And the coney
because he cheweth the cud;
or "though he cheweth"; which yet, some observe, the coney or rabbit does not, it having upper teeth, and therefore they think some other creature is meant by Shaphan, the word here used; and Bochart F13 is of opinion, that the Aljarbuo of the Arabians, a sort of mountain mouse, is meant, which chews the cud and divides not the hoof, and resides in rocks, which agrees with the account of the Shaphan in ( Proverbs 30:26 ) but this is rejected by Dr. Shaw F14, who takes the creature here to be the Daman Israel, or Israel's lamb, an animal of Mount Lebanon, a harmless creature of the same size and quality with the rabbit, and with the like incurvating posture, and disposition or the fore teeth, but is of a browner colour, with smaller eyes, and a head more pointed, like the marmots; the fore feet likewise are short, and the hinder are nearly as long in proportion as those of the jerboa; and though this animal is known to burrow sometimes in the ground, yet its usual residence and refuge is in the holes and clifts of the rocks; but a learned man F15, and very inquisitive in the things of nature, tells us, that the "cuniculus", coney, or rabbit, this sort of animals do chew half an hour after eating:
but divideth not the hoof;
which is well known of this creature:
he [is] unclean unto you;
not fit or proper to be eaten of, but to be abstained from as an unclean animal; and may be an emblem of timorous persons, as these creatures by Aristotle F16 are observed to be, and it is well known they are; even of the fearful and unbelieving, reckoned among the impure, who will have their portion in the lake of fire, ( Revelation 21:8 ) .