Dietary Restrictions in Leviticus: The Stork

January 11, 2012

In a previous post we looked at some dietary restrictions in Leviticus, observing that God’s purpose was to shape and mold a people (Israel) into His own special possession.

Leviticus 11 includes a list of birds that were unclean for food, including the stork:

and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat (v.19, NASB).

In Eastern Turkey near Mt. Ararat we photographed this stork.

Stork, listed among unclean animals in Leviticus 11. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

It is not uncommon for the stork to build its nest atop electrical poles.

The stork is mentioned in a few other biblical texts. The Lord sadly stated through the prophet Jeremiah,

Even the stork knows when it is time to move on. The turtledove, swallow, and crane recognize the normal times for their migration. But my people pay no attention to what I, the LORD, require of them (8:7, NET).

Migratory birds journey from Turkey to Africa taking the route of the “land bridge” of Israel. The Lord is saying that the birds (including the stork) obey Him, but His covenant people paid no attention.

Click on image for larger view.