Do Not Eat The Gripe Or The Aliet!

PEREGRINE FALCON (National Park Service photo / public domain)

Here are two more birds that are listed on the “Do Not Eat” list. A Gripe and an Aliet.

Leviticus 11:13 These things be of (the) fowls which ye shall not eat, and shall be eschewed of you (and shall be shunned by you); an eagle, and a gripe, [and] an aliet,
Deuteronomy 14:12 (but) eat ye not unclean birds, that is, an eagle, and a gripe, and an aliet,
These verses are in the Wycliffe Bible (WYC) version. “The earliest existing edition is from 1525, but manuscripts of that only have a part of Matthew. Of the whole New Testament, the earliest manuscripts available are from 1526. Old Testament books are from later, 1530’s for some. This means that these two birds mentioned, the Gripe and the Aliet, were the names they were called by back then. Languages change over hundreds of years.

Australian Hobby by Ian Montgomery

Interesting note about how these birds are listed in the “Do Not Eat List” Here is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): Old Testament says:

13-19 There was no easy rule of thumb for clean birds. A negative list is given that in cases is difficult to translate with certainty. The different modern versions vary in detail. In general carrion-eating and fish-eating birds were forbidden, just as they are not used for food today. Chickens are not mentioned in the OT. The eating of bird eggs and the mother bird together is forbidden in Deuteronomy 22:6, apparently for conservation reasons. If the eggs are taken, the mother bird will lay more; but if the mother bird is taken, there will be no more eggs! Doves, their eggs, and their young were eaten.

After doing some searching on Google, the Gripe doesn’t seem to be a recognizable bird today. When searching for the Aliet, After just about giving up, this interesting article was found:

Hearldry is a displaying of different Coats of Arms. The bird in on this Crest or Coat of Arms is the Aliet:

These verses in other translations indicate some type of birds of prey. That is what is article is saying also. If you can read the “old English”, notice that it mentions “This Fowl hath her Tallons or Pounces inwardly crooked like a hook.” That is a good description of a Hawk, Falcon, or some other type of bird of prey. “and is called in Latine [Latin], Falco (faith Calepine). Falco is the genus for Falcons and includes 15 Kestrels, 22 Falcons and 4 Hobbys.

It also mentions the “Alietus is a little Fowl that preyeth upon small birds…”

American Kestrel by AestheticPhotos

Falcons, Kestrels and Hobbies are part of the Falconidae Family.


Birds of the Bible – Peregrine Falcon and Goshawk

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) by Ray

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) by Ray

And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; (Leviticus 11:13-16 NKJV)

Here is a short video about the Peregrine Falcon and the Goshawk. It shows the speed and maneuverability of these fantastic birds. Thought you might enjoy watching it.

“Tiny spy cameras allow you to see some of the world’s most magnificent birds in flight. Watch this video to learn how the fastest bird on the planet, the peregrine falcon, keeps control at mind-numbing speeds, and take a flight with the master of manoeuvrability, the Gos Hawk, as it flies through dense woodland. Great animal video from BBC wildlife show Animal Camera, with music by Gregory Paul. By 

The Peregrine belongs to the Falconiformes Order. “The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the Duck Hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and “moustache”. Typical of bird-eating raptors, Peregrine Falcons are sexually dimorphic, with females being considerably larger than males. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 325 km/h (210 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop, making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The Peregrine’s breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world’s most widespread bird of prey.

While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects. Reaching sexual maturity at one year, it mates for life and nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures.” (Wikipedia)

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) ©USFWS

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) ©USFWS

and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds, and every raven in its kind, and the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, and the hawk in their kinds, (Deuteronomy 14:13-15 NASB)

The Goshawk belongs to the Accipitriformes Order of Kites, Hawks and Eagles. “The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), /ˈɡɒs.hɔːk/ (Old English: gōsheafoc, “goose-hawk”), is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.

It is a widespread species that inhabits the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. In Europe and North America, where there is only one goshawk, it is often referred to (officially and unofficially, respectively) as simply the “Goshawk”. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions migrate south for the winter. In North America, migratory goshawks are often seen migrating south along mountain ridge tops in September and October.

This species hunts birds and mammals in a variety of woodland habitats, often utilizing a combination of speed and obstructing cover to ambush birds and mammals. Goshawks are often seen flying along adjoining habitat types, such as the edge of a forest and meadow; flying low and fast hoping to surprise unsuspecting prey. They are usually opportunistic predators, as are most birds of prey.” (Wikipedia)

These are just two of the birds of prey that the Lord created. What speed and agility He gave them. Unfortunately, because of the curse, they use those traits to attack and eat other birds and small mammals.

See Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Falcons

Birds of the Bible – Hawks

Wordless Birds


Birds of the Bible – Falcon – Caracara

Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan at Viera Wetland

Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan at Viera Wetlands

The first Birds of the Bible – Falcons blog introduced the North American members of the Falcon – Falconidae Family. Then the next article, Birds of the Bible – Falcons II, introduced more of the 65 Falcon family members, mainly just the falcons, and provided links to videos of them.

The Caracaras are a part of the Falcon – Falconidae family and these would also be included in the references given in the Bible. The Falcons and their kind are on the “do not eat” list in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and again mentioned in Job.

And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, (Leviticus 11:13-14 ESV)

the kite, the falcon of any kind; (Deuteronomy 14:13 ESV)

That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. (Job 28:7 NKJV)

Chimango Caracara by Daves Birding Pix

Chimango Caracara by Daves Birding Pix

Caracaras, there are 10 of them, are also included  in the birds of prey category. We saw our first Northern Crested Caracara along the interstate in Texas, not far from the well-known King Ranch. The Northern Crested Caracara is 23 inches long and has a 50 inch wingspan. The wings are broad and it has a long tail. They have long necks and long legs. They spend much of their time perched or walking on the ground, but can run swiftly. They hang out with vultures at carcasses and many times steal their food.

Male and females are similar. We have these here in central Florida. They are seen on the ground or perching on fence posts and tops of trees. Often seen walking along roadsides. Scratches like chicken for insects. The AOU split this species in July, 2000 from the South American species, Caracara plancus.

The Caracaras are:

Black Caracara (Daptrius ater) – S. America
Red-throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus) – C. & S. America
Carunculated Caracara (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – Ecuador & Colombia
Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus) ©WikiC – S. America
White-throated Caracara (Phalcoboenus albogularis) – S. America
Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) – S. America
Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan – N. America
Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus) – S. America
Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) – C. & S. America
Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango) – S. America


As you can see above, they are only in the Western Hemisphere


Some information from Thayer Birding Software

Falcon Page

Caracara – Wikipedia

Gospel Message