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The meaning of Ass in the Bible
(From Easton's Bible Dictionary)

frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of,

  • The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named from its slowness (Genesis 12:16; 45:23; Numbers 22:23; I Samuel 9:3).
  • The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Genesis 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deuteronomy 22:10).
  • The ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judges 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered "foal" in Genesis 32:15; 49:11. (Compare Job 11:12; Isaiah 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Leviticus 11:26. Compare II Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Genesis 12:16; 30:43; I Chronicles 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isaiah 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Genesis 22:3), Balaam (Numbers 22:21), the disobedient prophet (I Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judges 12:14), Zipporah (Exodus 4:20), the Shunammite (I Samuel 25:30), etc. (Zechariah 9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt," etc. (Matthew 21:5, RSV).

    Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew 'arod , mentioned Job 39:5 and Daniel 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called pe're , the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isaiah 32:14; Jeremiah 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Genesis 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass among men").


    See more on the meaning of Ass in the Bible:
    Ass {International Standard Bible Encyclopedia}

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