Hen (2)


(ὄρνις, a bird, especially the domestic fowl, Mt 23:37; Lu 13:34). We have no evidence that the ancient Hebrews were accustomed to the breeding of poultry, but that the later Jews were acquainted with it (Chald. תִּרנגוּלתָּא) is evident from 2 Esdras 1:30; Mt 23:37; Lu 13:34; Lu 22:60-61. Michaelis is of opinion that the incubation of the common hen is referred to in Jer 17:11. The original country of the common poultry fowl is India, where it is called the jungle bird. SEE COCK. The metaphor used in the passages of the Gospels where the term "hen" occurs has always been admired for its beauty. When the hen sees a bird of prey coming, she makes a noise to assemble her chickens, that she may cover them with her wings from the danger. The Roman army, as an eagle, was about to fall upon the Jews; our Lord-expresses a desire to guard them from threatened calamities, but they disregarded his invitations and warnings, and fell a prey to their adversaries. Thee word there employed is used in the same specific sense in classical Greek (Aristoph. Av. 102, Vesp. 811). That a bird so intimately connected with the household, and so common in Palestine, as we know from Rabbinical sources (Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 256), should receive such slight notice, is certainly singular (see Reland, De yalli cantu Hier. audito, Rotterd. 1709; Detharding, id. Rost. 1752); it is almost equally singular that it is nowhere represented in the paintings of ancient Egypt (Wilkinson, 1, 234). SEE FOWL.

Bible concordance for HEN.

Definition of hen

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