Dogs in the Bible
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
The first mention of dogs as human companions in the Bible is found at Exodus 11:7, where Moses was promised that in Egypt ‘not even a dog will snarl at a man or an animal.’ So we must conclude that dogs were kept as companions among them, since they were likely used to herd their cattle.
The next mention of dogs in the Bible is when God was giving the IsraElites commandments about what they could and couldn’t eat.
We find this at Exodus 22:31, which says:
‘And you must be holy [people] to Me, so you must not eat the flesh of wild animals.
Rather, you should throw it to the dogs.’
So, we know from this account that dogs also traveled with the Hebrews into the desert during their forty-year trek to the Promised Land.
According to historians, people that lived in Canaan (such as the IsraElites) were possibly the first to domesticate wolves as dogs and keep them as pets or working animals; For the Latin name for dogs, canis, appears to have come from the term Canaan (referring to the land, not necessarily to the race).