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Tachash [1] is traditionally held to be an animal, referred to in the Bible (Exodus 25, 26, 35, 36 and 39; Numbers 4, and Ezekiel 16:10), the skin of which was used in the Tabernacle as the outer covering of the tent of the Tabernacle and to wrap sacred objects used within the Tabernacle for transport.

What animal the word 'tachash' refers to is a matter of some debate. According to the Babylonian Talmud and Rashi's commentary, the tachash was a kosher, multi-colored, one horned desert animal which came into existence to be used to build the Tabernacle and ceased to exist afterward. The King James Version of the Bible translates the word tachash as badger (Lat. Meles taxus). Another hypothesis is that the Hebrew term "orot t'chashim" refers to very fine dyed sheep or goat leather, hence the Jerusalem Bible translates the term as "fine leather". A currently popular hypothesis is that the term "tachash" means dugong[2]. This translation is based upon the similarity between tachash and the Arabic word tukhas, which means dugong. In accordance with this hypothesis several translations, such as the Jewish Publication Society translation, render tachash as dolphin or sea cow. Others believe the tachash was related to the keresh,[3] a creature most often identified with the giraffe, with a similar description mentioned in the Gemara.[4] It is not explicitly stated if the tachash was a mammal or not.

In LiteratureEdit

The poet Robert Graves says in The White Goddess the covering skin of the Ark was "dolphin hide", but in I, Claudius, has the narrator describe it as badger skin.

Unclean animals excludedEdit

In light of Leviticus (11:4-8; 11:10-12; 11:27-28; 20:25-26 -- most translations) the Tahash as "badger"[5] is excluded because the badger does not "chew the cud and divide the hoof" ("of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you"..."all that go on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you"); the dugong, sea cow, seal,[6] dolphin and porpoise are excluded because they do not have "fins and scales" ("everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination to you"), nor do they "chew the cud and divide the hoof" (therefore, "of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you"); and the giraffe is probably excluded because its range was primarily Africa. The Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula apply the name tucash or tukhas to the seals and dugongs which are common in the Red Sea, and the skins of which are largely used as leather for tent curtains and coverings and for sandals. But whereas other peoples of the Levant use sea mammals, Jewish people cannot. "I am the LORD your God, who have separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean beast and the unclean; you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine." Hence the badger, dugong, sea cow, seal, dolphin and porpoise according to the Torah are unclean and an abomination to the people of Israel; they are not to be touched.[7] This supports the hypothesis that "orot t'chashim" refers to very fine dyed sheep or goat leather as a parallel with "rams' skins dyed red." The New American Bible footnote to Exodus 25:5 (in part) says of Tahash: "The Greek and Latin versions took it for the color hyacinth" (dermata huakinthina). In this case, we have (Exodus 26:14) "a covering of rams' skins dyed red, and above that a covering of hyacinth skins": a covering of skins dyed red and an outer covering of skins dyed indigo (blue-processed). (see indigo dye)[8] Wilhelm Gesenius (Leipzig, 1905) cites Bondi (Aegyptica, i.ff) who proposes the Egyptian root t-ch-s, making the expression " 'or tachash / 'or tahash" mean "soft-dressed skin."[9] This suits the context in every passage of scripture where the word appears. The apparent similarity in sound between the Arabic word tukhas/tucash and the Hebrew word tachash/tahash/takhas may be misleading, just as the similarity in sound between the Hebrew "tachash" and the Latin "Meles taxus" (badger) may be misleading. (see "false friend") But there is a surprising phonetic similarity between "tachash/takhash" and "addax" which should be considered.[10]

