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    Hyaena in Smiths Bible Dictionary Authorities differ as to whether the term tzabu'a in Jer 12:9 means a "hyaena" or a "speckled bird." The only other instance in which it occurs is as a proper name, Zeboim, 1Sa 13:18 "the valley of hyaenas, "Aquila; Ne 11:34 The striped hyaena (Hyaena striata) is found in Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia and Persia, and is more common in Israel than any other carnivorous animals except perhaps the jackal. The hyaena is among the mammals what the vulture is among birds, --the scavenger of the wilderness, the woods and the shore. --It often attacks animals, and Sometimes digs up the dead bodies of men and beasts. From this last habit the hyaena has been regarded as a horrible and mysterious creature. Its teeth are so powerful that they can crack the bones of an ox with ease. --Appelton's Encyc. The hyaena was common in ancient as in modern Egypt, and is constantly depicted upon monuments; it must therefore have been well known to the Jews.

    Hyena in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Jeremiah 12:9, "speckled bird." But Septuagint "the hyena," in parallelism to the "lion" in Jeremiah 12:8; tsabuwa the Arabic word for hyena corresponds. Zeboim (1 Samuel 13:18) means "the valley of hyenas." But the Hebrew 'ayit joined to it always means a bird; and "speckled" symbolizes the blending of paganism with the utterly diverse, divinely-ordained law.

    Hyena in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE hi-e'-na (tsabhua` (Jer 12:9); Septuagint huaine (Jer 12:9; Ecclesiasticus 13:18); compare Arabic dab` or dabu`, "hyaena"; compare tsebho`im, Zeboim (1 Sam 13:18; Neh 11:34); also compare tsibh`on, Zibeon (Gen 36:2,14,20; 1 Ch 1:38); but not tsebhoyim, Zeboiim (Gen 10:19; 14:2, etc.)): English Versions of the Bible does not contain the word "hyena," except in Ecclesiasticus 13:18, "What peace is there between the hyena and the dog? and what; peace between the rich man and the poor?" In Jer 12:9, where the Hebrew has ha-`ayiT tsabhua` (the Revised Version (British and American) "a speckled bird of prey"), Septuagint has spelaion huaines, "a hyena's den," as if from a Hebrew original having me`arah, "cave," instead of ha-`ayiT, "bird." The root tsabha` may mean "to seize as prey" (compare Arabic seb`, "lion" or "rapacious animal"), or "to dip" or "to dye" (compare Arabic cabagh, "to dye"), hence, the two translations of tsabhua` as "hyena" and as "speckled" (Vulgate versicolor). The hyena of Israel is the striped hyena (Hyaena striata) which ranges from India to North Africa. The striped, the spotted, and the brown hyenas constitute a distinct family of the order of Carnivora, having certain peculiarities of dentition and having four toes on each foot, instead of four behind and five in front, as in most of the order. The hyena is a nocturnal animal, rarely seen though fairly abundant, powerful but cowardly, a feeder on carrion and addicted to grave-robbing. The last habit in particular has won it the abhorrence of the natives of the countries which it inhabits. In the passage cited in Ecclus, it is to be noted that it is to the hyena that the rich man is compared. The jaws and teeth of the hyena are exceedingly strong and fitted for crushing bones which have resisted the efforts of dogs and jackals. Its dens are in desolate places and are littered with fragments of skeletons. "Is my heritage unto me as a speckled bird of prey?" (Jer 12:9) becomes a more striking passage if the Septuagint is followed, "Is my heritage unto me as a hyena's den?" Shaqq-ud-Diba`, "Cleft of the hyenas," is the name of a valley north of Wadi-ul-Qelt, and Wadi-Abu-Diba` (of similar meaning) is the name of an affluent of Wadi-ul-Qelt. Either of these, or possibly Wadi-ul-Qelt itself, may be the valley of Zeboim (valley of hyenas) of 1 Sam 13:18. The name of Zibeon the Horite (Gen 36:2, etc.) is more doubtfully connected with "hyena." Alfred Ely Day

    Hyena in Wikipedia Hyena. - This word is not to be found in any of the English translations of the Bible; it occurs twice in the Septuagint, Jer., xii, 9, and Ecclus., xiii, 22, being in both places the rendering for the Hebrew name bh. The hyenas are very numerous in the Holy Land, where they are most active scavengers; they feed upon dead bodies, and sometimes dig the tombs open to get at the corpses therein buried. Two Hebrew names are supposed to designate the hyena: (1) bh'. This word, which has been interpreted "speckled bird", Jer., xii, 9, by modern translators following the Vulgate, has been rendered by "holy man", Ecclus., xiii, 22. Despite the authorities that favour the above mentioned translation of Jer., xii, 9, the consistency of the Septuagint on the one hand, and on the other the parallelism in the latter passage, in addition to the analogy with the Arabic and rabbinical Hebrew names for the hyena, fairly support the identification of the bh' with this animal. (2) yym, rendered in divers manners in different places: wild beasts, Is., xiii, 21; demons, Is., xxxiv, 14; dragons, Ps. lxxiii (hebr., lxxiv), 14; Jer., 1, 39.