John T. Willis

Monday, November 02, 2009


In my life, I have enjoyed fishing often, and occasionally I have enjoyed hunting. I have never killed deer, but have killed rabbits, squirrels, and quail.

Hunting was a common practice in the ancient Near East and in the Bible. People hunted for food, for protection, and for pleasure.

The Egyptian story The Tale of Si-nuhe tells of hunting with dogs. Nimrod (Genesis 10:9) and Esau (Genesis 25:27) were hunters. Leviticus 17:13 and Deuteronomy 14:5 make specifications about how a person should prepare meat killed when an animal is hunted: the hart, gazelle, roebuck, wild goat, ibex, antelope, and mountain-sheep. Proverbs 12:27 refers to hunting.

Hunters used bow and arrow (Genesis 27:3), the sling (1 Samuel 17:40), traps, nets, deadfalls, spear, sword, and club (Genesis 27:3; Psalm 23:4). A shepherd used a club and sling to defend his flocks (Judges 14:6; 1 Samuel 17:34-37; 2 Samuel 23:20). From ancient times, the battue method was used in hunting. Thje villagers form a cordon, and beat forward over the ground, with loud shouts and the pounding of drums or sticks, driving the frightened game before them into a blind canyon, a corral of nets, or a prepared pit, where it is killed. Job 18:11; Psalm 18:5; Isaiah 24:17-18; Jeremiah 48:43-44 refer to these practices.

Phoenician, Assyrian, and Egyptian art shows royal persons hunting from the chariot while hunting dogs join in the chase. Josephus says that Herod enjoyed hunting on horseback, a practice introduced by the Persians.

The patience required of the hunter and the deadly intent of the hunt provided a fitting metaphor in the Old and New Testaments, for persistent and inexorable pursuit with intent to destroy--1 Samuel 24:11; Job 10:16; Jeremiah 16:16; Micah
7:2; Mark 12:13; Luke 11:54; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Timothy 2:26.

What are YOUR hunting experiences? Share YOUR experiences and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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