Metaphysical meaning of ravens (mbd)
In the Ferrar Fenton translation of the Bible the word "Arabs" is used in I Kings 17:4-6, instead of "ravens." The root from which this word is drawn is vocalized "arab." It relates to the natural, outer, or physical world. Thus we have Arbi, of the outer, westerner, from the region of darkness, an Arab; and Ereb, deprived of light, black, voracious appetites, a raven. The words in the plural as written in the original Hebrew, without vowel or vocalization points, are identical in appearance.
It is evident that in the story of I Kings 17:1-6 we can choose between ravens or Arabs. The reasoning intellect would be better satisfied with Arabs as the most logical. Whether ravens or Arabs, however, the spiritual interpretation would be the same, since both words rest on the same elements.
The ravens, or Arabs, here stand for the natural forces of the outer man, which apart from a consciousness of Spirit do not give lasting sustenance. Elijah had to move his headquarters because the brook, the very stream of life, eventually dried up. The bread and oil that became inexhaustible refer to the light and substance of Spirit.