Animals in the Bible

Ask a Question!   -   Newsletter
What animals are in the Bible? Which bird, reptile, insect and mythical creature are written about the most? This article lists 100 animal references found in the 1611 King James translation (KJV).

In some cases it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine the animal being referenced in the Bible's original languages. Translations can vary greatly in their determination of the animal recorded in a particular verse. The Hebrew word tukkiy (Strong's #8500), for example, used in 1Kings 10:22, is translated as "peacock" in the KJV. The NKJV, however, renders the word "monkeys" while the NIV translates it as "baboons!"

For comparison purposes, the animal names assigned in five other popular translations (Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV), Holman Christian Standard (HCSB), New American Standard (NASB), New International Version (NIV) and the New King James (NKJV)), when different from the KJV, are listed.

Adder
Genesis 49:17, Psalm 58:4, 91:13, 140:3, Proverbs 23:32

An adder is a poisonous serpent.

Ant
Proverbs 6:6, 30:25

Ape
1Kings 10:22, 2Chronicles 9:21

Asp
Isaiah 11:8

An asp is a poisonous snake.

Ass (Ass's colt, Wild ass's colt)
Genesis 22:3, 5, 42:27, 44:13, 49:11, 14, Exodus 4:20

Badger
Exodus 25:5, 26:14, 35:7, 23, 36:19

Bat
Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18, Isaiah 2:20

Bear
1Samuel 17:34-37, 2Samuel 17:8, 2Kings 2:24, Proverbs 17:12, 28:15

Beast
Genesis 1:24 - 30, 2:19 - 20, 3:1, 14, 6:7, 7:2

The word "beast," the majority of the time, is used as a generic reference to an animal (a mammal or reptile). It can, however, refer to certain spirits that serve God (Revelation 4:6 - 9). It can also symbolically represent sinful humans (Titus 1:12) or kingdoms (leaders) possessing great power (e.g. Daniel 7, Revelation 13).

Bees
Deuteronomy 1:44, Judges 14:8, Psalm 118:12

Behemoth
Job 40:15

Please see our article on behemoths for more information.

Beetle
Leviticus 11:22

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated "cricket" in the HCSB, NIV, NKJV, NASB and as "long horned locust" in the HBFV.

Bird
Genesis 7:14, 15:10, 40:17 - 19, Leviticus 14:4 - 53, Deuteronomy 14:11

The word "bird" appears 54 times in Scripture.

Bittern
Isaiah 14:23, 34:11, Zephaniah 2:14

A bittern is a bird that is a member of the heron family. In Isaiah 14:23, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "screech owl" in the HCSB and NIV, "hedgehog" in the NASB, and "bittern" in the NKJV and HBFV. In Isaiah 34:11, the word is translated as "porcupine" in the NKJV, "screech owl" in the HCSB and NIV, "hedgehog" in the NASB, and "bittern" in the HBFV.

In Zephaniah 2:14, the word for the animal is translated as "screech owl" in the HCSB and NIV, "hedgehog" in the NASB, and "bittern" in the NKJV and HBFV.

Boar
Psalm 80:13

Bull (Bullock, Wild bull)
Genesis 32:15, Exodus 29:1 - 14, 36, Leviticus 1:5, 4:3 - 21

The Hebrew word for "wild bull," found in Isaiah 51:20, is translated "antelope" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV and NASB, and "wild antelope" in the HBFV.

Camel
Genesis 12:16, 24:10 - 64, 30:43

Caterpiller
1Kings 8:37, 2Chronicles 6:28, Psalm 78:46, 105:34

The Hebrew word for the animal is often translated as "grasshoppers" or "locust." In Psalm 105:34 the word is rendered "young locusts" in the NKJV, NASB and HCSB, and "grasshoppers" in the NIV.

Cattle
Genesis 1:24 - 26, 2:20, 3:14, 4:20, 8:20, 7:14 - 23

The word "cattle" refers to all domesticated livestock. It occurs at least 150 times in Scripture.

