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International Standard Bible EncyclopediaOSTRICH
os'-trich (ya`anah; strouthos; Latin Struthio camelus): The largest bird now living. The Hebrew words ya`anah, which means "greediness," and bath ha-ya`anah, "daughter of greediness," are made to refer to the indiscriminate diet of the ostrich, to which bird they apply; and again to the owl, with no applicability. The owl at times has a struggle to swallow whole prey it has taken, but the mere fact that it is a night hunter forever shuts it from the class of greedy and promiscuous feeders. The bodies of owls are proverbially lean like eagles. Neither did the owl frequent several places where older versions of Jeremiah and Isaiah place it; so the translations are now correctly rendered "ostrich." These birds came into the Bible because of their desert life, the companions they lived among there, and because of their night cries that were guttural, terrifying groans, like the roaring of lions. The birds were brought into many pictures of desolation, because people dreaded their fearful voices. They horned on the trackless deserts that were dreaded by travelers, and when they came feeding on the fringe of the wilderness, they fell into company with vulture, eagle, lion, jackal and adder, and joined their voices with the night hawks and owls. For these reasons no birds were more suitable for drawing strong comparisons from.
Strong's Hebrew3283. yaen -- ostrich
... 3282, 3283. yaen. 3284 . ostrich. Transliteration: yaen Phonetic Spelling:
(yaw-ane') Short Definition: ostriches. Word ... ostrich. From ...
/hebrew/3283.htm - 6k
7443. renen -- (bird of) piercing cries (ie ostrich)
8464. tachmas -- male ostrich
5133. notsah -- plumage
4754. mara -- perhaps to flap (the wings)
3284. yaanah -- perhaps greed
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Smith's Bible DictionaryOstrich
a large bird, native of African and Arabia, nearly ten feet high, having s long neck and short wings. It seeks retired places, (Job 30:29; Lamentations 4:13) and has a peculiar mournful cry that is sometimes mistaken by the Arabs for that of the lion. (Micah 1:8) In (Job 39:13-18) will be found a description of the bird's habits. Ostriches are polygamous; the hens lay their eggs promiscuously in one nest, which is merely a hole scratched in the sand; the eggs are then covered over to the depth of about a foot, and are, in the case of those birds which are found within the tropics, generally left for the greater part of the day to the heat of the sun, the parent-birds taking their turns at incubation during the night. The habit of the ostrich leaving its eggs to be matured by the sun's heat is usually appealed to in order to confirm the scriptural account, "she leaveth her eggs to the earth;" but this is probably the case only with the tropical birds. We believe that the true explanation of this passage is that some of the eggs are left exposed around the nest for the nourishment of the young birds. It is a general belief among the Arabs that the ostrich is a very stupid bird; indeed they have a proverb, "stupid as an ostrich." As is well known, the ostrich will swallow almost any substance, iron, stones, and even has been known to swallow "several leaden bullets scorching hot from the mould." But in many other respects the ostrich is not as stupid as this would indicate, and is very hard to capture. It is the largest of all known birds, and perhaps the swiftest of all cursorial animals. -The feathers so much prized are the long white plumes of the wings. The best are brought from Barbary and the west coast of Africa.
Scripture Alphabet Of AnimalsOstrich
The ostrich is sometimes called the "camel-bird," because it is so very large, because it can go a long time without water, and because it lives in desert and sandy places, as the camel does. It is often taller than the tallest man you ever saw, and it neck alone is more than a yard in length.
Each of the wings is a yard long when the feathers are spread out; but although the wings are so large, the bird cannot fly at all. One reason of this is, because it is so very heavy, and another is that its wings are not of the right sort for flying. They are made of what we call ostrich-plumes, and if you have ever noticed these beautiful feathers, you will remember that they are very different from others that you have seen. If you take a quill from the wing of a goose, you will find that the parts of the feather lie close together, so that you cannot very easily separate them; but in an ostrich plume they are all loose and open, and would not support the bird at all in flying. The feathers are generally either white or black. There are none under the wings, or on the sides of the body, and only a few small ones on the lower part of the neck. The upper part of the neck, as well as the head, is covered with hair.
Its feet are curious, and different from those of most birds. They are somewhat like the foot of the camel, having a soft pad or cushion underneath, and only two toes. The largest toe is about seven inches long, and has a broad claw at the end; the other is about four inches long, and has no claw.
Although this bird cannot fly, it can run faster than the swiftest horse. If it would keep on in a straight line no animal could overtake it; but it is sometimes so foolish as to run around in a circle, and then, after a long chase, it may perhaps be caught. A traveller speaking of the ostrich, says, "She sets off at a hard gallop; but she afterwards spreads her wings as if to catch the wind, and goes so rapidly that she seems not to touch the ground." This explains what is meant by the verse, "When she lifteth up herself on high she scorneth the horse and his rider."
The ostrich has but little to eat in the desert places where it lives: only some coarse grass, or rough, thorny plants, with a kind of snail which is sometimes found upon them; and perhaps it sometimes eats lizards and serpents.
The voice of the ostrich is very mournful, especially when heard at night in a lonely desert. It is said to be like the crying of a hoarse child. It is on this account that the prophet Micah says, "I will make a mourning like the ostrich."
