Leopard


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


In the Bible "leopard" occurs mainly in figurative expressions, as a large and fierce beast. The leopard is mentioned with the lion and bear in Da 7:6; Ho 13:7; Re 13:2; with the lion, wolf and bear in Isa 11:6; with the lion and wolf in Jer 5:6; with the lion alone in Ecclesiasticus 28:23; with the wolf alone in Hab 1:8. The leopard is smaller than the lion and the tiger, but is more active than either. Its swiftness is referred to in Hab 1:8: "Their horses also (of the Chaldeans) are swifter than leopards." The spots of the leopard are referred to in Jer 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?"

The Greek pardalis, and panther, were both applied to the leopard. "Panther" is sometimes used of large leopards, while in America, with its corrupt form "painter," it is one of the names applied to the cougar or puma, Felis concolor, which, as the specific name implies, is not spotted like the leopard, or striped like the tiger.

Alfred Ely Day

See also

  • Animals