Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

Horse - Galloping Bashkir curly©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There is a fine description of a war-horse in the book of Job-a book which some think to be the oldest in the world. It is in the thirty-ninth chapter.

Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him; the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting.

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose ©WikiC

In the fifth chapter of Judges you will find this verse.

Then were the horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.

And it seems likely from this, that it was not the custom to shoe horses in those days, so that their hoofs were more easily broken.

They had horses in Egypt in very ancient times, as you will find if you read the first part of the book of Exodus. You will see there how the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, after they had been kept in hard bondage a great many years; and how when they had gone only a short distance, the wicked king Pharaoh went after them to try to get them back. There was a great company of the Israelites, men, women and children; they had nothing to ride on, and had their flocks and herds with them, so that they could not go very fast. They took the course which God directed, and it brought them to the Red Sea, where there were neither boats nor bridges for them to go over.

Horse- Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Just then they heard that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them. Some came in chariots of war, and of these there were six hundred drawn by horses; and a great many more came on horseback. Now what could these people do? If they went on, they would be drowned; and if they went back, or stayed where they were, they would fall into the hands of the Egyptians. God told them not to be afraid, for he would take care of them; so he divided the waters of the sea, and made a dry road for them to go through, while the water stood up like a wall on each side of them. Then the Egyptians followed on, and God let the waters flow down upon them, so that they were all drowned. Think what a sight it must have been, when the chariots, and horses, and men, were all surrounded by that great, mighty water, and then sunk down one after another, so that they could be seen no more. The children of Israel sang a psalm of praise after God had saved them in this wonderful manner, and these words are a part of it:

Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

In one of the last chapters in the Old Testament you will find these words,

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.

This speaks of a time which has not yet come, but for which christians are looking, when this world will not be wicked as it now is; but when every thing, even the bells of the horses, shall be holy unto the Lord.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Horse

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Horse

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ibex or the Wild Goat

Wild Goat - Ibex and young ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ibex or the Wild Goat

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The Ibex is a kind of goat, but different from the one described at page 33. It is sometimes called the Rock Goat, or Wild Goat; and the last is the name given it in the Bible. It resembles the common goat, but is larger, and its horns are much longer; they are sometimes considerably more than a yard in length, beautifully curved, and surrounded by many curious rings or ridges.

Wild Goats - Hang on ©wildphotons

Wild Goats – Hang on ©wildphotons

It lives in places where you would think no animal could get without falling and breaking its neck; you would be frightened to see it sometimes, when it climbs up rough and narrow places, or jumps from one great rock to another. But God has given it just such a kind of foot as it needs; it has a small hoof, something like those of a sheep, excepting that it is hollow underneath, and has a sort of ridge around it by which the animal can cling to the rock, and so keep from slipping. I never heard of such a thing as one of them sliding off the rocks, unless it was pursued by the hunters. Two goats once met on a high narrow path, where there was just room for one to walk. There was a high rock rising close to their shoulders on one side, and on the other was a place so steep that it would have made you dizzy to look down. They could not go back without danger of falling, and they could not pass each other; what do you think they could do, but stay there and starve? It seemed for a little while as if they were considering about it; at last one bent his knees and laid down, and the other walked safely over his back.

The ibex feeds during the night in the highest woods that grow on the mountains; but as soon as the sun rises it begins to climb, eating the grass or whatever it finds, till it has got up where it is too high for trees to grow. They go in small companies of eight or ten, and lie down in sunny places among the rocks while the sun is hot; but about three or four o’clock in the afternoon they begin to go down again towards the woods. They can climb up rather more easily than they can get down, because their fore legs are shorter than the others.

See how the ibex or wild goat is spoken of in the Bible. In the one hundred and fourth Psalm you may find the words, “The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats;” and another place where the animal is mentioned is in the twenty-fourth chapter of first Samuel:

Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.

