Owl

Owl.

The owl is mentioned several times in the Bible (Lev. 11:16-17; Ps. 102:6; Jer. 50:39; Mic. 1:8). The largest species native to Palestine is the great owl, sometimes called an eagle owl. Several varieties of smaller owls are also common. Among them are screech owls, whose calls and whistles bring an eerie feeling in the night.

Other varieties of owls mentioned by different translations of the Bible include the short-eared owl (Lev. 11:16), (NKJV, NEB); long-eared owl (Lev. 11:16), (NEB); horned owl (Lev. 11:16), (NIV); little owl (Lev. 11:17), (KJV, NIV, NASB); tawny owl (Lev. 11:17), (NEB); fisher owl (Lev. 11:17), (NKJV); desert owl (Lev. 11:18), (NIV); and white owl (Lev. 11:18), (NKJV, NIV, NASB).

The owl is no wiser than any other bird, but his facial features give him a thoughtful and solemn look. Owls have round faces with a circle of feathers around their heads, framing and highlighting their large eyes. These feathers also serve as a sound collector for the ears. An owl’s fluffy feathers make him appear larger than he actually is. They also enable him to fly silently, since the edges of the feathers pierce the air with little wind resistance.

Owls have good night vision, which enables them to stalk their prey at night. Unlike other birds, whose eyes are set on opposite sides of their head, the owl looks directly ahead. He navigates in the dark mostly by sound. Alerted by a noise, he plunges in toward his prey with his claws spread for the kill.

Owls serve a useful agricultural purpose, since they feed on rats, mice, and other rodents. But the Hebrew people considered the owl an unclean bird and often associated it with scenes of desolation. The scops owl may be the satyr of such verses as (Isaiah 13:21) and (34:14) (night creature, NKJV). It has a horned look and does a hop-like dance much like a goat.

Source: [Anon-Animals]

Ostrich

Ostrich.

Several Scripture passages that refer to owls in the KJV are rendered ostrich in the RSV. This strange bird was a common sight in the deserts of Israel and Sinai in Bible times. Earth’s largest living bird, the ostrich may stand about 2.5 meters (eight feet) tall. While it cannot fly, this unusual animal with its long steps, which can cover 15 feet per stride at top speed, can outrun a horse. Sometimes an ostrich will use its wings as a sail to achieve even greater speed. An adult ostrich fears only man and lions, and it may live as long as 70 years.

The popular belief that ostriches hide their heads in the sand is not true. However, when a young ostrich senses danger, it will crouch near the ground and stretch out its long neck to lessen the possibility of being seen.

This enormous bird has only a walnut-sized brain. But God has given it certain helpful instincts, along with its great physical stamina. Like a camel, the ostrich is fitted for desert life. It eats coarse food and can go for a long time without water. Its head, neck, and powerful legs have no feathers. This helps to keep the bird cool in the hot desert climate. Its huge eyes enable it to spot danger from a great distance, and its long eyelashes protect its eyes from dust and sand. The male ostrich has a cry that is similar to a lion’s roar.

Unlike most other birds, the ostrich does not build a nest to protect its young. The female ostrich deposits her eggs on the desert floor and covers them with sand. These eggs are generally left unattended during the day, since the desert sun serves as a natural incubator. Job compared these habits unfavorably with the more traditional nesting instincts of the stork (Job 39:13-18).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

The Ostrich.

The ostrich is sometimes called the “camel-bird,” because it is so very large, because it can go a long time without water, and because it lives in desert and sandy places, as the camel does. It is often taller than the tallest man you ever saw, and it neck alone is more than a yard in length.

Each of the wings is a yard long when the feathers are spread out; but although the wings are so large, the bird cannot fly at all. One reason of this is, because it is so very heavy, and another is that its wings are not of the right sort for flying. They are made of what we call ostrich-plumes, and if you have ever noticed these beautiful feathers, you will remember that they are very different from others that you have seen. If you take a quill from the wing of a goose, you will find that the parts of the feather lie close together, so that you cannot very easily separate them; but in an ostrich plume they are all loose and open, and would not support the bird at all in flying. The feathers are generally either white or black. There are none under the wings, or on the sides of the body, and only a few small ones on the lower part of the neck. The upper part of the neck, as well as the head, is covered with hair.

