35 Important Bible Verses About Hunting

Hunting has been a part of human life since the beginning of time, and the Bible has much to say about it. For Christians, understanding what the Bible says about hunting can help guide our actions and attitudes towards this age-old practice.

Whether you hunt for food, sport, or manage wildlife populations, it’s important to approach hunting with respect and a sense of responsibility.

By exploring Bible verses related to hunting, we can find guidance on how to hunt ethically and with a heart that honors God.

Let’s dive into key scriptures that provide insight on this topic.

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Top Bible Verses About Hunting

Genesis 27:3

“Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.”

This verse illustrates hunting as a means of providing sustenance. Isaac’s instruction to Esau underscores the importance of skill and effort in obtaining food, reflecting the provision of God through nature’s bounty.

Genesis 10:9

“He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. That is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.'”

Nimrod is highlighted as a notable hunter, suggesting that hunting was a significant and respected activity. This verse indicates that such prowess was noteworthy and possibly even divinely acknowledged.

Proverbs 12:27

“Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.”

This verse contrasts the diligent and the lazy, using hunting as an example. It emphasizes the virtue of hard work and the practical benefits of resourcefulness, encouraging the full utilization of one’s efforts.

Psalm 42:1

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.”

The imagery of a deer seeking water symbolizes a deep spiritual thirst. Hunting here is used metaphorically to express the soul’s earnest desire for God, illustrating a natural, instinctive longing for the divine.

Jeremiah 16:16

“But now I am sending for many fishermen who will catch them,” says the Lord. “I am sending for hunters who will hunt them down in the mountains, hills, and caves.”

This verse uses hunting as a metaphor for God’s judgment and pursuit of those who stray from His ways. It underscores the relentless and thorough nature of divine justice.

Job 38:39

“Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites?”

God’s question to Job highlights the natural order and the provision for predators. It emphasizes God’s sovereignty and the intricate design of creation, where even hunting is part of a larger divine plan.

Leviticus 17:13

“And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you goes hunting and kills an animal or bird that is approved for eating, he must drain its blood and cover it with earth.”

This commandment regarding hunting practices reflects the sanctity of life and respect for God’s creation. It illustrates the importance of following divine laws even in daily activities like hunting.

Proverbs 6:5

“Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.”

This verse uses the imagery of a hunted animal to convey urgency and the need for swift, decisive action in avoiding danger or escaping from perilous situations, highlighting wisdom in evading harm.

Genesis 21:20

“And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful hunter.”

God’s presence with Ishmael as he grows into a skillful hunter signifies divine blessing and guidance. This highlights the importance of developing one’s abilities and the recognition of God’s provision in doing so.

Proverbs 12:10

“The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.”

Though not directly about hunting, this verse addresses the treatment of animals, implying that responsible and compassionate behavior extends to all aspects of life, including how one approaches hunting.

Exodus 23:11

“But you may leave the land uncultivated and let the poor harvest from it, and the wild animals eat what’s left.”

This directive includes provisions for wild animals, indirectly referencing hunting. It shows a balance between human needs and wildlife, reflecting God’s care for all creation and the sustainability of natural resources.

Deuteronomy 12:15

“But you may butcher your animals and eat their meat in any town whenever you want. You may freely eat the animals with which the Lord your God blesses you.”

This verse allows for the consumption of hunted meat, acknowledging God’s blessing and provision. It underscores the liberty given by God to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, including hunting.

1 Samuel 17:34

“But David persisted. ‘I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,’ he said. ‘When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock…'”

David’s experience with predators showcases the skills needed to protect and hunt. It illustrates bravery and preparedness, qualities that are esteemed and crucial in both shepherding and hunting.

Amos 3:5

“Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait? Does a trap spring shut when there’s nothing to catch?”

This rhetorical question emphasizes cause and effect, using hunting traps as an illustration. It reflects on the inevitability of consequences and the careful planning involved in successful hunting.

Isaiah 11:6

“In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.”

This vision of peace includes predators and prey coexisting harmoniously, contrasting the typical hunter-prey relationship. It portrays an ideal future where violence, including hunting, is no longer necessary.

Deuteronomy 14:5

“The deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep.”

This verse lists clean animals that may be hunted and eaten, indicating that hunting was an accepted practice among the Israelites, with specific guidelines on which animals were considered appropriate for consumption.

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Genesis 9:3

“I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.”

God’s provision of animals for food includes those obtained through hunting. This underscores the legitimacy and divine approval of hunting for sustenance, equating it with agriculture in its necessity and provision.

Isaiah 7:24

“With bows and arrows, the hunters will come there, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns.”

This verse portrays a desolate land where hunting becomes a means of survival. It reflects the adaptability and resourcefulness required in challenging environments, highlighting the enduring nature of hunting practices.

1 Samuel 26:20

“And now, do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

David compares his plight to a hunted partridge, illustrating the relentless pursuit he faces. This metaphor emphasizes the intensity and determination involved in hunting, paralleling his experience with Saul’s pursuit.

Psalm 124:7

“We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!”

This verse uses the imagery of escaping a hunter’s trap to symbolize deliverance and freedom. It reflects on God’s intervention and the joy of liberation from danger or oppression.