Cankerworm
Joel 1:4, 2:25, Nahum 3:15 - 16

The Hebrew word for this insect, in Joel 1:4 and 2:25, is translated "crawling locust" in the NKJV, "young locust" in the HCSB and NIV, "creeping locust" in the NASB and "locust larvae" in the HBFV. In Nahum 3:15 - 16, the word is translated "grasshoppers" in the NIV and "locust" in the HBFV.

Chameleon
Leviticus 11:30

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "monitor lizard" in the NKJV, NIV and HCSB, as "crocodile" in the NASB, and as "monitor" in the HBFV.

Chamois
Deuteronomy 14:5

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "mountain sheep" in NKJV, NIV, HCSB, NASB and HBFV.

Chicken
Matthew 23:37

Cock
Matthew 26:34, 74 - 75, Mark 14:30, 68, 72

Cockatrice
Isaiah 11:8, 14:29, 59:5, Jeremiah 8:17

Please see our article on cockatrices for more information.

Coney
Leviticus 11:5, Deuteronomy 14:7

A coney is a type of rabbit or wild hare. The Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "rock hyrax" in the NKJV, "hyrax" in the HCSB, and as "rock badger" in the HBFV. The NASB translates the word for this animal as "shaphan" for both verses.

Cormorant
Leviticus 11:17, Deuteronomy 14:7, Isaiah 34:11, Zephaniah 2:14

A cormorant is a large bird.

Crane
Isaiah 38:14, Jeremiah 8:7

Creature
Genesis 1:20 - 24, 2:19, 9:10 - 16, Leviticus 11:46, Isaiah 13:21

The word "creature," like "beast," is a Biblical generic reference to animals. In the KJV, it can also be used for spirit-composed beings in the likeness of beasts (Ezekiel 1:5 - 22) or even mankind in general (Mark 16:15, James 1:18).

Cuckow
Leviticus 11:16, Deuteronomy 14:15

For both verses, the word for this animal is translated "gull" in the HCSB, HBFV and NIV, and "sea gull" in the NKJV and NASB.

Deer (Fallow deer)
Deuteronomy 14:5, 1Kings 4:23

In Deuteronomy 14:5, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "roe deer" in the NKJV, HCSB, HBFV and NIV, and as "roebuck" in the NASB. In 1Kings 4:23, the word is translated "roebucks" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV and NASB.

Dog
Exodus 11:7, 22:31, Deuteronomy 23:18

Dove (Turtledoves, Pigeon)
Genesis 8:8 - 12, 15:9, Leviticus 1:14, 5:7, 11

Doves, turtledoves and pigeons belong to the same family of birds. Doves generally (but not always) tend to be smaller than pigeons. Doves, which include turtledoves and pigeons, are the most frequently listed bird in Scripture.

The word "turtle" (or its plural), used in the King James translation of Leviticus 12:8, 15:29, Numbers 6:10, Song of Solomon 2:12 and Jeremiah 8:7, is a shorten version of the word turtledoves.

Dragon
Deuteronomy 32:33, Nehemiah 2:13, Job 30:29, Psalm 44:19, 74:13

Dragons are the most frequently recorded mythical animal in Scripture. Please see our article on dragons for more information.

Dromedary
1Kings 4:28, Esther 8:10, Isaiah 60:6, Jeremiah 2:23

In 1Kings 4:28, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "steeds" in the NKJV, "other horses" in the HCSB and NIV, "swift steeds" in the NASB, and "mules" in the HBFV. In Esther 8:10, the word is translated "swift steeds" in the NKJV, "fast horses" in HCSB and NIV, "horses" in the NASB, and "royal steeds" (stallions) in the HBFV.

In Isaiah 60:6, the word is rendered "young camels" in the HCSB, NIV and NASB, and as "camels" in the HBFV. In Jeremiah 2:23, the word is rendered "swift young camel" in the HCSB and NASB, "swift she-camel" in the NIV, and "swift camel" in the HBFV.

