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Monday, January 5, 2015

Isaiah 14, Part Five: Desolation

Isaiah 14, Part Five: Desolation

The LORD declares the ultimate end of Babylon:

Isaiah 14:22-23 (ESV) I will rise up against them, declares the LORD of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity, declares the LORD. And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, declares the LORD of hosts.

American Bitterns are almost always solitary and can be difficult to see. They often hide among wetland vegetation, walking slowly as they forage. American Bitterns typically hunt in low light, catching food with their bill and killing prey with biting or shaking movements. Flight is stiff and fairly clumsy with rapid wingbeats. Territorial males display at each other by approaching while hunkered down, head lowered to the level of its back, neck drawn in, and revealing white plumes at the shoulders. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Bittern/lifehistory)

Hedgehog or bittern?

There are two other references to the same word, both referring to a type of bird:

Isaiah 34:11 (ESV) But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.

Zephaniah 2:14 (ESV) Herds shall lie down in her midst, all kinds of beasts; even the owl and the hedgehog shall lodge in her capitals; a voice shall hoot in the window; devastation will be on the threshold; for her cedar work will be laid bare.

"Porcupine" in Hebrew is the same word as "hedgehog".

The ESV translates the word as hedgehog or porcupine. The KJV translates it more consistently as a type of bird:

Isaiah 14:23 (KJV) I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 34:11 (KJV) But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

Zephaniah 2:14 (KJV) And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.

What do you think?

photo credit: TimberWolfie via photopin cc