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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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Rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew word "ẓ ab" (Leviticus 11:29 see Lizard ). Some commentators assume "gallim" in Hosea 12:12 to mean "tortoises," a view which has the support of the Septuagint, the Peshiṭ ta, and old Arabic versions. Two species of land tortoise, Testudo græ ca and Testudo leithii , and several of the aquatic tortoises have been found in Palestine. Of the latter the Emys caspica is the most numerous.

The Talmud uses "ẓ ab" and also "zabuni" to denote the toad (Ṭ oh. v. i). In Ber. 33a it is said that the water-snake is the issue of the toad and the snake. The tortoise is assumed to be intended in and in Nid. 17a and Gen. R. 57:2 .

Bibliography : Tristram, Nat. Hist. p. 255 Lewysohn, Z. T. p. 232. E. G. H. I. M. C.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Tortoise'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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