Eagle (Gier eagle)
Exodus 19:4, Leviticus 11:13, 18, Deuteronomy 14:12

Ferret
Leviticus 11:30

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "gecko" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV, NASB and HBFV.

Fiery flying serpent
Isaiah 14:29, 30:6

In Isaiah 14:29, the word is translated as a "darting, venomous serpent" in the NIV. In Isaiah 30:6, the word is rendered "darting snakes" in the NIV.

Fish
Genesis 1:26, 28, 9:2, Exodus 7:18, 21, Numbers 11:5, 22

Flea
1Samuel 24:14, 26:20

Fly
Exodus 8:21 - 31, Psalm 78:45, 105:31, Ecclesiastes 10:1, Isaiah 7:18,

Fowl
Genesis 1:20 - 30, 2:19 - 20, 6:7, 20, 7:3 - 23, 8:17 - 20, 9:2

Fowl is a generic reference to birds. The word is recorded 90 times in the KJV.

Fox
Judges 15:4, Nehemiah 4:3, Psalm 63:10, Song of Solomon 2:15, Lamentations 5:18

Frog
Exodus 8:2 - 13, Psalm 78:45, 105:30, Revelation 16:13

Glede
Deuteronomy 14:13

The glede is believed to be a bird in the hawk family.

Gnat
Matthew 23:24

Goat (Wild goat)
Genesis 15:9, 27:9, 16, 30:32 - 35, 31, 38

Mentioned four times in Scripture, the scapegoat was a goat, on the Day of Atonement, on which Israel's High Priest professed all the sins of the people. The animal was then let loose in a wilderness area (see Leviticus 16).

Grasshopper
Leviticus 11:22, Numbers 13:33, Judges 6:5, 7:12, Job 39:20, Ecclesiates 12:5

Greyhound
Proverbs 30:31

The Hebrew word for this animal is translated "strutting rooster" in the HCSB, NIV and NASB.

Hare
Leviticus 11:6, Deuteronomy 14:7

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated "rabbit" in the NIV and NASB.

Hart
Deuteronomy 12:15, 22, 14:5, 15:22, 1Kings 4:23, Psalm 42:1

The Hebrew word for the animal is many times rendered "deer" in Bible translations.

Hawk (Night Hawk)
Leviticus 11:16, Deuteronomy 14:15, Job 39:26

In Leviticus 11:16 and Deuteronomy 14:15, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated "short-eared owl" in the NKJV and HCSB, "screech owl" in the NIV and "owl" in the NASB.

Heifer
Genesis 15:9, Numbers 19:2 - 17, Deuteronomy 21:3 - 6

A heifer is a young cow. Red heifers were particularly prized at Jerusalem's temple, as their ashes were used to purify, ceremonially, something that was considered unclean.

Heron
Leviticus 11:19: Deuteronomy 14:18

Hind
Genesis 49:21, 2Samuel 22:34, Job 39:1, Psalm 18:33, 29:9, Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5

A hind is an adult female deer.

Hornet
Exodus 23:28, Deuteronomy 7:20, Joshua 24:12

Horse
Genesis 47:17, 49:17, Exodus 9:3, 14:9, 23, 15:1, 19, 21, Deuteronomy 11:4

Horseleach
Proverbs 30:15

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated "leech" in the HCSB, NKJV, NASB, NIV and HBFV.

Kite
Leviticus 11:14 , Deuteronomy 14:13

A kite is a bird of prey that also scavenges for its food.

Lamb
Genesis 21:28 - 30, 22:7 - 8, 30:40, Exodus 12:3 - 21, 13:13

Most occurences of the word "lamb" are in reference to young sheep. Sometimes, however, the word is used figurately to refer to Jesus Christ (John 1:29, 36, Revelation 5:6) or to new believers in God (John 21:15).

Lapwing
Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18

A lapwing is a type of bird. In both verses above, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated "hoopoe" in the HCSB, NKJV, NASB, NIV and HBFV.

