Tag Archives: Chatterer

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

BIRDS

Birds are warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates and are oviparous, that is, egg laying. There are some 300 references to birds in the Bible, with about 30 different varieties being specifically named. Reference is made to their flight, often in escaping their enemies (Ps 11:1; Pr 26:2; 27:8; Isa 31:5; Ho 9:11); their roosting in trees (Ps 104:12; Mt 13:32); their nesting (Ps 84:3; Eze 31:6); their uses, particularly young pigeons and turtledoves, in sacrifice (Le 1:14; 14:4-7, 49-53) and as food (Ne 5:18), including their eggs (Isa 10:14; Lu 11:11, 12); and God’s provision and care for them.

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

26 Observe intently the birds of heaven;+ they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?   (Matthew 6:26)

29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value,* do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.+ (Matthew 10:29; compare De 22:6, 7).

Birds were among the earliest living souls on earth, coming into existence on the fifth creative “day” along with the marine creatures.

20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea,+ and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Of the general terms used in the Bible that apply to birds, the most frequent Hebrew word is ʽohph, basically meaning “flying creature” (Ge 1:20), which may include not only birds but also winged insects. (Compare Le 11:13, 21-23.) The Hebrew tsip·pohr′ also occurs in a large number of texts and is a generic term applying to birds in general. (Ge 7:14) A third Hebrew term, ʽa′yit, is applied solely to the birds of prey.

Bird - Seagull enjoying the sunset

Bird – Seagull enjoying the sunset (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The following terms are found in the Greek Scriptures: or′ne·on, meaning simply “bird” (Re 18:2); pe·tei·non′ and pte·nos′, both literally meaning “flier.” (Ro 1:23; 1Co 15:39; compare Int.) At Acts 17:18 Athenian philosophers referred to the apostle Paul as a “chatterer.” The Greek word here (sper·mo·lo′gos) was applied to a bird that picks up seeds, while figuratively it was used of a person who picks up scraps by begging or stealing, or, as in the case cited, one who repeats scraps of knowledge, an idle babbler.

A thoughtful study of birds gives convincing proof of the Biblical teaching that they are of divine creation. While birds and reptiles are both oviparous, reptiles are cold-blooded, often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and among the most active of all earth’s creatures; they also have an unusually rapid heartbeat. The evolutionary view that reptilian scales and front limbs eventually developed into feathered wings is both fanciful and baseless. The fossils of birds called by scientists Archaeopteryx (or, ancient wing) and Archaeornis (or, ancient bird), though showing teeth and a long vertebrated tail, also show that they were completely feathered, had feet equipped for perching, and had fully developed wings. No intermediate specimens, exhibiting scales developing into feathers or front legs into wings, exist to give any semblance of support to the evolution theory. As expressed by the apostle Paul, birds are of a distinct “flesh” from others of earth’s creatures.

Bird - Duck - Mallard

Bird – Duck – Mallard (Photo credit: blmiers2)

39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, there is another flesh of cattle, another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  (1Corinthians 15:39).

The psalmist called upon the “winged birds” to praise Jehovah (Ps 148:1, 10), and birds do this by their very structure and their complex design. A single bird may have from 1,000 to over 20,000 feathers. Yet each feather is composed of a shaft from which branch out hundreds of barbs forming an inner web, each barb containing several hundred smaller barbules and each barbule having hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. A single six-inch wing feather of a pigeon is thus estimated to contain some hundreds of thousands of barbules and literally millions of barbicels. The aerodynamic principles built into birds’ wings and body design surpass in complexity and efficiency that of modern-day aircraft. A bird’s hollow bones contribute to its lightness, and thus the skeleton of a frigate bird with a 2-m (7 ft) wingspan may weigh only about 110 g (4 oz). Certain wing bones of large soaring birds even have trusslike supports, like the struts inside airplane wings, within the hollow portions.

At the time of the Flood, Noah introduced into the ark for preservation pairs of birds “according to their kinds.”

So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, man together with domestic animals, creeping animals, and flying creatures of the heavens, for I regret that I have made them.” … 19 And bring into the ark two of every sort of living creature+ in order to preserve them alive with you, a male and a female;+ 20 of the flying creatures according to their kinds, the domestic animals according to their kinds, and all creeping animals of the ground  (Genesis 6:7, 19-20)

also of the flying creatures of the sky by sevens,* male and female, to preserve their offspring alive over all the earth.+

23 So He wiped every living thing from the surface of the earth, including man, animals, creeping animals, and the flying creatures of the sky. They were all wiped off the earth;+ only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.+ (Genesis 7:3, 23)

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no certain way of knowing how many different “kinds” of birds then existed, some types of birds having become extinct even in recent times. However, it is of interest to note that the listing of birds according to present-day scientific classification presented in The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985, Vol. 15, pp. 14-106) gives a total of only 221 bird “families,” including some that are now extinct or known only in fossil form. There are, of course, thousands of varieties included within these “families.” {Note}

