What is a Raven?
(black). Song 6:11. Under this term are evidently included the various birds of the crow family, some eight or more species of which are found in Palestine. The raven, like most of its congeners, feeds principally on carrion. It resembles our crow in size, shape, and color, and is ceremonially unclean. Lev 11:15. When about to feed upon a dead body, it is said to seize first upon the eyes. Hence the allusion, Prov 30:17, implying the exposure of the body in the open field, than which nothing was regarded as more disgraceful. See Burial. Ravens live in desolate regions, Isa 34:11, and it is only by restless flight over large areas that they are able to obtain even an uncertain living. Job 38:41; Ps 147:9; Luke 12:24. But Raven. (Corvus Corax. After Houghton.) they do not, as has been believed, turn their young from the nest before they are able to supply themselves with food. Whether the raven sent out of the ark by Noah ever returned to him is not agreed: according to the literal reading of the Hebrew, also of the Samaritan text, and the Chaldee, it did; but a different opinion is supported by the LXX., the Syriac, the Latin, and most of the Fathers. Gen 8:7. There is no reason for questioning the simple statements of 1 Kgs 17:4-7 concerning the miraculous feeding of Elijah at the brook Cherith by these birds.