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WEASEL (חֹ֫לֶד, H2700, Lev 11:29, all Eng. VSS). This tr. is generally accepted, though no positive evidence supports it. Some inferences can be drawn from the context of the single occurrence. It is one of “the creeping things that creep on the earth,” a phrase which aptly describes a weasel’s movement. The mouse follows, and is of the same order of size. Their scent glands make weasels unsuitable for food. A further reason for their being declared unclean is that in Egypt they were sacred to the moon. In Greece and Rome they were kept to control mice before cats became available. Weasels are not uncommon in Pal. and the tr. may well be correct.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(1) Choledh is found only in Le 11:29, where it stands first in the list of eight unclean "creeping things that creep upon the earth." the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) agree in rendering choledh by "weasel," and the Septuagint has gale, "weasel" or "marten." According to Gesenius, the Vulgate, Targum, and Talmud support the same rendering. In spite of this array of authorities, it is worth while to consider the claims of the mole-rat, Spalax typhlus, Arabic khuld. This is a very common rodent, similar in appearance and habits to the mole, which does not exist in Palestine. The fact that it burrows may be considered against it, in view of the words, "that creepeth upon the earth." The term "creeping thing" is, however, very applicable to it, and the objection seems like a quibble, especially in view of the fact that there is no category of subterranean animals. See Mole.

(2) The weasel, Mustela vulgaris, has a wide range in Asia, Europe, and North America. It is from 8 to 10 inches long, including the short tail. It is brown above and white below. In the northern part of its range, its whole fur, except the tail, is white in winter. It is active and fearless, and preys upon all sorts of small mammals, birds and insects.

See Lizard.

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  • Animals
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