What is a Fox?
Neh 4:3. Under this term the jackal is included -- indeed, most of the references seem to be to that animal. The Orientals at the present time do not distinguish in common language between the two creatures. Both are common in Palestine. The fox (Vulpes vulgaris) is smaller than the jackal (Cam's aureus), and is of a reddish hue, while the latter is yellowish; hence its scientific name, meaning "the golden dog." It is the latter also, and not the fox, which devours the dead and follows armies that he may feed on human bodies left behind. Ps 63:10. Both animals are omnivorous, but the jackal, which goes in packs, is even more destructive to the vineyards than the other. Song 2:15. The crafty, artful nature of the fox is proverbial. Eze 13:4; Luke 13:32. He prowls singly for his prey of birds or small quadrupeds, which he takes by stratagem. Jackals are concealed by hundreds among the ruins, caves, and gardens of Syria. Lam 5:18. At sunset they come forth, and both then and at intervals through the night the traveller hears their cry, resembling the confused wailing of many infants. Evidently, the "foxes" which Samson The Syrian Fox. caught (Jud 15:4) were jackals. On this Tristram judiciously remarks: while Samson could not have caught so many foxes, "he might easily have 'snared,' as the Hebrew expresses it, 300 jackals, which hunt in large packs, and which are still most numerous in southern Palestine. It is not necessary to assume that the whole 300 were caught at once or turned loose in the same place, but rather that Samson, having taken them, turned them loose in many different places, so as to make 150 incendiary fires, and to cause the widest possible injury to the standing crops of the Philistines. The brands would be attached at some distance from the tails of the animals, and jackals, accustomed to run together, would not, unless very tightly fastened, pull in opposite directions, as foxes or dogs would; but the terrified animals would, so soon as ever they were let go, rush as fast as possible from their captor, and carry the devastation far and wide before the brand was extinguished." FRANKIN'CENSE (white), a dry, resinous, aromatic substance of a white or yellowish color, bitter and acrid to the taste, burning for a long time with a clear, steady, and very odoriferous flame. Several trees (of the genus Boswellia) which grow in India, Arabia, and Africa yield this gum from incisions in the bark. Along the coast of Hadramaut, a district of Arabia, as Carter has shown, frankincense (the olibanum of commerce) is produced, as was affirmed by Herodotus, Celsius, other ancient writers, and the Bible. Isa 60:6; Jer 6:20, The Arabian species (B. Carterii) somewhat resembles, especially in its Boswellia Thurifera. (Colehrooke. Supposed Frankincense. After Dr. Birdwood.) pinnate leaves when young, the mountain-ash. This gum, in the above and other passages, is mentioned simply as "incense." It is called frank because of the freeness with which it burns and gives forth its odors; and the pure incense is that which is first obtained, and is freest from foreign admixture. "Sweet incense," Ex 30:7, might as well be rendered "incense of spices," and is the composition mentioned in Ex 30:34. The use of incense in the Jewish worship may be learned from Ex 30:7 and Lev 16:12-13, and it is figuratively employed to represent lovely and agreeable qualities. Song 3:6; Song 4:6, Song 4:14, and devotional fervor. Ps 141:2; Mal 1:11;Rev 8:3. FRANK'LY is used in Luke 7:42 in the sense of "freely."