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Mouse

MOUSE (עַכְבָּר, H6572, mouse all Eng. VSS). There is general agreement about the correctness of this tr., but the Heb. word had an even wider application than in current Eng. where it is applied, with qualifying adjectives, to a wide range of small rodents. In parts of Africa today “mouse” includes all uniformly colored rats and mice up to the size of a brown rat. This was prob. so in Bible times, so the prohibition of Leviticus 11:29 would refer to the whole group, even though in many parts of the world it is usual, and safe, to eat many small rodents. The real object of the ban was to exclude black rats, carriers of dangerous diseases. Isaiah 66:17 speaks of those who deliberately defile themselves by eating mice and other forbidden meat. The word appears in only one other passage (1 Sam 6:4, 5, 11, 18) and this took on a new significance early this cent. when the relationship between rats, plague and man was discovered. Although rats (mice, Eng. VSS) are not specifically blamed for