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Owl

OWL. KJV trs. five different Heb. words “owl,” and it is found sixteen times. In RSV “owl” appears only seven times; all but one are common to KJV, but sometimes differently qualified: e.g., Deuteronomy 14:16, “the little owl and the great owl” (KJV, RSV); but Isaiah 34:15 “There shall the owl (RSV) great owl (KJV) nest.” The most important variation is that Heb. (בַּ֣ת יַּעֲנָ֔ה) is tr. “owl” (KJV), but “ostrich” (ASV, RSV). Some attempt was made by J. G. Wood, Bible Animals (1869) to identify the various owls and he had already come to this conclusion about ostrich while regarding the other KJV tr. as generally correct. The only attempt at scientific analysis of this group seems to be by G. R. Driver in “Birds in the OT; I Birds in Law” PEQ (1955) 5-20. He identifies no less than eight species in the lists of unclean food in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These are tabulated as follows: