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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Fig. 240—Hoopee

The original word thus rendered in our version has been surmised to mean 'double-crest;' and is supposed on good grounds to mean the hoopoe, rather than the lapwing.

The hoopoe is not uncommon in Palestine at this day, and was from remote ages a bird of mystery. The summit of the augural rod is said to have been carved in the form of a hoopoe's head; and one of the kind is still used by Indian gosseins, and even Armenian bishops, attention being no doubt drawn to the bird by its peculiarly arranged black and white bars upon a delicate vinous fawn-color, and further embellished with a beautiful fan-shaped crest of the same color, tipped with white and black. Its appellations in all languages appear to be either imitations of the bird's voice or indications of its filthy habits; which, however, modern ornithologists deny, or do not notice. In Egypt these birds are numerous; forming, probably, two species, the one permanently resident about human habitations, the other migratory, and the same that visits Europe. The latter wades in the mud when the Nile has subsided, and seeks for worms and insects; and the former is known to rear its young so much immersed in the shards and fragments of beetles, etc. as to cause a disagreeable smell about its nest, which is always in holes or in hollow trees. Though an unclean bird in the Hebrew law, the common migratory hoopoe is eaten in Egypt, and sometimes also in Italy; but the stationary species is considered inedible. It is unnecessary to give further description of a bird so well known as the hoopoe, which, though not common, is nevertheless an annual visitant of England, arriving soon after the cuckoo.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Lapwing'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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