Animals of the Bible

Animals of the Bible

by Isaac Asimov, Howard Berelson (Illustrator)
Publisher: Doubleday & Company
Hardcover, 62 pages
Not in stock
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind; and it was so (Genesis 1:24)

In Biblical times, as well as today, animals were an integral part of man's life. They were useful to him as beasts of burden and as sources of food, shelter and transportation. Some of the animals described in the Bible, such as the leopard, wild boar, bear, wolf, and lion, are feared as much today as they were in Bible times. And several animals have different names: the unicorn was simply an antelope which, when viewed from the side, looked as though it had one horn.

The use of animals as symbols was quite prevalent in the Bible. A lion stood for strength and power; a lamb for sacrifice and meekness; a wolf for persecution; a camel for endurance; and a leopard for ferocity and stealth.

Although most of the animals in the Bible exist today, they are put to different uses. We use horses mainly for transportation and recreation. In the Bible, horses were used for war, pulling chariots in battle. Camels were the main means of transportation, as they were well adapted to the arid climate. Dogs also appeared in the Bible, but not as pets. They were used for herding sheep, among other things, and were mean and snarling creatures.

The animals of the Bible come alive through Isaac Asimov's informative text and Howard Berelson's exquisite art. Each illustration reveals a superb sense of design and artistic imagination. The sensitivity with which he has rendered these animals makes this book a treasure to own.

Widely known for both his science fiction and his serious scientific essays, Isaac Asimov has written more than 160 books on subjects ranging from physics to mythology, from mathematics to the Bible. Born in Russia in 1920, Dr. Asimov came to Brooklyn with his family at the age of three, received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1948, and in the following year joined the faculty of Boston University School of Medicine. He has written many stories about the Bible, including the best selling The Story of Ruth. He lives in New York City.

Howard Berelson is a graduate of Pratt Institute, where he studied industrial design and sculpture. Since that time, he has worked at various posts teaching art and sculpture. A recent trip to northern France, with its medieval tapestries and stained glass, provided a rich source of imagery for the feeling of this book. Chess For Children and the Young at Heart and The Office Gardener are books that Mr. Berelson has recently illustrated.

from the dust jacket

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