What is a coney in the Bible?

Key Takeaway:

  • The coney, mentioned in the Bible, refers to a small mammal known as the hyrax or rock badger.
  • The Hebrew word “Shaphan” is commonly used to describe the coney and is interpreted as a collective term for different species of hyraxes.
  • The coney is characterized by its appearance, which includes short legs, rounded ears, and thick fur. It is well-adapted to its rocky habitat.


The world of biblical references is full of intriguing creatures, and the coney is no exception. In this section, we dive into the meaning, description, and interpretation of the coney, exploring the Hebrew word “Shaphan” and shedding light on the appearance and unique characteristics of this peculiar creature. Get ready to unravel the mysteries surrounding the coney and gain a deeper understanding of its significance in the Bible.

Meaning and Description of the Coney

The Coney, also known as the hyrax, is a small mammal with a unique class. It’s not related to either ruminants or pachyderms, but it has special teeth for its diet of mostly plants.

Its distribution is limited to certain regions. One cool thing about this animal is its ability to live in rock cracks, which helps it survive.

The word “coney” comes from Hebrew, “shaphan,” and means the same thing in multiple languages and cultures. The meaning of “hyrax” is also worth looking into.

Overall, the Coney is a captivating mammal. Its special features help it survive. Plus, its etymology and name-meanings give us understanding on its cultural importance.

Interpretation of the Hebrew Word “Shaphan”

The Hebrew word “Shaphan” has a special meaning related to the coney. It’s a small mammal found in many places. This word has significance in the Bible. It describes the rock rabbit, which lives in rocky crevices. It adds richness to the Bible’s portrayal.

By looking at language and culture, we can learn how this word was used in the past. It helps us understand communication and how language has changed.

Appearance and Characteristics of the Coney

The coney is a small mammal, also known as a hyrax. Its scientific classification is Hyracoidea and it is not related to cows or elephants. It has unique teeth and feeding habits.

The coney has incisors at the front of its mouth and grinding molars at the back. This helps it chew food efficiently. Its body is compact with short legs, rounded ears, and a short tail. Its fur varies in color from grayish-brown to reddish-brown.

Coneys are herbivores that feed on leaves, fruits, and bark. They browse a variety of plants. They’re social animals, living in groups of one dominant male, females, and their offspring. They communicate through vocalizations and scent marking.

Coneys live in rocky habitats in Africa and Asia. They often inhabit steep cliffs or clefts of rocks for protection. The word “coney” comes from medieval English usage, while in Hebrew it’s called “shaphan”.

Scientific Classification of the Coney

The scientific classification of the coney reveals intriguing insights into its relationship with ruminants and pachyderms. Additionally, exploring the teeth and feeding habits of this creature uncovers remarkable adaptations.

Relationship to Ruminants and Pachyderms

The coney, also known as the hyrax, has an unusual link to ruminants and pachyderms. It has certain traits like both of these animals, even though it is not related to them.

Coneys have teeth like ruminants, such as cows or sheep. They have a dental formula of 1/0, 0/0, 2/3, 3/3. This means one upper incisor, no canines or premolars, and two molars on each side of their upper jaw. This tooth structure helps them process vegetation like ruminants do.

In addition, coneys have certain qualities that are like pachyderms like elephants and rhinoceroses. These include a hoof-like shape at the tips of their toes and a long snout they use for eating.

But although they share features with ruminants and pachyderms, coneys are actually related to elephants and manatees in the order Paenungulata. Their shared characteristics with these animals are thought to be the result of convergent evolution, not direct evolution.

It is important to remember that although coneys have features like those of ruminants and pachyderms, they are their own type of animal. Their unique combination of characteristics makes them different from other mammals and adds to their captivating biology.

Teeth and Feeding Habits of the Coney

The coney, also known as the hyrax, has peculiar teeth and feeding patterns. It has big incisors to munch on hard plants. Its molars are designed to grind vegetation efficiently. This helps the coney extract nutrients from its food.

It has a selective diet. It chooses what to eat based on availability and nutrition. It browses plants, rather than eating them in full. This allows it to get more nutrients with less energy.

