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The Biblical Meaning Of Seeing A Vulture

What is the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture?


For many, seeing a bird in the sky can be quite a gratifying feeling. Seeing something soaring so high into the sky gives us pause – what would it be like to be able to do the same?

Some birds, though, offer a different perspective.

For example, if you were to spot a vulture, it is only natural that you would feel trepidation.

Vultures are carrion, the kind of bird that feasts on the misery of others.

With that being said, the vulture is often seen as an animal to ward off. Not necessarily to fear but to be wary about.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that these birds have a biblical interpretation.

What, then, is the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture?

There are various insights and ideas out there, and few of them are positive.

Let us take a look at the various biblical interpretations of the presence of a vulture in our lives.

Understanding the biblical meaning of seeing a vultureWhat is the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture

The challenge for many is that the word vulture is actually a commonly used term for various birds that make up the raptor family.

Many birds of prey fall under the term vulture when translated from Hebrew, and thus it means that the term vulture is used in quite a few ways across biblical texts.

In the bible, a vulture can be anything from an actual turkey or carrion vulture to something more noble, such as a buzzard, eagle, or falcon.

There are various usages of the word vulture within the bible, with various meanings and implications attached.

The vulture, then, is generally seen as a bird that brings negative feelings and traits.

For instance, the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture can be related to two things: an omen of impending doom and the chance of death without honor.

Given that these birds are primarily scavengers, that should come as no surprise.

They do, though, have some positive remarks in the bible.

The challenge is that vulture can bring a duality – it can mean positivity and the blessing of God, but it can also mean death and decay.

The former comes from the fact that vultures are opportunistic, and the latter comes from the fact that vultures literally feed on the carcasses of the dead.

So, there are various insights and interpretations – and in some cases, the references are not even toward what would we typically deem a vulture.

This can make understanding the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture a little more challenging than it is with other species.

The positive and negative aspects of seeing a vulturewhat do vultures symbolize in the bible

So, in religious texts, birds are commonly used to try and portray various things.

Vultures are a bird that brings both positive and negative traits to the table.

For one, vultures can be seen as ominous and dangerous creatures, a symbol of death or impending pain.

They can, though, be seen in the opposite light – a symbol of God caring for His people. Confused?

The most common interpretation of the vulture in the bible, though, comes from Matthew 24:28.

In this section, the vulture is recognized as an agent of death.


Because they only visit areas where death has taken place.

That is why it is referenced that if vultures are circling above, it is a symbol of your impending death.

Given these birds feed on the dead, it is believed by many that the vulture can sense impending death.

If it believes that death will soon occur, it will be there to feast.

So, seeing a vulture above you is often a sign that you are in trouble, and you need to find a way out ASAP.

The lack of honor in deathwhat do vultures mean spiritually

We all want to die a death that means something and further signifies that our life was one worth living.

However, the vulture is seen as the personification of death without honor.

To be eaten alive by a vulture is seen as an unclean, sad way for a body to be treated after the individual has died.

This is brought up in Deuteronomy 28:26.

Also, it is noted that the Israelites would bury their dead to try and stop vultures from finding their bodies and thus feasting on the bodies of their loved ones.

The Israelites viewed the vulture as an enemy of cleanliness and honor and a creature to be avoided if they made their presence felt.

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The positive biblical meaning of seeing a vulturewhat does the vulture symbolize

However, not all sightings of a vulture are seen as negative.

In parts of the biblical text, it is noted that vultures play a role in keeping our environment a bit more sanitary.

They might not be very clean themselves, but the fact they eat up carcasses removes the sight and scent of death in the air.

They can eat rotten meat without illness, which means that other creatures are protected from eating this rot.

This is why, in some parts of the bible, the vulture is seen as a bird that takes on a heavy burden for the rest of society.

They deal with death, decay, and rot so that we do not have to.

They stand up to the risk of impending death and danger in a way that other avian species do not.

