God hates animals
Animals in the Bible
Numerous animals populate the Bible, because humans and animals lived in a community of fate. In the creation account, God creates the land animals one day after the marine animals and on the same day man. He immediately sets this over all animals. "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds under the sky and over all beasts that crawl on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The Bible interprets this rulership as a great responsibility towards animals.
Highest appreciation of the animals
The Bible holds most animals in the highest esteem. After all, they are the basis of life for the shepherds and farmers, but they are also the most valuable property that must also be offered as a burnt offering. Because they are so valuable, animals may even be fetched from the well on the Sabbath (Lk 14.5), although working is prohibited. And the donkey must not be taken away from the enemy, the enemy's donkey must even be helped in emergency situations. The working cattle should benefit from part of the income from their labor; therefore one should not shut up his mouth while threshing (Deuteronomy 25: 4). The animals were also valuable as a source of food. Jesus lives with the fishermen and encourages them to cast the net ... and they "couldn't pull it anymore because of the multitude of fish" (John 21: 6).
Clean and unclean animals
The Bible knows 130 animal species. However, they are not divided according to today's zoological knowledge, but into four groups: into aquatic animals and winged animals, into animals of the land and into crawling animals and small animals. The most important distinction, however, is that between clean and unclean animals. Only the pure animals were allowed to be eaten or sacrificed. Some pets were considered clean like sheep, goats, and cattle because they are ruminants and have split claws. Fish with their scales could also be eaten. Camels, rabbits and pigs were considered unclean and therefore inedible, even for the sacrifice that had to be made to God.
Animals threaten people in the Bible
The animals not only live with people, they also threaten him. So God sent ten plagues to the Egyptians, four of which were animal plagues, namely frogs, mosquitos, biting flies and grasshoppers. Predators always threatened the wandering nomads, but also the farmers in their fields. Apparently there were dangerous lions. Thus the 1st book of kings reports about the king of Assyria, who settled his people in Samaria: "But when they began to dwell there and did not fear the Lord, the Lord sent lions among them, and they killed them" (2nd Kings 17.25).
Symbolic meaning of animals
Very often animals have a symbolic meaning in the Bible. A well-known example are the sheep in Psalm 23, which the good shepherd protects and tends. Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). Jesus also compares humans and animals and praises the carefree birds that God provides with food (Mt 6:26). And Jesus speaks in pictures of animals about how people should behave: “See, I am sending you like sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as snakes and without guile as doves ”(Mt 10:16). The kingdom of the eagerly awaited Messiah, which the prophet Isaiah depicts, is about future animal peace: “Wolf and lamb are to graze together; the lion will eat straw like the ox, but the serpent must eat earth ”(Isaiah 65:25).
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