an unclean and keen-sighted bird of prey ( Leviticus 11:14 ; Deuteronomy 14:13 ). The Hebrew word used, 'ayet , is rendered "vulture" in Job 28:7 in Authorized Version, "falcon" in Revised Version. It is probably the red kite (Milvus regalis), a bird of piercing sight and of soaring habits found all over Palestine.
(Heb. ayyah ), a rapacious and keen-sighted bird of prey belonging to the hawk family. The Hebrew word thus rendered occurs in three passages -- ( Leviticus 11:14 ; 14:13 ; Job 28:7 ) In the two former it is translated "kite" in the Authorized Version, in the latter "vulture." It is enumerated among the twenty names of birds mentioned in ( 14:1 ) ... which were considered unclean by the Mosaic law and forbidden to be used as food by the Israelites.
kit ('ayyah; iktinos; Latin Milvus ictinus or regalis):
A medium-sized member of the hawk tribe (see HAWK). This bird is 27 inches long, of bright reddish-brown color, has sharply pointed wings and deeply forked tail. It is supposed to have exceptionally piercing eyes. It takes moles, mice, young game birds, snakes and frogs, as well as carrion for food. Its head and facial expression are unusually eagle-like. It was common over Palestine in winter, but bred in the hills of Galilee and rough mountainous places, so it was less conspicuous in summer. It is among the lists of abominations (see Leviticus 11:14 and Deuteronomy 14:13). It is notable that this is the real bird intended by Job to be used as that whose eye could not trace the path to the silver mine:
"That path no bird of prey knoweth,
Neither hath the falcon's eye seen it" (Job 28:7).
The word used here in the original Hebrew is 'ayyah, which was the name for kite. Our first translators used "vulture"; our latest efforts give "falcon," a smaller bird of different markings, not having the kite's reputation for eyesight.
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