ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE by Isaac Asimov

ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forty-three animals that "are (or might be) mentioned" in the Bible are pictured in Berelson's decorative cinnamon-colored drawings and described by Asimov in a short paragraph each. Asimov may tell something of the animal's distribution or history, describe some typical behavior, or perhaps focus on the characteristic which inspired a biblical comparison. ("Hosea comments on the solitary habits of the Nubian wild ass when he compares it to the Israelites who had gone into exile like 'a wild ass alone by himself.") Biblical references (or their absence) are usually mentioned--Jeremiah asked ironically whether the leopard would change its spots; David named his successor by having Solomon ride on his mule; sheep, Asimov tells us, are mentioned 742 times in the Bible--and Asimov frequently comments on the difficulties and uncertainties of translation: the bubal, a species of hartebeest, "may be what is meant by the biblical word yahmur"; many translators believe that the passage about foxes in Lamentations really refers to jackals. An attractive incidental, which does not overlap with Dorothy Lathrop's retelling of the stories in her Animals of the Bible.
Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1978




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