When reading the Bible, I try to understand it deeply by researching the different animals used and what they symbolize. This helps me interpret the scripture from a more informed point of view. Lately, I have been focusing on the Old Testament and have come across the ram several times. This led me to research more about what this animal symbolizes. So, what does a ram symbolize in the Bible?
A ram holds several symbols in the Bible depending on different interpretations and personal beliefs. One of the outstanding symbols this animal holds is sacrifice. The first time a ram is presented in the Bible is in the book of Genesis 22, where God provides Abraham with one to sacrifice instead of his son, Isaac. This sacred animal is also associated with strength, power, redemption, and leadership.
I invite you to join me as I delve deeper into the biblical symbols of a ram. I will also discuss the various bible verses that feature a ram and what it means when you encounter a ram in your dream. Keep reading to learn more.
How are rams used in the Bible?
Rams have been mentioned severally in the Bible and in a different contexts. We first witnessed a ram in the Bible as a sacrifice. In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to give him his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. With obedience, Abraham followed God’s instructions. However, before he could sacrifice his only son, Abraham looked behind and found a ram, which he sacrificed instead of his beloved son, Isaac. Rams continue to appear later on in the scripture as acceptable sacrifices before God (Leviticus 9:4). Therefore, rams hold core biblical symbolism of sacrifice.
Additionally, in the book of Exodus, the Israelites sacrificed a ram at the end of their 40-year journey. Ram is also used in Daniel 8:3, and this time, not as a sacrifice. The ram appeared in Daniel’s prophetic vision, symbolizing two kingdoms that later came together to take down Babylon. The vision of Daniel, which involved a ram, signified strength and power.
What is the origin of the ram symbol?
The ram symbol can be traced to Mesopotamia, which is among the first known places where this symbol was used. The ram was associated with their god, Hadad. During ancient Egyptian mythology, the ram was associated with god Amun-RA and even worshipped as a creator. The ram also has a popular history in Rome and Greece, where it was also associated with the gods Zeus, Apollo, and Mars.
What is the meaning of a ram symbol?
The ram is often associated with courage, strength, and determination. As stated above, during Daniel’s vision of the two communities that will bring down Babylon, he saw a ram. This is a major reason why people view rams as a symbol of strength. Some communities also view rams as symbols of abundance and fertility because of their ability to have many offspring. Some cultures also view the ram as a symbol of masculinity.
5 symbolic meanings of rams in the Bible
- Strength and Power: As stated above, the ram is often associated with strength and power in the Bible. This is likely because rams are known for their physical prowess and ability to overcome obstacles. For example, in Genesis 22:13, a ram is sacrificed in place of Isaac, symbolizing the power of God to provide a substitute sacrifice for sin. God could have chosen any other animal to act as a sacrifice, but instead went with a ram. This also makes some people associate a ram with holiness.
- Sacrifice: Rams were often used as sacrifices in the Old Testament to atone for sins. This practice is seen in the story of Abraham and Isaac and in Exodus 29:15, where a ram is offered as a burnt offering. The sacrifice of a ram symbolized the giving up of something valuable to atone for wrongdoing.
- Leadership: Though a bit indirectly, rams are associated with leadership. The scripture calls Jesus Christ the “lamb of God” (John 1:29). Since Christ is referred to as a He in the scripture, some people associate the baby sheep (lamb) as being male, which will ultimately grow to a ram. They then use this analogy to link a ram to leadership, as Christ is the head of the church. As a symbol of leadership, the ram represents the qualities of wisdom, strength, and courage.
- Redemption: The ram is also a symbol of redemption in the Bible. In the story of the binding of Isaac, the ram that was sacrificed in Isaac’s place is seen as a symbol of redemption and salvation. This is because the ram’s sacrifice represents the offering of a substitute, a theme throughout the Bible.
- Authority: Rams are also associated with authority in the Bible. This is seen in Daniel 8:20-21, where the ram with two horns is interpreted as a symbol of the kings of Media and Persia. As a symbol of authority, the ram represents the power to lead, rule, and make decisions that affect the lives of others.
