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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Rams Skins

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DYED RED ( עֹרֹת אֵולַים מְאָדָּמַים [Exodus 25:5; Exodus 35:7 ], oroth elim mne.oddacmin; Sept. δἐρματα κριῶν ἠρυθροδανωμένα; Vulg. pelles arietum rubricatce) formed part of the materials that the Israelites were ordered to present as offerings for the making of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:5), of which they served as the outer covering, there being under the rams' skins another covering of badgers' skins. (See TABERNACLE). The words may be rendered "red rams' skins," and then may be understood as the produce of the African audad. the Ovis tragelaphus of naturalists, whereof the bearded sheep are a domesticated race. The tragelaphus is a distinct species of sheep, having a shorter form than the common species, and incipient tear-pits. Its normal color is red, from bright chestnut to rufous chocolate, which last is the cause of the epithet purple being given to it by the poets. Dr. Harris thinks that the skins in question were tanned and colored crimson; for it is well known that what is now termed red morocco was manufactured in the remotest ages in Libya, especially about the Tritonian Lake, where the original aegis, or goat-skin breastplate of Jupiter and Minerva, was dyed bright red; and the Egyptians had most certainly red leather in use, for their antique paintings show harnessmakers cutting it into slips for the collars of horses and furniture of chariots. It is much more probable, however, that the skins were those of the domestic breed of rams, which, as Rashi says, "were dyed red after they were prepared." (See RAM).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Rams Skins'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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