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ATS Bible Dictionary

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PELETHITESPEN
 
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Hebrew - pelican
PELICAN

Leviticus 11:18, sometimes translated cormorant, Isaiah 34:11 Zephaniah 2:14; a voracious waterfowl, somewhat gregarious and migratory, frequenting tropical climates, and still found on the waters of Egypt and Palestine. It fully equals the swan in size, and resembles it in shape and color. Its plumage is of a grayish white, except the long feathers, which are black. Its great peculiarity is its broad, flat bill, fifteen inches long; and the pouch of the female under the bill, used for the temporary storage of food, and said to be able to hold fifteen quarts. When empty, this pouch is not seen; but when full, it presents a very singular appearance. The pelican is a dull, indolent, and melancholy bird; and its voice is harsh and dissonant, Psalms 102:6. Its Hebrew name is probably derived from its habit of emptying its pouch of the food stored in it, by compressing it against its breast. The young then receive their food from their mother’s bill; and the current tradition that she tears her own breast to feed them with her blood, may have this origin. The pelican’s bill also, terminating in a strong, curved, crimson tip and resting on the white breast might seem to be tinged with blood.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'PELICAN'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/ats/view.cgi?number=T1580>. 1859.

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