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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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The rendering in the English Bible versions of the Hebrew "nesher." The nesher, however, was bald nested on high rocks and was gregarious in its habits (Micah 1:16 Job 39:27,28 Proverbs 30:17 ), all of which characteristics belong to the griffin-vulture, but not to the eagle.

Several species of eagles inhabit Palestine and these are probably all included in the term "' ozniyyah" (Leviticus 11:13 Deuteronomy 14:12 compare Tristram, "Natural History of the Bible," p. 181).

The Talmud says that the eagle is the king of birds, but that it is afraid of the flycatcher (Shab. 77b). It flies rapidly without tiring ( = "light like the eagle," Ab. 5:20).

The eagle is ranked among the unclean birds— a fact variously explained by the Talmudic writers (Ḥ ul. 61a). The nesher is found deified in the Assyrian Nisroch, the vulture-headed god (IIKings 19:37 Isaiah 37:38 ), and in the Arabic idol Nasr. In Ezekiel (i:10, 10:14) the eagle is mentioned in connection with the throne of God. In rabbinic parlance "nesher" is used as a title of distinction e.g. , to denote the Roman government (Sanh. 12a).

Reverse of Copper Coin Bearing an Eagle, Attributed to Herod the Great.
(After Madden, "History of Jewish Coinage.")
On the ancient fallacy that the eagle could renew its youth see Bochart, "Hierozoicon," part ii., bk. ii., ch. 1 (compare Ḳ imḥ i on Psalm 103:5 ).
Bibliography : J. G. Woods, Animals of the Bible , Philadelphia, 1872 L. Lewysohn, Die Zoologie des Talmuds , 1858.E. G. H. H. H.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Eagle'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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