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February 28    Scripture

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Bible Animals: Eagle
Eagle in the ancient World.

Ancient Eagle. THE Eagle, which is frequently mentioned in the Old Testa­ment, is a very large and powerful bird of prey, and is called the king of birds. There are several species of eagles de­scribed by naturalists, and it is probable that this word in the Bible comprehends more than one of these. The noble eastern species, called by Mr. Bruce " the golden eagle," measures eight feet four inches from wing to wing; and from the tip of his tail to the point of his beak, when dead, four feet seven inches. The eagle flies higher and more rapidly than any known bird. It is said to live to a great age. Like other birds of prey, it sheds its feathers at the opening of the spring, and then assumes a fresh and youthful appearance. It is re­markable for its keen scent. To the Jew it was an unclean bird, and was not allowed for food ; nor do any of the Gentile nations make such a use of it. It was and is the national em­blem of many countries. In ancient times it was the especial emblem of Persia and of Rome. - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible

Eagle in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Herb. nesher; properly the griffon vulture or great vulture, so called from its tearing its prey with its beak), referred to for its swiftness of flight (Deut. 28:49; 2 Sam. 1:23), its mounting high in the air (Job 39:27), its strength (Ps. 103:5), its setting its nest in high places (Jer. 49:16), and its power of vision (Job 39:27-30). This "ravenous bird" is a symbol of those nations whom God employs and sends forth to do a work of destruction, sweeping away whatever is decaying and putrescent (Matt. 24:28; Isa. 46:11; Ezek. 39:4; Deut. 28:49; Jer. 4:13; 48:40). It is said that the eagle sheds his feathers in the beginning of spring, and with fresh plumage assumes the appearance of youth. To this, allusion is made in Ps. 103:5 and Isa. 40:31. God's care over his people is likened to that of the eagle in training its young to fly (Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11, 12). An interesting illustration is thus recorded by Sir Humphry Davy:, "I once saw a very interesting sight above the crags of Ben Nevis. Two parent eagles were teaching their offspring, two young birds, the maneuvers of flight. They began by rising from the top of the mountain in the eye of the sun. It was about mid- day, and bright for the climate. They at first made small circles, and the young birds imitated them. They paused on their wings, waiting till they had made their flight, and then took a second and larger gyration, always rising toward the sun, and enlarging their circle of flight so as to make a gradually ascending spiral. The young ones still and slowly followed, apparently flying better as they mounted; and they continued this sublime exercise, always rising till they became mere points in the air, and the young ones were lost, and afterwards their parents, to our aching sight." (See Isa. 40:31.)...

Eagle in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Nesher. Leviticus 11:13. The golden eagle (W. Drake). The griffon vulture; the Arab nisr is plainly the Hebrew nesher. In Micah 1:16, "make thee bald (shaving the head betokening mourning) ... enlarge thy baldness as the nesher," the griffon vulture must be meant; for it is "bald," which the eagle is not. "A majestic and royal bird, the largest and most powerful seen in Israel, far surpassing the eagle in size and power" (Tristram). The Egyptians ranked it as first among birds. The da'ah (Leviticus 11:14) is not "the vulture" but the black kite. The Hebrew qaarach is to make bald the back of the head, very applicable to the griffon vulture's head and neck, which are destitute of true feathers. The golden eagle; the spotted, common in the rocky regions; the imperial; and the Circaeros gallicus (short-toed eagle), living on reptiles only: Israel Exploration Quarterly Statement, October, 1876), are all found in Israel...

