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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
fer´et ( אנקה , 'ănāḳāh , the Revised Version (British and American) GECKO ): Occurs only in Leviticus 11:30 the King James Version, in the list of animals which are unclean "among the creeping things that creep upon the earth." the Revised Version (British and American) has "gecko" with the marginal note, "Words of uncertain meaning, but probably denoting four kinds of lizards." The list of animals in Leviticus 11:29 , Leviticus 11:30 includes (1) ḥōledh , English Versions of the Bible "weasel"; (2) ‛akhbār , English Versions of the Bible "mouse"; (3) cābh , the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard"; (4) 'ănāḳkāh , the King James Version "ferret," the Revised Version (British and American) "gecko"; (5) kōaḥ the King James Version "chameleon," the Revised Version (British and American) "land crocodile"; (6) leṭā'āh , English Versions of the Bible "lizard"; (7) ḥōmeṭ , the King James Version "snail," the Revised Version (British and American) "sand lizard"; (8) tinshemeth , the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon." It will be noted that while Revised Version makes the first two mammals and the remaining six reptiles, the King James Version makes not only (1) and (2) but also (4) and (8) mammals, and (7) a mollusk. So far as this general classification is concerned the King James Version follows the Septuagint, except in the case of (7). It must be borne in mind that all these words except (2) and (8) occur only in this passage, while (2) and (8) occur each in only a few passages where the context throws but uncertain light upon the meaning. Under these circumstances we ought to be content with the rendering of the Septuagint, unless from philology or tradition we can show good reason for differing. For 'ănāḳāh , Septuagint has μυγάλη , mugálē , which occurs in Herodotus and Aristotle and may be a shrew mouse or a field mouse. Just as the next word, kōaḥ , is found in other passages (see CHAMELEON ) with the meaning of "strength," so 'ănāḳāh occurs in several places signifying "moaning" or "sighing" (Psalm 12:5; Psalm 79:11; Psalm 102:20; Malachi 2:13 ). It seems to be from the root, 'ānaḳ , "to choke," "to be in anguish" (compare 'ānāḳ , "a collar"; ḥānaḳ , "to choke"; Arabic ‛unḳ , "neck"; Arabic khanaḳ , "to strangle"; Greek ἀνάγκη; Latin angustus; German enge , Nacken; English "anxious," "neck"). Some creature seems to be meant which utters a low cry or squeak, and neither "ferret" (the King James Version) nor "gecko" (Revised Version (British and American)) seems to have a better claim than the older Septuagint rendering of μυγάλη = "shrew mouse" or "field mouse."
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Ferret'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/f/ferret.html. 1915.