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Topical Bible Verses
Genesis 27:3-33
Now therefore take, I pray you, your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Leviticus 17:13
And whatever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunts and catches any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

Lamentations 3:52
My enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

Jeremiah 16:16
Behold, I will send for many fishers, said the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

Psalm 141:9
Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

Psalm 140:5
The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

Psalm 141:10
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I with escape.

Amos 3:5
Can a bird fall in a snare on the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

Ecclesiastes 9:12
For man also knows not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.

1 Samuel 26:20
Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one does hunt a partridge in the mountains.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Hunting, as a matter of necessity, whether for the exterminatiOn of dangerous beasts or for procuring sustenance betokens a rude and semi-civilized state; as an amusement, it betokens an advanced state. The Hebrews as a pastoral and agricultural people, were not given to the sports of the field; the density of the population, the earnestness of their character, and the tendency of their ritual regulations, particularly those affecting food, all combined to discourage the practice of hunting. The smaller of catching animals was, first, either by digging a pitfall; or, secondly, by a trap which was set under ground, (Job 18:10) in the run of the animal, (Proverbs 22:5) and caught it by the leg, (Job 18:9) or lastly by the use of the net, of which there were various kinds, as or the gazelle, (Isaiah 51:20) Authorized Version, "wild bull," and other animals of that class.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Mentioned first in Genesis 10:9 in connection with Nimrod. Esau was "a cunning hunter" (Genesis 25:27). Hunting was practised by the Hebrews after their settlement in the "Land of Promise" (Leviticus 17:15; Proverbs 12:27). The lion and other ravenous beasts were found in Palestine (1 Samuel 17:34; 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Kings 13:24; Ezek. 19:3-8), and it must have been necessary to hunt and destroy them. Various snares and gins were used in hunting (Psalm 91:3; Amos 3:5; 2 Samuel 23:20).

War is referred to under the idea of hunting (Jeremiah 16:16; Ezek. 32:30).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (p. pr. & vb. n.) of Hunt.

2. (n.) The pursuit of game or of wild animals.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

hunt'-ing (tsayidh): The hunting of wild animals for sport, or for the defense of men and flocks, or for food, was common in Western Asia and Egypt, especially in early times. Some of the Egyptian and Assyrian kings were great hunters in the first sense, for example Amenhotep III (1411-1375 B.C. "a lion-hunting and bull-baiting Pharaoh," who boasted of having slain 76 bulls in the course of one expedition, and of having killed at one time or other 102 lions; and the Assyrian conqueror, Tiglath-pileser I (circa 1100 B.C.), who claimed 4 wild bulls, 14 elephants and 920 lions as the trophies of his skill and courage.

1. Nimrod and His Like:

The Biblical prototype of these heroes of war and the chase is Nimrod, "a mighty hunter before Yahweh" (Genesis 10:9), that is perhaps "a hunter who had no equal," a figure not yet clearly identifiable with any historical or mythical character in the Assyro-Bab monuments, but possibly the Gilgamesh of the great epic, who may be the hero represented on seals and reliefs as victorious over the lion (Skinner, "Genesis," ICC, 208). We are reminded also of Samson's exploit at Timnah (Judges 14:5 f), but this, like David's encounter with the lion and the bear (1 Samuel 17:34 f) and Benaiah's struggle with a lion in a pit on a snowy day (2 Samuel 23:20), was an occasional incident and scarcely comes under the category of hunting. There is no evidence that hunting for sport was ever practiced by the kings of Judah and Israel. Not until the time of Herod the Great, who had a hunting establishment and was a great hunter of boars, stags, and wild asses (Josephus, BJ, I, xxi, 13), mastering as many as 40 beasts in one day, do we find a ruler of Palestine indulging in this pastime.