Wild Goat - Capra ibex ©Wiki

Wild Goat – Capra ibex ©Wiki

I should like to have you read with me the whole history of Saul and David in the Bible, so that we might talk about it, for it is very interesting; but now I can only write down what this one verse means. David had been made king over Israel by the command of God; but Saul, who was a very wicked man, was determined to kill him. So David was obliged to fly for his life, with only a few faithful friends; and month after month he hid himself in one place and another, so that Saul might not find him. At last he came to a wild, gloomy place, where nobody lived, near the Dead Sea: it was rocky, and there were many wild goats there. He thought he was safe now; but Saul heard where he was and came after him.

One night Saul and his men went into a large dark cave among the mountains, and behold David and his friends were already there; but they were hidden, so that Saul did not know it. David’s men wanted very much to kill Saul, now that he was in their power, but David would not allow them. He only cut off a small piece from the robe that Saul wore, and he was sorry afterwards that he had done even as much as this He did not hurt Saul in the least, but allowed him to go safely out of the cave, though he might have killed him as easily as not. Was not this returning good for evil?

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Goat

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Goat

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Jerboa or Mouse

Mouse - ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Jerboa or Mouse

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

You will not find the name of the Jerboa in the Bible; but it is supposed to be the same animal that is called a mouse in the 17th verse of the 66th chapter of Isaiah,

They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord;

and also in Leviticus, where God is telling the children of Israel what animals they may be allowed to eat, and also what they must not taste. He says,

These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind.

Whether the Jerboa is the same animal or not, the Israelites must have been well acquainted with it, for it is found in great numbers in Syria and Egypt, and other countries mentioned in the Bible. They like to live where the soil is sandy, and make their burrows, or holes to live in, in the sides of sand-hills. These burrows are often several yards long, and the part where they sleep is made soft with grass.

The Jerboa is about as large as a rat, and its color is a tawny yellow, something like that of dried lemon-peel. Its fur is very smooth and soft; its eyes are full and round, and its head is much like that of a young rabbit. When it eats, it sits and hold its food in its fore-paws, very much as a squirrel does.

Mouse - Four-toes-jerboa

Mouse – Four-toes-jerboa

There is a very great and curious difference in the length of its legs; those in front being so short that you would hardly notice them, and those behind very long. It bounds along over the ground very rapidly; so that the greyhound, which is one of the swiftest of dogs, is often unable to overtake it. It seems, when you first look at it, to use only its hind legs in jumping, but his is not so. When it is about to take a leap, it raises its body upon the toes of its hind feet, keeping the balance by the help of its long tail. It springs and comes down on its short fore legs, but does it so very quickly that you can hardly see how it is done, and the animal seems to be upright all the time.

They appear to be very fond of each other’s company, and great numbers are usually found together. They sleep during the day, but like the hare and rabbit, go out of their burrows to eat and to play as soon as it begins to be dark.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Mouse

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite

White-tailed Kite by SSlayton

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The kite is mentioned but once or twice in the Bible. In Leviticus, 11 : 13,14, it is named among the birds which the Israelites were not allowed to use for food.

And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination; the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, and the vulture, and the kite after its kind.

These are all birds of prey, that is, they live by destroying other animals, and some of them are very fierce and cruel; I suppose this is one reason why they were not to be eaten.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Ian

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Ian

The kite is a large bird, more than two feet long; and when its wings are spread it would take a string five feet and a half long to stretch from the tip of one across to the other. It does not fly very rapidly, but its motion in the air is very graceful and beautiful. On this account it has sometimes been called the Gled, or the gliding bird.

The kite is very much dreaded and disliked by those who have ducks and chickens, because it carries them off for food. It also eats frogs and moles: it is said that more than twenty of the latter have been found in one Kite’s nest. It is a cowardly bird, and does not attack any animal that is strong enough to defend itself. Its nest is usually built between the forked branches of some tall tree in the thickest part of the forest; and if you could look into one of them in the spring, you would probably see three eggs, almost white, but a little tinged with blue.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Glede and Kites

Acciipitridae Family – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Kite

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard

Leopard - Persischer leopard ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The leopard is a beautiful animal, though very savage and cruel. It is about as large as the largest of our dogs, but it looks much more like a cat than a dog. You have watched kittens at their play a hundred times, and you know how very quick, and pretty, and graceful all their motions are. It is just so with the leopard; and it can creep along too, as softly as a cat, and run up a tree after a monkey, as easily as a cat does after a bird. It lives mostly upon young antelopes and deer, and it often lies still a long time watching one till it comes near, and then springs out upon it. The Bible says in one place,

A leopard shall watch over their cities; every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces;

and in another, “Therefore will I be to them as a lion; as a leopard by the way will I observe (or watch for) them.

