Strutting Like A Peacock?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)

I just published Proud As A Peacock? on the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog and thought I’d share it here also.

In a recent post, Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane, I mentioned that Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. Today, I’d like to tell another short excerpt about the singing of a Mockingbird and the strutting of a Peacock.

The lesson has to do with having a “big head.” The Lord has given every Christian certain abilities or “talents.” How we use them and how we may feel about those gifts. Some believe that those talents were their own and lean toward becoming an “egomaniac”

“The Bible recognized that. God tells you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. You are not so tremendously important.” School might grieve for a few days if you died, but.. “…I have seen many a man die whom nobody knew how to get along without, and yet somehow or other things went right on. The world kept moving.”

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan'sPix

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan

“Young people, I meet many people along life’s way who are failures because they overemphasize their own importance. That is the temptation of talented people. The fact that you have talents does not mean you are brilliant. Some people with much talent have little reasoning ability. Some people have special gifts for which they deserve no credit whatever. The just have gifts.”

Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus) ©WikiC

“What credit does a mockingbird deserve for singing? He is just made that way. When a mockingbird sings, he is not strutting his stuff.”

“A peacock struts. He has tail feathers, but he didn’t make them. God Almighty bent over heaven and stuck all those feathers in his tail. I know some people who can sing and play and act. That is about all they can do; yet they get to thinking they are wonderful.”

Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan

“What have you on this earth you didn’t get from somebody else? What are you stuck up about? Do you know the cure for the big head is? It is to sit down and realize two things: first, anything you have, you got from God; and you are custodian of that gift –a trustee. Then think of somebody else in the world who has something you don’t have.”

Quotes from, Things I Have Learned, Chapel Talks by Bob Jones Sr  , 1992

Things I Have Learned

 

Bible Birds – Peacocks Page Updated

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

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

Peacocks belong to the  Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family.

Click to See the updated page with a Slideshow and the article

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Birds of the Bible – Peacocks II

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22 KJV)

For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (2 Chronicles 9:21 KJV)

In my reading today in I Kings 10, I came to the peacocks arriving to Israel via the Navy of Tharshish or Tarshish. We have written about them in Birds of the Bible – Peacocks (2008) and Birds of the Bible – Pied Peacock and Allies (2011). It’s time to see what else can be discovered about these beautifully created birds by the Lord.

Peacock Feather

Peacock Feather

We know He, The LORD, questioned Job about the Peacocks “goodly wings” in Job 39.

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

Now, in I Kings and II Chronicles, the Peacocks are arriving in ships by the Navy of Tharshish. It appears that every three years those ships arrived with its precious cargos. Where had the ships gone to collect these items. There is speculation by some writers that the ships went west to Spain and other think in another way toward India and areas in that direction. The Bible does not say, so, we really don’t know.

Does that make you curious? It make me wonder where they found those peacocks.

Checking the history of Peacocks from CreationWiki and Wikipedia, they say that there are two species of Peafowl from Asia and one species from Africa. Is that were they got these Peacocks mentioned here in Scripture? When you are reading the Bible, do questions like this every give you an urge to dig a little deeper?

First, the “Peacocks” are the males. The females are called “Peafowl” and their chicks are called “Peachicks.”  Collectively the birds are called Peafowl. They all belong to the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family.

The two species from India-Asia are the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

and the Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus).

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

The African member of the family is the Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis).

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Here are some of the thought of various commentaries:

JFB – once in three years — that is, every third year. Without the mariner’s compass they had to coast along the shore. The ivory, apes, and peacocks might have been purchased, on the outward or homeward voyage, on the north coast of Africa, where the animals were to be found. They were particularized, probably as being the rarest articles on board.

Geneva – By Tharshish is meant Cilicia, which was abundant in the variety of precious things.

Darby – 1 Kings 10:1-29 – The king of Tyre also was dependent on the king of Israel; and the queen of Sheba comes from the far south to delight herself in the wisdom of the head of God’s people, and to be filled with wonder at the sight of his glory, and to praise Jehovah who had raised him so high, and who had blessed the people in giving him to be their king. She also came with gifts; for the king’s renown had spread into distant lands. Nevertheless, although it was a true report that she had heard, the sight of his glory went far beyond all that had been said of it.