AddaxEdit

The word "addax" is from Native North African speech, as is the Egyptian root "t-ch-s", and denotes a species of antelope which was and is highly prized for its fine leather, horns and meat; and according to tradition the Jews were in Egypt in North Africa for 450 years where they would not have been unaware of this animal and its name. Addax have been domesticated for nearly 4500 years by nomadic and agricultural peoples. Historically, addax skins have been made into tent curtains, covers, fine leather goods, and sandals; addax-skin leather would have been among the normal choice materials that were used to fashion the outer covering of a great desert chieftain's pavilion or dwelling. It is arrow-proof,[11] water-proof, weather-resistant, tough, and very durable. It is also kosher, "clean," in accordance with the prescriptions in the Torah. It can be processed into a very luxuriant soft leather. Indigo-dyed addax leather is strikingly beautiful. (The Tuaregs, for example, are fond of indigo dye. Clothes dyed with indigo signified wealth.) "Soft-dressed" (t-ch-s) addax skins can also be "blue-processed" (t-ch-s) addax skins, and the addax is a large animal; such skins would have made a very suitable, and radiantly beautiful,[12] outer covering for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the Dwelling. A covering of valuable antelope skins would have been understood without the necessity of an explicit mention of them; and in accordance with the dignity of the Dwelling of the LORD, and the prescription of the Torah, they would have been specially prepared (i.e. "t-ch-s") antelope skins. "Over the tent itself you shall make a covering of rams' skins dyed red, and above that, a covering of tahash skins." (Exodus 26:14 NAB) Here, we have most probably an implicit connotative play on words, "tachas addax skins," "addax" being implied;[13] hence the most probable meaning: "soft-dressed indigo-dyed antelope hide"--indigo hides, blue-processed skins; tachash hides, tachash skins. Such skins would have been among the valuable "spoils of Egypt" that the people of Israel carried away with them into the wilderness of Sinai.

DugongEdit

The scholarly opinion which prevailed for most of the 19th and 20th centuries (1820-1980), even if it was not the universal consensus, held that Hebrew t-h-sh / t-kh-sh / t-ch-sh, English tahash, tachash, "most probably" or "correctly" denoted dugong or sea cow or manatee or mediterranean monk seal or dolphin or porpoise. The older 19th century scientific names (taxonomy) for the Dugong took account of this view: E. Rupell[14] designated them Halicore Tabernaculi.[15] This opinion is now declining, as witness the more recent translations of the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh). (see below, 'Other Biblical Translations', and References, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition, 2007: "Tahash".) As knowledge of Afroasiatic languages continues to increase it will most probably be judged by Biblical scholars and linguists in the coming decades of the 21st century to be an anachronism. (see presentism (literary and historical analysis) and fallacy.)

The Arabic tukhas or dukhas or tucash is near to Hebrew takhash or tachash or tahash, and is applied to the dugong and the dolphin, which is also called delfin. Prompted by the similarity to Arabic tukhash, conjectural opinion has favored identification of tachash with the sea cow, a species now extinct. Fossils indicate that Stellar's Sea Cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was formerly abundant and widespread throughout the North Pacific, all along the North Pacific Coast, reaching west and south to Japan and east and south to California. There is no evidence that the now extinct sea cow ever ranged over the Red Sea area. The term sea cow more generally refers to dugongs and manatees, to any of the sirenian sea mammals including the larger seals that appear on the shores of East Africa and around the Sinai peninsula. The Arabic tukhesh means the sea mammal Dugong hemaprichi,[16] which appears at intervals on the shores of the Sinai and is hunted by the Bedouin, who make tent curtains and shoes from its skin.

Another opinion suggests that tahash should be identified with the sea mammal Monodon monoceros,[17] the narwhal,[18] a medium-sized toothed whale (cetacean) that lives year-round in the Arctic. It has a mottled skin and (normally) a single horn, in reality a tooth. Narwhal have been harvested for over a thousand years by Inuit people in Northern Canada and Greenland for meat and ivory. It is found primarily in Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic waters rarely south of 65 degrees North Latitude. The narwhal has been deemed particularly vulnerable to climatic change due to a narrow geographical range and specialized Arctic diet: predominantly composed of benthic prey, mostly flatfish, Greenland halibut, polar and arctic cod, shrimp, Gonadus squid, wolf-fish, capelin, and skate eggs. There is no evidence that narwhal ever appeared in ancient times along the Sinai. The narwhal was one of the many species originally described by C. Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae (1758).

The fact that the Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula apply tukhas/dukhas/tucash to the dugong, sea cow, seal, dolphin and porpoise--to such a varied population of sea mammals--strongly suggests that it denotes, not the kind of animals they are, but some distinguishing characteristic they have in common. With very few exceptions, they have a similar coloring: a dusky grey-blue, grey-indigo, ranging from near-black (a kind of "midnight navy") to deep slate-blue to pale bluish-grey, a dusky skyblue color, any one of which is more pronouncedly blue in tone and beautiful when viewed under a clear sky and in the waters of the sea. The effect of this natural camoflage evokes the description of the color of tekhelet:

The sages say that tekhelet resembles the sea,
which resembles the sky,
which resembles the sapphire stone,
which in turn resembles the color of God's seat of glory.[19]

While Arabic dukhas/tucash/tukhas has been applied over the past several generations to the various sea mammals found along the shores of Egypt and throughout the Red Sea all along and around the coasts of the Sinai peninsula, it does not necessarily follow that in ancient times (prior to A.D. 500, 500 C.E.) the word is identified as denoting only the animals. This may be demonstrated from what is known of its etymology and origin within the Afroasiatic family of languages.

