Luke 12:24

24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

Luke 12:24 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 12:24

Consider the ravens
According to the Jews F11 there are three sorts of ravens, the black raven, the raven of the valley, which is said to be white, and the raven whose head is like a dove. In Matthew the "fowls of the air" in general are mentioned, as they are here in the Cambridge copy of Beza's; but in others, "the ravens" in particular, they being fowls of very little worth, and disregarded by men, and odious to them, as well as unclean by the law; and yet these are taken care of by God. The Arabic version reads, "the young ravens"; and these are which are said to cry unto God, who provides food for them, and gives it to them, ( Job 38:41 ) ( Psalms 147:9 )

for they neither sow nor reap, which neither have storehouse nor
and yet they are provided for, and therefore, why should men, and especially God's own people, distrust his providence over them, when they both sow and reap, have the seedtime, and harvest in the appointed seasons: they cast their seed into the earth, and it springs up and brings forth much fruit, which they reap when ripe, and gather into their barns and storehouses, from whence they are supplied till another season returns; wherefore they have no reason to distress themselves, seeing, though this is not the case of ravens, yet

God feedeth them;
their young ones, as the above places show. Jerom says F12, that it is affirmed by some philosophers, that they live upon dew. The Jews F13 have a notion, that the old ravens being cruel to their young, and hating them, the Lord has pity on them, and prepares flies, or worms for them, which arise out of their dung, and enter into their mouths, and they them. One of their commentators says F14, when the young ones are hatched they are white, and the old ones leave them, not taking them for their own, and therefore bring them no food, and then they cry to God; and this is mentioned by some Christian writers, but not sufficiently confirmed: and another of them observes F15, that the philosophers of the Gentiles say, that the ravens leave their young as soon as they are hatched; but what Aristotle F16, Pliny F17, and Aelianus F18 affirm of these creatures is, that as soon as they are able to fly they turn them out of their nests, and even drive them out of the country where they are; when, as it is said in Job, "they wander for lack of meat, and cry unto God, who gives it to them": and since this is the case, and the providence of God is so much concerned for such worthless creatures, the people of God, and disciples of Christ, ought by no means to distrust it: for as it follows,

how much more are ye better than the fowls:
or "than these", as the Vulgate Latin version reads; that is than these ravens, or any other fowls whatever; (See Gill on Matthew 6:26).


F11 T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 63. 1.
F12 Comment. in Job xxxviii. 41. & in Psal. cxlvii. 9.
F13 Jarchi in Job xxxviii. 41. & in Psal. cxlvii. 9. & Kimchi in lb.
F14 Kimchi ib. Vid. T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 49. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
F15 Aben Ezra in Psal. cxivii. 9.
F16 Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 31.
F17 Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 12.
F18 De Animal. Natura, l. 2. c. 49.

Luke 12:24 In-Context

22 He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.
23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.