Smith's Bible Dictionary

Return to Smith's Main IndexEaston's - Ass
Nave's - Ass (donkey)
Torrey's - Ass, The Domestic
Torrey's - Ass, The Wild
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Ass - 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.

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