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Animal Symbolism in Christianity II

The gentleness of the lamb. The devotion of the pelican. The purity of a dove. It are these traits that make these creatures symbolic animals in religion , particularly with the Christian faith. In this article, you will learn how the pelican, dove and lamb fit into the world of Christianity and the Bible.

Pelican

There is a legend that involves the pelican that says a mother pelican will draw blood from her own chest to feed her chicks in time of famine. Because of this, the pelican is a symbol in Christianity that represents the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (since he gave his blood for others). The bird is also linked to the Eucharist since it is a representation of Christ’s blood providing nourishment. This animal symbolism is referred to as “pelican-in-her-piety.”

Dove

The dove appears in the Bible with an olive branch in its beak in the story of Noah and the Ark , offering the symbol of the Holy Spirit and the ability of the soul to ‘fly’ to God after dying. The dove plays an important role in the end of the floor and the rise of hope. In many circles, the white color of the dove is also a symbol of purity.

Today, Christians see the dove as a representation of peace and has played a role in making reference to the calm associated with major conflicts and political clashes. The dove has been utilized all over the world, including in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. For the Greeks and Japanese, the cultures see the dove as a symbol of peace and purity.

Passages in the Bible that mention the dove include:

”¢    “But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’” (Leviticus 12:7-8)

”¢    “Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.” (Psalm 68:12-14)

Lamb

There are many traits that the lamb possesses that are appealing to Christians. The creatures serve as a symbol of purity, kindness, youth, and innocence. Lambs are also a symbol of virginity. Born in the spring, the lambs are also connected to the resurrection and the coming of Easter. During Passover, the blood of lambs was places on door frames, which was believed to cause the angel of death skipping the houses of Jews who were a part of the ritual.

Passages in the Bible that make mention of lambs include:

”¢    “Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.” (Genesis 30:31-33)

”¢    “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.” (Exodus 12:20-22)