Jeremiah 12:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Has not my inheritance become to me like a speckled bird of prey that other birds of prey surround and attack? Go and gather all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.

New Living Translation
My chosen people act like speckled vultures, but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean!

English Standard Version
Is my heritage to me like a hyena’s lair? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.

New American Standard Bible
"Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me? Are the birds of prey against her on every side? Go, gather all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour!

King James Bible
Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Is My inheritance like a hyena to Me? Are birds of prey circling her? Go, gather all the wild animals; bring them to devour her.

International Standard Version
Is my inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to me? Are the other birds of prey all around her coming against her? Go, gather all the wild animals and bring them to devour it.

NET Bible
The people I call my own attack me like birds of prey or like hyenas. But other birds of prey are all around them. Let all the nations gather together like wild beasts. Let them come and destroy these people I call my own.

New Heart English Bible
Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the animals of the field, bring them to devour.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My people are like a colorful bird of prey. Other birds of prey surround it. Go, gather all the animals in the field, and bring them to devour it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is My heritage unto Me as a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her round about? Come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour.

New American Standard 1977
“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
            Are the birds of prey against her on every side?
            Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
            Bring them to devour!

Jubilee Bible 2000
My heritage is unto me as a speckled bird; the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour her.

King James 2000 Bible
My heritage is unto me like a speckled bird of prey, the birds round about are against her; come you, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

American King James Version
My heritage is to me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come you, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

American Standard Version
Is my heritage unto me as a speckled bird of prey? are the birds of prey against her round about? go ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is my inheritance to me as a speckled bird? Is it as a bird died throughout? come ye, assemble yourselves, all the beasts of the earth, make haste to devour.

Darby Bible Translation
My heritage is unto me [as] a speckled bird of prey; the birds of prey round about are against her. Go, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour.

English Revised Version
Is mine heritage unto me as a speckled bird of prey? are the birds of prey against her round about? go ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour.

Webster's Bible Translation
My heritage is to me as a speckled bird, the birds around are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

World English Bible
Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey? are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the animals of the field, bring them to devour.

Young's Literal Translation
A speckled fowl is Mine inheritance to Me? Is the fowl round about against her? Come, assemble, every beast of the field, Come ye for food.
Study Bible
God's Answer to Jeremiah
8"My inheritance has become to Me Like a lion in the forest; She has roared against Me; Therefore I have come to hate her. 9"Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me? Are the birds of prey against her on every side? Go, gather all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour! 10"Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard, They have trampled down My field; They have made My pleasant field A desolate wilderness.…
Cross References
Revelation 19:17
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice to all the birds flying overhead, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God,

2 Kings 24:2
The LORD sent against him bands of Chaldeans, bands of Arameans, bands of Moabites, and bands of Ammonites. So He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken through His servants the prophets.

Isaiah 56:9
All you beasts of the field, All you beasts in the forest, Come to eat.

Jeremiah 7:33
"The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away.

Jeremiah 15:3
"I will appoint over them four kinds of doom," declares the LORD: "the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

Jeremiah 34:20
I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. And their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.

Lamentations 1:17
Zion stretches out her hands; There is no one to comfort her; The LORD has commanded concerning Jacob That the ones round about him should be his adversaries; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them.

Ezekiel 23:22
"Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold I will arouse your lovers against you, from whom you were alienated, and I will bring them against you from every side:

Ezekiel 39:17
"As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, "Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
Treasury of Scripture

My heritage is to me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come you, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

Mine. Or rather, as the learned Bochart renders, Is then my heritage (people) to me as a fierce hyaena? Is there a wild beast all around upon her? i.e. the land of Canaan. The hyaena is a kind of wolf, a little bigger than a mastiff; colour grey, streaked with black; it is of a solitary and savage disposition.

Speckled bird. or a bird having talons. the birds.

Jeremiah 2:15 The young lions roared on him, and yelled, and they made his land …

2 Kings 24:2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of …

Ezekiel 16:36,37 Thus said the Lord GOD; Because your filthiness was poured out…

Ezekiel 23:22-25 Therefore, O Aholibah, thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise …

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the …

come ye.

Jeremiah 7:33 And the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the …

Isaiah 56:9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest.

Ezekiel 39:17-20 And, you son of man, thus said the Lord GOD; Speak to every feathered …

Revelation 19:17,18 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud …

come. or cause them to come.

(9) Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird.--The Hebrew is interrogative, Is mine heritage . . .? Are the birds come round about against her? The word for "bird" in both cases means a "bird of prey" (Isaiah 46:11; Genesis 15:11), and the "speckled bird" is probably, but not certainly, some less common species of vulture. The image was probably suggested by something the prophet had observed, birds of prey of one species collecting and attacking a solitary stranger of another, joined by the "beasts of the field," the wolves and jackals and hynas, who scent their prey. The word "speckled," perhaps, points to the bird attacked as being of more goodly plumage than the others (one, it may be, of the kingfishers that abound in Palestine), and therefore treated as a stranger and an enemy. The fact is one which strikes every observer of bird life (Tac. Ann. vi. 28; Sueton. Cs. c. 81).

