Deuteronomy 14:17
And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; The Lord hath chosen thee. He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, Eph 1:4. Here is adoption; Ye are the children of the Lord your God; not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; Thou art a holy people. God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!The "pygarg" is a species of gazelle, and the "wild ox" and "chamois" are swift types of antelope.17. gier eagle—The Hebrew word Rachemah is manifestly identical with Rachamah, the name which the Arabs give to the common vulture of Western Asia and Egypt (Neophron percnopterus). [See on [136]Le 11:18].

cormorant—rather, the plungeon; a seafowl. [See on [137]Le 11:17].

No text from Poole on this verse. But these are they of which they shall not eat,.... Jarchi observes, that the unclean birds are particularly mentioned, to teach that the clean sort are more than the unclean, and therefore the particulars of the fewest are given: these are all the same names as in Leviticus 11:13, excepting one, "the glede", Deuteronomy 14:13 which is a kind of kite or puttock; the Jerusalem Targum renders it the vulture, and the Targum of Jonathan the white "dayetha" or vulture; and Aristotle says (q) there are two sorts of vultures, the one small and whiter, the other larger and of many forms or colours; in Hebrew its name here is "raah", and is thought to be the same with "daah" in Leviticus 11:14 there translated the "vulture", which has its name there from flying, and here from seeing, for which it is remarkable; see Job 28:7 and the letters and are pretty much alike, and are sometimes changed, but there is another here, in Deuteronomy 14:13 mentioned, the "dayah", which is not mentioned in Leviticus 11:1, though some think it the same with the "ayah", rendered both here and there the "kite"; perhaps it means another sort of vulture, the black vulture, as the Targum of Jonathan.

(q) Hist. Animal. l. 8. c. 3.

And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. pelican] ḳa‘ath, LXX, πελεκάν. Tristram (108) suggests the roseate pelican, P. onocrotalus.

vulture] raḥamah, Ar. rakhim, ‘a small white carrion eagle,’ migratory, and haunting the abodes of men, one of the commonest carrion birds in Arabia, ‘the white scavenger’ (Doughty, passim; cp. Burton, Pilgrimage, etc., ii. 62); according to Tristram (96) the neophron percnopterus; in Arabia their flesh is forbidden meat, yet mothers give it to their children to expel worms (Doughty, i. 393). The name appears to be derived from its affection to its young, which in Deuteronomy 32:11 is imputed also to the nesher. LXX, κύκνος, swan.

cormorant] shalak, that hurls itself on the prey. LXX, καταράκτης. Tristram (107): phalacrocorax carbo.With reference to food, the Israelites were to eat nothing whatever that was abominable. In explanation of this prohibition, the laws of Leviticus 11 relating to clean and unclean animals are repeated in all essential points in vv. 4-20 (for the exposition, see at Leviticus 11); also in Deuteronomy 14:21 the prohibition against eating any animal that had fallen down dead (as in Exodus 32:30 and Leviticus 17:15), and against boiling a kid in its mother's milk (as in Exodus 23:19).
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