Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrew. kore, i.e., "caller"). This bird, unlike our
own partridge, is distinguished by "its ringing call-note, which in early morning
echoes from cliff to cliff amidst the barrenness of the wilderness of Judea and
the glens of the forest of Carmel" hence its Hebrew name. This name occurs only
twice in Scripture.
|(1) In 1 Samuel 26:20 "David alludes to the mode of chase
practised now, as of old, when the partridge, continuously chased, was at length,
when fatigued, knocked down by sticks thrown along the ground." It endeavours
to save itself "by running, in preference to flight, unless when suddenly started.
It is not an inhabitant of the plain or the corn-field, but of rocky hill-sides"
(Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
(2) In Jeremiah 17:11 the prophet is illustrating the fact that riches unlawfully
acquired are precarious and short-lived. The exact nature of the illustration
cannot be precisely determined. Some interpret the words as meaning that the covetous
man will be as surely disappointed as the partridge which gathers in eggs, not
of her own laying, and is unable to hatch them; others (Tristram), with more probability,
as denoting that the man who enriches himself by unjust means "will as surely
be disappointed as the partridge which commences to sit, but is speedily robbed
of her hopes of a brood" by her eggs being stolen away from her.
The commonest partridge in Palestine is the Caccabis saxatilis, the Greek partridge.
The partridge of the wilderness (Ammo-perdix heyi) is a smaller species. Both
are essentially mountain and rock birds, thus differing from the English partridge,
which loves cultivated fields.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrew. kore) occurs only ( 1 Samuel 26:20 ) and Jeremiah
17:11 The "hunting this bird upon the mountains," ( 1 Samuel 26:20 ) entirely
agrees with the habits of two well-known species of partridge, viz. Caccabis saxatilis
, the Greek partridge (which is the commonest partridge of the holy land), and
Ammoperdix heyii . Our common partridge, Perdix cinerea , does not occur in Palestine.
(The Greek partridge somewhat resembles our red-legged partridge in plumage, but
is much larger. In every part of the hill country it abounds, and its ringing
call-note in early morning echoes from cliff to cliff alike amid the barrenness
of the hills of Judea and in the glens of the forest of Carmel. Tristrams Nat.
Hist. of Bible . The flesh of the partridge and the eggs are highly esteemed as
food, and the search for the eggs at the proper time of the year is made a regular
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
par'-trij (qore; Latin perdix; Septuagint, 1 Samuel 26:20,
nuktikorax, "owl," Jeremiah 17:11, perdix):
A bird of the family Tetraonidae. The Hebrew word for this bird, qore', means
"a caller," and the Latin perdix is supposed to be an imitation of its cry, and
as all other nations base their name for the bird on the Latin, it becomes quite
evident that it was originally named in imitation of its call. The commonest partridge
of Palestine, very numerous in the wilderness and hill country, was a bird almost
as large as a pheasant. It had a clear, exquisite cry that attracted attention,
especially in the mating season. The partridge of the wilderness was smaller and
of beautifully marked plumage. It made its home around the Dead Sea, in the Wilderness
of Judea and in rocky caverns. Its eggs were creamy white; its cry very similar
to its relatives'. The partridge and its eggs were used for food from time immemorial.
|(1) The first reference to it is found in 1 Samuel 26:20:
"Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence
of Yahweh: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth
hunt a partridge in the mountains." David in this dialogue with Saul clearly indicates
that if he did not hunt the partridge himself, he knew how it was done. The birds
were commonly chased up the mountains and stunned or killed with "throw sticks."
David knew how deft these birds were at hiding beside logs and under dry leaves
colored so like them as to afford splendid protection; how swiftly they could
run; what expert dodgers they were; so he compared taking them with catching a
flea. The other reference is found in Jeremiah 17:11: "As the partridge that sitteth
on eggs which she hath not laid, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right;
in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool."
If this reference is supposed to indicate that partridges are in the habit of
brooding on the nest of their kind or of different birds, it fails wholly to take
into consideration the history of the bird. Partridges select a location, carefully
deposit an egg a day for from 10 to 15 days, sometimes 20, and then brood, so
that all the young emerge at one time. But each bird knows and returns to its
nest with unfailing regularity. It would require the proverbial "Philadelphia
lawyer" to explain this reference to a "partridge sitting on eggs she had not
laid." No ornithologist ever could reconcile it to the habits or characteristics
of the birds. the King James Version translated these lines, "As the partridge
sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not." This was easy to explain clearly. The
eggs of the partridge were delicious food, and any brooding bird whose nest was
discovered after only a few days of incubation did not hatch, because she lost
her eggs. Also the eggs frequently fall prey to other birds or small animals.
Again, they are at the mercy of the elements, sometimes being spoiled by extremely
wet cold weather. Poultry fanciers assert that a heavy thunder storm will spoil
chicken eggs when hatchingtime is close; the same might be true with eggs of the
wild. And almost any wild bird will desert its nest and make its former brooding
useless, if the location is visited too frequently by man or beast.
(2) There is also a partridge reference in the Book of Ecclesiasticus 11:29 the
Revised Version (British and American)):
"Bring not every man into thine house; for many are the plots of the deceitful
man. As a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the heart of a proud man; and as one
that is a spy, he looketh upon thy falling. For he lieth in wait to turn things
that are good into evil; and in things that are praiseworthy he will lay blame."
The reference is to confining a tame partridge in a hidden cage so that its calls
would lure many of its family within range of arrows or "throw sticks" used by
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