Hebrew: zemer

It bears this Hebrew name from its leaping or springing.

The Hebrew is only translated “chamois” in the King James Version (Deuteronomy 14:5). Other English versions say “mountain sheep,” probably the wild sheep (Ovis tragelephus), which is still found in Sinai and in the broken ridges of Stony Arabia.

The Septuagint and Vulgate translated zemer as camelopardus, i.e., the giraffe; but this is an animal of Central Africa, and is not at all known in Syria.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, edited by Paul S. Taylor.