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Birds, Unclean

BIRDS, UNCLEAN

un-klen':

The lists of birds forbidden as food are given in Leviticus 11:13-19 and Deuteronomy 14:12-18. The names are almost identical, Deuteronomy containing one more than Leviticus and varying the order slightly. In Deuteronomy 14:13 the first name, ha-ra'ah, is almost certainly a corruption of ha-da'-ah, the first name in Leviticus 11:14. In the American Standard Revised Version it is translated "kite" in Leviticus, while in Deuteronomy it is translated "glede." The additional one in Deuteronomy is ha-dayyah, and is translated "kite." Doubtless the three words, ha-da'ah, ha-'ayyah and ha-dayyah, are generic and refer to different birds of the kite or perhaps falcon family, so it is impossible to give specific meanings to them. There are twenty-one names in all, counting the extra one in Deuteronomy. The translation of many of these words is disputed. The American Standard Revised Version gives them as follows: eagle, gier eagle, osprey, kite, falcon, glede, every raven, ostrich, night-hawk, sea-mew, hawk, little owl, cormorant, great owl, horned owl, pelican, vulture, stork, h eron, hoopoe and bat. It will be observed that all of them are either carrion-eaters, birds of prey, or water fowl. The names of those birds which may be eaten are not given, the principle of classification is that of elimination. No principle of separation is given as is the case with the animals. The reason for the prohibition doubtless lies in the unsanitary and repulsive nature of the flesh of these birds, the Divine command endorsing the instincts which were repelled by such food. For particulars, see separate articles on each of these birds.

See also ABOMINATION, BIRDS OF.

James Josiah Reeve


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'BIRDS, UNCLEAN'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.