Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Goat

Nubian Goat with long ears ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Goat

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There are two kinds of goat in the countries where the Bible was written; one very much like those that we sometimes see; the other differing from it in several respects, especially in the greater length of its ears. It is supposed that the prophet Amos speaks of the latter kind when he says,

As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion, two legs or a piece of an ear.

Goat with unusual horns ©WikiC

Goat with unusual horns

The ear of this kind of goat is so long that a large piece might easily be bitten off; it sometimes measures more than a foot.

Solomon says, in the Proverbs, when speaking to a man who is diligent in his work,

Thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance of thy maidens.

This seems strange to us, because we are not much used to it; but in those countries the milk of the goat is very sweet and good, and is often made into cheese.

The people there often have a great number of goats. Jacob sent a present of two hundred and twenty to his brother Esau; and a great king, mentioned in the Bible, once received seven thousand seven hundred as a gift. A man is mentioned in the first book of Samuel who owned a thousand goats: perhaps you can find the place; and if you do, you will see in the next verse what his name was, and also the name of his wife.

Long-haired Goat ©WikiC

Long-haired Goat ©WikiC

There are two kinds of hair upon the goat; one is long and coarse, the other soft and fine. Of the first kind the people make a kind of rough, coarse cloth; the other is made into very fine cloth, almost as soft as silk. A part of the curtains for the tabernacle were made of goats’ hair.

The bottles mentioned in the Bible were usually made of goat-skins: the people in those days had not learned to make glass. When they had been used a long time, they became worn, so that they would not hold what was put in them. Our Savior once said,

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles;

this was because the new wine would ferment and the leathern bottles would burst. There is a story in the Old Testament about some men who wished to deceive Joshua, and lead him to think that they lived at a very great distance from him, when they really lived very near. So it is said, (Josh. 9:4, 5)

They took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles, old and rent, and bound up; and old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy

Mauritanian making a bota bag©WikiC

Mauritanian making a bota bag©WikiC

Then they said to Joshua, (verses 12 and 13)

This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold it is dry, and it is mouldy. And these bottles of wine which we filled were new, and behold they be rent; and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

The Israelites had a singular custom in ancient times, about which you may read in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. It was commanded by God, and was to be observed once in every year. On the morning of the day appointed for it, the high-priest was to wash in pure water, and clothe himself in a dress of clean white linen. Then two fair and handsome young goats were brought to him, one of which was to be killed. The priest was to cast lots, that he might know which of them it should be; then he was to kill him, sprinkle his blood upon the altar seven times, and burn the flesh. Afterwards he was to take the live goat, lay both hands upon his head, and confess over him the sins of the Israelites,

putting them upon the head of the goat.

Then the animal was given into the care of a man who led him away and let him go in the wilderness,

bearing upon him all the iniquities

of the people. This goat was a type of our Savior; that is, it represented what he afterwards did, when he came into the world and “bore our sins.”
___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Goat

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Goat

(Photos ©WikiC)

*

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bee

Bee - Apoidea on Trifolium

Bee – Apoidea on Trifolium

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bee

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

Although the bee is so small an animal, it is very well known; and many learned men have spent a great deal of time in observing it, and have written many very curious things about it. They tell us that there is in every hive a queen, larger than the rest, whom they all follow and obey; and that if she dies or is carried away, they all leave their work and unless the queen is restored or another one provided, they refuse to eat, and soon die. Only one queen is allowed in a hive at a time. She does not go out to gather honey, but those who attend upon her bring to her cell as much as she wants.

Bees on Comb©WikiC

Bees on Comb©WikiC

It is very pleasant to watch the bees at their work, for they are quite as busy as the ants, and as they are so much larger, it is more easy to see what they are doing. Every thing about them seems curious and beautiful; their waxen cells, their manner of gathering honey and storing it up, their neatness and order, all are admirable. They are perfectly harmless when left to themselves; but if they are attacked, they fly around the person who disturbs them, in great numbers, and sometimes sting him very severely. David once said of his enemies,

They compassed me about like bees.

Honey is often spoken of in the Bible. When Jacob wished his sons to go down into Egypt a second time to buy food, he said to them,

Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man (Joseph) a present; a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds.

God told the children of Israel that he would give them

a land flowing with milk and honey,

meaning one that was beautiful and fertile, producing abundantly every thing that would be needed for their comfort. When David had been obliged to flee from Jerusalem to escape his wicked son Absalom, he was in great want of provisions for himself and his followers. After a long and fatiguing march he reached a certain city; and there three rich men who were friendly to him, sent

wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese,”besides beds for them to rest on; “for they said, The people is hungry, and wary, and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Perhaps no man ever loved the commandments of God more truly than king David. He says in the Psalms,

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

and again he says of God’s judgments,

More are they to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb.

