Psalm 102:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.

New Living Translation
I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.

English Standard Version
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places;

New American Standard Bible
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places.

King James Bible
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.

International Standard Version
I resemble a pelican in the wilderness or an owl in a desolate land.

NET Bible
I am like an owl in the wilderness; I am like a screech owl among the ruins.

New Heart English Bible
I am like a pelican of the wilderness. I have become as an owl of the waste places.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have been like a pelican in the wilderness and I have been like an owl in the desert.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I am like a desert owl, like an owl living in the ruins.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am become as an owl of the waste places.

New American Standard 1977
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness;
            I have become like an owl of the waste places.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert.

King James 2000 Bible
I am like a vulture of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

American King James Version
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

American Standard Version
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am become as an owl of the waste places.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I am become like to a pelican of the wilderness: I am like a night raven in the house.

Darby Bible Translation
I am become like the pelican of the wilderness, I am as an owl in desolate places;

English Revised Version
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am become as an owl of the waste places.

Webster's Bible Translation
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

World English Bible
I am like a pelican of the wilderness. I have become as an owl of the waste places.

Young's Literal Translation
I have been like to a pelican of the wilderness, I have been as an owl of the dry places.
Study Bible
Do Not Hide Your Face from Me
5Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to my flesh. 6I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places. 7I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.…
Cross References
Isaiah 34:11
But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness.

Isaiah 38:14
"Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.

Zephaniah 2:14
Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work.
Treasury of Scripture

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

like

Job 30:29,30 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls…

Isaiah 38:14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: …

Micah 1:8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will …

a pelican

Isaiah 34:11-15 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also …

Zephaniah 2:14 And flocks shall lie down in the middle of her, all the beasts of the nations…

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great …

(6) Pelican.--See Leviticus 11:18. "It has been objected that the pelican is a water-bird, and cannot, therefore, be the kath of the Scriptures--"the pelican of the wilderness"--as it must of necessity starve in the desert; but a midbar (wilderness) is often used to denote a wide open space, cultivated or uncultivated, and is not to be restricted to barren spots destitute of water; moreover, as a matter of fact, the pelican after filling its capacious pouch with fish, molluscs, &c, often does. retire to places far inland, where it consumes what it has captured. Thus, too, it breeds on the great sandy wastes near the mouths of the Danube. The expression 'pelican in the wilderness,' in the psalmist's pitiable complaint, is a true picture of the bird as it sits in apparently melancholy mood with its bill resting on its breast (Bible Educator, iv. 8).

Owl.--Heb., khs. (See Leviticus 11:17.) The bird is identified with the "owl" by the Hebrew in this passage, which should be rendered, "owl of the ruins." Some, however, would identify this bird with the pelican, since khs means "cup," rendering "the pelican, even the pouch-bird." (See Bible Educator, ii. 346.) LXX., Aquila, Theodotion, all have "screech-owl;" Symmachus, the "hoopoe."

Verse 6. - I am like a pelican in the wilderness. The Hebrew word here rendered "pelican" is elsewhere in our version translated by "cormorant" (Leviticus 11:7; Deuteronomy 14:17; Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14); but it is now generally believed that the pelican is intended (compare the Septuagint πελεκᾶνι, and see Mr. Houghton's letter in the Academy, April 5, 1884, and the versions of Hengstenberg, Kay, Cheyne, and our Revisers). The pelican is a bird which haunts marshy and desolate places. It abounds in the Lake Huleh in Northern Galilee (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' p. 260). I am like an owl of the desert; or, "of the ruins." The owl haunts ruins in the East no less than in our own country (Layard, 'Nineveh and Babylon,' p. 484, note). I am like a pelican of the wilderness,.... It may be so called, to distinguish it from another of the same name that lives upon the waters; which has the name of "pelican" in the Greek tongue, as is said, from its smiting and piercing its breast, and letting out blood for the reviving of its young; and in the Hebrew language, from its vomiting shell fish it has swallowed down; See Gill on Leviticus 11:18 where the word is rendered a "pelican" as here, and in Deuteronomy 14:17, the same we call the "shovelard"; but a "cormorant" in Isaiah 34:11, however, it seems to be a bird of solitude, and therefore the psalmist compares himself to it. According to Isidore (g), it is an Egyptian bird, that inhabits the desert of the river Nile, from whence it has the name of Canopus Aegyptus:

I am like an owl of the desert; or "of desert places"; so the Tigurine version; it is translated "the little owl" in Leviticus 11:17. It delights to be on old walls, and in ruined houses, and cares not to consort with other birds, and it makes a hideous sorrowful noise (h). Jarchi renders it the hawk, but that, as Kimchi (i) observes, is found in habitable places. Bochart (k) thinks the "onocrotalos" is meant, a bird so much of the same kind with the pelican, that they are promiscuously used by learned men; and which is a creature, as Jerom (l) says, that is used to dwell in desert places; and Isidore (m) observes, that there are two sorts of them, one that lives in the water, and another in the desert; it has its name from its braying like an ass; and Aelianus (n) speaks of a bird of this sort in India, which has a large crop like a sack; and the Hebrew word "cos" here used signifies a cup or vessel, from whence it may have its name; and which he says makes a very disagreeable noise, to which the psalmist may compare the voice of his groaning, Psalm 102:5.

(g) Origin. l. 12. c. 7. (h) "Solaque culminibus ferali carmine Bubo, saepe queri----", Virgil. Aeneid. 4. (i) Sepher Shorash. rad. (k) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 2. c. 20. col. 275, 276. (l) Comment. in Esaiam, c. 34. fol. 64. A. (m) Ut supra. (Origin. l. 12. c. 7.) (n) De Animal. l. 16. c. 4. 6, 7. The figures express extreme loneliness.102:1-11 The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.
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