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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

pe'-kok (tukkiyim (plural); Latin Pavo cristatus): A bird of the genus Pavo. Japan is the native home of the plainer peafowl; Siam, Ceylon and India produce the commonest and most gorgeous. The peacock has a bill of moderate size with an arched tip, its cheeks are bare, the eyes not large, but very luminous, a crest of 24 feathers 2 inches long, with naked shafts and broad tips of blue, glancing to green. The neck is not long but proudly arched, the breast full, prominent and of bright blue green, blue predominant. The wings are short and ineffectual, the feathers on them made up of a surprising array of colors. The tail consists of 18 short, stiff, grayish-brown feathers. Next is the lining of the train, of the same color. The glory of this glorious bird lies in its train. It begins on the back between the wings in tiny feathers not over 6 inches in length, and extends backward. The quills have thick shafts of purple and green shades, the eye at the tip of each feather from one-half to 2 inches across, of a deep peculiar blue, surrounded at the lower part by two half-moon-shaped crescents of green. Whether the train lies naturally, or is spread in full glory, each eye shows encircled by a marvel of glancing shades of green, gold, purple, blue and bronze. When this train is spread, it opens like a fan behind the head with its sparkling crest, and above the wondrous blue of the breast. The bird has the power to contract the muscles at the base of the quills and play a peculiar sort of music with them. It loves high places and cries before a storm in notes that are startling to one not familiar with them. The bird can be domesticated and will become friendly enough to take food from the hand. The peahen is smaller than the cock, her neck green, her wings gray, tan and brown-but she has not the gorgeous train. She nests on earth and breeds with difficulty when imported, the young being delicate and tender. The grown birds are hardy when acclimated, and live to old age. By some freak of nature, pure white peacocks are at times produced. Aristophanes mentioned peafowl in his Birds, II. 102, 269. Alexander claimed that he brought them into Greece from the east, but failed to prove his contention. Pliny wrote that Hortensius was the first to serve the birds for food, and that Aufidius Lurco first fattened and sold them in the markets. It was the custom to skin the bird, roast and recover it and send it to the table, the gaudy feathers showing.

The first appearance of the bird in the Bible occurs in a summing-up of the wealth and majesty of Solomon (1 Kings 10:22 "For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks"). (Here the Septuagint translates peleketoi (s.c. lithoi), equals "(stones) carved with an ax.") The same statement is made in 2 Chronicles 9:21: "For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks" Septuagint omits). There is no question among scholars and scientists but that these statements are true, as the ships of Solomon are known to have visited the coasts of India and Ceylon, and Tarshish was on the Malabar coast of India, where the native name of the peacock was tokei, from which tukkiyim undoubtedly was derived (see GOLD, and The Expository Times, IX, 472). The historian Tennant says that the Hebrew names for "ivory" and "apes" were also the same as the Tamil. The reference to the small, ineffectual wing of the peacock which scarcely will lift the weight of the body and train, that used to be found in Job, is now applied to the ostrich, and is no doubt correct:

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly;

But are they the pinions and plumage of love?" (Job 39:13).

While the peacock wing seems out of proportion to the size of the bird, it will sustain flight and bear the body to the treetops. The wing of the ostrich is useless for flight.

Gene Stratton-Porter

Strong's Hebrew
8500. tukkiyyim -- peacocks
... peacock. Or tuwkkiy {took-kee'}; probably of foreign derivation; some imported creature,
probably a peacock -- peacock. 8499, 8500. tukkiyyim. 8501 . ...
/hebrew/8500.htm - 6k

5965. alas -- to rejoice
... Exult, wave joyously. A primitive root; to leap for joy, ie Exult, wave joyously --
X peacock, rejoice, solace self. 5964, 5965. alas. 5966 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/5965.htm - 5k


The Judicial Retribution of These Migrations Refuted with Raillery ...
... Homer, so dreamt Ennius, remembered that he was once a peacock; however,
I cannot for my part believe poets, even when wide awake. ...
/.../a treatise on the soul/chapter xxxiii the judicial retribution of.htm

Beasts Similarly Subject to the Law of Mutation.
... And yet the peacock withal has plumage for a garment, and a garment indeed of the
choicest; nay, in the bloom of his neck richer than any purple, and in the ...
/.../tertullian/on the pallium/chapter iii beasts similarly subject to.htm

A vision of the Last Day
... whose head shone a bright, widespread glory of rainbow-colored rays, but at whose
heart might be seen lurking, half-hidden, the feet of the peacock; the glory ...
/.../wells/bible stories and religious classics/a vision of the last.htm

If Christians and the Heathen Thus Resemble Each Other, There is ...
... And how much more ridiculous is your inherited conceit, [755] that the human
spirit is to reappear in a dog, or a mule, or a peacock! ...
/.../tertullian/ad nationes/chapter xix name christians and.htm

The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body Brought to Light by ...
... not the same bodies, and not even those of human beings invariably: thus Euphorbus
is supposed to have passed into Phythagoras, and Homer into a peacock. ...
/.../tertullian/on the resurrection of the flesh/chapter i the doctrine of the.htm

It is Admitted, one May Hope, that Common Things are Never ...
... preservation. But this is only getting over the difficulty of describing
peacock green by calling it blue. There is blue in it. ...
/.../chesterton/whats wrong with the world/chapter 13 it is admitted.htm

These Vagaries Stimulated Some Profane Corruptions of Christianity ...
... we have deemed it necessary to attack and refute this conceit, as a consistent sequel
to the preceding opinions, in order that Homer in the peacock might be ...
/.../a treatise on the soul/chapter xxxiv these vagaries stimulated some.htm

