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Animal Bible Safari


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  • Studied numerous people in the bible…
  • This was the center of the known world—so animals known to bible writers were from this area
    note that the world was still coming out of the last ice age—the area was cooler and more temperate and therefore wildlife was more abundant and diverse—desertification is more evident today; some animals such as lion once lived in holy land but are now extirpated
  • Explains why Garden of Eden is now likely desert-the glaciers were still receding
  • When you first think of animals in the bible you naturally think of Noahs Ark.
    Remains of Noah’s Ark on Mt Ararat
    Geologic evidence of the flood dates Noahs Ark to 5600 BC
  • how we think of animals today isn’t necessary the same
  • p1013
    first spoken of in the record of the flood (Genesis 8:8-12);
    its gentleness and innocence made it the type of trust and love, and, most naturally, its name was one of the most familiar terms of endearment. Jesus spoke of the dove as a symbol of simplicity; the sum of its perfections made it a fitting emblem for the Holy Spirit.
    Ever since the dove returned to Noah's ark carrying the olive branch, it has been considered the messenger of peace in many cultures (Gen 8). the ark stands for the church, Noah represents the Christian, and the dove symbolizes Christ bringing peace (the olive branch) to Christians. This peace is especially that peace which exists between God and man after a period of chastisement.
    The number and appearance of doves in images gives a hint to their meaning. 2 doves stand for love. 7 doves represent the 7 spirits of God or the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:1-2). 7 doves surrounded by 7 flames are an image of Confirmation. 12 doves are the 12 apostles or the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
  • p308
    Scorpion - 1 Kings 12:11, 14; prefigures scourging of Christ; symbol of evil but sting in Revelation is an instrument of divine retribution
    Luke 10:19 (I have given you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome the power of the enemy…); Revelation 9:3, 5, 10
    Because it strikes without warning, delivering a painful venomous sting from its hiding place, the scorpion is an emblem of treachery, hatred, envy, danger, pain, death, wickedness, and fear. Its venom likens it to those who cause harm with their tongues such as traitors, slanderers, heretics, false teachers, impostors, and Satan. In Christian art, the scorpion especially represents heresy and Judas, the betrayer of Christ. Its image may be found on the shields and banners of Roman soldiers in pictures of the Crucifixion.
  • P144; Moses in the Book of Numbers. (Numbers 21:6); people who were bitten and looked upon it were healed
  • This prefigures Christ “becoming sin”
  • Does anyone know why I put an ambulance in the next slide?
  • Anyone recognize this as a symbol of temptation---House of Slytherin
  • wild bull/ox called the auroch?
  • p601OT –wild ox “one-horned beast” King James Version reads unicorn
  • The ox symbol represents which Gospel writer?
  • first sent out by Noah in an effort to discover if the flood were abating (Gen 8:6-8)
    Symbol of creation and providence (Butch Murphy anecdote-1992, 4200 mile journey on foot across America, carrying a 6 ft. cross );
    1 Kings 17:4-6 (birds play waiter to Elijah)
    compare this today—what is the raven a symbol of now (Goth?)
  • what is the current symbol of a dog? bible?
    P1033 Jesus’ exchange with a Canaanite woman ; answer= the Jews of old apply that infamous name to Gentiles. Matt 15:22-27
    the dog in the East does not enjoy the companionship and friendship of man as in the western countries. Its instinct has been cultivated only insofar as the protecting of the flocks and camps against wild animals is concerned. In the towns and villages it roams in the streets and places, of which it is the ordinary scavenger; Wild dogs may include jackals, Ezekiel 13:4
    David called himself "a dog" as an expression of humility or one not worthy. To refer to a man as a dog was also an expression of contempt in Biblical times; symbolic expression survives to this day-slang for army infantry
  • p.1054; Are you a sheep or a goat?
    The sheep eat only the fine herbage, whereas the goats browse on what the sheep refuse. They pasture and travel together in parallel columns, but seldom intermingle more closely, and at night they always classify themselves. The goats are for the most part black, the sheep white.
    Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jews would have thought themselves sheep and Gentiles the goats –believers/non-believers more accurate)
  • skip? if need to save time
  • S of S p674; psalms p571: Song of solomon loaded with poetic references to deer, lots of animals for that matter;
    one of the most graceful of all animals. Several species still exist in Israel. Its different characteristics, its beauty of form, its swiftness, its timidity, the splendour and meekness of its eye, are in the present time, as well as during the age of the Old Testament writers, the subjects of many comparisons. Like a few other names of graceful and timid animals, the word gazelle has always been in the East a term of endearment in love. +habit of hiding its young
  • Explore how the OT and NT symbols can be different
    2 different: OT/NT; what is best known role of donkey in NT? Palm Sun -The lowly donkey was used to represent Christ who, like the donkey, was both meek and mild. The donkey carried the material burdens of the poor, while Christ humbled Himself, and took on a life of poverty, in order to carry the heavy burden of man's sins. The donkey represents many of the characteristics of the self-abasing Christ: patience, courage, gentleness, peace, and humility. what is the cultural symbol today that this has morphed into? jackass
    let’s explore the OT example:
    Balaam's talking donkey p146
    {Balaam is an example of someone who abuses God’s gift}—saves the disobedient prophet from the angel of death;
    Historical background for questions only:
    at the close of 40 years of wandering, shortly before the death of Moses, An enemy King sends for Balaam, to induce him to come and curse Israel. Balaam sends back word that he can only do what God commands, and God has, via a dream, told him not to go. Moab consequently sends higher ranking priests and offers Balaam honors, and so God tells Balaam to go with them - but with instructions to say only what He commands. Balaam thus sets out to go to see the king, but an Angel tries to prevent him. At first the Angel is seen only by the donkey Balaam is riding, which tries to avoid the otherwise invisible Angel. After Balaam starts punishing the donkey for refusing to move, it is miraculously given the power to speak to Balaam (Numbers 22:28), and it complains about Balaam's treatment. At this point, Balaam is allowed to see the angel, who informs him that the donkey is the only reason the Angel did not kill Balaam. Balaam immediately repents, but is told to go on, meets with the king and delivers 3 prophecies to the King.
  • current symbol of horse?
    p987 another example how we view different than back then Symbol of war—not adapted to holy land, used by enemy armies
    The prophet Zachariah depicts (9: 10) the Messianic age as one in which no hostilities will be heard of; then all warlike apparel being done away with, the horse will serve only for peaceful use.
    King David/solomon had horse and chariot--exceptions; Mule=Horse bred with donkey—typically sterile
    Spiritual, or heavenly horses represent judgment, and usually dramatic judgment for the sake of violent purification.
  • Lord of the Rings wraith-riders
  • What about these lovely things? p1021
    most “unclean” of all animals among the Jews; hence the swineherd's was the most degrading employment (Luke 15:15; cf. Matthew 8:28-32). Legion=Roman legion?; roman occupation made israel unclean
  • mentioned 130 times in the bible, as the classical symbol of strength, power, courage, dignity, ferocity. (KING)
    tradition lends to idea of lion as king of the animals
    Very likely as the type of power, it became the ensign of the tribe of Judah;. Judah, one of 12 tribes—jesus; Judah eventually became Judea. Apoc., v, 5, represents Jesus Christ as the lion of the tribe of Judah. Lions once lived in the holy land but are now extinct
    N1/2-israel (conquered), S1/2-judah (captivity)
    note OT and NT differences:
    The craft and ferocity of the lion, on the other hand, caused it to be taken as an emblem of Satan (1 Peter 5:8—p1352) and of the enemies of the truth (2 Timothy 4:17).
  • Transcript

    • 1. Animals in the Bible: Now vs. Then
    • 2. Matt 3:16
    • 3. 1 Kings 12:11
    • 4. Numbers 21:6-8 Bronze Snake (Saraph)
    • 5. Job 39:9-12
    • 6. Unicorns? King James Version: Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?  Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
    • 7. 1 Kings 17:4-6
    • 8. “More wine and lamb, Elijah”?
    • 9. Matt 15:22-27 (Wild) Dog
    • 10. Matt 25:32-33 Sheep and Goats
    • 11. Luke 15:1-7 Parable of the Lost Sheep
    • 12. Song of Songs 2:9 Psalm 42:1 Deer/Gazelle
    • 13. Numbers 22:28-30 Donkey
    • 14. Zechariah 9:10
    • 15. Matt 8:28-32 Swine
    • 16. Genesis 49:9-10 Lion
    • 17. Aslan
    • 18. The End