Since I was born again and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I have focused on studying the Bible to learn more about the kingdom of God. From Genesis to Revelations, I have read several Bible verses that have uncovered several mysteries. As a bird enthusiast, I have been keenly identifying verses about birds intending to discover their symbolism. I have particularly been interested in ravens, which have been mentioned on several key occasions in the Bible. I have been asking myself, what do ravens symbolize in the Bible?
Ravens have been used to symbolize several things in the Bible, for example, the animal kingdom and as messengers, among others. In Genesis 8:6-7 Noah sends a raven out of the ark to bring back the sign on whether the waters had gone down. Immediately, the rain stopped beating during the wrath of floods that God used to punish humankind. The raven is said to have gone but did not return, instead focusing on eating the carcases on the ground. Noah had to shift to a dove that went outside and ensured the correct message was delivered. The raven has therefore been used as a symbol of a poor messenger who gets distracted by his pleasures and fails to deliver the message they have been sent for.
I welcome you to this article as we discuss the symbolism of ravens in the Bible. We will also discuss the different Bible verses where ravens have been mentioned in the Bible. We will further learn about the symbolism of dreaming about a raven and whether they are a sign of bad luck in the Bible. Please read this article to the end to learn more about ravens and their symbolism.
Where in the Bible does it talk about ravens?
In Genesis 8, the raven gets its first mention in the Bible. This is when God punished the world with floods and wiped out humanity save for Noah’s family and a pair of each creature. Since Noah wanted to know whether the waters had subsided, he sent a raven that flew to and from the Earth until the water dried up. It never went back to deliver the message. Alternatively, Noah had to use a dove that delivered the correct messages until it was time to come out of the ark.
Leviticus 11 also mentions the ravens as among the animals God considered unclean for humans to consume. Along with other scavengers like vultures, the ravens and their kind have been rated unfit. They should, therefore, not be used as food under any circumstances.
In 1 Kings 17, Prophet Elijah was commanded by God to go and hide on the Eastern side of River Jordan as the famine was just about to strike the land. God had a plan on how He would feed Elijah and used to send ravens to take him bread and meat every day in the mornings and the evenings. The ravens here have been depicted as delivering God’s message to one of His most respected prophets.
Proverbs 30:17 warns children to obey their parents because those who use their eyes to mock their parents will have them plucked out by the ravens and eaten by vultures. The ravens have been mentioned as being scavengers capable of destroying disobedient people.
Song of Solomon 5:11 talks of King Solomon’s locks as black as a raven. This verse reveals to us the dominant colour of ravens as depicted in the Bible, black.
Luke 12:24 also talks about ravens. In this verse, Jesus assures his followers of their importance in the kingdom of God and why it is important to stop worrying about tomorrow. He compared them to ravens fed daily despite not working and having granaries to keep food. In the same way, he wanted them to trust in God to always provide for their needs.
What is the significance meaning of ravens in the Bible?
Ravens have been given a few significant meanings and portrayed uniquely in some verses of the Bible. In Luke 12:24, ravens have been used to mean all the birds and other animals. In this verse, Jesus tries to show his followers how much more important they are in the eyes of God than the birds and other animals that enjoy His divine providence daily. He uses ravens to mean all the other creatures that were not made in the likeness of God, like human beings.
In 1 Kings 17, they have been used to show how mysterious God can work with His creatures to the point of using ravens to deliver food to Prophet Elijah. Some people have assumed the ravens here to mean that God has control over all His creation and that everything He created bears utter obedience to Him. All His creations were made to serve Him without resistance.
In Proverbs 30:17, ravens have been used to mean destruction. In verse, mockery of parents using our eyes has been forbidden with the raven that plucks out the eyes is used to mean that destruction can be caused to one due to disrespect to parents.
Seven symbolic meanings of ravens in the Bible
Ravens have been used as a symbol of a poor messenger in Genesis 8:6-7. This happens during the flood God sent to punish humankind when sin had become rampant. Since God saw one righteous man and his family, He saved them by placing them in an ark. After 40 days and forty nights of rain, Noah opens the windows of the ark and sends out a raven to check the conditions of the land and to discover whether it has dried.
However, the bird is said to have hovered over to and from the Earth. The bird is further known to be a feeder of carcasses and is believed to have concentrated on feeding itself instead of bringing back the signs of the condition of the land. Some Christians have used the raven as a symbol of poor messengers who forget the message they have been sent for. They end up concentrating on their businesses.
In Leviticus 11, the raven is used as a symbol of some of the unclean animals. This was when God gave Moses and his brother Aaron the list of animals fit for human consumption. The ravens are mentioned as part of the forbidden birds that God forbids humans from eating. The raven is mentioned with its kind and therefore used as one of the symbols of the unclean birds that were not supposed to be eaten. This is also due to the habit of the birds feeding on carcasses and unclean food. They are, therefore, not meant to be consumed.
In Job 38:41, the ravens have been used as the symbol of the providence of God to all His creation. In the verse, God asks for the one who provides for the ravens and their young ones food when in need. The ravens have been used to symbolize how God always takes good care of everything He created by ensuring that each one of them does not lack something to feed on for the day.
In Song of Solomon, 5:11, ravens have been used to symbolize the colour of King Solomon’s hair. In the verse, his head is described as the finest gold with wavy locks and hair as black as a raven. His hair is therefore compared to the black colour of the ravens.
