There is a species of animal mentioned once in the Scriptures as the “pygarg.” The Hebrew name is “dishon” which the Jewish Bible leaves untranslated, whilst the Septuagint translates it by “pugargos”, or pygarg. The Greek word means “white-crouped” whilst the Hebrew word conveys the idea of leaping.

Based on the etymology of the word the pygarg of the Scriptures is usually held by commentators to be one of the white-crouped antelopes, the addax.

The addax lives in desert conditions and is a sand-loving animal, as is shown by the wide and spreading hoofs, which afford it a firm footing on the yielding soil. Like the camel they can live without water for long periods of time. Due to its relatively slow movements, the antelope is an easy target for its predators and currently is classified as endangered. Its spiral horns are a distinctive feature.

This animal was considered clean because it was sure-footed and continually chewed its regurgitated food. It was teaching Israel that God was seeking people who were walking in the way of life and able to think carefully and slowly about the Scriptures of Truth (Psalm 119:15).

Excerpts from Scripture Natural History ( J.G. Woods) and Natural History of the Bible (H.B. Tristram)