2. Hunting in the Old Testament:

Hunting, however, for the two other purposes mentioned above was probably as frequent among the Israelites, even after they had ceased to be nomads, as among their neighbors. We know indeed of only two personal examples, both in the patriarchal period and both outside the direct line of Israelite descent: Esau (Genesis 25:27) and Ishmael (Genesis 21:20); but there are several references and many figurative allusions to the pursuit and its methods and instruments. Hunting (inclusive of following) is mentioned in the Pentateuch in the regulation about pouring out the blood and covering it with dust (Leviticus 17:13); and there is a general reference in the proverb (Proverbs 12:27): "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting." The hunting of the lion is assumed in Ezekiel's allegory of the lioness and her two whelps (Ezekiel 19:1-9; compare Job 10:16); of the antelope or oryx (Deuteronomy 14:5 Isaiah 51:20); of the roe (Proverbs 6:5); of the partridge in the mountains (1 Samuel 26:20), and of birds in general in many passages. Hunting is probably implied in the statement about the provision of harts, gazelles and roebucks for Solomon's kitchen (1 Kings 4:23), and to some extent in the reference to the den of lions in Babylon (Daniel 6:7).

3. Methods of Hunters:

The weapons most frequently employed by hunters seem to have been bows and arrows. Isaac (Genesis 27:3) commands Esau to take his bow and quiver and procure him venison or game (compare also Isaiah 7:24 Job 41:28). This method is amply illustrated by the monuments. Ashur-nazir-pal lII (885-860 B.C.) and Darius (circa 500 B.C.), for example, are depicted shooting at lions from the chariot. Use was also made of the sword, the spear, the dart or javelin, the sling and the club (Job 41:26, 28 f, where the application of these weapons to hunting is implied). The larger animals were sometimes caught in a pit. The classical reference is in Ezekiel's allegory, "He was taken in their pit" (shachath, Ezekiel 19:4, 8; compare also Isaiah 24:17; Jeremiah 48:43; Psalm 35:7, etc.). The details of this mode of capture as practiced at the present day, and probably in ancient times, are described by Tristram in his Natural History of the Bible (118). A more elaborate method is described by Maspero in Lectures historiques (285). To make the pit-capture more effective, nets were also employed: "They spread their net over him" (Ezekiel 19:8; compare Psalm 35:7). When caught, the lion was sometimes placed in a large wooden cage (Ezekiel 19:9, cughar, the Assyrian shigaru; for the word and the thing compare SBOT, "Ezk," English, 132; Heb, 71). The lion (or any other large animal) was led about by a ring or hook (chach) inserted in the jaws or nose (2 Kings 19:28 equals Isaiah 37:29 Ezekiel 19:4, 9; Ezekiel 29:4; Ezekiel 38:4). From wild animals the brutal Assyrians transferred the custom to their human captives, as the Israelites were well aware (2 Chronicles 33:11 the Revised Version margin, Hebrew choach; for monumental illustrations compare SBOT, "Ezk," English, 132). Nets were also used for other animals such as the oryx or antelope (Isaiah 51:20). The Egyptian and Assyrian monuments show that dogs were employed in hunting in the ancient East, and it is not improbable that they were put to this service by the Hebrews also, but there is no clear Biblical evidence, as "greyhound" in Proverbs 30:31 is a questionable rendering. Josephus indeed (Ant., IV, viii, 9) mentions the hunting dog in a law ascribed to Moses, but the value of the allusion is uncertain.

4. Fowlers and Their Snares:

The hunting of birds or fowling is so often referred or alluded to that it must have been very widely practiced (compare Psalm 91:3; Psalm 124:7 Proverbs 1:17; Proverbs 6:5 Ecclesiastes 9:12 Amos 3:5, etc.). The only bird specifically mentioned is the partridge, said to be hunted on the mountains (1 Samuel 26:20). The method of hunting is supposed by Tristram (N H B, 225) to be that still prevalent-continual pursuit until the creature is struck down by sticks thrown along the ground-but the interpretation is uncertain. Birds were generally caught by snares or traps. Two passages are peculiarly instructive on this point: Job 18:8-10, where six words are used for such contrivances, represented respectively by "net," "toils," "gin," "snare," "noose," "trap "; and Amos 3:5, which is important enough to be cited in full: "Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is set for him? shall a snare spring up from the ground, and have taken nothing at all?" The word for "snare" in this passage (pach) probably describes a net laid on the ground, perhaps a circular net like the Egyptian bird-trap represented in the Cambridge Bible, "Amos," 157. The word for "gin," usually ira in the Revised Version (British and American) "snare" (moqesh, literally, "fowling instrument") is supposed to refer either to the bait (ibid., 158) or to the catch connected with it which causes the net to collapse (Siegfried). For a full account of Egyptian modes of following which probably illustrate ancient Palestinian methods, compare Wilkinson, Popular Account, II, 178-83. The two words (moqesh and pach) mentioned above are used figuratively in many Old Testament passages, the former repeatedly of the deadly influence of Canaanitish idolatry on Israel, as in Exodus 23:33, "For if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee" (compare Exodus 34:12 Deuteronomy 7:16 Joshua 23:13). The use of the hawk in fowling, which is attested for Northern Syria by a bas-relief found in 1908 at Sakje-Geuzi, is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but there may perhaps be an allusion in Apocrypha (Baruch 3:17, "they that had their pastime with the fowls of the air"). A reference to the use of decoys has been found in Jeremiah 5:27, "a cage. full of birds," but that is a doubtful interpretation, and in the Greek of Sirach 11:30, "As a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the heart of a proud man," but the Hebrew text of the latter is less explicit.