Its feet are curious, and different from those of most birds. They are somewhat like the foot of the camel, having a soft pad or cushion underneath, and only two toes. The largest toe is about seven inches long, and has a broad claw at the end; the other is about four inches long, and has no claw.

Although this bird cannot fly, it can run faster than the swiftest horse. If it would keep on in a straight line no animal could overtake it; but it is sometimes so foolish as to run around in a circle, and then, after a long chase, it may perhaps be caught. A traveller speaking of the ostrich, says, “She sets off at a hard gallop; but she afterwards spreads her wings as if to catch the wind, and goes so rapidly that she seems not to touch the ground.” This explains what is meant by the verse, “When she lifteth up herself on high she scorneth the horse and his rider.”

The ostrich has but little to eat in the desert places where it lives: only some coarse grass, or rough, thorny plants, with a kind of snail which is sometimes found upon them; and perhaps it sometimes eats lizards and serpents.

The voice of the ostrich is very mournful, especially when heard at night in a lonely desert. It is said to be like the crying of a hoarse child. It is on this account that the prophet Micah says, “I will make a mourning like the ostrich.”

In the 39th chapter of Job we read, “Gavest thou wings and feathers unto the ostrich ? which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones as though they were not hers.” See how well this agrees with the accounts given by travellers. They say that the ostrich is frightened by the least noise, and runs away from her nest, leaving the eggs or young ones without any protection; and very often she does not return for a long time, perhaps not until the young birds have died of hunger. The eggs are cream-colored, and large enough to hold about a quart of water. The shell is very hard, and as smooth as ivory. It is often made into a drinking-cup, with a rim of gold or silver.

[Cook, Scripture Alphabet of Animals]

Little Owl

OWL
A night bird of prey, unfit for food. Several species are found in Palestine, and are mentioned in the Bible; as in Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 14:23; 34:15; Zep 2:14. One of the words, however, translated “owl,” probably means “OSTRICH,” (which see;) and another, Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 34:11, the ibis or night heron.

[Amtrac]


(1.) Heb. bath-haya’anah, “daughter of greediness” or of “shouting.” In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates “ostrich” (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.

(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered “great owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. “Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek” (Tristram).

The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by “ibis”, i.e., the Egyptian heron.

(3.) Heb. kos, rendered “little owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird “the mother of ruins.” It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens.

(4.) Heb. kippoz, the “great owl” (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, “arrow-snake;” LXX. and Vulgate, “hedgehog,” reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: “The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns…It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring.”

(5.) Heb. lilith, “screech owl” (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., “night monster”). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying “night.” Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is “descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode.”

[Easton]


Ostrich, the true rendering of bath hayanah. (See OSTRICH) Yanshowph; Lev 11:17, “the great owl.” From a root, “twilight” (Bochart), or to puff the breath (Knobel). Deu 14:16; Isa 34:11. The horned owl, Bubo maximus, not as Septuagint the ibis, the sacred bird of Egypt. Maurer thinks the heron or crane, from nashaf “to blow,” as it utters a sound like blowing a horn (Rev 18:2). Chaldee and Syriac support “owl.” Kos; Lev 11:17, “the little owl.” Athene meridionalis on coins of Athens: emblem of Minerva, common in Syria; grave, but not heavy. Psa 102:6, “I am like an owl in a ruin” (Syriac and Arabic versions), expressing his loneliness, surrounded by foes, with none to befriend. The Arabs call the owl “mother of ruins,” um elcharab.
The Hebrew means a “cup”, perhaps alluding to its concave face, the eye at the bottom, the feathers radiating on each side of the beak outward; this appears especially in the Otus vulgaris, the “long-cared owl”. Kippoz. Isa 34:15, “the great owl.” But Gesenius “the arrow snake,” or “the darting tree serpent”; related to the Arabic kipphaz. The context favors “owl”; for “gather under her shadow” applies best to a mother bird fostering her young under her wings. The Septuagint, Chaldee, Arabic, Syriac, Vulgate read kippod, “hedgehog.” The great eagle owl is one of the largest birds of prey; with dark plumage, and enormous head, from which glare out two great eyes. Lilith. Isa 34:14, “screech owl”; from layil “the night.” Irby and Mangles state as to Petra of Edom “the screaming of hawks, eagles, and owls, soaring above our heads, annoyed at anyone approaching their lonely habitation, added much to the singularity of the scene.” The Strix flammea, “the barn owl”; shrieking in the quietude of the night, it appalls the startled hearer with its unearthly sounds.