Leopard
Song of Solomon 4:8, Isaiah 11:6, Jeremiah 5:6, 13:23, Daniel 7:6, Hosea 13:7

Leviathan
Job 41:1, Psalm 74:14, 104:26, Isaiah 27:1

Please see our article on leviathans for more information.

Lice
Exodus 8:16 - 18, Psalm 105:31

Lion
Genesis 49:9, Numbers 23:24, 24:9, Deuteronomy 33:20, 22

Lizard
Leviticus 11:30

The Hebrew word for this animal is translated "sand reptile" in the NKJV, "common lizard" in the HCSB, and "wall lizard" in the NIV.

Locust
Exodus 10:4 - 19, Leviticus 11:22, Deuteronomy 28:38, 42, 1Kings 8:37

Locusts are the most frequently listed insect in God's word.

Mole
Leviticus 11:30, Isaiah 2:20

In Leviticus 11:30, the Hebrew word for this animal is translated "chameleon" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV, NASB and HBFV. In Isaiah 2:20, the word is translated "rodents" in the NIV.

Moth
Job 4:19, 13:28, 27:18, Psalm 39:11, Isaiah 50:9, 51:8, Hosea 5:12

Mouse
Leviticus 11:29, 1Samuel 6:4, 5, 11, 18, Isaiah 66:17

Mule
Genesis 36:34, 2Samuel 13:29, 18:9, 1Kings 1:33, 38, 44

Ospray (Osprey)
Leviticus 11:13, Deuteronomy 14:12

The ospray is a large flesh-eating bird. In Leviticus 11:13, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated as "buzzard" in the NKJV and NASB, "black vulture" in the HCSB and NIV, and "bearded vulture" in the HBFV. In Deuteronomy 14:12, the word is translated "buzzard" in the NKJV and NASB, and as "black vulture" in the HCSB and NIV.

Ossifrage
Leviticus 11:13, Deuteronomy 14:12

An ossifrage is a large vulture. In Leviticus 11:13, the word for the animal is translated "vulture" in the NKJV, NIV and NASB, as "bearded vulture" in the HCSB, and as "black vulture" in the HBFV. In Deuteronomy 14:12, the word is rendered "vulture" in the NKJV, NIV and NASB, and "bearded vulture" in the HCSB.

Ostrich
Job 39:13, Lamentations 4:3

Owl (Screech owl, Little owl, Great owl)
Leviticus 11:16 - 17, Deuteronomy 14:15 - 16, Psalm 102:6, Isaiah 34:11 - 15

Ox (Oxen)
Genesis 12:16, 20:14, 21:27, 32:5, 34:28, Exodus 9:3, 20:17, 24, 22:1

Palmerworm
Joel 1:4, 2:25, Amos 4:9

The palmerworm is believed to be a type of locust. In Joel 1:4, the Hebrew word for the insect is translated "chewing locust" in NKJV, "devouring locust" in the HCSB, "locust" in the NIV, "gnawing locust" in the NASB, and "creeping locust" in the HBFV. In Joel 2:25, the word is translated "cutting locust" in the HBFV. In Amos 4:9, the word is translated "caterpillar" in the NASB.

Partridge
1Samuel 26:20, Jeremiah 17:11

Peacock
1Kings 10:22, 2Chronicles 9:21, Job 39:13

In 1Kings 10:22 and 2Chronicles 9:21, the Hebrew word for the animal is rendered "monkeys" in the NKJV and "baboons" in the NIV. In Job 39:13, the word is rendered "ostrich" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV, NASB and HBFV.

Pelican
Leviticus 11:18, Deuteronomy 14:17, Psalm 102:6

In Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17, the Hebrew word is translated "jackdaw" in the NKJV, and "desert owl" in the HCSB and NIV. In Psalm 102:6, the word is rendered "desert owl" in the HCSB and NIV.

Pygarg
Deuteronomy 14:5

A pygarg is a type of antelope. The Hebrew word for the animal is translated "mountain goat" in the NKJV and HBFV, and as "ibex" in the HCSB, NIV and NASB.

