A popular animal that appears in the Bible is the lion, which appears in the text because it served as a symbol of power, strength, and wisdom. In this article, you will also learn about two other animals that were frequently mentioned or referred to in the Old and New Testament.
The roar of the lion was respected. The sound of the beast was quite disturbing to the people, especially when the sun had set and night emerged. The roaring of the lion was compared to the sound of thunder. Overall, the lion was viewed as a majestic creature , full of command. The big cat was certainly feared. During the daytime, the lion slept in its den until night came and it would come out to find food. He had very strong claws that were hidden within his paw. Upon catching his prey, he could rip it to shreds.
The creature was mentioned 167 times in the Old Testament, while it was reference only nine times in the New Testament. The strength of the lion was recognized and respected. In one of the Psalms, David prays that God will save him from an enemy to avoid: “Lest, he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces when there is none to deliver.” Another reference to the lion in the Bible is found in Job 4:10: “The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.”
In the Old Testament, the ox was mentioned 156 times, whereas they only appeared 10 times in the New Testament. Oxen played an important role during Biblical times because the people relied on the creature to accomplish their daily tasks, especially regarding matters of agriculture. Oxen were used for ploughing (as seen in 1 Samuel 14:14) and for treading out corn (as stated in Hosea 10:11). The cows supplied butter and milk for the people. Their flesh was also eaten.
The ox was highly regarded in the community and there were codes to follow when it came to the treatment of the animal. For example, oxen were rarely slaughtered. A passage that involves the use of oxen includes: “So he departed there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle on him.” [1 Kings 19:19].
In all the Bible, you’d think that the horse would be mentioned as a way to get from point A to point B or serving a purpose in the fields of crops. Instead, the references of the horse are reserved for war , often mentioned as a ‘war-horse.’ A bridle was placed over the nose of the horse, and the riding on a saddle did not appear until during a later period.
As for horses and their connection to the chariot, they were utilized for processions that paid homage to an idol, such as celebrating the sun, as seen in 2 Kings 23:11: “He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun” [New International Version].
Another passage that mentions the horse in the Bible concentrates on color: “I saw by night, and behold a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white” [Zechariah 1:8].
The horse was mentioned 137 times in the Old Testament and 27 times in the New Testament.