Ezekiel 13:18

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of my people, young and old alike.”

Using the metaphor of hunting, this verse condemns deceitful practices. It highlights the spiritual implications of hunting, where the pursuit and ensnarement of souls are viewed negatively, contrasting with physical hunting for sustenance.

1 Kings 18:27

“About noontime Elijah began mocking them. ‘You’ll have to shout louder,’ he scoffed, ‘for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!'”

Elijah’s mockery of false prophets highlights the futility of their efforts, akin to a futile hunt. It underscores the need for true divine guidance and the contrast between the false pursuit and genuine spiritual fulfillment.

Proverbs 1:17

“If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.”

This proverb uses the awareness of a bird to convey wisdom and caution. It emphasizes the importance of being vigilant and avoiding obvious dangers, paralleling the cleverness required in both hunting and daily life.

Isaiah 51:20

“For your children have fainted and lie in the streets, helpless as antelopes caught in a net. The Lord has poured out his fury; God has rebuked them.”

This verse uses the imagery of trapped antelopes to depict the plight of the people. It reflects the consequences of divine judgment and the helplessness that ensues, likening their situation to being ensnared in a hunt.

Genesis 25:27

“As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home.”

Esau’s identity as a hunter highlights his skills and preferences, contrasting with Jacob’s domestic inclinations. This distinction illustrates the diversity of roles and talents within a family, acknowledging the value of both hunting and other pursuits.

Psalm 140:5

“The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way.”

This verse uses hunting traps as a metaphor for the schemes of the wicked. It emphasizes the dangers posed by malicious intents and the need for divine protection against such threats.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

“People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are caught by sudden tragedy.”

This verse highlights the unpredictability of life, comparing sudden misfortune to animals caught in hunting traps. It underscores the inevitability of unforeseen events and the need for preparedness and resilience.

Isaiah 33:20

“Look at Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved.”

While not directly about hunting, this verse contrasts peace with the turmoil often associated with hunting and survival. It envisions a time of stability and security, where the need for hunting is replaced by harmonious living.

Micah 7:2

“The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers.”

This verse uses the imagery of setting traps to illustrate moral decay. It highlights the betrayal and violence within society, contrasting righteous living with the treacherous tactics akin to hunting.

Proverbs 23:27

“A prostitute is a dangerous trap; a promiscuous woman is as dangerous as falling into a narrow well.”

This proverb compares moral pitfalls to dangerous traps, warning against temptations that can ensnare like a hunter’s snare. It emphasizes the importance of vigilance and moral integrity.

Psalm 91:3

“For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.”

This verse assures divine protection, using the metaphor of escaping traps to illustrate God’s deliverance from danger and harm. It reflects the trust in God’s safeguarding power amidst life’s uncertainties.

Habakkuk 1:15

“They catch them with hooks and drag them out in nets. They gather up the helpless and rejoice over their catch.”

This verse depicts the oppression of the vulnerable using the imagery of hunting. It critiques the unjust actions of those who exploit others, paralleling their cruelty to the ruthless efficiency of hunters.

Job 18:8

“He is caught in a trap of his own making.”

This verse speaks to the consequences of one’s actions, using the metaphor of a hunter ensnared by his own trap. It underscores the principle of reaping what one sows, highlighting accountability and justice.

Psalm 91:13

“You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!”

This verse conveys the triumph over dangers, symbolized by predatory animals. It reflects divine empowerment and protection, suggesting victory over threats that are often the focus of hunting activities.

Psalm 124:7

“We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!”

Reiterating the theme of deliverance, this verse celebrates freedom from entrapment. It acknowledges God’s intervention in breaking the snare, symbolizing liberation from both physical and spiritual dangers.

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What Does the Bible Say About Hunting

The Bible contains various references to hunting, reflecting the cultural and historical context of the times in which its books were written. While it does not explicitly provide a doctrine on hunting, it offers insights through stories, laws, and teachings that help form a biblical perspective on the practice.

In the Old Testament, hunting is often portrayed as a common and acceptable activity. For example, Nimrod, a descendant of Noah, is described as “a mighty hunter before the Lord” (Genesis 10:9). Esau, the brother of Jacob, is also depicted as a skillful hunter (Genesis 25:27). These references suggest that hunting was a respected and necessary means of providing food and resources for survival.

The Bible also includes laws that reflect a concern for ethical treatment of animals and responsible use of nature’s resources. In Leviticus 17:13, it is stated, “Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth.” This law highlights the importance of respect for God’s creation and the proper handling of animals.

Proverbs 12:27 contrasts the diligent and lazy, stating, “The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.” This verse emphasizes the value of hard work and the rewards that come from it, using hunting as a metaphor for diligence and industriousness.

Furthermore, the Bible underscores the responsibility of humans to care for the earth and its creatures. Genesis 1:28 grants humanity dominion over the animals, but this dominion is to be exercised with stewardship and compassion. Proverbs 12:10 reinforces this, saying, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals.”

In summary, while the Bible does not provide explicit directives on hunting, it reflects an understanding of hunting as a legitimate activity when conducted responsibly and ethically. It encourages respect for God’s creation, diligence, and compassion in the treatment of animals. Through these principles, believers can infer a balanced approach to hunting that aligns with biblical values.

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