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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


(1) tannim, "jackals," the King James Version "dragons"; compare Arabic tinan, "wolf"; and compare tannin, Arab tinnin, "sea monster" or "monster" the English Revised Version "dragon" (Job 7:12 Psalm 74:13; Psalm 148:7 Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 51:9 Jeremiah 51:34), "serpent" (Exodus 7:9, 10, 12 Deuteronomy 32:33 Psalm 91:13), the King James Version "whale" (Genesis 1:21 Job 7:12); but tannin, "jackals," the King James Version "sea monsters" (Lamentations 4:3), "jackal's well," the King James Version "dragon well" (Nehemiah 2:13), and tannim, "monster," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "dragon" (Ezekiel 29:3; Ezekiel 32:2).

(2) 'iyim, "wolves," the King James Version "wild beasts of the islands"; compare 'i, plural iyim, "island"; also 'ayyah, "a cry," 'awah, "to cry," "to howl"; Arabic `auwa', "to bark" (of dogs, wolves, or jackals); 'ibn 'awa', colloquially wawi, "jackal."

(3) tsiyim, "wild beasts of the desert."

(4) 'ochim, "doleful creatures."

"Jackals" occurs as a translation of tannim, the King James Version "dragons," in Job 30:29 Psalm 44:19 Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:13; Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 43:20 Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 10:22; Jeremiah 14:6; Jeremiah 49:33; Jeremiah 51:37; of the feminine plural form tannoth in Malachi 1:3, and of tannin in Nehemiah 2:13 and Lamentations 4:3. Tannim is variously referred to a root meaning "to howl," and to a root meaning "to stretch out" trop. "to run swiftly, i.e. with outstretched neck and limb extended" (Gesenius). Either derivation would suit "wolf" equally as well as "jackal." The expression in Jeremiah 10:22, "to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a dwelling-place of jackals," seems, however, especially appropriate of jackals. The same is true of Isaiah 34:13 Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 49:33, and 51:37.

The jackal (from Persian shaghal), Canis aureus, is found about the Mediterranean except in Western Europe. It ranges southward to Abyssinia, and eastward, in Southern Asia, to farther India. It is smaller than a large dog, has a moderately bushy tail, and is reddish brown with dark shadings above. It is cowardly and nocturnal. Like the fox, it is destructive to poultry, grapes, and vegetables, but is less fastidious, and readily devours the remains of others' feasts. Jackals generally go about in small companies. Their peculiar howl may frequently be heard in the evening and at any time in the night. It begins with a high-pitched, long-drawn-out cry. This is repeated two or three times, each time in a higher key than before. Finally there are several short, loud, yelping barks. Often when one raises the cry others join in. Jackals are not infrequently confounded with foxes. They breed freely with dogs.

While tannim is the only word translated "jackal" in English Versions of the Bible, the words 'iyim, tsiyim, and 'ochim deserve attention. They, as well as tannim, evidently refer to wild creatures inhabiting desert places, but it is difficult to say for what animal each of the words stands. All four (together with benoth ya`anah and se`irim) are found in Isaiah 13:21, 22: "But wild beasts of the desert (tsiyim) shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures ('ochim); and ostriches (benoth ya`anah) shall dwell there, and wild goats (se`irim) shall dance there. And wolves ('iyim) shall cry in their castles, and jackals (tannim) in the pleasant palaces."

In the King James Version 'iyim (Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:14 Jeremiah 50:39) is translated "wild beasts of the islands" (compare 'iyim, "islands"). the King James Version margin has merely the transliteration iim, the Revised Version (British and American) "wolves," the Revised Version margin "howling creatures." Gesenius suggests the jackal, which is certainly a howler. While the wolf has a blood-curdling howl, it is much more rarely heard than the jackal.

Tsiyim (Psalm 72:9; Psalm 74:14 Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 23:13; Isaiah 34:14 Jeremiah 50:39) has been considered akin to tsiyah, "drought" (compare 'erets tsiyah, "a dry land" (Psalm 63:1)), and is translated in the Revised Version (British and American) as follows: Psalm 72:9, "they that dwell in the wilderness"; 74:14, "the people inhabiting the wilderness"; Isaiah 23:13, "them that dwell in the wilderness," the Revised Version margin "the beasts of the wilderness"; Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14 Jeremiah 50:39, "wild beasts of the desert." There would be some difficulty in referring tsiyim in Psalm 72:9 to beasts rather than to men, but that is not the case in Psalm 74:14 and Isaiah 23:13. "Wild cats" have been suggested.