What do rams mean in different cultures?
Rams hold different meanings according to the different cultures. Some cultures view this animal with positivity as they associate it with power, strength, and abundance. On the other hand, other cultures associate negative symbols of violence and aggression with this animal.
As stated earlier, the ram was viewed as God Hadad in Mesopotamia, god Amun-Ra in Egypt, god Zeus in Greek mythology, and God Hermes in Rome. In Indian culture, a ram is considered a sacred animal that often appears in Hindu artwork as Indra.
Traveling to China, this animal is among the twelve animals that are associated with the Chinese zodiac signs. Additionally, this animal is quite famous in heraldry, and many organizations and military units have used it as a special symbol throughout history. This animal is widely recognized, with its symbols varying from culture to culture.
The Native American culture views a ram as a sacred animal, with most tribes associating it with the sun and seeing it as a symbol of power. Other tribes attribute knowledge and wisdom to this animal. The ram has also played a core role in the legends and myths of the Native Americans. For example, the ram is portrayed as one of the first animals that were created in the Navajo creation story. The Hopi tribe of the Native American culture links this animal to fertility and rain.
Spiritual meaning of rams?
- Leadership and Power: In ancient Egyptian culture, the ram was associated with the God Amun, who was often depicted with the horns of a ram. The ram was seen as a symbol of leadership, power, and authority.
- Sacrifice and Atonement: In Judeo-Christian tradition, the ram is a significant and sacred animal that is viewed as a sacrifice. This belief is associated with the Old Testament, where Abraham was instructed to sacrifice a ram as a substitute for his son Isaac. This event was seen as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is sometimes referred to as the “Lamb of God” in Christian theology.
- Perseverance and Strength: In some Native American cultures, the ram is viewed as a symbol of perseverance and strength. The animal’s ability to climb mountains and navigate challenging terrain is associated with overcoming obstacles and challenges in life.
- Vitality and Fertility: In astrology and mythology, the constellation Aries is associated with the ram. Aries is often associated with vitality, fertility, and new beginnings, as it is the first sign of the zodiac.
What does it mean when you dream about a ram?
The meaning of ram in a dream varies depending on personal beliefs and how the dream occurred. If you are dreaming of a ram trapping or chasing you, this may symbolize vulnerability and fear that you hold in your life. It could also indicate that there is an issue in your life that you are putting aside instead of dealing with it head-on.
On the other hand, if you dream that you are fighting a ram, this could be an indicator of an inner struggle or conflict that you are currently facing in your waking life. It may also be an indicator that you are being blocked by something or someone from achieving your desired dreams and goals.
A ram in a dream might also symbolize determination, strength, and power. This is often associated with a dream where you are riding the ram. This could also indicate that you are comfortable and in control of your current life, signifying a period of abundance and good luck.
If you see a dead ram in your dream or you kill one, it may be a symbol or sacrifice or an impending death that you are about to go through. It could also be a sign of letting go of someone that is no longer serving your higher self.
Bible verses about a ram?
Genesis 22:3, this verse is a section of the story where Abraham willingly agreed to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of his faith in God. Just before Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice, God provided him with a lamp to offer instead of his son.
Leviticus 16:20-22 This passage describes the ritual of the scapegoat, which was another form of atonement for the sins of the people. One goat was sacrificed, while the other was sent out into the wilderness to symbolically carry away the sins of the people.
In Exodus 29:15, in this verse, a ram is also portrayed as a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, when people sinned, priests could lay their hands on a ram as a sign of transferring the sins to the ram, then offer the ram as a sacrifice.
Ezekiel 34:17, this verse is just a section of chapter 31 where God is rebuking the leaders of Israel for their mistreatment of the people. The scriptures use terms like “sheep,” “rams,” and “goats” as a metaphor for the different classes of people, and God promises to judge between them and hold each one accountable for their actions.
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.