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Why Did Noah Send out a Raven?

R. W. L. Moberly
Vetus Testamentum
Vol. 50, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 2000), pp. 345-356
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1585294
Page Count: 12
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Why Did Noah Send out a Raven?
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Abstract

A survey of ancient and modern interpretations of Genesis viii 7 reveals the consistent assumption that the raven must perform the same function as the dove, which makes the presence of the raven puzzling--why two birds? Traditional commentators explain the raven in symbolic and moralizing terms, while modern commentators generally see it as a traditio-historical fragment. It is here proposed that the raven has a different task from that of the dove, in that its flying to and fro above the waters is a symbolic replication of God's action through the ruaḥ (Genesis viii 1) whereby the waters recede. This is related to the concept of imitatio Dei in Priestly thought.

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