All this month we will be taking a closer look at some of the animals in the bible. From whales to bears, we will learn some interesting and important facts about these animals.
TIL the most innocent swear word out there might just be jackass. Literally it means male donkey. I didn't realize, outside of pregnant dog, there was another animal centered obscenity. One for each gender, I suppose. The domesticated Donkey comes in over a hundred breeds all over the world. It's wild ancestor comes from Africa. It still exists today, but there are only 570 known to exist. It is very endangered.
Donkeys were first domesticated around 3,000 BC. They were basically the next evolution in travel, and were used to help with the labor.
Donkeys are also a historical paradox. They were considered draft animals, and sometimes they are symbolic of someone who is worked hard, like Issachar. They were also a symbol of royalty, as the more a person had the wealthier they were.
Also, donkeys used for travel were not "saddled" as we traditionally understand it. The only object between the rider and the donkey was a cushion.
Donkeys were and are so prevalent in the middle east, we sneak them into scripture even when they are not mentioned. How many of you imagine Mary riding into Bethlehem on a donkey? Never mentioned. Not in one biblical story. There could have been a few donkey's taking Christ's family to Bethlehem, but we have no context from scripture.
In God's whirlwind speech to Job, God uses the wild donkey to suggest God cares for creation even when it doesn't benefit humanity.
In Zechariah 9:9 there is a prophecy that the new King of Jerusalem would ride into town on a Donkey, which is exactly what Jesus does. It's a fitting symbol, as Jesus is as paradoxical as the donkey.