Lesson #13: Greyhounds and the Bible

There are 40 references to dogs in the Bible. So say people who have counted. Another, less reliable source I found, which I won’t cite because it’s not credible says there are 44 including 35 references in the Old Testament and 9 (fairly obviously, one would think) in the New Testament. I leave it to you to verify this information. Beware: not all of these references are nice. In fact, most of them refer to dogs in negative ways. 

There is some debate as to whether or not the greyhound is mentioned specifically, although in the King James version of the Bible, the translation from the Hebrew is to greyhound. However, most scholars agree that the Hebrew translation of zarzir is, in fact, “girt in the loins” and it should thusly be noted that greyhounds were popular in the court of King James (16th century).* In more recent versions, the word that appears is rooster or cock, but many cite the meaning of the Hebrew as uncertain.

The King James version of Proverbs 30:29-31 reads, “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

The New Revised Standard edition of Proverbs 30:29-31 reads, “Three things are stately in their stride; four are stately in their gait: the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals and does not turn back before any; the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king striding before his people.”

*More information on this can be found here and here.

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