Isaiah 13:21

Hebrew Bible

19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms, the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, will be destroyed by God just as Sodom and Gomorrah were. 20 No one will live there again; no one will ever reside there again. No bedouin will camp there, no shepherds will rest their flocks there. 21 Wild animals will rest there, the ruined houses will be full of hyenas. Ostriches will live there, wild goats will skip among the ruins. 22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses, jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces. Her time is almost up, her days will not be prolonged.

Micah 1:8

Hebrew Bible

6 “I will turn Samaria into a heap of ruins in an open field, into a place for planting vineyards. I will dump the rubble of her walls down into the valley and lay bare her foundations. 7 All her carved idols will be smashed to pieces; all her metal cult statues will be destroyed by fire. I will make a waste heap of all her images. Since she gathered the metal as a prostitute collects her wages, the idols will become a prostitute’s wages again.” 8 For this reason I will mourn and wail; I will walk around barefoot and without my outer garments. I will howl like a jackal and screech like an ostrich.33 9 For Samaria’s disease is incurable. It has infected Judah; it has spread to the leadership of my people and even to Jerusalem! 10 Don’t spread the news in Gath. Don’t shed even a single tear. In Beth Leaphrah roll about in mourning in the dust!

 Notes and References

"... Why include discussion of these “fantastic” birds in a study focused on unclean “real” birds? Two reasons come to mind. First, fantastic animals – that is “unreal” hybrids and monsters – connect with powerful symbolism ... Second, while one might expect a clear distinction between the mythical and the unclean, several non-Pentateuchal texts associate them quite closely. Overlap appears most prominently in Isaiah 34:11–14, where both wild and mythical birds or creatures comprise the list of various ruin dwellers: hawk, owl, Lilith, and possibly “goat demon.” The importance of hybridity as a conception for the “demonic” or for “evil” or just for the “powers beyond the human world” may provide some insight into the conceptual distinctions between “clean/unclean” or “shunned/welcomed” in the legal texts. Houston makes this connection explicit: 'There is however a special literary context in which many of the unclean species appear, including many of the birds that do not appear elsewhere outside Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, and it may enable us to use extrabiblical evidence. This is the prophetic curse of destruction, when it extends to descriptions of the deserted ruins of the doomed place, which become the habitation of many wild creatures, including a surprisingly high proportion of those that appear in our chapters as unclean. There are also passages that use the same idea of the ruins as the habitation of wild creatures, though they are not of the same genre' (He points to Isaiah 13:21–22; 34:11–15; Jeremiah 50:39; Micah 1:8; Zephaniah 2:14; Psalm 102:7; Job 30:29; as well as KAI 222 A.33) ..."

Altmann, Peter Banned Birds: The Birds of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 (pp. 44-45) Mohr Siebeck, 2019

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