bible study has an unusual complexity. this is in part due to language used to write it. the torah was originally written in biblical hebrew. after the original biblical hebrew, the bible was then translated into greek, the septuagint. the bible was then translated into latin, the vulgate. eventually, there was an english translation of king james. this is the one of import for this story.
in the king james’ version, there was arguably the choice of a incorrect name to describe an animal. this incorrect choice serves as the basis for this the story. in the king james version of the bible, exodus, 19:4, the bird described in the torah was given a translation to mean eagle.
the torah uses the word nesher. scholars believe that the term refers to the griffon vulture and not an eagle. zootorah.com
the line from the torah is as follows ‘you have seen what i did to the egyptians, and [how] i bore you on eagles'[vultures’][נְשָׁרִ֔ים] wings, and i brought you to me. exodus 19:4. note: hebrew word used in this passage was nehsarim, which the the plural for nesher.
thus, the vulture plays an important role god’s literary metaphors. this would lead to reverence of the animal.
eagles and vultures are different. while they are both birds of prey, the eagle is a hunter of live prey while the vultures consume on dead animals.
judaism is not the only religion that holds the vulture in high esteem. in tibet, vultures play a role in sky burials in which human corpses are consumed by them. it is a means of having the human body provide sustenance to other living beings.
the vulture was subject to literary extinction by virtue of a translation. also, due to poisoning of wildlife[ that eventually vultures would eat and thereby be poisoned] the population was brought to near actual extinction.
perhaps inspired in part to their religious symbolism, efforts have been made to save them from extinction. due to the conservation efforts, the numbers of these birds have increased. cite if you are interested, the israel nature and parks authority have webcams of their nesting and feeding areas to view.
it is remarkable that changing one word can impact the fate of the world’s view of a species and possibly its existence. would there have been a greater concern and swifter response to the problem if it was eagles who were at risk?
taking this discussion to another level, we face this issue of errant wording frequently. there are many times that mistakes are made with respect to labeling individuals and groups in an inaccurate fashion. sometimes, this can lead to serious consequences and harm. thus, it is so important that individuals practice caution when producing media, writings, reports, and scientific studies. further, it is important to promptly correct errors as soon as they are discovered.
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