'Ochim, "doleful creatures," perhaps onomatopoetic, occurs only in Isaiah 13:21. The translation "owls" has been suggested, and is not unsuitable to the context.

It is not impossible that tannim and 'iyim may be different names of the jackals. 'Iyim, tsiyim, and tannim occur together also in Isaiah 34:13, 14, and 'iyim and tsiyim in Jeremiah 50:39. Their similarity in sound may have much to do with their collocation. The recognized word for "wolf," ze'ebh (compare Arabic dhi'b), occurs 7 times in the Old Testament.


Alfred Ely Day

3074. lukos -- a wolf
... a wolf. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: lukos Phonetic Spelling:
(loo'-kos) Short Definition: a wolf, jackal Definition: a wolf, of perhaps a ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3074.htm - 6k
Strong's Hebrew
8565. tan -- a jackal
... 8564, 8565. tan. 8566 . a jackal. Transliteration: tan Phonetic Spelling:
(tan) Short Definition: jackals. Word Origin from an unused ...
/hebrew/8565.htm - 6k

7776. shual -- fox, perhaps jackal
... 7775, 7776. shual. 7777 . fox, perhaps jackal. Transliteration: shual
Phonetic Spelling: (shoo-awl') Short Definition: foxes. Word ...
/hebrew/7776.htm - 6k

338. i -- a jackal
... 337, 338. i. 339 . a jackal. Transliteration: i Phonetic Spelling:
(ee) Short Definition: Hyenas. Word Origin from oy Definition ...
/hebrew/338.htm - 6k

8568. tannah -- dragon
... Word Origin fem. of tan, qv. dragon Probably feminine of tan; a female jackal --
dragon. see HEBREW tan. 8567, 8568. tannah. 8569 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8568.htm - 5k

8577. tannin -- serpent, dragon, sea monster
... Or tanniym (Ezek. 29:3) {tan-neem'}; intensive from the same as tan; a marine or
land monster, ie Sea-serpent or jackal -- dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale. ...
/hebrew/8577.htm - 6k


By the Wayside
... lead. Over the tangle of marks lay a slim paw-printed, confident, careless
trail of a jackal, following the scent to a well. The ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the city of delight/chapter v by the wayside.htm

The Bishop at Work
... tried to bribe into fidelity, and a little lame, black foreigner, Longchamp, Bishop
of Ely, who had been adviser, schemer, general brain box and jackal to the ...
/.../marson/hugh bishop of lincoln/chapter v the bishop at.htm

A Blast of the Trumpet against False Peace
... I cannot imagine any man more greatly guilty of blood than he who plays jackal to
the lion of hell, by pandering to the depraved tastes of vain, rebellious man ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 6 1860/a blast of the trumpet.htm

Earth's Ugliest, Deepest Scar.
... its rocks, swept by hot desert winds, it is the land of death, an awful death; no
life save crawling scorpions and vipers, with an occasional hyena and jackal. ...
/.../gordon/quiet talks about jesus/earths ugliest deepest scar.htm

List of Characters and Places
... Amon-meses,"A'-mon-mee'-seez, half-brother to Meneptah and hostile to him.
Anubis,"A-niu'-bis, pet ape named after the jackal-headed god. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/list of characters and places.htm

Dying Fires
... They huddle round its dying embers for a little warmth and company, and they hope
it will scare wolf and jackal, but their fuel is all burned, and they have to ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/maclaren/expositions of holy scripture h/dying fires.htm

Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!
... No bird in the air; not even a prowling jackal in the waste; not an insect in the
sunbeam to keep him company; not even a solitary blade of grass to remind him ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 8 1863/never never never never never.htm

The Cross as a Social Principle
... He went to it, not as a driven slave, but as a free spirit. That jackal
of a king, Herod, could not scare him out of Galilee. His ...
/.../rauschenbusch/the social principles of jesus/chapter xi the cross as.htm

The Eighteenth Theban Dynasty --(Continued)
... the peoples who are in their "duars," so that thou mayest bring the Hiru-shaitu
into captivity,"I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the jackal of the ...
/.../chapter ithe eighteenth theban dynastycontinued.htm

The Traitors
... But the servants of the Lord God of Israel are keen-eyed and they know a jackal
from a hare. However, these matters I did not hear from the people. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxviii the traitors.htm

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly, nocturnal, and gregarious. They feed largely on carrion, and are noted for their piercing and dismal howling.

