Or FALCON, a strong-winged and rapacious bird, of several in Syria; unclean for the Hebrews, Le 11:16, but sacred among the Greeks and Egyptians. In its migrations, it illustrates the wise providence of the Creator, Job 39:26.
(Heb netz, a word expressive of strong and rapid flight, and hence appropriate to the hawk). It is an unclean bird (Le 11:16; De 14:15). It is common in Syria and surrounding countries. The Hebrew word includes various species of Falconidae, with special reference perhaps to the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), the hobby (Hypotriorchis subbuteo), and the lesser kestrel (Tin, Cenchris). The kestrel remains all the year in Palestine, but some ten or twelve other species are all migrants from the south. Of those summer visitors to Palestine special mention may be made of the Falco sacer and the Falco lanarius. (See Night-hawk.)
neets; implying "strong and rapid flight". Migratory in S. Europe and parts of Asia; so Job 39:26, "doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the S.?" Of the dozen lesser raptores, birds, in Palestine nearly all are summer migrants; the Falco saker and Falco lanarius, besides the smaller Falco melanopterus, Hypotriorchis subbuteo or the hobby, etc. The sacred monuments show that one kind was sacred in Egypt. The Greek name implies "sacredness", hierax.
Some eighteen species of hawk are known to exist in Palestine. The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and the sparrow-hawk (Accipiter nisus) are the commonest. The traveller through the land sees them everywhere. Hawks were 'unclean' birds (Le 11:16; De 14:16). The migratory habits of many species of Palestine hawks are referred to in Job 39:26.
E. W. G. Masterman.
The Hebrew word is nets, and is held to embrace the different species of hawk, of which there are several, as indeed is implied by the words 'the hawk after his kind.' They were birds of prey and were pronounced to be unclean. Le 11:16; De 14:15. Some at least of the hawks are migratory, and this is supposed to be alluded to in Job 39:26, in the expression "stretch her wings toward the south." The most common of the smaller hawks in Palestine is the Kestrel, Tinnunculus alaudarius.
The hawk includes various species of the Falconidae. With respect to the passage in Job (l.c.) which appears to allude to the migratory habits of hawks, it is curious to observe that of the ten or twelve lesser raptors (hawk tribe) of Palestine, nearly all are summer migrants. The kestrel remains all the year, but the others are all migrants from the south.
HAWK, ?, from the root ???, to fly, because of the rapidity and length of flight for which this bird is remarkable, Le 11:16; De 14:15; Job 39:26. Naz is used generically by the Arabian writers to signify both falcon and hawk; and the term is given in both these senses by Meninski. There can be little doubt that such is the real meaning of the Hebrew word, and that it imports various species of the falcon family, as jer-falcon, goshawk, and sparrow-hawk. As this is a bird of prey, cruel in its temper, and gross in its manners, it was forbidden as food, and all others of its kind, in the Mosaic ritual. The Greeks consecrated the hawk to Apollo; and among the Egyptians no animal was held in so high veneration as the ibis and the hawk. Most of the species of hawk, we are told, are birds of passage. The hawk, therefore, is produced, in Job 39:26, as a specimen of that astonishing instinct which teaches birds of passage to know their times and seasons, when to migrate out of one country into another for the benefit of food, or a warmer climate, or both. The common translation does not give the full force of the passage: "Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom?" The real meaning is, "Doth she know, through thy skill or wisdom, the precise period for taking flight, or migrating and stretching her wings toward a southern or warmer climate?" The passage is well rendered by Sandys: