Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale

Humpback Whale breaching ©Wikipedia

Humpback Whale breaching ©Wikipedia

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The whale is mentioned in the first chapter of the Bible, 21st verse.

And God created great whales.

Some suppose that large fish of every kind are here meant.

An animal called the leviathan is described in one of the last chapters of Job, which some suppose to be the whale. It certainly means a large and strong animal, as you will see by the questions asked about him:

Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook ? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put a hook in his nose ? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? When he raiseth himself up, the mighty are afraid. The arrow cannot make him flee; he laugheth at the shaking of a spear; he maketh the deep to boil like a pot; one would think the deep to be hoary.

This is like the whale in some things; but you will remember that it is not certain that he is meant.

Humpback whale jumping©WikiC

Humpback whale jumping©WikiC

The common whale for which so many sailors are always seeking on the great ocean, is an enormous animal. It is often found seventy feet long; and it is said that they have been found of the length of a hundred feet. If you do not know how long this would be, you will do well to ask some friend to tell you of a building or something else with which you can compare it; for it is not very likely that you will ever see the whale itself, and its size is very wonderful. It is covered with a coat of fat, sometimes more than a yard thick; and when this is cut up and put over fires in great kettles, a hundred barrels of oil are sometimes obtained from a single whale.

Perhaps you already know how they take the whale. As soon as the sailors see one, they go towards him in a boat until they get as near to him as they dare. Then they throw their harpoons at him; these are sharp-pointed irons, fastened to a very long rope, one end of which they keep in the boat. As soon as the whale is wounded, he dives down into the water, and swims away to some distance. He is usually obliged to come up again in about half an hour to breathe, for he cannot live all the while under water; and then the men throw other harpoons at him. Sometimes he comes so near as to upset the boat with a blow of his strong tail. The picture shows you a scene of this kind, where the boat was tossed into the air, the men thrown out, and one of them drowned.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Whale

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn

Herd of Addax: note how the horns of one animal at rest on the right appear to be joined as one horn.

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There is only this animal mentioned in the Bible, the name of which begins with U, and of this I cannot give you a picture, because no person now knows what sort of an animal it was. Some suppose it was a kind of wild goat; others think that it was a sort of deer; and others, that it was what we call the rhinoceros. Perhaps you have seen pictures with the name of the unicorn under them; but you must remember that those who made them only guessed it was so, and that no person can certainly tell what it was.
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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Unicorn

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Unicorn

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

Matterhorn Sheep©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

I suppose you think you already know as much about sheep and lambs as I can tell you, and perhaps you do. Yet I dare say you never took up your Bible to see how many times they are mentioned there, or how many beautiful things are said about them. Abel, who, as you know, was the third man that lived on the earth, was a

keeper of sheep;

and there have always been a great many shepherds in the world from that time to this. Some of the men who lived in old times had a great many sheep. Job had seven thousand, which God allowed to be taken from him; but afterwards gave him twice as many-fourteen thousand. At the time when Solomon’s beautiful temple was dedicated to God, he offered a sacrifice of a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. If you want to know how many that is, try to think of a pasture with a hundred sheep in it-then think of a hundred pastures, just like it, with just as many sheep in each-then think of those hundred pastures taken twelve times over, and you will begin to understand how many there were. It is not common with us to have persons whose whole business it is to take care of sheep, but that was always the way in Bible countries. This was not done by servants, at least not always; for a great many rich men employed their children as shepherds. Rachel, who was afterwards the wife of Jacob,

kept her father’s sheep

-so did Jacob’s twelve sons-so did Moses for his father-in-law.

Sheep Fold©WikiC

Sheep Fold©WikiC

When God was about to make David king, he sent Samuel the prophet to do it by anointing him, or putting oil upon his head. David had six brothers, and Samuel did not know which of all the sons was to be king; but both he and their father Jesse supposed it would be one of the older ones, and nobody remembered even to call little David, who had been left with the sheep, until they found that he was the one whom God had chosen. David often spoke of his shepherd-life after he became a king, and even when he was an old man. You remember that most beautiful psalm of his, the twenty-third,

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: he maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

That is the way they are accustomed to do in those countries: the shepherd walks on, and the sheep follow where he wishes them to go. So Christ says,

And when he (the shepherd) putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

The sheep in many countries are in danger from wolves, which prowl about and try to carry them off; so it is necessary to watch them by night as well as by day. You remember the shepherds were watching their flocks by night when the bright angels appeared to tell the glad tidings that A SAVIOR had come; and they were the first to hear that sweet song in the stillness of the night, when all around were hushed in sleep.

Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd

The sheep is so timid and gentle that it needs the protection of man, and without the care of the shepherd would often stray away and be lost, or devoured by other animals. David says,

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;

and in Isaiah we read,

All we like sheep have gone astray.

Is not this true of us-that we have gone away, far away, from Jesus our good shepherd? Perhaps, dear child, you are wandering still; but why should you thus go on, alone, and every hour in danger? Why should you, when he calls you back with his voice of kindness, and is ready to

gather you with his arms, and carry you in his bosom.

as the shepherd does his tender lambs?

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Sheep

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Sheep

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

Bark Scorpion©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This frightful creature is several times mentioned in the Bible. It is the largest among insects, and more dangerous than any of them. It is sometimes found in Europe, and is there about four inches long; but those of hot countries are sometimes more than a foot in length.

The scorpion is very easily made angry, and then its sting is terrible; it very often causes death, but not always. In Revelation, 9:5, 6, we read,

And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man; and in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it: and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

This shows that the pain caused by their sting is very great. When a person has been stung by a scorpion, the part around the wound swells and becomes very painful, the hands and feet become cold, the skin is pale, and there is a feeling as though there were needles in every part of it. This pain often increases and rages until the person dies in great suffering.

It is well for man that scorpions destroy each other as readily as they do animals of a different kind. It is said that a hundred were once put together under a glass, where they immediately began to attack and kill each other; so that in a few days only fourteen were left alive. I have heard that if a circle of alcohol or spirit of any sort, is set on fire, and a scorpion placed within it so that he cannot get out on any side, he will sting himself so as to cause his death. I am not certain that this is true, and it would be a very cruel thing to try it even upon so dangerous an animal as the scorpion.

It seems that this creature was sometimes seen in the wilderness through which the children of Israel passed. When they had nearly reached the end of their journey, Moses reminded them to praise God for having kept them safely in so many dangers, while passing through

that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions and drought; where there was no water.

Our Savior asks,

If a son shall ask of his father an egg, will he give him a scorpion?

Scorpion - (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

Scorpion – (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

The scorpions in that country are about as large as an egg, and when rolled up look a little like one. Yet no father would be so wicked as to give one to his child instead of the egg which he needed for food.

Christ once said to his disciples, when they were going out to preach and to heal the diseases of the people,

Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

This was a very wonderful power; and whoever should see one of those disciples tread on the terrible scorpion without being hurt, would know that Christ was surely with him to take care of him.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Scorpion

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Scorpion

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The vulture is called a bird of prey, because it lives on flesh; but it has not such strong claws as the eagle, to seize and tear its food. It does not often kill other animals; but preys upon those that have been killed in some other way, or have died of themselves. It is a disagreeable bird, and one that you would not like very well to see; no wonder the Israelites were forbidden to eat it. It is about a yard long from the top of its head, and it sometimes measures two yards across the wings.

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

It lives only in warm or hot climates, and there it is very useful, though you might at first be puzzled to think how this can be. It is because it lives upon such things as would be very injurious to man if they were left to decay in the open air. It not only consumes the dead bodies of animals, but takes away many things from the streets of the cities which the inhabitants are too indolent to remove. It is for this reason that in the city of Cairo, in Egypt, there is a law forbidding any person to kill a vulture. These birds sometimes follow an army, and prey upon the bodies of those poor soldiers who have been killed in battle. Ah ! it is a sad thing to go to war; almost every thing about it is sad.

The vulture has a very keen eye, and, like the eagle, can see what is on the ground, even when it is very high in the air. This is referred to in the book of Job.

