(כֶּלֶב, ke'leb, so called from his barking; Arabic kelb; Greek κύων, whence Eng. hound; diminutive κυνάριον) occurs in numerous passages both of the Old and the New Testament (see Bochart, Hieroz. 1:769 sq.). An animal so well known, whose numerous varieties come under daily observation, requires no detailed description (see the Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v.). There is, however, in Asia still extant one, perhaps more than one, species, that never have been the companions of man, and there are races of uncertain origin, that may have been formerly domesticated, but which are now feral, and as fierce as wolves; while, in accordance with Oriental modes of speech, there are others, exceedingly numerous, neither wild nor domesticated, but existing in all the cities and towns of the Levant, without owners; feeding on carrion and offal, and still having the true instinct of protecting property, guarding the inhabitants of the district or quarter where they are tolerated; and so far cherished, that water and some food are not unusually placed within their reach (see Jardine's Naturalists' Library, 9, 10). The true wild species of Upper and Eastern Asia is a low, sharp-nosed, reddish car-dog, not unlike a fox. but with less tail. In Persia and Turkey there exists a larger dog resembling a wolf, exceedingly savage. Both are gregarious, hunt in packs, but are occasionally seen alone. They are readily distinguished from a wolf by their shorter unfurnished tails. In the time of the sojourning of Israel in Egypt, there were already in existence domestic dogs of the principal races now extant — the curdog or fox-dog, the hound, the greyhound, and even a kind of low-legged turnspit (Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt. abridgm. 1:230). All the above, both wild and reclaimed, there is every reason to believe, were known to the Hebrews (see Mishna, Baba Kamma, 7:7), and although the Mosaic prohibition is presumed, yet anterior habits, and, in some measure, the necessity of their condition, must have caused cattle-dogs to be retained as property (De 23:18), for we find one of that race, or a house-dog, actually attending on travelers (Tobit 5:16; 11:4). It is to be presumed that practically the street-dogs alone were considered as absolutely unclean; though all, as is the case among Mohammedans, were excluded from familiarity. (See Berjeau, Dogs on Old Sculptures, etc. Lond. 1863.) In Egypt, anterior to the Christian aera, domestic dogs were venerated. SEE NIBHAZ. They continued to be cherished till the Arabian conquest, when they, like the unowned street-dogs, fell under the imprecation of Mohammed, who with reluctance, though with good policy, modified his denunciations and sentence of destruction in favor of hunting-dogs, and even permitted game killed by them to be eaten, provided they had not devoured any portion of it (comp. Ex 22:31). The words of the Lord Jesus to the Syrophoenician woman, and her answer (Mt 15:26-27), certainly imply a domestication and domiciliation of dogs; but simple toleration of their presence is all that can be gathered. They lived on what they could get. Among the Moors of North Africa a similar position of the dog is occasionally seen. They "grant him, indeed, a corner of their tent, but this is all; they never caress him, never throw him anything to eat" (Poiret's Barbary, 1:253). Besides the cattle-dog, the Egyptian hound, and one or two varieties of greyhound, were most likely used for hunting — a pastime, however, which the Hebrews mostly pursued on foot. On the Assyrian monuments they are depicted in hunting scenes. The street-dog, without master, apparently derived from the rufous-cur, and in Egypt partaking of the mongrel greyhound, often more or less bare, with a mangy, unctuous skin, fre. quently with several teeth wanting, was, as it now is, considered a defiling animal. It is to animals of this class, which no doubt followed the camp of Israel, and hung on its skirts, that allusion is more particularly made in Ex 22:31, for the same custom exists at this day, and the race of streetdogs still retains their ancient habits (Prosp.
