How Much Do You Know About Animals in the Bible?

By: John Miller

They are unclean "winged things" that flap around numerous Bible stories. Which animals live in lonely, dark places?

Bats in the Bible aren't exactly superstars. They're mentioned as unclean animals that make their homes in creep, scary places.

It changed their stories forever. In the Garden of Eden, which creature tempted Adam and Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge?

Adam blamed the serpent for treachery, telling God that "the snake made me do it." But the Lord was very disappointed in his fledgling flawed humans, and so punished them appropriately.

Can you finish this Proverbs 6:6 phrase? "Go to the ___, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!"

Each year, scientists are more and more wowed by the abilities of ants. The Bible recognized this in Proverbs, "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!"

In 1 Samuel 17:34-36, David told Saul that he killed a lion and a _____. Can you finish this sentence?

Back in biblical times, there really were bears roaming the Middle East. And David killed both a lion and a bear to protect his sheep.

When Moses was gone, the Israelites made a golden _____. Can you finish this infamous animal?

Moses couldn't be everywhere at once. While he was away, the Israelites took up bull worship. They made a golden calf to pray to … angering Moses to no end.

Moses told the Israelites to travel with him in hopes of receiving forgiveness for having a worshiped a golden calf. How did God respond?

When the worshippers of the golden calf asked for forgiveness, God struck them all down with lightning. But then he changed his mind and resurrected them.

After the serpent tricked Adam and Even into eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, God cursed the animal. How?

Serpents apparently weren't bound to the ground before the Adam and Eve debacle. But after the fruity fiasco, God doomed serpents to crawling on their bellies forever.

It's an ominous line in Deuteronomy 32:33. Can you finish it? "Their wine is the venom of serpents,the deadly poison of ____."

Moses went off on a long lecture in Deuteronomy 32. He followed it up with, "Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras."

They were not like the babies of today. In the Bible, how are dogs portrayed?

Dogs weren't treated like pets during biblical times. They were often simply herding animals meant to protect and a guide a flock of sheep.

Many biblical dogs weren't used for herding. How were these packs of wandering wild dogs portrayed?

Dogs often roamed ancient cities in packs. They stole food and caused problems -- and were regarded as unclean, impolite … and even dangerous to some.

You don't hear this one much today. Which animal's name was often used as a term of endearment between lovers?

For thousands of years, the dove's gentle nature and soft cry has made it a symbol of love. Some Bible characters used the word "dove" in referring to their loved ones.

When Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem, he had one animal in mind. What did he ride?

In Jesus' time, the donkey was a universal animal, ridden and used by rich and poor alike. That's the kind of symbolism Jesus wanted to portray when he rolled into Jerusalem.

Which biblical animals sometimes wandered the Holy Land feeding on the dead?

Even today, hyenas are known for their aggressive scavenging habits. And back then, it would've been terrifying to see these animals feasting on remains of the less fortunate.

It was one of the animals that the Egyptians worshiped. Which creature was it?

The Egyptians worshiped a whole range of various creatures and things. They worshiped baboons, and the creature were often kept as beloved pets in the house.

In places in Egypt, baboons were associated with a god named Thoth. What was Thoth the god of?

The Egyptians loved their baboons for being so fun and cuddly. But they also associated them with Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, and gave them a treasured status in their society.

In Exodus 10:4, a threat was made. Can you complete it? "If you refuse to let them go, I will bring ____ into your country tomorrow."

When the many plagues began to strike the Pharoah's lands, one became infamous. It was a plague of locusts … but still, he would not free the Israelites.

Again and again this pestilence is mentioned. Mostly likely, the "gnats" in the Bible were what?

Gnats are a constant frustration for people of the Bible. But those gnats were almost certainly mosquitoes, dreaded for their pesky nature and diseases.

Can you finish this one? In 1 Samuel 26:20, "Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a _____—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

It's all about the metaphor. "They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea — as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

Do you remember this famous Bible metaphor from John 10:7? "Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the _____."

Jesus always emphasized his role as the leader of sheep. "Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep."

He was supposed to die. Daniel was famously thrown into a den full of what creature?

