swin (chazir; compare Arabic khinzir; hus, Septuagint and New Testament; compare Greek sus, and Latin sus; adjective hueios, as a substantive, the Septuagint; choiros, Septuagint and New Testament): In both ancient and modern times domestic swine have been little kept in Palestine, but wild swine are well known as inhabitants of the thickets of the Chuleh, the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea, and some of the mountains. The species is Susanna scrofa, the wild pig of Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
In the Old Testament the swine is mentioned in Le 11:7 and De 14:8 as an unclean animal: "And the swine, because he parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you." In Isa 65:4 and 66:3,17 the eating of swine's flesh and the offering of oblations of swine's blood are referred to as abominations. Septuagint also refers to swine in three passages where these animals are not mentioned in the Hebrew and EV. In 2 Sam 17:8 where English Versions of the Bible has "as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field," Septuagint adds (translation) "and as a savage boar in the plain." In 1 Ki 21:19 Septuagint 20:19), where English Versions of the Bible has "in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth," Septuagint has "where the swine and the dogs licked"; similarly in 1Ki 22:38. In 1 Macc 1:47 there is reference to a decree of Antiochus ordering the sacrifice of swine. In 2 Macc 6 and 7 there are accounts of the torture and death of Eleazar, an aged scribe, and of a mother and her seven sons for refusing to taste swine's flesh. Swine, the property of Gentiles, are mentioned in the account of the Gadarene demoniac (Mt 8:30-31,32; Mr 5:11-12,13-14,16; Lu 8:32-33), and in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lu 15:15-16).
Figurative: We find the following figurative references to swine:
"The boar out of the wood doth ravage it,
And the wild beasts of the field feed on it" (i.e. on the "vine out of Egypt") (Ps 80:13);
"As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
So is a fair woman that is without discretion"
"The Carmonians (the King James Version Carmanians, perhaps of Kirman or Carmania, in Southwestern Persia) raging in wrath shall go forth as the wild boars of the wood"
(2 Esdras 15:30);
"The dog turning to his own vomit again, and the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire"
(2Pe 2:22; compare Pr 26:11).
Alfred Ely Day