(אִיָּה, ayyah', so called from its clamorous cry; Sept. ἰκτίν v. r. ἴκτινος,Vulg. vultur; but in Job 28:7, γύψ, Auth. Version "vulture"), an unclean and keensighted bird of prey (Le 11:14; De 14:13). The version of Pseudo-Jonathan has the black vulture; the Venetian Greek κολοιόν, or jackdaw; Kimchi גאזא, or magpie; Saadias and Abelwalid the male horned owl most of which are evidently mere conjectures, with little regard to the context, which classes the bird in question with other species of the falcon tribe. SEE GLEDE. The allusion in Job alone affords a clew to its identification. The deep mines in the recesses of the mountains from which the labor of man extracts the treasures of the earth are there described as "a track which the bird of prey hath not -known, nor hath the eye of the ayyah looked upon it." Bochart (Hieroz. ii, 193 sq., 779), regarding the etymology of the word, connected it with the Arabic al-ypuyu, a kind of hawk, so called from its cry yadd, described by Damir as a small bird with a short tail, used in hunting, and remarkable for its great courage, the swiftness of its flight, and the keenness of its vision, which is made the subject of praise in an Arabic stanza quoted by Damir. The English designate it as the merlin, the Falco
cesalon of Linnenus, which is the same as the Greek αἰσαλών and Latin cesalo. This smallest of British hawks is from ten to twelve inches long; the male with blue-gray back and wings, body rufous; the female dark brown back and wings, with brownish-white body (see Penny C(yclop. s.v. Merlin). Gesenius, however (Thesaur p. 39), is inclined to regard the Hebrew term as a general denomination of the hawk genus, on account of the addition לַמַינָהּ, after its kind. SEE HAWK. " The Talmud goes so far as to assert that the four Hebrew words rendered in the A. V.-' vulture,' glede,' and ' kite,' denote one and the same bird (Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmuds, § 196). Seetzen (i, 310) mentions a species of falcon used in Syria for hunting gazelles and hares, and a smaller kind for hunting hares in the desert. Russell (Aleppo, ii, 196) enumerates seven different kinds employed by the natives for the same purpose. Robertson (Clavis Pentateuchi) derives ayyah from the Heb. איה, an obsolete root, which he connects with an Arabic word, the primary meaning of which, according to Schultens, is 'to turn.' If this derivation be the true one, it is not improbable that 'kite' is the correct rendering. The habit which birds of this genus have of' sailing in circles, with the rudder-like tail by its inclination governing the curve,' as Yarrell says, accords with the Arabic derivation" (Smith). Wood (Bible Animals, p. 358) inclines to adopt Tristram's identification of the ayyah with the red kite (Milvus regalis), which is scattered all over Palestine, feeding chiefly on the smaller birds, mice, reptiles, and fish. Its piercing sight and soaring habits peculiarly suit the passage in Job. SEE VULTURE.