[Faussett]


oul (bath ha-ya`anah; Latin Ulula): The name of every nocturnal bird of prey of the Natural Order Striges. These birds range from the great horned owl of 2 feet in length, through many subdivisions to the little screech-owl of 5 inches. All are characterized by very large heads, many have ear tufts, all have large eyes surrounded by a disk of tiny, stiff, radiating feathers. The remainder of the plumage has no aftershaft. So these birds make the softest flight of any creature traveling on wing. A volume could be written on the eye of the owl, perhaps its most wonderful feature being in the power of the bird to enlarge the iris if it wishes more distinct vision. There is material for another on the prominent and peculiar auditory parts. With almost all owls the feet are so arranged that two toes can be turned forward and two back, thus reinforcing the grip of the bird by an extra toe and giving it unusual strength of foot. All are night-hunters, taking prey to be found at that time, of size according to the strength. The owl was very numerous in the caves, ruined temples and cities, and even in the fertile valleys of Palestine. It is given place in the Bible because it was considered unfit for food and because people dreaded the cries of every branch of the numerous family. It appeared often, as most birds, in the early versions of the Bible; later translators seem to feel that it was used in several places where the ostrich really was intended (see OSTRICH). It would appear to a natural historian that the right bird could be selected by the location, where the text is confusing. The ostrich had a voice that was even more terrifying, when raised in the night, than that of the owl. But it was a bird of the desert, of wide range and traveled only by day. This would confine its habitat to the desert and the greenery where it joined fertile land, but would not bring it in very close touch with civilization. The owl is a bird of ruins, that lay mostly in the heart of rich farming lands, where prosperous cities had been built and then destroyed by enemies. Near these locations the ostrich would be pursued for its plumage, and its nesting conditions did not prevail. The location was strictly the owl’s chosen haunt, and it had the voice to fit all the requirements of the text. In the lists of abominations, the original Hebrew yanshuph, derived from a root meaning twilight, is translated “great owl” (see Le 11:17 and De 14:16). It is probable that this was a bird about 2 ft. in length, called the eagle-owl. In the same lists the word koc (nuktikorax) refers to ruins, and the bird indicated is specified as the “little owl,” that is, smaller than the great owl–about the size of our barn owl. This bird is referred to as the “mother of ruins,” and the translations that place it in deserted temples and cities are beyond all doubt correct. Qippoz (echinos) occurs once (Isa 34:15), and is translated “great owl” in former versions; lately (in the American Standard Revised Version) it is changed to “dart-snake” (the English Revised Version “arrowsnake”). In this same description lilith (onokentauros), “a specter of night,” was formerly screech-owl, now it reads “night monster,” which is more confusing and less suggestive. The owls in the lists of abominations (Lev 11:17; Lev 11:18; Deut 14:16) are the little owl, the great owl and the horned owl. The only other owl of all those that produced such impressions of desolation in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, and Micah is referred to in Ps 102:6:

“I am like a pelican of the wilderness;

I am become as an owl of the waste places.”

Here it would appear that the bird habitual to the wilderness and the waste places, that certainly would be desert, would be the ostrich–while in any quotation referring to ruins, the owl would be the bird indicated by natural conditions.