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

It often happens in those countries that almost as soon as an ox, or a horse, or any other large animal has been killed, great multitudes of vultures will gather around, though not one could be seen in the sky before. they seem to fly down from every part of the heavens, and being to pull and struggle for the flesh of the animal; until in the course of a few hours nothing is left but the bones. We read in Isaiah,

There shall the vultures be gathered, every one with her mate.

This must have been written by one who had seen these birds coming together, as they do in great flocks or companies.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Vulture

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle

Thomson's Gazelles©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The roe belongs to the class of antelopes-animals very much resembling the deer; they are equally innocent and beautiful, and are often mentioned together in the Bible. The form of the antelope is, if possible, still more graceful than that of the deer, and its limbs still more delicate; but the principal difference between them is in the horns. Those of the deer grow from the bone of the forehead, and are at first small; but they are renewed every spring-the old horns falling off, and being succeeded by larger ones which grow in their place. They are at first covered with a soft, downy substance, called “the velvet;” but this soon comes off in fragments, leaving the horn white and smooth. The antelope never sheds its horns.

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)©WikiC

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)©WikiC

The roe or gazelle is the smallest animal of the antelope kind; it is only about two feet in height, and not more than half the size of the fallow-deer. Its eyes are remarkably soft and expressive; so that the people of those countries sometimes say of a beautiful woman,

She has the eyes of a gazelle.

Like the hart and hind, it is noted for its swiftness: so we read, in 1st Chronicles, 12 : 8, of men who were

as swift as the roes upon the mountains.

In 2d Samuel, 2 : 18, it is said,

And Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe;

and in the Song of Solomon,

The voice of my beloved ! behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills: my beloved is like a roe or a young hart.

The gazelle is often pursued in the chase; so Solomon says,

Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter.

Thomson's Gazelle at Masai Mara, Kenya©WikiC

Thomson’s Gazelle at Masai Mara, Kenya©WikiC

They go in very large companies, sometimes as many as two or three thousand; and they are still found in great numbers on the hills of Judea, the land where our Savior lived and died.

“The wild gazelle o’er Judah’s hills
‘Exulting, still may bound,
“And drink from all the living rills
“That gush on holy ground.”
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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Roe

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Roe

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This is a very beautiful and innocent bird, and no one is mentioned more frequently in the Bible. It does not live upon the flesh of animals: so when Noah sent one out of the ark, she soon came back again, because she could find nothing to eat, and no rest for the sole of her foot. Noah put out his hand and gently took her in, and she did not go out again for a whole week. Then Noah let her fly, and the beautiful creature came back in the evening, having in her mouth a green leaf which she had plucked from an olive-tree; as though she wanted to tell him that the waters were beginning to dry up. After another week she went out, and did not come back again to the ark, because the earth was dry.

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

The dove was often offered as a sacrifice in ancient times; and was a type of our innocent Savior, to show how he would afterwards be put to death for the guilty. The Holy Spirit once condescended to take the form of a dove, when he rested upon Christ at the time of his baptism. Our Savior speaks of the innocence of this bird when he says to his disciples,

I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

This bird has a very sweet but mournful voice; and this is referred to in the Bible. Hezekiah, one of the Jewish kings, had been very sick and expected to die; but as he lay on his bed, he prayed that God would be pleased to spare his life. God heard his prayer, and promised that he should live fifteen years longer; and soon after he became quite well. He was grateful to God for his goodness, and wrote a beautiful song of praise to be sung in the temple. Among other things he told how he felt when he lay so sick upon his bed. He says,

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove.

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

The turtle-dove is a bird of passage. It appears in Judea early in the spring, when the leaves are coming out, the flowers opening, and every thing looking lovely and beautiful. This will explain some verses in the Song of Solomon,

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away, for lo ! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (or turtle-dove) is heard in our land.

It remains until summer is gone; and then flies away to a warmer climate to spend the winter. It is in reference to this that David says,

Oh ! that I had wings like a dove ! for then would I flee away, and be at rest; lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness; I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

You will find these beautiful verses in the 55th Psalm.

Who would not wish to be like the gentle, peaceful dove?

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Doves and Pigeons

Columbidae Family – Pigeons, Doves

Nave’s Topical Bible – Dove, Turtle

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Dove

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The Bible name of this bird means gentleness or affection, and the stork very well deserves such a name. It is very kind indeed to its young ones, and takes pains to find some things for them that it does not itself eat. It is said that when a house, on the top of which was a stork’s nest, once took fire, the mother bird would not fly away, because the young ones were not large or strong enough to go with her, and so they were all burned together. They are very kind to the old birds, too; and I have read that the younger storks sometimes carry the old ones on their wings when they have become tired with flying a great way; and bring food to them in their nests just as the old ones used to bring it to them. I am not quite certain that this is true, though many people have said so; but if it is, I am sure it is a beautiful example for every child, teaching him to repay his parents in every way he can for all their love and care.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

The stork is about a yard long from its head to the end of the tail; its color is white, excepting some of the great quill feathers, which are black. Its nest is large and flat, and made mostly of sticks; the eggs are about as large as those of a goose, and a little yellowish.

It does not sing; the only noise it makes is by striking one part of its bill upon the other. While it is sleeping it stands on one leg, with its neck bent backward, and its head resting between its shoulders. The Jews were forbidden by God to use the stork for food; perhaps this was because it lives upon such animals as frogs, fishes and serpents.

The stork is a bird of passage; it spends the summer in Holland and other countries in the north of Europe, but flies to a warmer climate before cold weather comes. They seem to have a kind of agreement among themselves about starting on these long journeys; and for a fort-night before they are ready, they may be seen collecting in great numbers-then all take to their wings at once. This explains a verse in the eighty chapter of Jeremiah,

The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times;

that is, her times of going to a warmer climate or returning.

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

After the winter has gone, the storks fly back to their summer home, and very often take their old nests again. In Europe, these are generally made on the tops of houses or old chimneys, and the birds are so gentle and harmless that the people never disturb them, but are glad to see them come back. In some countries the roofs of the houses are flat, and the people walk and sleep on them; in these places the storks often build their nest on the flat branches of some spreading tree. In the 104th Psalm we read,

As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Storks

Ciconiidae Family – Storks

Nave’s Topical Bible – Stork


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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The raven has always been very well known to man, and is mentioned almost at the beginning of the Bible. You remember that this was the first bird that Noah sent out of the ark to see whether the waters had begun to dry up; and that it did not go back to him again. I suppose it was very glad to be at liberty after it had been shut up more than a year; and as it lives upon the flesh of other animals, it probably found food enough from the bodies of those that had been drowned.

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus)Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

It is a large bird, considerably larger than the crow; and its feathers are very black, very glossy, and very beautiful. People in ancient times seem to have liked a black color, and were especially pleased with black hair; so we read in the Song of Solomon, where one who is beautiful is described, “His locks are bushy, and black as a raven.”

It is said that the raven always attacks the eye of an animal first; seeming to prefer that to every other part. This may explain one of the verses in Proverbs,

The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

It has been the custom, in many countries, to hang those who have been guilty of great crimes on a tree or on a gallows in the open air; and there to leave the body for the birds to peck at and devour if they chose. I suppose this verse means that stubborn and disobedient children, or those who are not kind and respectful to their parents, must expect to come to some sad end; and they very often do so.

I have heard that the raven drives out its young ones very early from the nest, almost before they are able to seek their food. This may explain a verse in the Psalms,

The Lord giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry;

and another in Job,

Who provideth for the raven his food ? when his young ones cry unto God, wandering for lack of meat.

Our Savior speaks of this bird in the 12th chapter of Luke, “Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; they have neither store-house nor barn; and God feedeth them.” He was speaking to his disciples, and it was as much as to say,

If God takes care of the ravens, he will certainly take care of you; so you need not be anxious or afraid.

