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Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Dictionaries
Ape

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

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קרפ , κηφος and κηπος , cephus, 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21 . This animal seems to be the same with the ceph of the Ethiopians, of which Pliny speaks, 1. viii, c. 19: "At the games given by Pompey the Great," says he, "were shown cephs brought from Ethiopia, which had their fore feet like a human hand, their hind legs and feet also resembled those of a man." The Scripture says that the fleet of Solomon brought apes, or rather monkeys, &c, from Ophir. The learned are not agreed respecting the situation of that country; but Major Wilford says that the ancient name of the River Landi sindh in India was Cophes. May it not have been so called from the קפים inhabiting its banks?

We now distinguish this tribe of creatures into

1. Monkeys, those with long tails;

2. Apes, those with short tails;

3. Baboons, those without tails.

The ancient Egyptians are said to have worshipped apes; it is certain that they are still adored in many places in India. Maffeus describes a magnificent temple dedicated to the ape, with a portico for receiving the victims sacrificed, supported by seven hundred columns.

"With glittering gold and sparkling gems they shine, But apes and monkeys are the gods within."

Figures of apes are also made and reverenced as idols, of which we have several in Moore's "Hindoo Pantheon;" also in the avatars, given in Maurice's "History of India," &c. In some parts of the country the apes are held sacred, though not resident in temples; and incautious English gentlemen, by attempting to shoot these apes, (rather, perhaps, monkeys,) have been exposed, not only to all manner of results and vexations from the inhabitants of the villages, &c, adjacent, but have even been in danger of their lives.

Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Ape'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​wtd/​a/ape.html. 1831-2.
 
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