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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Ass

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An animal well known for domestic uses; and frequently mentioned in Scripture. People of the first quality in Palestine rode on asses. Deborah, in her song, describes the nobles of the land as those who "ride on white asses," Judges 5:10 . Compare Judges 10:4 ; 12:14 . The oriental asses are not to be compared with those of northern countries; but are far more stately, active, and lively. Indeed, they were anciently, as still, highly prized; and were also preferred for riding, especially the she-asses, on account of their sure- footedness. Hence we so often find mention of she-asses alone.

The Wild Ass is a well-known oriental animal, often mentioned in Scripture, and is a much handsomer and more dignified animal than the common ass. These animals were anciently found in Palestine, Syria, Arabia Deserta, Mesopatamia, Phrygia, and Lycaonia; but they rarely occur in those regions at the present time, and seem to be almost entirely confined to Tartary, some parts of Persia, and India, and Africa. Their manners greatly resemble those of the wild horse. They assemble in troops under the conduct of a leader or sentinel, and are extremely shy and vigilant. They will, however, stop in the midst of their course, and even suffer the approach of man for an instant, and then dart off with the utmost rapidity. They have been at all times celebrated for their swiftness. Their voice resembles that of the common ass, but is shriller. Mr. Morier says, "We gave chase to two wild asses, which had so much more speed than our horses, that when they had got at some distance, they stood still and looked behind at us, snorting with their noses in the air, as if in contempt of our endeavors to catch them."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Ass'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/a/ass.html. 1859.

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