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Animals in the Bible

Jennifer Brown leads us through Bible stories that demonstrate the need to care for and respect animals

Animals in the Bible CHRISTIAN CLIPARTS

Balaam’s donkey and the angel

Balaam’s donkey and the angel

PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS BIBLICAL ANIMAL is the serpent in the Garden of Eden that tempts Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You might be forgiven, therefore, for thinking animals don’t play a very positive role in scripture. But the truth is, animals appear throughout the Bible, in numerous ways. Like human beings, non-human animals are created beings and recipients of God’s blessing (Genesis 1 and Psalm 104). The Bible also shows us that, again like humans, animals are objects of salvation. This is evident in Psalm 36:6, and in the story of Jonah, where one reason God gives for sparing Nineveh is the many cattle residing there (Jonah 4:11). Noah is given a particularly clear mission – to save himself, his family, and representatives of every animal species (Genesis 7:1-4). Noah’s story goes on to reveal that non-human animals aren’t just objects of salvation; God also considers them to be worthy covenant partners (Genesis 9:8-17).

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