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Dictionaries :: Ferret

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


Lev 11:30 (R.V., "gecko"), one of the unclean creeping things. It was perhaps the Lacerta gecko which was intended by the Hebrew word (anakah, a cry, "mourning," the creature which groans) here used, i.e., the "fan-footed" lizard, the gecko which makes a mournful wail. The LXX. translate it by a word meaning "shrew-mouse," of which there are three species in Palestine. The Rabbinical writers regard it as the hedgehog. The translation of the Revised Version is to be preferred.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


fer'-et ('anaqah, the Revised Version (British and American) GECKO): Occurs only in Le 11:30 the King James Version, in the list of animals which are unclean "among the creeping things that creep upon the earth." the Revised Version (British and American) has "gecko" with the marginal note, "Words of uncertain meaning, but probably denoting four kinds of lizards." The list of animals in Le 11:29,30 includes

(1) choledh, English Versions of the Bible "weasel";

(2) ‘akhbar, English Versions of the Bible "mouse";

(3) tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard";

(4) ‘anaqkah, the King James Version "ferret," the Revised Version (British and American) "gecko";

(5) koach the King James Version "chameleon," the Revised Version (British and American) "land crocodile";

(6) leTa'ah, English Versions of the Bible "lizard";

(7) chomeT, the King James Version "snail," the Revised Version (British and American) "sand lizard";

(8) tinshemeth, the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon."

It will be noted that while Revised Version makes the first two mammals and the remaining six reptiles, the King James Version makes not only (1) and (2) but also (4) and (8) mammals, and (7) a mollusk. So far as this general classification is concerned the King James Version follows the Septuagint, except in the case of (7). It must be borne in mind that all these words except (2) and (8) occur only in this passage, while (2) and (8) occur each in only a few passages where the context throws but uncertain light upon the meaning. Under these circumstances we ought to be content with the rendering of the Septuagint, unless from philology or tradition we can show good reason for differing. For ‘anaqah, Septuagint has mugale, which occurs in Herodotus and Aristotle and may be a shrew mouse or a field mouse. Just as the next word, koach, is found in other passages (see CHAMELEON) with the meaning of "strength," so ‘anaqah occurs in several places signifying "moaning" or "sighing" (Ps 12:5; 79:11; 102:20; Mal 2:13). It seems to be from the root, ‘anaq, "to choke," "to be in anguish" (compare ‘anaq, "a collar"; chanaq, "to choke"; Arabic ‘unq, "neck"; Arabic khanaq, "to strangle"; Greek anagke; Latin angustus; German enge, Nacken; English "anxious," "neck"). Some creature seems to be meant which utters a low cry or squeak, and neither "ferret" (the King James Version) nor "gecko" (Revised Version (British and American)) seems to have a better claim than the older Septuagint rendering of mugale =" shrew mouse" or "field mouse."

Written by Alfred Ely Day

Smith's Bible Dictionary


one of the unclean creeping things mentioned in Leviticus 11:30. The animal referred to was probably a reptile of the lizard tribe (the gecko.) The rabbinical writers seen to have identified this animal with the hedgehog.


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