Easton's Bible Dictionary
An unclean and keen-sighted bird of prey ( Leviticus
11:14 ; Deuteronomy
14:13 ). The Hebrew word used, 'ayet , is rendered "vulture" in Job
28:7 in Authorized Version, "falcon" in Revised Version. It is probably the
red kite (Milvus regalis), a bird of piercing sight and of soaring habits found
all over Palestine.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrew ayyah) A rapacious and keen-sighted bird of prey
belonging to the hawk family. The Hebrew word thus rendered occurs in three passages
-- ( Leviticus
11:14 ; 14:13
28:7 ) In the two former it is translated "kite" in the Authorized Version,
in the latter "vulture." It is enumerated among the twenty names of birds mentioned
in ( Deuteronomy
14:11 ) ... which were considered unclean by the Mosaic law and forbidden
to be used as food by the Israelites.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
kit ('ayyah; iktinos; Latin Milvus ictinus or regalis):
A medium-sized member of the hawk tribe (see HAWK). This bird is 27 inches long,
of bright reddish-brown color, has sharply pointed wings and deeply forked tail.
It is supposed to have exceptionally piercing eyes. It takes moles, mice, young
game birds, snakes and frogs, as well as carrion for food. Its head and facial
expression are unusually eagle-like. It was common over Palestine in winter, but
bred in the hills of Galilee and rough mountainous places, so it was less conspicuous
in summer. It is among the lists of abominations (see Leviticus
11:14 and Deuteronomy
14:13). It is notable that this is the real bird intended by Job to be used
as that whose eye could not trace the path to the silver mine: "That path no bird
of prey knoweth, Neither hath the falcon's eye seen it" (Job
The word used here in the original Hebrew is 'ayyah, which was the name for kite.
Our first translators used "vulture"; our latest efforts give "falcon," a smaller
bird of different markings, not having the kite's reputation for eyesight.
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