EtymologyEdit

Etymology is the study of the history of words and how their form and meaning have changed over time. For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in those languages, and texts about the languages, to gather knowledge about how words were used at earlier stages, and where and when and how they entered the languages in question. Making use of "dialectological" data, the form or meaning of the word might show variation between dialects which may yield clues of its earlier history (e.g. tachash and tukhash). (see dialectology.)

The Afroasiatic family of languages (which includes Egyptian, Hebrew, Arabic) appears to be more ancient than Indo-european. The Semitic language family, now called Semitic Languages, which belongs to the larger Afroasiatic family as a subgroup, includes the ancient and modern forms of Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Maltese, Phoenician, Tigre and Tigrinya among others. It should be noted that Berber, Egyptian (including Coptic), Hausa, Somali, and many other related languages within the wider area of North Africa and the Middle East do not belong to the Semitic group, but to the larger Afroasiatic language family of which the Semitic languages are also a subgroup. (see Language change.)

The Afroasiatic primary root t' is common to the ancient forms of Egyptian and Hebrew and Arabic: t', ta', t'h, t'kh, t'ch: ta-ah, taw-aw': mark, mark out, mark off, (to especially) designate, point out, set off, set out, point out, circumscribe, display, flaunt, distinguish, identify, special, singular, noticable, vivid, admirable, honor, praise.

The Afroasiatic primary root 's is common to the ancient forms of Egyptian and Hebrew and Arabic: 's, 'sh: -'as, -'ash, -'es, -'esh, -'iss, -'ish; 'hesh, 'khesh, 'hish, 'chish, 'khish: ready, eager, prepare, (make) preparation, process; quick(ly), instant(ly), immediate(ly); swift (one), fleet (of foot), heroic, strong, powerful, fiery, flaming, entity, being, creature, man.[20]

Written records of the Egyptian language have been dated from about 3400 BC. In early Egyptian, tj-h-s / t-h-s / t-kh-s means well-tanned leather, richly tanned, soft-processed, deeply-tanned, luxuriantly prepared skin(s). The stage of tanning called "crusting" includes dying with color. Crusting is when the hide/skin is thinned, retanned and lubricated. Often, a coloring operation is included in the crusting process. The chemicals added during crusting have to be fixed in place. The culmination of the crusting sub-process is the drying and softening operations. (see leather.)

The Semitic primary root kh'sh', h's', ch's', H'sh'(k) is common to Hebrew and Arabic: khes', ches', Hes', khash', chash', Hash', khos', chos', Hos', khsh'kh, chsh'ch, Hsh'h: hurry, haste, ready, eager, swift, reserve, set apart (as exclusive, excluding), be reserved (elegant, dignify), withhold, hold back, withdraw, restrain, forbear, darken, be dark, be black, night, shadow(-colored), shade(-colored), dim, hide (be hidden away), obscure.[21]

The Hebrew Torah from the time of Moses to the time of Ezra (c. 459 BCE) says that the outer covering of the Mishkan is to be 'orot 't'chashim.

The Arabs of the Sinai apply the description t'kh'sh, t'h's, tukhesh, tukhas to the dugong and other sea mammals the Jews regard as unclean.

According to the Talmud and the Letter of Aristeas seventy-two interpreters (The Seventy) c. 281-246 BCE are chosen to translate the Torah (the Pentateuch) from Hebrew into Greek. Each one of them works alone. When all seventy-two translations are compared they are found to be identical. This is taken as a sign of divine guidance and a mark of authoritative accuracy. This is the Septuagint (LXX). The Septuagint translates 'orot t'chashim as hyacinth skins. The Seventy understood tachash as the color hyacinth: the same as indigo, or sapphire, or a deep, clear sky blue (after sunset, evening).

Onkelos (c. 35-120 CE.), a famous convert to Judaism, is credited with undertaking the translation of the Tanakh into Aramaic c. 110 CE. This is the authoritative Targum Onkelos, frequently referred to as the Targum. The Targum renders tachash as ssgwn, sas-gona, sas-gavna: understood by the tanaim as a reference to color.

