As a born-again Christian and pastor, I love teaching my kids the word of God. Last week, I bought them some books full of pictures of Biblical characters and animals.
As I was teaching them the story of Samson, they came across a fox in one of the books. Since my younger son thought it was a dog, I had to explain what a fox is.
One of the questions that my older son asked me was, “What does a fox symbolize in the Bible?”
The Bible suggests that a fox symbolizes destruction. This is because it was the animal that Samson used to destroy the grains in the fields of the Philippines (Judges 15:4). Biblical scholars also imply that a fox in the Bible symbolizes opposition since persecutors are referred to as foxes (Luke 13:32). They also speculate that a fox symbolizes worthlessness and humility.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the biblical meaning of a fox. Keep reading to find out where a fox is mentioned in the Bible and much more!
Where in the Bible does it talk about foxes?
A fox is mentioned in Songs of Solomon 2:15, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Biblical scholars suggest that this verse means just like little foxes in the vineyards destroy the vines, it is the little things in life that ruin our relationship with God.
This animal is also mentioned in Judges 15:4, which mentions that Samson caught 300 foxes: “So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails.”
In this passage, Samson is believed to tie torches to the foxes before releasing them to destroy grain in the fields of the Philistines.
This was an act of revenge from Samson to the Philistines for offending him.
Jesus referred to Herod as the fox in Luke 13:32 when the Pharisees warned him to go away since Herod wanted to kill him. The verse states, “And he said to them, Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.'”
Christians imply that the word fox in this bible verse is used as a metaphor for a persecutor.
Additionally, Jesus also mentioned foxes in Luke 9:58, “And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.””
This Bible verse mentions that foxes live in holes, yet Jesus did not have a permanent shelter to call home while he was on earth.
Foxes are believed to be nocturnal animals that are more active at night than during the day. Holes are safe places for them to sleep.
Tobiah also mentions a fox in Nehemiah 4:3, “Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, ‘Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!'”
In this passage, Tobiah and Sanballat are trying to discourage Nehemiah from building the Jerusalem wall.
Biblical scholars argue that Tobiah mentioned foxes since they were numerous in those areas, and they used to frequent the Mount of Zion.
They also believe that the stone wall that Tobiah was referring to was so low and weak that a fox would not struggle to ascend to the top of it and tumble down since it was built carelessly.
What is the meaning of foxes in the Bible?
Though foxes are known for their clever reputation, the Bible depicts them negatively. For instance, foxes are cunning and crafty in the Bible.
We can learn this from Ezekiel 13:4 which says, “O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.”
This Bible verse compares false prophets to foxes in the deserts since they seem to have similar characteristics. Just like foxes make a prey of whatever comes within their reach, so do the false prophets who wait to deceive the Lord’s people.
Foxes in the Bible are also believed to represent solitude. Unlike wolves that form packs, the Bible depicts foxes as solitary animals. We can learn this from the words of Jesus, who said that foxes lived in holes.
The Bible also depicts foxes as mischievous animals that can leave behind significant damage. Christians believe that Songs of Solomon 2:15 reminds us not to let obstacles in life damage our harvest before it matures. The verse reads, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Some people argue that foxes in the Bible are a warning to believers. Foxes in the Bible also represent sins that look negligible but can turn dangerous.
5 symbolic meanings of foxes in the Bible
According to some theologians, foxes in the Bible symbolize worthlessness since Jesus used the metaphor of a fox to describe Herod, who was against his ministry. Though Jesus was doing good deeds, such as healing people and driving at demons, Herod was unhappy with him.
The Bible suggests that Jesus was unmoved by the threats of Herod and called him a fox which is viewed as a worthless creature.
Some Christians also imply that foxes in the Bible symbolize opposition because false prophets and persecutors are referred to as foxes. Just like a fox is opposed to progress, so are such people.
They are determined to cause trouble and ruin the peace that Christians enjoy in church. That is why the Bible insists that foxes should be caught so that they don’t interfere with things.
Symbol of the call to follow Christ
We mentioned that Jesus compares his lack of a place to lay his head with the holes where foxes live. Luke 9:58 says, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
Christians believe that in this verse, foxes are used as a symbol of the call to follow Christ and can teach us about the nature of Jesus’ ministry.
Unlike foxes that have somewhere to sleep, the nature of Jesus’ ministry did not guarantee him a place to sleep.
The gospels suggest that Jesus often spent most of his time in the fields teaching. Luke 10:6-8 mentions that Jesus and his disciples often slept in the homes of those kind enough to take them in: “And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.”
Theologians, therefore, imply that when you decide to follow Jesus, you may have to leave the comfort of your home and family to follow an unknown path through faith in God. Foxes in the Bible are therefore believed to symbolize a call to trust and follow Christ.
Humility and poverty
Based on the same words of Jesus, where he compares his lack of shelter to the holes of a fox, some Christians also speculate that foxes symbolize humility and poverty.
They imply that Jesus used this comparison to show that he did not care much about material possession. Though the Bible mentions that Jesus is the son of God, he was humble and did not own much in the world.
Christians, therefore, argue that mentioning a fox’s habitat in this passage can teach us about the importance of humility. The Bible even reminds us not to lay up treasures on earth but in heaven. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
Some Biblical scholars also suggest that foxes in the Bible symbolize destruction because they were the animals that Samson specifically picked to punish the Philistines.
The foxes caused significant damage to the grains in the land.
The symbolic meaning of foxes in different cultures
Native American Culture
A fox plays various roles in different cultures. For instance, according to Native American myths, this animal is believed to be a benevolent spirit that created the earth and guides mankind.
