“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.”
Ostriches are certainly comical looking birds. Whenever I see a picture of one, it certainly makes me smile. Mind you, if you meet one up close, you might not laugh so much because they can cause a lot of damage with their legs, and particularly with their feet. But where ostriches come to our notice, as biblical Christians, is that many people think that the Bible is completely mistaken about ostriches, and, therefore, these supposed errors invalidate Scripture.
The main contentious verse is in Job 39. In this chapter, God is telling Job about the various things that He has created to silence Job and show him that his complaints are irrelevant. In verses 14 and 15, the accusation is that the ostrich is pictured as stupid for leaving its eggs in the sand and accidentally crushing them. Then, we are told, the Bible tells us that the mother ostrich forgets, or even neglects, her young.
Actually, much of this is based on a false anthropomorphism. We should not expect that an animal is going to show human characteristics. In any case, the mother ostrich does tend to leave her young because the care of newly hatched chicks seems to be the job of the father ostrich, so there is no error in what the Bible is claiming.
So when were ostriches created? They are clearly birds, but they appear designed to live on land. We must assume, therefore, that God made them on Day Six.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your wisdom in creation, and, like Job, we must stand with our mouths stopped, in awe at Your greatness. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: The Ostrich in the Bible, < http://www.tektonics.org/lp/ostrich.php >, accessed 1/30/2019. Image: CC BY-SA 4.0 International.