Birds of the Bible – Eagles and Riches

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.


Birds in Hymns – Awake, Our Souls; Away, Our Fears

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

Based on:

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)

Words by Isaac Watts,
Found in Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, Book I, 1707, #48.
Born 1674 in South­amp­ton, Eng­land.- Died 1748 in Stoke New­ing­ton, Eng­land

Music: Trell by Low­ell Ma­son and Car­mi­na Sac­ra, 1844
Al­ter­nate tunes:
St. Pe­ters­burg, at­trib­ut­ed to Dmi­tri S. Bort­ni­an­sky, 1825
Samson, ar­ranged from George F. Han­del (1685-1759)

Awake, Our Souls; Away, Our Fears

Awake, our souls; away, our fears,
Let every trembling thought be gone;
Awake, and run the heavenly race,
And put a cheerful courage on.

True, ’tis a strait and thorny road,
And mortal spirits tire and faint;
But they forget the mighty God,
That feeds the strength of every saint.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  by AestheticPhotos

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

Thee, mighty God! whose matchless power
Is ever new, and ever young;
And firm endures, while endless years
Their everlasting circles run.

From Thee, the overflowing spring,
Our souls shall drink a fresh supply;
While such as trust their native strength
Shall melt away, and droop, and die.

Swift as an eagle cuts the air,
We’ll mount aloft to Thine abode;
On wings of love our souls shall fly,
Nor tire amidst the heav’nly road.


More Birds in Hymns


Birds in Hymns – Being His

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Based on:

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exodus 19:5 KJV)

Words by Neil Bar­ham, 2005. (1962-)

Music – Pro­tect­ion – from A Com­pil­a­tion of Gen­u­ine Church Mu­sic, by Jo­seph Funk (Win­ches­ter, Vir­gin­ia: J. W. Holl­is, 1832)

Alternate Tune – St. Den­io, by John Ro­berts, 1839

Being His

His oceans all rumble and batter His shore,
But He will be new when its waves are no more.
His mountains reach skyward to touch His sweet face;
His forests burst forth as He showers their place.

The mighty Leviathan leaps in His seas,
The eagle mounts up on the joy of His breeze.
The creatures of earth borrow life from His hand,
Their days are all numbered by His firm command.

Eternity springs from His Infinite Mind—
All time and all space from His fingers unwind,
His intricate, limitless, unbounded skill
Spins threads of His sovereign, inscrutable will.

The thunder of Sinai resounds in our ears,
The judgment of God stirs the deepest of fears!
But, awesome and wondrous—more staggering still—
The flashes of lightning from Calvary’s hill!

But O! How mighty, how perfect, how free,
How blessèd, how precious, how lovely is He!
And O! How grand, and how sweet to behold
The trophies of grace He has won from of old!

A radiant triumph illumines His face!
He strides to His throne, the Colossus of Grace!
He sits, and His Father proclaims Him True Son!
His strife is now over; His battle is done.

We bow, we adore, we fall down at His throne,
He gathers us into His arms as His own!
He seats us in glory beside Him above,
To crown His achievement with splendors of love!

What a great old hymn that tells of the Lord’s grace to us and the Worship that is due Him.

Neil Barham grew up in Lou­i­si­a­na and has lived all over the south­ern Unit­ed States. He was trained as a Pres­by­ter­i­an pas­tor and served as a teach­er in Christ­ian schools in Georg­ia, Ten­nes­see, and Lou­i­si­a­na. As of 2005, he lived in Mi­a­mi, Flor­i­da, where he, his wife Ju­lie, and his child­ren Han­nah, Seth, and Le­ah are mem­bers of the Ken­dall Pres­by­ter­i­an Church.

Inspired by the ex­am­ple of Will­iam Cow­per, Neil be­gan writ­ing hymns to com­bat spir­it­u­al de­press­ion. He has 19 hymns on Cyber Hymnal.

For an article about Neil Barham – Click Here

More Birds in Hymns


Our Salute to the Veterans

Dan served 30 years in the Navy, regular and reserve. He along with the many men and women have served our country through the years. We salute you!

Today is the funeral for Dan’s mother, so I am not writing much. We saw Challenger on TV this morning and I remembered the blog I had done about him. So, I am re-posting the YouTube of the eagle in honor of our active and veteran men and women.

