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BOAR (חֲזִיר, H2614, wild boar, all Eng. VSS). The wild forebear of the domestic pig. In OT this one Heb. word covers both wild and domesticated swine. Only one context definitely requires the tr. boar (Ps 80:13), “Boar from the forest ravages it.” It is generally agreed that Psalm 68:30, “beasts that dwell among the reeds,” is a pictorial reference to the boar, for these two vv. cite its two typical habitats. The first two references are in the Mosaic food laws (Lev 11:7; Deut 14:8) and this prohibition applies equally to both forms. Pigs had been brought into domestication early in man’s history and were kept in Egypt in pre-dynastic times, i.e. before 3000 b.c. The range of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) once extended from Britain across Europe and through northern Asia. It became extinct in Britain early in the 17th cent. It is now more scarce everywhere but it still survives in Pal., esp. in the thick scrub along the Jordan River, partly because its flesh is unclean to the practicing Jew and Moslem, so that there is little incentive to hunt it unless it causes serious damage. For discussion on reasons why it is unclean, see Swine.


F. E. Zenner, A History of Domesticated Animals (1963).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

In lamenting the troubled state of the Jewish nation the Psalmist (Ps 80:13) says: "The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, and the wild beasts of the field feed on it," with evident reference to Israel’s enemies, the Assyrians, etc. The wild boar is abundant in certain parts of Palestine and Syria, especially in the thickets which border the lakes and rivers, as about the Chuleh, the sea of Galilee, the Jordan, and in the deltas of streams flowing into the Dead Sea, as Ghaur-us-Cafiyeh. Several fountains in Lebanon bear the name, `Ain-ul-Chazir, though chazir is not an Arabic word, khanzir being the Arabic for "swine."

See Swine.

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