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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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Two words in Hebrew are translated "fox" in the Bible; and it is not easy in every case to determine what animal is referred to. There were several varieties of fox in Palestine, all like the common fox in form and habits. The fox is cunning, voracious, and mischievous, Ezekiel 13:4 Luke 13:32 . He is fond of grapes, and does much harm in vineyards, Song of Song of Solomon 2:15 . The fable of the fox and the sour grapes is well known. He is solitary in his habits, and burrows a home for himself in the ground, Luke 9:58 . The jackal, at the present day, is much more numerous in Palestine, and is probably referred to in many texts where the word "foxes" occurs. It is like a medium-sized dog, with a head like the wolves, and a tail like the fox's; of a bright yellow color. To the fierceness of the wolf it joins the impudent familiarity of the dog. It differs from the fox in its habit of hunting its prey in large packs, and in its cry-a mournful howl, mixed with barking, which they keep up all night, to the annoyance of all within hearing. They live in holes; prowl around villages; ravage poultry yards; feed upon game, lizards, insects, grapes, garbage; and when they can find nothing else, old leather and any thing that has once had animal life. They follow after caravans and armies, and devour the bodies of the dead, and even dig them up from their graves, Psalm 63:10 Lamentations 5:18 . The incident in the life of Samson, where foxes, or perhaps jackals, are referred to, Judges 15:4-5 , has a parallel in the ancient Roman feast of Ceres, goddess of corn; when torches were bound to the tails of numbers of foxes, and they ran round the circus till the fire stopped and consumed them. This was in revenge for their once burning up some fields of corn.

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 'Fox'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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