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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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Bear
        

The Ursus Syriacus is the particular species meant in Scripture. Akin to the polar bear. As large as the European brown bear, but lower on the legs. it has a high mane of bristling hair between the shoulders. Of a buff or yellow white color. One is represented in an Egyptian picture of tribute brought to Thothmes III by Phoenicians. The crusader Godfrey of Bouillon rescued a man from its attack, at, the imminent risk of his own life, being unhorsed and severely wounded by it. The she-bear is peculiarly fierce when she has lost or is defending her cubs (2 Samuel 17:8; Proverbs 17:12; Hosea 13:8). Almost as formidable as the lion (Amos 5:19). The instrument of punishing the 42 youths who mocked Elisha, in a wood between Jericho and Bethel, probably in winter when bears descend from the mountains to the lowlands (2 Kings 2:24).
        It attacks flocks and cattle (1 Samuel 17:34-37; Isaiah 11:7). Its roaring, ranging widely for food, and lying in wait for its prey, are alluded to in Isaiah 59:11, where however translate, "We moan like (hungry) bears," growling for food (Proverbs 28:15; Lamentations 3:10). It was carnivorous. Daniel 7:5; "it raised up itself on one side," lying on one of its fore feet and standing on the other; a figure still to be seen in Babylonian monuments, but see margin. Persia is meant. Media was the lower and passive side; Persia, the upper and active. It had three ribs in its mouth, namely, it seized on Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt. From a Hebrew root, "to move by creeping": dob, dabab. Bochart, from Arabic," hairy."


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Bear' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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