Theological Trivia: Did Animals Talk in the Garden of Eden?

I used to post occasionally on some of the wacky search terms that led people to my blog, and also what I call trivia question theology.  Questions like “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?” or “Can God make a rock so big he can’t move it?”  Okay, maybe those aren’t real questions, but here is a question that a reader entered into a search engine that was sent to my blog looking for answers.

Could animals talk before the fall?

That’s a legitimate question.  Because Genesis describes the serpent as the most subtle of all the animals in the garden.  That’s why Satan came to Eve in that form.  Eve doesn’t seem surprised when the serpent begins speaking to her.  There is a joke that goes like this: Two muffins where sitting next to each other in an oven.  When one said “Whew, it sure is getting hot in here” the other said “Whoa!  A talking muffin!”  If animals did not talk to humans before the fall, it stands to reason that Eve would have reacted differently at the sight of a talking snake rather than carry on a casual conversation with it.  When Moses witnessed the burning bush in the wilderness he turned aside to see why the bush was not consumed.  It was a curious thing that got his attention.

I try to be real careful about not making the Bible say something it doesn’t say.  The Bible does not say the animals could talk.  But we do have Eve carrying on a conversation with it instead of either finding Adam and telling him he has to see this, or simply freaking out.  We also know that the resulting curse changed things.  The relationships between men and women changed, man’s relationship with God changed.  Perhaps the animals did talk casually to people before the fall; God did.

About these ads

22 thoughts on “Theological Trivia: Did Animals Talk in the Garden of Eden?

  1. Talking animals? thats an answer we wont really have
    till we meet GOD face to face.

    My own personal opinion though is this.

    Before the flood there was one language among
    people.

    Does it not stand to reason and logic that before the
    fall, there was one language, period. for man and beast.

    Just as communication between people changed
    after the flood, so too did communication between man
    and beast change after the fall.

    I believe that before the fall GOD, Man, and beast had
    one and the same language, And one day will again.

  2. I’m not sure about the truth of the bible. I think some of it can be historical others just stories.

    I don’t think the animals spoke. I think it’s a story to show how sneaky the devil can be. Just like when that fellas donkey talked to him…it’s there to prove a point.

    C

  3. I spent some time on the Who is Jesus blogsite. I don’t even know if C is a man or a woman, but I learned a lot very quickly. This is the type of Christian that the Internet Monk wrote about a lot; a person seeking Jesus that has been disenfranchised by the church; one that would follow Christ if it wasn’t for his “followers.” There are so many things I’d like to say I feel a post coming on :-)

  4. The interesting things about the talking beasts are:
    (i) obviously, per the Genesis account of the fall, one beast spoke – why not all of them: serpents now do not speak, in my experience and that is presumably a function of the fall. The language of the curse is odd too (for me), as it implies that all animals will suffer to some extent (‘cursed are you ABOVE ALL the livestock…’ (i.e. the rest are also cursed but less so?);
    (ii) Numbers 22, Balaam’s donkey – the text says that the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth – i.e. the donkey has the intellectual capacity to communicate, but is somehow ordinarily restricted (in the same way that Balaam’s eyes are subsequently opened); and
    (iii) Genesis 9 specifies that God will require an accounting from every animal – i.e. they will be required to communicate (speak?) in the future (the judgment).

  5. I think if there were another instance in the bible apart from Genesis where the Devil uses a talking animal, then It would be more likely animals could not speak to Adam.But since there is not one instance where the Devil uses an animal(again), it is clear that animals could not speak from that particular time onwards and thats probably why Satan never used them again. I think part of the curse to all animals was the inability to communicate with man the way they used to. Just a thought.

  6. I’ll agree with that statement. There is, however, another instance of a talking animal. Balaam’s donkey spoke to him, but it was God – not the devil – who opened its mouth. Based on your assertion it seems God can still do things the devil cannot ;-)

  7. I know this isn’t the Bible but there are some historical books that were not added to the bible that have truth to them. The Book of Jubilees for example is also found along with other books of the bible in the Dead Sea Scrolls found in caves in the 1940′s.

    The Book of Jubilees Chapter 3: verses 28 are below. This verse is about the animals right after Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden.

    “28. And on that day was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak: for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and with one tongue.

    29. And He sent out of the Garden of Eden all flesh that was in the Garden of Eden, and all flesh was scattered according to its kinds, and according to its types unto the places which had been created for them.”