In 1 Kings 17, the ravens are used as a symbol of God’s mysterious ways of working. In this verse, God commanded Elijah to go and hide after predicting drought over the land of Israel. During this time, God commanded ravens to be responsible for feeding His mighty prophet, who was always ready to tackle the kings of Israel while delivering the crucial messages of God.
These ravens carried meat and bread to Elijah from his hideout in brook Cherith. The ravens obey their instructions and deliver food to Elijah until God decides to send him elsewhere. They have therefore been used to show how much control God bears over His creation and how He can even command the birds to serve Him.
In Luke 12:24, the ravens have also been used to symbolise how important human beings are rated in the eyes of God. In the verse, Jesus talks about the ravens God provides for daily despite them not working. Jesus tells his followers to trust in God’s divine providence, who loves us more than He does for the ravens. Since He created us in His image and likeness, He loves and values us more than the birds. Therefore, if He provides these ravens daily, He will do the same for us humans.
In Isaiah 34:11, the raven is mentioned alongside the owl as a bird dwelling in a place of emptiness. Some Christians have translated this to symbolize a place of death and bad luck. The verse describes the place as being a place of confusion and perhaps a place full of curses. Therefore, the raven is assumed to symbolize confusion, emptiness, curses and even death. Some have also equated this to mean that the birds symbolize bad luck and evil.
These are some of the symbolisms of the ravens that some Christians and Biblical scholars have brought forward.
What does it mean when you see ravens in your dream?
Ravens are believed to be spiritual birds that could be bearing a special message from the spiritual world. If you dream about them, a special message could be coming. These translations are just based on the beliefs of specific people and have not been proven factually true.
Some believe that dreaming that ravens circling above your head could signify an incoming catastrophe. According to them, the ravens could signal that some catastrophe is bound to happen. This could include the death of a loved one, losing your finances, or just experiencing a heart-breaking moment. You should prepare for the bad news if you have an identical dream.
Dreaming about a raven could be a good dream as it could be bearing warnings to you about your spiritual life. According to them, the raven could be sent from the spiritual world to warn you against consuming false spiritual teachings from your enemies. When you dream about ravens, you should analyse your spiritual life and check whether you consume harmful spiritual content.
Some believe that dreaming about a raven trying to escape from a trap of 2 stones could mean that you are trying to escape from something that could translate to a difficult situation. It could be a job, a relationship or even a place that no longer favours you. The raven could represent you trying to escape these tough situations while trying to find better ones.
Dreaming about a white raven is also considered a good dream by some people as they believe a message about good tidings could be on the way. The bird could bring you a message of restoration that you could be experiencing in your life. The white raven could be informing you that your life will change in many ways, with blessings on your way.
These are just some of the interpretations of different dreams about ravens by different people. Some people believe that dreams about white ravens are signs of good omen and could signify blessings coming your way. Others believe that dreams about black ravens are signs of a bad omen and evil coming your way. Despite the different interpretations, you should check your spiritual life to ensure every aspect of your life moves smoothly.
What do the colors of ravens mean in the Bible?
The Bible has only mentioned the colour of ravens as black in Song of Solomon 5:11. In the verse, the hair of King Solomon is said to be as black as the ravens. Other verses have yet to be specific about the colour of the birds, and neither have they tried to give the meanings of the colour. Some people believe that Noah’s raven from the ark in Genesis 8 was white. However, the scripture has not been specific about the colour of the raven that was sent out of the ark.
How are ravens used in the Old Testament?
Genesis 8 gives us the first portrayal of the ravens in the Bible when Noah sends one over the land to signal how the place is. The raven here has been used as a crucial messenger in determining the state of the land, especially after the floods that God unleashed on the Earth. When the raven fails to return, Noah uses a dove that finally returns with the message that the land has started growing vegetation again.
In 1 Kings 17, the ravens are also portrayed as messengers and servants of God. As Prophet Elijah is forced into exile East of River Jordan, God uses ravens to deliver food to his prophet. The Ravens are the birds God sent to deliver bread and meat to Elijah until He changed his mission.
Proverbs 30:17 uses the ravens to show God’s wrath for those who disobey and mock their parents. The verse talks about the ravens plucking off the eyes of those who use them to mock their parents warning them that God does not take such behaviour lightly.
In Leviticus 11, the raven has been used as an abominable animal that God forbade humans from eating. The raven is mentioned alongside other birds as an unclean animal that humans should desist from consuming.
In Song of Solomon 5:11, the raven reveals the shade of the colour of King Solomon’s hair. According to the verse, his locks are as black as a raven. From this verse, we can conclude that King Solomon’s hair was as black as the raven’s feathers.
In Job 38:41, the raven is used to show that God provides for all His creation and offspring. He ensures that His creations are well taken care of daily since He is the divine provider.
These are six ways that the raven has been used in the Old Testament.
Are ravens a symbol of evil and bad luck in the Bible?
Ravens have not been depicted as symbols of evil and bad luck in the Bible. They have been used as different kinds of symbols and not necessarily as symbols of evil and bad luck. They have been used as messengers in Genesis 8 and 1 Kings 17. In Job 38, it has been used as a symbol of God’s providence. However, in Proverbs 30, the raven has been used to symbolize God’s wrath, but only when one mocks their parents. This is the only association some people believe the raven has with evil in the Bible.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.