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Bible Animals: Ass
Ass in the ancient World.

Asses or Donkeys in the Bible. Domestic Asses: Used (a.) for riding ; (b) for carrying burdens : (c) for ploughing. Persons of high rank rode on white asses. Wild Asses: Swift and untameable animal ; still found in Asia and Africa - Animal Life in the Scriptures

Ancient Ass. THE wild asses mentioned in the Bible were of the species Asinus hemippus, which inhabits the deserts of Syria, Mesopotamia, and the northern parts of Arabia; the Asinus vulgaris of the north-east of Africa, the true onager or aboriginal wild ass, whence the domesti­cated breed has sprung ; and probably the Asinus Onager, the Koulan or Ghorkhur, which is found in Western Asia from latitude 48° north, southward to Persia, Beloochistan, and Western India. Mr. Layard tells us that in fleetness the wild ass equals the gazelle. - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible


Ass in Easton's Bible Dictionary frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3). (2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered "foal" in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Comp. Job 11:12; Isa. 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev. 11:26. Comp. 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16; 30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam. 25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt," etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.). Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew _'arod_, mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called _pe're_, the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass among men").
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/A/Ass/

Ass in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Hebrew athon; from athan, 'short in step". 1. The domestic she ass, named so from its slowness. 2. The chamor, the he ass, whether domesticated or not, distinguished from the athon; Genesis 45:23. From chamar, "red," as the Spaniards call the donkey "burro," from its red color. Used in riding and plowing. Not held in contempt for stupidity, as with us. Issachar is compared to an "ass, strong boned, crouching down between the hurdles (Genesis 49:14): he saw that rest was a good and the land pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became servant unto tribute;" ease at the cost of liberty would be his characteristic. Robust, and with a prime agricultural inheritance, his people would strive after material good, rather than political rule. The prohibition of horses rendered the donkey the more esteemed in Israel. In the E. it is a far superior animal to ours...
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/A/Ass/

Ass in Naves Topical Bible -DOMESTICATED Herds of Ge 12:16; 24:35; 32:5; 34:28; Nu 31:34,45; 1Ch 5:21; Ezr 2:67; Ne 7:69 Used for riding Ge 22:3; Nu 22:21-33; Jos 15:18; Jud 1:14; 5:10; 1Sa 25:23; 2Ch 28:15; Zec 9:9 By Jesus Mt 21:2,5; Lu 13:15; Joh 12:14,15; Zec 9:9 Carrying burdens Ge 42:26; 2Sa 16:1; Isa 30:6 Drawing chariots Isa 21:7 For food 2Ki 6:25 Not to be yoked with an ox De 22:10 Rest on the Sabbath Ex 23:12 Bridles for Pr 26:3 Jawbone of, used by Samson with which to kill Philistines Jud 15:15-17 FIRSTLINGS OF redeemed Ex 13:13; 34:20 -WILD Job 6:5; 24:5; 39:5; Ps 104:11; Isa 32:14; Jer 2:24; 14:6; Ho 8:9
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/A/ASS+(DONKEY)/

Ass in Smiths Bible Dictionary Five Hebrew names of the genus Asinus occur in the Old Testament. 1. Chamor denotes the male domestic ass. 2. Athon, the common domestic she-ass. 3. Air, the name of a wild ass, which occurs Ge 32:15; 49:11 4. Pere, a species of wild ass mentioned Ge 12:16 5. Arod occurs only in Job 39:5 but in what respect it differs from the Pere is uncertain. The ass in eastern countries is a very different animal from what he is in western Europe. The most noble and honorable amongst the Jews were wont to be mounted on asses. (With us the ass is a symbol of stubbornness and stupidity, while in the East it is especially remarkable for its patience, gentleness, intelligence, meek submission and great power of endurance."--L. Abbott. The color is usually a reddish brown, but there are white asses, which are much prized. The ass was the animal of peace as the horse was the animal of war; hence the appropriateness of Christ in his triumphal entry riding on an ass. The wild ass is a beautiful animal.- -ED.) Mr. Lavard remarks that in fleetness the wild ass (Asinus hemippus) equals the gazelle and to overtake it is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated mares have been known to accomplish.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/A/Ass/

Ass in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE as (chamowr or chamor, compare Arabic chamar, apparently connected with Arabic root 'achmar, "red," but referred by some to root hamal, "to carry"; also, but less commonly, both in Hebrew and in Arabic, 'athon, Arabic 'atan, used in Arabic only of the females; pereh, or pere', and `aradh, or `arodh, Arabic 'ard, "wild ass," and also `ayir, Arabic `air, "a young" or "wild ass"). 1. Names: The name `arodh (Job 39:5) is rare; onos (Mt 21:2). 2. Meaning: (1) Chamor is derived from the root which means, in all probability, "to carry a burden" (see Furst, Handworterbuch, ch-m-r ii), or "heap up." While no analogies are contained in the Old Testament this root occurs in New Hebrew. The Aramaic chamer, means "to make a ruin-heap" (from which the noun chamor, "a heap," used in Jdg 15:16 in a play of words: "With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of an ass have I smitten a thousand men"). The root may also mean "to be red." In this case the nominal form chamor may have been derived from the reddish-brown skin of a certain type of the ass. (2) 'Athon, Assyrian 'atanu and Aramaic 'atana', is derived from 'atha' "to come," "go," etc. (Furst suggests that it may be derived from 'athan, Aramaic `adhan, "to be slender," "docile," etc.); 'athonoth tsechoroth, "red-white asses" (Jdg 5:10) designates a better breed...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/A/ASS/

