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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

tor'-tus, tor'-tis, tor'-tois. (the King James Version) (tsabh, the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard"; compare the Arabic word, dabb, the thorny-tailed lizard): The word tsabh occurs as the name of an animal only in Leviticus 11:29, being the third in the list of unclean "creeping things."

The same word is found in Isaiah 66:20, translated "litters," and in Numbers 7:3, where `eghloth tsabh is translated "covered wagons." Gesenius derives the word, in all senses, from the root cabhabh, "to move gently," "to flow"; compare Arabic dabba, "to flow." The Arabic noun dabb is Uromastix spinipes, the Arabian thorny-tailed lizard. This lizard is about 18 inches long, its relatively smooth body being terminated with a great tail armed with rings of spiny scales. The Arabs have a familiar proverb, 'a`kad min dhanab ud-dabb, "knottier than the tail of the dabb." The Septuagint has for tsabh in Leviticus 11:29 ho krokodeilos ho chersaios, the English equivalent of which, "land-crocodile," is used by the Revised Version (British and American) for the fifth in the list of unclean "creeping things," koach, the King James Version "chameleon."

The writer does not know what can have led the translators of the King James Version to use here the word "tortoise." Assuming that the thorny-tailed lizard is meant, the "great lizard" of the Revised Version (British and American) may be considered to be a fair translation.


Alfred Ely Day

Strong's Hebrew
6632. tsab -- a litter
... 6631, 6632. tsab. 6632a . a litter. Transliteration: tsab Phonetic Spelling:
(tsawb) Short Definition: covered. covered, litter, tortoise ...
/hebrew/6632.htm - 5k

Of the Divine Providence in General.
... himself all that day in the open country, to escape his fate, and as he was standing
up bareheaded, a falcon which held in its claws a tortoise, seeing this ...
/.../francis/treatise on the love of god/chapter iii of the divine.htm

Invention of the Lyre; Allegorizing the Appearance and Position of ...
... The Latin version in Buhle's edition of Aratus is ad cunam (cunabulam) compegit,
ie, he fastened the strings into the shell of the tortoise near his bed. ...
/.../the refutation of all heresies/chapter xlviii invention of the lyre.htm

Ancient Civilisation {5} {6}
... As in the Hindoo cosmogony, the world stands on an elephant, and the elephant on
a tortoise, and the tortoise on"what? No man knows. I do not know. ...
/.../kingsley/historical lectures and essays/ancient civilisation 5 6.htm

Ancient Civilisation.
... As in the Hindoo cosmogony, the world stands on an elephant, and the elephant on
a tortoise, and the tortoise on"what? No man knows. I do not know. ...
/.../lectures delivered in america in 1874/lecture v ancient civilisation.htm

The Eternal Revolution
... Evolution is only good if it produces good; good is only good if it helps evolution.
The elephant stands on the tortoise, and the tortoise on the elephant. ...
// the eternal revolution.htm

Christ's Remonstrances
... Is there any answer to that? The Hindoos say that the world rests upon an elephant,
and the elephant rests upon a tortoise. What does the tortoise rest on? ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/christs remonstrances.htm

Natural Evil, or Suffering, and Especially the Suffering of ...
... some little mitigation of their difficulties, if it be only to place the world upon
the back of an elephant, the elephant upon the back of a tortoise, and the ...
/.../a theodicy or vindication of the divine glory/chapter ii natural evil or.htm

A Supplementary Chapter to the Bible in Spain
... I have belonged solely to the irrational beings of nature, and no human hum invaded
my solitudes; the eagle nestled on my airy crags, and the tortoise and the ...
/.../a supplementary chapter to the.htm

Beasts Similarly Subject to the Law of Mutation.
... youth. There is, withal, "A tardigrade field-haunting quadruped,. Humble
and rough.". The tortoise of Pacuvius, you think? No. There ...
/.../tertullian/on the pallium/chapter iii beasts similarly subject to.htm

On the Physical Basis of Life.
... through her youthful veins; or, what is there in common between the dense and resisting
mass of the oak, or the strong fabric of the tortoise, and those broad ...
/.../huxley/lay sermons addresses and reviews/vii on the physical basis.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. tsab). The tsab occurs only in (Leviticus 11:29) as the name of some unclean animal. The Hebrew word may be identified with the kindred Arabic dhab , "a large kind of lizard," which appears to be the Psommosaurus scincus of Cuvier.

ATS Bible Dictionary

Le 11:29. The Hebrew word rather denotes a species of lizard, so named in the original for its slowness of motion.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews tsabh). Ranked among the unclean animals (Leviticus 11:29). Land tortoises are common in Syria. The LXX. renders the word by "land crocodile." The word, however, more probably denotes a lizard, called by the modern Arabs dhabb.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Any one of numerous species of reptiles of the order Testudinata.

2. (n.) Same as Testudo.

3. (n.) having a color like that of a tortoise's shell, black with white and orange spots; -- used mostly to describe cats of that color.

4. (n.) a tortoise-shell cat.

Tortoise (1 Occurrence)
... 3. (n.) having a color like that of a tortoise's shell, black with white and orange
spots; -- used mostly to describe cats of that color. ...TORTOISE. ...
/t/tortoise.htm - 9k

Ossifrage (2 Occurrences)
... his ordinary food...No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the bald head of
the poet AEschylus for a stone, and dropped on it the tortoise which killed him ...
/o/ossifrage.htm - 10k

Lizard (3 Occurrences)
... of the Bible "weasel" (which see); (2) `akhbar, English Versions of the Bible "mouse"
(which see); (3) tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised ...
/l/lizard.htm - 16k

Shell (1 Occurrence)
... Also, the hard covering of some vertebrates, as the armadillo, the tortoise, and
the like. 6. (n.) Hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering. ...
/s/shell.htm - 9k

Torrents (17 Occurrences)

/t/torrents.htm - 10k

Vulture (16 Occurrences)
... This bird was fond of tortoise also, and is said to have dropped the one that struck
the bald head of Aeschylus, which the bird mistook for a stone, so causing ...
/v/vulture.htm - 14k

... Crane, Heron, Stork STEGANOPODES: Pelican, Cormorant RATTAE: Ostrich Reptiles:
CROCODILIA: Crocodile (Leviathan) CHELONIA: Tortoise OPHIDIA: Serpent, Fiery ...
/z/zoology.htm - 18k

Gopher (1 Occurrence)
... See Spermophile. 3. (n.) A large land tortoise (Testudo Carilina) of the
Southern United States, which makes extensive burrows. ...
/g/gopher.htm - 9k

Ferret (1 Occurrence)
... choledh, English Versions of the Bible "weasel"; (2) `akhbar, English Versions of
the Bible "mouse"; (3) tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised ...
/f/ferret.htm - 11k

Teeming (18 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 11:29 And this 'is' to you the unclean among the teeming things which
are teeming on the earth: the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after its ...
/t/teeming.htm - 12k

Bible Concordance
Tortoise (1 Occurrence)

Leviticus 11:29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,



Tortoise: General Scriptures Concerning

Related Terms

Ossifrage (2 Occurrences)

Lizard (3 Occurrences)

Shell (1 Occurrence)

Torrents (17 Occurrences)

Vulture (16 Occurrences)


Gopher (1 Occurrence)

Ferret (1 Occurrence)

Teeming (18 Occurrences)

Tortuous (1 Occurrence)

Reptile (3 Occurrences)

Mouse (2 Occurrences)

Blade (23 Occurrences)

Snail (2 Occurrences)

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