What is a Bear?
Prov 17:12. The Syrian bear seems but a variety of the brown bear of Europe and Asia, though it is much lighter in color. Its food is seeds, fruits, and roots, to which it occasionally adds a goat or sheep. "I never but once saw the Syrian bear south of Hermon; this was in winter, in a rugged ravine near the Lake of Gennesaret. Syrian Bear. (After Tristram.) When we visited Hermon, before the snow had melted from the top, we found the snow-ridges trodden in all directions by the tracks of bears, which were well known, but not much feared, by the shepherds; and we also saw their trace in the snow on Lebanon. They descend both sides of Hermon and do considerable damage to the crops, especially the lentiles, of which they are very fond." --Tristram. The attachment of the female bear to her young is very great, and nothing enrages her so much as to see her cubs hurt or taken from her. Hence the allusions 2 Sam 17:8; Hos 13:8, and also the passage above cited.