International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
lep'-erd ((1) namer (Songs 4:8 Isaiah 11:6 Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 13:23 Hosea 13:7 Habakkuk 1:8); compare Arabic nimr, "leopard." (2) Chaldaic nemar (Daniel 7:6). (3) pardalis (Revelation 13:2; Ecclesiasticus 28:23); compare nimrim Nimrim (Isaiah 15:6 Jeremiah 48:34), nimrah, Nimrah (Numbers 32:3), and beth-nimrah, Beth-nimrah (Numbers 32:36 Joshua 13:27)): The leopard is found throughout Africa and ranges through Southern Asia from Asia Minor to Japan, being absent from Siberia and Central Asia. Its range is much the same as that of the lion, which latter, however, does not extend so far to the East. Like other animals of wide range, it has local varieties, but these shade into each other imperceptibly, and the one specific name, Felis pardus, includes all. Leopards live in some of the valleys East and South of the Dead Sea, and in the mountains of Sinai and Northwestern Arabia. They have but rarely been seen of recent years in Lebanon or the more settled portions of Palestine. So far as can be judged from skins which are available for comparison, the leopard of Palestine is rather light in color, and is not as large as. some found in Africa or India. It is not certain that the place-names, NIMRIM, NIMRAH, and BETH-NIMRAH (which see), have to do with namer, "leopard," but their location is in Moab, where leopards are well known, even at the present day. One of the valleys entering the Dead Sea from the East, South of the Arnon, is called Wadi-en-Numeir ("valley of the little leopard"; numeir, diminutive of nimr).