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Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. chasidah), a large bird of passage of the heron family. The of the largest and most conspicuous of land birds, standing nearly four feet high, the jet black of its wings and its bright red beak and legs contrasting finely with the pure white of its plumage. (Zechariah 6:9) In the neighborhood of man it devours readily all kinds of offal and garbage. For this reason, doubtless it is placed in the list of unclean birds by the Mosaic law. (Leviticus 11:19; 14:18) The range of the white stork extends over the whole of Europe, except the British isles, where it is now a rare visitant, and over northern Africa and Asia as far at least as Burmah. The black stork (Ciconia nigra , Linn.), though less abundant in places, is scarcely less widely distributed, but has a more easterly range than its congener. Both species are very numerous in Palestine. While the black stork is never found about buildings, but prefers marshy places in forests and breeds on the tops of the loftiest trees, the white stork attaches itself to man and for the service which it renders in the destruction of reptiles and the removal of offal has been repaid from the earliest times by protection and reverence, The derivation of chasidah (from chesed , "kindness") points to the paternal and filial attachment of which the stork seems to have been a type among the Hebrews no less than the Greeks and Romans. It was believed that the young repaid the care of their parents by attaching themselves to them for life, and tending them in old age. That the parental attachment of the stork is very strong has been proved on many occasions, Few migratory birds are more punctual to the time of their reappearance than the white stork. The stork has no note, and the only sound it emits is that caused by the sudden snapping of its long mandibles.

Scripture Alphabet Of Animals

The Bible name of this bird means gentleness or affection, and the stork very well deserves such a name. It is very kind indeed to its young ones, and takes pains to find some things for them that it does not itself eat. It is said that when a house, on the top of which was a stork's nest, once took fire, the mother bird would not fly away, because the young ones were not large or strong enough to go with her, and so they were all burned together. They are very kind to the old birds, too; and I have read that the younger storks sometimes carry the old ones on their wings when they have become tired with flying a great way; and bring food to them in their nests just as the old ones used to bring it to them. I am not quite certain that this is true, though many people have said so; but if it is, I am sure it is a beautiful example for every child, teaching him to repay his parents in every way he can for all their love and care.

The stork is about a yard long from its head to the end of the tail; its color is white, excepting some of the great quill feathers, which are black. Its nest is large and flat, and made mostly of sticks; the eggs are about as large as those of a goose, and a little yellowish.

It does not sing; the only noise it makes is by striking one part of its bill upon the other. While it is sleeping it stands on one leg, with its neck bent backward, and its head resting between its shoulders. The Jews were forbidden by God to use the stork for food; perhaps this was because it lives upon such animals as frogs, fishes and serpents.

The stork is a bird of passage; it spends the summer in Holland and other countries in the north of Europe, but flies to a warmer climate before cold weather comes. They seem to have a kind of agreement among themselves about starting on these long journeys; and for a fort-night before they are ready, they may be seen collecting in great numbers-then all take to their wings at once. This explains a verse in Jeremiah 8:7 "The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times;" that is, her times of going to a warmer climate or returning.

After the winter has gone, the storks fly back to their summer home, and very often take their old nests again. In Europe, these are generally made on the tops of houses or old chimneys, and the birds are so gentle and harmless that the people never disturb them, but are glad to see them come back. In some countries the roofs of the houses are flat, and the people walk and sleep on them; in these places the storks often build their nest on the flat branches of some spreading tree. In the Psalm 104 we read, "As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house."

ATS Bible Dictionary

Its Hebrew name signifies kindness or mercy, and its Greek name natural affection, probably because of the tenderness which it is said to manifest towards its parents-never, as is reported, forsaking them, but feeding and defending them in their decrepitude. In modern times, parent storks are known to have perished in the effort to rescue their young from flames; and it has been a popular, but perhaps ill-founded opinion, that in their migratory flights, the leader of the flock when fatigued is partially supported by others as he falls into the rear. In Jeremiah 8:7, allusion is made to the unerring instinct of the stork as a bird of passage, and perhaps to its lofty flight: "the stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times." Moses places it among unclean birds, Le 11:19 De 14:18. The psalmist says, "As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house," Psalm 104:17. In the climate of Europe, she commonly builds her nest on some high tower or ruin, or on the top of a house; but in Palestine, where the coverings of the houses are flat, she builds in high trees.

The stork has the beak and legs long and red; it feeds on field mice, lizards, snakes, frogs, and insects. Its plumage would be wholly white, but that the extremities of its wings, and some small part of its head and thighs, are black. It sits for the space of thirty days, and lays but four eggs. Storks migrate to southern countries in August, and return in the spring. They are still the objects of much veneration among the common people in some parts of Europe and Asia.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Hebrews hasidah, meaning "kindness," indicating thus the character of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical law (Leviticus 11:19; Deuteronomy 14:18). It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two species are found in Palestine, the white, which are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black, which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this (Jeremiah 8:7). At the appointed time they return with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their old nests. "There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!"

