Where Did Easter Rabbits Come From?


In his commentary today, Roger Meyer of the Living Church of God had the following:

Just where did the Easter Bunny come from?

In Egypt there were many gods and goddesses, and they were represented in numerous ways. They were often given an animal form as a symbolic representation. Many were depicted as a human body with an animal or bird head. Many gods and goddesses overlapped the functions of others and earlier tribal goddesses merged over time. An example is Isis, goddess of fertility (and magic and healing), who is known under many names all over the world.

Unut was the Egyptian hare goddess (though she was originally depicted as a snake). Sculptures were discovered in the Men-Kau-Re Valley temple in Egypt which depicted King Men-Kau-Re (grandson of Khufu), the goddess Hathor (the celestial mother of the sun calf), and Hermopolite, or the hare nome, wearing the hare standard. Upper Egyptian nomes, or provinces, were usually represented in the form of a standard. There is an Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for the hare. The Egyptian word for hare was un which meant “to open” or “the opener.” The hare symbol may have been used for the word “to open” because a hare is born with its eyes open. The hare symbolized the opening of the new year and the beginning of new life in the spring at the vernal equinox.

The mythology of ancient people spread all over the world. The Saxon goddess Eostre is synonymous with the Phoenician goddess Astarte, goddess of the moon and the measurer of time. Associating the hare with the moon is thought to be related to the hare’s gestation period of one month, and to the hare’s nocturnal feeding. The association of rabbits and the moon can be found all over the world. In China, figures of hares are commonly found at Chinese moon festivals, where they represent fertility. The “hare in the moon” is far more prevalent than the “man in the moon.”

In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, the goddess Eostre/Ostara/Astarte, etc., is associated with the spring and fertility, the moon, and also personifiies greeting the rising sun. To amuse children, Eostre changed her pet bird into a hare that layed brightly colored eggs which the goddess gave to the children. Saxons held the pagan festival for Eostra on the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring.

The Easter Bunny came to America in the 1700s by immigrants from Germany where it had been called “Osterhase” – Oster or Oschter being German for Easter (derived from Eostra, Ishtar, etc.), and hase being the German word for hare. (Meyers R. Easter Bunny or Eostre Hare. LCG Commentary, April 19, 2011. http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?category=Commentary1&item=1302894647#read_more

Now, it is not just those in the Living Church of God who realize the pagan connections, notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia also teaches:

The Easter Rabbit The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility (Simrock, Mythologie, 551)…(Holweck F. G. Transcribed by John Wagner and Michael T. Barrett. Easter. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

It should be clear that rabbits have to do with pagan traditions, not biblical ones. And, if we go back to the Old Testament, the only references to rabbits are that they are unclean and should not be eaten:

6 the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7 and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you. (Leviticus 11:6-8, NKJV)

7 But of them that chew the cud, but divide not the hoof, you shall not eat, such as the camel, the hare, and the cherogril: because they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof, they shall be unclean to you. 8 The swine also, because it divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, shall be unclean, their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. (Deuteronomy 14:7-8, Douay-Rheims).

Notice that the only two passages from the Old Testament that mention hares (a type of rabbit) state that they are unclean and that there carcasses are not even to be touched (for more information on unclean animals and Christianity, please see The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats.). The exalting of rabbits on a day supposedly to celebrate Jesus makes no sense from a biblical perspective–it clearly came from pagan influence.

There is simply nothing in the Bible that hints that rabbits should be part of celebrations for those who wish to follow God.

But despite the Bible and what history shows, most who profess Christ tend to ignore the fact that early Christians kept Passover on the 14th, but instead tend to observe a compromised holiday with elements of paganism called Easter.  Yet, you have a choice.

Those who wish to learn more should also study the following articles:

Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?
How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2017, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

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