In NT the RSV accords more closely with the Gr. ζω̂ον, which KJV renders “beast” throughout, is tr. “animal” in
The biological aspect of the word creature should be discussed briefly, for RSV uses it in literal contexts much more widely than earlier VSS. In KJV it is found sparingly in OT. Heb. H5883, נֶ֫פֶשׁ (most frequently tr. “soul”) is tr. “living creature” nine times and “creature” once (Gen and Lev). In all cases the use is lit. Heb. חַיָּה, H2651, (basic meaning “living,” but variously tr. in many passages, usually lit.) is fifteen times tr. “living creature” in Ezekiel in a wholly fig. sense. RSV tr. as above but also at least ten other Heb. words which KJV renders “moving creature,” “beast of the field,” “flesh,” “people,” “living thing,” etc. In fact, the first six occurences of creature in Genesis (RSV) represent six different Heb. words. Except for some obviously prophetic passages in OT and NT, creature is used in KJV and RSV in a purely literal sense. Unfortunately, in current Eng. creature has several different senses; strictly it means anything created, both animate and inanimate; often it is regarded as synonymous with animal; sometimes used for members of the animal world as opposed to man, and in U.S. esp. for cattle. On all counts this word as used in RSV has its disadvantages. In most literal contexts the more precise words “animal” and “cattle” are preferred.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
For "swift beast," kirkaroth, "dromedary" (
See also WILD BEAST.