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)
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.
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.
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: http://www.thewonderofbirds.com/griffon-vulture/bible.htm)
*** From the Archives ***
This is the first of “From the Archives.” We have decided to look back over the years and bring back some of the most popular articles. This post has had 114 remarks so far and was originally posted on
[We have advanced in our layout of the blog over the year. The Birds of the Bible articles were the original reason for Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures being launched.