Bible Birds – Falcon

Peregrine Falcon by Ray

Peregrine Falcon by Ray

“And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:13-14 NKJV)

The Falcon is mentioned in three verses in the New King James Version of the Bible. Leviticus 11:14; [above]; “the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds;” (Deuteronomy 14:13 NKJV); and “That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.” (Job 28:7 NKJV)

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) ©©

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) ©©

Other versions of the Bible also list the Falcon.

*  These are the translations that use falcon in Deuteronomy 14:13: (From BibleGateway)

  • ASV and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind,
  • AMP and the red kite, the falcon, and the birds of prey of any variety,
  • CSB the kites, any kind of falcon,
  • DARBY and the falcon, and the kite, and the black kite after its kind;
  • ERV red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • ESV the kite, the falcon of any kind;
  • ESVUK the kite, the falcon of any kind;
  • EXB red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • HCSB the kite, any kind of falcon,
  • ICB red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • MEV the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after its kind,
  • NABRE the various kites and falcons,
  • NASB and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds,
  • NCV red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • NIRV They include red kites, black kites and all kinds of falcons.
  • NIV the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,
  • NIVUK the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,
  • NKJV the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds;
  • NLV the red kite, the falcon, every kind of kite,
  • NLT the kite, the falcon, buzzards of all kinds,
  • WEB the red kite, the falcon, the kite of any kind,
Did you notice the other birds mentioned in these verses? Many of them are Kites, including Red and Black Kites. The Glede is mentioned in one verse and is closely related to the Kites. See Bible Birds – Gledes and Kites. The Kites, Gledes, and our Falcons are considered Birds of Prey.

There are currently 66 Falcons in the Falconidae Family.

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What Is A Gripe or An Aliet? – Do Not Eat List

Rock Kestrel (Falco rupicolus) ©WikiC

Here are two more birds that are listed on the “Do Not Eat” list. A Gripe and an Aliet.

Leviticus 11:13 These things be of (the) fowls which ye shall not eat, and shall be eschewed of you (and shall be shunned by you); an eagle, and a gripe, [and] an aliet,
Deuteronomy 14:12 (but) eat ye not unclean birds, that is, an eagle, and a gripe, and an aliet,
These verses are in the Wycliffe Bible (WYC) version. “The earliest existing edition is from 1525, but manuscripts of that only have a part of Matthew. Of the whole New Testament, the earliest manuscripts available are from 1526. Old Testament books are from later, 1530’s for some. This means that these two birds mentioned, the Gripe and the Aliet, were the names they were called by back then. Languages change over hundreds of years.

Interesting note about how these birds are listed in the “Do Not Eat List” Here is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): Old Testament says:

13-19 There was no easy rule of thumb for clean birds. A negative list is given that in cases is difficult to translate with certainty. The different modern versions vary in detail. In general carrion-eating and fish-eating birds were forbidden, just as they are not used for food today. Chickens are not mentioned in the OT. The eating of bird eggs and the mother bird together is forbidden in Deuteronomy 22:6, apparently for conservation reasons. If the eggs are taken, the mother bird will lay more; but if the mother bird is taken, there will be no more eggs! Doves, their eggs, and their young were eaten.

After doing some searching on Google, the Gripe doesn’t seem to be a recognizable bird today. When searching for the Aliet, After just about giving up, this interesting article was found:

Hearldry is a displaying of different Coats of Arms. The bird in on this Crest or Coat of Arms is the Aliet:

These verses in other translations indicate some type of birds of prey. That is what is article is saying also. If you can read the “old English”, notice that it mentions “This Fowl hath her Tallons or Pounces inwardly crooked like a hook.” That is a good description of a Hawk, Falcon, or some other type of bird of prey. “and is called in Latine [Latin], Falco (faith Calepine). Falco is the genus for Falcons and includes 15 Kestrels, 22 Falcons and 4 Hobbys.

It also mentions the “Alietus is a little Fowl that preyeth upon small birds…”

Peregrine Falcon on Watch! by Ray

Peregrine Falcon on Watch! by Ray

Falcons, Kestrels and Hobbies are part of the Falconidae Family.

  1. Nave’s Topical Bible – Falcon
  2. Falconiformes Order
  3. Bible Birds – Falcons
  4. See More Bible Birds
  5. ABC’s of the Gospel