from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of bird of prey.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Many of those which are the most cheering and delightful spread themselves over half the earth: among these are the delicate wrens and humming-birds, the gay swallows, those noble singers, the thrushes; while the larger and more dangerous birds of prey are few in numbers, and chiefly confined to particular regions.
So he flew away in quest of a place where he might wone, till that carcass should come to an end and the birds of prey leave it; and he stayed not in his flight, till he found a river with a tree in its midst.
He took a sightless road and shortly condemned them to a grisly doom, failing to see in the Nazi promises so thick a mask of falsehood that by trusting them he condemned his beautiful youngsters to abandon their bones to dogs and birds of prey to pick, or to lie shrouded in the deep sand of the never-ceasing ocean after the fishes of the sea had stripped them.
Now the whole typical, representation is clear to us: the divided beasts represent Israel; the birds of prey who would have devoured them are the oppressing nation; Abram drives these birds away, that is, the blessing of God laid upon the nation for its great ancestor's sake drives away all harm; the fire passing hostility of the world; the consequent sufferings of the church; and the ultimate triumph of God's own.
Wherever carcases are, birds of prey promptly congregate -- here 'ayit, used collectively.
It well deserves its name ossifrage, bone breaker, for "not only does he push kids and lambs and even men off the rocks, but he takes the bones of animals that other birds of prey have denuded of the flesh high up into the air and lets them fall upon a stone in order to crack them and render them more digestible even for his enormous powers of deglutition.
To suggest that Abram regarded the appearance of birds of prey as an ill omen, just because certain Arabic tribes still suppose the mere sight of buzzards to be an ill omen, is a purely gratuitous assumption attributing to one nation what is characteristic of another.