5. Allusions in the New Testament:

The New Testament has a few figurative allusions to hunting. The words for "catch" in Mark 12:13 and Luke 11:54 (agreuo and thereuo) mean literally, "hunt." The verb "ensnare" (pagideuo) occurs in the Gospels (Matthew 22:15), and the noun "snare" (pagis) is met with in 5 passages (Luke 21:34 Romans 11:9 1 Timothy 3:7; 1 Timothy 6:9 2 Timothy 2:26). Another word for "snare" (brochos), which means literally, "noose" (Revised Version margin), is used in 1 Corinthians 7:35. The words for "things that cause stumbling" and "stumble" (skandalon and skandalizo) may possibly conceal in some passages an allusion to a hunter's trap or snare. Skandalon is closely allied to skandalethron, "the stick in a trap on which the bait is placed," and is used in Septuagint for moqesh. The abundant use of imagery taken from hunting in the Bible is remarkable, in view of the comparative rarity of literal references.


In addition to the works cited in the course of the article, the article "Hunting" in DB2, HDB large and small, EB, Jewish Encyclopedia;and "Jagd" in German Bible Diets. of Guthe, Riehm2, and Wiener, and in RE3.

William Taylor Smith

2339. thera -- a hunting, prey
... a hunting, prey. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: thera Phonetic
Spelling: (thay'-rah) Short Definition: hunting, entrapping Definition: hunting ...
// - 6k

61. agra -- hunting, a catch
... hunting, a catch. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: agra Phonetic
Spelling: (ag'-rah) Short Definition: catching, a catch Definition: catching, a ...
// - 6k

64. agreuo -- to catch, take by hunting
... to catch, take by hunting. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: agreuo Phonetic
Spelling: (ag-rew'-o) Short Definition: I catch, capture Definition: I catch ...
// - 6k

1350. diktuon -- a net
... 6; Jn 21:6,8,11). [1350 () was also used for hunting nets, especially to
catch birds.]. Word Origin from dikein (to cast) Definition ...
// - 6k

4084. piazo -- to lay hold of, to take
... Probably another form of biazo; to squeeze, ie Seize (gently by the hand (press),
or officially (arrest), or in hunting (capture)) -- apprehend, catch, lay ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
6718. tsayid -- hunting, game
... 6717, 6718. tsayid. 6718a . hunting, game. Transliteration: tsayid Phonetic
Spelling: (tsah'-yid) Short Definition: catch. catch ...
/hebrew/6718.htm - 5k

6718a. tsayid -- hunting, game
... 6718, 6718a. tsayid. 6718b . hunting, game. Transliteration: tsayid Short
Definition: game. Word Origin from tsud Definition hunting ...
/hebrew/6718a.htm - 5k

4685b. matsod -- a hunting implement, net
... 4685a, 4685b. matsod. 4685c . a hunting implement, net. Transliteration:
matsod Short Definition: booty. Word Origin from tsud Definition ...
/hebrew/4685b.htm - 5k

4685c. metsodah -- a net
... a net. Transliteration: metsodah Short Definition: nets. Word Origin from tsud
Definition a net NASB Word Usage hunting nets (1), net (1). 4685b, 4685c. ...
/hebrew/4685c.htm - 5k

7639. sebakah -- latticework, network
... Feminine of sabak; a net-work, ie (in hunting) a snare, (in architecture) a ballustrade;
also a reticulated ornament to a pillar -- checker, lattice, network ...
/hebrew/7639.htm - 6k


