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November 27    Scripture

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Manners & Customs : Hunting

Hunters in Scripture HUNTERS Nimrod the first hunter recorded by Scripture. He was called "a mighty hunter before the Lord" (Genesis 10:9). Of Ishmael it is said that he "dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer" (Genesis 21:20). Esau was "a cunning hunter" (Genesis 25:27). Isaac said to Esau, "Take, I pray thee; thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison" (Genesis 27:3). Hunting was common in Egypt, and Israel must have been acquainted with it when she dwelt there. There was also, no doubt, some hunting of the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings on the Sinai Peninsula. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunters Killed Animals for Food Animals killed for food. Among the wild animals, different species of the deer were sought after especially by the Jewish hunters for food. It was venison that Isaac asked Esau to bring him (Genesis 27:3). The Law refers to the roebuck (gazelle) and the hart as being desired by Israel for meat (Deuteronomy 12:15). The dinner table of King Solomon was served with the meat of harts, roebucks, and fallowdeer (I Kings 4:23). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunters Killed Fowl for Meat Fowl killed for meat. GOD's wholesale supply of quail for Israel in the wilderness is indication of the popularity of that kind of meat among ancient hunters. The Arabs today have often captured quantities of this bird, and after much of the meat is consumed, the rest of it is preserved for future use by being split and then laid out for the sun to dry it. This is just what Israel did with its excess supply of quail meat: "And they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp" (Numbers 11:32). Doves and pigeons were also popular as food among the Israelites. Many of them were tamed, but wild ones were often sought after for food as well as for sacrificial purposes. The Bible speaks of their nesting in the clefts and holes of the rocks. "O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock" (Song of Solomon 2:14). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunters Used Nets Some animals such as the wild bull or antelope were sometimes caught by using a net. Isaiah mentions this method. "As a wild bull [antelope] in a net" (Isaiah 51:20). The net used by the Hebrews was probably of two varieties. The one was long and had several ropes and was supported on poles that were forked and were of different lengths according to the inequalities of the ground which the net covered. The other type of net was smaller and was utilized in order to stop gaps. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunters Used Pits The methods used by hunters. In modern times, the use of the gun is gradually doing away with ancient customs of hunting with more primitive weapons in Bible lands. But the Bible has given us a clear picture of those methods which have been practiced for years. Pitfalls for larger animals were often employed. These pits were covered over with a thin covering of rushes and brush so as to hide their presence, and sometimes approaches were constructed to the place of the pit, which made it possible to force the animal into the hole. The prophet Ezekiel tells of this method of catching a lion. "And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit" (Ezekiel 19:3, 4). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunters Used Spears, Slings, Arrows, and Traps When the pitfall or net was not used, then the hunter made use of one of the following methods: the arrows, slingstones, the spear or the dart. All of these are referred to in the LORD's message to the patriarch Job: "The arrow cannot make him flee: the slingstones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear" (Job 41:28-29). In catching birds, the snare was often used. David was evidently acquainted with bird traps, for he compared his escape from his enemies to the escape of a bird from a trap. "Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped" (Psalm 124:7). This bird trap was made in two parts and when set, and spread upon the ground, was fastened slightly by means of a trap stick. When the bird touched this stick, the parts flew up and enclosed the bird in the net. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Hunting in Easton's Bible Dictionary mentioned first in Gen. 10:9 in connection with Nimrod. Esau was "a cunning hunter" (Gen. 25:27). Hunting was practised by the Hebrews after their settlement in the "Land of Promise" (Lev. 17:15; Prov. 12:27). The lion and other ravenous beasts were found in Israel (1 Sam. 17:34; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Kings 13:24; Ezek. 19:3-8), and it must have been necessary to hunt and destroy them. Various snares and gins were used in hunting (Ps. 91:3; Amos 3:5; 2 Sam. 23:20). War is referred to under the idea of hunting (Jer. 16:16; Ezek. 32:30).

Hunting in Naves Topical Bible Authorized in the Mosaic law Le 17:13 -By Nimrod Ge 10:9 -By Esau Ge 27:3,5,30,33 -By Ishmael Ge 21:20 -Of lion Job 10:16 -Fowling 1Sa 26:20; Ps 140:5; 141:9,10; Pr 1:17; Ec 9:12; La 3:52; Am 3:5 -FIGURATIVE Jer 16:16

Hunting in Smiths Bible Dictionary Hunting, as a matter of necessity, whether for the exterminatiOn of dangerous beasts or for procuring sustenance betokens a rude and semi-civilized state; as an amusement, it betokens an advanced state. The Hebrews as a pastoral and agricultural people, were not given to the sports of the field; the density of the population, the earnestness of their character, and the tendency of their ritual regulations, particularly those affecting food, all combined to discourage the practice of hunting. The smaller of catching animals was, first, either by digging a pitfall; or, secondly, by a trap which was set under ground, Job 18:10 in the run of the animal, Pr 22:5 and caught it by the leg, Job 18:9 or lastly by the use of the net, of which there were various kinds, as or the gazelle, Isa 51:20 Authorized Version, "wild bull," and other animals of that class.