In Job 39 we read, "Gavest thou wings and feathers unto the ostrich? which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones as though they were not hers." See how well this agrees with the accounts given by travellers. They say that the ostrich is frightened by the least noise, and runs away from her nest, leaving the eggs or young ones without any protection; and very often she does not return for a long time, perhaps not until the young birds have died of hunger. The eggs are cream-colored, and large enough to hold about a quart of water. The shell is very hard, and as smooth as ivory. It is often made into a drinking-cup, with a rim of gold or silver.
ATS Bible DictionaryOstrich
The largest of birds, and a sort of connecting link between fowls and quadrupeds, termed by the Persians, Arabs, and by Greeks, the "camel-bird." It is a native of the dry and torrid regions of Africa and western Asia. The gray ostrich is seven feet high and its neck three feet long; it weighs nearly eighty pounds, and is strong enough to carry two men. The other species, with glossy black wings and white tail, is sometimes ten feet high. The beautiful plumes so highly valued are found on the wings, about twenty on each, those of the tail being usually broken and worn. There are no feathers on the thighs, or under the wings; and the neck is but scantily clothed with thin whitish hairs. The weight of the body and the size and structure of the wings show that the animal is formed for running rather than flying.
The ostrich is described in Job 39:13-18; and in various places where our translation calls it the "owl," Job 30:29 Jeremiah 50:39; or "daughter of the owl," Isaiah 13:21 34:13 43:20 Micah 1:8. In these and other passages it figures as a bird of the desert. Shy and timorous, it is occasionally driven by hunger to visit and ravage cultivated fields; but is usually found only in the heart of the desert, in troops, or small groups, or mingling familiarly with the herds of wild asses, gnus, and quaggas. Its food is often scarce and poor, plants of the desert "withered before they are grown up;" also snails, insects, and various reptiles; for it has a voracious and indiscrimination appetite, swallowing the vilest and the hardest substances. Job speaks particularly of the speed of the ostrich," She scorneth the horse and his rider." So Xenophon, the biographer of Cyrus, says of the ostriches of Arabia, that none could overtake them, the baffled horsemen soon returning from the chase; and the writer of a voyage to Senegal says, "The ostrich sets off at a hard gallop; but after being excited a little, she expands her wings as if to catch the wind, and abandons herself to a speed so great, that she seems not to touch the ground. I am persuaded she would leave far behind the swiftest English courser."
She scoops out for herself a circular nest in the sand, and lays a large number of eggs; some of which are placed without the nest, as though intended for the nourishment of the young brood. The mother bird, with the help of the sun in the tropics, and of her mate in the cool nights, performs the process of incubation; but her timidity is such that she flies from her nest at the approach of danger, and as Dr. Shaw remarks, "forsakes her eggs or her young ones, to which, perhaps, she never returns; or if she does, it may be too late either to restore life to the one, or to preserve the lives of the others. Agreeably to this account, the Arabs meet sometimes with whole nests of these eggs undisturbed; some of them are sweet and good, others are addled and corrupted. They often meet with a few of the little ones no bigger than well-grown pullets, half starved, straggling and moaning about, like so many distressed orphans for their mother. In this manner the ostrich may be said to be ?hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers; her labor,- in hatching and attending them so far, ?being vain, without fear,- or the least concern of what becomes of them afterwards. This want of affection is also recorded in La 4:3, ?The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness;- that is, apparently by deserting her own children, and receiving others in return."
When the ostrich is provoked, she sometimes makes a fierce, angry, and hissing noise, with her throat inflated, and her mouth open; at other times she has a moaning and plaintive cry; and in the night the male repels prowling enemies by a short roar which is sometimes taken for that of a lion, Micah 1:8.
Easton's Bible Dictionary(Lamentations 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the Marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere." In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means "feathers," as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word "peacocks" of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning "ostriches," as in the Revised Version. (see OWL .)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary(n.) A large bird of the genus Struthio, of which Struthio camelus of Africa is the best known species. It has long and very strong legs, adapted for rapid running; only two toes; a long neck, nearly bare of feathers; and short wings incapable of flight. The adult male is about eight feet high.
ThesaurusOstrich (9 Occurrences)
... The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which
is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that ...
/o/ostrich.htm - 18k
Owl (11 Occurrences)
Sea-gull (2 Occurrences)
Stork (6 Occurrences)
Ostriches (8 Occurrences)
Ziim (3 Occurrences)
Nighthawk (2 Occurrences)
Night-hawk (2 Occurrences)
Bible ConcordanceOstrich (9 Occurrences)
Leviticus 11:16 and the ostrich, and the night-hawk, and the seamew, and the hawk after its kind,
Deuteronomy 14:15 and the ostrich, and the owl, and the seagull, and the hawk after its kind,
Job 30:29 I am a brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches.
Job 39:13 "The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; but are they the feathers and plumage of love?
Isaiah 13:21 But wild animals of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of jackals. Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will frolic there.
Isaiah 34:13 Thorns will come up in its palaces, nettles and thistles in its fortresses; and it will be a habitation of jackals, a court for ostriches.
Isaiah 43:20 The animals of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
Jeremiah 50:39 Therefore the wild animals of the desert with the wolves shall dwell there, and the ostriches shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited forever; neither shall it be lived in from generation to generation.
Micah 1:8 For this will I wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals, and a mourning like the ostriches.
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