Interesting Facts about Bible Animals, Birds and Fish
Some incredible stories about animals, birds and fish can be found in the Bible. Here are ten mind-boggling actions by these creatures which cause us to consider that they, like human beings, participate in the conflict between good and evil.
(1) The Serpent Spoke
Now the serpent . . . said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3: 1)
That devil seduced Eve, the first woman, to question God’s instruction for life, and to disobey Him.
It is mind-boggling that evil made an appearance within the previously sinless setting in the Garden of Eden.
We now know that suggestions from a talking serpent are not in our interest.
(2) The Dove Reported the Weather
Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. (Genesis 8: 11)
Noah waited in the ark on Mount Ararat while he sent the raven and the dove to find out if the the waters from the forty-day flood had dried up. The raven probably feasted on floating dead bodies and never returned. The dove came back with proof that the water was not low enough for them to land.
The next week, Noah sent out the dove again, and it brought back proof that the trees were now above the water.
What if all reporters had to go see before they make a report?
(3) The Donkey Complained
Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” (Numbers 22: 28)
Balaam was going on a trip to curse the Israelites, which God initially advised him against.
God intervened by sending an angel which was invisible to Balaam, but not to the donkey he was riding. The donkey turned into a field and Balaam whipped it. The animal slammed itself into a wall, bruising Balaam’s foot and he whipped it. It fell to the ground and Balaam whipped it even more. That’s when the donkey complained.
The asses that God uses asses to scold us may not always talk in plain language.
(4) The Ravens Served Food
The ravens brought him (Elijah) bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:6)
Really? Unclean, flesh-eating birds serving meat that they neglected to eat?
Fearing for his life, Elijah was hiding by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan River. He could drink from the brook, but there was nothing to eat.
The raven, a black bird, symbolizing different kinds of evil omens in various cultures, performed an incredible good deed for Elijah.
(5) The Fish Rescued a Man
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. . . So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:1, 11)
Jonah was sailing to Tarshish instead of Niniveh where God sent him. When a storm arose, the sailors cast lots to decide who should be thrown overboard to lighten the weight. The lot fell on Jonah.
The fish swallowed him, then after three days, vomited him alive.
James Bartley (1856-1902) referred to as a modern Jonah, was swallowed by a whale in a whaling expedition off the Falkland Islands. He was cut out of its stomach after fifteen hours, with skin burns from the gastric juices.
There are no reports of skin burns or any other injury to Jonah.
(6) The Lion Kept Its Mouth Shut
So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. . . Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me. (Daniel 6: 16, 21, 22)
The king, against his will, decreed a night in the lion’s den for Daniel. It was punishment for praying to the true God, instead of the Babylonian images. The king was not sure that Daniel would survive, so the next morning he came to see. Daniel said that the angel shut the lion’s mouth.
No one thinks of a lion keeping his mouth shut, when there is a man in his den.
(7) The Fish Supplied Tax Money
Go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” (Matthew 17: 27)
The tax collectors asked Peter whether Jesus paid his share of taxes for the upkeep of the temple. The required payment was a didrachma—an ancient Greek silver coin worth two drachmas.
Jesus agreed to pay to prevent embarrassment. He gave Peter instructions on how to find the amount they needed.
It just so happened that Peter’s hook caught the fish that had in its mouth, a stater—a coin worth twice the amount of a didrachma. Incredible!
(8) The Rooster Followed a Cue
Jesus said to him [Peter] “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”. . Then he began to curse . . . Immediately a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26: 34, 75)
Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him, despite the fact that Peter had just pledged his loyalty. Jesus advised him not to be too sure of himself.
Finally, Peter denied Jesus and the rooster testified.
(9) The Swine Took a Dive
Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. (Mark 5: 13)
The demons that Jesus exorcised from one man were enough to possess a herd of about two thousand swine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary states that if these unclean swine belonged to the Jews, they represented an illegal trade; if they were owned by the heathen, they were an insult to the national religion.
Yet, they proved useful in the interest of everyone. The world suddenly got better the day the swine took that dive into the sea.
(10) The Young Donkey Transported the Savior
Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. (Mark 11:7)
For the most part, Jesus conducted his ministry on foot. Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary points out that by riding on the donkey, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah:
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Both Zechariah and Matthew mentioned the donkey and the colt. The consensus is that Jesus first sat on the mother animal, but eventually rode into Jerusalem on the young, unblemished colt.
Other animals have been transportation for earthly monarchs, but this donkey and colt had the one-of-a-kind privilege to carry the Savior King.
Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version.
© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers
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