Sinning Animals

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Many people may be under the impression that only humans were held accountable for their actions, but that is not true.

The Torah states “Adonai, God, said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman answered, ‘The serpent tricked me, so I ate. Adonai, God, said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all livestock and wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust as long as you live. I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.’” Genesis 3:13-15 Animals as well as humans are held responsible for their actions.

“I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image.” Genesis 9:5-6. Animals were put to death if they became violent and killed a person, and the death penalty was what humans would get as well if they did the same thing.

“If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox is to be stoned and its flesh not eaten, but the owner of the ox will have no further liability. However, if the ox was in the habit of goring in the past, and the owner was warned but did not confine it, so that it ended up killing a man or a woman; then the ox is to be stoned, and its owner too is to be put to death. However, a ransom may be imposed on him; and the death penalty will be commuted if he pays the amount imposed. If the ox gores a son or daughter, the same rule applies. If the ox gores a male or female slave, its owner must give their master twelve ounces of silver; and the ox is to be stoned to death.” Exodus 21:28-32.

It is interesting to note that although we tend to views sin as a human matter, God holds the animals accountable for wrong doing as well. So while we do not have much insight regarding what God’s intentions are in detail regarding animals in terms of any possible atonement for bad behavior, we do know God cares about animals enough to keep track of their behavior.

So it does seem that God may have a detailed plan for the restoral all of creation including the animals in a way we may not fully understand “because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21. However it is best to focus on the plan God has laid out of us and let God deal with the animals as he sees fit. “Things which are hidden belong to Adonai our God. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah.” Deuteronomy 29:28

Picture originally found here

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