Posts Tagged ‘Wings’

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Left Wing by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Left Wing by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

While reading in Exodus 25 this week, I noticed that the plan for the Ark is written out in quite specific details. The plans for the mercy seat was to be covered by the outstretched wings of the cherubims of gold.

And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. (Exodus 25:20 KJV)

I wondered if I had written much about “wings”, so I checked and found only three articles, so far:

I am curious about what can be found, so, let’s see what we can find. Of course my e-Sword is fired up and ready for the searching. Searching first with just “wing”, only 6 verses show up. I Kings 6:24, 6:27; 2 Chronicles 3:11-2 all refer to the wing of the cherub. Isaiah 10:14 actually mentions a bird having its eggs taken and not moving its wing, opening its mouth or peeping. It is used as an illustration.

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (Isaiah 10:14 KJV)

Ezekiel 17:23 is the verse used in Fowl (Birds) of Every Wing.

Searching again with “wings” this time shows 64 verses (KJV). Again the cherubims are mentioned in Exodus 25:20, 37:9; I Kings 6:26, 8:6, 8:7; 1 Chronicles 28:18; 2 Chronicles 3:11, 3:13, 5:7-8. Cherubim and serephim wings are again mentioned later in the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 6:2, 8:8, 18:1, and 40:31), Ezekiel (Exe 1:6-11, 1:23-25, 3:13, 10:5-21, 11:22) and Daniel.  Ezekiel 17:3 & 7 mention “A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers” and “another great eagle with great wings and many feathers” Daniel 7:4 and 6 mention “eagle’s wings” and “wings of a fowl

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) ©WikiC

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) ©WikiC

Eagles’ wings are mentioned several more times:

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles‘ wings, and brought you unto myself. (Exodus 19:4 KJV)

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: (Deuteronomy 32:11 KJV)

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab. (Jeremiah 48:40 KJV)

Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. (Jeremiah 49:22 KJV)

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Of course other birds are named such as:

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? (Job 39:13 KJV)

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 KJV)

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. (Psalms 68:13 KJV)

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. (Zechariah 5:9 KJV)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37 KJV)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! (Luke 13:34 KJV)

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom's Wing - ©©

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom’s Wing – ©©

Other references to wings:

  • wings of the wind – 2 Samuel 22:11
  • under whose wings thou art come to trust. – Ruth 2:12
  • hide me under the shadow of thy wings – Psalm 17:8
  • fly upon the wings of the wind – Psalm 18:10
  • trust under the shadow of thy wings. – Psalm 36:7
  • in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge – Psalm 57:1
  • rust in the covert of thy wings – Psalm 61:4
  • in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice – Psalm 63:7
  • He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust – Psalm 91:4
  • the wings of the wind – Psalm 104:3
  • If I take the wings of the morning – Psalm 139:9
  • for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. - Ecclesiastes 10:20
  • stretching out of his wings – Isaiah 8:8
  • shadowing with wings – Isaiah 18:1
  • Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away – Jeremiah 48:9
  • The wind hath bound her up in her wings – Hosea 4:19
  • healing in his wings – Malachi 4:2

That is an interesting survey of the verses with wing or wings in them. Now I will have to get busy and use this information in some future articles. There are definitely some trends that can be seen. Do you see them? Shadow, wind, healing and trust, just to name a few.


Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds


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Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) young on her wing ©USFWS

Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) young on her wing ©USFWS

The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Ruth 2:12 KJV)

While searching for “wing” or “wings” in my e-Sword, I discovered this really great verse. Let’s dig into it.

Searching further using “under” and “wing” here are a few more verses that sort of relate to the verse above:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (Psalms 36:7 KJV)

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4 KJV)

Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 mention being gathered under the wing, but they were not willing. Also, in  we covered. no pun intended, how birds protect their young under their wings and how God protects us. But the verse above seem to imply our trust.

What is being trusted? Boaz is implying that Ruth is trusting in the “LORD God of Israel.” She is from another country, another culture and religious way of life, but has turned her trust over to the LORD. That is something I did personally way back in 1960. I put my trust in the Lord to be my personal Savior. It was the best decision of my life.

