|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(1.) Hebrews sis (Isaiah 38:14; Jeremiah 8:7), the Arabic for the swift, which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring, and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land, and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Hebrews deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" (Psalm 84:3; Proverbs 26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility of retaining it in captivity. In Isaiah 38:14 and Jeremiah 8:7 the word thus rendered (`augr) properly means "crane" (as in the R.V.).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Any one of numerous species of passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, especially one of those species in which the tail is deeply forked. They have long, pointed wings, and are noted for the swiftness and gracefulness of their flight.
2. (n.) Any one of numerous species of swifts which resemble the true swallows in form and habits, as the common American chimney swallow, or swift.
3. (n.) The aperture in a block through which the rope reeves.
4. (v. t.) To take into the stomach; to receive through the gullet, or esophagus, into the stomach; as, to swallow food or drink.
5. (v. t.) To draw into an abyss or gulf; to engulf; to absorb -- usually followed by up.
6. (v. t.) To receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; to receive implicitly.
7. (v. t.) To engross; to appropriate; -- usually with up.
8. (v. t.) To occupy; to take up; to employ.
9. (v. t.) To seize and waste; to exhaust; to consume.
10. (v. t.) To retract; to recant; as, to swallow one's opinions.
11. (v. t.) To put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation; as, to swallow an affront or insult.
12. (v. i.) To perform the act of swallowing; as, his cold is so severe he is unable to swallow.
13. (n.) The act of swallowing.
14. (n.) The gullet, or esophagus; the throat.
15. (n.) Taste; relish; inclination; liking.
16. (n.) Capacity for swallowing; voracity.
17. (n.) As much as is, or can be, swallowed at once; as, a swallow of water.
18. (n.) That which engulfs; a whirlpool.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
swal'-o (deror; strouthos, in Proverbs and Psalms, chelidon, in Isaiah; Latin Hirundo rustica): A small long-winged bird of exhaustless flight, belonging to the family Hirundinidae. Deror means the bird of freedom, and as the swallow is of tireless wing, it has been settled upon as fitting the requirements of the text. In the passages where `aghur is translated "swallow," there is a mistake, that word referring to the crane. There is also a word, cuc or cic, that means a rushing sound, that is incorrectly translated "swallow," when it should be "swift" (Cypselus apus).
These birds are near relatives and so alike on the wing as to be indistinguishable to any save a close observer. Yet the Hebrews knew and made a difference. The swallow is a trifle larger and different in color. It remains all the year, while in numerous instances the swift migrates and is a regular sign of returning spring. The swallow is of long and tireless flight. The swift is so much faster that the sound of its wings can be heard when passing. The swallow plasters a mud nest under eaves, on towers, belfries, and close to human habitations. The swifts are less intimate, building in deserted places, under bridges and on rocky crevices. The swallows utter constantly a rather sweet low note; the swifts chatter harshly and incessantly at their nests. These differences are observable to the most careless people. Scientists separate the birds on account of anatomical structure also. Despite this, the birds are confused in most of our translations.
"Like a swallow or a crane, so did I chatter;
I did moan as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward:
O Lord, I am oppressed, be thou my surety"
Here `aghur is translated "swallow" and cuc "crane," which is clearly interchanging words, as the Arabic for "swift" is cuc, the same as the Hebrew. The line should read, "swift and crane." And another reason for changing swallow to swift, in this passage, lies in the fact that of the two birds the swift is the incessant and raucous chatterer, and this was the idea in the mind of Hezekiah when he sang his Trouble Song. Another incorrect reference is found in Jeremiah 8:7: "Yea, the stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle-dove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the law of Yahweh." Few swallows migrate. Returning swifts are one of the first signs of spring.
"As the sparrow in her wandering, as the swallow in her flying,
So the curse that is causeless alighteth not" (Proverbs 26:2).
This reference might apply to either, remembering always that the swift took its name from its exceptional flight, it being able to cover over 80 miles an hour. However, the swallow is credited with 800 miles in a night.
"Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even thine altars, O Yahweh of hosts,
My King, and my God" (Psalm 84:3).
Here is one instance, at least, where the swallow is at home and the translation correct. The swift might possibly have built in the temple: the swallow was sure to be there.
Swallow (38 Occurrences)
Matthew 23:24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel! (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 12:40 and who swallow up the property of widows and then mask their wickedness by making long prayers: these men will receive far heavier punishment." (WEY)
Luke 20:47 who swallow up the property of widows and mask their wickedness by making long prayers. They will be punished far more severely than others." (WEY)
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, vigilant, because your opponent the devil, as a roaring lion, doth walk about, seeking whom he may swallow up, (YLT)
Revelation 12:16 The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth. (Root in WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Genesis 24:17 And the servant runneth to meet her, and saith, 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher;' (YLT)
Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage . For I am faint. Therefore was his name called Edom. (See JPS NAS)
Genesis 41:7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. (Root in WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me." (Root in WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 14:9 Only don't rebel against Yahweh, neither fear the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is removed from over them, and Yahweh is with us. Don't fear them." (See NIV)
Numbers 16:30 But if Yahweh make a new thing, and the ground open its mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain to them, and they go down alive into Sheol; then you shall understand that these men have despised Yahweh." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 16:34 All Israel that were around them fled at the cry of them; for they said, "Lest the earth swallow us up!" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV(
2 Samuel 20:19 I am among those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 20:20 Joab answered, "Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 2:3 And Jehovah said to Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and abstaineth from evil? and still he remaineth firm in his integrity, though thou movedst me against him, to swallow him up without cause. (DBY YLT)
Job 7:19 How long will you not look away from me, nor leave me alone until I swallow down my spittle? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Job 10:8 Thy hands have bound me together and made me as one, round about; yet dost thou swallow me up! (DBY YLT)
Job 20:18 That for which he labored he shall restore, and shall not swallow it down. According to the substance that he has gotten, he shall not rejoice. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Psalms 21:9 You will make them as a fiery furnace in the time of your anger. Yahweh will swallow them up in his wrath. The fire shall devour them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 55:9 Swallow them up, Lord; divide their tongue: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. (DBY YLT)
Psalms 56:1 For the Chief Musician. To the tune of "Silent Dove in Distant Lands." A poem by David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath. Be merciful to me, God, for man wants to swallow me up. All day long, he attacks and oppresses me. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Psalms 56:2 My enemies want to swallow me up all day long, for they are many who fight proudly against me. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Psalms 57:3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS)
Psalms 69:15 Don't let the flood waters overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow me up. Don't let the pit shut its mouth on me. (WEB KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 84:3 Yes, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 1:12 let's swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse doesn't come to rest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but a fool is swallowed by his own lips. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Isaiah 25:7 And swallowed up hath He in this mountain The face of the wrapping that is wrapped over all the peoples, And of the covering that is spread over all the nations. (Root in YLT NAS)
Isaiah 25:8 He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces. He will take the reproach of his people away from off all the earth, for Yahweh has spoken it. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 38:14 I chattered like a swallow or a crane. I moaned like a dove. My eyes weaken looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed. Be my security." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 42:14 I have kept silent from of old, I keep silent, I refrain myself, As a travailing woman I cry out, I desolate and swallow up together. (YLT)
Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don't know Yahweh's law. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Hosea 8:7 For they sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind. He has no standing grain. The stalk will yield no head. If it does yield, strangers will swallow it up. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Amos 8:4 Hear this, you who desire to swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail, (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT)
Obadiah 1:16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink continually. Yes, they will drink, swallow down, and will be as though they had not been. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Jonah 1:17 Yahweh prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Habakkuk 1:13 You who have purer eyes than to see evil, and who cannot look on perversity, why do you tolerate those who deal treacherously, and keep silent when the wicked swallows up the man who is more righteous than he, (Root in WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)