stands in the A.V. for the following Hebrews words: בֶּכֶר, be'ker, Isa 40:6 (Sept. κάμηλος, Vulg. dromedarius), fem. בַּכרָה, bikrah', Jer 2:23 (Sept. mistranslates ὀψέ, as if reading בֹּקרָה; Vulg. cursor levis), a young camel (see Bochart, Hieroz. 1:82 sq.; Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 206); רֶכֶשׁ, re'kesh, 1Ki 4:28 (Sept. ἃρμα; Vulg. jumentum; A.V. "mule" in Es 8:10,14; "swift beast" in Mic 1:13), a steed or fleet courser (see Bochart, Hieroz. 1:95); רִמָּך, Es 8:10 (Sept. and Vulg. altogether paraphrase), a mare (fully הָאֲחִשׁתּרָנַים בּנֵי הָרִמָּכַים, ha-achasteranim beney ha-rammakim, the mules, sons of mares, A.V. "young dromedaries"). SEE HORSE; SEE MULE. The dromedary is properly the African or Arabian species of camel (Camelus dromedarius), having only one hump (Wellsted, 1:204), in distinction from the Bactrian (Aristotle, Anim. 2:2; Pliny, 8:26; Apulej. Asin. 7, page 152, Bip.), which has two (דִּבֶּשֶׁת, Isa 30:6). It is thus the kind usually spoken of in Scripture (Hebrews גָּמָל, gamal') and in the East (Arabic jaml), where it is a widely-found and exceedingly useful animal. It has a slender bodily frame, long neck, small head and ears, and is of a gray or brown (very seldom black) color of skin, and usually 61 feet high. (The Talmud, Shabbath, 5:1, speaks of a peculiar variety, נאקה, which the Gemara interprets to mean the white camel.) The double-humped (called also Turkish) camel is the largest and strongest (being capable of carrying from 800 to 1500 pounds), but is so much affected by the heat of the sun as to be unserviceable during the summer months. The one-humped camel, or proper dromedary, which is everywhere met with in Syria and Palestine (Seetzen, 18:448), is the one referred to in Isa 66:20 (see Gesenius, Comment. in loc.) by the term כַּרבָּרוֹת, kirkaroth' (the versions all vague or wrong: Sept. σκιάδια, Vulg. carracae, A.V. "swift beasts"), so called from their bounding motion (Bochart, Hieroz. 1:90), which is very rapid (Burckhardt, Bedouins, 2:76), and is sometimes accelerated by musical instruments (Sadi Gulist. page 190). Its greater speed is in consequence of a finer and more elegant structure (Russel, Aleppo, 2:44; Prosp. Alp. Rer. AEg. 4:7, page 223 sq.; Sonnini, Trav. 1:969), so that it can not only make more miles per hour (Shaw, Trav. page 149), but maintain this pace for a great number of days together (Pococke, East, 1:309; Volney, 2:260; Host, Nachr. v. Marokko, page 289). They carry only 500 to 700 pounds. A dromedary is properly a camel, distinguished from the common one only by its breed and training, as a saddlehorse is distinguished from a cart-horse. This breed is called swift with respect to other camels, not with respect to other animals; for the camel is not eminently a swift animal, and those most renowned for their fleetness are not in any way comparable to the horse. The best-trained camels cannot sustain a gallop above half an hour, in which, at forced speed, they may make about eight or nine miles. This is their highest exertion. A forced trot is not so contrary to the camel's nature, and it will support it for several hours without evincing any symptoms of fatigue; but even here the utmost degree of celerity of the very best-bred dromedary does not exceed about twelve miles an hour; and it is therefore in this pace also less expeditious than a moderately good horse (Kitto, Pict. Bible, note on Jer 2:23). "It is not therefore," says Burckhardt, to whom we owe this statement, "by extreme celerity that the hejeins and delouls are distinguished, however surprising may be the stories related on this subject both in Europe and the East; but they are perhaps unequalled by any quadrupeds for the ease with which they carry their rider through an uninterrupted journey of several days and nights, when they are allowed to persevere in their own favorite pace, which is a kind of easy amble, at the rate of about five miles or five miles and a half in the hour" (Notes on the Bedouins, page 262). In proportion to its weight, the camel takes but little nourishment (Philostr. Apol. 1:41): it eats in twenty-four hours a single meal of barley or beans (husks, Mishna, Shabb. 7:4; comp. Minutoli, Nachtr. page259; see Wellsted, 1:206); also dough or cakes; and in the want of all these, grass and thistles, about a pound's weight; it drinks slowly (Cotovic. Itiner. 3:21), after it has made the water muddy with its feet, and can go even 16 (some say 20) days without drinking (Aristotle, Anim. 8:10, and Pliny, 8:26, give only four days; but this probably means its ordinary intervals between drinking times: see Russel, Aleppo, 2:34); although the herbs wet with dew in the desert constantly supply moisture; besides, the camel's double cell-formed stomach apparently serves as a receptacle of water, from which it moistens its usually dry fodder, and by means of rumination can even assuage its thirst. Travellers suffering from want of water in the desert not unfrequently slaughter a camel, and allay their thirst with the water from its stomach, which is clear and pure. (On the diseases of the camel, see Browne, Trav. page 365.) Camels were in use as early as the patriarchal ages (Ge 12:16; Ge 24:10 sq.; 30:43; 31:17; 32:7; compare Job 1:3; Job 42:12; see Aristotle, Anim. 9:10), and in later times these animals were a very valuable possession to the Israelites (1 Chronicles 37:30; Tob. 10:11; Ezr 2:67; comp. Harmer, 3:355); although they appear to have been less precious than with the neighboring Arabic tribes (Jg 6:5; Jg 7:12; 1Sa 15:3; 1Sa 27:9; Ge 37:25; Jer 49:32; comp. Mishna, Shabb. 