Ass in Wikipedia The ass has always enjoyed a marked favour above all other beasts of burden in the bible. This is evidenced by two very simple remarks. While, on the one hand, mention of this animal occurs over a hundred and thirty times in Bible. On the other hand, the Hebrew vocabulary possesses, to designate the ass, according to its colour, sex, age, etc., a supply of words in striking contrast with the ordinary penury of the sacred language. Of these various names the most common is hamôr, "reddish", the hair of the Eastern ass being generally of that colour. White asses, more rare, were also more appreciated and reserved for the use of the nobles (Judges 5:10). The custom was introduced very early, as it seems, and still prevails, to paint the most shapely and valuable donkeys in stripes of different colours. In the East the ass is much larger and finer than in other countries, and in several places the pedigrees of the best breeds are carefully preserved. Asses have always been an important item in the resources of the Eastern peoples, and we are repeatedly told in the Bible about the herds of these animals owned by the patriarchs (Genesis 12:16; 30:43; 36:24, etc.), and wealthy Israelites (1 Samuel 9:3; 1 Chronicles 27:30, etc.). Hence the several regulations brought forth by Israel's lawgiver on this subject: the neighbour's ass should not be coveted (Exodus 20:17); moreover, should the neighbour's stray ass be found, it should be taken care of, and its owner assisted in tending this part of his herd (Deuteronomy 22:3, 4). The ass serves in the East for many purposes. Its even gait and surefootedness, so well suited to the rough paths of the Holy Land, made it at all times the most popular of all the animals for riding in those hilly regions (Genesis 22:3; Luke 19:30). Neither was it ridden only by the common people, but also by persons of the highest rank (Judges 5:10; 10:4; 2 Samuel 17:23; 19:26, etc.). No wonder therefore that Jesus, about to come triumphantly to Jerusalem, commanded His disciples to bring Him an ass and her colt; no lesson of humility, as is sometimes asserted, but the affirmation of the peaceful character of His kingdom should be sought there. Although the Scripture speaks of "saddling" the ass, usually no saddle was used by the rider. A cloth was spread upon the back of the ass and fastened by a strap was all the equipment. Upon this cloth the rider sat with a servant usually walking alongside. Should a family journey, the women and children would ride the asses, attended by the father (Exodus 4:20). This mode of travelling has been popularized by Christian painters, who copied the eastern customs in their representations of the Holy Family's flight to Egypt. Scores of passages in the Bible allude to asses carrying burdens. The Gospels, at least in the Greek text, speak of millstones run by asses (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:41; Luke 17:2); Josephus and the Egyptian monuments teach us that this animal was used for threshing wheat. Finally, we repeatedly read in the Old Testament of asses hitched to a plough (Deuteronomy 22:10; Isaiah 30:24, etc.), and in reference to this custom, the Law forbade ploughing with an ox and an ass together (Deuteronomy 22:10). From Is., xxi, 7, confirmed by the statements of Greek writers, we learn that part of the cavalry force in the Persian army rode donkeys. We should perhaps understand from IV K., vii, 7, that the Syrian armies followed the same practice; but no such custom seems to have ever prevailed among the Hebrews. With them the ass was essentially for peaceful use, the emblem of peace, as the horse was the symbol of war. The flesh of the donkey was unclean and forbidden by the Law. In some particular circumstances, however, no law could prevail over necessity, and we read that during Joram's reign, when Benadad besieged Samaria, the famine was so extreme in this city, that the head of an ass was sold for 120 pieces of silver (IV K., vi, 25).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey

Ass Scripture - 1 Chronicles 5:21 And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Chronicles/5/

Ass Scripture - Ezekiel 23:20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh [is as] the flesh of asses, and whose issue [is like] the issue of horses.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Ezekiel/23/

Ass Scripture - Genesis 47:17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread [in exchange] for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/47/

Ass's Colt in Wikipedia This is more specially the symbol of peace and meek obedience (John 12:15).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey

Wild Ass in Wikipedia Corresponds in the Old Testament to two words, péré' and 'arôdh. Whether these two names refer to different species, or are, the one, the genuine Hebrew name, the other, the Aramaic equivalent for the same animal, is uncertain. Both signify one of the wildest and most untamable animals. The wild ass is larger and more shapely than the domestic one, and outruns the fleetest horse. Its untamableness joined to its nimbleness made it a fit symbol for the wild and plunder-loving Ismael (Genesis 16:12). The wild ass, extinct in western Asia, still exists in central Asia and the deserts of Africa.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_ass



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