Unveiling the Wisdom: What Does the Bible Say About Hunting

Carly Brasseux // August 29

Hunting, an ancient and primal pursuit, has been woven into the fabric of human history for millennia. But what about its place in the spiritual tapestry? Does the Bible shed any light on this age-old practice? Let's embark on a journey through the scriptures to explore what the Bible says about hunting.

Unveiling the Wisdom: What Does the Bible Say About Hunting

The Biblical Perspective on Hunting

A Hunter's Beginning

The Bible's exploration of hunting starts in the very beginning. In Genesis 27:3, we encounter the story of Isaac and his son Esau, a skilled hunter. Isaac's love for Esau's game led him to favor his son. This narrative showcases hunting as a means of providing sustenance and securing favor.

A Provision for Necessity

In Proverbs 12:27, the Bible speaks to the importance of hunting for sustenance: “The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.” Here, hunting is framed as a means of providing for oneself and one's family. It highlights the diligence and resourcefulness required for survival in ancient times.

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The Dominion Mandate

Genesis 1:26 tells us, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” This verse, often referred to as the Dominion Mandate, grants humanity authority over the animals of the earth. While it doesn't explicitly endorse hunting, it establishes our responsibility for stewardship over creation.

The Lessons from the Hunt

The Bible often uses hunting metaphors to convey broader spiritual lessons. In Psalm 42:1-2, we read, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Here, the deer, symbolizing a hunted creature in its pursuit of water, becomes a symbol of the soul's yearning for a deeper connection with the divine.

What Does the Bible Say About Hunting: Respect for Creation

The Reverence for Life

In the biblical context, hunting was often a necessity for survival. However, this necessity didn't diminish the reverence for life. The Bible emphasizes that God cares for His creation, including the animals. In Genesis 9:3-4, God grants permission for humans to eat meat but with the condition that they do not consume blood: “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.”

What Does the Bible Say About Hunting

Prohibitions and Guidelines

Leviticus 17:13-14 reinforces this respect for the sanctity of blood: “Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth because the life of every creature is its blood.” This passage underlines the importance of honoring the life of the hunted by properly handling its blood.

What Does the Bible Say About Hunting: Compassion and Ethics

Proverbs 12:10

Proverbs 12:10 speaks to the ethical treatment of animals: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” While this verse doesn't explicitly address hunting, it emphasizes the moral responsibility of humans toward the creatures under their care.

The Preservation of Species

The Bible is concerned with the preservation of species. Deuteronomy 22:6-7 provides a guideline: “If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.” This passage encourages responsible hunting practices to ensure the survival of species.

Commonly Asked Questions About What The Bible Says About Hunting:

What Scripture talks about hunting?

The Bible mentions hunting in several verses, such as Genesis 27:3 (Isaac hunting for venison) and Proverbs 12:27 (the diligent hunting for food). However, hunting isn't a central theme but is acknowledged in these contexts.

What does the Bible say about killing animals for meat?

In the Bible, killing animals for meat is accepted. Genesis 9:3 states that God gave humanity animals for food. However, it emphasizes responsible stewardship and not wasting God's creation.

Is it a sin to shoot an animal?

The Bible doesn't explicitly label hunting or shooting animals as sinful. Instead, it emphasizes responsible and respectful treatment of animals and nature. Unlawful or wasteful hunting could be considered against these principles.

What is the spiritual meaning of hunting?

The spiritual meaning of hunting varies among cultures and individuals. For some, it represents a connection to nature and God's creation. Others view it as a test of skills and patience, reflecting personal growth and self-reliance.

Conclusion: What Does the Bible Say About Hunting

In conclusion, the Bible doesn't explicitly endorse or condemn hunting as a recreational activity. Instead, it provides principles that guide our treatment of animals and the natural world. The Bible underscores the importance of reverence for life, ethical treatment of animals, and responsible stewardship of creation.

These biblical principles invite us to consider the ethical and moral dimensions of hunting. While hunting is a legitimate and sustainable means of procuring food and connecting with nature, it should be approached with mindfulness, compassion, and a commitment to preserving the beauty and diversity of God's creation.

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About the Author

Carly Brasseux

Carly Brasseux is a determined and passionate freelance outdoor writer, published author, business owner and social media/marketing consultant based in Texas. In a world where women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population, she is a major proponent of those women wanting to learn more about the outdoors and hunting. Her handle, Miss Pursuit, is an expression of her enthusiasm for all things outdoors, from educating women through her experiences learning to hunt over the last decade, to getting out with her kids to explore the wild. Her expertise in social media and marketing, as well as her vast network of people in the outdoor industry, have given her the influence to make an impact for years to come. Member of the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Stewards of the Wild and the Texas Wildlife Association.