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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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Job 39:27-30 , a large and very powerful bird of prey, hence called the King of birds. There are several species of eagle described by naturalists, and it is probable that this word in the Bible comprehends more than one of these. The noble eastern species, called by Mr. Bruce "the golden eagle," measures eight feet four inches from wing to wing; and from the tip of his tail to the point of his beak, when dead, four feet seven inches. Of all known birds, the eagle flies not only the highest, Proverbs 23:5 Jeremiah 49:16 Obadiah 1:4 , but also with the greatest rapidity. To this circumstance there are several striking allusions in the sacred volume, 2 Samuel 1:23 Job 9:26 Lamentations 4:19 . Among the evils threatened to the Israelites in case of their disobedience, the prophet names one in the following terms: "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth," Deuteronomy 28:49 . The march of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, is predicted in similar terms: "Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles," Jeremiah 4:13 48:40 49:22 Hosea 8:1 . This bird was a national emblem on Persian and Roman standards, as it now is on United States' coins.

The eagle, it is said, lives to a great age; and like other birds of prey, sheds his feathers in the beginning of spring, after which his old age assumes the appearance of youth. To this David alludes, when gratefully reviewing the mercies of Jehovah: "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like eagle's," Psalm 103:5 Isaiah 40:31 . The careful pains of the eagle in teaching its young to fly, beautifully illustrate God's providential care over Israel, Exodus 19:4 Deuteronomy 32:11,12 .

The eagle is remarkable for its keen sight and scent. Its flesh, like that of all birds of prey, was unclean to the Jews; and is never eaten by any body, unless in cases of necessity, Matthew 24:28 Luke 17:37 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Eagle'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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