Bible Animals: Bittern
Bittern in the ancient World.
Bittern in the ancient World.
Ancient Bittern. THE Bittern is a fowl about the same size and of the same genus as 'the heron. It has the feathers of the neck lax and separated, which increases its apparent size. It is commonly rayed or speckled. and has shorter legs than the true heron. It inhabits marshes and the banks of rivers and lakes, rarely venturing upon solid ground, and then only frequenting ruined buildings. It is silent during the day, but at night utters a peculiar and harsh cry. It is mentioned in the Bible as the symbol of desolation. Nineveh and Babylon became a possession for the " bittern." (Isaiah xiv. 13 ; xxxiv. I I ; Zeph. 2:14). - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible
Bittern in Easton's Bible Dictionary is found three times in connection with the desolations to come upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting marshy ground. The Hebrew word (kippod) thus rendered in the Authorized Version is rendered "porcupine" in the Revised Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation. This favours the idea that not the "porcupine" but the "bittern" is really intended by the word.
Bittern in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (qippod. The accompaniment of the desolation reigning in Babylon (Isaiah 14:23), Idumea (Isaiah 34:11), Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:14). An aquatic solitary bird, frequenting marshy pools, such as the plain of Babylonia abounded in: the Al- houbara of the Arabic version, the size of a large fowl. The Botaurus stellaris, of the heron kind. Gesenius translates "the hedgehog" (from its rolling itself together; qaapad, "to contract oneself"), and Strabo says that enormous hedgehogs were found in the islands of the Euphrates. The Arabic kunfud resembles qippod somewhat. But the hedgehog or porcupine would never "lodge" or perch on the chapiters of columns," as margin Zephaniah 2:14 says of the qippod. Still the columns might be fallen on the ground within reach of the hedgehog, and Idumea is not a marshy region suited to an aquatic bird such as the bittern.
Bittern in Naves Topical Bible -A species of heron Isa 14:23; 34:11; Zep 2:14
Bittern in Smiths Bible Dictionary The word occurs in Isa 14:23; 34:11; Zep 2:14 and we are inclined to believe that the Authorized Version is correct. The bittern (Botaurus stellaris) belongs to the Ardeidae, the heron family of birds, and is famous for the peculiar nocturnal booming sound which it emits.
Bittern in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE bit'-ern (qippodh; Latin Botaurus stellaris; Greek echinos): A nocturnal member of the heron family, frequenting swamps and marshy places. Its Hebrew name means a creature of waste and desert places. The bittern is the most individual branch of the heron (ardeidae) family on account of being partially a bird of night. There are observable differences from the heron in proportion, and it differs widely in coloration. It is one of the birds of most ancient history, and as far back as records extend is known to have inhabited Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America. The African bird that Bible historians were familiar with was 2 1/2 ft. in length. It had a 4-inch bill, bright eyes and plumage of buff and chestnut, mottled with black. It lived around swamps and marshes, hunting mostly at night, and its food was much the same as that of all members of the heron family, frogs being its staple article of diet. Its meat has not the fishy taste of most members of the heron family, and in former times wa s considered a great delicacy of food. In the days of falconry it was protected in England because of the sport afforded in hunting it. Aristotle mentions that previous to his time the bittern was called oknos, which name indicates "an idle disposition." It was probably bestowed by people who found the bird hiding in swamps during the daytime, and saw that it would almost allow itself to be stepped upon before it would fly. They did not understand that it fed and mated at night. Pliny wrote of it as a bird that "bellowed like oxen," for which reason it was called Taurus. Other medieval writers called it botaurus, from which our term "bittern" is derived. There seems to be much confusion as to the early form of the name; but all authorities agree that it was bestowed on the bird on account of its voice...
Bittern in Wikipedia Bittern (botháurus vulgaris), a shy, solitary, wading bird related to the heron and inhabiting the recesses of swamps, where its startling, booming cry at night gives a frightening impression of desolation. In the D.V., bittern stands for Hebr. qã'ãth (Leviticus 11:18; Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14), although by some inconsistency the same Hebrew word is rendered Deut., xiv, 17, by cormorant, and Ps. ci (Hebr., cii), 7, by pelican. The pelican meets all the requirements of all the passages where qã'ãth is mentioned, and would perhaps be a better translation than bittern.
Bittern Scripture - Isaiah 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
Bittern Scripture - Isaiah 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
Bittern Scripture - Zephaniah 2:14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; [their] voice shall sing in the windows; desolation [shall be] in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.