A mixed animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. A mule is smaller than a horse, and has long ears, though not so long as those of an ass. It is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, sure-footed animal, lives twice as long as a horse, and is much more easily and cheaply fed. Mules are much used in Spain and South America, for transporting goods across the mountains. So also in the Alps, they are used by travelers among the mountains, where a horse would hardly be able to pass with safety. There is no probability that the Jews bred mules, because it was forbidden to couple creatures of different species, Le 19:19. But they were not forbidden to obtain them from abroad and use them, 1Ki 10:25; Eze 27:14. Thus we may observe, especially after David's time, that mules, male and female, were common among the Hebrews; formerly they used only male and female asses, 2Sa 13:29; 18:9; 1Ki 1:33; 10:25; 18:5; Es 8:10,14.
In Ge 36:24, Anah is said to have found "mules" in the desert; but the Hebrew word here probably means hot springs. See ANAH.
(Heb pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Le 19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in common use even by kings and nobles (2Sa 18:9; 1Ki 1:33; 2Ki 5:17; Ps 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till the time of David, for the word rendered "mules" (R.V. correctly, "hot springs") in Ge 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In David's reign they became very common (2Sa 13:29; 1Ki 10:25).
Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.
1. Pered. Not mentioned until David's time, when Israel became more familiar with horses (1Ch 12:40; 2Sa 13:29; 18:9). Used for riding only by persons of rank (1Ki 1:33). As breeding from different species was forbidden (Le 19:19), mules must have been imported. An Egyptian monument from Thebes in British Museum represents them yoked to a chariot. The people of Togarmah (Armenia) brought them to Tyre for barter (Eze 27:14). They were part of the "presents" from "the kings of the earth" to Solomon, "a rate year by year" (2Ch 9:23-24). In these ways they came into Palestine (1Ki 18:5). In Ezr 2:66; Ne 7:68. the mules on the return from Babylon amounted to 245; but the horses about three times as many, 736; so that the mule was then, as we find in the Greek classics, rarer and more precious.
3. Yeemim. Ge 36:24 translated rather "Anah that found the hot springs," so the Vulgate version; the Samaritan text has "the Emim." Callirrhoe in the wady Zerka Maein is thought to be Anah's hot springs.
(1) pered (m.) and pird
1. pered. The first reference to this animal is in the time of David: his sons rode upon mules. David had his own mule, upon which Solomon was made to ride when he was proclaimed king. Mules were among the animals that were brought as presents by the nations to Solomon. They were also imported to Tyre. It would appear from Le 19:19 that the Israelites were forbidden to breed them. 2Sa 13:29; 18:9; 1Ki 1:33,38,44; 10:25; Ps 32:9; Isa 66:20; Eze 27:14; Zec 14:15.
3. yemim. This is acknowledged to be wrongly rendered in the A.V.: it is translated 'hot springs,' by the Revisers and others. Ge 36:24.
a hybrid animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. "The mule is smaller than the horse, and is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, sure-footed animal, living, ordinarily, twice as long as a horse." --McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia. It was forbidden to the Israelites to breed mules, but sometimes they imported them. It would appear that only kings and great men rode on mules. We do not read of mules at all in the New Testament; perhaps therefore they had ceased to be imported.
MULE, ???, 2Sa 13:29; 1Ki 1:33; 10:25, &c. A mongrel kind of quadruped, between the horse and the ass. Its form bears a considerable resemblance to the last mentioned animal; but in its disposition it is rather vicious and intractable; so that its obstinacy has become a proverb. With this creature the early ages were probably unacquainted. It is very certain the Jews did not breed mules, because it was forbidden them to couple together two creatures of different species, Le 19:19. But they were not prohibited the making use of them: thus we find in David's time that they had become very common, and made up a considerable part of the equipage of princes, 2Sa 13:29; 18:9; 1Ki 1:33,38,44; 10:25; 2Ch 9:24.