Animal

Animal

(designated by various Hebrews terms, rendered "creature," "living thing," "cattle," etc.), an organized living body, endowed with sensation. SEE BEAST. The Hebrews distinguished animals into pure and impure, clean and unclean; or those which might be eaten and offered, and those whose use was prohibited. The sacrifices which they offered were:

(a.) of the beeve kind, a cow, bull, or calf. The ox could not be offered, because it was mutilated. Where it is said in our version oxen were sacrificed, we are to understand bulls (Ex 20:24).

Bible concordance for ANIMALS.

(b.) Of the goat kind, a he-goat, a she-goat, or kid (Le 22:21).

(c.) Of the sheep kind, a ewe, ram, or lamb. When it is said sheep are offered, rams are chiefly meant, especially in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sins. SEE SACRIFICE.

Definition of animal

Besides these three sorts of animals used in sacrifices, many others might be eaten, wild or tame. All that have not cloven hoofs, and do not chew the cud, were esteemed impure, and could neither be offered nor eaten. SEE CLEAN. Commentators on the Scriptures are much divided with relation to the legal purity or impurity of animals. It would appear that this distinction obtained before the Flood, since God commanded Noah (Ge 7:2) to carry seven couples of clean animals into the ark and two of unclean. SEE FOOD. The following is a complete list of all the Biblical animals, both clean and unclean (many of them named in De 14; Le 11), exclusive of BIRDS SEE BIRDS , FISHES SEE FISHES , INSECTS SEE INSECTS , and REPTILES SEE REPTILES (all which see in their order), arranged under their true English names (with the Hebrew or Greek term in italics), so far as these have been discovered. (See Kinniburgh, Scriptural Animals, Edinb. 1852; Anonymous, Scriptural Quadrupeds, Lond. 1858). SEE ZOOLOGY.

WORSHIP OF ANIMALS. — The reasons of the choice of animals consecrated to receive worship among the Egyptians, the great practisers of this superstition, are now involved in much obscurity; some are probably connected with the beasts themselves, some with astronomical allegories, and some, perhaps, with now lost historical facts. (For a list of the sacred animals of different parts of Egypt, see Wilkinson's Anc. Egyptians, abridgm. 1:245 sq.) SEE IDOLATRY. The ox, the sheep, and the ichneumon were held in almost general veneration; the cat and the asp had their distinguishing homage; and the Egyptian custom of selecting some in preference to others, as the objects of veneration by different cities, extended to other countries, and was adopted by the Lemnians and Thessalians. The bloody wars occasioned by the variety of homage paid to animals, such as that caused by the inhabitants of Cynopolis eating the oxyrinchus, and the Oxyrinchians the dog, prove how fiercely the superstition was cherished. Herodotus says that the hippopotamus was sacred only in the Papremitic Nome, and he adds the eel and water-snake to the list of hallowed fishes, and the fox-goose to that of hallowed birds. Sacred serpents were kept at Thebes, and in the mysteries and many other pagan rites they were pre-eminently conspicuous. "The cats," Herodotus observes, "when dead, are carried to sacred buildings, and, after being embalmed, are buried in the city Bubastis. Dogs and ichneumons are buried wherever they happen to die. The shrew-mouse and the hawk are removed to Butos; the ibis to Hermonopolis; bears and wolves are buried in whatever place they die, but not, like the dogs, in consecrated chests" (Herod. 2, 65-67). The solar deities of the Egyptians are usually represented with the head of a hawk. In the procession at Dendera, several of these hawk-headed divinities appear with an ornament upon the head, — composed of the circle, and a serpent with an inflated neck, or, as it is usually termed, a basilisk. The worship of the serpent appears to have been at an early period almost universal, which may be accounted for by considering that reptile as the earliest type of the solar influence, which in later times gave place to other emblems, possibly on account of the venomous properties of the creature, which rendered it an unsuitable representation of that from which it was supposed all good proceeded. SEE WORSHIP. Lands were set apart for the support of the sacred animals; men and women were employed in feeding and maintaining them. If a person killed any of these creatures designedly, he was punished with death; if involuntarily, his punishment, in some cases, was referred to the priest; but if the animal killed were either a cat, a hawk, or an ibis, and that whether by design or not, the culprit was to die, without mercy, and the enraged multitude seldom waited even for the formalities of a trial. A Roman, in the time of one of the Ptolemies, who killed a cat accidentally, was torn in pieces by the populace on the spot, in spite of all the efforts of the king's guard to save him. When any of these animals died, great lamentation was made, and vast sums expended on their funeral. We are told that in the beginning of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the bull Apis dying, his keeper expended more than fifty talents of silver, or £13,000, on his interment (see Wilkinson's Anc. Eg. 1, 226 sq.). The Israelites often debased themselves by an imitation of this daemonolatry, for which they were severely punished by God, because it was one grand design of the Mosaic law to keep their theology free from these gross appendages. SEE APIS; SEE CAT; SEE CROCODILE; SEE IBIS; SEE ICHNEUMON; SEE SERPENT; SEE SATYR, etc.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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