Is The Porphyrion On The Do Not Eat List? When the Birds of the Bible articles were written several years ago, I used my e-Sword program to search for the names of different species of birds on the “Do Not Eat List.” Now, the BibleGateway Bibles are also available for me to use. Time to check these new resources to see if any other name of bird is in one of their Bible translations.
I started with Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17 [The beginning of the “Do Not Eat List” of birds] Looking through the list, Porphyrion caught my attention.
When I first started searching this word out on Google, here is what came up: “In Greek mythology, Porphyrion (Ancient Greek: Πορφυρίων) was one of the Gigantes (Giants)…” Whoa! That’s not a bird, but a Greek Mythology character, and not a very nice one. That is the reason for this title.
Ah! But further researching found that the Porphyrion is actually another name for the Swamphen. Notice the scientific name in the photo.
Porphyrio porphyrio. That is most likely why the Douay-Rheims 1899 [American edition DRA] translated it that way. They are the only English Bible that translates the bird this way.
They translated the two verses as:
“And the swan, and the bittern, and the porphyrion,” Leviticus 11:18 DRA“And the cormorant, the porphyrion, and the night crow,” Deuteronomy 14:17 DRAalso“and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,” WYC [Here’s a verse to check out :) ]
“Porphyrio is the swamphen or swamp hen bird genus in the rail family. It includes some smaller species which are usually called “purple gallinules”, and which are sometimes separated as genus Porphyrula or united with the gallinules proper (or “moorhens”) in Gallinula. The Porphyrio gallinules are distributed in the warmer regions of the world.
The genus Porphyrio was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) as the type species. The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for “swamphen”, meaning “purple“. [Wikipedia – Swamphen]
This is one of the reasons we post a Disclaimer about the different Bible versions.