From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( n.) A mound or massive work formed of masonry or large stones, etc., laid in the sea, often extended either in a right line or an arc of a circle before a port which it serves to defend from the violence of the waves, thus protecting ships in a harbor; also, sometimes, the harbor itself.

(2): ( n.) A spot; a stain; a mark which discolors or disfigures.

(3): ( n.) A spot, mark, or small permanent protuberance on the human body; esp., a spot which is dark-colored, from which commonly issue one or more hairs.

(4): ( n.) A mass of fleshy or other more or less solid matter generated in the uterus.

(5): ( n.) Any insectivore of the family Talpidae. They have minute eyes and ears, soft fur, and very large and strong fore feet.

(6): ( n.) A plow of peculiar construction, for forming underground drains.

(7): ( v. t.) To form holes in, as a mole; to burrow; to excavate; as, to mole the earth.

(8): ( v. t.) To clear of molehills.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [2]

 Leviticus 11:30 Leviticus 11:18 Deuteronomy 14:16

The Heb. holed ( Leviticus 11:29 ), rendered "weasel," was probably the mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate; its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only rudimentary."

In  Isaiah 2:20 , this word is the rendering of two words _haphar peroth_, which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of rats", i.e., rats' holes. But these two Hebrew words ought probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated "to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This animal "lives in underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least trouble."

King James Dictionary [3]

MOLE, n.

1. A spot, mark or small permanent protuberance on the human body, from which usually issue one or more hairs. 2. L.mola. A mass of fleshy matter of a spherical figure, generated in the uterus.

MOLE, n. L. moles.

1. A mound or massive work formed of large stones laid in the sea by means of coffer dams, extended either in a right line or an arch of a circle before a port, which it serves to defend from the violent impulse of the waves thus protecting ships in a harbor. The word is sometimes used for the harbor itself. 2. Among the Romans, a kind of mausoleum, built like a round tower on a square base, insulated, encompassed with columns and covered with a dome.

MOLE, n. A small animal of the genus Talpa, which in search of worms or other insects, forms a road just under the surface of the ground, raising the soil into a little ridge from which circumstance it is called a mold-warp, or mold-turner. The mole has very small eyes.

Learn of the mole to plow, the worm to weave.

MOLE, To clear of mole-hills. Local.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]


1. Tinshemeth .  Leviticus 11:30. It is probable that the animals mentioned with the tinshemeth , in the above passage denote different kinds of lizards; perhaps, therefore, the Chameleon is the animal intended.

2. Chephor peroth is rendered "moles" in  Isaiah 2:20. (The word means Burrowers, Hole-Diggers, and may designate any of the small animals, as rats and weasels, which burrow among ruins.

Many scholars, according to McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia," consider that the Greek aspalax is the animal intended, by both the words translated mole . It is not the European mole, but is a kind of blind mole-rat, from 8 to 12 inches long, feeding on vegetables, and burrowing like a mole, but on a larger scale. It is very common in Russia, and Hasselquiest says it is abundant on the plains of Sharon in Palestine. - Editor).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

MOLE. 1. tinshemeth ,   Leviticus 11:30 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘mole,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘chameleon’; but same word is in   Leviticus 11:18 and   Deuteronomy 14:18 tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘swan,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘horned owl’). See Chameleon.

2. chaphôr-pçrôth (?‘ burrowing animals’),   Isaiah 2:20 , may apply to rats, mice, jerboas, etc., as well as ‘moles.’ The true insectivorous mole does not occur in Palestine, but the rodent Spalax typhlus , the mole rat, is very common. It lives entirely underground, has most rudimentary eyes, and makes very long burrows. It is gregarious, and large areas are sometimes covered thick with its hillocks.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

1. tinshemeth. An animal classed among the unclean, but it is not known definitely what animal is meant by the Hebrew word. It is probably the chameleon, which is adopted in the R.V. It is placed with the lizard and the snail.  Leviticus 11:30 . In two places the same word is translated 'swan.'  Leviticus 11:18;  Deuteronomy 14:16 .

2. chapharperah. This is by most identified with the mole-rat, the spalax typhlus. It is very like a mole: it burrows under the earth and turns up mounds, but it is of a different order from the true mole. These mole-rats have been found in Palestine; they inhabit ruins and stone-heaps, and come out in the night. They may be well classed with the bats to which the idols will be cast in a future day.  Isaiah 2:20 .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [7]

Tinshemeth . Rather "chameleon", the inflating animal, as it inflates its body; from Nasham "to breathe."(See Chameleon .) The lung when filled with air renders its body semi-transparent; from its power of abstinence it was fabled to live on air ( Leviticus 11:30). In  Leviticus 11:18 it is "the ibis," an unclean bird. Of the tree lizard, Dendrosaura , tribe. In  Isaiah 2:20, Chephor Perot , "moles in KJV, literally, "continual diggers," mice or rats, which bore in deserted places. Mole rats in Syria and Mesopotamia frequent cultivated lands. The ruins of Babylon are perforated on all sides with holes, the abode of "doleful creatures."