Amazing Flying Bald Eagle – Challenger – Article

Turn on your speakers and click on link below.”

Birds in Songs – On Eagle’s Wings

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

I love eagles and I love this song. The song was written by Michael Joncas, in 1979 Unfortunately the words are copyrighted, so I can’t put them here on the blog, but this video has them.

Hope you enjoy the video by mhcaillesrn.


Birds of the Bible – Two Eagles in a Parable

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Peter Ericsson

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Peter Ericsson

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; (Ezekiel 17:1-2 KJV)

The Lord God has given the prophet Ezekiel a parable to give to Israel. The parable is in Ezekiel 17:1-10 and it is in here that we find reference to two different eagles.

“The riddle is not the prophet’s, nor the parable his, but the Lord God’s; and exceeding beautiful and apt it is, to signify the things designed by it; the wisdom of God is greatly displayed in it:” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: (Ezekiel 17:3 KJV)

John Gill says about this first Eagle:

a great eagle; which is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, as it is explained, Eze_17:12; who is compared to an eagle for his power and authority, that being the king of birds, and for his swiftness and voracity in conquering and subduing kingdoms; see Jer_48:40;

with great wings
; so the Babylonish monarchy is signified by a lion with eagle’s wings, Dan_7:4; and the two parts of the Roman empire, into which it was divided at the death of Theodosius, are called two wings of a great eagle, Rev_12:14; and so here it may denote the large kingdoms and provinces which belonged to the Babylonian monarchy; see Est_1:1;

longwinged; or having a “long member” (m); meaning the body of the wing, which was long; and so, as the wings spread, may signify the breadth of his dominion, this the length of them, and both their extensiveness:

full of feathers
; of cities, towns, people, armies, wealth, and riches:

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Nikhil Devasar

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) by Nikhil Devasar

which had divers colours; or an “embroidery” (n); like that of the weaver, only needle work, consisting of various colours; and so it alludes to such eagles as are called the golden eagle, and “asterias”, from their golden colour, and their being spotted like stars, and which are said to be of the largest size, as Bochart, from Aelianus (o), observes; and may signify people of divers languages, customs, manners, and circumstances, subject to the government of the king of Babylon:

came unto Lebanon; the northern border of the land of Judea, and invaded it; where were the mountain and forest of Lebanon, famous for the cedars that grew there, from whence the whole land may here take its name, as being more apt for the allegory used: or the city of Jerusalem, where were the temple built of the cedars of Lebanon, as many of its palaces and houses also were; whither the king of Babylon came, and took it, and who came northward, as Babylon was:

and took the highest branch of the cedar; by the “cedar” is meant, either the nation in general, or the royal family in particular; and by the “highest branch” the then reigning king, Jeconiah with the princes and nobles of the land, who were taken and carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar; see 2Ki_24:14.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on The Bible summarizes the first eagle:

  • A great eagle – Nebuchadnezzar. See Jer_48:40; Jer_49:22; Dan_7:4. And see here, Dan_7:12, where it is so applied.
  • Great wings – Extensive empire.
  • Long-winged – Rapid in his conquests.
  • Full of feathers – Having multitudes of subjects.
  • Divers colors – People of various nations.
  • Came unto Lebanon – Came against Judea.
  • The highest branch – King Jehoiachin he took captive to Babylon.
  • The cedar – The Jewish state and king.

There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. (Ezekiel 17:7 KJV)

John Gill says of the second eagle:
Eze 17:7  There was also another great eagle,…. Hophra king of Egypt, a very powerful prince, whom Herodotus (u) calls Apries; and says he was the most happy and fortunate, after Psammitichus, of all the kings that were before; though not so mighty as the king of Babylon; therefore all the same things are not said of the one as of the other:

Tawny Eagle by Africaddict

Tawny Eagle by Africaddict

with great wings and many feathers: had large dominions, but not go extensive as the former, and therefore is not said to be “longwinged” as he; and had “many feathers”, but not “full” of them, nor had it such a variety; he had many people, and much wealth, and a large army, but not equal to the king of Babylon:

and, behold, this vine did bend her roots towards him; Zedekiah, and the people of the Jews under him; inclined to an alliance with the king of Egypt, and gave him some private intimations of it:

and shot forth her branches towards him; sent ambassadors to acquaint him with it, Eze_17:15;

that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation; Nebuchadnezzar had planted this vine, and made furrows for the watering of it, and by his means it was become prosperous and flourishing; but Zedekiah, not content with the greatness and glory he had raised him to, sought to the king of Egypt to help him with horses and people, in order to free himself from subjection to the king of Babylon, and to increase his lustre and glory: the allusion is thought to be to the trenches and canals of the river Nile, by which the land of Egypt was watered: the words may be rendered, “out of the rivulets of her plantation” (w) which best agrees with watering.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on The Bible about the second eagle Ezekiel 17:7

