color, and were especially pleased with black hair; so we read in the Song of Solomon,
where one who is beautiful is described, "His locks are bushy, and black as a raven."
It is said that the raven always attacks the eye of an animal first; seeming to prefer
that to every other part. This may explain one of the verses in Proverbs, "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." It has been the custom, in many
countries, to hang those who have been guilty of great crimes on a tree or on a
gallows in the open air; and there to leave the body for the birds to peck at and devour
if they chose. I suppose this verse means that stubborn and disobedient children, or
those who are not kind and respectful to their parents, must expect to come to some
sad end; and they very often do so.
I have heard that the raven drives out its young ones very early from the nest, almost
before they are able to seek their food. This may explain a verse in the Psalms, "The
Lord giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry;" and another in
Job, "Who provideth for the raven his food ? when his young ones cry unto God,
"Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; they have neither store-house nor
barn; and God feedeth them." He was speaking to his disciples, and it was as much as
to say, "If God takes care of the ravens, he will certainly take care of you; so you need
not be anxious or afraid.
Have you read in the Bible how a good prophet's life was once saved by ravens? The
people who were living then were very wicked, and would have been glad to kill the
prophet Elijah; so God told him to go into the wilderness and live there alone by the
side of a small brook. Elijah went to the brook, and there was water enough for him to
drink, of course, but no food to keep him from starving. You may be sure that God did
not forget his servant; but you would hardly believe, if it was not in the Bible, that he
would send the ravens to carry food to him. Yet so it was: "the ravens brought him
bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of
the brook." It is supposed that he was fed in this way for as much as a year. It was a
long time to stay there by himself; but I do not think he was lonely or afraid, for he
loved God, and felt sure that He was always near him, even in the wilderness.