Following the global Flood, Noah offered up “clean flying creatures” along with animals as a sacrifice. (Ge 8:18-20) Birds were thereafter made allowable by God for inclusion in man’s diet, as long as the blood was not eaten. (Ge 9:1-4; compare Le 7:26; 17:13.) The ‘cleanness’ of certain birds at that time therefore evidently relates to some divine indication of acceptableness for sacrifice; the Biblical record shows that, as regards their being used as food, none of the birds were designated as “unclean” until the introduction of the Mosaic Law. (Le 11:13-19, 46, 47; 20:25; De 14:11-20) The factors determining which birds were designated ceremonially “unclean” are not expressly stated in the Bible. Thus, while most of those so designated were birds of prey or scavengers, not all of them were.  This prohibition was lifted following the establishment of the new covenant, as God made evident to Peter by a vision.

The next day as they were continuing on their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop about the sixth hour* to pray. 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance+11 and saw heaven opened and something* descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four corners on the earth; 12 and in it were all sorts of four-footed animals and reptiles* of the earth and birds of heaven. 13 Then a voice said to him: “Get up, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because I have never eaten anything defiled and unclean.”+15 And the voice spoke again to him, the second time: “Stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” (Acts of the apostles 10:9-15).

Birds

Birds (Photo credit: Emyan)

The identification of the birds specifically named in the Bible presents a difficult problem in some cases. Lexicographers generally are guided by the root meaning of the name, since this is usually descriptive, by indications in the context as to the bird’s habits and habitat, and by observation of the birds known to be found in the Bible lands. In many cases the names are believed to be onomatopoeic, that is, imitating the sound produced by the bird.

The diverse topography of Palestine, ranging from cool mountain peaks to deep sweltering valleys and from arid deserts to maritime plains, all together near the SE corner of the Mediterranean Sea, makes it a focal point for a great variety of bird types. Mount Hermon, in the N, is snowcapped for much of the year, while the region about 200 km (125 mi) to the S along the lower Jordan Valley and near the Dead Sea is hot and tropical. Each of these zones contains birds peculiar to its own environment, either alpine or tropical, as do also the temperate zones and the desert regions. (Ps 102:6; 104:16, 17) Additionally, Palestine is on one of the major migrational routes followed annually by birds (storks, turtledoves, quail, swifts, swallows, bulbuls, cuckoos, and others) traveling N from Africa in the spring or S from Europe and Asia in the fall. (Ca 2:11, 12; Jer 8:7) Thus it is estimated that about 470 varieties of birds may be found in Palestine at some time during the course of a year. In view of the deterioration of Palestinian forests and vegetation over the centuries, it is likely that in Biblical times the bird population was even greater.

Particularly notable are the great numbers of birds of prey (Heb., ʽa′yit) found in Palestine, including eagles, hawks, falcons, kites, and vultures. Back in Abraham’s time, birds of prey tried to descend upon Abraham’s sacrifice of certain animals and birds, obliging him to drive them off until the sun began to set. (Ge 15:9-12; compare 2Sa 21:10.) In their search for food these birds rely on their powerful telescopic sight, rather than on their relatively weak sense of smell.

The well-known sight of a cluster of scavenger birds gathered around a carcass often served as the basis for an ominous warning to an enemy (1Sa 17:44, 46), and repeatedly formed part of divinely inspired prophetic warnings to the nation of Israel and its rulers (De 28:26; 1Ki 14:11; 21:24; Jer 7:33; 15:3) as well as to foreign nations. (Isa 18:1, 6; Eze 29:5; 32:4) Thus, the one used by Jehovah to execute judgement was figuratively represented by “a bird of prey.” (Isa 46:11) Desolation of a city or land was depicted by its becoming the habitat of certain birds of solitary nature (Isa 13:19-21; compare Re 18:2) or by the disappearance of all bird life. (Jer 4:25-27; 9:10; 12:4; Ho 4:3; Zep 1:3) The proclamation calling all the birds to gather to feast upon the dead bodies of Gog of Magog and his crowd (Eze 39:1-4, 17-21) is paralleled by that recorded in Revelation in which the bodies of national rulers and their armies become food for “all the birds that fly in midheaven” as a result of the executional work of Christ Jesus as King.

11 I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse.+ And the one seated on it is called Faithful+ and True,+ and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.+12 His eyes are a fiery flame,+ and on his head are many diadems.* He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained* with blood, and he is called by the name The Word+ of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword+ with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron.+ Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.+16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.+

17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven:* “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,+18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men+ and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them,+ and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.”

19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.+20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet+ that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast+ and those who worship its image.+ While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.+21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse.+ And all the birds were filled with their flesh.+ (Revelation 19:11-21; contrast this with God’s comforting words to his people, at Ho 2:18-20).