  • Another great eagle – Pharaoh-hophra, or Apries, king of Egypt.
  • With great wings – Extensive dominion.
  • And many feathers – Numerous subjects.
  • Did bend her roots – Looked to him for support in her intended rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar.

This chapter in Ezekiel has a lot in it and I was mainly bringing out the two eagles presented in the parable. A short explanation of this chapter by John Gill follows:

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 17 – Under the simile of two eagles and a vine are represented the kings of Babylon and Egypt, and the condition of the Jews, who are threatened with ruin for their perfidy; and yet a promise is made of the raising up of the house of Judah, and family of David, in the Messiah. The prophet is bid to deliver a riddle or parable to the house of Israel, Eze_17:1. The riddle or parable is concerning two eagles and a vine, which is delivered, Eze_17:3; and the explanation of it is in Eze_17:11; and then the destruction of the Jews is threatened for their treachery to the king of Babylon, Eze_17:16; and the chapter is closed with a promise of the Messiah, and the prosperity of his kingdom, Eze_17:22.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

See also:
Birds of the Bible – Eagles
Birds of the Bible – Eagles II
Birds of the Bible – Eagles III
Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles


Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles’ Feathers

That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:33 NKJV)

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

I have wanted to include this verse in a Birds of the Bible article, but just never got to it. Last night our pastor mentioned this verse again in his message and I decided to use it for this weeks blog. Plus, Dan is teaching the Book of Daniel in our Sunday School class.

Many times the birds mentioned in the Bible are listed as “clean or unclean” or as an “object lesson” to teach some truth. This time the mention of Eagle feathers and birds’ claws are used as a description of a man’s appearance and there is a lesson to be learned here.

So, who was this man? It is actually a very important king, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The information about the King is found throughout the book of Daniel. To make the story short, the king had a dream and wanted an interpretation of that dream. Not only did he want his dreams interpreted, but he wanted the interpreter to tell him what the dream was about. The wise men and others told the king that was impossible, so the king commanded to kill them. Daniel prayed to God that He would reveal the dream and it’s interpretation to him so he could tell it to the King. God answered that prayer and Daniel was able to reveal it to King Nebuchadnezzar.

Long nails like a bird's claws

Long nails like a bird’s claws

King Nebuchadnezzar was the first world ruler and God had given the king great power. Later on, the king’s pride takes over and he thinks he has made this kingdom and does not give God the credit. He even has a great statue made of himself and demands that all fall down and worship him.

Back to making this short. In Daniel chapter 4 the king has another dream and Daniel (Belteshazzar) prays for revelation and again interprets the dream. Daniel 4:9 to 4:18 tells the dream. (Birds are mentions several times in it.) Then Daniel interprets the dream in Daniel 4:19-33. Basically, the Most High is going to let the king learn humility and get rid of the pride that he has.

The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? (Daniel 4:30 NKJV)

For seven years will his kingdom be departed from him. He will be out in the field, “eating grass like oxen” and “until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” It is during this time that his hair will grow like “eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.”

Did King Nebuchadnezzar learn his lesson?

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (Daniel 4:34-37 NKJV)

Peterson Field Guide Videos Updated

Below are some of the latest updated Peterson Field Guide Videos. These 2010 versions have been updated on the following pages. The videos are very informative and well done.

American Robin by Dan

Greater Roadrunner



Common Loon

Bald Eagle

Atlantic Puffin

American Robin

Ducks, Geese, Swans

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Wedge-tailed Eagle

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Newsletter –  8/13/2009

The choice this week of Wedge-tailed Eagle was inspired by reading about the project to reintroduce Golden Eagles to Ireland, see . There is good news and bad news there, but more about that later.

