Dogs have been living with men from ages past, even long before any other animal was domesticated. Studies show that dogs have been tamed since about 15000 years ago. This means that dogs have been living with men long before the Christianity religion came to the world.
Please note that this post isn’t about religion or based on religious beliefs; it is purely an article of dogs’ facts. The research was recently conducted on how many times and what type of dogs have been mentioned at a point or the other in the Bible. I will like to discuss what I discovered, and below is what was found.
The Type of Dogs Mentioned in the Bible
Countless times, various dogs were mentioned, but a particular breed was specified at a point in the book of Proverbs. This breed is the greyhound, and it was cited in the book of Proverbs chapter 30. You may be wondering what’s in the passage. It says;
“There are three things which are magnificent in pace, yes, which are stately in walk:
A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any;
A greyhound, a male goat also, and a king whose troops are with him”.
Here, the word “greyhound” has its translation from the Hebrew word “girt in the loins.” However, if we consider this Hebrew word, does it mean a greyhound as stated in the Bible? The truth is, if we are to examine the Hebrew word literally, it may not translate to “greyhound.”
Perhaps, the Hebrew translator only translated to a word close to the original Hebrew meaning. Interestingly, some other versions of the Bible described the greyhound character as a “Strutting rooster.” This probably means that the New King James version’s translators wouldn’t want to call him by that name.
Also, I’ll like to inform you that when the King James Version of the Bible was written in those days, King James had the greyhound breed of dog in his court. This breed is most likely what the translators were acquainted with – it may not even be known as a greyhound then. I stumbled on a post on the internet some time ago where some people were debating about where the Bible made mention of the greyhound dog.
Someone claimed that the greyhound dog wouldn’t be referred to in the original potion of the Bible. He said further that the only breed of dog that could be referred to would be the Saluki breed of dogs during that period. Although the Saluki breed of dogs wouldn’t have been as common as the exile dogs, people were familiar with the regular exile dogs.
Where Exactly is Greyhounds Mentioned in the Bible?
To see for yourself and ascertain, open the book of Proverbs chapter 30, from verse 29 down to 31. If you read in the King James Version or the New King James Version, you would see that the Bible specifically mentions a breed of dogs – the greyhound. This doesn’t mean that other dogs weren’t mentioned in the Bible, or there are no other references.
No! There are numerous other passages in the Bible where dogs were mentioned. However, in these references, no other breeds were specified except the greyhound.
How Many Times Was the Dog Mentioned in the Bible?
Comprehensive research was conducted to determine the specific number of times dogs were mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament, dogs were mentioned 32 times in the Hebrew language and nine times in the Greek language in the New Testament. Altogether, the exact number of times the dogs were mentioned in the Bible is 41 times in both the old and new testament.
What Were Dogs Used For in the Bible?
If you examine the Bible well, you’ll notice that dogs are mentioned several times in the Bible – up to 41 times. However, what role did these dogs play in these parts of the Bible where they were mentioned. Let’s consider it below;
You would observe that dogs were used for various types of farming activities, including hunting and herding in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, if a person is called a dog, it means that the person is evil. The term “dog” is an abusive term that is usually used as an insult to people, especially those with low status.
However, we don’t know if people keep dogs as pets at all in those days. Dogs were usually used to perform some hard jobs on the farm. They were probably not kept as pets in a way we think a pet should be kept at least.
Moreover, it’s also not clearly stated in the Bible. Generally, dogs were wrongly considered to be evil, especially when they run in groups.
The Origin and History of Canine Domestication
Several scientists have researched to know the origin of dogs, and they came up with different write-ups. Among them, an article that analyzes the origin of dogs was found. It claims that;
Scientists believe that dogs have been tamed as far back as 15000 years ago, and evidence proves that. People have also been burying dogs, just like humans, and sometimes along with them. However, a few scientists researched DNA evidence of ancient skulls and claimed that dogs lived with men more than 30000 years ago.
They also examined the shape of the dogs’ skull, coupled with the DNA study of dog and wolf. They claim that dogs originated in Europe, the Eastern part of Asia, Mongolia, and Africa. Whether dogs were domesticated from the times of the Bible or not, it all depends on your belief.
What other Animals Got Mentioned in the Bible?
The dog wasn’t the only animal that was mentioned throughout the whole Bible. Apart from dogs (especially the greyhound), other animals mentioned include the ostrich, seagull, pigeon, hedgehog, mole, and many more. If you browse the internet, you’ll see a comprehensive list of other animals mentioned in the Bible.
You will be surprised to learn that of all the random animals mentioned, the cat was not mentioned.
Well, now we know that the term “dog” was mentioned 41 times in the Bible, and the greyhound breed was specifically mentioned. I decided to go through the Bible, and I found two verses in the New Testament that got me thinking. They are Mark chapter 7, verses 27 and 28. See them below;
Mark 7:27 says: “But Jesus told her, let the children be filled first, for it isn’t proper to take the bread meant for the children and give to the little dogs.”
Mark 7:28 says: “And she replied and said to him, yes, Lord, even the little dogs under the table eat from the children crumbs.”
Let me quickly tell you a brief story about my family. Claude, our little dog, always sits beside my son at the dining. This is because the dog knows that it will quickly pick up the crumbs whenever it falls from my son.
This behavior was also found in the Bible, and yet, it is evident in our everyday lives. If you have been intrigued with the fact that the greyhound is the only breed of dog that was specifically mentioned in the Bible, you can peruse and like the history of the greyhound on the webpage of the UK Greyhound Club.