The Bible is full of metaphors, animals, and birds that convey special symbols. One such bird with a large biblical significance is the owl. More notably, one aspect of interest in this creatures’ symbolism in the Bible is the biblical meaning of an owl hooting.
There are mentions of owls at various points in the scriptures, conveying different meanings. Believers are trying to decipher the meanings of every teaching the Bible provides as a way to prove and strengthen their faith in God.
By knowing which things mentioned in the Holy Bible have evil connotations, believers know to avoid associating with them. So, let’s see what the hoots of an owl represent in the Bible.
Biblical meaning of an Owl Hooting
The Holy Bible mentions the owl as a harbinger of ruin, torment, loneliness, suffering, and utter desolation. The haunting sound of an owl’s hooting in the Bible symbolizes the sound of mourning.
In Job 30:28-29 the Bible speaks of the unbearable grief and mourning of God’s servant Job, whose children all died under unclear circumstances. Job’s possessions all washed away, and he was left to the ridicule of his tormentors, among which some were his former friends.
The owl symbolizes the deep expression of sorrow, loss, and suffering. For many believers, the sound of an owl hooting is a sign that someone is about to die, ushering in a period of grief.
Further pointing out the symbolism of death and desolation associated with owls in Job, is the description of the bird as a companion of the jackal. The jackal is a well-known symbol of death.
In the Bible, the hooting of an owl is used to symbolize the oncoming judgment for the wicked ones. The judgment that is to come upon the wicked is described in Habakkuk 2:18-20.
This verse speaks of the impending judgment on those that trust and worship idols and false gods.
Call to repent
In Isaiah 34, the owl’s hooting symbolizes a call for the people to turn to God and repent for their sins. Verses 13-14 of the Book of Isaiah warn the people that their nations and cities will be destroyed and become home to predatory creatures if they don’t stop their wickedness.
The hooting of an owl in Psalm 102 symbolizes the cries of the writer’s loneliness. In his distress, the psalmist calls out and seeks comfort from God.
He compares himself to a lonely owl hooting in the desert. However, the psalm also suggests that the lonely psalmist finds comfort in the faith that God is listening to his woes.
What Is the Biblical Meaning of Owls?
The owl is associated with destruction and death throughout the Holy Bible. Due to their predatory nature, the owls are one of the dwellers in the ruins of the destroyed city of Babylon.
The prophet Jeremiah reveals the destruction of Babylon by God. According to the prophecy, the only inhabitants in the ruins of Babylon will be desert creatures, hyenas, and owls, and the land will not be habitable for generations to come.
In the Old Testament, the owl is also among the birds listed as unclean and forbidden for consumption by the Israelites. The description of owls as unclean birds is present in both Leviticus 11:16-17 and Deuteronomy 14:15-16.
Another biblical meaning assigned to the powerful hooting of owls is Micah’s comparison of the owl’s voice to a mournful lament. The meaning of owls in the Holy Bible is mainly negative.
The Owl Biblical Meaning in Christian Art
Owls are nocturnal creatures with highly advanced sight and almost cunning intellect, which is why they are associated with the dark. In Christian art, the owl is often used as a satanic symbol.
Owls are predators that trick other birds into falling in traps set by hunters. Thus, drawing a comparison to Satan, who is known for deceiving humanity. In medieval Christian art and literature, owls symbolize evil and demonic presence.
On the other hand, owls are also present in art pieces depicting crucifixion scenes. Because owls are nocturnal birds, meaning they can see in the dark, they represent those who died and were saved by Christ.
Superstition About Owls in Christian Folklore
In the early days of Christianity in Europe, owls held a significant meaning in folklore and superstitions. In some parts of the continent, believers had the superstition that hearing an owl hoot three times in a row was a sign that someone was about to die.
Christian folk tales in other parts of Europe described owls as helpful and wise creatures. In these tales, the owls offered guidance and assistance to those in need of help.
Species of Owls Present in the Holy Bible
The great owl. The name of this owl comes from the Hebrew word and name yanshuf. Yanshuf means twilight in Hebrew. Some versions of the scriptures changed the great owl’s name to “dart-snake” or “arrow snake.”
