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Holman Bible Dictionary
Any of a group of stockily-built, carnivorous mammals of the genus Hyaena
, located zoologically between the felines and canines. Hyena feed on carrion and are known for their cowardice, cruelty, and disagreeable cry. All the scriptural references concern judgment on foreign nations (Babylon or Edom) which are left desolate (Isaiah 13:22
; Isaiah 34:14
; Jeremiah 50:39
). KJV translated the term for hyena as “wild beasts of the islands.” The REB identifies this animal with the jackal (so NAS Jeremiah 50:39
). NAS uses wolves in Isaiah 34:14
The Hebrew term for hyena is used as a man's name (Zibeon, Genesis 36:20 ) and as the name for a town (Zeboim, Nehemiah 11:34 ) and valley (1 Samuel 13:18 ) in the territory of Benjamin.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Hyena'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/h/hyena.html. 1991.