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IV. On the Animals

The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade. [Mark 4:32]

Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest. [Ps. 54(55):7 Vulgate]

The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own. [Ez. 1:23]

The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove. [Ps. 67(68):14(13)]

The nest is the church, the high peace of the blessed; in the psalm: and the turtledove is in its nest where it places its chicks. And likewise, a good conscience is a nest, in which the the fetus of good thoughts is cherished and it is born in good works, that they may be called children afterward; in the psalm: your children are like a new olive around your table. [Ps. 83(84):4(3) Vulgate; Ps. 127(128):3]

The chicks are the saints; in the psalm as above, and in a bad part of Solomon: and let the fledgelings of eagles devour him. [Prov. 30:17]

The eagles are the saints; in the gospel: where a body will be, there shall the eagles gather. And in a bad part: Let the fledgelings of eagles devour him. [Matt. 24:28 and Prov. 30:17]

The ostrich is a heretic, or a philosopher, because they do not fly with the wings of their wisdom; in Isaiah: and he will be a resting place for the dragon and a pasture for the ostrich. [Is. 34:13]

The pelican is the Lord Jesus Christ in his passion or the holy man given to solitude; in the psalm: I have become solitary like a pelican. [Ps. 101(102):7 Vulgate]

The crow is the black of the sinner or of the demons; in Solomon: the crows tore him from the valleys. The same in a good part of the Song of Songs about the spouse: his hair is that is passing away is black like the crow. [Cant. 5:11]

The partridge is the devil; in the prophet: the partridge has cried, it has gathered that which it has not sown. [Jer. 17:11]

The dove is the Holy Spirit; in the gospel: and I saw the spirit of God descending like a dove. The same in another part: in Ephraim, a dove without feeling, without a heart. [John 1:32; Hosea 7:11]

The turtledove is the Holy Spirit or the blessed man or spiritual intelligence; in the Song of Songs: the voice of the turtle was heard in our land. But then the dove is said to be the Holy Spirit; the context of many holy scriptures asserts it: then turtledove is understood to be the Holy Spirit in truth, when high scriptures or hidden mysteries are brought up. [Cant. 2:12]

The kite signifies, so I think, rapacity or pride; in the psalm, according to the Hebrew: the kite, once away, is at home. [Ps. 103(104):17 (unknown variant)]

The hawk, however, is a saint, so I think, seizing the Kingdom of God; in Job: is not the hawk plumed in Your wisdom? [Job 39:26]

The owl is Christ, or the saint who despices infidels; in the psalm: I am made like an owl in its dwelling. [Ps. 101(102):7 Vulgate]

The sparrow sometimes is the Lord or a holy man; in the psalm: indeed the sparrow has found itself a home. And it is another sparrow that is like a holy man: flying across the mountain like a sparrow. [Ps. 83(84):4(3); Ps. 10(11):2(1) Vulgate]

The cock is the Lord, so I think, or a saint: in Solomon: and the cock is glad as it walks among the hens. And in Job: who gave the cock knowledge? And in another part: and I shall cause you to be carried off as domestic poultry is carried away. [Prov. 30:31; Job 38:36; Is. 22:17 Vulgate]

The hen is wisdom or the church or the soul; in the gospel: as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings. [Matt. 23:37]

Bats are considered portents of the idols of darkness; in the prophet: that you may love moles and bats. [Is. 2:20]

The beetle in the prophet: and the beetle will cry from the wood, so I think, this means from the wood of the Lord {the cross}. [Hab. 2:11]

The locusts are the people; in the gospel: his food, moreover, was locusts. [Matt. 3:4]

The bees are the stamp of virginity or of wisdom; in Solomon: go to the bee and learn how to be a worker; and in a bad part of the prophet: and the bee which is in Assyria. [Prov. 6:6; Is. 7:18]

The fly is the devil; in Solomon: the flies of death have exterminated the oil of sweetness. [Eccles. 10:1]

The wild animals are the devil or wild men; in the psalm: You do not take the wild beasts into your trust. [Ps. 73(74):19 Vulgate]

The lion is the Lord: the lion from the tribe of Judah conquers; again in another part: let the lion seize my soul at any time. [Apoc. 5:5; Ps. 7:3(2)]

The leopard is the devil, or the untrustworthy sinner in death; in the prophet: as an Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor a leopard his spots. [Jeremiah 13:23]

The elephant is a great sinner; in Kings: and they led apes and elephants to Solomon. [III(I) Kings 10:22]

The bear is the devil, or the barbarian leaders; in Kings: two bears were brought forth and they ate them. [IV(II)Kings 2:24]

The stag is Christ, or the saints; as a deer longs for the streams of water. [Ps. 41(42):2(1)]

The wolf is the devil or heretics; in the gospel: the wolves are inherently rapacious. The same in a good part: Benjamin, meaning the Apostle Paul, is a ravening wolf. [Matt. 7:15; Gen. 49:27]

The boar is the devil; in the psalm: the boar has driven him from the forest. [Ps. 79(80):14(13)]

The tiger is effeminate arrogance; in the book of Job, according to the Hebrews: the tiger dies because it has no prey. [Job 4:11]

The rhinoceros is strength, either in a good or bad part; in the book of Job, according to the Hebrews: whether the rhinoceros wishes to serve you. [Job 39:9]

The one-horned is the unicorn; in the psalm: and my beloved son is like a unicorn, that is, of unique power, or unique among the saints, who wholly keep the word of God. And in another part: and my humility is like the horn of a unicorn. The unicorns having this magnificence or one testimony. [Ps. 28(29):6 Vulgate; Ps. 21(22):22 Vulgate]

The wild ass is a hermit; in Job: who sets the wild ass free? He can, and I have said that the tribe of Judah is that wild ass, and as follows in the same book: and who has loosed his bonds? The bonds likewise are the law. [Job 39:5]

The fawn is Christ, or the saint because of the multiplicity of his graces; in Solomon: my little brother, you are like a little antelope or like the fawn of a deer. [Cant. 2:9]

The antelope is the same as above.

