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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Badger

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תחש . This word in a plural form occurs, Exodus 25:5; Exodus 26:14; Exodus 35:7; Exodus 35:23; Exodus 36:19; Exodus 39:34; Numbers 4:6; Numbers 4:8; Numbers 4:10-12; Numbers 4:14; Numbers 4:25; Ezekiel 16:10; and is joined with ערת , skins used for the covering of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The Jewish interpreters are agreed as to its being some animal. Jarchi says it was a beast of many colours, which no more exists. Kimchi holds the same opinion. Aben Ezra thinks it some animal of the bovine kind, of whose skins shoes are made; alluding to Ezekiel 16:10 . Most modern interpreters have taken it to be the badger, and among these our English translators; but, in the first place, the badger is not an inhabitant of Arabia; and there is nothing in its skin peculiarly proper either for covering a tabernacle or making shoes. Hasaeus, Michaelis, and others, have laboured to prove that it is the mermaid, or homo marinus, the trichekus of Linnaeus. Faber, Dathe, and Rosenmuller, think that it is the seal, or sea calf, vitulus marinus, the skin of which is both strong and pliable, and was accounted by the ancients as a most proper outer covering for tents, and was also made into shoes, as Rau has clearly shown. Niebuhr says, "A merchant of Abushahr called dahash that fish which the captains in English vessels call porpoise, and the Germans, sea hog. In my voyage from Maskat to Abushahr, I saw a prodigious quantity together near Ras Mussendom, that were all going the same way, and seemed to swim with great vehemence." Bochart thinks that not an animal, but a colour, was intended, Exodus 25:5; so that the covering of the tabernacle was to be azure, or sky blue.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Badger'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/b/badger.html. 1831-2.

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