Animals and their importance in the Bible

Seminar Paper 2007 19 Pages

American Studies - Miscellaneous


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. God the Creator
2.1 God Created Animals and Man
2.2 The Fall of Man
2.3 God’s Covenant with Noah

3. Animals in the Bible
3.1 Animals and God
3.1.1 Talking Animals in the Bible The Serpent in the Garden of Eden The Balaam’s Ass
3.2 Animals in Heaven
3.3 Animals Are Important to God
3.4 Animals and Man
3.4.1 The Treatment of Animals What God Says About the Treatment of Animals The Treatment of God’s Animals Today Animals Are Sentient Beings

4. Conclusion




1. Introduction

“How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” (Jeremiah 12:4)

God is the creator of everything. He breathed life into animals and man, and made them living souls. “The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” (Psalm 145:9) God created man and animals according to His infinite love and wisdom.

“O Lord, how many are Your works! You made them all in wisdom. The earth is full of what You have made. There is the wide sea full of both large and small animals. There are too many for us to number.”

(Psalm 104:24-25)

God values everything He created, including animals, and He wants only the best for them.

2. God the Creator

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and He was pleased with all He made. But He wanted more. He wanted relationship and fellowship. His desire to pour out, and receive love in return remained unfulfilled. So He decided to create animals and man.

God created animals before he created man, and placed them in the perfect serenity that was then earth. He has breathed the same breath of life into all living beings from the beginning of time through today.

2.1 God Created Animals and Man

“Let the waters be full of living things. Let birds fly above the earth in the open space of the heavens. God made the big animals that live in the sea and every living thing that moves through the waters by its kind, and every winged bird after its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25)

“God wanted good to come to them, saying, ‘Give birth to many. Grow in number. Fill the waters in the seas. Let birds grow in number on the earth’… Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring into being living things after their kind: Cattle and things that move upon the ground, and wild animals of the earth after their kind.’ And it was so. Then God made the wild animals of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that moves upon the ground after its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:20-22)

God was pleased with His animal creation. I believe God delighted in seeing His creation enjoying the life that He gave them.

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man like Us and let him be head over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every thing that moves on the ground.’ And God made man in His own likeness. In the likeness of God He made him. He made both male and female. And God wanted good to come to them, saying, ‘Give birth to many. Grow in number. Fill the earth and rule over it. Rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ (Genesis 1:26-28)

After God created animals, He created man.

Adam, the first man, was formed by God's hands from the clay of the earth “in God's own image,” and was given the directive to care for the earth and her inhabitants.

God brought every one of His animals to Adam to see what he would call them. He declared His ownership over animals when He said: “For every animal among the trees is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10-11)

He then entrusted them into Adam’s care, and He commanded both man and animals to be fruitful and multiply.

Our generous and caring God then decided that it was not good for man to be alone and he created a being from Adam's rib to be a help meet for him.

2.2 The Fall of Man

Now at this time there was no death, pain or violence; there was only life, joy, peace and blessings. God provided man and animals a perfect environment within which to live, where all their needs were met. God’s plan was to pour out His goodness on them forever. But something went wrong. Eve and Adam disobeyed God’s command and as a result, the entire creation fell and became subjected to death and destruction.

2.3 God’s Covenant with Noah

“Then God told Noah and his sons, ‘I am making a covenant with you and your descendants, and with the animals you brought with you — all these birds and livestock and wild animals. I solemnly promise never to send another flood to kill all living creatures and destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures.’” (Genesis 9:8-12)

Later God made a decision. He made a covenant with man and animals.

3. Animals in the Bible

“God created all the animals.” (Psalm 104)

“Then God commanded, ‘Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life; domestic and wild, large and small,’ and it was done. So God made them all, and He was pleased with what He saw.” (Genesis 1:24, 25)

3.1 Animals and God

“All animals belong to God.” (Psalm 24:1)

“All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are Mine and all living things in the fields.”
(Psalm 50:10, 11)

“God cares for the animals.” (1 John 4:16)

“Look at the birds flying around . . . your Father in Heaven takes care of them.” (Matthew 6:26)

“He gives animals their food and feeds the young ravens when they call.” (Psalm 147:9)

The Bible describes the Angels around God's throne as having features and characteristics like those of a lion, a bull and an eagle (Ezekiel 1). God Himself is likened in Scripture to a lion, a leopard, a bear (Hosea 13:7, 8), and to an eagle (Deuteronomy 32:11).

Jesus is described as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus identified Himself with all the innocent animals which had been sacrificed for the sins of mankind and declared that His was the final sacrifice. Jesus abolished animal sacrifices and so Christianity has always rejected the need for further bloodshed of animals (Hebrews 9:12, 26).

For the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins. For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, He said to God:

“You do not want sacrifices and offerings, but You have prepared a body for Me. You are not pleased with animals burnt whole on the altar or with sacrifices to take away sins. Then I said, ‘Here I am to do Your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:4-7)

The Scriptures reveal God's anger against man's sinfulness. God condemned the type of wholesale slaughter of animals in Judaism as a cover-up for their disobedience
(Psalm 40:6-10).



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University of Constance – Universität Konstanz
Animals Bible Another Anthropology Visual Representations



Title: Animals and their importance in the Bible