BITTERN ("ḳippod"):

From an examination of the passages in which "ḳippod" occurs it would seem that a bird is meant by the word. In Isa. xxxiv. 11, "But the cormorant and the ḳippod shall possess it; the owl also, and the raven shall dwell in it," any meaning for "ḳippod" other than the name of a bird would be decidedly out of place. In Zeph. ii. 14 it is again mentioned by the side of the cormorant, and is spoken of as singing "in the upper lintels." From Isa. xiv. 23 it is clear that the ḳippod was one of the wading birds. Hence there seems to be good ground for translating the term by "bittern," as the bittern is a nocturnal bird, dwells alone, and belongs to the wading class. The ancient versions have "porcupine" instead of "bittern," and the later usage of Hebrew and the Arabic "ḳunfud" support this translation; but the difficulties aroused by the reading "porcupine" in the Biblical passages are formidable.

J. Jr. G. B. L.
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