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Tuesday, December 27 2011

Howls Of The Wilderness

The English word "owl" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant to howl ("owl" and "howl" are the same word in origin - owl is just a clipped pronunciation of howl).

"Owl" is used to translate at least four different Hebrew words of the Holy Scriptures that are used for the variety of owls that were found in the Middle East at that time. As with the English word "owl," the Hebrew words are descriptive of some characteristic of the species.

Owls

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced koce, which meant cup - referring to the deep eye sockets of most owls

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced yawn-sofe, which meant a long cry i.e. the hooooooooo sound of some owls

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced lee-leeth, which meant a night spectre, referring to the shadowy flight of the owl as seen in the low light, or moonlight, of night

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced kip-poze, which meant to dart onto a prey, which referred to the near-silent flight-attack of owls

Owls are nocturnal (i.e. active at night - the reason for "nature" giving them relatively large eyes for greater night vision) birds of prey, related to nighthawks and whippoorwills. Owls are unique among birds of prey in that they are silent in flight, made possible by the velvet-like texture of their flight feathers - their prey seldom sees, or hears, the owl coming until it's too late. Owls nest widely, in buildings, hollow spaces in trees, and in the case of some varieties, in holes in the ground.

The LORD created all living creatures, both "clean" and "unclean." Why create "unclean" creatures? The answer may be found in what they do e.g. vultures remove carrion, thereby reducing the spread of disease - the reason that vultures themselves are not to be eaten. Owls are also classified as "unclean" because of the useful purpose that they have in nature - every night, owls devour millions of rodents.

"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)

"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)

"11:46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 11:47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten." (Leviticus 11:46-47 KJV)

"The screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch"

The "LORD God" of the "Old Testament" was Jesus Christ (see The Rock Of The Church). Here, Christ, as given through the prophet Isaiah, provided Israel with both a reminder of their history, and a prophecy of the future time when there will be no more dry places (physically or spiritually) on the earth. Even the birds, including owls, will then know the truth (as also described elsewhere in Isaiah i.e. "11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" Isaiah 11:6-9 KJV).

Owls

"43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob [see The First Christian Church], and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." (Isaiah 43:1-3 KJV)

"43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness [see The True Gospel Of Christ], and rivers in the desert. 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise." (Isaiah 43:18-21 KJV)

The people of Israel repeatedly failed to come out of the "wilderness," as the LORD made possible for them to do (see Don't Look Back). The result was that He left them, or returned them (see The Babylon Exodus And Exile), to that wilderness where they would make the howling sound of owls i.e. "Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls."

"1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

1:2 Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.

1:3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. 1:4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. 1:5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?

1:6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. 1:7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.

1:8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. 1:9 For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem." (Micah 1:1-9 KJV)

Owls were frequently used in analogy because of the human perception of their solitary nature and mournful sound (although owls themselves are naturally very happy where they live, and with the sounds that they make). In this example, "an owl of the desert" was used for describe human emotion.

Owl

"102:1 A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. 102:2 Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

102:3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. 102:4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. 102:5 By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. 102:7 I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. 102:8 Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. 102:9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, 102:10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. 102:11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

102:12 But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. 102:13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 102:14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 102:15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 102:16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer." (Psalm 102:1-17 KJV)

Job too, at the time of his extreme suffering, likened himself to his perception of owls.

"30:24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. 30:25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. 30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. 30:30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. 30:31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep." (Job 30:24-31 KJV)

The LORD also used owls in analogy, but referring to the "wilderness" that humanity has created for itself, not the owls that naturally live there.

Owl

"34:8 For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. 34:11 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. 34:12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. 34:15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate." (Isaiah 34:8-15 KJV)

"Babylon" is what man's world has become (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?).

"13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 13:22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged." (Isaiah 13:19-22 KJV)

"50:35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 50:36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. 50:37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. 50:38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

50:39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 50:40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein." (Jeremiah 50:35-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: When and where will humanity be "born again"?
See What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?


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This Day In History, December 27

1741: Prussian (not to be confused with Russian - Prussia is in Germany) forces took Olmutz, Czechoslovakia.

1822: Louis Pasteur, the French chemist and bacteriologist, was born. He originated the heat process known as Pasteurization, used to destroy micro-organisms in certain foods and drinks.

1825: The first public railroad using steam locomotives was completed, in England.

1831: The British survey ship HMS Beagle set sail from Plymouth, England, on its scientific voyage around the world. On board was a young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1922: The Japanese Hosho was commissioned; it was the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier (earlier carriers were converted ships e.g. the first U.S. aircraft carrier was a converted bulk coal carrier).

1927: Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, marking a victory for Joseph Stalin.

1945: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established.

1949: Indonesia became independent from the Netherlands by decree from by Queen Juliana.

1972: Lester Pearson died at age 75. The 14th Canadian Prime Minister (1963-1968) was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the Israeli Suez Crisis of 1956.

1972: Belgium became the first NATO country to establish diplomatic relations with East Germany.

1978: King Juan Carlos ratified Spain's first democratic constitution.

1979: Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan. Hafizullah Amin, President of Afghanistan, was executed.

1995: Israeli troops withdrew from Ramallah, completing the handover of 6 "West Bank" towns to the "Palestinians" ("Palestine" is merely a variant English-language rendering of "Philistine").

1996: Rwanda's first genocide trial opened with the accused facing charges for their part in the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis in 1994.





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