    Hope this helps!

  8. Also another note, The bible never says that the serpent who spoke to Eve was actually Satan. People seem to assume it was because he enticed her to do evil. It is possible that the serpent was influenced by him though.

  9. The Bible does not identify the serpent as Satan in the Genesis narrative that takes place in the Garden. But look at the curse given in Genesis 3; what God says to the serpent about enmity between your seed and the woman’s seed makes no sense if God is merely talking to a regular snake. But if the “woman’s seed” is a veiled reference to the Son of Man, i.e. Jesus who is the Christ, then he will one day strike to final blow to Satan. Even while issuing the curse, God alludes to a future salvation. Gen. 3 is the first prophesy of the Christ.

    The Bible never says in so many words “the serpent is the devil.” But most Bible scholars (perhaps I should say many) believe that Ezekiel 28 is not merely referencing 2 kings of earth but rather the fall of Satan from glory and his ultimate future destruction. If you conclude that Ezekiel 28 is indeed talking about Satan, then also notice verse 13 that says “you were in Eden.” No king alive at the time of Ezekiel (or any human besides Adam and Eve) were in Eden.

    Three times the Revelation refers to Satan as a serpent, 12:9 being the most compelling evidence that Satan was the serpent in Eden.

    The original topic was about animals in Eden and if they could talk. I don’t want to argue with anyone, but it is a very stimulating discourse.

  10. As you have already mentioned here, we cannot positively prove this with a scripture on the subject; but I have always believed that animals talked prior to the fall. I believe Eve’s reaction to the serpent is compelling proof of this. Put yourself in her position. If an animal came up to you and started a conversation, you would A) make a post hast exit thinking it was possessed or B) have a complete break-down and think you had lost every ounce of mind you had. Because she did neither of these, it would stand to reason that it was not an uncommon event for her to speak with an animal.

  11. I have often thought about this topic myself, and wondered about the possibility. Numbers 22 tells the story of Balaam and his donkey. When Balaam kept beating his donkey, “The Lord opened his mouth…” Is something like our curse keeping these animals’ mouths shut? Apparently, animals have the potential to speak with us.

  12. I can communicate with animals through mental telepathy. Language was the fall of man. The bible has lied to us. Satan possessed the serpent and used telepathy back then and is still using it today. This is how satan communicates with humans but we lost our ability to do so.. It was just another natural sense..the 6th sense.

  13. Well, I’ve got a bit of a different take. ;)
    Let us notice that in the original Aramaic and Greek, the word ‘tricked’ was not used while describing what actually happened to Eve.
    The Word is ‘Beguiled’. And that one word, changes the story entirely.
    Beguile~’To deceive with Magic.Charms.Spells.Hypnosis.et.,al.

    I don’t think Eve stood a Chance.
    They were the Fallen Angels, and their ‘beguiling’ of Eve was far more than just being ‘tricked’.

    So, that being said, I believe that ‘Snake’ could have looked and sounded like anything he wanted.

    Peace.
    LoveGod.LoveEachOther
    RockStarPreacher Ministries

    If you are interested in checking out more of my ‘Electric Gospel’, please find us on YT ‘RockStarPreacher Ministries’, as well as on FB.

    Thanks, Brother.

  14. I have also read in Jubilees as well about the animals talking.The book is mentioned in the Bible more than once.I believe though it was not included in our bible the anciants surely read the work.Does that give it some legitamacy?What do you think?

  15. Number one we need to look outside the box, way outside, We know that Lucifer’s body was burned up by God so he would have not been able to communicate with Adam or Eve because he is a spirit and without his angelic body is subject to the laws of the 4th, 5th, and 6th dimensions hence Satan would need a vessel to communicate to a person in the 3rd dimension. I would say the snake was his most crafty choice at that present time. Also remember that God spoke to Adam as well now here’s the thing, God is a spirit being as well and I don’t think God had vocal cords so that would denote telepathic communication.

  16. I think you need to come back in a little closer to the box.

    How do we that Lucifer’s body was burned up? 2 Corinthians warns us that Satan has transformed himself into an angel of light. What the heck are the 4th, 5th and 6th dimensions and if those planes do exist how do we know what the laws are the govern them? Finally… you don’t think God had vocal chords. Noted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s