The leopard runs very swiftly when it is trying to overtake any animal: the Bible says, Their horses are swifter than leopards.

Leopard - Panthera pardus japonensis ©WikiC

Leopard – Panthera pardus japonensis ©WikiC

Its color is a clear, handsome yellow, spotted with black; the spots are found in little groups, two, or three, or four together, and the skin is very smooth and shining. There is such a great difference between the color of the spots and the rest of the skin, that you would think it a very curious looking animal. The 23d verse of the 12th chapter of Jeremiah is this:

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.

It would be no easy thing to wash away the leopard’s black spots; indeed nothing but God’s power could do it. So it is not easy to do right when we have been used to do wrong, and have loved to do it: this is why we need to pray that God will

create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within

us. Should we not be careful about every sinful habit? Remember, dear child, that such a habit in you may become fixed, almost like the leopard’s spots; and pray God to help you love every thing that is

pure, and lovely, and of good report.

What a peaceful and happy time that will be, when Jesus our Savior shall reign in all the earth-when all men shall love him and each other-when “the leopard (fierce and cruel as it is now) shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” That bright day is coming; and if you love Christ, even you-a child-can do something to prepare for it.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Leopard

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Leopard

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind

Hinds at Killarney National Park©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

Several animals of the deer kind are mentioned in the Bible under the names of Fallow-deer, Hart, Hind, and Roe-buck. They were all numbered among the clean animals, or those which the Israelites were allowed to eat; as we see in Deut. 14:4, 5,

These are the beasts which ye shall eat; the ox, the sheep, the goat, the hart, the roe-buck and the fallow-deer.

In 1st Kings, 4:23, we read of the daily provision which was made for king Solomon’s table, and among the rest were

ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, and roe-bucks, and fallow-deer.

Fawn ©WikiC
Fawn ©WikiC

These animals are all harmless, gentle, timid, loving and beautiful; noted for their branching horns, for the elegance of their form, and for their surprisingly swift and graceful motion. It has long been a favorite amusement in eastern countries to pursue them in the chase; and as the swiftest greyhound can scarcely overtake them, it is usual to train hawks or falcons to attack them, and so delay them till the dogs come up. They bound along over the plains, “fleet as the wind,” seeming scarcely to touch the ground: no motion can be more beautiful. In the last verse of Solomon’s Song we read,

Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart on the mountains of spices.

The 35th chapter of Isaiah contains a beautiful description of the peaceful kingdom which Christ will one day establish in the earth; and among other things it is said,

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

The hart or hind is remarkably sure-footed as well as swift: this may explain one or two verses in the Bible. David says, 2d Sam. 22:33, 34,

God is my strength and power, and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

In the last verse of Habakkuk we read,

The Lord is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet.

The male deer is called a hart, the female a hind; and their affection for each other is beautiful. Solomon says in the Proverbs,

Rejoice with the wife of thy youth; let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe.

The hart often suffers from thirst in the dry and sandy countries where it lives-especially when pursued by the hunters; it then longs for water, and plunges with the greatest eagerness into the cooling stream. David says in the 42d Psalm,

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?

Nothing could more strongly express his love to God, or his ardent desire for communion with him. Happy is the child who has in his heart such feelings towards God, and who finds pleasure in praying to him, from day to day; he has been taught by the Holy Spirit, and is preparing to meet God in peace. (See Roe.)

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Hart

Nave’s Topical Bible – Hind

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Hart

(Photos ©WikiC)