Constable – God forbade Israel’s kings from multiplying chariots (1Ki_10:26), the most effective and dreaded military machines of their day (Deu_17:16). God wanted His people to depend on Him primarily for their protection. Material prosperity and security often lead people to conclude that they have no needs when really our need for God never diminishes. Solomon fell into this trap. Wealth is not sinful in itself, but it does bring temptations with it (cf. Jam_5:1-6).

Though Solomon experienced great blessings from his faithful God, he fell prey to the sins these blessings make easier, as the writer explained in the next chapter.

Barnes – This is given as the reason of the great bountifulness of silver in the time of Solomon. The “navy of Tharshish” (not the same as the navy of Ophir, 1Ki_9:26) must therefore have imported very large quantities of that metal. Tharshish, or Tartessus, in Spain, had the richest silver mines known in the ancient world, and had a good deal of gold also; apes and ivory were produced by the opposite coast of Africa; and, if north Africa did not produce “peacocks,” which is uncertain, she may have produced the birds called here “tukkiyim,” which some translate “parrots,” others “guinea-fowl” – the latter being a purely African bird. The etymology of the Hebrew words here rendered “ivory,” “apes,” and “peacocks,” is uncertain; but even if of Indian origin, the Jews may have derived their first knowledge of ivory, apes, and peacocks, through nations which traded with India, and may thus have got the words into their language long before the time of Solomon. The names once fixed would be retained, whatever the quarter from where the things were procured afterward.

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

We have no clear idea of where they came from, and it really does not matter other than we are told they came by ship. We know that Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest king because God promised him back when he prayed for wisdom.

And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in….. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (1 Kings 3:7-14 KJV)

(Javan) Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) by Lee at Zoo Miami

(Javan) Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Wow! Is that not true of those of us who know the Lord? The Lord answers our prayers many times by giving us much more than we ever asked for. As long as our prayers are in line with His Word.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:17-20 KJV)

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Birds of the Bible – Pied Peacock and Allies

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil

We wrote about Peacocks before in Birds of the Bible – Peacocks, dated April of 2008. This is about the Pied Peacock which is from the jungles of India and Sri Lanka. When Solomon sent for them to be delivered, they were brought by a joint navy of Hiram and the navy of Tharshish.

For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22 KJV) For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (2 Chronicles 9:21 KJV)

I received a notice by “bellamoonnature” of a video he made of the Pied Peacock. Decided to share it and bring the peacock article a little more up to date. It is about a Pied Peacock. For more information on how that comes about see India Blue Pied. It is a mutation, but still it is a neat looking Peacock or Peafowl.

Here is his video:

I love the little immature male trying to practice his tail display. He has a way to go before his tail reaches the beauty of the mature male. This peacocks beautiful display goes right along with God’s question to Job.

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

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Peacocks and Peafowls are part of the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowls & Allies Family which are in the Galliformes Order. There are three Genus in the Pheasants, Fowls & Allies Family that have what we refer to as “Peacocks.”

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

The Polyplectron genus is the peacock-pheasants. “The peacock-pheasants are a bird genus, Polyplectron, of the family Phasianidae, consisting of eight species. They are colored inconspicuously, relying on heavily on crypsis to avoid detection. When threatened, peacock-pheasants will alter their shapes utilising specialised plumage that when expanded reveals numerous iridescent orbs. The birds also vibrate their plume quills further accentuating their aposematism (Warning colourataton or signal). Peacock-pheasants exhibit well developed metatarsal spurs. Older individuals may have multiple spurs on each leg. These kicking thorns are used in self-defense.” (Wikipedia)

Polyplectron

Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron chalcurum) Drawing ©WikiC – Photo
____ (Polyplectron chalcurum scutulatum)
____ (Polyplectron chalcurum chalcurum)
Mountain Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron inopinatum) ©WikiC
Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron germaini) ©WikiC
Grey Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) ©WikiC
____ (Polyplectron bicalcaratum bakeri)
____ (Polyplectron bicalcaratum bicalcaratum)
____ (Polyplectron bicalcaratum ghigii)
Hainan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron katsumatae)
Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) ©WikiC
Bornean Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron schleiermacheri) Video IBC
Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) ©WikiC

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

“Peafowl are two Asiatic species of flying birds in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male’s extravagant eye-spotted tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The adult female peafowl is grey and/or brown. Peachicks can be between yellow and a tawny colour with darker brown patches. The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has iridescent blue-green or green coloured plumage.

