(Heb. tinshemeth ), thus rendered by the Authorized Version in ( Leviticus 11:18 ; 14:16 ) where it occurs in the list of unclean birds Rut either of the renderings "porphyrio" (purple water-hen) and "ibis" is more probable. Neither of these birds occurs elsewhere in the catalogue; both would be familiar to residents in Egypt, and the original seems to point to some water-fowl. The purple water-hen is allied to our corn-crake and water-hen, and is the largest and most beautiful of the family Rallidae . It frequents marshes and the sedge by the banks of rivers in all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean and is abundant in lower Egypt.
swon (tinshemeth, "chameleon," "tree-toad," "water-hen," "owl"; kuknos; Latin cygnus; Anglo-Saxon:
swan and swon): Mentioned only in old versions and the Revised Version margin in Leviticus 11:18: "the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle," and in Deuteronomy 14:16 Septuagint porphurion = "water-hen"; Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) ibis). In the Revised Version (British and American) this is rightly changed to "the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture." A bird of the duck family wrongly placed among the abominations in old versions of the Bible, now changed to horned owl.
White and gray swans spend their winter migratory season on the waters of the Holy Land. They are among the most ancient birds of history; always have been used for food; when young and tender, of fine flesh and delicious flavor; so there is no possibility that they were ever rightfully placed among the birds unsuitable for food. Their feeding habits are aquatic, their food in no way objectionable.
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