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:
- Symbolizing swiftness in scripture:
Deuteronomy 28:49The LORD 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 1:23Saul 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.
Jeremiah 4:13Behold, 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.
Lamentations 4:19Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
Habakkuk 1:8Their 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.
Job 9:25-26Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. 26They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
1 Corinthians15:52 – harpazo
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 be changed.
- Prophetic Symbology:
Daniel 7:4The 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, andspeak 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:
Deuteronomy 32:11As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
- Renewed youth:
Psalms 103:5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- Flying toward heaven/nesting in heights:
Proverbs 23:5Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Jeremiah 49:16Thy terribleness 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.
Job 39:27Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
Obadiah 1:4Though 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:
Job 39:28-30She [eagle] 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.
Proverbs 30:17The 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.
Matthew 24:28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
- LORD bringing destruction/judgment:
For thus 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. AndMoab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.
Jeremiah 49:22-26Behold, 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 of hosts.
Hosea 8:1Set 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:
Isaiah 40:31But 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?
Revelation 12:14And 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:
Ezekiel 1:10As 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.
Ezekiel 10:14And 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:
Revelation 4:7And 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.