Beware of Vultures

Matthew 24:28, Wherever the carcass is. (Gr. carcass literally, “dead body”) Since eagles feed on live prey, not carrion, some Bible commentators take the reference to eagles to mean any scavenger bird such as a vulture, which can resemble vultures.

In Yeshua’s Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:3–9), the birds that came and gathered up the seed that was sown by the wayside metaphorical represent the wicked one (Satan) who steals away the good seed (verse 19). One possible meaning of this enigmatic saying of Yeshua is that as vultures hover over a dead body hoping for a meal, so demonic spirits will hover over the body of Yeshua (i.e. the spiritual body of believers—the congregation of the saints) just before his return waiting to pick off those who are spiritually weak or dead.

The righteous being picked off by the birds of prey hardly seems like an apt metaphor for the resurrection of the righteous, since in the same chapter we learn that the angels will gather in the elect (verse 31), and, as we have already noted, elsewhere Yeshua uses the birds of prey to represent the wicked one (elsewhere called “the prince of the power of the air,” Eph 2:2).

Furthermore, Yeshua gives this illustration just after discussing the trials and spiritual delusion of the great tribulation period prior to his second coming when many people will come under the spiritual deception of false prophets and false messiahs (verses 15–27).