The Tanna Judah haNasi (170-220 CE.) compiles the Mishnah c. 200 CE. He renders his opinion that tachash skins are skins dyed altinon (Greek, aledinon), seemingly purple (Eccles. R. 1:9)[22]

The Vulgate is an early 5th century Latin version of the Bible. It was mainly the result of the work of Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in AD 382 to make a revision of the Old Latin (Vetus Latina) translations. The Vulgate translation of tachash is vis, violet.

During the period of the development of the Palestinian Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud (200-500 CE.), various sages set forth their opinions. Because the word is associated in the text with the word for skins, tahash skins were understood by many to be animal skins; the exact kind of animal was unknown, its identity admittedly only conjecture. IF--and only if-- the Targum was rendering a singular form of the word "color" in the superlative degree ("color of colors") to indicate the great dignity that should be associated with it, some interpreters were misled into thinking it meant multiple colors, so that they conjectured that the skins came from a multiple-colored animal. Both clean, kasher, and unclean, treif, animals are proposed and discussed.

Rashi (1040-1105), in his commentary on Exodus 25:5 (Shabbat 28a,b) "tachash skins", says that tachash was a species of animal that existed only for a (short) time, beautiful, with many hues; and that is why Onkelos (Targum) renders it (Aramaic) ssgwn, because it rejoices ("ss") and boasts of its hues ("gwn").

In 1604 the English translation known today as the Authorized Version (AV) or the King James Version (KJV) was commissioned. The translators saw a similarity between the Latin taxus (Meles taxus, a badger) and the Hebrew tachash, and accordingly translated the Masoretic Text of the word as "badger"--"badger's skins." (see King James Only movement.)

The Jews apply the word tukhas to derrieres, i.e. buttocks. (see Yiddish language.)

Easton's Bible Dictionary (1823-1894) "Badger" says, "Our translators seem to have been misled by the similarity in sound of the Hebrew tachash and the Latin taxus, 'a badger'. The revisers have correctly substituted 'seal skins.' The Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula apply the name tucash to the seals and dugongs which are common in the Red Sea, and the skins of which are largely used as leather and for sandals."

Many scholars, from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, continue to see a linguistic closeness between the words tachash and tukhas in both sound and meaning, and accordingly render their expert opinion that the outer covering of the Tabernacle of the LORD was made of well-tanned tukhas hides.

Wilhelm Gesenius (Boston, 1850) under the word "tachash" states that the Arabs of Sinai wear sandals of dugong skin. Later (Leipzig, 1905) he cites Bondi (Aegyptica, i.ff) who adduces the Egyptian root t-ch-s and makes the expression 'or tachash mean "soft-dressed skin."

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (1890) under "BADGERS' " gives fourteen biblical references of the word, each associated with only one lexical number reference (popularly called Strong's number) directing the reader to the Hebrew Lexicon in that work, entry 8476, which gives the Hebrew characters (Tav-CHeyth-SHiyn), the English word tachash, its phonetic pronunciation takh'-ash, and tells the reader that the word is probably of foreign derivation, and that it denotes "a (clean) animal with fur, probably a species of antelope."

S. M. Perlman (Zoologist, set 4, XII, 256, 1908) suggests that the okapi, a species of antelope, is the animal indicated by tachash. The okapi is most closely related to the giraffe.

Importance of textual and cultural and religious contextEdit

Given the prohibitions in the Torah (Pentateuch) forbidding the Israelites to touch anything they are to regard as unclean, abhorrent, abominations, this raises the question of why scholars and translators and interpreters familiar with the Biblical text, and familiar with the importance of textual and cultural context, should propose the skin of an unclean, non-kosher "abhorrent" (KJV) animal "abomination" (RSV) as the outer covering of the Tabernacle, rather than the skin of a clean, kosher animal, such as the goat or antelope instead. A great number of commentaries and scholarly articles over the centuries, beginning with the Talmud, have been written discussing this very question.

It seems today that because of an increase in knowledge of the languages, and because the ancients were closer to the time of the ancient usages of the text, the opinions of the ancient witnesses prior to AD 500 have influenced recent translators to either render the Hebrew word t'kh'sh as English tahash, as an acknowledgement of its obscure meaning to us today, or to render it as the ancient translators variously suggested: fine leather, and blue-processed skins.

See alsoEdit

Other Biblical Translations Edit

The Navigating the Bible II World ORT translation (2000) translates tachash as blue-processed (blue-processed skins).

The New American Bible (NAB) (1991-2005) renders tachash as tahash.

The God's Word Translation (GW) (1995) translates tachash as fine leather.

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) (1989-2005) translates tachash as fine leather.