Alpin. Rev. Egypt. 4:8, page 230 sq.; Russel, Aleppo, 2:55; Rosenmüller, Morgen. 4:76). A portion of the Cairo packs annually become hajis, and go and return with the caravan to Mecca, while others come from Damascus, acting in the same manner; and it is known that the pilgrims from the banks of the Indus are similarly attended to Kerbela: indeed, every caravan is so, more or less, by these poor animals. But with regard to the dogs that devoured Jezebel, and licked up Ahab's blood (1Ki 21:23), they may have been of the wild races, a species of which is reported to have particularly infested the banks of the Kishon and the district of Jezreel. In illustration of this shocking end of Jezebel, it may be remarked that the more than half-wild street-dogs of the East, living upon their own resources, and without owners, soon make rapid clearance of the flesh of dead bodies left exposed, whether of human creatures or beasts (Bruce, Trav. 4:81). Among other instances, it is recorded that a number of Indian pilgrims were drowned by the sinking of a ferry-boat in which they were crossing a river. Two days afterwards a spectator relates: "On my approaching several of these sad vestiges of mortality, I perceived that the flesh had been completely devoured from the bones by the Pariah dogs, vultures, and other obscene animals. The only portion of the several corpses I noticed that remained entire and untouched were the bottoms of the feet and insides of the hands, a circumstance that may afford a corroborative proof of the rooted antipathy the dog has to prey upon the human hands and feet. Why such should be the case remains a mystery" (Kitto's Daily Illust. in loc.). Stanley (S. and P. page 350) states that he saw on the very site of Jezreel the descendants of the dogs that devoured Jezebel, prowling on the mounds without the walls for offal and carrion thrown out to them to consume; and Wood, in his Journal to the source of the Oxus, complains that the dog has not yet arrived at his natural position in the social state (compare Strabo, 17:821; Burckhardt, Trav. 2:870). The dog was employed, however, in sacrifice by some ancient nations (Pausan. 3:14, 9; Arnob. 4:25; Julian, Orat. 5, page 176; Pliny, 18:69; comp. Saubert, De sacrific. c. 23, page 518 sq.), and was even sometimes eaten (Plutarch, De sollert. animal. c. 2; Justin. 19:1). The cities of the East are still greatly disturbed in the night by the howlings of street-dogs, who, it seems, were similarly noisy in ancient times, the fact being noticed in Ps 59:6,14; and dumb or silent dogs are not unfrequently seen, such as Isaiah alludes to (56:10). The same passage has reference to the peculiarly fitful sleep of the dog, and his sudden start as if during a dream (see J.G. Michaelis, Observ. Sacr. 2:50 sq.).
The dog was used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses (Isa 56:10; comp. Iliad, 23:173; Odys. 17:309), and for guarding their flocks (Job 30:1; comp. Iliad, 10:183; 12:302; Varro, R.R. 2:9; Colum. 7:12; see Thomson, Land and Book, 1:301). Then also, as now, troops of hungry and semi-wild dogs used to wander about the fields and streets of the cities, devouring dead bodies and other offal (1Ki 14:11; 1Ki 16:4; 1Ki 21:19,23; 1Ki 22:38; 2Ki 9:10,36; Jer 15:3; Ps 59:6,14), and thus became such objects of dislike (comp. Harmar, 1:198 sq.; Host, Nachr. 5. Marokko; page 294; Joliffe, page 327) that fierce and cruel enemies are poetically styled dogs in Ps 22:16,20 (see Jer 15:3; comp. Joseph. Ant. 15:8, 4; Homer, Il. 17:255; 22:335). Moreover, the dog, being an unclean animal (Isa 66:3; Mt 7:6; comp. Horace, Ep. 1:2, 26), as still in the East (Arvieux, 3:189; Hasselquist, page 109), and proverbially filthy in its food (Pr 26:11; 2Pe 2:22), the terms dog, dead dog, dog's head were used as terms of reproach, or of humility in speaking of one's self (1Sa 24:14; 2Sa 3:8; 2Sa 9:8; 2Sa 16:9; 2Ki 8:13). Knox relates a story of a nobleman of Ceylon, who, being asked by the king how many children he had, replied, "Your majesty's dog has three puppies." Throughout the whole East "dog" is a term of reproach for impure and profane persons, and in this sense is used by the Jews respecting the Gentiles (Re 22:15; compare Schöttgen, Hor. Hebrews 1:1145), and by Mohammedans respecting Christians (Wetstein, 1:424; 2:274). The wanton nature of the dog is another of its characteristics, and there can be no doubt that כֶּלֶב in De 23:18 means a male prostitute (i.q. קָדֵשׁ); comp. Ecclus. 26:25, "A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog" (Hesych. κυνὲς ἀναιδεῖς). We still use the name of one of the noblest creatures in the world as a term of contempt (comp. Athen. 6:270). To ask an Uzbek to sell his wife would be no affront, but to ask him to sell his dog an unpardonable insult —Suggeeferosh, or dog-seller, being the most offensive epithet that one Uzbek can apply to another. The addition of the article (τοῖς κυναρίοις, Mt 15:26; Mr 7:27) implies that the presence of dogs was an ordinary feature of Eastern life in our Savior's time. When Christ says in Mt 15:26, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs," by the children are meant the Jews; by the dogs, the Gentiles. In the Rabbinical writings the question is put, "What does a dog mean?" and the answer is, "One who is uncircumcised." The dog and the sow are mentioned together in Isa 66:3; Mt 7:6; 2Pe 2:22, as being alike impure and unacceptable. Paul calls the false apostles dogs on account of their impurity and love of gain (Php 3:2; see Simon, Κυνοβλεψία, a Paulo mandata, Smalcald, 1747). Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are called dogs, sorcerers, etc. (Re 22:15), where the word is applied to all kinds of vile persons, as it is to a particular class in De 23:18.