The rendering of given by the English versions; it is enumerated among the unclean birds in Lev. xi. 16; Deut. xiv. 15. The Hebrew word, to which is added "after its kind," may designate any of the smaller diurnal birds of prey, which are numerous in Palestine. Of the Falconidœ the kestrels (Tinnunculus alaudarius and Tinnunculus cenchris) are very common in Palestine. Others, less numerous, are the hobby-hawk (Falco subbuteo), the Eleonora falcon (Falco eleonorœ), etc. In Job xxxix. 26 the hawk is described as stretching its wings "toward the south," in reference to the migratory habits of the smaller birds.
In the Talmud (Ḥul. 42a) the hawk is said to kill small birds, while another bird, the "gas," kills large ones. The latter term may denote the Falco islandicus, used in hunting.
- Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, p. 189;
- Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmuds, p. 164.