Q: #134. Can animals be demon possessed?
A: Jesus showed us that this is certainly possible when He cast demons out of a man (or men?), and into a herd of pigs, who then went crazy and ran down a steep bank, drowning themselves (Mk 5:1-20)(Lk 8:26-39)(Mt 8:28-34: says two men not one).
I believe we also have an example of animal possession in the Garden of Eden, with Satan entering into a serpent (snake), and speaking through it to tempt Eve into committing the first sin (Gen 3:1-5).
***Small Rabbit Trail: There is some debate as to whether Satan actually “possessed” a serpent (snake), or if he simply “appeared in the form” of something that looked like a serpent (but actually wasn’t). Four quick things here:
1. The Hebrew word for “serpent” in (Gen 3:1,2,4,13,14) is “nachash,” which is used in other places in the Old Testament (Num 21:6-7,9)(Ps 58:4)(Prov 23:32) to refer to an actual “serpent / snake.”
2. In speaking of “the Devil and Satan,” the New Testament (2 Cor 11:3)(Rev 12:9)(Rev 20:2) uses the Greek word (“ophis“) for the “serpent / snake” that was in the Garden, and “ophis” means an actual snake (Mt 7:10)(Jn 3:14)(Mk 16:18)(1 Cor 10:9). It wasn’t “a form” that “looked” like a snake, it “was” a snake. A snake that Satan entered into (“possessed”).
3. Satan is a fallen angel, and angels are “spirit” by nature (Heb 1:14), and invisible (2 Kin 6:16-17)(Num 22:22-31). Crediting Satan with the ability to create a body for himself gives him the power to create something from nothing, which is a power that belongs only to God. (More on this here.)
4. The “curse” that God placed on the serpent in (Gen 3:14), that it would slither “on its belly… all the days of (its) life” (as it still does today), doesn’t really make sense if it wasn’t an actual snake.
I don’t know how common demon possession of animals is, but we do know it can happen.
P.S. While it isn’t “animal possession,” remember that God caused a donkey to speak in (Num 22:28-30).