Birds of the Bible – Raven

According to Thayer’s Birding Software, the Common Raven in the U.S. is 24 inches long (from beak to tail), with about a four foot wingspan, has “entirely black plumage, a large, heavy bill, wedge-shaped tail, long shaggy feathers on chin and throat, larger than crows and has relatively short legs.” It resides more out west than here in the east, though they show up in some areas in the east. You might find them in the desert, forest, canyons, foothills, mountains, and other places. “They are “often seen along highways eating road kill.” They are in the same family as Crows, Jays and Magpies.

Two Ravens mentioned in Israel: are the Brown-necked Raven

Brown-necked Raven, Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel

Raven Master

Raven Master

and Common Raven.

Bible Facts about the Raven

They were on the ark and the first to leave. (Gen 8:7)

Noah opened the window of the ark and let a raven fly out, for the purpose of ascertaining the drying up of the waters. The raven went out and returned until the earth was dry, but without being taken back into the ark” (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Two thoughts I have. The raven was the first bird to see the new world after the flood and if the raven had re-entered the ark, he would have corrupted it, since he was “unclean.”

Ravens are considered an unclean bird. They eat mostly carrion. (Lev 11:13-15)

Ravens fed Elijah. (I Kings 17:4-6)

“Elijah was commanded to hide himself. If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to go: when we cannot be useful, we must be patient; and when we cannot work for God, we must sit still quietly for him. The ravens were appointed to bring him meat, and did so. Let those who have but from hand to mouth, learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day, in the day. God could have sent angels to minister to him; but he chose to show that he can serve his own purposes by the meanest creatures, as effectually as by the mightiest.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

“and these provisions were ready prepared, the bread made and baked, and the flesh boiled, broiled, or roasted;” (John Gill’s Exposition of the OT)

The hair was “black as a raven.” (Song of Solomon 5:11)

Who provides food for the raven, When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:41)

“Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry.” (Psa 147:7-9)

They are mentioned in Luke 12:24 as not sowing or reaping, nor gathering and that God feeds them.

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?”

A hymn that mentions Ravens:

Sometimes a Light Surprises
It can bring with it nothing,
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing
Will clothe His people too:
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.

World List of Ravens:
Little Raven, Relict Raven, Forest Raven, Chihuahuan Raven, Brown-necked Raven, Common Raven, Fan-tailed Raven, White-necked Raven, Thick-billed Raven

Other interesting facts:

Ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds.

They have a Raven Master. “It’s said that when the ravens leave the Tower, the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will crumble with it.” To see the article: Tower of London

A Raven Defending His Nest


4 thoughts on “Birds of the Bible – Raven

  1. Wow. Thank you for your kind and inspiring information on God’s word and ravens. Today, while driving, I was inquiring with the Lord for assurance about HIS providing for me during my soon approaching senior years. Little did I realize, until reading your blog here, His answer came immediately in the form of a very large low-flying bird that soared directly over the front window shield of my car. Acting as if he was about to either attack or land, it’s close proximity, large size, and squawking sound startled my attention. An on-looker sitting on the curb simply laughed at what occurred. God is so fun and amaZing. Thank you for sharing your gift of encouragement.


    • Isn’t just like the Lord to encourage us when we need it. Sunday morning I was grumping about getting up for church and prayed and asked Him to help me get over that mood. About 2 minutes later, Dan said, “look at these birds at the feeder. What are they. Never seen them before.”
      That did it! I popped up eager to see the birds. The rest of the day went fantastic.


  2. just to let you know…
    good stuff
    i’m completely addicted to nature
    and how God’s revealed through creation
    i just happened on this sight and wanted to let you know
    it’s all an encouragement to me
    in Christ,


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