17And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
17 Verse 17. The little owl] cos, the bittern,
night-raven or night-owl, according to most interpreters. Some
think the onocrotalus or pelican may be intended; for as the word
cos signifies a cup in Hebrew, and the pelican is
remarkable for a pouch or bag under the lower jaw, it might have
had its Hebrew name from this circumstance; but the kaath in the
following verse is rather supposed to mean this fowl, and the cos
some species of the bubo or owl. See Bochart, vol. iii., col.
The cormorant] shalach, from the root which signifies to
cast down; hence the Septuagint καταρρακτης, the cataract, or
bird which falls precipitately down upon its prey. It probably
signifies the plungeon or diver, a sea fowl, which I have seen at
sea dart down as swift as an arrow into the water, and seize the
fish which it had discovered while even flying, or rather
soaring, at a very great height.
The great owl] yanshuph, according to the
Septuagint and the Vulgate, signifies the ibis, a bird well
known and held sacred in Egypt. Some critics, with our translation,
think it means a species of owl or night bird, because the word
may be derived from nesheph, which signifies the twilight,
the time in which owls chiefly fly about. See Bochart, vol.
iii., col. 281.