“Do animals have soul?”
To answer this question, let’s see what the Bible has to say about animals.
1. They were created in the 5th and 6th day
All creatures of the seas and the birds of the sky were created in the 5th day, and the animals of the Earth along with all the creeping things in the 6th day.
Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-25)
After the flood, animals where given to men as food:
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. (Genesis 9:1-4)
Initially, animals were not meant to serve as food for humans, but that has changed immediately after the flood. For the Jewish people, they were given some restrictions – all clean animals could be eaten, while those unclean – could not be eaten.
Also in Genesis appears the reason why men were not to eat the animals with their blood – because in the blood there’s life. The same reason was brought when the New Covenant was established. (Acts 15:20)
Beginning in that time and especially after the people of Israel have exited Egypt, animals were brought as a sacrifice. In the book of Leviticus there are mentioned the types of sacrifices and when and how they were to be performed. The first sacrifice mentioned in the Bible is the one after the flood brought by Noah. From then on the animal sacrifice was named “sacrifice of a soothing aroma to God”.
2. There will be animals in the 1000 years.
Prophet Isaiah mentioned the following:
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. (Isaiah 11:6-8)
The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:25)
Since in the 1000 years reign there will be only the nations that treated well Israel, the remainder of the people of Israel, as well as the church – many ask the question if the presence of animals shows in any way that they have salvation as the rest of the people. Another question that may suggest that the animals have soul is…
3. The fact that Jesus commanded the demons to get into the herd of pigs, could that be considered as a proof that animals also have a soul?
When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. (Matthew 8:28-32)
The fact that the demons asked the Lord Jesus to enter the pigs does not mean they have the habit to do so. The reason they asked to enter those pigs was to destroy them, to do another evil.
4. Did Ecclesiastes consider man and animal equal?
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 3:19)
Does this mean that men and beasts have the same soul? Although at first site it looks like it, in the context of the verse we see that Ecclesiastes refers to the fact that both men and beasts die and are buried.
Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there. I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.” For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:16-21)
5. It is not mentioned anywhere that there will be animals in the Kingdom of Heaven.
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:9-11)
In the Kingdom of Heaven there will be the souls of those who believed in the Lord Jesus and testified him during their lifetime. “The number of their fellow servants” is that of people who were killed for Christ’s sake, and the people of those who manifested the faith in their lives. See what the lumea.catholica.ro has to say.
“Even so, the soul of man is unique. From all the creatures of the Earth, only men were created in God’s image (Geneses 1:26-27). Their soul is an immortal spirit, fully rational, capable to think and to communicate at a high level, with the potential to choose between good and evil, and a free will. Among the creatures of the Earth, only humans are truly capable to love, with the true meaning of the word: to wish all the best for the other. People can come to know and love God and they can have a true friendship with Him in a way that no other creature could”.
God made salvation possible only for humans, for those who believe in the Lord Jesus and made a personal decision to follow him and preach the Gospel. Animals are not capable of doing that!
Translated by Slavic Crilov