is the rendering, in the A.'V., of two Heb. words, and possibly the true meaning of a third. None of them, however, are very clearly identifiable ac: cording to modern scientific classification.
1. דנרוֹר, deror, prop. liberty (as often rendered), i.e. strictly swiftness, occurs in two passages only with reference to a bird: Ps 84:3 (Hebrews 4), "The swallow [hath found] a nest;" Pr 26:2, "as the swallow by flying." The ancient versions, in the former passage, understand a turtle-dove (Sept. τρωγών; Vulg. turtur), and in the latter a sparrow (στρουθός, passer). The radical signification of the word favors the idea that it may include the swallow, with other swiftly flying or free birds. The old commentators (so the rabbins), except Bochart (Hieroz. 2, 590 sq.), who renders it "columba fera;" apply it to the swallow, from the love of freedom in this bird and the impossibility of retaining it in captivity (De Wette, Umbreit, Ewald, Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 355). It is more likely that it was so named from its rapidity of flight. It probably, therefore, is-more properly the "swift" or "black martin," and probably the dururi, mentioned by Forskal, as migrating to Alexandria from Upper Egypt about the end of October (Descript. Anim. p. 10). The frequenting of public buildings by this class of birds (Herod. 1; 159; Elian, V. H. 5, 17) is proverbial (Schultens, Monum. Vett. Arob. Carm. p. 1; Niebuhr, Reisen, 2, 270)., SEE SPARROW.
⇒Bible concordance for SWALLOW.
2. עָגוּר, agur, the twitterer, also occurs twice: Isa 38:14, "Like a crane [or] a swallow, so did I chatter;" Jer 8:7, "The turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time." In both these passages it is associated with a third term, סוּס, sus (v.r. סַוס, sis), rendered "crane," but in the former passage the connective ו ("and," "or") is wanting. The Sept. in Isaiah renders both words by the single one χελιδών, Vulg. pullus hirundinis; and in Jeremiah χελιδών ἀγροῦ, hirn no et ciconia; thus agreeing with the A.V. in denoting the swallow. Bochart, however (Hieroz. 2, 614 sq.), maintains that agur is the proper Hebrew designation of the crane. He compares the word with the Chald. כורכיא, kurkeya, the Arab. kur'ki, the Gr. γέρανος, the Welsh garan, and the Germ. kran, all of which are, like it, onomatopoetic. The twittering or querulous sound (צפצŠ) and the migratory habit are both characteristics, which meet in the crane; its cry is often compared by the poets with that of a person in distress or grief, and its migratory habits are frequently dwelt upon by ancient writers (Aristot. Anim. 8:12; Elian, Aim. 3, 13, 23; Pliny, 10:31; Quint. Curt. Smyrn. 2, 107; 13:102 sq.). This view has been followed by Rosenmüller, Maurer, and Henderson in their comments on Isaiah. Gesenius, though seeming to favor this view in his commentary on Isaiah, repudiates it in his Thesaurus, where he treats agûr as a verbal adjective signifying chattering or twittering, and regards it as an epithet of the swallow in the passage in, Isaiah, and as a designation of the swallow in that in Jeremiah. This is followed by Knobel (Der Prophet Jesaia erkldrt). It is in favor of this that in the former the copulative is wanting between the two words; but this may be explained as a case of asyndeton (as in Ho 6:3; Hab 3:11, etc.); whereas the insertion of the ו in the other passage seems clearly to prove that 'agûr and sus denote different birds. Hitzig, indeed, proposes to strike out this copula, but without sufficient reason. Maurer derives עָגוּר from an Arabic root signifying turbavit aquam, so as to designate an aquatic bird; Knobel would trace it to another Arabic root meaning to mourn piteously. The סוּס, sts, if distinct from the עָגוּר, agûr is probably a large species of swallow, and the latter term, when not a' mere epithet of the former, probably signifies a peculiar kind of heron. Sis, however, may perhaps be an imitative name expressive of the swallow's voice or twitter; and in Dr. Kennicott's remark that in thirteen codices of Jeremiah he read Issi for sis
we find the source of the ancient fable of the Egyptian Isis being transformed into a swallow. SEE CRANE.
