Will there be pets in Heaven?
There are as many answers to this question as there are philosophies, with and without religion. So I don’t anticipate a total resolution of the question today. However, I would like to explore the concept from the philosophy of the ancient Hebrews, God’s Chosen People who were delivered from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land.
Or, at least, my understanding of their philosophy. Here goes.
If you go back to Day 6 of the creation story, land animals were created, following the previous days’ creation of plants, birds and creatures teeming in the waters. In Genesis 1:20 the word translated “creatures” comes from the Hebrew word nephesh. Nephesh can be translated many ways, but the first definition is “soul.”
In Genesis 2:7, referring to man as a “living being,” the same Hebrew word is used: nephesh.
Now, it is important to understand that the ancient Israelites didn’t view people as “having” souls, but “being” souls. I am a soul. You are a soul. Your pet dogs and cats are souls. Your cattle, horses, sheep and goats are souls. Weasels and rats and all kinds of “creatures” are souls.
Will there be pets in Heaven? Only God knows, but they are as close to anything Heavenly we have on earth. The Lord knows how much joy they bring to us here, and I believe He will want them to continue to bring joy to us there, too.
See you Monday, Dr. Randolph.
All Biblical quotations from the New International Version (NIV)