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Vulture

VULTURE

vul'-tur (da'ah; Septuagint gups, and iktinos; Latin Vulturidae):

Any member of a family of large birds that subsist wholly or in part on carrion. The largest vulture of Palestine was the Lammer-geier. This bird waited until smaller vultures, eagles and hawks stripped a carcass to the bone, then carried the skeleton aloft and dashed it on the rocks until the marrow could be secured. This was a favorite delicacy. This bird was fond of tortoise also, and is said to have dropped the one that struck the bald head of Aeschylus, which the bird mistook for a stone, so causing the death of the poet. Several smaller species, including "Pharaoh's chickens," flocked all over Palestine. These were protected by a death penalty for their value as scavengers in cities. They fed on carcasses of animals that killed each other, ate putrid fish under the nests of pelican and cormorant, followed caravans across the desert, and were ready for offal thrown from animals dressed for feasting. They flocked over the altars for the entrails from sacrifice, and devoured scraps cast aside by tent-dwellers and residents of cities. They paired with affectionate courting and nested in crevices, in walls, hollow trees and on cliffs. They raised only one pair of young to the season, as the nestlings were over two months old before they took wing. The young were white at first, then black feathers enveloped them. On account of their steady diet of carrion, no one ever has been able to use their flesh for food, although some daring ornithologists have tried. For this reason the vulture was placed among the abominations and should by right have headed the lists (Leviticus 11:18; Deuteronomy 14:13). The other references that used to be translated "vulture" in the King James Version, the Septuagint elaphos, Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) correctly milous) are changed to "falcon" and "kite." Isaiah 34:15 changes "vulture" to "kite." Job 28:7 changes "vulture" to "falcon."

Gene Stratton-Porter


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