Bees cluster©WikiC

Bee cluster©WikiC

Besides the bees that live in hives, there are many called wild bees, which live in the woods, and put their honey in the clefts of rocks, or in old trees and other similar places. In the fourteenth chapter of Judges you will find this story: There was a very strong man named Samson, and once when he was travelling by himself in a lonely place, a young lion came roaring along in the very path where he was going. Would you not have been afraid? I suppose Samson was, at first, for the lion was very strong and very hungry, and Samson had nothing in his hand to kill him with. But God gave him strength, and when the lion came up, Samson caught hold of him and tore him in pieces, as you would tear a piece of cloth. Then he left him dead on the ground. Sometime after he came back the same way, and thought he would look after the lion that he had killed. He soon found the skeleton, that is, the dry bones without any flesh on them; and when he looked at the parts of the dead lion he found that a swarm of bees had been there, and laid up a great plenty of honey. So he took some of it in his hands to eat as he went along.

You can learn of the little bee to try to be useful, and to resolve in the words of the hymn which I dare say you have learned:

“In works of labor or of skill
“I would be busy too;
“For Satan finds some mischief still
“For idle hands to do.

“In books, or work, or healthful play,
“Let my first years be past;
“That I may give for every day
“Some good account at last.”
___

See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Bee

Nave’s Topical Bible – Honey

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Honey

(Photos ©WikiC)

*

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ass (Donkey)

Donkey (Equus africanus asinus) ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ass (Donkey)

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

Perhaps you may have seen the ass, though it is not very common in this country. It has some resemblance to a horse, but is not as large, and generally seems rather sleepy and dull. In some countries, such as those where the Bible was written, it is a fine large animal, and the people use it for riding. Some persons mentioned in the Bible owned a great many asses. Abraham had sheep, and oxen, and asses and camels; and Job had at one time five hundred asses, and afterwards he had a thousand. A great many years ago, long before Christ came into the world, the rich men and the judges used to ride upon asses: so we read in the 10th verse of the 5th chapter of Judges,

Speak, ye that ride upon white asses, ye that sit in judgment.

Statue of Christ Riding on the Ass at Victoria and Albert Museum©WikiC

Statue of Christ Riding on the Ass at Victoria and Albert Museum©WikiC

After this time many fine horses were brought into those countries, and the kings and great men liked them for riding: so the ass was used by the poorer people who could not buy a horse. You remember that when our blessed Savior was entering Jerusalem a few days before his death, he rode upon an ass; thus showing his meekness and humility, even while the multitude were shouting his praises, and spreading their garments in the way to do him honor. How shall we be like our Savior, if we let pride stay in our hearts?

The ass is very gentle and patient, and does not seem angry even when he has a very heavy load to carry. I should be very sorry to have him treated unkindly. Though he seems so dull, he loves his master, and will sometimes find him out and run to him even when he is in a crowd of men. God says, in the Bible,

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Is it not a sad thing that the dull ass should be more grateful than we are?

Baudet Donkey - Shaky and Brown

Baudet Donkey – Shaky and Brown

Would it not seem to you very wonderful to hear a dog or a horse speak, so that you could understand what he said? It would be a strange thing indeed-a miracle; but you will find in the 22d chapter of Numbers that an ass once spoke to his master. The master’s name was Balaam. He was a wicked man, and he was riding on an ass to a place where he knew God did not wish him to go. As they were journeying an angel with a drawn sword in his hand stood in the way, but Balaam did not see him. The ass saw him, and was so afraid that she turned aside out of the road, and went into a field; then Balaam was angry and tried to drive her back into the way. They had now come to a path of the vineyards, having a wall on each side, and there the ass saw the bright angel again. In trying to avoid the angel, the ass crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; and he was more angry and struck her again. Then the angel went forward a little distance, and stood where the path was so narrow that it was impossible to pass him. The ass was now so much frightened that she would go no farther, and fell down in the road; and Balaam beat her in a great passion. Then the ass spoke to Balaam and said,

What have I done to thee that thou hast smitten me these three times?” And when Balaam exclaimed, “I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill thee,” she only replied, “Am I not thine ass upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?”

Can we not learn, even from the ass, a lesson of meekness and patience?

The wild ass is often mentioned in the Bible, as in Psalm 104:11.

They (the springs) give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.

They live in desert places, and go about in great companies with one for their leader. You will find these words about them in the 39th chapter of Job:

Who hath sent out the wild ass free ? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.

Travellers who have seen great herds of wild asses say that the beautiful animal agrees exactly with this fine description, written so many years ago.

