Five Hebrew names of the genus Asinus occur in the Old Testament.
- Chamor denotes the male domestic ass.
- Athon, the common domestic she-ass.
- Air, the name of a wild ass, which occurs (Genesis 32:15; 49:11)
- Pere, a species of wild ass mentioned (Genesis 12:16)
- Arod occurs only in (Job 39:5) but in what respect it differs from the Pere is uncertain. The ass in eastern countries is a very different animal from
what he is in western Europe. The most noble and honorable amongst the Jews were wont to be mounted on asses. (With us the
ass is a symbol of stubbornness and stupidity, while in the East it is especially remarkable for its patience, gentleness,
intelligence, meek submission and great power of endurance.”—L. Abbott. The color is usually a reddish brown, but there are
white asses, which are much prized. The ass was the animal of peace as the horse was the animal of war; hence the appropriateness
of Christ in his triumphal entry riding on an ass. The wild ass is a beautiful animal.—ED.) Mr. Lavard remarks that in fleetness
the wild ass (Asinus hemippus) equals the gazelle and to overtake it is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated
mares have been known to accomplish.