13 Bible Verses about Animals
that Might Surprise You

If you are looking for Bible verses about animals, you will find several below.  

Do you have an animal that you love?  Has your pet become a part of the family?  

We currently have three pets.  We have two cats and one dog, and they get along very well.  One of our cats loves to snuggle with our dog, and our dog often will groom our cat.  The other cat loves to play chase with both of our other pets.

Animals play an important role in our lives.  They serve as companions to the lonely, provide help to those with special needs, help control the population of insets, and even provide food.   

What does the Bible say about animals?  Do animals have a soul?  When animals die, do they go to heaven?  Are there any Bible verses about animals that tell us how they are to be treated?  

Consider these Bible verses about animals.

Bible Verses about Animals Being Created

The Bible begins with the creation of all things, and included in the creation are animals.  

In the first four days, God set the stage.  He gathered the waters into seas, created dry land and caused vegetation to grow, and established the system of providing light and heat  (Gen. 1.1-19).

On the fifth day, we will read about God creating animals.  Specifically, He created all the fish and birds.

1.  Genesis 1.20-23:  "Then God said, 'Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.'  So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”

Then on day six, God created all the land animals and insects.  

2.  Genesis 1.24,25:  “Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind'; and it was so.  And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”

It might be of interest to know that it is on that same day that God created the first human  (Gen. 1.26).

Bible Verse about Animals being Named

Where did the animals get their name?  Why do we call a cow a cow?  Why do we call a whale a whale?  Who gave them their names?  

Would it surprise you to know that God did not name the animals?  Did you know that animals were named by the first man, Adam?

In Genesis 2, we have some additional details about the creation.  It is here that we learn that God created all the animals (including humanity) from the dust of the ground.  It is in that same place that we can read about the animals being named.

3.  Genesis 2.19:  “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”

Bible Verse about Animals Having a Soul

Do animals have a soul?  That is a question that has been asked and debated throughout history.  It seems that no one has a satisfying answer.  If we were to find the answer, the place to go is the Bible.  What does the Bible say about animals having souls?

There are several Bible verses about animals having a soul.  

One such verse is found in Ecclesiastes 3.21.  In this passage, Solomon is looking at life through the eyes of a cynic.  As he thinks about life, he wonders what great advantage man has over the animal kingdom.  He tells us that there is no difference between man and animal in the sense that both eventually succumb to death  (Ecc. 3.18-20).     

He then writes this in verse 21.

4.  Ecclesiastes 3.21:  “Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?”

Did you notice that Solomon writes that both man and animal have spirits?  Solomon is not asking this question rhetorically. 

He is asking this question because he doesn’t know the answer.  He is telling us that nobody knows what happens to the spirit of an animal after it leaves the body?  Does it go back into the ground, or does it go back into the care of God  (cf. Ecc. 12.7)?

Either way, this tells us that animals do have souls.

The fact that animals possess souls are also seen in their personalities.  There are some animals which are quiet and shy.  Some animals are easily excited.  If you have had different animals over the course of the years, you know that each one is different with its own likes and dislikes, preferences, and feelings.  

To see how animals have personality, spend some time in Numbers 22.22-31.  It is there that God opened the mouth of a donkey which then had a conversation with his owner, Balaam.  

Bible Verse about Animals being Part of the Family

5.  2 Samuel 12.3:  “But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him."

This passage is a metaphor to show David the seriousness of his sin.  But it was a metaphor that David understood showing that it was not unusual for people to treat their pets as family. 

Do you have a pet that has become part of your family?  Have you ever fed your dog or cat from the kitchen table?  This verse tells us about a female lamb who “ate of his own food and drank from his own cup.”  

Have you ever referred to your pet as one of your kids?  This is a Bible verse about a man who had a female lamb and treated it as part of the family.  It says that this lamb “was like a daughter to him.”  

Bible Verses about Animals being Abused

6.  Exodus 22.19:  “Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.”

Having sex with an animal was such a heinous act, that anyone who did this would face the death penalty.  We find this same thought later in Levitucus.

7.  Leviticus 20.15,16:   "If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.  If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them."

The Bible also tells us that we are to take care of our animals.  

8.  Proverbs 27.23:  “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds”

9.  Proverbs 12.10:  “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

In the eyes of God, those who take care of animals and provides for them are righteous.  In contrast, those who mistreat animals are characterized as cruel and wicked.  

Bible Verses about Animals Used for Food

Did you know that originally, God did not allow animals to be eaten as food.  Animals were created for companionship.  Only vegetation was to be used for food.  Humanity and animals were allowed to eat fruit and vegetables, but not each other.  

We find that thought in the following passage…

10.  Genesis 1.29,30:  “And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.  Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food'; and it was so."

During the flood recorded in Genesis 6-9, two of every animal was carried on the ark (with additional animals for sacrifices).  After the flood, the relationship between humanity and animals changed.  Animals were now allowed to be used for food.

11.  Genesis 9.2,3:  “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.  Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.”

Later, the nation of Israel was established and they received the Law of Moses which included the Ten Commandments.  In the Law of Moses, there were certain animals which were restricted from being used for food  (Lev. 11,12).  Are we still bound by the Ten Commandments?

In the New Testament, those restrictions were lifted, and all animals could be used for food.

In 1 Timothy 4, we are warned about those who teach things that are not true.  Those things include “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving”  (1 Tim. 4.3).  In reference to food, he goes on to write…

12.  1 Timothy 4.4:  “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving”

Bible Verse about Animals that Can Teach

Did you know that most of the science and technology that we have developed has come from what we have learned from animals?  For example, by observing the way birds fly, we have been able to engineer airplanes.

In the Bible, there are verses that show us some things we can learn from animals.  We will just look at one example.

13.  Proverbs 6.6-8:  "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.”

In this passage, those who are lazy are encouraged to think about the resourcefulness and productivity of ants.  

There are many Bible verses about animals which I have not covered.  But the Bible is clear that animals play an important role in all of our lives. 

  • Pets provide companionship.  
  • Service animals provide help to the blind, help with anxiety, and provide comfort to those who suffer PTSD.  
  • Livestock are animals that provide food and clothing.  

So don’t forget to hug your pet and give her a special treat.


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