Seeing a vulture fly overhead, then, might also be a sign of impending opportunity.

They see an opportunity to feast, and thus they wait for the moment to get involved.

They are seen, then, as the ideal lesson of getting involved and taking action when the opportunity presents itself.

Just as a vulture will regret not swooping for feed when it becomes available, we as people might regret not taking a chance or opportunity when it arises.

When we show initiative in life, we are often rewarded. That is why the biblical meaning of seeing a vulture is not always seen in purely negative terms.

Interestingly, for all of the negative traits inherent in the vulture, they are seen by many as holy animals – in many cultures, they are seen not as enemies of the living but as creatures that embrace rebirth.

Using what has been lost to bring things anew. So, as you can see, there are various aspects to seeing a vulture – positive and negative.

What does a vulture symbolize in the Bible?

A symbol of sinseeing a vulture meaning

“‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard” (Leviticus 11:13)

When God brought His people out of Egypt through Moses, He gave them specific laws to help them maintain holiness and a relationship with Him.

Obeying these laws attracts and retains God’s presence. However, going against them would make them unclean and drive away God’s presence. 

One of the things that can pollute man and make them unholy or unclean are unclean animals.

These are animals labeled unfit for consumption. Eating them pollutes the eater, makes them sinful, and chases away God’s presence. 

Amongst the birds, the vulture is one of the unclean animals God told the Israelites to avoid in order not to stain their garments of holiness. Therefore, vultures represent sin. In fact, the Bible refers to them as an abomination.

Therefore, seeing a vulture in your dream or flying around you or perching on trees close to you is a sin that you have involved yourself in sin. 

Examine your life and ask for forgiveness to not send God’s presence away from you and make yourself vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. 

Seeing vultures could also mean you are contemplating committing sin. So, remove every evil thought that can lead to evil actions from your heart so you do not do what you will regret.

A symbol of spiritual deathWhat does a vulture symbolize in the Bible

As scavengers, vultures only gravitate toward dead things.

Whenever you see them, it means something is dead and decayed, just died or about to die.

They can sense death naturally and can wait patiently until death runs its course on a person or animal.

Death, in biblical terms, does not only mean physical death. For example, God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil lest they die.

They ate it but did not fall down and die. Instead, the lost God’s presence, which symbolizes a spiritual death. However, spiritual death facilitates physical death. 

How does it connect to vultures? Seeing vultures around does not necessarily mean that a carcass is around the corner. It could be a sign that a spiritual death has happened or is about to happen.

As a Christian, if you notice that you do not feel like praying, studying God’s Word, or do not enjoy attending church services anymore, spiritual death is already looming. 

Seeing a vulture could be a sign that the devil is patiently waiting for you to die completely spiritually so he can feast on your carcass. Therefore, you must tighten your belt and reactivate your spiritual life. 

A symbol of God’s judgmentspiritual meaning of vultures

“The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.” (Proverbs 30:17)

Those who transgress against God will surely face His wrath.

God judges using animals, including birds. For example, Proverbs says those who sin against their parents will have their eyes eaten by a vulture.

The eyes speak of vision and foresight. 

Only an obedient child gains favor from their parent.

The relationship between a child and their parents on earth reflects and impacts the relationship between that child and God.

A child that does not respect their earthly father cannot respect their heavenly Father, God.

Therefore, seeing a vulture, especially if you are a disrespectful child, means God will judge you for your wrong deeds, and His promise in Acts 2:17 will not be fulfilled.

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The biblical meaning of seeing a vulture can be quite a confusing thing to understand as there are so many sides to the story.

On one hand, they are dangerous scavengers and not to be trusted.

On another hand, they are vital signs of using what has decayed to fuel rebirth and rejuvenation.

So, there is an intriguing duality to the vulture.

Generally, though, they are seen as signs of impending risk and danger.

Like many aspects of the biblical text, though, the way vultures are presented can be diverse.

It simply depends on when you see a vulture and why.

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