(1.) Heb. da'ah (Lev. 11:14). In the parallel passage (Deut. 14:13) the Hebrew word used is ra'ah, rendered "glede;" LXX., "gups;" Vulg., "milvus." A species of ravenous bird, distinguished for its rapid flight. "When used without the epithet 'red,' the name is commonly confined to the black kite. The habits of the bird bear out the allusion in Isa. 34:15, for it is, excepting during the winter three months, so numerous everywhere in Palestine as to be almost gregarious." (See EAGLE.)
(2.) In Job 28:7 the Heb. 'ayyah is thus rendered. The word denotes a clamorous and a keen-sighted bird of prey. In Lev. 11:14 and Deut. 14:13 it is rendered "kite" (q.v.).
The rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew daah, dayyah
, and also in (Job 28:7
) of ayyah
. There seems no doubt that the Authorized Versions translation is incorrect, and that the original words refer to some of the smaller species of raptorial birds, as kites or buzzards. [KITE
] But the Hebrew word nesher
, invariably rendered "eagle" in the Authorized Version, is probably the vulture. [EAGLE
- 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 (Lev 11:18
; Dt 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." Isa 34:15
changes "vulture" to "kite." Job 28:7
changes "vulture" to "falcon."