Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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bittern Summary and Overview

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bittern in Easton's Bible Dictionary

is found three times in connection with the desolations to come upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting marshy ground. The Hebrew word (kippod) thus rendered in the Authorized Version is rendered "porcupine" in the Revised Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation. This favours the idea that not the "porcupine" but the "bittern" is really intended by the word.

bittern in Smith's Bible Dictionary

The word occurs in #Isa 14:23; 34:11; Zep 2:14| and we are inclined to believe that the Authorized Version is correct. The bittern (Botaurus stellaris) belongs to the Ardeidae, the heron family of birds, and is famous for the peculiar nocturnal booming sound which it emits.

bittern in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

BIT'TERN . Isa 34:11. Doubtless a correct translation. The bitterns belong to the heron tribe, and the Oriental species differ but slightly from the American. A solitary bird, its strange booming note is often heard during the stillness of the night in fens and marshes. The language of prophecy, Isa 14:23 and Isa 34:11; Zeph 2:14, imports the utmost solitude and desolation.

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.