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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Hart

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The word thus translated is Ajail (it occurs in ; ; ), and differs only by the feminine termination from that rendered 'hind' in many other passages of Scripture. There is, upon the whole, no reason to doubt that the male and female of a species of deer are really intended by these words. It is indeed true that the existence of animals of the deer kind in Asia has been denied, and Cuvier for some time doubted whether any could be found in Africa. Yet, although never abundant where water is scarce, the existence of deer from Morocco and the Nile has now been satisfactorily established, and there are traces of their presence in Syria, where they were probably more numerous formerly than at present. The Cervus Barbatus, or Barbary Stag, is the African species; and an individual of this species was obtained by a friend of the writer in the region east of the Jordan. This species is in size between our red and fallow deer, distinguished by the want of a bis-antler, or second branch in the horns reckoned from below, and for a spotted livery which is effaced only in the third or fourth year. There is also in Asia the Persian stag, or Maral of the Tartar natives, and Gewaze of the Armenians. This is larger than the stag of Europe, has a heavy mane, and is, like the former, destitute of bis-antlers. This species seems, under the name of Söegur, to extend its habitat to the northern frontier of Syria and Palestine; but taking all circumstances into account, it seems less probable that this should be the 'hart' of Scripture than the Cervus Barbatus.

 

 

 

 


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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Hart'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/kbe/h/hart.html.

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