(חֲזַיר, chazii', in Arabic chizron) occurs in Ps 80:13, the same word being rendered " swine" in every other instance: in Le 11:7; De 14:8; Pr 11:22; Isa 65:4; Isa 66:3,17. The Hebrew, Egyptian, Arabian, Phoenician, and other neighboring nations abstained from hogs' flesh, and consequently, excepting in Egypt and (at a later period) beyond the Sea of Galilee, no domesticated swine were reared. In Egypt, where swine-herds were treated as the lowest of men, even to a denial of admission into the temples, and where to have been touched by a swine defiled the person nearly as much as it did a Hebrew, it is difficult to conjecture for what purpose these animals were kept so abundantly as it appears by the monumental pictures they were; for the mere service of treading down seed in the deposited mud of the Nile when the inundation subsided, the only purpose alleged, cannot be admitted as a sufficient explanation of the fact. Although in Palestine, Syria, and Phoenicia hogs were rarely domesticated, wild boars are often mentioned in the Scriptures, and they were frequent in the time of the Crusades; for Richard Coeur-de-Lion encountered one of vast size, ran it through with his lance, and, while the animal was still endeavoring to gore his horse, he leaped over its back, and slew it with his sword. At present wild boars frequent the marshes of the Delta, and are not uncommon on Mount Carmel and in the valley of Ajalah. They are abundant about the sources of the Jordan, and lower down, where the river enters the Dead Sea. The Koords and other wandering tribes of Mesopotamia, and on the banks of both the great rivers, hunt and eat the wild boar, and it may be suspected that the half human satyrs they pretend sometimes to kill in the chase derive their cloven-footed hind-quarters from wild boars, and offer a convenient mode of concealing from the women and public that the nutritive flesh they bring home is a luxury forbidden by their law. The wild boar of the East, though commonly smaller than the old breeds of domestic swine, grows occasionally to a very large size. It is passive while unmolested, but vindictive and fierce when roused. The ears of the species are small, and rather rounded, the snout broad, the tusks very prominent, the tail distichous, and the color dark ashy, the ridge of the back bearing a profusion of long bristles. It is doubtful whether this species is the same as that of Europe, for the farrow are not striped; most likely it is identical with the wild hog of India. The wild boar roots up the ground in a different manner from the common hog; the one turns up the earth in little spots here and there, the other ploughs it up like a furrow, and does irreparable damage in the cultivated lands of the farmer, destroying the roots of the vine and other plants. "The chief abode of the wild boar," says Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, "is in the forests and jungles; but when the grain is nearly ripe, he commits great ravages in the fields and sugar plantations. The powers that subverted the Jewish nation are compared to the wild boar, and the wild beast of the field, by which the vine is wasted and devoured; and no figure could be more happily chosen (Ps 80:13). That ferocious and destructive animal, not satisfied with devouring the fruit, lacerates and breaks with his sharp tusks the -branches of the vine, or with his snout digs it up by the roots and tramples it under his feet." Dr. Pococke observed very large herds of wild boars on the side of the Jordan, where it flows out of the Sea of Tiberias, and several of them on the other side lying among the reeds of the sea. The wild boars of other countries delight in like moist retreats. These shady marshes, then, it would seem, are called in the Scripture "woods," for it calls these animals "the wild boars of the woods." This habit of lurking in reeds was known to the Assyrians, and sculptured on their monuments (see Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p.' 109). The Heb. חִזַיר is from an unused root חָזִר (chazar', to roll in the mire). The Sept. renders it σῦς or ῏υς, but in the N.T. χοῖρος is used for swine. SEE SWINE.

Definition of boar

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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