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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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The raven is very generally confounded with the carrion crow, but though very similar is quite distinct from it. Its size is larger, its black color more iridescent; it is gifted with greater sagacity; is naturally observant and solitary, while the crow is gregarious in its habits; lives in pairs; has a most acute scent; and flies to a great height.

Whether the raven of Palestine is the common species, or the Corvus Montanus of Temminck, is not quite determined; for there is of the ravens, or greater form of crows, a smaller group including two or three others, all similar in manners, and unlike the carrion crows, which are gregarious, and seemingly identical in both hemispheres. Sometimes a pair of ravens will descend without fear among a flight of crows, take possession of the carrion that may have attracted them, and keep the crows at a distance till they themselves are gorged. The habits of the whole genus render it unclean in the Hebrew law; and the malignant, ominous expression of the raven, together with the color of its plumage, powers of voice, and solitary habits, are the causes of that universal and often superstitious attention with which mankind have ever regarded it. This bird is the first mentioned in the Bible, as being sent forth by Noah out of the ark on the subsiding of the waters; and in , ravens bring flesh and bread at morning and eve to the prophet Elijah.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Raven'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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