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WATER HEN (תִּנְשֶׁ֫מֶת, H9492, Lev 11:18; Deut 14:16 only, meaning uncertain; water hen RSV; Swan KJV; horned owl ASV). It is impossible to suggest a tr. for this Heb. word. The LXX and Vul. tr. Porphyrio or Ibis (not the same bird); the former is a genus of rails and water hens, of which Pal. has eight species but there is nothing to support this tr. Driver (PE2  15) suggests “little owl.” Swan (KJV) cannot be correct. The mute swan is a winter visitor to the lakes and rivers but was prob. unknown to the Israelites, esp. in the desert. In any case, there seems no reason why such a plant-eating bird should be unclean.
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