These also [shall be] unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,
Related Topics and Bible Verses
(Heb. tsabh). Ranked among the unclean animals (Lev. 11:29).
Land tortoises are common in Syria. The LXX. renders the word by
"land crocodile." The word, however, more probably denotes a
lizard, called by the modern Arabs _dhabb_.
Heb. peres = to "break" or "crush", the lammer-geier, or bearded
vulture, the largest of the whole vulture tribe. It was an
unclean bird (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12). It is not a gregarious
bird, and is found but rarely in Israel. "When the other
vultures have picked the flesh off any animal, he comes in at
the end of the feast, and swallows the bones, or breaks them,
and swallows the pieces if he cannot otherwise extract the
marrow. The bones he cracks [hence the appropriateness of the
name ossifrage, i.e., "bone-breaker"] by letting them fall on a
rock from a great height. He does not, however, confine himself
to these delicacies, but whenever he has an opportunity will
devour lambs, kids, or hares. These he generally obtains by
pushing them over cliffs, when he has watched his opportunity;
and he has been known to attack men while climbing rocks, and
dash them against the bottom. But tortoises and serpents are his
ordinary food...No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the
bald head of the poet AEschylus for a stone, and dropped on it
the tortoise which killed him" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).