International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
bar (dobh; compare Arabic dubb): In 1 Samuel 17:34-37, David tells Saul how as a shepherd boy he had overcome a lion and a bear. In 2 Kings 2:24 it is related that two she bears came out of the wood and tore forty-two of the children who had been mocking Elisha. All the other references to bears are figurative; compare 2 Samuel 17:8 Proverbs 17:12; Proverbs 28:15 Isaiah 11:7; Isaiah 59:11 Lamentations 3:10 Daniel 7:5; Hosea 13:8 Amos 5:19 Revelation 13:2. The Syrian bear, sometimes named as a distinct species, Ursus Syriacus, is better to be regarded as merely a local variety of the European and Asiatic brown bear, Ursus arctos. It still exists in small numbers in Lebanon and is fairly common in Anti-Lebanon and Hermon. It does not seem to occur now in Palestine proper, but may well have done so in Bible times. It inhabits caves in the high and rugged mountains and issues mainly at night to feed on roots and vegetables. It is fond of the chummuc or chick-pea which is sometimes planted in the upland meadows, and the fields have to be well guarded. The figurative re ferences to the bear take account of its ferocious nature, especially in the case of the she bear robbed of her whelps (2 Samuel 17:8 Proverbs 17:12 Hosea 13:8). It is with this character of the bear in mind that Isaiah says (Isaiah 11:7), "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together."
BEAR, THE (ARCTURUS)
bar. A great northern constellation.
bar, born (vb.), (yaladh): Occurs frequently in its literal sense, alluding to motherhood (Genesis 16:11; Genesis 17:17, 19, 21; Genesis 18:13; Genesis 22:23; Genesis 30:3; Leviticus 12:5 Judges 13:3; Judges 5:7 Ruth 1:12 1 Kings 3:21 Jeremiah 29:6); in the New Testament gennao, in the same sense (Luke 1:13).
bar, born (nasa'; lambano, anaphero, bastazo): In English Versions of the Bible the physical sense is familiar, of supporting or carrying any weight or burden. The translation of the Revised Version (British and American) is to be preferred in Psalm 75:3 ("have set up"); Lamentations 3:28 ("hath laid it upon him"); Zephaniah 1:11 ("were laden with silver"); Luke 18:7 ("he is longsuffering over them"); John 12:6 ("took away what was put therein"); Acts 27:15 ("could not face the wind").