In dry climates, the coney has a unique way of getting water. It gets most of its moisture from its food. This lets it live in areas without much water.

Fun fact: The hyrax is called a living fossil. Its lineage is over 40 million years old. (Reference: “Scientific Classification of the Coney”).

Habitat and Distribution

The habitat and distribution of the coney in the Bible will be explored, including the regions where it is found and its unusual choice of dwelling in the clefts of rocks.

Regions where the Coney is Found

The Coney is spotted in heaps of locations around the world. It likes rocky surroundings and cliffs, where it can hide and be safe in cracks and openings. The Coney calls Africa, Asia, and some parts of Europe home.

  • Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa have rocky mountains where the Coney can be found.
  • Asia: Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen have mountain regions inhabited by the Coney.
  • Europe: The Pyrenees and the Alps are mountain ranges where the Coney resides.

The areas are dissimilar, yet the Coney figures out how to survive in them. It’s worth noting that this info tells us about places the Coney is found, but it could be somewhere else also.

Living in the Clefts of Rocks

Coneys have a peculiar trait—living in the cracks of rocks! They take shelter and hide in the tiny crevices found in rocky grounds. This mammal has adapted to this environment, using rocks as its own home and protection from predators. In its rocky home, the coney creates a safe place for itself and its young.

The clefts give the coney a unique home and regulate its temperature, keeping it safe from extreme conditions. Other mammals don’t usually live in cracks of rocks, making this adaptation special. By making use of nature’s structures, the coney shows its resourcefulness and survival skills.

Visit rocky terrains to see this incredible adaptation in action! Watch the coney hide in the crevices of rocks. See how it lives and appreciate its ability to thrive in harsh environments. Explore these rugged lands and discover nature at its finest.

Etymology and Different Names

Etymology and different names in the Bible uncover the intriguing origins of the word “Hyrax,” the meaning and origin of the word “Coney,” and the universal interpretation of the Hebrew word “Shaphan.” Delve into the fascinating linguistic aspects that shed light on the diverse terms used to describe these creatures in biblical contexts.

Origins of the Word “Hyrax”

The word “Hyrax” has its beginnings in ancient Greek. It is derived from “hurax,” which means “a kind of mouse.”

Scientific folk later adopted the term to refer to the rock-dwelling mammal – the coney or hyrax. The name accurately describes their characteristics and behavior.

The term “Hyrax” is widely accepted and used in scientific literature. It reflects their small size, rodent-like looks, and preference for rocky habitats. Researchers and zoologists use this name to study these animals.

Other names exist for the hyrax, depending on the region and culture. For instance, some African countries call them “rock rabbits” or “dassies.” These alternate names show how cultures have interpreted and named these creatures through the ages.

By delving into etymology, we learn how language has shaped our understanding of the natural world. We gain insights into how different cultures have interacted with and named the hyrax.

Meaning and Origin of the Word “Coney”

“Coney” comes from the Hebrew word “Shaphan,” which is thought to mean Coney. The source and meaning of the word is unknown, but it has been used for a long time. Its Hebrew root seems to be in ancient Semitic languages.

The Coney, also called the Hyrax, is a small mammal that belongs to its own order, Hyracoidea. It is unlike ruminants or pachyderms, although it looks like them. It has special teeth for eating tough vegetation, unlike other small animals living in similar places.

The Coney can be found in Africa and Middle Eastern countries like Israel and Jordan. It likes rocky habitats and living in crevices of rocks. This helps it to stay safe from predators and bad weather.

The origin of “Hyrax” is uncertain, but it may come from Greek. “Coney” is likely from Old French or Middle English. Both describe this animal.

Hebrew Word “Shaphan” and its Universal Interpretation

The Hebrew word “Shaphan” has a universal interpretation. This word refers to the small, rock-dwelling mammal known as the coney. It helps us understand the importance of this creature.

We can see different aspects of the coney’s characteristics and behavior from this Hebrew word. The coney has a short tail and rabbit-like body shape, which makes it special. Also, its ability to live in rocky areas shows its adaptability and survival skills.