The peacock tail (“train”) is not the tail quill feathers but the highly elongated upper tail coverts. The “eyes” are best seen when the peacock fans its tail. Like a cupped hand behind the ear the erect tail-fan of the male helps direct sound to the ears. Both species have a crest atop the head.

The female (peahen) Indian Peafowl has a mixture of dull green, brown, and grey in her plumage. She lacks the long upper tail coverts of the male but has a crest. The female can also display her plumage to ward off female competition or signal danger to her young.

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

A male Green Peafowl The Green Peafowl appears different from the Indian Peafowl. The male has green and gold plumage and has an erect crest. The wings are black with a sheen of blue. Unlike the Indian Peafowl, the Green Peahen is similar to the male, only having shorter upper tail coverts and less iridescence. It is difficult to tell a juvenile male from an adult female.

As with many birds, vibrant plumage colours are not primarily pigments, but optical interference Bragg reflections, based on regular, periodic nanostructures of the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers. Slight changes to the spacing result in different colours. Brown feathers are a mixture of red and blue: one colour is created by the periodic structure, and the other is a created by a Fabry–Pérot interference peak from reflections from the outer and inner boundaries. Such interference-based structural colour is important for the peacock’s iridescent hues that change and shimmer with viewing angle, since unlike pigments, interference effects depend on light angle. Colour mutations exist through selective breeding, such as the leucistic White Peafowl and the Black-Shouldered Peafowl.”(Wikipedia)

Pavo

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar
Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian
____ (Pavo muticus spicifer)
____ (Pavo muticus imperator) IBC
____ (Pavo muticus muticus) IBC

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) Head ©WikiC

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) Head ©WikiC

“The Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) is a species of peafowl. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Afropavo. The male is a large bird of up to 70 cm (28 in) in length. Its feathers are deep blue with a metallic green and violet tinge. It has bare red neck skin, grey feet, and a black tail with fourteen feathers. Its head is adorned with vertical white elongated hair-like feathers on its crown. The female is generally a chestnut brown bird with a black abdomen, metallic green back, and a short chestnut brown crest. Both sexes resemble immature Asian Peafowl, with early stuffed birds being erroneously classified as such before they were officially discovered as a unique species. It inhabits and is endemic to lowland rainforests of Congo River Basin in the central part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The diet consists mainly of fruits and invertebrates. The male has a similar display to other peacocks, fanning its tail in this case, while other peacocks fan their upper tail coverts. The male Congo Peafowl is monogamous, though information from the wild is needed. Very little is known about this species.” (Wikipedia)

Afropavo

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) ©WikiC

See Also:

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Peacocks

Birds of the World 

Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

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Birds of the Bible – Peacocks

The Peacock is the male and the Peahen is the female in the pheasant family, Phasianidae (order Galliformes), that consists of the blue or Indian peacock and the green or Javanese peacock which is quite aggressive. More recently they discovered a Congo peacock. Peacocks and peahens are not native to North America, but are found in many zoos here.

The males have a body that is 35-50 inches with long tail feathers that are about 60 inches and “are coloured a brilliant metallic green. This train is mainly formed of the bird’s upper tail coverts, which are enormously elongated. Each feather is tipped with an iridescent eyespot that is ringed with blue and bronze. In courtship displays, the cock elevates his tail, which lies under the train, thus elevating the train and bringing it forward. At the climax of this display the tail feathers are vibrated, giving the feathers of the train a shimmering appearance and making a rustling sound. When he is courting, the male lifts his tail feathers up in a beautiful display to attract the female.” From Britannica Online, “Peacock”.

In Job 38, God started answering Job and began asking him questions about many things. By the time we get to Job 39:13, God asks:

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

When Solomon was the King of Israel, he was very wise and wealthy. One of the things he did was to start a navy of ships. It appears that they would go off and every three years come back with, among other things, peacocks.

For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22 KJV)
For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (2 Chronicles 9:21 KJV)

The peacock has been used as an ornamental bird for many centuries. The video below gives a view of his feathers spread out.

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?

See:

Phasianidae Family

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