19And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
19 Verse 19. The stork] chasidah, from chasad,
which signifies to be abundant in kindness, or exuberant in acts
of beneficence; hence applied to the stork, because of its
affection to its young, and its kindness in tending and feeding
its parents when old; facts attested by the best informed and
most judicious of the Greek and Latin natural historians. See
Bochart, Scheuchzer, and Parkhurst, under the word
chasad. It is remarkable for destroying and eating serpents, and
on this account might be reckoned by Moses among unclean birds.
The heron] anaphah. This word has been variously
understood: some have rendered it the kite, others the woodcock,
others the curlew, some the peacock, others the parrot, and
others the crane. The root anaph, signifies to breathe
short through the nostrils, to snuff, as in anger; hence to be
angry: and it is supposed that the word is sufficiently
descriptive of the heron, from its very irritable disposition.
It will attack even a man in defence of its nest; and I have
known a case where a man was in danger of losing his life by the
stroke of a heron's bill, near the eye, who had climbed up into a
high tree to take its nest. Bochart supposes a species of the
eagle to be meant, vol. iii., col. 335.
The lapwing] duchiphath, the upupa, hoopoe, or
hoop, a crested bird, with beautiful plumage, but very unclean.
See Bochart, and Scheuchzer. Concerning the genuine meaning of
the original, there is little agreement among interpreters.
The bat] atalleph, so called, according to
Parkhurst, from at, to fly, and alaph, darkness
or obscurity, because it flies about in the dusk of the evening,
and in the night: so the Septuagint νυκτερις, from νυξ, the
night; and the Vulgate vespertilio, from vesper, the evening.
This being a sort of monster partaking of the nature of both a
bird and beast, it might well be classed among unclean animals,
or animals the use of which in food should be avoided.