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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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This name occurs but twice in the A.V.

1. yaen, Lamentations 4:3 , where its cruelty is referred to. A kindred Hebrew word (preceded by bath, signifying the female), bath yaanah, 'daughter of howling,' is eight times translated 'owl.' Leviticus 11:16 ; Deuteronomy 14:15 ; Job 30:29 ; Isaiah 13:21 ; Isaiah 34:13 ; Isaiah 43:20 ; Jeremiah 50:39 ; Micah 1:8 . It is classed among the unclean birds, and is characterised by dwelling in waste places, and also by its wailing cry, which well agree with the habits of the ostrich. Though some passages may seem to point to the owl, doubtless the ostrich is referred to in all the above passages.

2. notsah, signifying 'plumage,' is translated ostrich in Job 39:13-18 ; the ostrich, however, is referred to in Job 39:13 by the word renanim, pl., which signifies, 'a crying or wailing,' but in the A.V. is translated 'peacocks.' The passage is obscure, but Job 39:13 may be better translated thus: "The wing of the ostrich beats joyously: but is it the stork's pinion and plumage?" The passage then speaks of the ostrich leaving its eggs unprotected, and being hardened against its young. The ostrich leaves its eggs inthe sand, well covered up. The sun keeps them warm by day, and the parent sits upon them at night. Other eggs are left unprotected near by for the young birds when hatched to eat, and these may be trampled on. As to the indifference of the parents to their young, it is asserted that when a hunter approaches they will leave their nests and then often they cannot find the place again in the wide desert; but dead jackals have been found near the nests, which have been killed by the parent birds. Some suppose that Job 39:16 refers to other birds laying eggs in the ostrich's nest, from which are hatched birds that are 'not hers.' Job 39:18 refers to the speed of the bird, which has often exceeded that of the best horses. The ostrich is of the family Struthionidae, order Cursores.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Ostrich '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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