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Clockwise from right: Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz

The Ziz (Hebrew: זיז) is a giant griffin-like bird in Jewish mythology, said to be large enough to be able to block out the sun with its wingspan. It is considered a giant animal/monster corresponding to archetypal creatures. Rabbis have said that the Ziz is comparable to the Persian Simurgh.[1] Behemoth, Leviathan and Ziz were traditionally a favorite decoration motif for rabbis living in Russia.

Some say that the Ziz was created to protect all of the birds and that if the Ziz did not exist, then all the smaller birds on Earth would be helpless and killed. The Ziz is also an immortal creature that terrified the people that entered its territory and those who killed birds. The Ziz is also believed to be a simple metaphor for air and space, along with the Behemoth as land and Leviathan as the seas and oceans.

According to Jewish tradition the meat of the Ziz will be served at the end banquet along with that of the Leviathan and the Behemoth.[2]

The giant Ziz lives on in children's literature. He figures prominently in a story from Gertrude Landa's (also known as Aunt Naomi) 1919 collection Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. The ziz also appears in four recent books by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn (all from Kar-Ben Publishing) - The Hardest Word, Noah and the Ziz, The Ziz And the Hanukkah Miracle and The Princess and the Ziz. The Ziz is an awesome, fiasco-prone, but kind-hearted creature who learns important lessons from God. Note that this mythological bird is in Midrash rather than standard Jewish eschatology.

There is also the cliff of Ziz, the pass by which the horde of Moabites, Ammonites and Mehunim made their way up from the shores of the Dead Sea to the wilderness of Judah near Tekoa. (2 Chronicles 20:16) only; comp. 2 Chr 20:20 It was the pass of Ain Jidy.

See also

References

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Johann Baptist Ziz article)

From Wikispecies

German botanist (1779-1829)


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


projecting; a flower, a cleft or pass, probably that near En-gedi, which leads up from the Dead Sea (2 Chr. 20:16) in the direction of Tekoa; now Tell Hasasah.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)


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