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The Screamer

The Hebrew word pronounced aw-yaw means the screamer, referring to the sound that some hawks or eagles make. The word is variously translated into English as kite (a number of varieties of small hawks), hawk, falcon or vulture (vulture is used not because of their sound, but because hawks and eagles will eat carrion in the same way as literal vultures). The King James Version translates the original Hebrew word aw-yaw as either kite or vulture, sometimes in the same verse.

"14:13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind" (Deuteronomy 14:13 KJV)

The RSV translation of the same verse is also accurate, showing how the word is used to describe as much a type of bird, as a specific species or variety.

"14:13 the buzzard, the kite, after their kinds" (Deuteronomy 14:13 RSV)

"The kite after his kind"

Kites, eagles, hawks and falcons are classified as unclean for food because they have "vulture" feeding habits - thereby making them a bacterial and viral health hazard to humans who touch or eat them. Humans should not eat "unclean" birds for the same rationality that they shouldn't eat flies - why unclean birds and unclean insects are listed together in the LORD's health laws.


"11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, 11:14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 11:15 Every raven after his kind; 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 11:18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 11:19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat." (Leviticus 11:13-19 KJV)

Notice the difference between plant-eating insects (e.g. grasshoppers), which are classified as clean, and other insects such as flies, which are classified as unclean.

"11:20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you." (Leviticus 11:20-23 KJV)

Along with the clean and unclean dietary laws, which were based upon hygiene, were instructions about washing.

"11:24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 11:25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even." (Leviticus 11:24-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: Were "eagles" used in prophecy?
See On Eagles' Wings and Where Eagles Gather; also The Riddle Of The Two Eagles

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