Brown-necked Raven of Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel ©WikiC

Have you read in the Bible how a good prophet’s life was once saved by ravens? The people who were living then were very wicked, and would have been glad to kill the prophet Elijah; so God told him to go into the wilderness and live there alone by the side of a small brook. Elijah went to the brook, and there was water enough for him to drink, of course, but no food to keep him from starving. You may be sure that God did not forget his servant; but you would hardly believe, if it was not in the Bible, that he would send the ravens to carry food to him. Yet so it was:

the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

It is supposed that he was fed in this way for as much as a year. It was a long time to stay there by himself; but I do not think he was lonely or afraid, for he loved God, and felt sure that He was always near him, even in the wilderness.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Ravens

Corvidae Family – Crows, Jays, Ravens

Nave’s Topical Bible – Raven

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Raven

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickell

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) by Kent Nickell

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)
The quail is about the size of a pigeon. It is called a bird of passage, because it does not always live in the same place, but spends the winter in one country, and in the spring flies away to another. In their journies, they fly together in very large flocks, as you have perhaps seen wild geese or pigeons do. A great many spend the summer north of the Black Sea, and when autumn comes they fly away to spend the winter in some warmer place, farther south. They usually start early some fine evening in August, when there is a north wind to help them on, and fly perhaps a hundred and fifty miles before morning. The people on the opposite shore of the Black Sea know about what time to look for them, and catch a great many of them for food.

Californian Quail by Ian

Californian Quail by Ian

God sometimes sent quails to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Once they complained because they had no meat to eat, pretty soon after God had saved them from the hand of Pharaoh; and then he brought a great many quails into their camp, so that they had as many as they wanted for food. At another time, when they were on their journey, these ungrateful people complained again, and wished they were back in Egypt, where they could have “fish, and melons, and cucumbers,” as they said. Then God saw fit to send them quails again, though he was very much displeased with their wickedness; so much so that he sent a dreadful sickness among them, of which many died. The Bible says,

And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails; he that gathered least, gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

The number of these quails was very wonderful. They covered the ground all around the camp, and as far every way as a person could go in a “day’s journey,” by which they meant twenty miles or more. And they not only covered all that ground, but were piled upon each other, to the height of more than a yard. The people gathered great quantities of them; probably they intended to dry a part, which is still a custom in those hot and sandy countries. “He that gathered least,” we read, “gathered ten homers.” A homer was about eight bushels, or as much as an ass could carry at a load; and ten homers, of course, was about eighty bushels. You see how eager the people were to get them, for they could not even sleep at night through fear that they should not have as many as they wanted; so they stood up to gather them “all that day, and all that night, and all the next day.”

These things are several times spoken of in other parts of the Bible, especially in the 78th Psalm. It is there said,

He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. And he let it fall in the midst of the camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled, for he gave them their own desire; but while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them.

Perhaps it was not wrong for the children of Israel to ask for meat to eat, but God was displeased with them for their complaining spirit notwithstanding all his goodness; and although he gave them what they asked, it proved to be only a curse to them. This may teach us to be grateful for the thousand blessings that God has given us, and when we ask any thing from him, to be willing that he should deny us if he sees best.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Quail

Odontophoridae Family – New World Quail

Phasianidae Family – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

Turnicidae – Buttonquail

Nave’s Topical Bible – Quail

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The peacock is first mentioned in the Bible in the time of Solomon. He used to send his vessels to distant countries, and they came back once in three years,

bringing gold, and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Daves Birding Pix in Backyard

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Daves Birding Pix in Backyard

Solomon was the richest among all the kings that the Bible tells us about. When he first became king God spoke to him in a dream, and told him to ask for any thing he wished. If God should speak so to you, what would you ask for?

Solomon did not pray that God would make him rich, or that he would give him health, or let him live a great many years on the earth; but he said,

I am a little child, I know not how to go out or come in. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart

Then God was pleased with what he asked, and besides giving him great wisdom, he gave him also riches and honor. He had forty thousand horses, and silver and gold in abundance. All the vessels used in his house were of gold, because silver was not good enough; it was “as stones” for plenty, and was “nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.” In the second chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon himself speaks of his riches, and after telling us of some of his treasures, he says:

Whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy.” Perhaps you think he must have been perfectly happy, if any man in this world ever was; but what does he say?

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” This does not sound much like being contented. No, dear child, these are not the things that make us happy; nothing but the true love of God in the heart can do this.

There are many peacocks in India, and large flocks of them are sometimes seen around the temples; they also live among the bushes near the banks of rivers. They sometimes rest on high trees, but always make their nests on the ground, under the shrubs.

