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Tuesday, May 14 2013

Ravens In History And Prophecy

Ravens are very similar to crows (they're both members of the genus Corvus), but ravens have a larger head and upper body. Due to their God-created purpose, carrion-eating ravens are classified as "unclean." Notice that "unclean" extends beyond dietary considerations - while humans were still vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30, 9:3), Noah was commanded to load "clean" (suitable for domestic or agricultural use e.g. sheep for wool) and "unclean" (e.g. scavengers and carrion eaters that kept nature "clean") creatures aboard the ark.

"7:1 And the LORD [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth." (Genesis 7:1-4 KJV)

The reason that the raven and the dove responded differently to what they found after the Flood was based primarily on that ravens will feed on almost anything, including carrion, while doves are "clean" creatures because they only eat "clean" food (see also How Did The Flood Happen?).


"8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more." (Genesis 8:1-12 KJV)

The dietary laws (which are based on health - "religion" only enters into it when people disobey the LORD's command to not eat things that damage their health), that already existed in the time of Noah (when no Israelites or Jews yet existed) were codified to Israel after the Exodus (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity).

"11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 11:14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 11:15 Every raven after his kind; 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 11:18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 11:19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat." (Leviticus 11:13-19 KJV)

The shiny black plumage of ravens was sometimes used as a metaphor for dark-haired humans (for the example below, see also Song Of Solomon: The King's Favorite).

"5:11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. 5:12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set." (Song of Solomon 5:11-12 KJV)

Ravens favour watered woodlands, such as "Raven Crag Glen" shown in the photograph. It was in exactly such a place that the LORD miraculously enabled ravens to bring food to Elijah (see also The Prophets: Elijah).

Raven Crag

"17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

17:2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

17:5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook." (1 Kings 17:1-6 KJV)

Ravens, like all creatures (except man; see The Only Place That Denies God's Existence), recognize the existence of their Creator, Who sustains them (see also What Makes Physical Life Possible?).

"38:41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat." (Job 38:41 KJV)

"147:9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." (Psalm 147:9 KJV)

The Messiah made direct reference to that natural reality - that humans alone have a difficulty in seeing.

"12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:22-32 KJV)

The natural God-created purpose of ravens, and other carrion eaters, will come to its greatest use at the time of the LORD's wrath upon those of the world who refuse to repent (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).

"30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it." (Proverbs 30:17 KJV)

"34:8 For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. 34:12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. 34:15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate." (Isaiah 34:8-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: Were birds and animals created from the same "Earth" as humans? Do animals have a "soul"?
See Adam and Adamah and What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?

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This Day In History, May 14

1264: King Henry III was captured by his brother-in-law Simon deMontfort at the Battle of Lewes in France.

1483: The Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l'Affable).

1509: The Battle of Agnadello in northern Italy. French forces defeated the Venetians.

1607: Jamestown (named after England's King James, after whom the "King James" Version of the Bible is also named), Virginia was settled by English colonists.

1610: King Henri IV (Henri de Navarre) of France was assassinated by a fanatical monk, Francois Ravillac.

1643: Louis XIV became king of France at age 4 after the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1796: English physician Edward Jenner performed the first vaccination against smallpox, on an 8 year old child.

1811: Paraguay declared independence from both Spain and Argentina.

1897: Guglielmo Marconi made the first communication by wireless telegraph (radio).

1936: British field marshal Edmund Allenby died at age 75. He was the last great leader of British cavalry, and directed the "Palestine" campaign during the First World War, after which the land of Israel (and most of the Middle East) was liberated from centuries of rule by the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

The British Mandate

1948: At 8 a.m. the British lowered the Union Jack in Jerusalem and completed their withdrawal from "Palestine"; by mid-afternoon, full scale fighting had erupted throughout the country; at 4:00 p.m. a broadcast was made of the National Council for The Jewish State proclaiming the State of Israel. David Ben Gurion read out The Scroll of Independence in the Tel Aviv Museum: "By virtue of our national and intrinsic right, and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, which shall be known as the State of Israel" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
Note: the present-day nation of "Israel" is actually the re-establishment of the southern kingdom of Judah, not all of Israel i.e. while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1955: The Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania signed the "Eastern European Mutual Assistance Treaty" ("The Warsaw Pact"). It collapsed along with communism a little over 30 years later.

1961: A bus carrying civil rights "Freedom Riders" was bombed and burned in Alabama.

1994: The "West Bank" town of Jericho saw its first full day of Palestinian self-rule.


Copyright © Wayne Blank