Quail
Exodus 16:13, Numbers 11:31 - 32, Psalm 105:40

Ram
Genesis 15:9, 22:13, Exodus 29:15 - 32, Leviticus 5:15 - 18

Raven
Genesis 8:7, Leviticus 11:15, Deuteronomy 14:14, Job 38:41, Song of Solomon 5:11

Roe (Roebuck)
Deuteronomy 12:15, 22, 14:5, 15:22, 1Kings 4:23, 2Samuel 2:18, Proverbs 5:19, 6:5

The Hebrew word for the animal is many times translated as "gazelle."

Satyr
Isaiah 13:21, 34:14

Please see our article on satyrs for more information.

Scorpion
Deuteronomy 8:15, 1Kings 12:11, 14, 2Chronicles 11, 14, Ezekiel 2:6, Luke 10:19

Serpent
Genesis 3:1 - 14, 49:17, Exodus 4:3, 7:9 - 15, Numbers 21:6 - 9, Deuteronomy 8:15

Serpents are the most frequently mentioned reptile in God's word.

Sheep
Genesis 4:2, 12:16, 15:9, 22:13, 31:10, 12, 38, 32:14, Exodus 12:5, 25:5, 26:14

Sheep are the most frequently mentioned land animals in Scripture.

Snail
Leviticus 11:30, Psalm 58:8

In Leviticus 11:30, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated "sand lizard" in the NKJV and HBFV, "skink" in the HCSB and NIV, and "sand reptile" in the NASB. In Psalm 58:8, the word is translated "slug" in the HCSB, NIV and HBFV.

Sparrow
Psalm 84:3, 102:7, Matthew 10:29, 31, Luke 12:6 - 7

Spider
Job 8:14, Proverbs 30:28, Isaiah 59:5

Stork
Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18, Psalm 104:17, Jeremiah 8:7

Swan
Leviticus 11:18, Deuteronomy 14:16

In Leviticus 11:18, the Hebrew word for the animal is translated "white owl" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV, NASB, and "barn owl" in the HBFV. In Deuteronomy 14:16, the word is rendered "white owl" in the NKJV, HCSB, NIV, NASB and HBFV.

Swine (Sow)
Leviticus 11:7: Deuteronomy 14:8, Proverbs 11:22, Isaiah 65:4, 66:3, 17

Tortoise
Leviticus 11:29

The Hebrew word for the animal is translated "large lizard" in the NKJV and HCSB, and "great lizard" in the NIV, NASB and HBFV.

Unicorn
Numbers 23:22, 24:8, Deuteronomy 33:17, Psalm 22:21, 29:6, 92:10

Please see our article on unicorns for more information on this animal.

Viper
Job 20:16, Isaiah 30:6, 59:5, Matthew 3:7, 12:34, 23:33, Luke 3:7, Acts 28:3

A viper is a type of poisonous snake that was commonly found amongst the animals in ancient Israel and other places.

Weasel
Leviticus 11:29

Whale
Genesis 1:21, Job 7:12, Ezekiel 32:2, Matthew 12:40

Wolf
Genesis 49:27, Ezekiel 22:27, Isaiah 11:6, 65:25, Jeremiah 5:6, Habbakuk 1:8

Worm
Exodus 16:20, 24, Deuteronomy 28:39, Job 7:5, 14, 19:26

Recommended Articles
How Did Jesus Use Animals?
Can an Animal Sin?
Why Not Cast Pearls Before Swine?
Why Do Animals Symbolize Kingdoms?
How Many Creatures Were on Noah's Ark?
When Did Animals Begin to Eat Meat?
Meaning of Camel Through Eye of Needle
Humorous Quotes about Animals!

References
1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Complete Book of Bible Lists
Holman Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Wikipedia
Wilmington's Guide to the Bible



Bible Abbreviations
HBFV - Holy Bible Faithful Version
HCSB - Holman Christian Standard
KJV - King James Version
NASB - New American Standard Bible
NIV - New International Version
NKJV - New King James Version



© Bible Study