Eagle in Naves Topical Bible -Forbidden as food Le 11:13; De 14:12 -The swift flight of De 28:49; Job 9:26; Pr 30:19; Jer 4:13; 49:22; La 4:19 -The nest of De 32:11; Job 39:27-30; Jer 49:16 -Carries her young upon her wings Ex 19:4; De 32:11 -The long life of Ps 103:5 -The molting of Mic 1:16 -Gier-eagle Le 11:18 -FIGURATIVE Ex 19:4; De 32:11; Jer 48:40; Ho 8:1 -SYMBOLICAL Eze 1:10; 10:14; 17:3; Da 7:4; Re 4:7; 12:14

Eagle in Smiths Bible Dictionary (Heb. nesher, i.e. a tearer with the beak). At least four distinct kinds of eagles have been observed in Israel, viz., the golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, the spotted eagle, Aquila naevia, the imperial eagle, Aquila heliaca, and the very common Circaetos gallicus. The Hebrew nesher may stand for any of these different species, though perhaps more particular reference to the golden and imperial eagles and the griffon vulture may be intended. The passage in Micah, Mic 1:16 "enlarge thy baldness as the eagle," may refer to the griffon vulture, Vultur fulvus, in which case the simile is peculiarly appropriate, for the whole head and neck of this bird are destitute of true feathers. The "eagles" of Mt 24:28; Lu 17:37 may include the Vultur fulvus and Neophron percnopterus; though, as eagles frequently prey upon dead bodies, there is no necessity to restrict the Greek word to the Vulturidae. The figure of an eagle is now and has long been a favorite military ensign. The Persians so employed it; a fact which illustrates the passage in Isa 46:11 The same bird was similarly employed by the Assyrians and the Romans.

Eagle in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE e'-g'-l (nesher; aetos; Latin aquila): A bird of the genus aquila of the family falconidae. The Hebrew nesher, meaning "to tear with the beak," is almost invariably translated "eagle," throughout the Bible; yet many of the most important references compel the admission that the bird to which they applied was a vulture. There were many large birds and carrion eaters flocking over Israel, attracted by the offal from animals slaughtered for tribal feasts and continuous sacrifice. The eagle family could not be separated from the vultures by their habit of feeding, for they ate the offal from slaughter as well as the vultures. One distinction always holds good. Eagles never flock. They select the tallest trees of the forest, the topmost crag of the mountain, and pairs live in solitude, hunting and feeding singly, whenever possible carrying their prey to the nest so that the young may gain strength and experience by tearing at it and feeding themselves. The vultures are friendly, and collect and feed in flocks. So wherever it is recorded that a "flock came down on a carcass," there may have been an eagle or two in it, but the body of it were vultures. Because they came in such close contact with birds of prey, the natives came nearer dividing them into families than any birds. Of perhaps a half-dozen, they recognized three eagles, they knew three vultures, four or five falcons, and several kites; but almost every Biblical reference is translated "eagle," no matter how evident the text makes it that the bird was a vulture. For example, Mic 1:16: "Make thee bald, and cut off thy hair for the children of thy delight: enlarge thy baldness as the eagle (m "vulture"); for they are gone into captivity from thee." This is a reference to the custom of shaving the head when in mourning, but as Israel knew no bald eagle, the text could refer only to the bare head and neck of the griffon vulture. The eagles were, when hunger-driven, birds of prey; the vultures, carrion feeders only. There was a golden eagle (the osprey of the King James Version), not very common, distinguished by its tan-colored head; the imperial eagle, more numerous and easily identified by a dark head and white shoulders; a spotted eagle; a tawny eagle, much more common and readily distinguished by its plumage; and the short-toed eagle, most common of all...

Eagle in Wikipedia Eagle. - So is generally rendered the Hebrew, néshér, but there is a doubt as to whether the eagle or some kind of vulture is intended. It seems even probable that the Hebrews did not distinguish very carefully these different large birds of prey, and that all are spoken of as though they were of one kind. Anyway, four species of eagles are known to live in Israel: aquila chrysœtos, aquila nœvia, aquila heliaca, and circœtos gallicus. Many allusions are made to the eagle in the Bible: its inhabiting the dizziest cliffs for nesting, its keen sight, its habit of congregating to feed on the slain, its swiftness, its longevity, its remarkable care in training its young, are often referred to (see in particular Job 39:27-30). When the relations of Israel with their neighbours became more frequent, the eagle became, under the pen of the Jewish prophets and poets, an emblem first of the Assyrian, then of the Babylonian, and finally of the Persian kings.

Eagle Scripture - Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Eagle Scripture - Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Eagle Scripture - Jeremiah 49:16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

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