Moreover, we learn about the habitat preferences and distribution of the coney from the Hebrew word “Shaphan“. They are found in many regions with rocky terrains such as Africa and Asia. Their choice of living in crevices or cracks in rocks shows their ability to use natural resources for protection.


In conclusion, the sub-sections will provide a summary of the description and characteristics of the coney, as well as explore its cultural significance in the Bible.

Summary of the Coney’s Description and Characteristics

The Coney, also known as the Hyrax, is a small herbivore. It has a stocky body, short limbs, and fur ranging from gray to reddish-brown. In Hebrew, it is called “Shaphan“. This creature belongs to the order Hyracoidea and has similarities with ruminants and pachyderms. Its teeth are meant for consuming vegetation and grasses.

The Coney lives in rocky areas like Africa, the Middle East, and some parts of Europe. The word “Hyrax” comes from Greek, while “Coney” originated from Middle English due to its resemblance to rabbits and hares.

In short, the Coney is a small mammal with a stocky body, short limbs, and fur in gray or reddish-brown. It belongs to the order Hyracoidea and shares similarities with ruminants and pachyderms. Its teeth are adapted for eating vegetation and grasses, and it can be found in rocky areas of Africa, the Middle East, and some parts of Europe. The words “Hyrax” and “Coney” refer to its similarity to rabbits and hares.

Cultural Significance of the Coney in the Bible

The Coney, also known as the hyrax, has great importance in the Bible. This animal is mentioned multiple times – symbolizing wisdom, hard work, and community. Its portrayal in the Bible reflects its distinct features and behaviors that have lessons for readers.

In the Bible, the Coney is known for finding safety in rocky areas. This was seen as a metaphor for finding security in God’s protection. It showed how important it is to rely on a higher power during tough times.

Also, the Coney was seen as an example of diligence and effort. This was due to its habit of building living spaces among rocks. This taught the value of working together in a community or family.

The Hebrew word “Shaphan” (translated as “Coney” in English) carries symbolic meaning too. Its root word means hidden treasures or secret places. This suggests that the presence of the Coney may indicate spiritual truths waiting to be discovered.

Though some aspects of the Coney’s cultural significance have been discussed, its representation as a symbol of wisdom hasn’t been addressed. This can be seen from its cautious behavior and ability to navigate treacherous rocky terrains.

Note: interpretations vary depending on individual beliefs.

FAQs about What Is A Coney In The Bible

What is a coney in the Bible and where is it mentioned?

The coney, also known as the rabbit, is mentioned in various passages in the Bible such as Psalm 104:18, Proverbs 30:26, Leviticus 11:5, and Deuteronomy 14:7. It is described as a feeble and wise animal that makes its home in the rocks.

What is the physical appearance of a coney in the Bible?

The coney is brownish in color, similar to a rabbit. It has a clumsy structure and lacks a tail. The coney has long bristly hairs scattered through its fur and its feet are naked below with flat and rounded nails.

Where does the coney reside and what are its habits?

The coney cannot dig burrows like rabbits, so it resides in the clefts of rocks, particularly in mountain gorges and rocky districts. It is a timid and gregarious animal that feeds on vegetables and seeds. The coney is gentle and shrinks from the shadow of a passing bird.

What is the scientific classification of a coney?

The coney belongs to the small genus Hyrax, specifically the Syrian species. It is not a ruminant or a rodent but is considered to be related to pachyderms like the rhinoceros. The coney has laminated teeth specially adapted for stripping off grass and tritica seeds.

Why was the consumption of coney forbidden to certain religious groups?

In the Bible, both Hebrews and certain religious groups like Muslims and Christians in the East abstained from consuming the flesh of the coney. The exact reason for this prohibition is not specified in the text.

What are some alternative names for the coney in different regions?

The coney is also known as the Syrian hyrax, Procavia (or Hyrax) Syriaca, wabar in southern Palestine and Sinai, Tabsun in northern Palestine and Syria, and shufun in southern Arabia. It is found in Syria, Palestine, and Arabia, while other species of hyrax live in Africa.

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