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

In the Psalms verses, we can know that the Lord keeps His Eye on His own and we should desire to be the “apple of the eye.” Notice in the other verses that while we are under the wings we are trusting. Who? The Lord or LORD. Why do we trust? Wow! Look around at all the Lord has done just in creation and care of the birds. How about our care? We know through promises all through the Word of God that He cares for us. We know He doesn’t lie or do things for our harm. We also know that He is just and will give judgment when needed.  We could go on and on, but you can also see that the Lord Jesus Christ is “trustworthy.”

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom's Wing - ©©

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom’s Wing – ©©

We know the birds trust their parents to protect them while they are under their wings. Should we not trust the Savior while we are under His wings?

Here is a quote from the Believer’s Bible Commentary:

“2:4-12 When Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he asked the identity of the young woman. Learning that she was Naomi’s daughter-in-law, he cordially invited her to continue gleaning in his fields and to share the water provided for his workers. In praising her for the loyal and selfless step that she had taken, Boaz concluded with a little prayer for her:
The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge (v. 12).
Leon Morris comments:

In due course, the prayer was answered through him who uttered it. He recognizes the religious aspect of Ruth’s change of country by saying that she has come to trust (AV) under Yahweh’s wings. The imagery is probably that of a tiny bird struggling under the wings of a foster-mother. It gives a vivid picture of trust and security. . . .

From J. Vernon McGee:

“She had come to trust the Lord God. This is the reason she had left the land of Moab and made that radical decision. She had said that the God of Naomi would be her God. She had turned from idolatry to the living and true God. This woman has come to trust God; she was one of His children. Therefore this is the wonderful testimony that she had there in the land of Israel. And Boaz says, “May a full reward be given to you. May you be recompensed for this decision.”

From Matthew Henry:

“(5.) He (Boaz) prayed for her (Ruth_2:12): The Lord recompense thy work. Her strong affection to the commonwealth of Israel, to which she was by birth an alien, was such a work of the divine grace in her as would certainly be crowned with a full reward by him under whose wings she had come to trust. Note, Those that by faith come under the wings of the divine grace, and have a full complacency and confidence in that grace, may be sure of a full recompense of reward for their so doing. From this expression, the Jews describe a proselyte to be one that is gathered under the wings of the divine majesty.”

From John Gill’s Exposition:

“under whose wings thou art come to trust; whom she professed to be her God, and whom she determined to serve and worship; whose grace and favour she expected, and to whose care and protection she committed herself: the allusion is either to fowls, which cover their young with their wings, and thereby keep them warm and comfortable, and shelter and protect them, see Psa_36:7 or to the wings of the cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat, Exo_25:20 and the phrase is now adopted by the Jews to express proselytism; and so the Targum here,”thou art come to be proselyted, and to be hid under the wings of the Shechinah of his glory,”or his glorious Shechinah.”

My all time favorite photo showing this:

Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings – (Dove – photographer unknown)

Other Articles to check out:


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Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 1

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Royal Albatross ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 6-3-12

It seems only fitting to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth with something appropriate, so here is the Royal Albatross, or Royal Albatrosses if you accept, as most now do, the split into Northern and Southern species. Apart from just the Royal title, these birds are also very long lived (up to 60 years) and travel huge distances, routinely circumnavigating Antarctica. It has been estimated that a 50 year old Albatross has travelled 2.8 million miles which compares quite well with the Queen’s 261 official overseas visits and 96 state visits to 116 countries.

On the Sub-Antarctic trip last November, Royal Albatrosses, mainly Southern like the one in the first photo, were regular and very welcome companions in the Southern Ocean. It was always a thrill to see these huge birds completely at home in the wildest weather that the Ocean could throw at them and soaring apparently effortlessly in gale-force winds. If you look carefully at the first photo, you can see the dark (bluish) line along the upper mandible which distinguishes it from the similar Wandering Albatrosses. The other feature of note is the white leading edge to the dorsal surface of the wing. As Southern Royal Albatrosses age, the amount of leading white increases and this distinguishes it from both the Wandering Albatrosses, where the amount of white increases along the centre of the wing, and the Northern Royal Albatross where the wings remain black, as shown in the second photo.