My Hunting Song
... MY HUNTING SONG. Forward! Hark forward's the cry! One more fence and we're out
on the open, So to us at once, if you want to live near us! ...
// and other poems/my hunting song.htm

The Details of Our Bodily Sex, and of the Functions of Our Various ...
... Chapter LXI."The Details of Our Bodily Sex, and of the Functions of Our Various
Members Apology for the Necessity Which Heresy Imposes of Hunting Up All Its ...
/.../tertullian/on the resurrection of the flesh/chapter lxi the details of our.htm

Here Beginneth the Life of Isaac
... Jacob on a time had made a good pottage, and Esau his brother had been an hunting
all day and came home sore an hungred, and found Jacob having good pottage ...
/.../wells/bible stories and religious classics/here beginneth the life of.htm

The Story of Jacob
... The older was named Esau and the younger Jacob. Esau was a man of the woods and
very fond of hunting; and he was rough and covered with hair. ...
/.../marshall/the wonder book of bible stories/the story of jacob.htm

Concerning the Sons of Isaac, Esau and Jacob; of their Nativity ...
... and the disorder of his eyes, his very old age hindered him from his worship of
God [by sacrifice]; he bid him therefore to go out a hunting, and when he had ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 18 concerning the sons.htm

As to Your Charge of Perjury, Since You Refer Me to Your Book; and ...
... Are you not ashamed of hunting up nonsense of this kind and putting me
to the trouble of bringing up similar things against you? ...
/.../32 as to your charge.htm

Cyrus, the Servant Of-The Lord {4}
... keep our scorn for our own weaknesses, our blame for our own sins, certain that
we shall gain more instruction, though not more amusement, by hunting out the ...
/.../kingsley/historical lectures and essays/cyrus the servant of-the lord.htm

The Servant of the Lord.
... keep our scorn for our own weaknesses, our blame for our own sins, certain that
we shall gain more instruction, though not more amusement, by hunting out the ...
/.../kingsley/lectures delivered in america in 1874/lecture iv the servant of.htm

The Absurdity and Impiety of the Heathen Mysteries and Fables ...
... Zeus, the latter to the nefarious wickedness (musos) relating to Dionysus; but if
from Myus of Attica, who Pollodorus says was killed in hunting"no matter, I ...
/.../clement/exhortation to the heathen/chapter ii the absurdity and impiety.htm

The Origin and Growth of Law.
... Kipling's Law of the Jungle, in which he lays down the principles by which the wolf
pack secured united action in its hunting, names the rules that apply ...
/...// making of a nation/study ix the origin and.htm

Chase (14 Occurrences)
... for the purpose of killing or capturing, as of an enemy, or game; an earnest seeking
after any object greatly desired; the act or habit of hunting; a hunt. ...
/c/chase.htm - 12k

Net (91 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary In use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting,
and fowling. ...Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews. ...
/n/net.htm - 36k

Flourishing (11 Occurrences)
... Ezekiel 13:20 Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I 'am' against your pillows,
With which ye are hunting there the souls of the flourishing, And I have ...
/f/flourishing.htm - 9k

Bittern (4 Occurrences)
... It lived around swamps and marshes, hunting mostly at night, and its food was much
the same as that of all members of the heron family, frogs being its staple ...
/b/bittern.htm - 14k

Begun (50 Occurrences)
... Genesis 10:9 he hath begun to be a hero in the land; he hath been a hero in hunting
before Jehovah; therefore it is said, 'As Nimrod the hero 'in' hunting...
/b/begun.htm - 21k

Cold (25 Occurrences)
... 7. (n.) Affecting the sense of smell (as of hunting dogs) but feebly; having lost
its odor; as, a cold scent. 8. (n.) Not sensitive; not acute. ...
/c/cold.htm - 18k

... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) The use of the bow and arrows in battle, hunting,
etc.; the art, practice, or skill of shooting with a bow and arrows. ...
/a/archery.htm - 9k

Hero (7 Occurrences)
... Genesis 10:9 he hath begun to be a hero in the land; he hath been a hero in hunting
before Jehovah; therefore it is said, 'As Nimrod the hero 'in' hunting...
/h/hero.htm - 9k

Esau (89 Occurrences)
... His father warmed toward him rather than toward Jacob, because Esau's hunting
expeditions resulted in meats that appealed to the old man's taste (Genesis 25:28 ...
/e/esau.htm - 41k

