Deuteronomy 14:5
The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
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(5) The wild goat.—In German the “Steinbock” is given as the equivalent for this creature. The pygarg (dîshon) is sometimes taken to be the buffalo. If all these creatures were then to be found in Palestine, there must have been far more uncleared land than there has been for many centuries past.

Deuteronomy 14:5. The pygargs — A kind of goat. And the chamois — Hebrew, זמר, zemer, which Bochart takes for that kind of goat which is called in Latin Rupi-capra, or mountain-goat, from the Arabic zamara, to bound like a roe.14:1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; The Lord hath chosen thee. He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, Eph 1:4. Here is adoption; Ye are the children of the Lord your God; not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; Thou art a holy people. God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!The "pygarg" is a species of gazelle, and the "wild ox" and "chamois" are swift types of antelope.5. The hart—(see on [131]De 12:15).

fallow deer—The Hebrew word (Jachmur) so rendered, does not represent the fallow deer, which is unknown in Western Asia, but an antelope (Oryx leucoryx), called by the Arabs, jazmar. It is of a white color, black at the extremities, and a bright red on the thighs. It was used at Solomon's table.

wild goat—The word akko is different from that commonly used for a wild goat (1Sa 24:2; Ps 104:18; Pr 5:19), and it is supposed to be a goat-deer, having the body of a stag, but the head, horns, and beard of a goat. An animal of this sort is found in the East, and called Lerwee [Shaw, Travels].

pygarg—a species of antelope (Oryx addax) with white buttocks, wreathed horns two feet in length, and standing about three feet seven inches high at the shoulders. It is common in the tracks which the Israelites had frequented [Shaw].

wild ox—supposed to be the Nubian Oryx, which differs from the Oryx leucoryx (formerly mentioned) by its black color; and it is, moreover, of larger stature and more slender frame, with longer and more curved horns. It is called Bekkar-El-Wash by the Arabs.

chamois—rendered by the Septuagint Cameleopard; but, by others who rightly judge it must have been an animal more familiar to the Hebrews, it is thought to be the Kebsch (Ovis tragelaphus), rather larger than a common sheep, covered not with wool, but with reddish hair—a Syrian sheep-goat.

No text from Poole on this verse. The hart, the roebuck, and the fallow deer,.... All of the deer kind, and very agreeable food; harts were very common in the land of Canaan and parts adjacent; Aelianus says (u) harts are bred in the great mountains in Syria, Amanus, Lebanon, and Carmel: the roebuck, or "dorcas", from whence a good woman had her name, Acts 9:36 is spoken of by Martial (w) as very delicious food, and so are fallow deer; the word "jachmur", here used, having the signification of redness in it, may be used for that sort which are called red deer: it is observed that in the Arabic language it is used for an animal with two horns, living in the woods, not unlike an hart, but swifter than that; and it is asked, is it not the "aloe" or "elch" (x)?

and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois; the wild goat is reckoned by Pliny (y) among the half wild creatures in Africa; according to the philosopher (z) there are none but in Syria, on which Canaan bordered, and were very remarkable ones, having ears a span and nine inches long, and some reached to the ground. The Hebrew name for this creature is "akko"; and there is a fourfooted wild beast, by the Tartarians called "akkyk", and by the Turks "akoim", and which with the Scythians and Sarmatians are to be met with in flocks; it is between a hart and a ram, its body whitish, and the flesh exceeding sweet (a); it seems to be the same with the "tragelaphus", of which there were in Arabia, as Diodorus Siculus (b) says; the next is the "pygarg", which we so render from the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, or white buttocks, so called from the hinder part of it being white; a species of the eagle with a white tail is called a "pygarg", but here a four footed animal is meant; and which is mentioned as such, along with hinds, does, and goats, by Herodotus (c), Aelian (d), and Pliny (e): it has its name "dishon", in Hebrew, from its ash colour, and the "tragelaphus", or goat deer, has part of its back ash coloured, and has ash coloured spots or streaks on its sides (f): some take it to be the "strepsiceros", a kind of buck or goat with writhed horns, which the Africans, as Pliny says (g), call "addaca", which is thought by some to be a corruption of "al-dashen", so Junius; the Targum of Jonathan takes it for the "unicorn" or "rhinoceros"; and the Talmudists say (h) that the unicorn, though it has but one horn, is free, i.e. lawful to be eaten: the "wild ox" was common in Arabia; Strabo (i) speaks of multitudes of wild oxen in some parts of Arabia, on the flesh of which and other animals the Arabians live; in the Septuagint version it is called the "oryx", which is a creature that has but one horn, and divides the hoof (k), and so might be eaten; See Gill on Isaiah 51:20, the last, the "chamois", has a French name, and is a creature of the goat kind, from whose skin the chamois leather is made; in the figure of its body it seems to approach very much to the stag kind (l); perhaps it is the same with the "cemas" of Aelian (m), mentioned by him along with roebucks. Some take it to be the "tarandus", of which Pliny says (n) it is of the size of an ox, has a head bigger than a hart, and not unlike it; its horns are branched, hoofs cloven, and is hairy like a bear. In the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan this is the "pygarg"; these several sorts of beasts were allowed to be eaten; the three first there is no difficulty about them, but the other seven it is hard to determine what they are, at least some of them. Dr. Shaw (o) thinks that the deer, the antelope, the wild bear, the goat deer, the white buttocks, the buffalo, and jeraffa, may lay in the best claim to the "ailee", "tzebi", "yachmur", "akkub", "dishon", "thau", and "zomer", here.