In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or wings and feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the feathers of the stork and ostrich"), the Revised Version has "are her pinions and feathers kindly" (marg., instead of "kindly, " reads "like the stork's"). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference.

Zechariah (5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork's wings.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) Any one of several species of large wading birds of the family Ciconidae, having long legs and a long, pointed bill. They are found both in the Old World and in America, and belong to Ciconia and several allied genera. The European white stork (Ciconia alba) is the best known. It commonly makes its nests on the top of a building, a chimney, a church spire, or a pillar. The black stork (C. nigra) is native of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

stork (chacidhah; variously rendered in the Septuagint: Leviticus 11:19, erodios; Deuteronomy 14:18, pelekan; Job 39:13, hasida (transliteration of Hebrew); Zechariah 5:9, (epops; Latin Ciconia alba): A large wading bird of the family Ardeidae, related to crane, ibis, heron and bittern. The stork on wing is a bird of exquisite beauty. The primary, secondary and a few of the tertiary wing feathers are black, the remainder, also the head, neck, and back and under parts white, the bill and legs red. When a perching white bird suddenly unfolds these wonderful wings, having at times a sweep of 7 ft., and sails away, it makes a very imposing picture. Zechariah in a vision saw a woman having the wings of a stork; Zechariah 5:9, "Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there came forth two women, and the wind was in their wings; now they had wings like the wings of a stork; and they lifted up the ephah between eaxth and heaven." These birds winter in Africa. In their spring migration many pairs pause in Palestine, others cross the Mediterranean and spread over the housetops, ruins and suitable building-places of Europe as far north as Rolland and England. Always and everywhere the bird has been more or less protected on account of its fidelity to a chosen location, its fearlessness of man and the tender love between mated pairs and for its young.

The stork first appears among the birds of abomination, and it is peculiar that the crane does not, for they are closely related. But the crane eats moles, mice, lizards and smaller animals it can capture, also frogs and fish. To this same diet the stork adds carrion and other offensive matter, and the laws of Moses, as a rule, are formulated with good reason. Yet at one time, storks must have been eaten, for Pliny quoted Cornelius Nepos, who died in the days of Augustus Caesar, as saying that "in his time storks were holden for a better dish at board than cranes." Pliny adds: "Yet see, how in our age now, no man will touch a stork if it be set before him on the board, but everyone is ready to reach into the crane and no dish is more in request." He also wrote that it was a capital crime in Thessaly to kill storks, because of their work in slaying serpents. This may have been the beginning of the present laws protecting the bird, reinforced by the steady growth of respect and love for its tender, gentle disposition. The Hebrew word chaidhah, from which the stork took its name, means "kindness."

There is a smaller stork having a black neck and back, that homes in Palestine, but only in small numbers as compared with the white. These birds flock and live in forests around the borders of waste and desert places, and build in trees. The young of both species remain a long time in the nest and are tenderly cared for, so much so indeed that from their performances and love of building on housetops arose the popular tradition that the stork delivers newly born children to homes. The birds first appear in Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18. Jeremiah noticed that the stork was migratory; see 8:7: "Yea, the stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle-dove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the law of Yahweh." The Psalmist referred to their nesting in the cedars of Lebanon, for in Palestine these birds could not build on housetops, which were flat, devoid of chimneys and much used by the people as we use a veranda today; see Psalm 104:17:

"Where the birds make their nests:

As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house."

Gene Stratton-Porter

Strong's Hebrew
2624. chasidah -- stork
... stork. Transliteration: chasidah Phonetic Spelling: (khas-ee-daw') Short Definition:
stork. ... of chasid Definition stork NASB Word Usage stork (5). feather, stork. ...
/hebrew/2624.htm - 6k

Critical Conventions.
... CRITICAL CONVENTIONS. 72. "Untimely Synod" of 1819."The leaders of the North Carolina
Synod, Stork, Shober, Jacob Scherer, Daniel Scherer, Miller, and others ...
// lutheranism/critical conventions.htm

Assurance of Salvation.
... Mr. Spurgeon says: "I never heard of a stork that when it met with a fir tree demurred
as to its right to build its nest there; and I never heard of a coney ...
/.../moody/the way to god and how to find it/chapter vii assurance of salvation.htm

... If the old ministers will not act agreeably to the Augsburg Confession, we will
erect a synod in Tennessee." The "old ministers" were Stork, Shober, Jacob and ...
// lutheranism/organization.htm

Efforts at Unity and Peace.
... C. Stork, G. Shober, Jacob Sherer, Daniel Sherer, Jacob Miller, Martin Walter, and
to all other men belonging to this connection" (North Carolina Synod): "1 ...
/.../bente/american lutheranism/efforts at unity and peace.htm

