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The English word coney (also spelled cony) is an abbreviation of an older English word, cooney, which was derived from a Latin word, cuniculus, which meant a rabbit. Some English translations of the Holy Bible use "coney" to translate the original Hebrew word of the Scriptures, pronounced, shaw-fawn, which referred to the Syria hyrax, or "rock badger," whose appearance was actually similar to a cross between a rabbit and a woodchuck. They do not however have the digging capabilities of either rabbits or woodchucks; the Hebrew word for the hyrax means the hider, a reference to their tendency to inhabit rock clefts.

"The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks"

Conies were included in an analogy of how The Lord provided His creatures with the natural wisdom that enables them to survive.


"There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces." (Proverbs 30:24:28 KJV)

The Lord provided "rocks for the conies" as a matter of not only the Creator of "nature," but also the Provider for all life (see Providence).

"He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches."

"He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart."

"The trees of The Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies."

"He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God." (Psalm 104:10-21 KJV)

Just as putting in the wrong kind of fuel will kill an engine (e.g. putting diesel fuel or kerosene into a gasoline-powered vehicle's fuel tank), so too there are specific foods that are not to be consumed by humans for "fuel." Conies are included among the "unclean" animals.

"And The Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat."

"Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:1-8 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the natural basis of determining whether animals are "clean" or "unclean" for human consumption?
See Clean and Unclean

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