Tag Archives: ostriches

The Ostrich in Bible Times

The ostrich is listed among the unclean birds for the Israelites in Leviticus 11:16 and Deuteronomy 14:15. Job laments that he is “a companion of ostriches” (Job 30:29). The longest section of scripture mentioning the ostrich is in the the response by the LORD.

“The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding. When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider. (Job 39:13-18 ESV)

Ostrich at the Hai Bar Nature Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Ostriches at the Hai Bar Nature Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Archaeologists uncovered this ostrich egg pictured below from the MB II level (1750–1550 B.C.) at Lachish. The sign with the display at the British Museum says,

Ostriches were native to the Levant and their eggs, plain or decorated were often included in tomb deposits.

Ostrich Egg discovered at MB II Lachish. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Ostrich Egg discovered at MB II Lachish. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

After the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., Jeremiah lamented that “the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.” (Lamentations 4:3 ESV)