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals of the field,+ And with the birds of the heavens and the creeping things of the ground;+ I will rid the land of the bow and the sword and war,+ And I will make them lie down* in security.+19 I will engage myself to you forever; And I will engage myself to you in righteousness and in justice, In loyal love and in mercy.+ 20 I will engage myself to you in faithfulness, And you will certainly know Jehovah.’+ (Hosea 2:18-20)

Worship of birds as representing the true God was prohibited to the nation of Israel (De 4:15-17) but was prominent among the pagan nations, particularly in Egypt. (Ro 1:23) Hundreds of bird mummies have been found in Egyptian tombs, principally of birds such as the falcon, the vulture, and the ibis, all of which were sacred among the Egyptians. Egyptian hieroglyphics contain some 22 different bird signs.

Bird

Bird (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (5,003,637 views) – thanks guys!)

+

{Note}: The “kinds” of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding “according to their kinds.” It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family “kinds”—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to “kind” established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed. With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 “kinds” of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird “kinds” were all that were required. That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few “kinds” following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the colour of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toron...

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Additional reading:

  1. Praise be to God
  2. Praise the God with His Name
  3. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  4. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah

+++

  • Pterosaurs cast a giant shadow over today’s biggest winged creatures (theguardian.com)

    Pterosaurs model shadow

    A man walks under the shadow of a model pterosaur. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

    Look at the birds outside your window: little feathery things that beg for crumbs and make cute chirpy noises. What if they were nine metres across and could fold up their wings and walk on all fours? Not so cute. Long ago, just such hulking creatures ruled the skies.

    Pterosaurs were Earth’s first flying vertebrates. Although birds and bats have taken wing in the 66m years since their extinction, we don’t have any flying creatures that approach the size of the biggest pterosaurs. The largest known specimen, Quetzalcoatlus, had a 10-metre wingspan. An immense vertebra recently found in Romania suggests that pterosaurs may have grown even bigger than that. The largest flying animals today, such as the wandering albatross and the Andean condor, average a wingspan of around three metres.

  • Birds (milliesmindofmadness.wordpress.com)
    Birds are a symbol of freedom and liberty. Then why, I ask, did a bird poo on me yesterday when I was walking my dogs? Why? Could the bird not have the decency to poo somewhere else other than my face. I know that it was multi-tasking but that bird needs to think of others before it let’s loose it’s poo on me. Furthermore, where I was walking was a nice pleasant area so to quote my dad, I got pooed on by a posh bird.
  • Bird (kyle861.wordpress.com)
    Birds (class Aves or clade Avialae) are featheredwingedbipedalendothermic (warm-blooded), egg-layingvertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most specioseclass of tetrapod vertebrates.
  • Rise of Animals: David Attenborough explores evolution of vertebrates (thisismoney.co.uk)
    David Attenborough has visited new paleontological hotspots to fill in evolutionary gaps of how vertebrates came to rule the Earth and how their evolution defines our own human bodies.
    In a new two-part documentary, Rise of Animals: Triumph of the vertebrates, the naturalist explores the origins of the backbone by studying a tiny prehistoric animal and a living fossil living in the south of England.Sir David takes a 500-million-year evolutionary journey to study animals including a newly discovered ‘missing link’ from China, a shallow water predator that swam like a fish but took its first steps on land, giant ancient animals and the famous fossil of the feathered dinosaur.
  • Zoology: Using Animals to Enrich Your World (rebekahloper.wordpress.com)
    Animals serve many purposes. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, they offer companionship, and theycan be sources of food.And creating animals can honestly be one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding. But as always, there are things to consider!
  • A fallen feather (raoulpop.com)
    The birds we seldom notice, unless they muck up our freshly washed cars, are able to do something no human being has been able to do so far, without the aid of an engineered mechanism. They’re able to take flight, freely, and soar high above the ground, surveying all they can see, while humans are stuck on the ground.
  • Doahugou Biota: Study Describes 30 Species from Jurassic of China (sci-news.com)
    Over the last two decades, huge numbers of fossils have been collected from the western Liaoning Province and adjacent parts of northeastern China, including exceptionally preserved feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Most of these specimens are from the Cretaceous Period, including the famous Jehol Biota.However, in recent years many fossils have emerged from sites that are 30 million years earlier, providing an exceptional window on life during the Jurassic period, about 160 million years ago.
  • Poachers dump bodies of nine eagles in ditch near Kamloops (calgaryherald.com)
    The remains of eight bald eagles and one golden eagle have been found in a ditch near Kamloops, B.C.Officials with the Conservation Officer Service say the carcasseswere discovered last month in the ditch beside a well-used public road.Heads, feet, tail feathers and wings of all nine birds had been removed.

     

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