You are going to have a little trouble believing this,
as I did at first, especially when you see the length, detail and birds on the
list. You will have even less faith in believing whose list it is. Most of these
birds, 70% of the list, can be found on Ambergris, some are unknown today or
extinct. I have researched and verified the translation in Greek, Hebrew and
King James English. There are, of course, small differences and a few extra
birds are on the Hebrew list. I discovered it by accident. Sometimes I see
things in print that are not intended to be funny but end up humorous,
unintentionally. I was perusing one of these after I clicked on the December
cover of Sport Diver Magazine. The caption read
"World's largest Grouper," but pictured was what everyone in San Pedro calls a
"Jew Fish." So I read the story looking for a mistaken identification and
discovered Jews had appealed to the "American Fishes Society" to rename the fish
because they felt the name Jew Fish was offensive. I thought, okay! That is not
bad, perhaps it is offensive, but the new official name is "Goliath Grouper,"
and that struck me as funny. As I remember my Bible studies, I recall Goliath
being slain by David, a young soldier in the Israeli army, and Goliath being a
Philistine champion from Gath, a village in what is now Palestine. So yes, the
Jews were offended by the name of this fish, so they had it changed to be named
after a Palestinian. I think that is funny, but what the heck, I am a heathen.
Anyway, while doing a web search of where Philistine and Palestine connect,
surfing through Leviticus in the Old Testament of the Bible, up pops a bird list
that Jehovah gave Moses.
I said you were
going to have trouble believing this, so just wait till you see the list. At
first I thought I had a virus but there it was-a 3,221 year-old bird list God
gave Moses. Most everyone knows about pork and the Hebrews, how God gave the law
to Moses to pass along. Old Testament, Leviticus 11: 9-11 and most Roman
Catholic fisherman know about verse 12, "eat only things from the sea that have
fins and scales." But few know about verse 13. Among the birds listed, these are
the ones you may not eat: Eagle, Metire, Ossifrage a.k.a. "Lammergeier," Vulture
Family, Osprey, Falcon(all kinds), Kite, Raven (all kinds), Ostrich, Night Hawk,
Seagull, Hawk (all kinds), Owl (specifically, Great Owl) Cormorant, Ibis, Marsh
Hen (extinct), Pelican, Vulture, Stork, Herons (all kinds), Hoopoe, Lapwing and
Let's look at the list, since taxonomy was not born
yet. This was 3000 years before Carl Linnaeus's time, and I would guess Moses
somehow got a bat on his bird list. If anyone out there knows what a Lapwing or
Hoopoe is, please call me. I suspect if a bat made the list they may not
necessarily have to be birds, just flying things. I compared the list in Greek
with English and a literal translation of Hebrew to English. I am stumped as to
what a Metire is but in Greek it is an Ossifrage. A friend e-mailed me and said
it is in Madagascar. Some of the translations included extra birds such as:
"Little Owl," as well as "Great Cuckow" which I believe to be a Marsh Hen,
"Swan," "Gier Eagle," and "Buzzard."
11:14-19goes on with details of things we should not do with them, other than
have them for dinner, such as touching their dead bodies or eating crops grown
from where their dead bodies fell.
Wow! Doesn't this bring
up a lot of questions? Why these birds? Is it because they are all meat eaters?
What about the birds who are not on the list? Or could this list be all the
birds that were known at the time? What is okay about a wren, sparrow or dove?
Why would God not want us to have anything to do with these birds in particular?
The Bible was translated from Hebrew and parts from Greek to English. Things are
always lost in translation. Gallis is an Old World word
for chicken and I am sure Belizeans are
relieved it is not on the list. If you still find all this hard to believe, just
reach into the top drawer of the nightstand beside the bed in your next hotel
room. Look it up for yourself, it is an awesome bird book!