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Animal Talk

Niki Behrikis Shanahan


I wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that perhaps the animals were able to communicate with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Quite possibly animals spoke the same language as people before the fall.  If that sounds unbelievable to you, allow me explain a little bit.

We know that some birds have the ability to talk, and they also deliver their responses at the appropriate time.  Animals certainly understand our language, and they know what weíre talking about.  For instance, before I adopted my cat, Joey, who was a stray, I used to feed him in a certain place in our backyard.  One day I told Joey that he could go up on the deck if he wanted to, and I pointed over to the deck.  The very next day Joey was on the deck, and that was the first time heíd ever gone up there.  My cat, Lukie, understands what Iím talking about when I tell him itís time to brush his teeth, and he starts running the other way.  If you spend time around animals, you donít have to be convinced that they understand you; and while they donít respond verbally, they do respond to us.

Iíve had a couple of dreams where two of my cats have spoken to me.  It was terrific to be able to talk to them, even if it was only a dream.  Unfortunately, I canít recall what their voices sounded like when they spoke.

You may have heard of Josephus Flavius (37Ė100 AD), a very well respected ancient historian.  He was born into a family of priests, and he became a priest himself.  In his writings called The Antiquities Of The Jews, Josephus makes the statement that ďall the living creatures had one language.Ē

He indicates that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve communicated in the same language as all the animals.  Josephus tells us that the lines of communication changed after Adam and Eve sinned.  As you know, the beautiful, eternal, healthy, happy, and abundant life that God had planned for all of His creatures was altered after the fall.  The serpent spoke with Eve, and told her that if she ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would not die.  This was contrary to what God had told them.  Eve and the serpent were communicating in the same language.

Thereís an interesting Bible story about a man named Balaam and his donkey from the book of Numbers.  Balaam, a prophet of God, got into trouble because he disobeyed God by going someplace God didnít want him to go.

As he was riding along on his donkey one day, the donkey saw an angel standing in the road to block his way.  At this point Balaam couldnít see the angel Ė only the donkey saw him!  The donkey bolted off the road into a field, and Balaam started to beat the donkey for going off the road.  Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls.  When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing there, he tried to squeeze by, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.  Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road, and stood in a place so narrow that the donkey could not get by at all. This time when the donkey saw the angel, he lay down under Balaam.  In a fit of rage Balaam beat the donkey again with his staff.

Then the Lord caused the donkey to speak!  "What have I done to you that deserves your beating me these three times?" the donkey asked Balaam. "Because you have made me look like a fool!" Balaam shouted. "If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!" "But I am the same donkey you always ride on," the donkey answered. "Have I ever done anything like this before?" "No," he admitted.

Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand.  Balaam fell face down on the ground before him. "Why did you beat your donkey those three times?" the angel of the Lord demanded.  I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.  Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey." Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, "I have sinned.  I did not realize you were standing in the road to block my way.  I will go back home if you are against my going." But the angel of the Lord told him, "Go with these men, but you may say only what I tell you to say."

To show you a similar case to God changing the speech of animals in the Garden of Eden, thereís another story in the Scriptures about a change in languages for humans.  The people were building a tower, called the Tower of Babel, and said they would go up into heaven, and be like the most High.  As a result, God changed the languages of the people into several different dialects so that they were unable to communicate with each other.  Because of the different languages, the people were unable to communicate and work together on a project that God opposed.  So we see an example of a time when God decided to alter our communication, and it remains this way today.

The disciple, John, saw a future vision of heaven in the book of Revelation.  He heard and saw all creatures praising God, including four special animal creatures that continually praise God around His throne.  Clearly, John had to understand what all the animals were saying in order for him to state that all the creatures were praising God.

There are a couple of books by Christian minister authors who have gone to heaven during near-death and out-of-body experiences that shed some light on this subject, too.  One book is called, A Place Called Heaven, by Richard Sigmund.  During Sigmundís near-death experience he mentioned that in heaven there were horses that had the power of speech and he understood them.  In Roberts Liardonís book, We Saw Heaven, he states during his out-of-body experience in heaven that he saw all kinds of animals.  He said that there were birds of all sizes singing, and that they all seemed to be singing the same song.  He said, ďI found that I could understand what they were singing Ė there was no communication gap.  When they stopped singing, it seemed as if they began to talk among themselves.Ē

These are examples of how simple it is for God to give the power of speech to animals.   I believe that someday in heaven God will return the speech capabilities of all the animals, and every creature that God has created will communicate perfectly with one another.  I donít know what our pets will say to us when weíre together in heaven, but it sure will be nice to have a two-way verbal conversation!


Niki Behrikis Shanahan is the author of There Is Eternal Life For Animals, The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven's Gain, and Animal Prayer Guide.  Pete Publishing, www.eternalanimals.com.  Available at amazon.com.  Article and Photo copyright 2006 Niki Behrikis Shanahan.   All rights reserved.  Not to be used without author's explicit written authorization.  To reprint this article, please contact the author at eternalanimals@comcast.net.

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