The rabbit is one who fears God; in the psalm: the rocks are a refuges for the hares and the hedgehogs. [Ps. 103(104):18 Vulgate]

The hedgehog is as above; and the hedgehogs are a weak nation, who make their homes among the rocks.

The fox is a heretic or the devil or a shrewd sinner; in the gospel: go, tell that fox. [Luke 13:32]

The beast is the man of flesh; in the apostle: the man of flesh does not see those who are in the spirit of God. [I Cor. 2:14]

The beasts of burden lack understanding and intelligence; in the psalm: and I have become the beasts of burden before you. [Ps. 72(73):23(22)]

The horse is a holy man; in Habakkuk: he who has risen above your horses; and in a bad part: a deceitful horse into safety. [Hab. 3:8; Ps. 32(33):17 Vulgate]

The mule is an irrational man; in the psalm: do not wish to become like the horse and the mule who do not understand. [Ps. 31(32):9]

The ass is the human body or the people of the gentiles; in the gospel: and they led an ass and its colt to Jesus and they made him sit on the colt. [Matt. 21:7]

The female ass is a circle of bystanders, or a people who lack acquaintance with God; in the gospel: the same as above.

The camel is the wealth of a burdened age or the deformation of the dead; in the gospel: it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom of the heavens. [Matt. 19:24]

The bulls are the leaders of the people; in the psalm: the fat bulls surrounded me. [Ps. 21(22):13(12)]

The oxen are the apostles, who take on the yoke of Christ, the gospel, the ploughshare with which they plow the world; in the psalm: I offer to you my oxen with my goats. [Ps. 65(66):15]

The cows are those full of fleshly faults; in the psalm: among the cows of the people. [Ps. 67(68):31(30)]

The calf is Christ, or the saints; in the psalm: there they shall place calves upon Your altar. And in another part: many calves surrounded me, here it is poetic license. [Ps. 50(51):21(19); Ps. 21(22):13(12)]

The pigs are unclean sinners; in the epistle of Peter: the pig is washed by rolling in the mud. [II Peter 2:22]

The rams are the apostles or the leaders of the church; in the psalm: bring the sons of rams to the Lord. [Ps. 28(29):1 Vulgate]

The sheep are the faithful people; in the gospel: my sheep hear my voice. [John 10:27]

The flocks are the simple ones who have been plundered less of rationality than of keenness; in Solomon: feed the animals of your flock. [Prov. 27:23]

The goats are the sinners or the gentiles; in Daniel: behold, a male goat among the she-goats came from the west over the face of the whole land. The same in a good part: I offer you cows with goats. [Dan. 8:5; Ps. 65(66):15]

The nanny-goats are the just who come from the gentiles; in Solomon: your long hair is like a herd of she-goats, which have appeared in Gilead. [Cant. 6:4]

The lambs are Christ, or the apostles, or the saints; in the gospel: feed my lambs. [John 21:15]

The kids are sinners; in the gospel: the kids, however, are on the left. [Matt. 25:33]

The moles are idols, or heretics, who do not see the truth; in Isaiah: that you may worship moles and bats. [Is. 2:20]

The dog is the devil or Judas or a gentile; in the psalm: and my only life from the hand of the dog. And in another part in Ecclesiastes: a living dog is better than a dead lion. Here they think that the lion is the devil, the dog is a true gentile or a man accepting a sinner because one can come to faith or repentance, while the other cannot. [Ps. 21(22):21 Vulgate; Eccl. 9:4]

The frogs are demons; in the Apocalypse: and I saw three unclean spirits in the form of frogs come from the mouth of a dragon; they were the spirits of demons. Frogs are also heretics, who do not cease to babble at a meal with vain talkativeness as they dwell in the most vile bodily feelings. [Apoc. 16:13-14]

The ant is prudent and hard-working; in Solomon: go to the ant, o sluggard. [Prov. 6:6]

The worm is Christ, who took human flesh in humility; in the psalm: I am a worm, not a man. The same in another part of Isaiah: the worm will not kill them, that is either the worm itself or the knowledge of sin. [Ps. 21(22):7(6); Is. 66:24]

The spider is human frailty; in the psalm: you have made his soul to wither like a spider. [Ps. 38(39):12 Vulgate]

The snake is the devil or bad men; in the gospel: snakes are the equals of vipers. The same in another part of the gospel: as Moses raised the snake in the wilderness. [Matt. 23:33; John 3:14]

The dragon is the devil, or the overt tormenter; in the psalm: You have broken the head of the dragons, You have given him to the people of Ethiopia for food. [Ps. 73(74):14 Vulgate]

The scorpion is the devil or his ministers; in the gospel: I gave you power to crush snakes and scorpions. [Luke 10:19]

The vipers are the same as above; in the gospel: snakes are the equals of vipers. [Matt 23:33 and Luke 3:7]

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