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Q: #292. Is hunting a sin?

     A: The Bible has very little to say about hunting. I could find only 3 verses on it (Lev 17:13)(Prov 6:5)(Prov 12:27). However, God does make it clear that He gave man dominion over all animals (Gen 1:26). We are told over and over that animals may be used for food. After the flood, God said it was permissible to eat meat (Gen 9:3). (In the beginning of the world it appears that men did not eat animals: see Q: #45.) In Leviticus 11, God gave Israel rules about which animals could or could not be eaten. In (Lev 6:26)(Num 18:9-10), God told the priests they could eat certain sacrificed animals. In the New Testament, God told Peter to “get up, kill, and eat” (Acts 10:13). Jesus ate broiled fish (Lk 24:41-43). In fact, God “commanded” that a lamb be killed, roasted, and eaten as part of celebrating Passover (Ex 12:8-9)(Deut 16:7). (As a Jew, Jesus celebrated Passover [Lk 2:41-42][Mt 26:17-29][Mk 14:12-21][Lk 22:7-23], and therefore would have eaten lamb.)

     Animal skin was also used for numerous things in the Bible. In the beginning, in the Garden Of Eden, Adam and Eve wore animal skins for clothing (Gen 3:21)(which most believe God gave them). Wearing animal skins is continued all through the Bible (Gen 27:15-16)(Num 31:20)(2 Kin 1:8)(Ezek 16:10)(Zech 13:4)(Mt 3:4)(Acts 9:43). Animal skin was used for: coverings (Ex 26:14)(Ex 36:19)(Ex 39:34)(Num 4:5-14,25), carrying drinks [wine] (Josh 9:4,13), [milk] (Judg 4:19), [water] (Gen 21:14), and offerings (Ex 25:5).

     Historical evidence has shown that it was used for writing on (called parchment)(The Dead Sea Scrolls were written mostly on this). It was also used for: horse saddles, helmets, shields, slings, ropes, whips, containers, sleeping on and covering up with.

     Two men are noted for their hunting skills: Nimrod (Gen 10:9) and Esau (Gen 25:27)(Gen 27:1-5,30-31). If you consider fishing to be “hunting,” most of the 12 disciples were fishermen (see: Q: #155). David hunted down and killed animals who attacked his livestock (1 Sam 17:34-37).

     Therefore, based what I see in the Bible, I believe it is perfectly acceptable to hunt animals for food just as they did in Bible times. In this era, hunting animals for their hide is not really necessary, however, a case could be made that this is also acceptable. But, I believe as good stewards, if an animal is hunted down and killed, no useable part of it should be wasted.

     (MY OPINION): What I don’t see in the Bible, and what I cannot grasp, is the concept of hunting for “fun” (versus necessity). When someone says, “I love to hunt,” to me it is saying, “I love to kill living creatures.” I don’t understand taking pleasure in ending the life of God’s creation. I also do not understand those who are so proud of what they have killed that they take pictures of it or mount its head on the wall of their house…

     Again though, since the Bible is relatively silent on this issue, it is up to each individual to decide what is right in God’s eyes.

Copyright: © Steve Shirley

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