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) by Ian2

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) by Ian 2

With a little practice, it wasn’t too difficult to distinguish between Northern and Southern birds. What helped was the fact that Royal Albatrosses do not have a confusing array of juvenile plumages, unlike their cousins the Wandering Albatrosses. The juveniles have black tips to the tale and blackish scalloping on the back (the mantle) between the wings but are otherwise similar to the adults.

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 3

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 3

On Campbell Island, we had the opportunity to hike up path to a Southern Royal Albatross colony on a bleak, tussocky moorland. As you can see in the the third photo, things were fairly quiet when we got up there in the morning. They got busier in the afternoon when more birds arrived and some people saw greeting ceremonies, but by then, rather wet and cold, I had returned to the ship for a comforting coffee. There were strict rules about where we could leave the designated path and how close we could approach wildlife, but the albatross in the fourth photo stretching its wings flouted the rules and wandered, or blundered – they’re ungainly on land – right past me.

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 4

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 4

Albatrosses have deceptively gull-like proportions so it is a shock to realise, up-close, just how huge they are. The size record goes to the exulans race/species of the Wandering Albatross, but the Royals are not far behind and an apt comparison is with swans rather than other seabirds, ignoring length where swans have an unfair neck advantage. Southern Royal Albatrosses weight between 6.5 and 10.3kg/14.3 and 22.7lb while the heaviest flying bird, the Mute Swan, ranges between 9kg and 12kg/20 and 33lb. However Royal Albatrosses have a maximum wingspan of up to 3.5m/138in while Mute Swans range up to a mere 2.4m/94in. Just enormous in other words. The contrasting delicacy of the lacy pattern on the back is striking, and the fifth photo shows the tubular nostrils and the dark line along the mandible.

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 5

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) by Ian 5

Happily, you don’t have to go Campbell Island to see these wonderful birds. Taiaroa Head, a mere 30km from the centre of Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand, has the only mainland colony of albatrosses in the world. These are Northern Royal Albatrosses and, although I got there too late in the day to gain entry to the Royal Albatross Centre – I gave the local Yellow-eyed Penguins a higher priority – the one in the last photo flew right over me as I stood in the car park.

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) by Ian 6

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) by Ian 6

Enjoy the Jubilee!


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:

Lee’s Addition:

Wow! Did you read the wingspan on those Albatrosses? 138 inches is 11 1/2 feet. That is amazing! I still just sit back in awe when I hear about these wonderfully created birds.

Check out Ian’s Albatrosses on his site and then check the whole family - Diomedeidae – Albatrosses

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, (Psalms 17:8 NKJV)

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. (Psalms 63:7 NKJV)


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Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 1 by Lee

Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 1 by Lee

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:4-5 KJV)

While reading in Proverbs today, I came across this interesting verse in Chapter 23. As I have been reading through Proverbs, the terms “wisdom,” “fear” and “knowledge” are mentioned quite often. Verses like “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7); For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (Proverbs 1:29); The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10); By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” (Proverbs 22:4 ); Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. (Proverbs 8:10); For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11) and many others.

Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 2 by Lee

Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 2 by Lee (See him?)

So when I came across this verse and the Eagle was mentioned, I decided to see what I could find out about it and share it here. Plus, we were out birdwatching a little this week as I checked out my new Christmas gift of a camera. Captured the Bald Eagle sitting on the tower at South Lake Howard Nature Park. He was a long way away, but you can tell it is an Eagle. Also, it appears for this verse that is exactly what happens to riches when they are not received properly and with the right attitude. They end up like that Eagle, way out of reach. There is nothing wrong with being rich, if it is obtained in the proper manner. If the Lord chooses to let your wealth increase, Praise the Lord, if not, be content with the blessings He gives you.

Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 3 by Lee

Bald Eagle on tower at S Lake Howard NPk 3 by Lee (How about now?)

Here are some of the comments from various commentaries:

Bible Knowledge Commentary – “The 7th saying. These verses warn against overwork for the sake of gaining riches. This speaks not against being industrious but against consuming oneself for money. Wise restraint in this area (as well as in what one eats at a banquet, Pro_23:1-2) is needed, especially in the present day when materialism drives many people to excessive work loads in order to accumulate more money. The reason for this advice is that riches are temporary and unstable (cf. Pro_27:24). The first part of Pro_23:5 is literally, “If you cause your eyes to fly after it” (i.e., wealth). Ironically, flying after wealth results in wealth flying away like an eagle.”

Matthew Poole’s Commentary – “They fly away as an eagle, swiftly, strongly, and irrevocably. We quickly lose the sight and possession of them. Their flying away from us is elegantly opposed to our eyes being set, or, as it is in the Hebrew, flying upon them, in the beginning of the verse.”

Believer’s Bible Commentary – “23:4, 5 The ceaseless struggle to be rich is a form of “wisdom” to be avoided. It means that you are spending your life pursuing false values and putting your trust in what doesn’t last. Riches have a way of sprouting wings and flying away like an eagle.”

John Gill’s Exposition- “for riches certainly make themselves wings; or, “it in making makes itself wings” (x); even that which is not, on which men cause their eyes to fly; no sooner are their eyes upon that, but that flies away from them like a bird with wings; see Hos_9:11. Either men are taken from that, or that from them, and sometimes very swiftly and suddenly;

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Peter Ericsson

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Peter Ericsson

they fly away as an eagle towards heaven; the eagle flies very swiftly, none more swiftly; it flies towards heaven, out of sight, and out of reach, and out of call; so riches flee away to God, the original giver of them, from whence they came, and who is the sole disposer of them; they own him as the proprietor and distributor of them; and they flee to heaven as it were for fresh orders where they should be, and into whose hands they should come next; they flee away, so as not to be seen any more, and be recovered by those who have formerly enjoyed them.”

Through the Bible with J Vernon McGee – Proverbs 23:4-5 – “You have probably noticed that the United States dollar has an eagle on it. Believe me, that eagle will fly away if you’re not careful with it. I find that the eagles on my dollars take off all the time. We cannot depend on riches.
The whole thought here is this: There is nothing wrong in being rich. There is nothing wrong in working to be rich. However, don’t make that the goal in life. Wealth should not be the very object of our hearts. Some men have a lust, a thirst, a covetousness to make the almighty dollar, and the dollar becomes their god. A child of God is not to do that.
A wealthy man told me, “I do not make money for the sake of money. I make money for what it can do. At first I made money for what it could do for me. Now I make money for what it can do for God.” There is nothing wrong in a man becoming wealthy. The wrong comes when there is the overweening desire of the heart for money. That is covetousness; actually it is modern idolatry.
In the United States we do not find people bowing down to worship idols. However, we do find people busily engaging their whole lives in the worship of the almighty dollar. When I pastored a church in the downtown financial district of Los Angeles, I found that men, even including some Christian men, were far more zealous in coming down early on a Monday morning to watch the stock market open than they were on Sunday morning to attend church service. I met such a man rushing to the stock market display at the brokerage on a Monday morning. He met me, greeted me cordially, and told me what he was going to do. I mentioned to him that we had been missing him at church. He said, “Well, you know, I haven’t been feeling very well.” That is interesting. He didn’t feel well enough to come to church, but he was well enough to worship his god very early on a Monday morning. That’s covetousness, and that is what the proverb is talking about. That is a false god, and that false god is an eagle that will fly away at any moment.”

P.S. I really like my new camera and the 24X zoom. I had no idea that Dan was getting me a camera for Christmas. Thanks, Dan! (He is still the photographer, I still use a point-and-shoot on program mode.) All photos can be clicked on to enlarge them. I kept zooming in so you could see how far away the Eagle really was.


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