Proverb for the Day 30:17 — Blame It On The Ravens!

The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.

Continuing the theme of being not satisfied with things in their lives (:15-17), this wise saying discusses an apparently grown child who treats his or her parents disrespectfully. The result is disastrous.
The verse discusses one who “mocks a father” and “scorns an aged mother.” Admittedly, no one suggests this father and mother were perfect. But, as parents in the Biblical world, we can assume they loved their child and could be counted on to generally do the right thing toward him or her.
While the word “aged” is not actually in the original text, the attitudes and actions of this person are strong terms – suggesting someone beyond childhood. Also, what happens to this dissatisfied, ungrateful, disrespectful son or daughter is extremely severe – seemingly not something that should happen to a mere child.
What takes place doesn’t come from the parents. God isn’t mentioned, but He might be understood as the force behind what’s described here. 
The one so disrespectful to his or her parents will have an “eye…pecked out by the ravens of the valley…eaten by the vultures.” The ancients would have known such a grisly scene only too well. 

While “ravens” and “vultures” are not precise translations of the original Hebrew words, they are unclean animals – those which eat dead flesh (carrion). When checking out an animal they think is dead and won’t fight back, they’ll often go after the sensitive eye first. If the carcass doesn’t respond to that – it’s dead…and dinner is served!

Our wise saying suggests that those to treat others, especially loved ones, the way this person did must be dead! Real people aren’t supposed to act this way.