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

This word, in our version of  Leviticus 11:30 , answers to the word תנשמת , which Bochart has shown to be the cameleon; but he conjectures, with great propriety, that הלד , translated "weasel," in the preceding verse, is the true word for the mole. The present name for the mole in the east is khuld, which is undeniably the same word as the Hebrew choled. The import of the Hebrew word is, "to creep into," and the same Syriac word implies, "to creep underneath," to creep into by burrowing; which are well known characteristics of the mole.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

Mole. In  Leviticus 11:30 A. V. the Hebrew word is believed to denote the chameleon. The R. V. reads: "And the gecko, and the land-crocodile, and the lizard, and the sand lizard, and the chameleon." Another word rendered "mole," in  Isaiah 2:20, means "the burrower." As no true moles have been found in Palestine, this term may comprehend the various rats and weasels that burrow about ruins.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [10]

A small animal, which burrows obscurely in the ground,  Isaiah 2:20 . It is common is some parts of Palestine, and is mentioned as unclean in  Leviticus 11:30; or, according to Bochart, in  Leviticus 11:29 , in the word translated "weasel."

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

mōl ((1) תּנשׁמת , tinshemeth , the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon"; Septuagint ἀσπάλαξ , aspálax = σπάλαξ , spálax , "mole," Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) talpa , "mole" (  Leviticus 11:30 ); (2) חלר , ḥōledh , English Versions of the Bible "weasel"; Septuagint γαλῆ , galḗ , "weasel" or "pole-cat"; compare Arabic khuld , "mole-rat" ( Leviticus 11:29 ); (3) חפרפּרות , ḥāphar - pērōth , English Versions of the Bible "moles"; from חפר , ḥāphar , "to dig"; compare Arabic ḥafar , "to dig," and פּרה , pērāh , "mole" or "rat," for פּארה , pe'ērāh , from the root פּאר , pā'ar , "to dig"; compare Arabic fa'rat , or fârat , "rat," "mouse," from the root fa'ar , "to dig"; Septuagint τοῖς ματαίοις , toı́s mataı́ois , "vain, idle, or profane persons" ( Isaiah 2:20 )): (1) Tinshemeth is the last of 8 unclean "creeping things" in  Leviticus 11:29 ,  Leviticus 11:30 . The word occurs also in  Leviticus 11:18 and   Deuteronomy 14:16 , translated the King James Version "swan," the Revised Version (British and American) "horned owl," Septuagint πορφυρίων , porphurı́ōn , "coot" or "heron." See Chameleon . (2) Ḥōledh is the first in the same list. The word occurs nowhere else, and is translated "weasel" in English Versions of the Bible, but comparison with the Arabic khuld has led to the suggestion that "mole-rat" would be a better translation. See Weasel . (3) In  Isaiah 2:20 , "In that day men shall cast away their idols ... to the moles and to the bats," ḥăphar - pērōth , variously written as one word or two, is translated "moles" in English Versions of the Bible, but has given rise to much conjecture.

The European "mole," Talpa europea , is extensively distributed in the temperate parts of Europe and Asia, but is absent from Syria and Palestine, its place being taken by the mole-rat, Spalax typhlus . The true mole belongs to the Insectivora , and feeds on earth-worms and insect larvae, but in making its tunnels and nests, it incidentally injures gardens and lawns. The mole-rat belongs to the Rodentia , and has teeth of the same general type as those of a rat or squirrel, large, chisel-shaped incisors behind which is a large vacant space, no canines, and praemolars and molars with grinding surfaces. It is larger than the mole, but of the same color, and, like the mole, is blind. It makes tunnels much like those of the mole. It is herbivorous and has been observed to seize growing plants and draw them down into its hole. In one of its burrows a central chamber has been found filled with entire plants of the ḥummuṣ or chick-pea, and two side chambers containing pods plucked from the plants in the central chamber. While the mole digs with its powerful and peculiarly shaped front feet, the mole-rat digs with its nose, its feet being normal in shape. See Lizard .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Mole (choled, , in our version 'weasel'). Although the similarity of sound in names is an unsafe ground to depend upon when it is applied to specific animals, still, the Hebrew and Syriac appearing likewise to imply creeping into, creeping underneath by burrowing—characteristics most obvious in moles—and the Arabic denomination being undoubted, choled may be assumed to indicate the above animal. This conclusion is the more to be relied on as the animal is rather common in Syria, and in some places abundant. Zoologists have considered the particular species to be the Talpa Europœa, which, under the name of the common mole, is so well known as not to require a more particular description. The ancients represented the mole to have no eyes: which assertion later scientific writers believed they had disproved by showing our species to be possessed of these organs, though exceedingly small. Nevertheless, recent observations have proved that a species, in other respects scarcely, if at all, to be distinguished from the common, is totally destitute of eyes. It is to be found in Italy, and probably extends to the East, instead of the Europea. Moles must not, however, be considered as forming a part of the Rodent order, whereof all the families and genera are provided with strong incisor teeth, like rats and squirrels, and therefore intended for subsisting chiefly on grain and nuts: they are on the contrary supplied with a great number of small teeth, to the extent of twenty-two in each jaw—indicating a partial regimen; for they feed on worms, larvae, and underground insects, as well as on roots, and thus belong to the insectivorous order: which brings the application of the name somewhat nearer to carnivora and its received interpretation 'weasel.'

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Mole'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.