The Bible is the source of many popular dog names, from Samson to Sheba, but only one breed of dog earned a mention in the Bible: the greyhound.
Although generic dogs are noted throughout the Bible, the only time a specific breed is cited is in Proverbs, chapter 30. The King James version of the passage reads, in part: “There be three things which do well, yea, which are comely in going; a lion, which is strongest among beasts and turneth not away from any; A greyhound; A he-goat also.”
There is a lack of consensus on whether the word “greyhound” as used in the passage truly meant the breed or was simply the best the translator of the original Hebrew passage could do from the phrase, “girt in the loins.” At the time of the translation in the early 17th century, the greyhound was a popular breed in royal courts, so there is little doubt that it would have been well-known.
A biblical bestiary:
- The most commonly mentioned bird in the Bible is the dove, which makes at least 50 appearances.
- Sheep – not counting lambs or rams – are the most commonly named animal in the Bible. They are mentioned several hundred times.
- Theories abound, but there is no confirmed reason to explain why cats are never identified in the Bible.