Hyrax Intelligence: Scientists Discover Biblical Truth

Did the biblical author Agur son of Jakeh know something which researchers have only just discovered? He introduces a list with

Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise

Proverbs 30:24 (NIV)

and one of the four creatures he lists is the hyrax or rock badger, which

are creatures of little power,
yet they make their home in the crags.

Proverbs 30:26 (NIV)

HyraxesAs I wrote before, this small furry mammal is considered a pest in modern Israel. But this also makes it convenient for study by that controversial state’s scientists. I didn’t know that the hyrax sings, actually rather like a bird. The BBC reports the discovery of Arik Kershenbaum and others from the University of Haifa that this song is surprisingly complex:

the order of the notes is significant, suggesting that the songs have syntax. …

This research places the hyrax in a small and eclectic group of skilled animal communicators, including primates, whales, birds and bats. …

Dr Kershenbaum said that … the hyrax was not thought of as an intelligent animal …

… but it seems that Agur son of Jakeh knew better when he called it “extremely wise”.

4 thoughts on “Hyrax Intelligence: Scientists Discover Biblical Truth

  1. Thanks, Peter.
    Reminds of the one I heard years ago about a trienniel publication of the E. Brittanica which had the entry, Hitites: A mythical people, found only in the Bible. And three years later? Something like eight pages on that previously “mythical” people. I today in a post:

    “I believe the Word behind creation, the Word in Scripture and the Word made flesh speak together with one true voice. And someday, I believe, we humans will all finally hear clearly and powerfully that one loving and reconciling voice. So if it seems to us now that what we read in creation differs from what we read in the Bible or if the story of Jesus seems to contradict what we find either in creation or elsewhere in the book, we can be certain we are presently reading something, at least, wrong. That knowledge does not solve all the problems with the authority of the Bible but it does clarify where the problems can be found: in the places where our reading of creation, the scriptures and the life and teaching of King Jesus do not agree.”


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