Hunting in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE hunt'-ing (tsayidh): The hunting of wild animals for sport, or for the defense of men and flocks, or for food, was common in Western Asia and Egypt, especially in early times. Some of the Egyptian and Assyrian kings were great hunters in the first sense, for example Amenhotep III (1411-1375 BC "a lion-hunting and bull-baiting Pharaoh," who boasted of having slain 76 bulls in the course of one expedition, and of having killed at one time or other 102 lions; and the Assyrian conqueror, Tiglath-pileser I (circa 1100 BC), who claimed 4 wild bulls, 14 elephants and 920 lions as the trophies of his skill and courage. 1. Nimrod and His Like: The Biblical prototype of these heroes of war and the chase is Nimrod, "a mighty hunter before Yahweh" (Gen 10:9), that is perhaps "a hunter who had no equal," a figure not yet clearly identifiable with any historical or mythical character in the Assyro-Bab monuments, but possibly the Gilgamesh of the great epic, who may be the hero represented on seals and reliefs as victorious over the lion (Skinner, "Gen," ICC, 208). We are reminded also of Samson's exploit at Timnah (Jdg 14:5 f), but this, like David's encounter with the lion and the bear (1 Sam 17:34 f) and Benaiah's struggle with a lion in a pit on a snowy day (2 Sam 23:20), was an occasional incident and scarcely comes under the category of hunting. There is no evidence that hunting for sport was ever practiced by the kings of Judah and Israel. Not until the time of Herod the Great, who had a hunting establishment and was a great hunter of boars, stags, and wild asses (Josephus, BJ, I, xxi, 13), mastering as many as 40 beasts in one day, do we find a ruler of Israel indulging in this pastime. 2. Hunting in the Old Testament: Hunting, however, for the two other purposes mentioned above was probably as frequent among the Israelites, even after they had ceased to be nomads, as among their neighbors. We know indeed of only two personal examples, both in the patriarchal period and both outside the direct line of Israelite descent: Esau (Gen 25:27 ff) and Ishmael (Gen 21:20); but there are several references and many figurative allusions to the pursuit and its methods and instruments. Hunting (inclusive of following) is mentioned in the Pentateuch in the regulation about pouring out the blood and covering it with dust (Lev 17:13); and there is a general reference in the proverb (Prov 12:27): "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting." The hunting of the lion is assumed in Ezekiel's allegory of the lioness and her two whelps (Ezek 19:1-9; compare Job 10:16); of the antelope or oryx (Dt 14:5; Isa 51:20); of the roe (Prov 6:5); of the partridge in the mountains (1 Sam 26:20), and of birds in general in many passages. Hunting is probably implied in the statement about the provision of harts, gazelles and roebucks for Solomon's kitchen (1 Ki 4:23), and to some extent in the reference to the den of lions in Babylon (Dan 6:7 ff). 3. Methods of Hunters: The weapons most frequently employed by hunters seem to have been bows and arrows. Isaac (Gen 27:3) commands Esau to take his bow and quiver and procure him venison or game (compare also Isa 7:24; Job 41:28). This method is amply illustrated by the monuments. Ashur-nazir-pal lII (885-860 BC) and Darius (circa 500 BC), for example, are depicted shooting at lions from the chariot. Use was also made of the sword, the spear, the dart...

Hunting Scripture - Genesis 27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

Hunting Scripture - Proverbs 12:27 The slothful [man] roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man [is] precious.

Hunting was Necessary Upon entering Canaan, it was necessary for Israel to engage in hunting since otherwise their occupation of the land would have been made more difficult. the LORD had said to them, "I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee" (Exodus 23:29). The Law of Moses made provision for hunting for food. "And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust" (Leviticus 17:13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Shepherds Hunting Predators Hunting to protect the sheep. Hunting has been undertaken through the years in Israel of necessity as a means of protecting the flocks of sheep and goats. In Bible times the chief enemies of the sheep included the lion, the bear, the leopard, the wolf, and the hyena. The shepherd's activities along these lines have already been dealt with. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Wild Animals Hide-outs for wild animals. Israel and Syria have their hide-outs for wild animals and fowl. Wild beasts have lived in the wild parts of the Lebanon Mountains to the north of the Holy Land through the years, but this was more the source of these animals for Syria rather than for the main part of Israel itself. The marshes immediately north of Lake Merom have through the centuries been the haunt of many waterfowl, and the reeds thereby have provided lairs for various animals, especially the wild buffalo. When Herod the Great was a young man he used to come here to hunt game.22 Today, the Jews are busy draining much of this swampland that it may be used for agricultural purposes. The principal hide-out for wild animals that bother the citizens of Israel, and especially Judea and Samaria, is the Zor of the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is called by the Arabs, The Ghor, i.e., the Rift. Within the Ghor is a narrow and deep valley called The Zor, in the center of which the river flows. For much of this distance the Zor is a jungle of tropical plants, shrubs, and trees. It is thus a hideout for all kinds of wild animals. During the part of the year when the river overflows, the wild beasts are driven from their haunts, but return there when the river recedes.23 Most of the wild animals that have raided the habitable parts of Israel through its history have come from these haunts in Jordan Valley. Thus Jeremiah says: "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong" (Jeremiah 49:19). The scene of the temptation of JESUS was doubtless the Wilderness of Judea. Mark says of Jesus: "And he . . . was with the wild beasts" (Mark 1:13). Quite probably most of these animals had come up from the Zor which was near at hand. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]