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In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for fox is (pronounced) shoo-awl; it means burrower, from the fox trait of living in dug-out burrows. In the New Testament, the Greek word for fox is (pronounced) al-oh-pakes and means cunning. The so-called Syrian fox is the only fox native to the land of Israel.


Fox Samson used foxes to take revenge on his former Philistine in-laws:

"But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in. And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her. And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure."

"And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing Corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives."

"Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire." (Judges 15:1-6 KJV)

Solomon made mention of how foxes were damaging to vineyards, consuming ripe grapes:

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." (Song Of Solomon 2:15 KJV)

After Jerusalem's fall to the Babylonians (see Why Babylon?), Jeremiah made mention of the same foxes who moved in amidst the ruins:

"Because of the mountain of Zion [see also Who, What or Where Is Zion?], which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it." (Lamentations 5:18 KJV)

The Lord, through Ezekiel The Prophet, a true prophet of God, referred to the false prophets of Israel as being "like the foxes in the deserts":

"And the word of The Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of The Lord; Thus saith The Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of The Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and The Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word." (Ezekiel 13:1-6 KJV)

While traveling, Jesus Christ made His famous, and often-misunderstood, statement "foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head."

"Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. And Jesus saith unto Him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." (Matthew 8:18-20 KJV)

By considering Matthew 8:18-20 alone, many have assumed that Jesus Christ was a homeless wanderer, but other verses explain further, "He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house" (Mark 2:1 KJV). What "house"? The RSV is more literal in the translation of the original word of the Scriptures: "when He returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home." While some regard that Mark 2:1 is referring to Peter's house, even if it was, that is irrelevant. He did have a home, as plainly stated. He was not homeless.

Fact Finder: Did Jesus Christ refer to Herod Antipas as a "fox"?
Luke 13:31-32
The Herods were no friends of the Messiah. Herod The Great attempted to have the Christ killed at the time of His birth (Matthew 2:13-16), while his son, Herod Antipas (see The Herods) took part in His Crucifixion (Luke 23:6-12).

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