Bible Animals: Camel
Camel in the ancient World.
Camels in the Bible. One of the earliest domesticated animals ; essential to existence in desert countries. - Animal Life in the Scriptures
Ancient Camel. THE Camel has been called the "ship of the desert." It was the principal beast of burden used by the Orientals of ancient times, and to-day is their chief dependence in long journeys across their wastes of burning sand. There are two kinds of this animal: one large and strong, with two humps on the back, which is the Bactrian camel, or camel proper, and the Arabian, or one-humped camel, improperly called the dromedary - improperly, because dromedary is a Greek word, equivalent to the English term courser, which quality no more belongs to all Arabian camels than it does to all thorough-bred horses. Strictly speaking, there is no difference between the camel and the dromedary, the latter being merely a finer breed of the same species. The Arabs call it the Heirie. The dromedary, as it is called, can perform a journey of fifty leagues in one day, travel nine or ten days consecutively, with but an hour's rest per day, and live on one ball of paste per day, and be the carrier of his own and his rider's food. This great speed they will make only in a level country. Both the camel and the dromedary can carry great burdens, travel long distances, and endure great privations. The camel is commonly used in the East for the conveyance of special messages. The rider is belted on, and the animal is urged to its full speed. The animal is provided with a peculiar saddle when used for riding. Its hair is valuable as an article of commerce. The Arabs and the Persians weave it into carpets, tent coverings, shawls, and other materials. It is also made into brushes, and the French manufacture hats of it. The camel which was in common use among the Jews was the Arabian, or one-humped camel. The animal is constantly mentioned in the Bible, and we can readily give credence to the immense numbers that are spoken of as the property either of tribes or individuals. The 3000 camels of Job may be illustrated to the very letter by a passage in Aristotle (H. A. ix. 37, § 5) : " Now some men in upper Asia possess as many as 3000 camels." - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible
Camel in Easton's Bible Dictionary
from the Hebrew _gamal_, "to repay" or "requite," as the
does the care of its master. There are two distinct
camels, having, however, the common characteristics
"ruminants without horns, without muzzle, with
oblique slits, the upper lip divided and separately
extensile, the soles of the feet horny, with two
toes covered by
claws, the limbs long, the abdomen drawn up, while
long and slender, is bent up and down, the reverse
of that of a
horse, which is arched."
(1.) The Bactrian camel is distinguished by two
humps. It is a
native of the high table-lands of Central Asia.
(2.) The Arabian camel or dromedary, from the Greek
"a runner" (Isa. 60:6; Jer. 2:23), has but one hump,
and is a
native of Western Asia or Africa...
Camel in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
gamal. A ruminant animal, the chief means of communication
between places separated by sandy deserts in Asia, owing to
its amazing powers of endurance. The "ship of the desert,"
able to go without food, and water for days, the cellular
stomach containing a reservoir for water, and its fatty hump
a supply of nourishment; and content with such coarse,
prickly shrubs as the desert yields and its incisor teeth
enable it to divide. Their natural posture of rest is lying
down on the breast; on which, as well as on the joints of
the legs, are callosities. Thus, Providence by their
formation adapts them for carriers; and their broad,
cushioned, elastic feet enable them to tread sure-footedly
upon the sinking sands and gravel. They can close their
nostrils against the drifting sand of the parching simoom.
Their habitat is Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, S. Tartary, and
part of India; in Africa from the Mediterranean to Senegal,
and from Egypt and Abyssinia to Algiers and Morocco.
The dromedary (beeker) is from a better breed, and
swifter; from the Greek dromas, a runner; going often at a
pace of nine miles an hour (Esther 8:10; Esther 8:14). The
Bactrian two-humped camel is a variety. Used in Abraham's
time for riding and burdens (Genesis 24:64; Genesis 37:25);
also in war (1 Samuel 30:17; Isaiah 21:7). Camel's hair was
woven into coarse cloth, such as what John the Baptist wore
(Matthew 3:4). The Hebrew gamal is from a root "to revenge,"
because of its remembrance of injuries and vindictiveness,
or else "to carry." In Isaiah 60:6 and Jeremiah 2:23 beeker
should be translated not "dromedary," but "young camel." In
Isaiah 66:20 kirkaroth, from karar to bound, "swift beasts,"
i.e. dromedaries. Its milk is used for drink as that of the
goats and sheep for butter.
