The Symbology of Eagles in the Bible
This is a collection of scriptures referring to eagles. As I think you’ll
see, very few instances of eagle symbology in the Bible specifically refer
to eagles as carrion (flesh-eating) birds.
Gathering God’s people to Himself:
Ye have seen what
I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,
and brought you unto myself.
Symbolizing swiftness in scripture:
shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth,
as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation
whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
2 Samuel 1:23
Saul and Jonathan
were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were
not divided: they were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
Behold, he shall
come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind:
his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe
unto us! for we are spoiled.
are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the
mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
Their horses also
are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening
wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen
shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle
that hasteth to eat.
my days are swifter than a post: they
flee away, they see no good. 26 They are passed
away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth
to the prey.
1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
The first was like a lion,
and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof
were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon
the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And the word
of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and
speak a parable unto the house of Israel; And say,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with
great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours,
came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:
He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land
of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.
Young being borne on wings of eagles:
As an eagle
stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her
wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth
is renewed like the eagle’s.
Flying toward heaven/nesting in heights:
Wilt thou set
thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves
wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest
in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill:
though thou shouldest make thy nest as high
as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and
make her nest on high?
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and
though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring
thee down, saith the LORD.
Feasting on carcasses:
dwelleth and abideth on the rock,
upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes
behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain
are, there is she.
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.
the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
LORD bringing destruction/judgment:
saith the LORD; Behold, He shall fly as an eagle,
and shall spread his wings over Moab. Kerioth is taken, and the
strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab
at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. And
Moab shall be destroyed from being a people,
because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.
he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread
his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the
mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. Concerning
Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil
tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot
be quiet. Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and
fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman
in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!
Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD
Set the trumpet to
thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against
the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant,
and trespassed against my law.
LORD renewing strength:
But they that
wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Woman taken to wilderness and saved from the dragon:
Who is the woman?
to the woman were given two wings of a great
eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place,
where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from
the face of the serpent.
Non-symbolic passages about eagles:
- Leviticus 11:13-20
- Unclean birds
- Deuteronomy 14:12-21
- Unclean birds
- Daniel 4:33 - Metaphor
- Micah 1:16 - Metaphor
Creatures with four faces:
As for the likeness
of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion,
on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side;
they four also had the face of an eagle.
And every one
had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second
face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and
the fourth the face of an eagle.
Beasts in heaven at the throne:
And the first
beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third
beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast
was like a flying eagle.