From BiblePortal Wikipedia

People's Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Vulture. In  Leviticus 11:14,  Deuteronomy 14:18,  Isaiah 34:15, in place of this word, we should probably read "black kite," Milvus Migrans . This is a bird which, except in the winter months, collects in Palestine in great numbers and is very sociable in its habits, according to the reference in Isaiah. Another Hebrew word rendered "vulture," R. V. "falcon," in  Job 28:7, is elsewhere correctly rendered kite. It is a striking instance of the accuracy of the Scripture writers that, while the peculiar faculty for discovering their food which carrion-devourers possess is popularly attributed to the sense of smell, the Bible rightly attributes it to sight. In the book of Job the characteristic of the eagle is that "her eyes behold afar off."  Job 28:7 refers to the same peculiarity, "There is a path which the vulture's eye hath not seen," implying that its vision is most acute and penetrating. It is well proved that birds of prey discern their booty at vast distances, that the eager flight of one is observed and followed by another, and so on, till many are gathered together wheresoever the carcase is.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

'Ayah (the red kite famed for sharp sight:  Job 28:7); Daah (GLEDE or black kite:  Leviticus 11:14;  Deuteronomy 14:13 Raah ); Dayah , the Vulturidae; the words "after his kind" mark more than one species. Vultures differ from eagles and falcons by having the head and neck borer of feathers, the eyes not so sunk, the beak longer, curved only at the end. Cowardly; preferring carrion to other food; rarely killing their prey, unless it is feeble.

The griffon of the Vulturidae is noted for seeing its prey from the greatest height. Though previously scarcely known in the Crimea, during the Anglo-Russian war they remained near the camp throughout the campaign; "wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together" ( Matthew 24:28;  Job 39:30). Besides the griffon, the lammergever and the Egyptian vulture, "Pharaoh's hens," are found in Palestine.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Vulture. The rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew, daah, dayyah, and also in  Job 28:7 of ayyah. There seems no doubt that the Authorized Versions translation is incorrect, and that the original words refer to some of the smaller species of raptorial birds, as Kites or Buzzards. See Kite . But the Hebrew word, nesher, invariably rendered "Eagle" in the Authorized Version, is probably the Vulture. See Eagle .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

There are three words so translated.

1. ayyah, a bird of keen sight.  Job 28:7 . It is supposed to be a species of KITE, as the Hebrew is translated in  Leviticus 11:14;  Deuteronomy 14:13 .

2. dayyah, a bird inhabiting ruins: supposed to be another species of KITE.  Deuteronomy 14:13;  Isaiah 34:15 .

3. daah, a bird of rapid flight,  Leviticus 11:14; supposed to be the FALCON; the word occurs here only. These are all classed among the unclean birds. For the true vulture see EAGLE.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • In   Job 28:7 the Heb. 'ayyah is thus rendered. The word denotes a clamorous and a keen-sighted bird of prey. In   Leviticus 11:14 and   Deuteronomy 14:13 it is rendered "kite" (q.v.).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Vulture'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

    Vulture . 1 . dâ’âh ,   Leviticus 11:14 , dayyâh or dayyôth ,   Deuteronomy 14:13 AV [Note: Authorized Version.]; in both passages RV [Note: Revised Version.] has ‘kite.’ 2 . ’ayyâh ,   Job 28:7 AV [Note: Authorized Version.]; RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘falcon.’ These words certainly refer to some of the smaller birds of prey: the larger vultures are included in nesher , for which see Eagle.

    E. W. G. Masterman.

    Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [7]

    דאה and ראה ,  Leviticus 11:14;  Isaiah 34:15; a large bird of prey, somewhat resembling the eagle. There are several birds of the vulturine kind, which, though they differ much in respect to colour and dimensions, yet are all easily distinguished by their naked heads, and beaks partly straight and partly crooked. They are frequent in Arabia, Egypt, and many parts of Africa and Asia. They have a most indelicate voracity, preying more upon carrion than live animals. They were declared unclean in the Levitical constitution.

    King James Dictionary [8]

    VULTURE, n. A genus of fowls, belonging to the order of Accipiters. The bill is straight, but hooked at the end, and covered at the base by a cere of skin. The head is naked. There are thirteen species, all carnivorous and rapacious. The vultur is one of the largest kinds of fowls, and the Condor of South America, one of this family, is the largest species of flying animals that has been discovered.

