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The Eagle: God's Sermon in the Sky (6 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
The eagle is the most majestic of all birds mentioned in the Scriptures, and according to the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, there are still twelve different kinds found in Israel. There is also the Egyptian vulture, which is one of the most repulsive creatures in existence. G. S. Cansdale says, "Palestine is rich in these birds [the eagles]. There are golden; spotted; lesser spotted; Bonelli's booted; imperial; tawny; Verraux's; short toed; white tailed; black bearded and Griffon.... Three species breed in tall trees, or more often, on cliffs. The others are passing migrants or winter visitors. They feed mostly on live prey, which ranges from young deer to reptiles and insects." There are numerous references in the Bible to these wonderful birds that were known for their strength, speed, beauty, and care for their young. It was generally believed among the ancient Hebrews that the parent birds deliberately broke up their nests and, carrying their young, dropped them, only to catch them again on their broad wings. This method taught the eaglets how to fly. Some scholars have said there is no evidence this idea was based on fact.
Dr. W. M. Thompson, who was one of the greatest authorities on Palestine, wrote, "The notion however, appears to have been prevalent among the ancients that the eagle did actually take up her timid young, and carry them forth to embolden them, and teach them how to use their own pinions. To this idea, Moses seems to refer in Exodus 19:4: 'Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.' The fact is not impossible; the eagle is strong enough to do it, but I am not aware that such a thing has ever been witnessed. I myself, however, have seen the old eagle fly round and round the nest, and back and forth past it, while the young ...
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