In Daniel 6, our protaganist is thrown into the lion's den. The next morning, Daniel is miraculously still alive … so the king who tried to kill him was instead thrown to the animals, and then torn apart.

Fish are mentioned often in the Bible. Which species is most common?

Writers of the Bible were not at all specific about the fish species they saw. They just mentioned "fish" over and over again without really specifying which type.

Which common animal is only mentioned in the Bible once?

Cats, one of the first domesticated animals, are mentioned just one time in the whole Bible. Perhaps the Bible's authors were merely dog people.

In Lamentations 4:3, we learn that "my people" have been heartless like what in the desert?

Who knew that these big birds would be heartless? They are in Lamentations. "Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert."

Not all Bible passages are uplifting. Can you finish this one? In Proverbs 23:32, "In the end it bites like a snake, and poisons like a ____."

In Proverbs 23:32, "In the end it bites like a snake, and poisons like a viper." And in the Bible, vipers are very, very bad … because people get very sick from their bites.

In Jeremiah 47, the prophet warns Gaza about an impending attack. Can you complete the sentence? "Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a ____ that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave."

"Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a dove that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave." And God promises the people that they will restore Moab following the attack.

He was a hearty meal. Which animal swallowed Jonah?

Jonah is flung into the sea and swallowed by a great fish. Three days later, the fish upchucks him on the shore, where Jonah continues spreading the word of the Lord.

Can you finish this passage from Matthew 10:31? "So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many ____."

In the Bible, sparrows are often used to convey immense numbers of a tiny creature … but God still knows them all. "So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Why did Egyptians believe that baboons worshiped the sun?

Baboons have a habit of barking at the rising sun. It's no wonder the ancient Egyptians thought the little monkeys were sun worshipers.

In Revelation 6:2-8, the terror begins. Riders come along, and they don't look friendly. What animals are they riding?

You'll see a pale horse in Revelations. And its rider? Death. This vision has inspired writers and artists for centuries.

It's a scary passage from Isaiah 59:6. Can you finish it? "They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an ____ is hatched."

"They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched." So, word to the wise -- in the Bible, avoid spiders and snakes because those two are definitely up to no good.

In 1 Kings 17:2-6, which animal provides food for Elijah while he was in hiding?

After Elijah told Ahab that serious trouble was coming, he fled into hiding. There, ravens brought him food for sustenance.

In Exodus 7, Aaron's staff turns into what animal?

Moses and Aaron never lacked in bold statements. Aaron's staff turned into a serpent … right after he chucked it front of the powerful pharoah.

In Revelation 9:3, "And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of _____ of the earth." Can you finish that sentence?

Revelations always likes to get freaky. "And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth." Fortunately the passage immediately following features an angel in a rainbow.

Noah wanted to know if the floodwaters were receding. Which animal did he sent out to find dry land?

Noah sent out a raven that never came back. His first dove returned without news of land. But the second dove? It came back with an olive leaf in its beak.

It's not always about the four-legged kind. Can you finish this passage from Isaiah 11:6? "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little ____ will lead them."

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." These are songs of praise from Isaiah's glowing letters.

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About This Quiz

Snakes seem to slither through every nook and cranny of the Bible. From the opening moments, when Adam and Even make choices that will affect their two-legged offspring for centuries to come, snakes are the tempters of the innocent and the deceivers of good hearts. But snakes aren’t always the bad guys – sometimes they’re a symbol of power, too. In this clawed quiz, how much do you know about the famous animal stories of the Bible?

From huge fish to deadly lions, the Bible is brimming with creatures great and small. Sometimes those animals are lambs, metaphors for the followers of Jesus, the shepherd who devotes his life to leading his “flock” to eternal salvation. Do you remember other animals that Jesus and his disciples encountered during their adventures?

In Revelations, we saw animals – and even monsters – of terrifying proportions. They are symbols of evil and of hard times ahead.  These monsters have inspired any number of fearsome creatures on movie screens for many years.

Climb onto the beast of burden in this tough Bible quiz. Let’s see if you’re a true animal expert or if you need to rejoin the rest of the flock!

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