Both the Old and New Testaments are rich in symbolic language, often using colors, objects, numbers, and even animals as metaphors and symbolism. Symbolism helps paint a picture in the reader’s mind. For instance, Satan was compared to a lion who “prowls around,” while “looking for someone to devour.” While there are more than a dozen animals in the Bible symbolic of evil, chaos, and cruelty, several symbolize both good and evil, depending on the situation. As an example, Jesus was also compared to a lion in Hosea 11:10, “They shall go after the Lord; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west.” Check out these 12 animals that represent evil in the Bible.
The snake is referred to as the wicked serpent, Satan, who deceives Eve in the Garden of Eden. Snakes are often depicted as lowly yet cunning in the Bible. God said to the serpent, “Cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life.” Leviathon, a mythological creature, was also called a serpent, which the Lord will punish.
In Mathew 25:32, the goat is a symbol of the wicked and unrepentant sinner. Satanists also worship Baphomet and glorify goats, as they represent evil and stubbornness. In Leviticus, high priests would lay their sins on the goat during the Day of Atonement and drive it out into the desert. Deserts represent cursed and desolate places without God.
Not only are bears a symbol of evil, but they also represent cruelty. These ferocious animals were sent to kill 42 children after they mocked and insulted the prophet Elisha (II Kings 2:24). In Daniel 7:5, bears are compared to the evil city of Persia. While these animals often symbolize evil and wrath, they also represent strength and protectiveness.
If you’ve ever read Exodus 8:6, you probably remember the story of the plagues of Egypt. “Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.” Frogs were one of the plagues and symbolize sin and demonic activities.
In Christianity, Beelzebub is another name for Satan or the devil. This demonic being is also known as “Lord of the Flies,” “Lord of Dung,” or “Lord of Filth.” Flies symbolize death, sin, and decay. They also spread disease, which leads to more deaths.
Wolves symbolize many things, including Satan, hypocrisy, famine, lust, cruelty, and deceit. You may wonder what the Bible says about wolves. Mathew 7:15 states, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
While the lion often represents Jesus, it has also been used to describe Satan. The only time lions symbolized evil was in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Wild Boars and Pigs
Boars represent ferocity and lust, while swine in general symbolize gluttony, sensuality, and demonic activity. Jesus cast demons into a herd of pigs in Mathew 8:28-34 and told his disciples not to cast pearls before swine in Mathew 7:6.
Crocodiles are often used interchangeably with dragons in the Bible. These reptiles represent deceit, dishonesty, and hypocrisy. In Leviticus, the crocodile was mentioned as an unclean crawling creature.
The grasshopper is wild and destructive. Like frogs, grasshoppers (locusts) were one of the plagues of Egypt. They are a symbol of God’s judgment and wrath, eating everything in sight and destroying property.
The hyena symbolizes a heretic in the church, someone who believes or practices religious heresy. The animal’s behavior of feasting on decaying flesh is symbolic of a heretic feasting on doctrine that nullifies the word of God.
Leopards, like many predators, symbolize lurking evil, ferocity, and cruelty. The leopard is mentioned in Jeremiah 5:6, “Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many.” In Daniel 7:6, the leopard is likened to a beast. It is one of the animals that represent evil in the Bible.
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