The North Carolina Synod.
... In 1787 Pastor Chr. E. Bernhardt arrived, followed by CAG Stork (Storch)
in 1788, and A. Roschen, who returned to Germany in 1800. ...
/...// lutheranism/the north carolina synod.htm

Anti-Unionistic Attitude.
... While Stork, Shober, and others advocated a union not only with the General Synod,
but with all religious bodies in America, the Henkels and their adherents ...
/...// lutheranism/anti-unionistic attitude.htm

Lessons from Nature
... CH SPURGEON,. At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. "Where the birds make
their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 17 1871/lessons from nature.htm

The Seventh Commandment
... The turtle dove is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate; and the stork,
wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists ...
/.../watson/the ten commandments/2 7 the seventh commandment.htm

Attitude as to Church-Fellowship.
... language was employed in the invitation of December, 1826, which the Tennessee
committee (Daniel Moser and David Henkel) sent to Pastors Stork, Shober, Sherer ...
/.../bente/american lutheranism/attitude as to church-fellowship.htm

A Whitsun Sermon
... The fir trees were a dwelling for the stork; and the very stony rocks, where nothing
else can live, were a refuge for the wild goats; everywhere he saw use and ...
/.../kingsley/discipline and other sermons/sermon xix a whitsun sermon.htm

Stork (6 Occurrences)
... "There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the
burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry ...
/s/stork.htm - 14k

Stork's (1 Occurrence)
... Multi-Version Concordance Stork's (1 Occurrence). Job 39:13 The wings of the ostrich
wave proudly; But are they the pinions and plumage of love? (See JPS DBY). ...
/s/stork's.htm - 6k

Heron (2 Occurrences)
... They are near relatives of crane, stork, ibis and bittern. ... Heron (2 Occurrences).
Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. ...
/h/heron.htm - 9k

Crane (2 Occurrences)
... Like a swallow or a crane, so did I chatter"); again because of the unforgettable
picture these birds made in migration (Jeremiah 8:7): "Yea, the stork in the ...
/c/crane.htm - 12k

Abomination (78 Occurrences)
... hawk after its kind, and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, and
the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture, and the stork, the heron ...
/a/abomination.htm - 55k

Lapwing (2 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Lapwing (2 Occurrences). Leviticus 11:19 And the stork,
the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (KJV WBS YLT). ...
/l/lapwing.htm - 8k

Bat (2 Occurrences)
... Bat (2 Occurrences). Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe,
/b/bat.htm - 10k

Hoopoe (2 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Hoopoe (2 Occurrences). Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any
kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV). ...
/h/hoopoe.htm - 9k

Storing (10 Occurrences)

/s/storing.htm - 9k

Birds (125 Occurrences)
... hawk after its kind, and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, and
the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture, and the stork, the heron ...
/b/birds.htm - 62k

Bible Concordance
Stork (6 Occurrences)

Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.

Deuteronomy 14:18 and the stork, and the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat.

Job 39:13 The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; But are they the pinions and plumage of love?

Psalms 104:17 where the birds make their nests. The stork makes its home in the fir trees.

Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don't know Yahweh's law.

Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky.



Stork: Figurative

Stork: Forbidden As Food

Stork: Migratory

Stork: Nest of, in Fir Trees

Related Terms

Stork's (1 Occurrence)

Heron (2 Occurrences)

Crane (2 Occurrences)

Abomination (78 Occurrences)

Lapwing (2 Occurrences)

Bat (2 Occurrences)

Hoopoe (2 Occurrences)

Storing (10 Occurrences)

Birds (125 Occurrences)

Wings (81 Occurrences)

Kinds (110 Occurrences)

Swallow (38 Occurrences)


Nests (9 Occurrences)

Unclean (393 Occurrences)

Ostriches (8 Occurrences)

Joyously (8 Occurrences)

Joyfully (37 Occurrences)

Fir-trees (11 Occurrences)

Firs (9 Occurrences)

Turtle (5 Occurrences)

Thrush (2 Occurrences)

Turtledove (5 Occurrences)

Turtle-dove (5 Occurrences)

Migration (1 Occurrence)

Pinion (4 Occurrences)

Beats (3 Occurrences)

Resting-places (27 Occurrences)

Pine (28 Occurrences)

Tall (41 Occurrences)

Sort (143 Occurrences)

Requirements (26 Occurrences)

Storm (62 Occurrences)

Fir (22 Occurrences)

Swift (35 Occurrences)

Watched (50 Occurrences)

Elamites (2 Occurrences)

Seasons (43 Occurrences)

Elam (24 Occurrences)

Wanderings (7 Occurrences)

Ephah (55 Occurrences)

Basket (40 Occurrences)

Conscious (93 Occurrences)

Dove (27 Occurrences)

Ordinance (89 Occurrences)

Palestine (1 Occurrence)

Israel (27466 Occurrences)

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