Whatever be the precise rendering, the characters ascribed in the several passages where the names occur are strictly applicable to the swallow, viz. its swiftness of flight; its nesting in the buildings of the Temple, its mournful, garrulous note, and its regular migration, shared, indeed, in common with several others. We may observe that the garrulity of the swallow was proverbial among the ancients (see Nonn. Dionys. 2. 133, and Aristoph. Batr. 93). Hence its epithet κωτιλάς, "the twitterer," κωτιλάδας δὲ τὰς χελιδόνας, Athen. 622.
See Anacr. 104, and ὀρθρογόη, Hesiod, Op. 566; and Virgil, Georg. 4:306. Although Aristotle, in his Natural History, and Pliny, following him, have given currency to the fable that many swallows bury themselves during winter, yet the regularity of their migration, alluded to by the prophet Jeremiah, was familiarly recognized by the ancients. See Anacreon (Od. 33). The ditty quoted by Athen. (360) from Theognis is well known ᾿Ηλθ᾿ ηλθε χελιδών καλὰς ωρας ἄγουσα, Καλοὺς ἐνιαυτούς, ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά, ἐπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα. So Ovid (Fast. 2, 853), "Praenuntia veris hirundo." The species of Syria and Palestine, so far as they are known, appear all to be the same as those of Europe. The following are the most abundant: 1. Cypselus spus the common swift or black martin, distinguished by its larger size, short legs, very long wings, forked tail, and by all the toes of the feet turning forward; these, armed with small, crooked, and very sharp claws, enable the bird to hang against the sides of walls, but it cannot rise from the ground on account of the length of its wings. The last two, but more particularly this species, we take to be the derar, on account of the name durari, already mentioned; which was most probably applied to it because the swift martin prefers towers, minarets, and ruins to build in, and is, besides, a bird to which the epithet "free" is particularly applicable. On the European coast of the Mediterranean it bears the name of barbota, and in several parts of France, including Paris, is known by the vulgar name of "le Juif," the Jew; and, finally, being the largest and most conspicuous bird of the species in Palestine, it is the type of the heraldic martlet, originally applied in the science of blazon as the especial distinction of Crusader pilgrims, being borrowed from Oriental nations, where the bird is likewise honored with the term hagi, or pilgrim, to designate its migratory habits.
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
The deror being mentioned as building o0 the altar seems to imply a greater generalization of the name than we have given it; for habits of nesting in immediate contact with man belong only to the house and window swallows; but in the present instance the expression is not meant to convey a literal sense, but must be taken as referring to the whole structure of the Temple, and in this view the swift bears that character more completely than the other. It is not necessary to dilate further on the history of a genus of birds so universally known. 2. Flirundo rustica, or domestica (Var. Cahirica), the chimney swallow, with a forked tail, marked with a row of white spots, whereof Hirundo Syriaca, if at all different, is most likely only a variety. 3. Chelidon urbica, the martin, or common window swallow. 4. Cotyle riparia, sand-martin, or shore-bird, not uncommon in Northern Egypt, near the mouths of the Delta, and in Southern Palestine, about Gaza, where it nestles in holes, even on the sea- shore. Besides these, the Eastern or russet swallow (Hirundo rufula, Tem.), which nestles generally in fissures in rocks, and the crag-martin (Cotyle rupestris, Linn.), which is confined to mountain gorges and desert districts, are also common. (See Ibis, 1, 27; 2, 386.) The crag-martin is the only member of the genus which does not migrate from Palestine in winter. Of the genus Cypselus (swift), besides the one first noted above, the splendid alpine swift (Cypselus melba, Linn.) may be seen in all suitable localities. A third species, peculiar, so far as is yet known, to the north-east of Palestine, has recently been described under the name of Cypselus Galileensis. See Tristram, Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 204; Wood, Bible Annals, p. 381 sq.; Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmuds, p. 206. SEE BIRD.