Bittern in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

(qippod. The accompaniment of the desolation reigning in Babylon (Isaiah 14:23), Idumea (Isaiah 34:11), Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:14). An aquatic solitary bird, frequenting marshy pools, such as the plain of Babylonia abounded in: the Al- houbara of the Arabic version, the size of a large fowl. The Botaurus stellaris, of the heron kind. Gesenius translates "the hedgehog" (from its rolling itself together; qaapad, "to contract oneself"), and Strabo says that enormous hedgehogs were found in the islands of the Euphrates. The Arabic kunfud resembles qippod somewhat. But the hedgehog or porcupine would never "lodge" or perch on the chapiters of columns," as margin Zephaniah 2:14 says of the qippod. Still the columns might be fallen on the ground within reach of the hedgehog, and Idumea is not a marshy region suited to an aquatic bird such as the bittern.

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