2016-08-05
Lions and tigers and horses of the apocalypse, oh my! Take a tour through the zoo of the Bible. Learn more about animals of the Bible by taking this quiz!
1

What did God do in Eden immediately after declaring that it wasn't good for the human being to be alone?

As Groucho Marx said, "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Read this story in Genesis 2:18-20, and you'll find none of the animals fit the bill as a human companion. At that point, God anesthetized Adam, performed extractive surgery, and created Eve. Voila! Man and woman.
2

What biblical prophet (if he could be called that, since he delivered only one short oracle) spent three days in the belly of a big fish?

The original Hebrew term in the Bible identifies the creature not as a "whale" but as a "big fish."
3

What biblical sea creature served modern philosopher Thomas Hobbes' efforts to describe a new social order?

Now this is the actual Hebrew word for "whale."
4

Because it is described as hanging out in reedy-areas and having a tail "like a cedar," another great animal in the book of Job is sometimes seen as alligator. Others see the reference to its eating grass as indicative of a hippopotamus. Most just accept that it’s its own thing:

The term is often used today to describe something that's unwieldy or enormous.
5

What animal's call marked the time by which Jesus predicted that even loyal Peter would deny him?

As the King James Version eloquently translates, Jesus told Peter, "Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me twice" (Mark 14:72). It's a poignant episode. After Jesus was hauled away, Peter couldn't bring himself to acknowledge that they were acquainted. The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tell us that he felt awful about his denial.
6

In Genesis, we see people using these animals as beasts of burden and "ships of the desert":

The use of camels in Genesis is wonderful!
7

In the only miracle that appears in all four gospels:

Absolutely lovely!
8

These beings, now popularly identified among the angels, are associated in the Bible with snakes:

For example, there's a strange story in Numbers (21:5-9) in which God sends poisonous serpents to attack the Israelites. God then relents and allows Moses to mediate a healing procedure—anyone who looked at the snake that Moses put on a pole would be OK again.
9

What biblical patriarch composed a little song for each of his beloved sons, often likening each of their families to an animal?"

You can read the collection of poems in Genesis 49. There is one for each of the twelve sons of Jacob, who is also called "Israel." The episode takes place when he is an ailing old man. Moses repeats much of this "blessing" (though some sound more like curses) near the end of Deuteronomy.
10

To what mother animal did Jesus liken himself in his desire to comfort and protect Jerusalem?

It is a heartfelt exclamation that Matthew (23:37) and Luke (31:34) describe Jesus saying with some exasperation because Jerusalem was headed for trouble, but would not allow Jesus’ comfort.
11

Whose talking ass dodged an angel?

Balaam was a non-Israelite prophet sent to curse the Hebrews. His donkey could see the angel but Balaam couldn't. It finally spoke up in protest after Balaam hit her, and they had a conversation (Numbers 22:22-34). The angel sided with the ass.
12

What creature is the proverbial model of industry and success—one that has no chief but gathers her food in summer and stores it up at harvest time?

This is to be a lesson to the lazybones of Proverbs 6:6-8.
13

What animal vicariously carried ancient Israel's sins into the wilderness?

The Hebrew term identifying this goat as azazel came to be associated with a wilderness demon. Its translation as "scapegoat" has endured into today.
14

In his lesson about final judgment, Jesus says that the righteous, defined by how they cared for the most vulnerable members of society, will be separated from the others, just as:

See Matthew 25:31-46. I always did feel a bit bad for goats. I mean, why do they have to represent hard-hearted, greedy jerks?
15

Speaking of end times, what four creatures will usher in the apocalypse, according to the book of Revelation?

So dramatic, that book! Can you also recall the horses' colors? They are white, red, black, and "pale" (maybe grayish or dun colored).
16

The female speaker of the Song of Solomon describes his eyes as like:

Wow!
17

To what does the lover in the Song of Solomon liken his beloved's breasts?

What a wonderful love song!
18

In Matthew and Luke, the gospels that have nativity stories, what animals are described as present at Jesus' birth?

Despite those lovely Nativity scenes and all those childhood Christmas pageants, no animals are specifically identified as being present at Jesus' birth!
19

What did Isaiah say would signify glorious peace in times to come?

Delightful!
20

What wild beast did Elisha "sic" on the naughty boys who taunted him for being bald?

Honest! You can read about it for yourself -- 2 Kings 2:23-24.
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Don't despair. Get back on that horse of study and learning.

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Nice going, busy bee.

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Congratulations, you have the memory of an elephant!

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About that industrious ant…well, even it had to start somewhere. Keep at it!

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