A mixed animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. A mule is smaller than a horse, and has long ears, though not so long as those of an ass. It is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, surefooted animal, lives twice as long as a horse, and is much more easily and cheaply fed. Mules are much used in Spain and South America, for transporting goods across the mountains. So also in the Alps, they are used by travelers among the mountains, where a horse would hardly be able to pass with safety. There is no probability that the Jews bred mules, because it was forbidden to couple creatures of different species, Leviticus 19:19. But they were not forbidden to obtain them from abroad and use them, 1 Kings 10:25 Ezekiel 27:14. Thus we may observe, especially after Davidís time, that mules, male and female, were common among the Hebrews; formerly they used only male and female asses, 2 Samuel 13:29 18:9 1 Kings 1:33 10:25 18:5 Esther 8:10,14.
In Genesis 36:24, Anah is said to have found "mules" in the desert; but the Hebrew word here probably means hot springs. See ANAH.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.