Bittern. This bird is similar to the heron. The KJV uses “bittern” in (Isaiah 14:23; 34:11); and (Zephaniah 2:14), referring to a creature that dwells in ruined places– a symbol of abandonment.
The bittern can be found in marshes all over the world. His loud cry, hollow and drum-like, booms through the darkness while he hunts his prey. The bittern was considered an omen of desolation and a prophecy of evil. Bitterns are large birds, about two feet long, with a gift of camouflage. A bittern may freeze with his long beak tilted skyward and be overlooked among reeds swaying gently in the wind. Bitterns eat frogs, snails, worms, and small fish.
Other translations of the Hebrew word for bittern are hedgehog (Is. 14:23; Zeph 2:14), (RSV) and porcupine (Is. 14:23), (NKJV; (Is. 34:11), RSV, NKJV).
Cricket (see Beetle).
Ferret (see Lizard).
Fish. According to one authority, 45 species of fish are found in the inland waters of Palestine. Many more live in the Mediterranean Sea. But the Bible gives no details on any specific species of fish.
Fish, just like other animals, were divided into clean and unclean categories. Fish with fins and scales were considered clean, and they made a popular Sabbath meal. Unclean fish included catfish, eels, and probably sharks and lampreys, as well as shellfish. The Hebrews also considered whales and porpoises as fish, since they lived in the sea.
“God threatened a plague of frogs for a specific reason. The Egyptian goddess Heqt was always pictured with the head of a frog. For this reason frogs were considered sacred and could not be killed. God will show the Egyptians the foolishness of a frog-god!
Gier Eagle (see Vulture).
More entries from Birds
Gnat (see Fly).
A gnat is a very small fly-like creature that is more a bother than anything else.
Why did God send the plagues to Egypt? This post is a meditation on the plagues of Egypt and is really involved.