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

See Also:

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Ass, the Domestic

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Ass, the Wild

Donkey – Wikipedia

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ant

Lasius Niger ©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ant

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

If you look at the sixth verse of the sixth chapter of Proverbs, you will read,

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

A sluggard, you know, is a man, or woman, or child, who does not love to read or to do any kind of work, but likes to sleep or be idle all the day long. Do you think you were ever acquainted with one?

Leaf Cutting Ant©WikiC

Leaf Cutting Ant©WikiC

Now see what the Bible tells the sluggard to do. It bids him go to the little ant, and “consider her ways,” that is, look on and see what she does. Have you ever watched the ants when they were busy at work? It will give you very pleasant employment for half an hour on a summer’s day. In some places you may see small ant-hills scattered about, so close together that you can hardly step without treading on them; and you may find other places where there are not so many, but where the hills are much larger. I have seen them so large that you could hardly step over one of them without touching it with your foot and breaking some part of it. And then how busy the little creatures are! Just kneel down on the grass beside them, and notice how they work! You will see one little fellow creeping along as fast as he can go, with a grain of sand in his mouth, perhaps as large as his head. He does not stop to rest, but when he has carried his grain to help build the hill, away he goes for another. You may watch them all day and never see them idle at all.

Ant Hill in Germany ©WikiC

Ant Hill in Germany ©WikiC

You see why God tells the sluggard to go and look at the little ants: it is that when he sees them so busy, he may be ashamed of himself for being idle, and learn to be “wise,” or diligent in whatever he undertakes. I should not think he could help going to work, after he had looked at them a little while. The ants seem to be very happy, and I think it is because they are so busy. God has put nobody in this world to be idle: even children have something to do. The inside of an ant-hill is very curious, but it is not easy to examine it without destroying all the work that the little insects have taken so much pains to finish. There is a kind of ant in warm climates that builds for itself hills as high as a man. They are not made of sand, but of a kind of clay; and have a great many cells or apartments, and many winding passages leading from one part to another. All this is done, as the Bible says, without “guide, overseer or ruler;” that is, they have no one to direct them how to do it. God gives them skill just as he does to the honey-bees in building the beautiful cells which you have so often admired; all His works are wonderful.

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

See also:

Naves Topical Bible – Ant

Ant – Wikipedia

Today’s Birds of the Bible

Updated at 8:10 pm

They are all finished. Hope you enjoy reading them.

********

Today, instead of doing my regular Birds of the Bible article, I am going to try to finish the Scripture Alphabet of Animals series. I have all the birds finished and am working hard to finish the rest of the animals today. All throughout the day, new articles will be posted as they are completed. I will be updating the index to the article (below) as I finish each one.

I trust you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have as the articles are being “modernized.” Harriet N Cook was a very good writer and trust she would have approved of the way that they are being handled here.

Lee

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Harriet Newell Cook (1814-1843) – author of Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Baudet Donkey - Shaky and Brown

Baudet Donkey – Shaky and Brown

While looking for the quoted thoughts by G. D. Watson, “Others May, You Cannot,” I found the Christian Articles Website. It is loaded with articles by numerous pastors and preachers, but also other Christian writers. That is where I found Harriet N. Cook’s “Scripture Alphabet of Animals.” Her works and the others on that website are in the public domain and usable. I have decided to use her as a guest writer and produce the bird sections (finished) she wrote about. The other sections are being done also. They are listed below. Also, her books are available on Google Books and can be read on the computer or one of the eBook readers.

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Harriet Newell Cook was born in 1814 and died in 1843. In her short 29 years of life she wrote several juvenile books and thought I would share parts of them here. “Her first volume for the young was one of Natural History, calculated to illustrate portions of the Bible, for the young, and entitled, “The Scripture Alphabet of Animals.” Nearly thirty thousand copies of the work have been printed in its English dress, and eight thousand of the German translation. The style of this work is eminently lucid…”

Her last very interesting work for the young —“The Trees, Flowers and Fruits of the Bible“– she was not permitted to finish, by reason of her death. It was completed by Miss F. M. Caulkins…” (From Memoir of Mrs. Harriet Newell Cook By Lydia Howard Sigourney, at Google Books)

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalms 148:10-13 KJV)

It was difficult finding information about her personally. Also, I couldn’t find a picture of her. One thing was for certain, she appears to have loved the Lord greatly and wanted to serve Him through her writing.

See Also:
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ant
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ass
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bear
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bee
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Camel
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Dog
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Eagle
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Fox or Jackal
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Goat
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ibex or the Wild Goat
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Jerboa or Mouse
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Lion
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Mole
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Night-Hawk
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ostrich
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

See:

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

*