Prison Meditations Directed to the Heart of Suffering Saints and ...
... his poems of "One thing needful" and his "Ebal and Gerizzim"; with "a catlogue of
all his other books." London: printed for Nath, Ponder, at the Peacock in the ...
/.../the works of john bunyan volumes 1-3/prison meditations directed to the.htm

The Pilgrim's Progress
... By JOHN BUNYAN. 'I have used similitudes.'"Hosea 12:10. London: Printed for Nathaniel
Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, near the Church, 1684. ...
/.../bunyan/the works of john bunyan volumes 1-3/the pilgrims progress.htm

Questions About the Nature and Perpetuity of the Seventh-Day ...
... 'The Son of man is lord also of the Sabbath day.'. London: Printed for Nath, Ponder,
at the Peacock in the Poultry, 1685. EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. ...
/.../bunyan/the works of john bunyan volumes 1-3/questions about the nature and.htm

Scripture Alphabet Of Animals

The peacock is first mentioned in the Bible in the time of Solomon. He used to send his vessels to distant countries, and they came back once in three years, "bringing gold, and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks." Solomon was the richest among all the kings that the Bible tells us about. When he first became king God spoke to him in a dream, and told him to ask for any thing he wished. If God should speak so to you, what would you ask for?

Solomon did not pray that God would make him rich, or that he would give him health, or let him live a great many years on the earth; but he said, "I am a little child, I know not how to go out or come in. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart." Then God was pleased with what he asked, and besides giving him great wisdom, he gave him also riches and honor. He had forty thousand horses, and silver and gold in abundance. All the vessels used in his house were of gold, because silver was not good enough; it was "as stones" for plenty, and was "nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon." In the second chapter of Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes 2, Solomon himself speaks of his riches, and after telling us of some of his treasures, he says: "Whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy." Perhaps you think he must have been perfectly happy, if any man in this world ever was; but what does he say? "All is vanity and vexation of spirit." This does not sound much like being contented. No, dear child, these are not the things that make us happy; nothing but the true love of God in the heart can do this.

There are many peacocks in India, and large flocks of them are sometimes seen around the temples; they also live among the bushes near the banks of rivers. They sometimes rest on high trees, but always make their nests on the ground, under the shrubs.

There was once a foolish and wicked emperor who cared little for any thing excepting "what he should eat, and what he should drink, and wherewithal he should be clothed." He took great pride in telling how much his dinners cost, and how much trouble it gave people to prepare them. One of the dishes that pleased him, because it cost money enough, and time and trouble enough, was made up of the tongues of flamingoes, (a kind of bird,) and the brains of peacocks-do you envy such a king as that?

The peacock is a very splendid bird; its colors are most rich and beautiful. The feathers of the tail are often more than a yard long, and when they are spread out in the sunlight, like a great fan, nothing can be more elegant. Yet with all its beauty I do not believe you could ever love a peacock, as you love a lamb or a dove. It seems selfish and vain, and there is nothing lovely about it-its voice is very harsh and disagreeable. There are some people who, like the peacock, are called handsome or beautiful, but whose hearts are not pure and lovely in the sight of God. "Beauty," in itself, "is vain;" but "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price."

Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews tuk, apparently borrowed from the Tamil tokei). This bird is indigenous to India. It was brought to Solomon by his ships from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21), which in this case was probably a district on the Malabar coast of India, or in Ceylon. The word so rendered in Job 39:13 literally means wild, tumultuous crying, and properly denotes the female ostrich (q.v.).
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The male of any pheasant of the genus Pavo, of which at least two species are known, native of Southern Asia and the East Indies.

2. (n.) In common usage, the species in general or collectively; a peafowl.

... peafowl. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. PEACOCK. pe'-kok (tukkiyim (plural);
Latin Pavo cristatus): A bird of the genus Pavo. Japan ...
/p/peacock.htm - 11k

... Owl, Eagle, Vulture, Gier-Eagle, Osprey, Kite, Glede, Hawk, Falcon COLUMBAE: Dove,
Turtle-Dove GALLINAE: Cock, Partridge, Quail, Peacock GRALLATORES: Crane ...
/z/zoology.htm - 18k

Fan (8 Occurrences)
... separated and blown away. 5. (n.) Something in the form of a fan when spread,
as a peacock's tail, a window, etc. 6. (n.) A small ...
/f/fan.htm - 12k

Eye (145 Occurrences)
... 7. (n.) That which resembles the organ of sight, in form, position, or
appearance. 8. (n.) The spots on a feather, as of peacock. ...
/e/eye.htm - 54k

Peacetime (1 Occurrence)

/p/peacetime.htm - 6k

Peacocks (3 Occurrences)

/p/peacocks.htm - 7k

Chaplet (2 Occurrences)
... 6. (n.) A tuft of feathers on a peacock's head. 7. (n.) A small chapel or shrine.
8. (vt) To adorn with a chaplet or with flowers. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/c/chaplet.htm - 7k

... Canon Cheyne in Encyclopedia Biblica (sv "Peacock") proposes a reading which would
give "gold, silver, ivory and precious stones" instead of "gold, silver ...
/a/ape.htm - 8k

Precious (128 Occurrences)
... They were "brittle, and of a color far from distinctly pronounced; they resembled
in their tints the feathers that are seen in the tail of the peacock or on ...
/p/precious.htm - 71k



Peacock: General Scriptures Concerning

Related Terms


Fan (8 Occurrences)

Eye (145 Occurrences)

Peacetime (1 Occurrence)

Peacocks (3 Occurrences)

Chaplet (2 Occurrences)


Precious (128 Occurrences)

Stones (244 Occurrences)

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