Bible Animals: Coney
Coney in the ancient World.
Coney in the Bible. Hyrax Syriacus, a small animal found in rocky districts and common about Sinai. Not a rabbit. - Animal Life in the Scriptures
Coney in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Heb. shaphan; i.e., "the hider"), an animal which inhabits
mountain gorges and the rocky districts of Arabia
the Holy Land. "The conies are but a feeble folk,
yet make they
their houses in the rocks" (Prov. 30:26; Ps.
104:18). They are
gregarious, and "exceeding wise" (Prov. 30:24), and
described as chewing the cud (Lev. 11:5; Deut.
The animal intended by this name is known among
the Hyrax Syriacus. It is neither a ruminant nor a
is regarded as akin to the rhinoceros. When it is
said to "chew
the cud," the Hebrew word so used does not
necessarily imply the
possession of a ruminant stomach. "The lawgiver
to appearances; and no one can watch the constant
motion of the
little creature's jaws, as it sits continually
teeth, without recognizing the naturalness of the
(Tristram, Natural History of the Bible). It is
about the size
and color of a rabbit, though clumsier in structure,
a tail. Its feet are not formed for digging, and
has its home not in burrows but in the clefts of the
"Coney" is an obsolete English word for "rabbit."
Coney in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
shaphan, from the root "to hide"; the S. Arab, thofun; the
Syrian Arab, weber. A pachydermatous animal, gregarious,
greybacked, white on the belly, with long hair, short tail,
and round ears; common on the ridges of Lebanon; living in
caves and clefts; the Hyrax Syriacus, not the rabbit or coney.
Proverbs 30:26; "the coneys are but a feeble folk, yet make
they their houses in the rocks:" exactly true of the hyrax;
with weak teeth, short incisors, and nails instead, it seems
defenseless, but its security is in rocky hiding places, such
as Ain Feshkah on the Dead Sea shore.
"No animal" (says Tristram). "gave us so much trouble
to secure." It is described as "chewing the cud" (Leviticus
11:5; Deuteronomy 14:7), in phenomenal language, because the
motion of its jaws is like that of ruminating animals; so also
the hare. Though in some respects like the rodentia, it is
really akin to the rhinoceros; its molar teeth differ only in
the size; its body is as large as the rabbit. The "exceeding
wisdom" of the coneys is illustrated in their setting an old
male sentry near their holes to warn his companions when
danger approaches, by a whistling sound.
Coney in Naves Topical Bible
-General scriptures concerning
Le 11:5; De 14:7; Ps 18; Pr 30:26
Coney in Smiths Bible Dictionary
(shaphan), a gregarious animal of the class Pachydermata,
which is found in Israel, living in the caves and clefts of
the rocks, and has been erroneously identified with the rabbit
or coney. Its scientific name as Hyrax syriacus. The hyrax
satisfies exactly the expressions in Ps 104:18; Pr 30:26 Its
color is gray or brown on the back, white on the belly; it is
like the alpine marmot, scarcely of the size of the domestic
cat, having long hair, a very short tail and round ears. It is
found on Lebanon and in the Jordan and Dead Sea valleys.
Coney in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
ko'-ni (shaphan (Lev 11:5; Dt 14:7; Ps 104:18; Prov 30:26)):
The word "coney" (formerly pronounced cooney) means "rabbit"
(from Latin cuniculus). Shaphan is rendered in all four
passages in the Septuagint choirogrullios, or "hedge-hog,"
but is now universally considered to refer to the Syrian
hyrax, Procavia (or Hyrax) Syriaca, which in southern Israel
and Sinai is called in Arabic wabar, in northern Israel and
Syria Tabsun, and in southern Arabia shufun, which is
etymologically closely akin to shaphan. The word "hyrax"
(hurax) itself means "mouse" or "shrew-mouse" (compare Latin
sorex), so that it seems to have been hard to find a name
peculiar to this animal. In Lev 11:5 the Revised Version,
margin, we find "rock badger," which is a translation of
klip das, the rather inappropriate name given by the Boers
to the Cape hyrax. The Syrian hyrax lives in Syria, Israel
and Arabia. A number of other species, including several
that are arboreal, live in Africa. They are not found in
other parts of the world. In size, teeth and habits the
Syrian hyrax somewhat resembles the rabbit, though it is
different in color, being reddish brown, and lacks the long
hind legs of the rabbit. The similarity in dentition is
confined to the large size of the front teeth and the
presence of a large space between them and the back teeth.
But whereas hares have a pair of front teeth on each jaw,
the hyrax has one pair above and two below...
Coney in Wikipedia
Cherogrillus (Leviticus 11:5; Deuteronomy 14:7), a mere transliteration of the Greek name of the porcupine, corresponds to the Hebrew shăphăn, translated, Ps. ciii (Hebr., civ), 18, by irchin, and Prov., xxx, 26, by rabbit. As St. Jerome noticed it, the shăphăn is not the porcupine, but a very peculiar animal of about the same size, dwelling among the rocks, and in holes, and called in Israel "bear-rat", on account of some resemblance with these two quadrupeds. We call it coney, or daman (hyrax syriacus). Its habit of lingering among the rocks is alluded to, Ps. ciii, 18; its wisdom and defencelessness, Prov., xxx, 24-26. "It cannot burrow, for it has no claws, only nails half developed ; but it lies in holes in the rocks, and feeds only at dawn and dusk, always having sentries posted, at the slightest squeak from which the whole party instantly disappears. The coney is not a ruminant (cf. Leviticus 11:5), but it sits working its jaws as if re-chewing. It is found sparingly in most of the rocky districts, and is common about Sinai" (Tristram).
Coney 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.
Coney Scripture - Leviticus 11:5
And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not
the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.
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