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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Pelican

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The Hebrew word is qaath, and this is said to be derived from a verb signifying 'to vomit.' The pelican has a peculiar habit in feeding its young that seems to have suggested this name. It goes into the sea and catches a number of fishes which it stows away in its lower beak, the under side of which is capable of being distended like a large pouch. Then it flies away inland with its burden, for which purpose it is provided with enormous wings. On the land it presses its beak against its breast, and the fish are thrown out for the young birds.

The Psalmist said, "I am like a pelican of the wilderness," which refers to the bird sitting solitary for hours as it digests its stock of fish. It was an unclean bird. Leviticus 11:18; Deuteronomy 14:17; Psalm 102:6 . In two other passages the same Hebrew word is in the A.V. translated 'CORMORANT,' where it should be 'pelican.' Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14 . The Pelicanus graculus and the P. crispus are known in Palestine.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Pelican'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/p/pelican.html. 1897.

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