(Hebrews `arnebeth) was prohibited as food according to the Mosaic law (Leviticus 11:6; Deuteronomy 14:7), "because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof." The habit of this animal is to grind its teeth and move its jaw as if it actually chewed the cud. But, like the cony (q.v.), it is not a ruminant with four stomachs, but a rodent like the squirrel, rat, etc. Moses speaks of it according to appearance. It is interdicted because, though apparently chewing the cud, it did not divide the hoof.
There are two species in Syria, (1) the Lepus Syriacus or Syrian hare, which is like the English hare; and (2) the Lepus Sinaiticus, or hare of the desert. No rabbits are found in Syria.