There was once a foolish and wicked emperor who cared little for any thing excepting “what he should eat, and what he should drink, and wherewithal he should be clothed.” He took great pride in telling how much his dinners cost, and how much trouble it gave people to prepare them. One of the dishes that pleased him, because it cost money enough, and time and trouble enough, was made up of the tongues of flamingoes, (a kind of bird,) and the brains of peacocks-do you envy such a king as that?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

The peacock is a very splendid bird; its colors are most rich and beautiful. The feathers of the tail are often more than a yard long, and when they are spread out in the sunlight, like a great fan, nothing can be more elegant. Yet with all its beauty I do not believe you could ever love a peacock, as you love a lamb or a dove. It seems selfish and vain, and there is nothing lovely about it-its voice is very harsh and disagreeable. There are some people who, like the peacock, are called handsome or beautiful, but whose hearts are not pure and lovely in the sight of God. “Beauty,” in itself, “is vain;” but “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price.”

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Peacocks

Phasianidae Family – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

Nave’s Topical Bible – Peacock

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust

Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The locust is called an insect, as well as the ant and the bee, but instead of being harmless, as they usually are, it does a great deal of injury. It is also much larger than they; for it is generally three inches long, and sometimes as much as four or five. The plague of the locusts was the eighth that God sent upon the Egyptians, because they would not let the children of Israel go, as he commanded; and it was a very terrible one indeed. The Bible says,

They covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field through all the land of Egypt.

This is the way they often do in those countries, though perhaps it is not common for so many to come at once.

Locusts feeding ©WikiC

Locusts feeding ©WikiC

They fly in companies of thousands together, and so close that they look like a great black cloud. When they alight on the ground they all come down in a body, and immediately begin to devour the grass and grain; they also eat the leaves of the trees, and every green thing they can find. The people dread them more than they do the most terrible fire or storm; because though they are so small, they destroy all the food, and leave the people ready to starve. When the inhabitants see them coming over their fields, they try to drive them away by making loud noises or by kindling fires; but this does little good.

It is said that a great army of locusts came over the northern part of Africa about a hundred years before the birth of Christ. They consumed every blade of grass wherever they alighted; also the roots, and bark, and even the hard wood of the trees. After they had thus eaten up every thing, a strong wind arose, and after tossing them about awhile, it blew them over the sea, and great numbers of them were drowned. Then the waves threw them back upon the land, all along the sea-coast, and their dead bodies made the air so unwholesome that a frightful pestilence commenced, and great numbers of men and animals died.

Many travellers have seen these great clouds of locusts, and describe them in their books. One says that he saw a company consisting of so many that they were an hour in passing over the place where he was. They seemed to extend a mile in length and half a mile in width. When he first noticed them, they looked like a black cloud rising in the east; and when they came over head, they shut out the light of the sun, and made a noise with their wings like the rushing of a water-fall. Another swarm is mentioned which took four hours to pass over one spot; and they made the sky so dark that one person could not see another at twenty steps off.

You can now understand two or three passages from the Bible which I will mention. David says in the 23d verse of the 109th Psalm,

I am tossed up and down as the locust;

that is, as the clouds of locusts are tossed about by the wind. In the first chapters of Joel God threatens to send the locust among the people, because of their wickedness; and he says of them,

Before their faces the people shall be much pained; all faces shall gather blackness. They (the locusts,) shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall; they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.

An English clergyman who visited countries where the locusts are found, a few years ago, says that these verses describe them exactly as he has himself seen them.

Locust - Insect food stall ©WikiC

Locust and other Insects food stall ©WikiC

Locusts are sometimes used for food. The Arabs boil them with salt, and then add a little oil or butter; sometimes they toast them by the fire before eating them. A traveller speaks of seeing the Arab women employed in filling bags with locusts, which were to be used for food. You know it is said in the New Testament that John the Baptist

did eat locusts and wild honey,

but it is not quite certain that this insect was meant; perhaps it was the fruit of the locust-tree that he ate.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Locust

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Locust

(Photos ©WikiC)

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