Revised Version
(British and American) has "roe-buck" for yachmur (Dt 14:5; 1
Ki 4:23), where the King James Version has "fallow deer." In
the opinion of the writer, 'ayyal English Versions of the
Bible "hart," should be translated "roe-buck," yachmur "fallow
deer," and tsebhi "gazelle."
See DEER; GAZELLE.
Alfred Ely Day
Deer. - (Hebr., 'áyyãl). Its name is frequently read in the Scriptures, and its habits have afforded many allusions or comparisons, which fact supposes that the deer was not rare in Israel. Its handsome form, its swiftness, its shyness, the love of the roe for her fawns, are alluded to; it seems from Prov., v, 19 and some other indirect indications that the words 'áyyãl and 'áyyãlah (deer and hind) were terms of endearment most familiar between lovers.
Fallow-deer (Cervus dama or Dama vulgaris) believed by some to be signified by Hebrew yáhmûr. The fallow-deer is scarce in the Holy Land and found only north of Mount Thabor. If it is mentioned at all in the Bible, it is probably ranked among the deer.