Heb. dishon, "springing", ( Deuteronomy 14:5 ), one of the animals permitted for food. It is supposed to be the Antelope addax. It is described as "a large animal, over 3 1/2 feet high at the shoulder, and, with its gently-twisted horns, 2 1/2 feet long. Its colour is pure white, with the exception of a short black mane, and a tinge of tawny on the shoulders and back.", Tristram's Natural History.
occurs, ( 14:5 ) in the list of clean animals as the rendering of the Heb. dishon , the name apparently of one species of antelope, though it is by no means easy to identify it.
pi'-garg (dishon; Septuagint pugargos; compare proper nouns, "Dishon" and "Dishan" (Genesis 36:21-30; 1 Chronicles 1:38-42); according to BDB, Hommel, Saugethiere, derives ... from dush, Arabic das, "to tread," and compare Assyrian dashshu, "mountain-goat"):
Dishon as the name of an animal occurs only in Deuteronomy 14:5 in the list of clean beasts. Both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) have "pygarg," which is not the recognized name of any animal whatever. The Septuagint pugargos (from puge, "rump," and argos, "white") was used by Herodotus (iv.192) as the name of an antelope. A white rump is a very common feature of deer and antelopes, and is commonly explained as enabling the fleeing herd easily to keep in sight of its leaders. It has been used as a specific name of Cervus pygargus, the Tartarian roe, and Bubalis pygargus, a small South African antelope. The Arabic Bible has ri'm, "a white gazelle," a kindred word to re'em, the King James Version "unicorn," the Revised Version (British and American) "wild-ox." Tristram, Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, considers dishon to be the addax, Antilope addax or Addax nasomaculatus. There is excellent reason, however, for believing that the range of this African antelope does not extend into Palestine, Sinai or Arabia. For a discussion of the animal names in Deuteronomy 14:4,5, see ZOOLOGY.
Alfred Ely Day
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