Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard

Leopard - Persischer leopard ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The leopard is a beautiful animal, though very savage and cruel. It is about as large as the largest of our dogs, but it looks much more like a cat than a dog. You have watched kittens at their play a hundred times, and you know how very quick, and pretty, and graceful all their motions are. It is just so with the leopard; and it can creep along too, as softly as a cat, and run up a tree after a monkey, as easily as a cat does after a bird. It lives mostly upon young antelopes and deer, and it often lies still a long time watching one till it comes near, and then springs out upon it. The Bible says in one place,

A leopard shall watch over their cities; every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces;

and in another, “Therefore will I be to them as a lion; as a leopard by the way will I observe (or watch for) them.

The leopard runs very swiftly when it is trying to overtake any animal: the Bible says, Their horses are swifter than leopards.

Leopard - Panthera pardus japonensis ©WikiC

Leopard – Panthera pardus japonensis ©WikiC

Its color is a clear, handsome yellow, spotted with black; the spots are found in little groups, two, or three, or four together, and the skin is very smooth and shining. There is such a great difference between the color of the spots and the rest of the skin, that you would think it a very curious looking animal. The 23d verse of the 12th chapter of Jeremiah is this:

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.

It would be no easy thing to wash away the leopard’s black spots; indeed nothing but God’s power could do it. So it is not easy to do right when we have been used to do wrong, and have loved to do it: this is why we need to pray that God will

create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within

us. Should we not be careful about every sinful habit? Remember, dear child, that such a habit in you may become fixed, almost like the leopard’s spots; and pray God to help you love every thing that is

pure, and lovely, and of good report.

What a peaceful and happy time that will be, when Jesus our Savior shall reign in all the earth-when all men shall love him and each other-when “the leopard (fierce and cruel as it is now) shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” That bright day is coming; and if you love Christ, even you-a child-can do something to prepare for it.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Leopard

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Leopard

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

Horse - Galloping Bashkir curly©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There is a fine description of a war-horse in the book of Job-a book which some think to be the oldest in the world. It is in the thirty-ninth chapter.

Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him; the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting.

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose ©WikiC

In the fifth chapter of Judges you will find this verse.

Then were the horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.

And it seems likely from this, that it was not the custom to shoe horses in those days, so that their hoofs were more easily broken.

They had horses in Egypt in very ancient times, as you will find if you read the first part of the book of Exodus. You will see there how the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, after they had been kept in hard bondage a great many years; and how when they had gone only a short distance, the wicked king Pharaoh went after them to try to get them back. There was a great company of the Israelites, men, women and children; they had nothing to ride on, and had their flocks and herds with them, so that they could not go very fast. They took the course which God directed, and it brought them to the Red Sea, where there were neither boats nor bridges for them to go over.

Horse- Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Just then they heard that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them. Some came in chariots of war, and of these there were six hundred drawn by horses; and a great many more came on horseback. Now what could these people do? If they went on, they would be drowned; and if they went back, or stayed where they were, they would fall into the hands of the Egyptians. God told them not to be afraid, for he would take care of them; so he divided the waters of the sea, and made a dry road for them to go through, while the water stood up like a wall on each side of them. Then the Egyptians followed on, and God let the waters flow down upon them, so that they were all drowned. Think what a sight it must have been, when the chariots, and horses, and men, were all surrounded by that great, mighty water, and then sunk down one after another, so that they could be seen no more. The children of Israel sang a psalm of praise after God had saved them in this wonderful manner, and these words are a part of it:

Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

In one of the last chapters in the Old Testament you will find these words,

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.

This speaks of a time which has not yet come, but for which christians are looking, when this world will not be wicked as it now is; but when every thing, even the bells of the horses, shall be holy unto the Lord.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Horse

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Horse

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Lion

Lioness at Louisville Zoo ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Lion

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

You have seen pictures of the lion a hundred times, I suppose, and perhaps you have seen it alive; would you not like to know what the Bible says about it? You have heard it called the “king of beasts,” because it is so strong and so bold; it is afraid of no other animal, and it is strong enough to carry away a horse or a buffalo. In the 30th verse of the 30th chapter of Proverbs, we read about

the lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any.

When king David was mourning for the death of Saul and Jonathan, he said,

They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

How strong Samson must have been to take hold of a young lion and tear it in pieces with his hands! Did you ever read a riddle in one of the chapters of Judges? This is it,

Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness;

Lions ©WikiC

Lions ©WikiC

and it was made by Samson after he had found the honey in the skeleton of the lion,-as I told you when speaking of the bee. He promised some of his friends that he would give them thirty sheets and thirty changes of raiment, if they would find it out in seven days; but they would not have been able to do it, if Samson’s wife had not told them what he meant. Then they came to him and said,

What is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than a lion?

The boldness of the lion is noticed in a verse in Isaiah:

Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them.

In Proverbs, 28 : 1, you will read,

The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous is as bold as a lion.

This is true, dear child; and if you will love God and trust the kind Savior, there is nothing in all the wide world of which you need be afraid. God can take care of you as he did of Daniel, even if you were shut up in a dark cave with cruel and hungry lions around you.