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

    A large bird of prey, belonging to the genus hawks, and including a great many species. It is pronounced unclean by Moses,  Leviticus 11:14   Deuteronomy 14:13 . See  Job 28:7 .

    Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [10]

     Isaiah 34:15 (b) This bird is a type of the voracious, hungry nations who are to come down on Idumea, and devour her assets.

    Webster's Dictionary [11]

    (n.) Any one of numerous species of rapacious birds belonging to Vultur, Cathartes, Catharista, and various other genera of the family Vulturidae.

    Holman Bible Dictionary [12]


    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

    Fig. 339—Vultur percnopterus

    An unclean bird . The species of vulture, properly so called, have the head naked or downy, the crop external, and very long wings; they have all an offensive smell, and we know of none that even the scavenger-ants will eat. When dead they lie on the ground untouched till the sun has dried them into mummies. Those found in and about the Egyptian territory are Vultur fulvus, V. gyps (Savigny), V. Ægyptius (Savigny), V. monachus (Arabian vulture), V. cinereus, V. Nubicus, and a black species, which is often figured on Egyptian monuments as the bird of victory, hovering over the head of a national hero in battle, and sometimes with a banner in each talon. It is perhaps the gypaetus barbatus (peres), or lammer geyer; for though neither a vulture nor an eagle, it is the largest bird of prey of the old continent, and is armed like the eagle with formidable claws. The head is wholly feathered; its courage is equal to its powers, and it has a strength of wing probably superior to all raptorians, excepting the condor. It is found with little or no difference from Norway to the Cape of Good Hope, and from the Pyrenees to Japan. Most of the above-named species are occasionally seen in the north of Europe. The voice varies in different species, but those of Egypt, frequenting the Pyramids, are known to bark in the night like dogs. Excepting the carrion vultures, all the other species are of large size; some superior in bulk to the swan, and others a little less.

    There can be no doubt that the White Carrion Vulture (Vultur percnopterus) is the bird called in Hebrew (as it still is in Arabic) Racham, rendered Gier-eagle in; . It forms a small group of Vulturidae, subgenerically distinguished by the name of Percnopterus and Neophron, differing from the other vultures in the bill being longer, straight, more attenuated, and then uncinated, and in the back of the head and neck being furnished with longish, narrow, suberectile feathers. In size the species is little bulkier than a raven, but it stands high on the legs. Always soiled with blood and garbage, offensive to the eye and nose, it yet is protected in Egypt both by law and public opinion for the services it renders in clearing the soil of dead carcasses putrefying in the sun, and the cultivated fields of innumerable rats, mice, and other vermin. It extends to Palestine in the summer season, but becomes scarce towards the north, where it is not specially protected; and it accompanies caravans, feasting on their leavings and on dead camels, etc.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

    vul´t̬ū́r ( דּאה , dā'āh  ; Septuagint γύψ , gúps , and ἴκτινος , ı́ktinos  ; Latin Vulturidae ): Any member of a family of large birds that subsist wholly or in part on carrion. The largest vulture of Palestine was the Lammer-geier. This bird waited until smaller vultures, eagles and hawks stripped a carcass to the bone, then carried the skeleton aloft and dashed it on the rocks until the marrow could be secured. This was a favorite delicacy. This bird was fond of tortoise also, and is said to have dropped the one that struck the bald head of Aeschylus, which the bird mistook for a stone, so causing the death of the poet. Several smaller species, including "Pharaoh's chickens," flocked all over Palestine. These were protected by a death penalty for their value as scavengers in cities. They fed on carcasses of animals that killed each other, ate putrid fish under the nests of pelican and cormorant, followed caravans across the desert, and were ready for offal thrown from animals dressed for feasting. They flocked over the altars for the entrails from sacrifice, and devoured scraps cast aside by tent-dwellers and residents of cities. They paired with affectionate courting and nested in crevices, in walls, hollow trees and on cliffs. They raised only one pair of young to the season, as the nestlings were over two months old before they took wing. The young were white at first, then black feathers enveloped them. On account of their steady diet of carrion, no one ever has been able to use their flesh for food, although some daring ornithologists have tried. For this reason the vulture was placed among the abominations and should by right have headed the lists (  Leviticus 11:18;  Deuteronomy 14:13 ). The other references that used to be translated "vulture" in the King James Version, the Septuagint ἔλαφος , élaphos , Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) correctly milous ) are changed to "falcon" and "kite."  Isaiah 34:15 changes "vulture" to "kite."   Job 28:7 changes "vulture" to "falcon."

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

    Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Vulture'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.