The Revised English Bible (REB) (1989) translates tachash as dugong (dugong-hides).

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) (1985) translates tachash as fine leather.

The New Jewish Publication Society translation (JPS Tanakh) (1985) translates tachash as dolphin, or sea cow.

The New International Version (NIV) (1978) translates tachash as sea cow (sea cow hides).

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) (1971-1995) translates tachash as porpoise (porpoise skins).

The New World Translation (NWT) (1961) translates tachash as seal (sealskins).

The Revised Standard Version (RSV) (1952-2000) translates tachash as goat (goatskins).

The Bible in Basic English (BBE) (1949-1965) translates tachash as leather.

The World English Bible (WEB) (1997-2000 version of 1901 ASV) translates tachash as sea cow (sea cow hides).

The American Standard Version (ASV) (1901) translates tachash as seal (sealskins).

Young's Literal Translation (1862-1898) translates tachash as badger (badgers' skins).

The American King James Version (AKJV) (1999 version of 1611 KJV) translates tachash as badger (badger's skins).

The Douay-Rheims Bible (Douai, D-R, DV) (1610-1750) translates tachash as violet (violet skins).

The Latin Vulgate (L.V.) (405) translates tachash as vis, violet (violet skins).

The Mishnah (Mish.): Tanna Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (170-220) translates tachash as altinon (Greek, aledinon), purple (skins dyed purple).

The Targum Onkelos (Tar. Onq.) (110) translates tachash as ssgwn (sas-gona, sas-gavna), i.e. joy (of all) colors, glowing (of) colors, radiant(-like worm-)colors, (most) blessed (of) colors, richest (of) colors, royal color (?)---(glory-colored skins?).

The Septuagint (LXX) (3rd to 1st century B.C.E.) translates tachash as huakinthina, hyacinth (indigo-blue) (hyacinth skins).

ReferencesEdit

  1. Tachash (or Tahash): spelled (Hebrew letters) "Tav"-"Heth"-"Shiyn" (approximate articulation "tawv"-"khayth"-"sheen") "T-H-S" or "T-CH-SH": pronounced takhash, takh'-ash, (or "tak'-Hash") with hard "ch" as in "CHanukkah/Hanukkah," German ch = Greek X (nearly "kh") as in "XP" ("chi-rho", i.e. "khee-hro"), or the Scottish word "loch," not the soft "ch" as in "church"; the editors of the New American Bible (NAB) have rendered the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet ("CHeyth--KHayth--Heth") as "h": hence, Tahash.
  2. Dr. Rivkah Blutstein
  3. Talmud: Shabbat 28b see tachash: Kolel's Parasha Study (which says)"...'Keresh,' a large rainbow colored unicorn. ...Contemporary scholarship may be correct that tachash refers to tanned skins and not an animal at all, but it seems much more fun to imagine that the tachash could be a giraffe, a narwhal, or a mythical unicorn." Talmud: Shabbat 28b see REVIEW QUESTIONS--SHABBOS 28: 28b--28b: 7) (a)(b)(c)(d) and see REVIEW ANSWERS--SHABBOS 28: 28b--28b: 7) (a)(b)(c)(d): (which says) "There is also an animal called 'Keresh', a species of Kasher *Chayah* that has only one horn. Consequently, it cannot be taken for granted that the Tachash was a Beheimah (like Adam's bull), when it could equally have been a Chayah (like the Keresh)." (Kasher means kosher. see kashrut. see CHAYAH--Hebrew Lexicon)
  4. Identification of Biblical animals
  5. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Hebrew Lexicon "badger" 8476 tachash (antelope?) see addax. In ancient times, addax spread from North Africa through Arabia and the Levant. Pictures from Egyptian tombs show them being kept as domesticated animals in around 2500 BC. They are amply suited to live in the deep desert under extreme conditions.
  6. see pinniped
  7. see Leather: Contents: 9. "Religious sensitivities to leather". see kashrut
  8. It is worth noting that indigo dye obtained from plants (i.e. indigofera tinctoria) is "unclean," "treif," "non-kasher," according to the Talmud, while the purple and indigo purple dye obtained from the murex snail (which does not have fins and scales and is a carnivore) is "clean," "kasher," according to the Talmud. see tzitzit: "Karaite tzitzit." see tekhelet: "Talmudic source" and "Lost knowledge"
  9. Alfred Ely-Day, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) "Badger" (end of entry).
  10. see Google Translate: first, "takhash": Translate from Hebrew, Translate into English: click the audio icon: next, "addax": Translate from Hebrew, Translate into English: click the audio icon: second, "takhash": Translate from Arabic, Translate into English: click the audio icon: next, "addax": Translate from Arabic, Translate into English: click the audio icon.
  11. see adarga
  12. The Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbat 28a "Sas-gavna" The word "Sas" comes from the Hebrew and means joy, "gavna" means colors. Parshat Vayakhel[1] "...Gavna, which is Aramaic for 'shades' (as in shades of color)..." (see Photo Feature: Hilltop Restaurant Bridges Shades of Old and New) "...gavna (from the Aramaic word for varieties)..." (see Gush Etzion) "Sas" can mean "joy," "joy-causing," "rejoicing," "vivid," "vibrant," "radiant," "beautiful," "exquisite(ly)"--"Gavna" can mean "colors," "varieties," "shades," "multiple-dyed (double-dyed, triple-dyed, dyed seven times over)," "rich color," "luxuriant color," "greatly dignified color," "awe-inspiring color." (see translation: "dynamic and formal equivalence") It does not necessarily mean rainbow colors. It can mean instead various shades or tones of one kind of color (in this case, various shades or tones of indigo blue--see indigo: see violet (color).) The Onkelos Targum "sas-gavna" ("joy-colors") can be translated: "radiantly colored" (skins, leather)--"richly colored" (skins, leather).
  13. "implied": just as today we say "patent leather" and understand it to mean "patent-processed fine-grain cow-hide leather," "processed fine-grain cow-hide" being implied. No one asks, "What mysterious kind of animal is the patent?: its leather has been used for shoes, but today there is no known animal called the patent; we may therefore safely conclude that the patent may now be extinct, or that it simply ceased to exist." Again, we know what "glove leather" means, just as Moses and the descendants of Israel understood what "tachash skin" means. Translators and commentators centuries after Moses may perhaps be excused for taking what had become (for them) an obscure term as the name of an animal--especially when it is associated in the text with the word for leather skin. But this then raises a more penetrating question: "Why do some translators propose as a translation of the word 'tachash' the hide or skin of an unclean animal or unclean 'abomination' as the covering of the most holy Tabernacle of the LORD?" It is an absolute contradiction. Whoever touched it would become unclean and abominable. "...if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether the uncleanness of man or an unclean beast or an unclean abomination, and then eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the LORD's peace offerings, that person shall be cut off from his people." (Leviticus 7:21) "...their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:8) "...their carcasses you shall have in abomination. Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:12) "...all that go on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:27-28) "...you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst." (Leviticus 15:31) "...you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean." (Leviticus 20:25) "...If any one of all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy things, which the people of Israel dedicate to the LORD, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD." (Leviticus 22:3) "...appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings, and over all that belongs to it; they are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall tend it, and shall encamp around the tabernacle. When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if anyone else comes near, he shall be put to death. ...the Levites shall encamp around the tabernacle of the testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the people of Israel; and the Levites shall keep charge of the tabernacle of the testimony."(Numbers 1:50-51 and 53) "Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, and everyone having a discharge, and every one that is unclean through contact with the dead; you shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell." (Numbers 5:2-3) "Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to save you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, that he may not see anything indecent among you, and turn away from you." (Deuteronomy 23:14) (text references RSV)
  14. Rupell & Leuckart, 1828, 1831
  15. see Mermaid Myths: Rothauer's Dugong Page (english) www.hans-rothauscher.de/dugong/mermaidframe.htm
  16. Encyclopaedia Judaica: Tahash
  17. ibid. Encyclopaedia Judaica: Tahash
  18. ibid. tachash: Kolel's Parasha Study
  19. The Mishnah: Kodashim: Menahot 43b. see also Exodus 24:9-11 and Ezekiel 1:26 (RSV)
  20. see Strong's Concordance Hebrew Dictionary numbers 8372, 8376, and 784, 785, 786, 787 and 376.
  21. see Strong's Concordance Hebrew Dictionary numbers 2363 and 2820, 2821, 2822, 2823, 2824.
  22. ibid. Encyclopaedia Judaica: "Tahash".
no:Tachash

Strong's Concordance (1890)

Multi-Version Bible Concordance "badger"

Easton's Bible Dictionary (1823-1894)

Easton's Bible Dictionary "badger"

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia "badger"

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1914)

The Catholic Encyclopedia "Tabernacle"

Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition, Volume 19: SOM-TN, c. 2007, Keter Publishing House, Ltd., page 435: "Tahash."

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