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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Wild Beast

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wı̄ld bēst : (1) זיז , zı̄z , only with שׂרי , sādhay , "field," in the expression, שׂרי זיז , zı̄z sādhay , translated "wild beasts of the field" ( Psalm 50:11 ; Psalm 80:13 ); compare Targum to Psalm 80:13 , זיזא , zı̄zā' , "worm" (BDB ); Arabic zı̂z , "worm." (2) ציּים , cı̄yı̄m (Isaiah 13:21 ; Isaiah 34:14 ; Jeremiah 50:39 ). (3) איּים , 'ı̄yı̄m (Isaiah 13:21 ; Isaiah 34:14 ; Jeremiah 50:39 ). (4) חי , ḥay , "living thing," often translated "wild beast" in English Versions of the Bible (1 Samuel 17:46 , etc.). (5) In Apocrypha (Additions to Esther 16:24, etc.) and the New Testament (Mark 1:13 ), θηρίον , thērı́on . (6) Acts 10:12 the King James Version; Acts 11:6 , τετράποδον , tetrápodon , the Revised Version (British and American) "four-rooted beast."

(1), (2) and (3) are of doubtful etymology, but the context makes it clear in each case that wild beasts of some sort are meant. The Targum zı̄za ', "worm," is possible in Psalm 80:13 , though not probable in view of the parallel "boar": "The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, and the wild beasts of the field feed on it," i.e. on the vine (figurative ) brought out of Egypt. In Psalm 50:11 , however, such an interpretation is out of the question. All the references from Psalm 50:8 to Psalm 50:13 are to large animals, bullocks, goats, cattle and birds. Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) and the Septuagint have in Psalm 80:13 "wild beast" and in Psalm 50:11 "beauty of the field" (translated)!

Cı̄yı̄m , doubtfully referred to cı̄yāh , "drought," occurs in prophecies of the desolation of Babylon in Isaiah 13:21 ("wild beasts of the desert") and Jeremiah 50:39 , of Edom in Isaiah 34:14 , of Assyria in Isaiah 23:13 ("them that dwell in the wilderness"). It is associated in these passages with names of wild beasts and birds, some of them of very doubtful meaning, such as tannı̄m , 'ōḥı̄m ,'ı̄yı̄m , se'ı̄rı̄m , benōth ya‛ănāh . Wild beasts of some sort are clearly meant, though the kind can only be conjectured. The word occurs in Psalm 74:14 ("the people inhabiting the wilderness") where it is possible to understand "beasts" instead of people. It occurs also in Psalm 72:9 ("they that dwell in the wilderness"), where it seems necessary to understand "men." If the reading stands, it is not easy to reconcile this passage with the others.

'Īyı̄m occurs in Isaiah 13:21 and Isaiah 34:14 and in Jeremiah 50:39 , three of the passages cited for cı̄yı̄m . the King James Version referring to 'ı̄ , "island," renders "wild beasts of the islands" (Isaiah 13:22 ). the Revised Version (British and American) has "wolves," margin "howling creatures"; compare Arabic ‛anwa' , "to howl," and ibn -'āwa' or wâwi , "jackal." See JACKAL .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Wild Beast'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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