(u) Hist. Animal. l. 5. c. 56. (w) "Delicium parvo", &c. Epigram. l. 13. 93. (x) Castel. Lex. Polyglott. Colossians 1. 294. (y) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 53. (z) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 8. c. 28. (a) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 415. (b) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 134. Vid. Plin. l. 8. c. 33. (c) Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 192. (d) Hist. Animal l. 7. c. 19. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 53. (f) Calmet's Dictionary on the word "Pygarg". (g) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 39. (h) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 59. 2.((i) Geograph. l. 16. p. 530. (k) Aristot. Hist. Animal, l. 2. c. 1.((l) Supplement to Chambers's Dictionary on the word "Rupricapra". (m) Hist. Animal. l. 14. c. 14. (n) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 34. 34. (o) Travels, p. 418.

The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
5. Seven varieties of game; LXX B gives only five: hart, gazelle, roebuck, wild-ox and giraffe (?); codd. AF, etc. add after gazelle, buffalo and tragelaphos. It may not be unnecessary to remark that neither to the nomads nor to the fellaḥîn is hunting sport; it is, especially to the former, a hard and hungry search for food. ‘The nomad is not a hunter’ (Doughty, i. 157). The hunters of Arabia are the Sleyb, wandering gypsies without cattle and camels: according to Burckhardt (p. 12) they live on dried gazelle-flesh. Besides the varieties of game given here as edible, the ancient Arabs relished also the flesh of the wild-ass (Georg Jacob, op. cit. 115).

hart and gazelle] ’Ayyal, ṣebi: see on Deuteronomy 12:22; cp. Deuteronomy 12:15, Deuteronomy 15:22; hart probably fallow deer, cervus dama; gazelle, gazella dorcas.

roebuck] Yaḥmûr also deut 1 Kings 4:23 (Deuteronomy 5:3) A.V. fallow-deer. Yakhmûr is the name still given to a deer found on Mt Carmel (Conder, Tent Work, i. 173) and identified as the roebuck, cervus capreolus; called in Gilead khamûr (Post, PEFQ, 1890, 171 f.; Conder, id. 173); also seen on Lebanon (Tr. 4). Found throughout Europe it does not range farther S. than Palestine. As roebuck is the name of the male, roedeer is perhaps the better rendering.

wild goat] ’Aḳḳo only here, LXX AF τραγέλαφος, Targ. ya‘al, ibex such as about Engedi, 1 Samuel 24:2. With ’aḳḳo as if for ’anḳo cp. Ar. ’anaḳ (= long-necked) goat.

pygarg] As LXX πύγαργος ‘white-rump.’ The Heb. dîshon (as if from Heb. dash = tread, leap) is rather antelope: the large white addax (Tr. 5).

antelope] te‘o only here and Isaiah 51:20, LXX ὄρυξ, A.V. wild-ox. Tristram (p. 5) takes the name as generic and suggests that it covers both the antilope bubalis, which, he says, is called ‘wild-cow’ in Moab and Gilead, and a leucoryx ‘the Oryx or white antelope,’ to which the Arabs of Arabia give the name of ‘wild-ox’ (G. Jacob, op. cit. 117, citing from Ar. poets descriptions of it as shining like a white-washed house or as if with a white tunic); Post (Hastings’ D.B. ‘Ox’) proposes the oryx beatrix; Doughty (1. 328) takes the woṭhŷḥî of central Arabia, ‘an antelope beatrix,’ to be the O.T. re’em or wild-ox. R.V. antelope and A.V. wild-ox are thus probably both correct, the former giving the genus of the animal the latter its popular name among the Hebrews and the Arabs. With regard to the Heb. name te’o or the’o I notice that Lane gives the Ar. Sha’ (sh and the soft th correspond) as applied to the wild-bull or wild-cow.

chamois] Certainly not this! This animal is European and is not found so far S. as Palestine. Heb. zemer, Targ. diṣa, wild-goat. In the Mts of Yemen the wild maned sheep, ovis tragelaphus, was anciently numerous (G. Jacob, p. 21). Probably mountain-goat or -sheep.

Thus the names in this verse are all general and popular; each may have covered more than one species found in Syria or Arabia: to identify it with any one species is foolish.Verse 5. - The hart; ayyal (אַיָּל), probably the fallow deer, or deer generally. The roebuck; tsebi (צְבִי), the gazelle (Gazella Arabica). The fallow deer; yachmur (יחְמוּר), the roebuck. The wild goat; akko (אַקּו), the ibex. The pygarg; dishon (דִישׁון), some kind of antelope, probably the Gazella Dorcas. The wild ox; the'o (תְאו), probably the bubale, or wild cow of the Arabs (Alcephalus bubalis), a species of antelope. The chamois; zamer (זָמֶר), probably the wild sheep (Ovis Tragelaphus.) To enforce this command still more strongly, it is expressly stated, that of all that was burned, nothing whatever was to cleave or remain hanging to the hand of Israel, that the Lord might turn from His wrath and have compassion upon the nation, i.e., not punish the sin of one town upon the nation as a whole, but have mercy upon it and multiply it, - make up the diminution consequent upon the destruction of the inhabitants of that town, and so fulfil the promise given to the fathers of the multiplication of their seed.
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