Gene Stratton-Porter

[ISBE]


Owl.

In the passages that speak of the unclean birds “the owl . . . . the little owl . . . . and the great owl,” are enumerated. Lev. 11:16, 17; Deut. 14:15, 16. The Hebrew for the first is bath yaanah. (See OSTRICH.) The second is kos: it occurs in the above two passages and in Ps. 102:6; and doubtless refers to the owl. The third, yanshuph, occurs also in Isa. 34:11. This in the LXX and Vulgate is the ‘ibis,’ and has been supposed by some to refer to the Ibis religiosa, a sacred bird of Egypt. There is also lilith in Isa. 34:14 only, translated ‘screech owl,’ (margin and R.V. ‘night-monster’): its reference is doubtful. Also qippoz in Isa. 34:15 only, ‘great owl,’ (R.V. ‘arrowsnake;’ LXX and Vulgate ‘hedgehog,’ reading perhaps qippod with six Hebrew MSS.) There are several well-known species of the owl, but to which of them these various words refer cannot be specified with certainty. The Athene meridionalis is the owl most common in Palestine; the Strix flammea is the white owl.

[Morrish]


• A carnivorous bird.

• Unclean
Lev 11:16-17; Deut 14:16

• Sometimes translated »ostrich«
Lev 11:16; Deut 14:15; Job 30:29; Isa 13:21; Isa 34:11; Isa 34:13; Isa 43:20; Jer 50:39; Mic 1:8

[Naves]

 


 

Little Owl (see Owl).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

Oryx

Oryx is a genus consisting of four large antelope species. Three of them are native to arid parts of Africa, and the fourth to the Arabian Peninsula. Their fur is pale with contrasting dark markings in the face and on the legs, and their long horns are almost straight. The exception is the scimitar oryx, which lacks dark markings on the legs, only has faint dark markings on the head, has an ochreneck, and horns that are clearly decurved.

The Arabian oryx_ was only saved from extinction through a captive breeding program and reintroduction to the wild. The scimitar oryx_, which is now listed as Extinct in the Wild, also relies on a captive breeding program for its survival.[2] Small populations of several oryx_ species, such as the Scimitar Oryx, exist in Texas and New Mexico (USA) in wild game ranches. Gemsboks were released at the White Sands Missile Range and have become an invasive species of concern at the adjacent White Sands National Monument.

[Wikipedia.org]


 

Oryx (see Antelope).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

Ox, Oxen

Ox, Oxen (see Cattle).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

* Aurochs, or wild ox (urus, bos primigenius), is undoubtedly the rimu of the Assyrian inscriptions, and consequently corresponds to the re’em or rêm of the Hebrews. The latter word is translated sometimes in our D.V. by rhinoceros (Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9, 10), sometimes by unicorn (Psalm 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isaiah 34:7). That the re’em, far from being unicorn, was a two-horned animal, is suggested by Ps., xxii, 21, and forcibly evidenced by Deut., xxxiii, 17, where its horns represent the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasses. That, moreover, it was akin to the domestic ox is shown from such parallelisms as we find in Ps., xxiv, 6, where we read, according to the critical editions of the Hebrew text: “The voice of Yahweh makes Lebanon skip like a bullock, and Sirion like a young re’em”; or Is., xxxiv, 7: “And the re’em shall go down with them, and the bulls with the mighty”; and still more convincingly by such implicit descriptions as that of Job, xxxix, 9, 10: “Shall the rêm be willing to serve thee, or will he stay at thy crib? Canst thou bind the rêm with thy thong to plough, or will he break the clods of the valleys after thee?” These references will be very clear, the last especially, once we admit the re’em is an almost untamable wild ox, which one would try in vain to submit to the same work as its domestic kin. Hence there is very little doubt that in all the above-mentioned places the word aurochs should be substituted for rhinoceros and unicorn. The aurochs is for the sacred poets a familiar emblem of untamed strength and ferocity. It no longer exists in western Asia.