A fox also exists in different Native traditions as a clan animal representing the family. The Native Americans also associate this animal with the sun and fire.
Other Native Americans also believed that a fox symbolizes trickery since it serves its interest and does not consider others.
Far East Cultures
Far Eastern cultures also believe that a fox has certain symbolic meanings. They even came up with stories depicting foxes that were previously humans.
Such stories led to the belief that foxes convey messages from ghosts and ancestors. Some Far Eastern stories also depict a fox as a villain. People believe that this animal can shift into a woman’s body and lure men.
The Japanese speculate that a fox symbolizes good fortune. They also believe this animal possesses immense intelligence. Some Japanese folktales describe a fox as a protector of lucky humans.
According to this tradition, the fox is believed to be a magical creature. The Japanese also have tales of how foxes guided people in matters to do with choosing a life partner and marriage.
On the other hand, Celts speculate that a fox is a sacred animal that is not only wise but also a healer. According to this culture, when you come across a fox, it could mean that you should be keener on your environment while at the same time remaining unnoticed.
This culture also believes that a fox has a lot of keen insight and it is a spirit guide.
Africans regard this animal as a creature of patience, determination, and trickery. They believe that when you see a fox, it could mean that bad things are about to happen. Since a fox symbolizes warning in African culture, it reminds people to avoid potential danger.
Africans also notice the incredible eyesight of this animal and speculate that it can see a thief or witch from a distance. Therefore, they believe that a fox symbolizes a protector against evil in a home.
According to Eastern European fairy tales, a fox is believed to be an advisor or companion of a hero. In such stories, the intelligence of the story always seems to exceed that of the hero. Therefore in this culture, a fox is a symbol of intelligence.
Koreans imply that foxes, in certain situations, represent death. They believe that if a fox barks at you, death is close. The Persians do not share the same sentiments since they speculate that when a fox barks, it could indicate that it is about to rain.
What is the spiritual meaning of foxes?
Powerful spiritual energy
Though foxes are famous for their sneaky nature, they are known for their powerful spiritual energy in the spiritual world. Some people imply that foxes can give you insight into your spiritual gifts.
For instance, they believe this animal could help you learn how to manage such gifts.
Foxes are also believed to represent protection in the spiritual world. People argue that the fur of a fox is a protective tool since it can camouflage and keep the animal warm on a cold day.
According to spiritual people, a fox not only protects itself, but it can also protect humans.
Some people also speculate that the spiritual meaning of a fox is manifestation because a fox has a bright vision. People believe that they often have the outcome they want to achieve. This is what is believed to give them their great hunting skills.
According to spiritual people, a fox represents cleverness since they are believed to be among the most intelligent animals in the world.
There is even a common saying that states, “clever as a fox.” Some people believe that when you encounter a fox, it could be a sign of wisdom.
They even speculate that this encounter could mean that you should consider embracing the changes that will come your way. Some people also suggest that foxes represent cleverness in the spiritual world due to outsmarting humans and their predators.
Though foxes belong to the canine family, they are more independent than other animals, such as coyotes and wolves. They are different from the rest since they hunt independently and do not travel in packs. That is why some spiritual people speculate that foxes represent independence.
Some people also imply that, spiritually, foxes symbolize nature. They spend a lot of time in nature and sometimes enjoy urban living. They have no problem adapting to different environments.
People suggest that seeing a fox encourages you to get in touch with your wild nature and listen to your instincts.
Experts imply that foxes carry the characteristics of both masculine and feminine. They believe that their feminine presence enables them to tap into intuitive knowledge.
Since foxes represent both genders, they are believed to be highly productive and empathic. People imply that a fox can understand your feelings and help you balance your energies.
What does it mean to dream about foxes?
Many people speculate that a dream about foxes could be a warning sign. It could mean you should not trust everyone since some people may not be your true friends.
Since a fox is associated with the opposition, the dream could mean that not everyone in your life wants to see you succeed.
Foxes are also known to live in solitary. Therefore, dream interpreters suggest that if you dream with a fox, it could mean that you enjoy your own company.
Since this can sometimes get lonely, the dream could encourage you to socialize more and try to make new friends.
Some people also imply that when a woman dreams about a fox, it could mean that someone is following her without her knowledge. Others also interpret this dream to mean that the woman may have a rival in their romantic relationship.
According to dream interpreters, one can know the exact meaning of such a dream by remembering each detail and thinking about their situation.
Others speculate that if you dream with a silver fox, it could mean that you are wise. A silver fox is believed to symbolize wit or wisdom. In Islam faith, people imply that dreaming of a fox is a reminder to be careful with your words.
Some people also believe that if you dream of a fox, it signifies that something bad is about to happen. It could mean that you may lose someone close or lose money.
Some also speculate that if you dream about a fox with a thick tail, it could mean you may deal with an unpleasant individual.
Dreaming of fighting a fox in your dream is believed to mean that a cunning enemy is about to confront you. It is also believed that if you dream of a fox, it could mean that you are about to outsmart a problem since a fox is a symbol of intelligence.
Are foxes a bad or good omen?
People have differing views on this since some associate this animal with a good omen while others link it with a bad omen. For instance, some people in certain cultures imply that when a fox crosses your path, it could mean that you are about to gain something positive in your life.
On the other hand, others believe that if you see a fox roaming around your home, it is a bad omen since it could mean that death is about to occur.
While some suggest that seeing many foxes together is a bad omen, others speculate that seeing one fox is a lucky symbol.
Some cultures believe that fighting a fox is a good omen since it could mean the defeat of an enemy. Foxes in agricultural settings are considered bad omen since they can destroy a farm and make off with some of the livestock.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.