Saturday, January 18, 2014

Animals in the Bible: the Bee


Chapter 3 – the Bee

In Hebrew the word for bee is debowrah or deborah – do you know any Debbies? Are they busy bees? Swarms of bees and the danger of their attacks are mentioned in Deuteronomy 1 and Psalm 118. Samson found a swarm of bees in the carcass of a lion he slew. Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and in clefts of rocks, a much more peaceful image to the later use of bees in Isaiah as a personification of the Egyptians and Assyrians, Israel’s chronic enemies.

John the Baptist preached in the wilderness eating only locusts and wild honey (protein and carbs), showing his reliance upon God's providence in nature (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6). The resurrected Christ proved to His disciples that he was not a ghost by eating a bit of honeycomb (Luke 24:42).

During Biblical times the bee was the emblem of the city Ephesus. Their coins were minted with bees on their faces.


Because of the sweetness it produces, the bee is an emblem of Christ even though His words may sting the sinner. This stinging emphasizes the image of the Christ who is the righteous judge. The bee's ceaseless activity surrounding the production of honey is comparable to the constant action of the spirit of Christ hovering about His Church.