ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia

Bittern

This bird is mentioned three times in connection with the desolations to come upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting marshy ground. The Hebrew word kippod thus rendered in the King James Version is rendered “porcupine” in the Revised Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation. This favors the idea that not the “porcupine” but the “bittern” is really intended by the word.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with minor editing by Paul S. Taylor.