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Easton's Bible Dictionary

 

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Coney
        (Heb. shaphan; i.e., "the hider"), an animal which inhabits the
        mountain gorges and the rocky districts of Arabia Petraea and
        the Holy Land. "The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they
        their houses in the rocks" (Prov. 30:26; Ps. 104:18). They are
        gregarious, and "exceeding wise" (Prov. 30:24), and are
        described as chewing the cud (Lev. 11:5; Deut. 14:7).
        The animal intended by this name is known among naturalists as
        the Hyrax Syriacus. It is neither a ruminant nor a rodent, but
        is regarded as akin to the rhinoceros. When it is said to "chew
        the cud," the Hebrew word so used does not necessarily imply the
        possession of a ruminant stomach. "The lawgiver speaks according
        to appearances; and no one can watch the constant motion of the
        little creature's jaws, as it sits continually working its
        teeth, without recognizing the naturalness of the expression"
        (Tristram, Natural History of the Bible). It is about the size
        and color of a rabbit, though clumsier in structure, and without
        a tail. Its feet are not formed for digging, and therefore it
        has its home not in burrows but in the clefts of the rocks.
        "Coney" is an obsolete English word for "rabbit."

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Coney' Eastons Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Eastons; 1897.

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