The Bitterndetails

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The Bittern

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“I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools for water” – Isa. xiv. 29.

In the account of the hedgehog, page 120, it has been mentioned that the Hebrew word Kippod, which has been rendered in the Authorized Version [of the Bible, published in 1611] as “Bittern,” is in all probability the Syrian hedgehog, and that the Jewish Bible accepts that rendering without even affixing the mark of doubt to the word. As, however, some writers on the subject still adhere to the more familiar rendering, a short account will be given of the Bittern (Botauris stellaris). (p. 532)

My New English Bible has ‘Bustard’ in Isaiah xiv 23, the passage cited in the text (and incorrectly given as verse 29 in the caption). It makes more sense to me to talk about the bustard in the context, which wants a creature that feasts on death and destruction, parallel to the earlier use of the jackal, and the hedgehog of doom doesn’t really work as a concept.


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