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are very closely related and considered by some to belong to a ‘super-species’. The genus Aquila, the classical eagles, comprises 12 species and all have feathered legs, giving them a trousered appearance as in the first photo. The Wedge-tailed Eagle occurs commonly throughout mainland Australia and southern New Guinea as the nominate race (meaning it bears the same name as the species – audax) and in Tasmania as the endangered race fleayi where only 60 – 80 pairs remain.

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Eagles have long suffered persecution from landholders by shooting and poisoning because of their supposed predation on livestock, particularly lambs. The Golden Eagle and the White-tailed Sea-Eagle became extinct in Ireland early in the 20th century along with other raptors such as the Red Kite, while the Common Buzzard retained a tenuous toe-hold on Rathlin Island, in Northern Ireland, with about 20 pairs. One of the success stories of conservation in Ireland is that Buzzards have recolonized most of Ireland since the use of Strychnine as a ‘pest’ bait – aimed at foxes and Hooded Crows – was banned in the Irish Republic in 1990.

One of my regrets as a youngster in Ireland – even before I became a fanatical birdwatcher – was that the skies of the rugged west coast were empty of large raptors. I felt that a soaring eagle – like the Wedge-tailed in the second photo – was the one thing lacking from such dramatic and romantic landscapes. I have a clear memory of climbing Slievemore (‘big mountain’) in Achill Island, Co Mayo, at the age of 9 or 10 and deliberately misidentifying a kestrel as an eagle and reporting it to my mother. Sensible mothers, like mine (‘yes, dear’), know how to distinguish childish fantasies from deliberate lies. I’ve only just discovered that the name Achill, is though to derive an old Irish word ‘eccuill’ meaning, you’ve guessed it, eagle.

Back to the present. There was celebration in Ireland in 2007 on the occasion of the first fledging of a (reintroduced) Golden Eagle in the Irish Republic in over a century in Glen Veigh, a national park in Co. Donegal. The 2008 season produced, disappointingly no new recruits, but I read this morning that the same pair has just reared two young (with a bit of help from their friends). Jubilation has been tempered by the poisoning of some of the Golden Eagles in Donegal, some of the reintroduced White-tailed Sea-Eagles in Killarney, Co. Kerry, and Red Kites in Co. Wicklow. Neither of the latter two species have bred yet, so it remains to be seen whether the sheep farmers of Ireland will continue to disappoint romantic kids, young and old, in the 21st century.

If you want to do something, you can add your signature to a petition about these poisonings being organized by the Golden Eagle Trust. As of today, there were nearly 7,000 signatures from 59 countries with Australia coming 9th with 85 signatures.

Best wishes,

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email:

Lee’s Addition:
The eagle is mentioned many times (34 in KJV) in the Bible. They were not to be eaten and I am sure those few remaining pairs are thankful for that. Their strength, rapid and swift flights, gatherings, nests, spreading of wings, and other aspects are mentioned. One of my favorite verses is:

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)

Birds of the Bible – Eagle’s Renewal

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalms 103:2-5 NKJV)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  by AestheticPhotos

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

The Eagle is an interesting bird and I have written about them before. In the King James Version of the Bible, an eagle is mentioned in 34 verses. So, there will be future articles about the eagle also.

The interest of this article is the renewing of the eagle. In Psalms 103:5 (quoted above), your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. What exactly does that mean? Also, in Isaiah 40:31, strength is renewed and “shall mount up with wings as eagles.”

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)

Many articles can be found on the internet about an eagle going off and plucking its feathers and not being able to fly for about five months. The image has even been added that the beak and claws are knocked off and then grow back during that time, giving them another 10 or so more years to their life. I have been trying to find proof of that, and am not finding it. Most Eagle authorities state that that would not happen, because the bird would die during that time with no flight feathers or beak or claws.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

Golden or Juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by PastorBBC in NC

If those facts are true, then what is meant by God’s Word about the eagle? I believe God’s Word is true, so there has to be an explanation of it. From the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management I found an interesting chart that shows the different stages of plumage (feathers) as an eagle ages.  They said, “In their five year development to adulthood, bald eagles go through one of the most varied plumage changes of any North American bird. During its first four weeks of life, an eaglet’s fluffy white down changes to a gray wooly down. At about five weeks, brown and black feathers begin to grow. It becomes fully feathered at 10 weeks of age. In its first year, the mostly dark-colored juvenile can often be mistaken as a golden eagle. However, the bald eagle progressively changes until it reaches adult plumage at five years. Notice in the pictures how its dark eye lightens throughout its first four years of life until it becomes yellow. Also, see how its beak changes form gray-black to a vibrant yellow.

ald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  by AestheticPhotos

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

It is believed that the darker, more mottled plumage of a young eagle serves as camouflage, while the white head and tail announce that it is of breeding age.”

