The Partridge
June 28, 2018
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
Stacks Image 325889

Chukar Partridge [photo by David Cloud]

The partridge that is mentioned in the Bible is of the pheasant family (phasiandae). There are two varieties in Israel today, the see-see partridge (Ammoperdix griseopularis or Ammoperdix heyi) and the chukar (Alectoris chukar). They are similar in appearance, and both are similar to the rock partridge (Alectoris graeca). In this study, we will focus on the chukar, which is the most beautiful of these partridges.

We must understand that modern taxonomy is based on evolutionary thinking. The Bible says that God divided the animals and plants into “kinds” (Ge. 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25). God built into the general kinds genetic diversity so that they can produce a wide variety of plant and animal life (e.g., the dozens of breeds of dogs, endless varieties of corn and wheat). Modern taxonomy focuses on minute differences, such as that between various types of partridges, whereas the Hebrew lumps all of them into one category (
qore). When Noah took the “kinds” of animals into the ark, he didn’t take several varieties of partridges and dogs and sheep but took one basic kind (Ge. 6:20; 7:14).

The Hebrew word for partridge,
qore, means “a caller.” It refers to the male’s intensive cry, especially in the mating season. In modern Israel, qore is only applied to the see-see partridge, but its meaning is appropriate to both types of partridges. The modern name chukar also comes from the male’s call, which is a loud repeated “chuck” or “chuker.”

Partridges are found throughout Israel, particularly in rocky mountainous slopes, valleys, and cultivated farm land, from the Negev in the south to Galilee and the Golan in the north. They thrive in a wide variety of altitudes, from 1,400 feet (430m)
below sea level (the Dead Sea) to 11,800 feet (3600m) above sea level.

The chukar is called
hajel in Arabic, which is Hoglah in Numbers 26:23, the name of one of Zelophehad’s daughters (“Partridge,” Jewish Virtual Library). It is also the name of the Judean town Bethhoglah (Joshua 15:6).

In the Talmud, the chukar is mentioned with the pheasant and the quail as kosher game birds, the chukar being the most desirable of the three for taste.

The chukar is a large bird, 13-14 inches (32-35 cm) long, and is beautifully colored. It has a light brown or brownish-gray back with gray and buff breast and belly. Its face and the front of its neck are white, with the white set apart by and highlighted by a black band (a
gorget). The gorget runs across its eyes so that it appears to be wearing a mask. Its side has a large rectangular white patch decorated with black stripes. Its legs and beak are bright orange, and its striking black eyes are surrounded with bright orange rings.

Partridges are “highly social birds” and in non-breeding season, they congregate in
coveys of 10 to 50 birds consisting of two or more broods (breeding pairs and their offspring).

They roost on the ground under shrubs or small trees such as the juniper or even on open ground. Often they will roost in a tight circle with their heads pointed outwards to conserve heat and to keep a look out for predators (
Grouse and Quails of North America).

They do not migrate and seldom move far from where they hatched.

When disturbed, they tend to run rather than fly, though they sometimes fly for short distances.

In breeding season, beginning in February to March, depending on the latitude, they separate into monogamous pairs and remain together until autumn.

The nests are shallow scraped-out areas on the ground, thinly lined with nesting material. Usually they are built under small shrubs or overhanging rocks and are well camouflaged.

The female lays 7-20 eggs, one per day, which are called a
clutch and which hatch together in 23-25 days. The female incubates the eggs, and the male stays nearby. He often abandons the brood after the chicks hatch and rejoins them when they congregate as coveys.

The young chukars can fly in about three weeks, but before that they run down slopes with their wings out. It is called “wing-assisted incline running,” and evolutionists have studied this, thinking it might be “a model to explain the evolution of avian flight” (“Chukar partridge,”
Wikipedia). By evolutionary thinking, little dinosaurs learned to fly by growing wings and running around with the wings spread. It is a ridiculous fairy tale. Wings and flying feathers are incredibly complex organs that are products of biological programming, and the ability to use them to fly is complex behavior of a mind-boggling level, and none of this came to be in a happenstance way by “natural selection” or “genetic mutations.”

Jeremiah 17:11 says, “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” This is explained by the fact that the partridge loses her eggs in a variety of ways. The tasty eggs are often taken for food by man and animals. Being on the ground, the eggs are often spoiled by inclement weather. Further, sometimes two females lay eggs in the same nest. The dominant one will drive the other away, but many of the eggs will not be properly incubated and will not hatch (“Partridge,” Jewish Virtual Library). The Bible is saying that as partridges tend to lose many of their eggs, so those who seek riches in unlawful, unrighteous ways lose their riches. Even if the riches do not “fly away” (Pr. 23:5), the rich man himself will “fly away” to his eternal destiny and leave all of his riches behind. We think of Christ’s parable of the rich man in Luke 12. He planned to build many barns for his great produce and then retire to “eat, drink, and be merry.” “
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Lu. 12:20). This is what the Word of God says to every rich man who “layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lu. 12:21).

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