Noah’s Raven

ravenAfter the big flood, Noah’s ark rested on the moutains of Ararat. Noah sent out a dove several times to determine if the waters had abated. I’m guessing Noah, Mrs. Noah and family were looking forward to leaving the ark asap. (Yes, I’m sure they were glad that they didn’t perish, but how long can you live in a stinky zoo? It’s got to get to you after a while.)

As I was re-reading the story in Genesis 8 the other day, I noticed that Noah also sent out a raven before he sent out the dove. Honestly, I had never even noticed the raven references. (I thought the raven was all about Edgar Allan Poe.)

Genesis 8:6-7

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

(dried up here is Strong’s H3001, to be ashamed, confused or disappointed, dried up)

So the raven in going back and forth in the background, while we read about the dove:

Genesis 8:8-9

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the ground; 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.

So the raven is flying back and forth, going out and coming back on its own, eating dead and decaying flesh of animals, and probably resting on the roof of the ark. Meanwhile, the dove is being sent out, and when she comes back, Noah carefully puts out his hand for her to land on, and pulls her back to the safety of the ark.

Noah waits seven more days, and sends the dove out again. She (we are told the dove a she) comes back with an olive leaf in her mouth.

v 12 He waited seven more days, and sent the dove out again, which returned not again unto him any more.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t say that he waters are dried up yet. Sure, the waters are receding, but it’s not totally dry yet. So I’m assuming the raven is still flying back and forth to the ark. The dove has moved on, but the raven keeps coming back and forth.

Verse 13 says: And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, on the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up (H2717 – parched, desolate) from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold the face of the ground was dry.

Verse 14: And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, the earth dried. (Finally, H3001 reappears. This, I’m guessing, is when the raven finally leaves.)

Verse 15: And God spoke to Noah saying, “Go forth from the ark.”

So this leaves me more questions than answers. We know ravens eat dead meat, doves eat seeds and leaves. Ravens are dark, doves are usually light. The Holy Spirit is sometimes compared to a dove; a dove represents peace.

Maybe the raven could have come to Noah, and been taken into the ark, but instead decided to do his own thing, and land on the roof? Maybe the raven could have had a relationship with Noah, but didn’t want to be bothered and wanted to be independent?

The dove didn’t come back after the surface of the ground was dry, while the raven hung around until the earth was very dry.

What does all this mean? I don’t know. Any ideas?




4 thoughts on “Noah’s Raven

    1. Cocoabean, that is one option I had not thought of! I “assumed” the dove found a nicer place to live and that’s why she didn’t come back. You never know with ravens…..


  1. Maybe the answer relies on the fact, that in God’s Providence of restoration the number 3 is quite meaningful…
    Actually, in the whole Universe the number 3 has a meaningful part…
    For example, everything grows in three stages: formation, growing, completion…


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