Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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hare Summary and Overview

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hare in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. 'arnebeth) was prohibited as food according to the Mosaic law (Lev. 11:6; Deut. 14:7), "because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof." The habit of this animal is to grind its teeth and move its jaw as if it actually chewed the cud. But, like the cony (q.v.), it is not a ruminant with four stomachs, but a rodent like the squirrel, rat, etc. Moses speaks of it according to appearance. It is interdicted because, though apparently chewing the cud, it did not divide the hoof. There are two species in Syria, (1) the Lepus Syriacus or Syrian hare, which is like the English hare; and (2) the Lepus Sinaiticus, or hare of the desert. No rabbits are found in Syria.

hare in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. arnebeth) occurs only in #Le 11:6| and Deut 14:7 amongst the animals disallowed as food by the Mosaic law. The hare is at this day called arnel by the Arabs in Israel and Syria. It was erroneously thought by the ancient Jews to have chewed the cud. They were no doubt misled as in the case of the shaphfan (hyrax), by the habit these animals have of moving the jaw about.

hare in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

HARE , Deut 14:7. Of the hare, which resembles the rabbit, five species or varieties are found in Palestine. This animal was declared unclean by the Jewish law, Lev 11:6, "because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof." For popular guidance this description was better than a more scientific one, and is explained under Coney.

hare in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

arnebeth Reckoned unclean on the ground that it "chews the cud, but divideth not the hoof" (Leviticus 11:6; Deuteronomy 14:7). It brings up from the (esophagus and chews again its food; but there is no genuine rumination, neither it nor the hyrax ("coney") or shaaphan have the special stomach of the ruminants. Rodent animals, as the hare and the hyrax, keep down the undue growth of their teeth, which grow during life, by grinding with their jaws. The sacred legislator did not design the classification of a scientific naturalist or a comparative anatomist, but to furnish a popular mode of recognizing animals the flesh of which was not to be eaten. The rule in Deuteronomy 17:27, "whatsoever goeth upon his paws" (as the dog, cat, and beasts of prey), sufficiently excludes from the clean the hyrax and the hare. The Parsees still abominate the hare. The hare, though having a divided foot, has not a cloven hoof, which was a requisite for legal cleanness. True ruminants have four stomachs, molar teeth, and a jawbone suited for the circular movement of chewing the cud. The hare has none of these marks, and has in the upper jaw incisor teeth, which ruminants have not. But hares retain the cropped food within the hollows of their cheeks and masticate it at leisure, which in phenomenal language is "chewing the cud," and is so described by even so close an observer of nature as the poet Cowper. The ancient Britons rejected it as food. The Palestinian hare, Lepus Syriacus, was of a fur buff or yellowish-grey color, the hare of the desert (Lepus Sinaiticus) darker and smaller. The rabbit (Lepus cuniculus) seems to be unknown in Syria and Israel.