24:3; see Leo Afric. Descr. Afr. 9, page 145; Descr. de l'Egypte, 16:186). They were generally used, however (especially in the caravans of the desert), for transportation of wares and baggage (Ge 37:25; Jg 6:5; 1Ch 12:40; 1Ki 10:2; 2Ch 14:14; 2Ki 8:9; Isa 30:7; Isa 60:6; comp. Josephus, Life, 24; Curt. 5:6, 9), since they carry a large load (Volney, 2:311; Lorent, Wand. Page 120; Russel, 2:34; see Diod. Sic. 2:54), and are more sure-footed in hilly regions than the ass (Wellsted, 1:205; 2:68). They were also used for riding (Ge 24:64; 1Sa 30:17; comp. Troilo, Trav. page 455; Niebuhr, Trav. 1:215), and women, seldom males, generally sat in a kind of basket or Sedan-chair (כִּר, see Gesenius, Thes. page 715), which was fastened on the back of the camel (Ge 31:34), being spacious, and covered on all sides (see Kimpfer, Amoen. page 147; Pococke, East, 1, pl. 58). On account of its long but slow stride and its light gait (Tischendorf, Reis. 1:258), the beast has a regular rocking motion, not disagreeable in itself to the rider, but so uniform as at length to become wearisome (Lorent, Wander. page 119). Cyrus trained camels to fight (in order to make the horses of the enemy turn, Herod. 1:80; AElian, Anim. 3:7; comp. Pliny, 8:26; Polyeen. 7:6, 6), and had even a camel troop (camels ridden by horsemen, Isa 21:7; comp. Xenoph. Cyrop. 6:2, 8; 7:1, 27, 48 sq.; Herod. 7:86; on the military use of camels among other people, see Diod. Sic. 2:54; 3:45; Livy, 37:40; Appian, Syr. 32; Pollux, Onom. 10:8; Herodian, 4:15, 4; Veget. 3:23; comp. Gesen. Comment. z. Jes. 1:661; and Jg 7:12). Bonaparte, when commanding the French army in Egypt, formed a military corps mounted on dromedaries. In loading or mounting the camel, it is made, on a given signal, to fall on the knees and breast (הַברַיך; comp. Arnob. Adv. gentt. 2:25), and receive the burden, which hangs over the back on both sides; and when it is too heavy the animal utters a mournful cry (Pliny, 8:26; compare Schweigger, Reise, page 264; Host, Marokko, page 288; Cotovic. Itiner. page 404). On the Assyrian monuments a kneeling camel receiving its load is found, designed with considerable truth and spirit: the legs bent under, the tail raised, the foot of the man on the neck of the animal to keep it from rising, while a second adjusts the burden from behind, form a group seen every day in the Desert and in an Eastern town (Layard, Nin. and Bab. page 495). They are often stubborn and vicious, although generally tractable, except in the time of heat (Leo Afric. 9:30; Chardin, Voyage, 3:378; comp. Jer 2:23); among the Arabs they are regarded as very revengeful (compare Olear. Trav. page 300; hence also their name, from גָּמָל, to treat evil; see Gesenius, Thesaur. page 293). They are taught to go by a touch (Kampfer, Amoen. page 724), and are guided by certain (guttural) sounds; and their necks are hung with ornaments (Jg 8:21,26; see Wellsted, 1:209). Camel-drivers are called in the Talmud גִּמָּלַין, gammalin (Mishna, 2:101; 3:74). Camels' milk has always been highly esteemed in the East as a cooling drink (Pliny, 11:96; 28:33; Aristotle, Anim. 6:25; Diod. Sic. 3:45; Niebuhr, Trav. 1:314; Russel, Aleppo, 2:46; Buckingham, Mesopot. page 142; Host, Marokko, page 288; Tischendorf, Reise, 1:258); when fermented it has an intoxicating quality (Pallas, Russ. 1:240). The flesh, especially of the hump (Freytag, Darstell. d. Arab. Verskunst. page 55), is eaten by the Arabs with great relish (Aristotle, Anim. 6:26; Diod. Sic. 2:54; Herod. 1:123; Jerome, in Jovin. 2:6; Host, Marok. page 288; Russel, 2:32 sq.; Rosenmüller, Morg. 2:163 sq.); to the Hebrews it was forbidden (Le 11:4; see Rosenmiiller in Bochart, 1:12; Michaelis, Mos. Recht. 4:202). Of the hair (Talmud, wool, עֶמֶר, Mishna, Chil. 7:1), which in the spring falls off of itself, are made coarse cloths and garments (Mt 3:4), and tent-covers (Buckingham, Trav. 2:86; Mesop. page 142, Russel, Aleppo, 2:47; Harmer, 3:356; Otho, Lex. Rabb. page 114; yet fine textures of camels' hair are also mentioned, AElian, Anim. 17:34). Of the hide, sandals and water-skins are made, and the dung serves as fuel (Volney, 1:296). The proverb of Mt 19:24 also occurs in the Koran (Sur. 7:38), and the Talmudists employ in the same sense דמִחטָא פַּילָא דעָיֵל בּקוּפָא, an elephant entering a needle's eye (Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 1722). On Mt 23:24, and other Arab and Rabbinic proverbs which are spoken of the camel, see Bochart, Hieroz. 1:25. See generally Bochart, 1:3 sq.; Fabri Evagat, 2:381 sq.; Burckhardt, Bedouins, page 157 sq.; 357 sq.; Oken, Naturgesch. III, 2:704 sq.; Tilesius in the Hall. Encyklop. 21:28 sq. SEE CAMEL.

Bible concordance for DROMEDARY.

Definition of dromedary

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