That to me sounds a lot like, “So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” As the eagle goes through the different stages of its life, the new feathers are graciously provided by a Creator that sees to the needs of His creation by having designed those features to renew as it matures.

The Lord provides for renewal for His children as they mature. The following verses tell of a renewed right spirit, mind, spirit of your mind, and knowledge:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10 KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Ephesians 4:23 KJV)
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:10 KJV)

(Update 11/2/11) Here is another possible explaination about this topic. It might be a vulture instead of an eagle. See:

Birds in Hymns – O Bless the Lord, My Soul

Birds in Hymns – O Bless the Lord, My Soul by James Montgomery

Based on Psalms 103

A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: (Psalms 103:1-2 KJV)

Words: James Montgomery, in Se­lect­ion of Psalms and Hymns, by Thom­as Cot­ter­ill, 1819.
Music: St. Thom­as (Will­iams), Aar­on Will­iams, The New Un­i­vers­al Psalm­o­dist, 1770

O Bless the Lord, My Soul

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  by Quy Tran

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Quy Tran

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His grace to thee proclaim!
And all that is within me join
To bless His holy Name!

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His mercies bear in mind!
Forget not all His benefits!
The Lord to thee is kind.

He will not always chide;
He will with patience wait;
His wrath is ever slow to rise,
And ready to abate.

He pardons all thy sins;
Prolongs thy feeble breath;
He healeth thine infirmities,
And ransoms thee from death.

He clothes thee with His love;
Upholds thee with His truth;
And like the eagle He renews
The vigor of thy youth.

Then bless His holy Name,
Whose grace hath made thee whole,
Whose loving kindness crowns thy days!
O bless the Lord, my soul!

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalms 103:5 KJV)

Eagles by Linda Ozirney

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal

See ~ Wordless Birds

More ~ Birds in Hymns


Birds of the Bible – Eagles III

This year I have been reading through the Bible in chronological order. In Jeremiah this week, the eagle showed up in three of the verses I was reading. If you know me by now, that calls for a blog about one of my favorite “Birds of the Bible” birds.

Jeremiah, the prophet, has been warning the people of Judah and Jerusalem that they were going to be punished by God because of their worship of other gods and turning from Him. Jeremiah was always in problems because; 1) few if any believed him, 2) the false prophets were telling the people that “all was well and that they would not be punished.” 3) they tried to kill him several times, 4) when confronted with the truth, knowing they would be killed or taken captive, they still refused to give up their false religions or turn to the LORD. So by chapter 48:28 he warns them – “You who dwell in Moab, Leave the cities and dwell in the rock, And be like the dove which makes her nest In the sides of the cave’s mouth.” (NKJV) (oops! the dove is for another blog) He is telling them to “leave town.”

Jeremiah 48:40-42 says:

For thus says the LORD: “Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, And spread his wings over Moab. Kerioth is taken, And the strongholds are surprised; The mighty men’s hearts in Moab on that day shall be Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs. And Moab shall be destroyed as a people, Because he exalted himself against the LORD.

Watch the following video and decide whether you think the fish was surprised.

In Jeremiah 49:16 and 22, the eagle is mentioned again. Eagles are known to make their nest as high up as they can and these people thought by being high up in the hills, that the enemy would not get them. Then in verse 22, it refers to flying like an eagle and spreads its wings. So the enemy (Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his army) was going to come over them. Now the people are finally afraid.

Your fierceness has deceived you, The pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 49:16 NKJV)
Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, And spread His wings over Bozrah; The heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs. (Jeremiah 49:22 NKJV)

Another of my favorite eagle videos of the eagles wings being spread:

Even though I used my favorite videos, this was not a enjoyable experience for these people. I trust we will heed the warnings of the Bible. God loves his chosen people, Israel (and all of us), but God cannot tolerate sin or denial of Himself.

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1 NKJV)
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20 NKJV)

The people of Noah’s day had over 100 years of warning, but also refused to accept God, and were devoured, not by sword, but by a flood.

See Also:
Eagles for more articles, photos, and videos
Wordless Birds