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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Anah

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1. Mother of Aholibamah, one of the wives of Esau and daughter of Zibeon (Genesis 36:2,14,18,25). The Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Peshito read "son," identifying this Anah with No. 3 (see below). 2. Son of Seir, the Horite, and brother of Zibeon; one of the chiefs of the land of Edom (Genesis 36:20,21; 1 Chronicles 1:38). 3. Son of Zibeon, who is specified in the Bible as "that Anah that found the hot springs [; A. V. "mules," so in Targ., Yer., and Gen. R. on the passage; Pes. 54a] in the wilderness" (Genesis 36:24; 1 Chronicles 1:40,41).

G. B. L.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

As early as the middle of the fourth century, the rabbis discussed Anah's combination of Ha-Yemim in the wilderness. In his commentary on Genesis 36:24, Jerome cites the following definitions of the word, derived from Jewish sources: (1) "seas" as though (yammim); (2) "hot springs" as though (ḥammim); (3) a swift-running variety of the ass, called "yemin," obtained by Anah through a cross of the domestic with the wild ass; and (4) "mules." The last interpretation was, according to Jerome, the most current among the Jews; and it was believed that Anah was the first to have bred the mule, thus bringing into existence "a new animal bred contrary to natural laws." The rabbinical sources are familiar with this fourth explanation, and make the additional observation that "Anah was himself a bastard," his mother being also the mother of his father. As a punishment for this unnatural combination of Anah, God brought into the world the deadly water-snake, through the union of the common viper () with the Libyan lizard (). See Gen. R. 82:15; Yer. Ber. 1:12b; Bab. Pes. 54a; Ginzberg, "Monatsschrift," 42:538,539.

L. G.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Anah'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/a/anah.html. 1901.

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