A Werewolf in the Bible?

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Is there a werewolf in the Bible? Certainly…yes.

First, a little bit of background info:

Lycanthropy:

Is defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome which involves a delusion that the affected person can or has transformed into an animal, or that he or she is an animal.

The word “lycanthropy”, comes from the Greek word “lukos” which means “wolf” and from the Greek word “anthropos”, which means “man”.

Though the term “Lycan” literally means “wolf”, Lycanthropy can encompass a variety of animals.  There are cases where patients have psychologically transformed into dogs, hyenas, cats, horses, birds, tigers, frogs, and even bees (in the U.S. we have had about 35 published cases of clinical Lycanthropy).

Interestingly enough, the term Lycan has gained mythical significance.

The word is now connected to the supernatural affliction in which people are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. This myth ultimately has an unknown specific origin. Though there are many hypotheses most are based somewhat from the actual documented mental disorder mentioned earlier.

So what does this information have to do with a Lycan in your Christian Bible?

Enter Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

He was the king who had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing the knee to his 125 foot image of gold (Daniel chapter 3). You know the story. After which when they did not perish inside the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar made a decree:

“That every people,nation and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”

Historically, he was an extremely powerful ruler. Here is a quote from the historian Sir Henry Rawlinson:

“Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labor, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, ‘Is not this great Babylon which I have built?’”

From that inscription we see that Nebuchadnezzar was extremely boastful of himself. Upon reading the Book of Daniel, we see that Nebuchadnezzar respected the God of Daniel but he did not worship Him; he was a classic narcissist who believed in many gods but who ultimately truly worshiped only the one who’s image appeared every time he gazed in a mirror.

So then the God of Daniel sent the king a nightmare. In his fear he searched for its interpretation from among all the wise men of Babylon (who failed); he finally relented and had Daniel interpret the dream.

Here is what Daniel said (Daniel chapter 4):

This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:  you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you will eat grass as oxen, and will be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven years will pass over you, till you know that the most High rules the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever He will.”

The God of Daniel was intending to curse Nebuchadnezzar and have him become a beast of the field.

This is the biblical werewolf that I was speaking of, a soon to be sufferer of Lycanthropy.

But then Daniel said to the king that there is a way out. All Nebuchadnezzar had to do was repent and show mercy to the poor.

Twelve months then passed since the king had the dream. He then makes this statement: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?”

When the king made this statement he sealed his own doom. The God of Daniel spoke audibly to Nebuchadnezzar then struck him with our Lycanthrope malady:

“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles, and his nails like birds.”

So he lived in the bush like a madman. For seven years he did not bathe and his hair grew and became so matted that it appeared as feathers or fur. His nails through the filth of mud and the wild became like talons. Adding the sun beating on his body and the callouses and abrasions which formed on him throughout that length of time, these all certainly gave him the appearance of a beast which was animated from the psychosis of his mind.

The king was about 45 years old at this time.

He suffered from this affliction for seven long years.

Pride is indeed a destroyer.

REDEMPTION

There is a post script to this event. At the conclusion of his time, Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses and began to give praise and worship to the God of Daniel who has then become the God of Nebuchadnezzar.

In the king’s own words (still Daniel chapter 4):

“But at the end of the appointed time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven, and my sanity returned to me.  I extolled the Most High, and I praised and glorified the One who lives forever. For His authority is an everlasting authority, and His kingdom extends from one generation to the next.  All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He wishes with the army of heaven and with those who inhabit the earth. No one slaps His hand and says to Him, ‘What have you done?’ 

At that time my sanity returned to me. I was restored to the honor of my kingdom, and my splendor returned to me. My ministers and my nobles were seeking me out, and I was reinstated over my kingdom. I became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all His deeds are right and His ways are just. He is able to bring down those who live in pride.”

Blessing and honor and glory forever to You, my God.

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| Rev. Daniel Gabriel |

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