Lion - Asleep at the Louisville Zoo ©WikiC

Lion – Asleep at the Louisville Zoo ©WikiC

The lion lies in his den and sleeps in the daytime, but at night he goes out to find his food. His eyes are a little like those of a cat, and he can see in the night better than we can. The Bible says,

Thou makest darkness and it is night; wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

It has soft feet, like a cat, so that it can creep quietly along and not frighten the animals that it means to kill, till it comes very near them. Sometimes the lion lies in his den, very still, until some animal comes by; then he gives a sudden spring, and seizes it just as a cat seizes a mouse. The Bible says, when speaking of a wicked man,

He lieth in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he lieth in wait to catch the poor; he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.

The lion has very strong claws hidden in the soft cushion of his paws, and when he has caught his prey he uses them to tear it in pieces. His tongue is like that of a cat, only a great deal more rough, and with this he can strip the flesh off from the bones. David in one of the Psalms prays that God will save him from an enemy,

Lest,” he says, “he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces when there is none to deliver.

Roaring Lion ©WikiC

Roaring Lion ©WikiC

The roaring of the lion is very terrible, especially at night. He seems to delight to be wandering around for his prey when it is dark and stormy; then when he puts his mouth near the ground, his roaring sounds like thunder, and all the animals that hear it are full of fear. You have read of Satan, that most wicked being, who would be glad to make us as wicked as he is; the Bible says he is like

a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour.

Let us pray God to keep us safe from this roaring lion.

Christ is sometimes called

the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

He is always gentle and kind to those who love him; but if we will not receive him as our Savior, the day is coming when he will meet us in judgment; then where can his enemies hide themselves.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Lion

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Lion

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite

White-tailed Kite by SSlayton

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The kite is mentioned but once or twice in the Bible. In Leviticus, 11 : 13,14, it is named among the birds which the Israelites were not allowed to use for food.

And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination; the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, and the vulture, and the kite after its kind.

These are all birds of prey, that is, they live by destroying other animals, and some of them are very fierce and cruel; I suppose this is one reason why they were not to be eaten.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Ian

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Ian

The kite is a large bird, more than two feet long; and when its wings are spread it would take a string five feet and a half long to stretch from the tip of one across to the other. It does not fly very rapidly, but its motion in the air is very graceful and beautiful. On this account it has sometimes been called the Gled, or the gliding bird.

The kite is very much dreaded and disliked by those who have ducks and chickens, because it carries them off for food. It also eats frogs and moles: it is said that more than twenty of the latter have been found in one Kite’s nest. It is a cowardly bird, and does not attack any animal that is strong enough to defend itself. Its nest is usually built between the forked branches of some tall tree in the thickest part of the forest; and if you could look into one of them in the spring, you would probably see three eggs, almost white, but a little tinged with blue.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Glede and Kites

Acciipitridae Family – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Kite

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Fox or Jackal

Fox - Blandford's Fox

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Fox or Jackal

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

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 children.

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 grapes.

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.

Fox - (Vulpes macrotis mutica) with pups

Fox – (Vulpes macrotis mutica) with pups

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?”

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Fox

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Fox

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind

Hinds at Killarney National Park©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

Several animals of the deer kind are mentioned in the Bible under the names of Fallow-deer, Hart, Hind, and Roe-buck. They were all numbered among the clean animals, or those which the Israelites were allowed to eat; as we see in Deut. 14:4, 5,

These are the beasts which ye shall eat; the ox, the sheep, the goat, the hart, the roe-buck and the fallow-deer.

In 1st Kings, 4:23, we read of the daily provision which was made for king Solomon’s table, and among the rest were

ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, and roe-bucks, and fallow-deer.

Fawn ©WikiC

Fawn ©WikiC

These animals are all harmless, gentle, timid, loving and beautiful; noted for their branching horns, for the elegance of their form, and for their surprisingly swift and graceful motion. It has long been a favorite amusement in eastern countries to pursue them in the chase; and as the swiftest greyhound can scarcely overtake them, it is usual to train hawks or falcons to attack them, and so delay them till the dogs come up. They bound along over the plains, “fleet as the wind,” seeming scarcely to touch the ground: no motion can be more beautiful. In the last verse of Solomon’s Song we read,

Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart on the mountains of spices.

The 35th chapter of Isaiah contains a beautiful description of the peaceful kingdom which Christ will one day establish in the earth; and among other things it is said,

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

The hart or hind is remarkably sure-footed as well as swift: this may explain one or two verses in the Bible. David says, 2d Sam. 22:33, 34,

God is my strength and power, and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

In the last verse of Habakkuk we read,

The Lord is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet.

The male deer is called a hart, the female a hind; and their affection for each other is beautiful. Solomon says in the Proverbs,

Rejoice with the wife of thy youth; let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe.

The hart often suffers from thirst in the dry and sandy countries where it lives-especially when pursued by the hunters; it then longs for water, and plunges with the greatest eagerness into the cooling stream. David says in the 42d Psalm,

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?

Nothing could more strongly express his love to God, or his ardent desire for communion with him. Happy is the child who has in his heart such feelings towards God, and who finds pleasure in praying to him, from day to day; he has been taught by the Holy Spirit, and is preparing to meet God in peace. (See Roe.)

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Hart

Nave’s Topical Bible – Hind

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Hart

(Photos ©WikiC)

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