2. (n.) One who does mean work for another's advantage, as jackals were once thought to kill game which lions appropriated.

Jackal (3 Occurrences)
... thought to kill game which lions appropriated. Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia. JACKAL. jak'-ol: (1) tannim, "jackals," the King ...
/j/jackal.htm - 15k

Jackal's (1 Occurrence)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia JACKAL'S WELL. ... See HINNOM, VALLEY OF; JACKAL. EWG
Masterman. Multi-Version Concordance Jackal's (1 Occurrence). ...
/j/jackal's.htm - 7k

Jackal-fountain (1 Occurrence)
Jackal-fountain. Jackal, Jackal-fountain. Jackals . Multi-Version
Concordance Jackal-fountain (1 Occurrence). Nehemiah ...
/j/jackal-fountain.htm - 6k

Fox (2 Occurrences)
... 13:4, and in Luke 13:32, where our Lord calls Herod "that fox." In Judges
15:4, 5, the reference is in all probability to the jackal. ...
/f/fox.htm - 13k

Jackals (20 Occurrences)
... (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV). Psalms 63:10 They shall be given over to the
power of the sword. They shall be jackal food. (See RSV NIV). ...
/j/jackals.htm - 12k

Wild (147 Occurrences)
... Revised Version (British and American) has "wolves," margin "howling creatures";
compare Arabic `anwa', "to howl," and ibn-'awa' or wawi, "jackal." See JACKAL. ...
/w/wild.htm - 50k

Beast (243 Occurrences)
... Revised Version (British and American) has "wolves," margin "howling creatures";
compare Arabic `anwa', "to howl," and ibn-'awa' or wawi, "jackal." See JACKAL. ...
/b/beast.htm - 50k

... found in Palestine CHIROPTERA: Bat CARNIVORA (a) Felidae, Cat, Lion, Leopard (b)
Hyaenidae, Hyena (c) Canidae, Dog (including Greyhound), Fox, Jackal, Wolf (d ...
/z/zoology.htm - 18k

Jacinth (4 Occurrences)

/j/jacinth.htm - 8k

Bible Concordance
Jackal (3 Occurrences)

Nehemiah 2:13 I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal's well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and its gates were consumed with fire.

Psalms 63:10 They shall be given over to the power of the sword. They shall be jackal food.

Micah 1:8 For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will howl like the jackals, and moan like the daughters of owls.



Jackal: A Carnivorous Animal

Related Terms

Jackal's (1 Occurrence)

Jackal-fountain (1 Occurrence)

Fox (2 Occurrences)

Jackals (20 Occurrences)

Wild (147 Occurrences)

Beast (243 Occurrences)


Jacinth (4 Occurrences)

Well (2882 Occurrences)

Dragon (20 Occurrences)

Viewed (9 Occurrences)

Valley-gate (3 Occurrences)

Ostrich (9 Occurrences)

Lion (92 Occurrences)

Wolf (4 Occurrences)

Whelp (4 Occurrences)

Inspecting (5 Occurrences)

Isle (15 Occurrences)

Inspected (18 Occurrences)

Island (16 Occurrences)

Ruins (84 Occurrences)

Examining (7 Occurrences)

Dung-gate (4 Occurrences)


Whale (2 Occurrences)

Dung (27 Occurrences)

Hazar-shual (4 Occurrences)

Fountain (57 Occurrences)

Walls (152 Occurrences)

Hazarshual (4 Occurrences)

Refuse (103 Occurrences)

Prey (105 Occurrences)

Syria (73 Occurrences)

Consumed (213 Occurrences)


Sea-monster (1 Occurrence)

Gates (156 Occurrences)

Direction (128 Occurrences)

Egypt (596 Occurrences)

Jerusalem (782 Occurrences)

Jacob (361 Occurrences)

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