The little owl. It comes from the Hebrew word kos, often translated to mean “mother of ruins.” The little owl is often present in the ruins and deserted cities of Palestine.
The screech owl. The screech owl’s name derives from the Hebrew name Lilith, renamed “night monster” due to its distinct hooting.
The horned owl. Considered one of the unclean birds in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The name of the horned owl comes from the Hebrew word tinshemet.
The ostrich owl. This type of owl is known as bat ya’anah in Hebrew. In some versions of the scriptures, this owl is translated as “ostrich.” The ostrich owl is a bird that thrives in the desert and only cries and hoots.
Bible Verses Referencing Owls
“Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.”
“I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. I am a brother to dragons and a companion to owls.”
“Therefore, the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein, and it shall be no more inhabited for ever, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.”
“I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.”
“But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.”
“Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles, and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls. Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there, the night creatures will also lie down and find for themselves places of rest.”
“There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.”
“And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.”
Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism of an Owl Hooting
Besides the ability to see in the dark, these nocturnal creatures are recognizable by their haunting and unique hooting. Even though owls are nocturnal creatures generally heard at night, it is possible to hear their hoots during the daytime.
As owls are messengers, like ravens and crows, many believe they are able to fly between worlds. So, hearing an owl hooting during the day may have a significant spiritual meaning.
Spiritually, an owl hooting during the day may mean there is a message from your spirit guide, guardian angel, or one of your ancestors.
Another spiritual meaning of an owl hooting is as a sign that you should let go of everything that is holding you back and start anew. The spiritual symbolism of an owl’s hoot represents the better days ahead.
What is the spiritual meaning of owls?
There are many spiritual meanings and symbolism attached to owls. This is not surprising as they are among the birds humans most commonly associate with the mysteries of life. Owls symbolize different things in life, love, and family.
Symbols of wisdom
Owls are largely associated with wisdom. Owls as symbols of wisdom are present from ancient times to today’s children’s cartoons. For example, in Greek mythology, the goddess of wisdom and strategy, Athena, has an owl as her animal.
Owl symbolism in love
Owls are solitary creatures. Owls keep to their territory, haunt, and live away from other owls. Owls only seek companionship when it’s time to make a family, so some regard them as symbols of love.
When they seek company, the male owls create a safe roosting spot and call out to attract female owls. After the female owls arrive, they inspect the nests and the male owl and decide if they will stay or leave.
Many believe that hearing an owl hooting at night is a sign from their spirit guide that they will soon meet their true love.
People see owls as the ultimate symbol of freedom due to their solitary nature. Owls are free to do as they please and fly wherever they want.
If you see or hear an owl, it may be a message from your guardian angel that it is time to spread your wings and fly away.
If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, your spirit guides and angels may be trying to send you a sign to get out of it and leave behind the toxic environment. If you are not involved in a romantic relationship, the guides may point to a toxic relationship with material things.
It would be best to listen to what the angels are trying to tell you and find a way to live a life full of peace that’s free from toxicity.
Death symbolism and owls
Across many cultures and religions, the owl symbolizes impending doom. Especially when someone you know is gravely injured, seeing or hearing an owl may be a negative omen.
However, not every death symbolism is negative. For example, if someone close to you has died, an owl may be a sign that their spirit is still around to comfort you in your grief.
Why are owls considered unclean in the Bible?
In the Old Testament, owls are one of the birds God considers unclean for his children, the Israelites, to consume. The owls are considered unclean due to their impurity as they haunt and drink blood.
Are owls evil?
Even though owls symbolize things like death, destruction, mourning, and loneliness, they are not evil. It is important to remember that even owls are part of God’s creation, so they can’t be evil.
The biblical meaning of an owl hooting can be many different things. These meanings include grief, loneliness, death, mourning, and utter destruction. In the Bible, the owl and its hooting often convey negative messages and are seen as bad omens.
Owls are one of the creatures in the Bible that thrive in ruins and the desolate landscape of the barren desert. In the Old Testament, owls are also on the list of unclean animals. This means they are impure, and God’s children should not consume them.