Hunting (9 Occurrences)
...Hunting was practised by the Hebrews after their settlement in the "Land of Promise"
(Leviticus 17:15; Proverbs 12:27). ... Standard Bible Encyclopedia. HUNTING. ...
/h/hunting.htm - 22k

What does the Bible say about ghost hunting? |

What does the Bible say about Christians hunting animals for sport? |

Who was Esau in the Bible? |

Hunting: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Hunting (9 Occurrences)

Genesis 10:9
he hath begun to be a hero in the land; he hath been a hero in hunting before Jehovah; therefore it is said, 'As Nimrod the hero 'in' hunting before Jehovah.'

Genesis 25:27
And the boys grew, and Esau became a man skilled in hunting, a man of the field; and Jacob was a homely man, dwelling in tents.

Genesis 25:28
and Isaac loveth Esau, for 'his' hunting 'is' in his mouth; and Rebekah is loving Jacob.

Genesis 27:30
It happened, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

Leviticus 17:13
"'Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust.

1 Samuel 24:11
And, my father, see, yea see the skirt of thine upper robe in my hand; for by cutting off the skirt of thy upper robe, and I have not slain thee, know and see that there is not in my hand evil and transgression, and I have not sinned against thee, and thou art hunting my soul to take it!

Proverbs 12:27
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

Ezekiel 13:20
Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I 'am' against your pillows, With which ye are hunting there the souls of the flourishing, And I have rent them from off your arms, And have sent away the souls that ye are hunting, The souls of the flourishing.

Ezekiel 19:9
They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.
(See NAS)



Hunting by Esau

Hunting by Ishmael

Hunting by Nimrod

Hunting of Lion

Hunting: Authorized in the Mosaic Law

Hunting: Figurative

Hunting: Fowling

Related Terms

Net (91 Occurrences)

Flourishing (11 Occurrences)

Bittern (4 Occurrences)

Begun (50 Occurrences)

Cold (25 Occurrences)


Hero (7 Occurrences)

Esau (89 Occurrences)

Hunting (9 Occurrences)

Hunter (3 Occurrences)

Babel (3 Occurrences)

Hunts (5 Occurrences)

Hunt (19 Occurrences)

Youths (28 Occurrences)

Homely (1 Occurrence)


Kenaz (11 Occurrences)

Rent (76 Occurrences)

Nergal (3 Occurrences)

Javelin (16 Occurrences)

Grudge (11 Occurrences)

Ground (538 Occurrences)

Game (11 Occurrences)

Inhabiting (23 Occurrences)

Israelite (83 Occurrences)

Flea (2 Occurrences)

Foreigners (76 Occurrences)

Tackle (1 Occurrence)

Trap (35 Occurrences)

Roasteth (2 Occurrences)

Riblah (12 Occurrences)

Eagle (27 Occurrences)

Draw (212 Occurrences)

Diana (5 Occurrences)

Drain (11 Occurrences)

Minor (2 Occurrences)

Pan (26 Occurrences)

Beat (85 Occurrences)

Blood (435 Occurrences)

Course (87 Occurrences)

Aliens (53 Occurrences)

Acquainted (21 Occurrences)

A (102073 Occurrences)

Set (6715 Occurrences)

Song (207 Occurrences)

Spear (55 Occurrences)

Shine (62 Occurrences)

Setter (1 Occurrence)

Skilled (44 Occurrences)

Sport (99 Occurrences)

Surround (39 Occurrences)

Scarcely (14 Occurrences)

Scarce (6 Occurrences)

Sheath (11 Occurrences)

Surface (71 Occurrences)

Setting (82 Occurrences)


Hack (1 Occurrence)

Nineveh (23 Occurrences)

Loveth (88 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Point (106 Occurrences)

Ended (146 Occurrences)

Dog (19 Occurrences)

Babylon (270 Occurrences)

Chariot (102 Occurrences)

Calah (2 Occurrences)

Strangers (95 Occurrences)

Fortified (79 Occurrences)

Fort (8 Occurrences)

Fortress (75 Occurrences)

Fortification (5 Occurrences)

Alien (102 Occurrences)

Perceive (53 Occurrences)

Bird (65 Occurrences)

Assyria (124 Occurrences)

Witchcraft (8 Occurrences)

Finished (157 Occurrences)

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