Ass. [E]

Five Hebrew names of the genus Asinus occur in the Old Testament.

  1. Chamor denotes the male domestic ass.
  2. Athon , the common domestic she-ass.
  3. Air , the name of a wild ass, which occurs ( Genesis 32:15 ; 49:11 )
  4. Pere , a species of wild ass mentioned ( Genesis 12:16 )
  5. Arod occurs only in ( Job 39:5 ) but in what respect it differs from the Pere is uncertain. The ass in eastern countries is a very different animal from what he is in western Europe. The most noble and honorable amongst the Jews were wont to be mounted on asses. (With us the ass is a symbol of stubbornness and stupidity, while in the East it is especially remarkable for its patience, gentleness, intelligence, meek submission and great power of endurance."--L. Abbott. The color is usually a reddish brown, but there are white asses, which are much prized. The ass was the animal of peace as the horse was the animal of war; hence the appropriateness of Christ in his triumphal entry riding on an ass. The wild ass is a beautiful animal.--ED.) Mr. Lavard remarks that in fleetness the wild ass (Asinus hemippus ) equals the gazelle and to overtake it is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated mares have been known to accomplish.
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Ass'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.