Verse 9. - The first part of this verse is mistranslated. Instead of Mine heritage is unto me, etc., it should be, Is mine heritage unto me (i.e. to my sorrow, a dativus ethics) a colored bird of prey? Are birds of prey round about her? The passage is difficult, but the following seems the most plausible explanation: - Jehovah is represented as surprised to see his chosen people a prey to the heathen (a strongly anthropomorphic description, as if Jehovah had not anticipated that his "giving up" his people would have such sad results). It seems to him (adopting human modes of speech) as if Israel were "a colored bird of prey," the bright plumage of which excites the animosity of its less brilliant comrades, who gather round it and pull it to pieces. It is an allusion to the phenomenon, well-known to the ancients (Tacit., 'Ann.' 6:28; Suet., 'Caes.,' 81; Plin.,' Hist. Nat.,' 10:19), of birds gathering round and attacking a strange-looking bird appearing in their midst. The prophet might have simply said "a bird;" why does he say "a bird of prey ('ayit)"? Probably because he has just described the hostile attitude of Israel towards Jehovah under the figure of a lion. Some particular, rare kind of vulture seems to be intended. Sennacherib apparently uses a cognate word ('it) for the vulture ('Taylor Cylinder,' 3. 68). Bochart and Gesenius, following the Septuagint, think "hyena," and not "bird of prey," is the right rendering in the first clause; but Gesenius does not offer any other passage for the meaning bestia rapax. Come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field. There is a parallel passage in Isaiah 56:9, where, as here, the "beasts of the field (i.e. the wild beasts of the open country) are the heathen powers employed as God's instruments for chastising Israel (comp. also Ezekiel 34:5, where the same figure occurs). "The prophet adopts the strongest way of expressing that Israel, utterly bereft of his natural defenders, lies at the mercy of the great heathen empire" (note on Isaiah 56:9). Come to devour; rather, bring them to devour. Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird,.... Or, "is not mine heritage unto me as a speckled bird?" (b) as a bird of various colours, delightful to look at, as the peacock, so Jerom interprets it here; it was so formerly, but not so now; or as a bird of various colours, and unusual, which other birds get about, look on, hate, and peck at. Some think this refers to the motley party coloured religion the Jews had embraced, consisting of various rites and ceremonies of the Heathens; on which account they thought they looked beautiful and comely, when they were hated and rejected of God for them; but the word signifies rather to be dipped or stained, as with blood, and so denotes a bird of prey that is stained with the blood of others; a fit emblem of the cruelty of the Jews, in shedding the blood of the prophets. Some, because a word near akin to this signifies a finger, render it a "fingered bird" (c); that is, a bird with talons or claws; like fingers, a ravenous bird, and it comes to the same sense as before. But the Septuagint take it, to be not a bird, but a beast, and render it by the hyena; and which Bochart (d) approves of, since the word in the Arabic language signifies such a creature; and Schindler observes, that with the Arabians, is the name of a creature between a wolf and a middling dog, which agrees with the hyena. The word here used, in the Talmudic (e) language signifies a she leopard or panther, so called from its variety of spots; and is the same, as Maimonides says (f), which, in the Arabic language, is called with the Targumists it is used for a kind of serpents or vipers. So the valley of Tzeboim is rendered, in the Targum, the valley of vipers, 1 Samuel 13:18. And it is said (g), the word in the text,

"this is from a white drop (or seed), and yet it has three hundred and sixty five kinds of colours, according to the number of the days of a solar year.''

The birds round about are against her; or, "are not the birds round about against her?" the birds of prey? they are; meaning the neighbouring nations, that under Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem to take and destroy it.

Come ye, assemble all ye beasts of the field, come to devour; this is an invitation to the enemies of the people of the Jews, comparable for their fierceness and savageness to the beasts of the field, to come and destroy them; and shows that their destruction was by divine permission, and according to the will of God. Compare with this Revelation 19:18. The Targum interprets it of those that kill with the sword; kings of the earth, and their armies.

(b) So V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Jarchi, and Kimchi. (c) "avis digtata", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gusetius; "ales unguibus praedita", Cocceius. (d) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 11. col. 830, 838, 839. (e) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 16. 1.((f) In Misn. Bava Kama, c. 1. sect. 4. (g) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 7. fol. 6. 2.9. speckled bird—Many translate, "a ravenous beast, the hyena"; the corresponding Arabic word means hyena; so the Septuagint. But the Hebrew always elsewhere means "a bird of prey." The Hebrew for "speckled" is from a root "to color"; answering to the Jewish blending together with paganism the altogether diverse Mosaic ritual. The neighboring nations, birds of prey like herself (for she had sinfully assimilated herself to them), were ready to pounce upon her.

assemble … beasts of … field—The Chaldeans are told to gather the surrounding heathen peoples as allies against Judah (Isa 56:9; Eze 34:5).12:7-13 God's people had been the dearly-beloved of his soul, precious in his sight, but they acted so, that he gave them up to their enemies. Many professing churches become like speckled birds, presenting a mixture of religion and the world, with its vain fashions, pursuits, and pollutions. God's people are as men wondered at, as a speckled bird; but this people had by their own folly made themselves so; and the beasts and birds are called to prey upon them. The whole land would be made desolate. But until the judgments were actually inflicted, none of the people would lay the warning to heart. When God's hand is lifted up, and men will not see, they shall be made to feel. Silver and gold shall not profit in the day of the Lord's anger. And the efforts of sinners to escape misery, without repentance and works answerable thereto, will end in confusion.
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