The Fox or Jackal


It is not quite certain whether the fox mentioned in the Bible is the
same animal that we now call by that name. It probably means what we
now call the jackal. This animal is about as large as a common sized
dog, and its color is yellow, or reddish brown. It never goes out alone
to seek its food, but always in companies of forty or fifty together.
Then they make strange noises, which sound very much like the crying of

They do not go out for their food in the daytime, but wait till it
begins to be dark; and then they kill all the animals they can find that
are not too strong for them. Sometimes a large animal like the lion
will hear the cries that they make when they are hunting, and will come
and snatch away from them whatever they have found. These foxes or
jackals have been known to scratch away the earth from graves that have
been lately made, and then devour the bodies of the dead. This explains
a verse in the sixty-second Psalm, where David says of those who "seek
his soul to destroy it,"-"They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a
portion for foxes."

They eat plants of different kinds; sometimes roots, and sometimes
fruits. This is one of the verses in Solomon's Song, "Take us the
foxes, the little foxes which spoil the vines; for our vines have tender

These animals are often found in great numbers around the walls and
ruins of old cities; they live in holes or burrows which they dig in the
ground. Our Savior says, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air
have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." We have
read this verse so many times that we scarcely think how much it means;
but was it not a wonderful thing that when Christ came from his bright
throne in heaven to this poor earth, he should not find even a home
here? Every animal on all the hills has its shelter and hiding-place;
every little bird in all the forest has its comfortable nest; but our
Savior "had not where to lay his head." During all his life he was "a
man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." For whom did he suffer all
this?-and when his sorrowful life was ended, for whom did he die? I
need not tell you this, dear child, but I may ask you,

"Is there nothing we can do

"To prove our grateful love?"