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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Gazelle

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(Antilope dorcas), an animal of the genus Antelopide, probably designated by the Gr. term δορκάς (comp. Acts 9:36) and the Heb. צְבַי, tsebi' (rendered "roe" in 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8; Proverbs 6:5; Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 8:14, Isaiah 13:14; and "roebuck" in Deuteronomy 12:15; Deuteronomy 12:22; Deuteronomy 14:5; 1 Kings 4:23), or in the feminine form צְבַיָּה, tsebiyah' ("roe," Song of Solomon 4:5; Song of Solomon 7:3); "both terms, however, being applicalale to the whole group; and the Hebrew name is by distant nations now used for allied species which are unknown in Arabia and Syria. Of this sub-genus gazella at least one species, but more probably four or five, still inhabit the uplands and deserts of Egypt, Arabia, and the eastern and southern borders of Palestine. All these species are nearly allied, the largest not measuring more than two feet in height at the shoulder, and the least, the corinna, not more than about twenty inches. They are graceful and elegant in form, with limbs exceedingly slender, and have large and soft eyes, lyrated horns, black, wrinkled, and striated most robust in sub-gutturosa and kevella, most slender in corrina, and smallest in cora. Their livery is more or less buff and dume, white beneath, with small tufts of hair or brushes on the fore-knees; they have all a dark streak passing from each ear through the eyes to the nostrils, and a hand of the same color from thee elbow of the fore-leg along the sides to the flank, excepting the corinna, whose markings are more rufous and general colors lighter. Most, if not all, have a feeble bleating voice, seldom uttered, are unsurpassed in graceful timidity, gregarious in habit, and residents on the open deserts, where they are unceasingly watchful, and prepared to flee with such speed that greyhounds are liable to be killed by over-exertion in the chase." They roam over the plains of Syria sometimes in herds of a thousand (Russell, Aleppo, 2:14): Their flesh is lean, but highly prized (Prosp. Alpin. Hist. nat. AEg. 4:9). They are often made the symbol of female beauty (Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14) by Orientals (Seth, ad ben Zohair, page 98 sq.; Dopke, Comment. z. Hohesl. page 97; Rosenmü ller, AMorgenl. 4:129): See Thomson, Land and Book, 1:251 sq.; Kelly's Syria, page 38 sq. (See ANTELOPE); (See DEER).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gazelle'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/g/gazelle.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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