alarmed to escape into the dark recesses of its dwelling, from which it can scarcely be dislodged. It is not a large animal, so that a considerable number of skins would be required in order to make a covering which should overlap a structure forty-five feet in length and fifteen in breadth. Were it a solitary animal, there might be a difficulty in procuring a sufficient number of skins. But it is partly gregarious in its habits, living together in small families, seven or eight being sometimes found to inhabit a single dwelling-place. It is, therefore, sufficiently rare to make its skin valuable, and sufficiently plentiful to furnish the requisite number of skins. All these facts tend to show that the cost of such a covering must have been very great, even though it was the outermost, and, consequently, the least valuable of the four. It has been suggested that these skins were only used to lay over the lines where the different sets of coverings overlapped each other, and that, in consequence, they need not have been very


But we find that these same skins, which were evidently those which formed the external roof, were used, when the Tabernacle was taken down, for the purpose of forming distinct coverings for the ark of the testimony, the table of shew bread, the sevenbranched candlestick, the golden altar, the various vessels used in the ministrations, and lastly, the altar of sacrifice itself. Thus, when we recollect the dimensions of the ark, the table, the candlestick, and the two altars, we shall see that, in order to make separate covers for them, a quantity of material would be used which would be amply sufficient to cover the whole roof of the Tabernacle, even if it had, as was most probably the case, a ridged, and not a flat roof.

We now come to our next point, namely, the aptitude of the Badger's skin to resist weather. Any one who has handled the skin of the Badger will acknowledge that a better material could hardly be found. The fur is long, thick, and, though light, is moderately stiff, the hairs falling over each other in such a manner as to throw off rain or snow as off a penthouse. And, as to the third point, namely, its possible use as a material for the manufacture of shoes, we may call to mind that the skin of the Badger is proverbially tough, and that this very quality has caused the animal to be subjected to most cruel treatment by a class of sporting men which is now almost extinct.

The Septuagint gives little assistance in determining the precise nature of the Tachash, and rather seems to consider the word as expressive of the colour with which the fur was dyed than that of the animal from which it was taken. Still, it must be remembered that not only are zoological terms used very loosely in the Scriptures, but that in Hebrew, as in all other languages, the same combination of letters often expresses two different ideas, so that the word Tachash may equally signify a colour and an animal. Moreover, it has been well pointed out that the repeated use of the word in the plural number shows that it cannot refer to colour; while its almost invariable combination with the Hebrew word that signifies a skin implies that it does not refer to colour, but to an animal.

What that animal may be, is, as I have already mentioned, conjectural. But, as the authorized translation renders the word as Badger, and as this reading fulfils the conditions necessary to its identification, and as no other reading does fulfil them, we cannot be



wrong if we accept that translation as the correct one, and assume the Tachash of the Scriptures to be the animal which we call by the name of Badger.


The Syrian Bear-Identity of the Hebrew and Arabic titles—Its colour variable

according to age-Bears once numerous in Palestine, and now only occasionally seen-Reason for their diminution-Present localities of the Bear, and its favourite haunts-Food of the Bear-Its general habits - Its ravages among the flocks—The Bear dangerous to mankind-The Bear robbed of her whelps -Illustrative passages-Its mode of fighting- Various references to the Bear, from the time of Samuel to that of St. John.

WHATEVER doubt may exist as to the precise identity of various animals mentioned in the Scriptures, there is none whatever as to the creature which is frequently alluded to under the name of Bear.



The Hebrew word is Dob, and it is a remarkable fact that the name of this animal in the Arabic language is almost identical with the Hebrew term, namely, Dubh. The peculiar species of Bear which inhabits Palestine is the Syrian Bear (Ursus Isabellinus), and, though it has been variously described by different eye-witnesses, there is no doubt that the same species was seen by them all. As is the case with many animals, the Syrian Bear changes its colour as it grows older. When a cub, it is

a of a darkish brown, which becomes a light brown as it approaches maturity. But, when it has attained its full growth, it becomes cream-coloured, and each succeeding year seems to lighten its coat, so that a very old Bear is nearly as white as its relative of the Arctic regions. Travellers, therefore, who have met the younger specimens, have described them as brown in hue, while those who have seen more aged individuals have stated that the colour of the Syrian Bear is white.

Owing to the destruction of forests, the Bear, which is essentially a lover of the woods, has decreased considerably in number. Yet, even at the present time, specimens may be seen by the watchful traveller, mostly about the range of Lebanon, but sometimes at a considerable distance from that locality. Mr. Tristram, for

. example, saw it close to the Lake of Gennesaret.

“ We never met with so many wild animals as on one of those days. First of all, a wild boar got out of some scrub close to us, as we were ascending the valley. Then a deer was started below, ran up the cliff, and wound along the ledge, passing close to us. Then a large ichneumon almost crossed my feet and ran into a cleft; and, while endeavouring to trace him, I was amazed to see a brown Syrian Bear clumsily but rapidly clamber down the rocks and cross the ravine. He was, however, far too cautious to get within hailing distance of any of the riflemen."

The same author mentions that some of the chief strongholds of this Bear are certain clefts in the face of a precipitous chasm through which the river Leontes flows. This river runs into the sea a few miles northward of Tyre, and assists in carrying off the melted snows from the Lebanon range of mountains. His description is so picturesque, that it must be given in his own words. “The channel, though a thousand feet deep, was so narrow that the opposite ridge was within gunshot. Looking down the giddy abyss, we could see the cliff on our side partially


As a roaring lion and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.” – Prov. xxviii. 15.

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