Camel in Naves Topical Bible
Ge 12:16; 24:35; 30:43; 1Sa 30:17; 1Ch 27:30; Job
Ge 24:10,61,64; 31:17
Es 8:10,14; Jer 2:23
For carrying burdens
Ge 24:10; 37:25; 1Ki 10:2; 2Ki 8:9; 1Ch 12:40; Isa
-Forbidden as food
-Hair of, made into cloth
Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6
Camel in Smiths Bible Dictionary
The species of camel which was in common use among the Jews
and the heathen nations of Israel was the Arabian or one-
humped camel, Camelus arabicus. The dromedary is a swifter
animal than the baggage-camel, and is used chiefly for
riding purposes; it is merely a finer breed than the other.
The Arabs call it the heirie. The speed, of the dromedary
has been greatly exaggerated, the Arabs asserting that it is
swifter than the horse. Eight or nine miles an hour is the
utmost it is able to perform; this pace, however, it is able
to keep up for hours together. The Arabian camel carries
about 500 pounds. "The hump on the camel's back is chiefly a
store of fat, from which the animal draws as the wants of
his system require; and the Arab is careful to see that the
hump is in good condition before a long journey. Another
interesting adaptation is the thick sole which protects the
foot of the camel from the burning sand. The nostrils may be
closed by valves against blasts of sand. Most interesting is
the provision for drought made by providing the second
stomach with great cells in which water is long retained.
Sight and smell is exceedingly acute in the camel." --
Johnson's Encyc. It is clear from Ge 12:16 that camels were
early known to the Egyptians. The importance of the camel is
shown by Ge 24:64; 37:25; Jud 7:12; 1Sa 27:9; 1Ki 19:2; 2Ch
14:15; Job 1:3; Jer 49:29,32 and many other texts. John the
Baptist wore a garment made of camel hair, Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6
the coarser hairs of the camel; and some have supposed that
Elijah was clad in a dress of the same stuff.
Camel in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
kam'-el (gamal; kamelos; bekher, and bikhrah (Isa 60:6; Jer
2:23 "dromedary," the American Revised Version, margin
"young camel"), rekhesh (1 Ki 4:28; see HORSE), kirkaroth
(Isa 66:20, "swift beasts," the American Standard Revised
ersion. "dromedaries"); bene ha-rammakhim (Est 8:10, "young
dromedaries," the American Standard Revised Version "bred of
the stud"); achashteranim (Est 8:10,14, the King James
Version "camels," the American Standard Revised Version
"that were used in the king's service")): There are two
species of camel, the Arabian or one-humped camel or
dromedary, Camelus dromedarius, and the Bactrian or two-
humped camel, Camelus bactrianus. The latter inhabits the
temperate and cold parts of central Asia and is not likely
to have been known to Biblical writers. The Arabian camel
inhabits southwestern Asia and northern Africa and has
recently been introduced into parts of America and
Australia. Its hoofs are not typical of ungulates but are
rather like great claws. The toes are not completely
separated and the main part of the foot which is applied to
the ground is a large pad which underlies the proximal
joints of the digits. It may be that this incomplete
separation of the two toes is a sufficient explanation of
the words "parteth not the hoof," in Lev 11:4 and Dt 14:7.
Otherwise these words present a difficulty, because the
hoofs are completely separated though the toes are not. The
camel is a ruminant and chews the cud like a sheep or ox,
but the stomach possesses only three compartments instead of
four, as in other ruminants. The first two compartments
contain in their walls small pouches, each of which can be
closed by a sphincter muscle. The fluid retained in these
pouches may account in part for the power of the camel to go
for a relatively long time without drinking...
Camel in Wikipedia
Camel, a prominent domestic animal of the East without the existence of which life in the Arabian deserts would be impossible. It was perhaps the first beast of burden applied to the service of man. It is mentioned as such in the Biblical records as early as the time of Abraham. It constituted a great element in the riches of the early patriarchs. There are two species of camel: the one-humped camel (camelus dromedarius), and the two-humped camel (camelus bactrianus). The camel is used for riding as well as for carrying loads; its furniture is a large frame placed on the humps, to which cradles or packs are attached. In this manner was all the merchandise of Assyria and Egypt transported. But the camel is appreciated for other reasons: it may be hitched to a wagon or to a plough, and in fact is not unfrequently yoked together with the ass or the ox; the female supplies abundantly her master with a good milk; camel's hair is woven into a rough cloth wherewith tents and cloaks are made; finally its flesh, albeit coarse and dry, may be eaten. With the Jews, however, the camel was reckoned among the unclean animals.
Camel Scripture - Deuteronomy 14:7
Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud,
or of them that divide the cloven hoof; [as] the camel, and
the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not
the hoof; [therefore] they [are] unclean unto you.
Camel Scripture - Leviticus 11:4
Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud,
or of them that divide the hoof: [as] the camel, because he
cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he [is] unclean
Camel Scripture - Zechariah 14:15
And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the
camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in
these tents, as this plague.
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