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August 16    Scripture

Bible Animals: Fox
Fox in the ancient World.

Foxes in the Bible. The word used includes both fox and jackal ; it is usually the latter that is meant. - Animal Life in the Scriptures

Ancient Fox. THE animal mentioned in Judges xv. 4, as the instrument of Samson's vengeance upon the Philistines, is not, strictly speaking, a fox, but the Syrian Jackal, which is something between a fox and a wolf, and is often called by naturalists the wild fox. Great numbers of this animal are found in Israel, chiefly in large herds. - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible


Fox in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Heb. shu'al, a name derived from its digging or burrowing under ground), the Vulpes thaleb, or Syrian fox, the only species of this animal indigenous to Israel. It burrows, is silent and solitary in its habits, is destructive to vineyards, being a plunderer of ripe grapes (Cant. 2:15). The Vulpes Niloticus, or Egyptian dog-fox, and the Vulpes vulgaris, or common fox, are also found in Israel. The proverbial cunning of the fox is alluded to in Ezek. 13:4, and in Luke 13:32, where our Lord calls Herod "that fox." In Judg. 15:4, 5, the reference is in all probability to the jackal. The Hebrew word _shu'al_ through the Persian _schagal_ becomes our jackal (Canis aureus), so that the word may bear that signification here. The reasons for preferring the rendering "jackal" are (1) that it is more easily caught than the fox; (2) that the fox is shy and suspicious, and flies mankind, while the jackal does not; and (3) that foxes are difficult, jackals comparatively easy, to treat in the way here described. Jackals hunt in large numbers, and are still very numerous in Southern Israel.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/F/Fox/


Fox in Fausset's Bible Dictionary shuw'al, from sha'al "to burrow" (Nehemiah 4:3; Lamentations 5:18; Matthew 8:20). In Hebrew including also the jackal which preys on unburied carcasses; "they shall be a portion for jackals" (Psalm 63:9-10), fulfilled on "the seekers after David's soul" (2 Samuel 18:7-17). So Samson's 300 jackals (Judges 15); for jackals are gregarious, the fox is solitary. The Arab shikal, "jackal", is related to the Hebrew shu'al. That jackals were common in Israel appears from the names of places compounded with shual, as Hagar- shual, Shaalbim; (compare Foxhayes, etc., in our own land;) being gregarious they would naturally run in couples, tied together by a cord of two or three yards length; Samson probably had men to help him, and caught and let them loose from different places to consume the greater quantity of the Philistines' grain. Fond of grapes; (Song of Solomon 2:15) "take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines." The bride after awaking from her past unwatchfulness is the more jealous of subtle (fox-like) sins (Psalm 139:23). In spiritual winter evil weeds as well as good plants are frozen up; in the spring of revivals these start up unperceived, crafty false teachers spiritual pride, uncharitableness (Psalm 19:12; Matthew 13:26; Hebrews 12:15). Little sins beget the greatest (Ecclesiastes 10:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6). Ezekiel 13:4; "thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts," where the foxes from having nothing to eat become doubly ravenous and crafty to get food. So, in Israel, once a vineyard now a moral desert, the prophets whose duty was to guard the church from being spoiled themselves spoil it, through crafty greed of gain. So, Jesus calls Herod "that fox." The Lord had withdrawn from His plotting foes in Judea to the retired region beyond Jordan, Peraea. The Pharisees came to expedite His departure by pretending "Herod was seeking to kill Him." Herod was wishing Him to depart, feeling embarrassed how to treat Him whether to honor or persecute Him (Luke 9:7-9; Luke 13:32). It was the Pharisees themselves who wished to kill Him. But Herod lent himself to their design and so played the "fox." Tell that fox that "today and tomorrow" I remain doing works of mercy in the borders of his province, "on the third day" I begin that journey which ends in My about to be consummated sacrifice. The common jackal of Israel is the Canis aureus which may be heard nightly; also the Vulpes vulgaris.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/F/Fox/


Fox in Naves Topical Bible -Dens of Mt 8:20; Lu 9:58 -Samson uses, to burn the field of the Philistines Jud 15:4 -Depredations of Ps 63:10; So 2:15 -Held in contempt Ne 4:3 -FIGURATIVE Of unfaithful prophets Eze 13:4 Of craftiness Lu 13:32 Of heretics So 2:15
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/F/FOX/


Fox in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Heb. shu'al). Probably the jackal is the animal signified in almost all the passages in the Old Testament where the Hebrew term occurs. Though both foxes and jackals abound in Israel, the shu'alim (foxes) of Jud 15:4 are evidently jackals and not foxes, for the former animal is gregarious, whereas the latter is solitary in its habits; and Samson could not, for that reason, have easily caught three hundred foxes, but it was easy to catch that number of jackals, which are concealed by hundreds in caves and ruins of Syria. It is not probable, however, that Samson sent out the whole three hundred at once. With respect to the jackals and foxes of Israel, there is no doubt that the common jackal of the country is the Canis aureus, which may be heard every night in the villages. It is like a medium-sized dog, with a head like a wolf, and is of a bright-yellow color. These beasts devour the bodies of the dead, and even dig them up from their graves.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/F/Fox/


Fox in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (shu`al; compare Arabic tha`lab (Jdg 15:4; Neh 4:3; Ps 63:10; Song 2:15; Lam 5:18; Ezek 13:4); alopex (Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58; 13:32)): The foxes of different parts of Europe and Western Asia differ more or less from each other, and some authors have given the local tyes distinct specific names. Tristram, for instance, distinguishes the Egyptian fox, Vulpes nilotica, of Southern Israel, and the tawny fox, Vulpes flavescens, of the North and East It is possible that the range of the desert fox, Vulpes leucopus, of Southwestern Asia may also reach Syria. We have, however, the authority of the Royal Natural History for considering all these as merely local races of one species, the common fox, Vulpes alopex or Canis vulpes. The natives of Syria and Israel do not always distinguish the fox and jackal although the two animals are markedly different. The jackal and wolf also are frequently confounded...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/F/FOX/


Fox in Wikipedia Fox. Thus is usually rendered the Hebrew, sh'l, which signifies both fox and jackal, even the latter more often than the former. The fox, however, was well known by the ancient Hebrews, and its cunning was as proverbial among them as among us (Ezekiel 13:4; Luke 13:32).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox


Foxes Scripture - Judges 15:4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Judges/15/


Foxes Scripture - Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Luke/9/


Foxes Scripture - Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/8/


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