The wild boar is considered as the parent stock of the common hog. He is a furious and formidable animal. The tusks are larger and stronger than in the tame herds, the color is iron-grey, inclining to black. His snout is long, and his ears are short. At present wild boars frequent the marshes around the upper Jordan, and have been found on Mount Carmel, and in large herds near the sea of Tiberias. They were frequent in the time of the Crusades. Richard Coeur de Lion encountered one, ran him through with a lace, and while the animal was still endeavoring to gore his horse, leaped over him, and slew him with his sword. The destructive ravages of the animal are referred to in Ps 80:13.
occurs only in Ps 80:13. The same Hebrew word is elsewhere rendered "swine" (Le 11:7; De 14:8; Pr 11:22; Isa 65:4; 66:3,17). The Hebrews abhorred swine's flesh, and accordingly none of these animals were reared, except in the district beyond the Sea of Galilee. In the psalm quoted above the powers that destroyed the Jewish nation are compared to wild boars and wild beasts of the field.
The flesh of "swine" (domestic) was forbidden food to Israel. Eating it was the token of apostasy under Antiochus Epiphanes' persecution, and is mentioned among Judah's provocations of Jehovah (Isa 65:4; 66:17). E. of the sea of Galilee, some Gadarenes are mentioned as having a herd of 2,000. Probably they refrained themselves from the flesh, and compromised between conscience and covetousness by selling them to their neighbors the Gentiles. But they gained nothing by the compromise, for the whole herd perished in the wafters, in judicial retribution. The Lord of the land, peculiarly set apart as the Holy Land, finds it defiled with demons and unclean beasts. The demons beg leave not to be sent to the abyss of torment, but into the swine. With His leave they do so, and the swine rush down the steep and perish in the waters.
Instead of gratitude for the deliverance, the Gadarenes prefer their swine, though at the cost of the demons' presence, to the Savior at the cost of sacrificing their swine; so they entreat Him to "depart out of their coasts," forgetting His word, "Woe to them when I depart from them" (Ho 9:12); a striking contrast to him who was delivered from the demons and who "prayed that he might be with Jesus (Mr 5:15-18). The lowest point of the prodigal's degradation was when he was sent into the fields to feed swine (Lu 15:15). The sensual professor's backsliding into "the pollutions of the world," after he has "escaped them through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior," is fitly compared to "the sow that was washed returning to her wallowing in the mire" (2Pe 2:20-22).
As a jewel of gold (worn often by women as 'nose jewels,' Isa 3:21) in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion (Hebrew: taste, i.e. without moral perception of what is pure and impure) (Pr 11:22). The brutish stolidity of those who appreciate only what gratifies their own foul appetites disqualifies them for appreciating heavenly mysteries; to present these holy truths to them would be as unwise as to east pearls before swine, which would only trample them under foot (Mt 7:6).
The wild boar is mentioned once only (Ps 80:13). Its destroying a vineyard partly by eating the grapes, partly by trampling the vines under foot, is the image of the pagan world power's ravaging of Israel, Jehovah's choice vine, transplanted from Egypt into the Holy Land. Pococke saw large herds among the reeds of Jordan, where it flows into the sea of Galilee; and so it is sculptured on Assyrian monuments as among reeds. Its Hebrew name, chazir, is from a root to roll in the mud.
The wild boar (Arabic khanzir) is quite common in the Jordan Valley, specially in the reed thickets near the Dead Sea. It is also found on Mount Tabor. It is still noted for its destructiveness (Ps 80:18). Though a forbidden food to the Moslem as well as the Jew (Le 11:7; De 14:8), the flesh is eaten by the nominally Moslem Bedouin of Palestine. See Swine.
E. W. G. Masterman.
The well-known animal in its wild state. They are still found in Palestine, and dwell among the long reeds in the Jordan valley and marshy places. They are very destructive to cultivated land. Ps 80:13.
BOAR, ????. The wild boar is considered as the parent stock of our domestic hog. He is smaller, but at the same time stronger and more undaunted, than the hog. In his own defence, he will turn on men or dogs; and scarcely shuns any denizen of the forests, in the haunts where he ranges. His colour is always an iron grey, inclining to black. His snout is longer than that of the common breed, and his ears are comparatively short. His tusks are very formidable, and all his habits are fierce and savage. It should seem, from the accounts of ancient authors, that the ravages of the wild boar were considered as more formidable than those of other savage animals. The conquest of the Erymanthian boar was one of the fated labours of Hercules; and the story of the Calydonian boar is one of the most beautiful in Ovid. The destructive ravages of these animals are mentioned in Ps 80:14. Dr. Pococke observed very large herds of wild boars on the side of Jordan, where it flows out of the sea of Tiberias; and saw several of them on the other side lying among the reeds by the sea. The wild boars of other countries delight in the like moist retreats. These shady marshes then, it should seem, are called in the Scripture, "woods;" for it calls these animals, "the wild boars of the woods."