Birds of the Bible – Jeremiah 8:7

Wood Stork with landing gear down

Wood Stork with landing gear down

Jeremiah 8:7 has been used in several Birds of the Bible articles before. See Birds of the Bible:

So what else can be found out about that verse? Those of you that follow this blog know that I enjoy digging into the Bible with my e-Sword program. It is a free program that can be downloaded. It has different versions of the Bible that can be downloaded free or some with a small fee. Also available are dictionaries, commentaries, maps, notes, references and STEP additions. For the price, FREE, it is hard to beat. There are also links to other sites to get even more add-ons. Check out their LINKS page. Two favorites of mine are the ESS and the Bible Support sites.

The Bible tells us to study the Bible and we should. I try to read several chapters every day and meditate on what I read. Then along with that I like to dig deeper into Scripture and mine some great promises and truths out. Then other times, like this article, I am just digging out the birds mentioned in the different versions of this verse. I don’t endorse every version I have loaded on my e-Sword, but I do like to compare all of them.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 KJV)

Well, back to Jeremiah 8:7. Here’s the verse:

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

Using the “Compare” mode, let’s see which birds are mentioned. Most mention the Stork, Turtle or Turtle-dove, Swallow, and the Crane. It is referring to them having the knowledge to know when to migrate, but “but my people know not the rules of the LORD.” (ESV) See the other articles for more details.


Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

The H####’s are from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries. Using the KJV+ for the numbers.
Feminine of H2623; the kind (maternal) bird, that is, a stork: – X feather, stork.

Stork or storks – every version except two – DRB (kite), MSG (see bottom)

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

תּר תּור
tôr tôr
tore, tore
Probably the same as H8447; a ring dove, often (figuratively) as a term of endearment: – (turtle) dove.

Dove, Turtle, Turtle-doves, Mourning Doves – same family, no problem

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) by Ian

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) by Ian

Passive participle (but with active sense) of an unused root meaning to twitter; probably the swallow: – swallow.

Swallow – most versions
Swift – instead of Swift – ERV, NASB, NAS77, NIV, NIrV
Swift and Swallow – NKJV
The Swift and the Swallow both behave alike in some ways even though they are not in the same family. I even confuse them at times.

Crane Migration over Israel

Crane Migration over Israel

סס סוּס
sûs sûs
soos, soos
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight): – crane, horse ([-back, -hoof]).
Now we see where two different birds could be used. From here on the different versions begin to differ.

Crane – Most use Crane, but here are some of the differences
Sparrows – APB, Brenton
Thrushes – CEV, ERV, ECB, GNB, LITV, NAS77, NASB
Quite a difference in the birds here.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

I saved the most interesting translation till last. Actually, it is a paraphrase and not a true translation. It does give me three more named birds. So far I haven’t seen them anywhere else, so for now they will not get their own page.

Cranes know when it’s time to move south for winter. And robins, warblers, and bluebirds know when it’s time to come back again. But my people? My people know nothing, not the first thing of GOD and his rule. (Jeremiah 8:7 MSG)

Does it matter if there is a difference in these versions? Yes and no. Yes, the Bible should be translated as close to the original as possible. No, in the sense that all these birds were given the knowledge to migrate by the Lord. And the truth of people not knowing the truth about God and what He wants for their lives. The birds obey, man doesn’t.

See More Birds of the Bible


The method I used to study this verse can be applied to any verse or passage you wish to dig into. I used the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek because, of course, I have no clue as to what those word are. But using those help me/you understand the meaning of the word as it was originally written or as close as we can get to it. As our language has changed over the years, our meanings have also changed. It helps to read other versions when studying the Bible. I know some don’t agree and I won’t go there. The Lord has many truths to find in His Word. Maybe you like plants or animals, or like to study one person at a time, or a promise and the different ways it is presented, whatever. Study.

Gospel Message


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