Can you bear it?

Photographers have bucket lists, including me. One of those items on my bucket list was to see bears in their natural environment and to photograph them. What excitement I felt when I saw my first bear that I could photograph! I have seen bears before but was unable to photograph them as they were crossing the road in front of my car or were too far away. A couple times, I had the opportunity to photograph them but my settings were wrong or I had the wrong lens on my camera. My first bear encounter was out west in a National Park. It was either in Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons. We found a group of cars stopped on the road with a Ranger directing the traffic. These are called bear jams. In the trees was a cinnamon brown bear. I stood their fascinated as it was the first time I had seen a bear in a tree munching on the leaves.

Cinnamon brown bear searching for berries in a tree in Yellowstone National Park.
Where are the berries!

I went for bear sightings with a friend of mine several years ago. We drove up and down the gravel roads looking for bears in . trees! We were very excited when we found a bear in a tree! We saw several bears that day.

Brown bear sleeping in a tree in Pungo Wildlife Refuge.
Afternoon siesta Pungo Wildlife Preserve
Black bear mama snd teo babies strolling down a dirt road at Pungo wildlife preserve in Eastern North Catolina.
Out for a stroll! Pungo Wildlife Preserve
Black bear on his hind legs overlooking a corn field in Pungo Wildlife refuge.
Balancing act! Pungo Wildlife Preserve

There are only eight species of bears and they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. The species include the polar bear, brown bear, American black bear, spectacled bear, Asian black bear, sloth bear, sun bear, and giant panda. Together, the eight bear species make up the living members of the bear family Ursidae. Common characteristics of modern bears include large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, small rounded ears, shaggy hair and short tails. They walk on their toes and metatarsals flat on the ground.

ZPolar bear sitting in the water at the San Diehinzoo.
Polar bear at Dan Diego zoo.

While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous, and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous with varied diets. With the exception of courting individuals and mothers with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They may be diurnal or nocturnal and have an excellent sense of smell. Despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they are adept runners, climbers, and swimmers. Bears use shelters, such as caves and logs, as their dens; most species occupy their dens during the winter for a long period of hibernation, up to 100 days. (Wikipedia)

Bears symbolize destructive power in the bible.

Black and white pand playing in grass coveted enclosure National zoo in Washington, DC.
Great Panda bear National zoo in Washington, DC.

Proverbs 28:15 (KJV) uses a bear to describe a wicked ruler. “As a roaring lion, and a raging bear; So is a wicked ruler over the poor people.”

In 2 Kings 2:23 and 24 (KJV) our Creator uses two bears to kill 42 children . “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

In Daniel 7:5 (New International Version)) we see a bear …..And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

The bear represents the Medo-Persian empire in the Bible. The superiority of the Persians over the Medes is shown by the way the bear is raised on one side. The empires’ three rivals, i.e. Lydia, Egypt and Babylon, are symbolized by the three ribs between its teeth.

One side.—In explaining this very difficult phrase, it must be remembered that the two sides of the bear are parallel in meaning to the two breasts and two arms of the Colossus. It is implied, therefore, that the second kingdom consists of two parts, and the raising up of one side implies that one part of the kingdom would come into greater prominence than the other. Such was the case with the Medo-Persian Empire.

Three ribs.—These cannot signify the people who constitute the second empire, but rather some kingdoms which had already been subdued by it; and by the command, “Arise and devour,” the second empire is permitted to make further conquests before its disappearance. The three ribs have been understood from the time of St. Hippolytus to mean three nations: the Babylonians, the Lydians, and the Egyptians. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers)

Brown bear searching
Back bear rooting for food.

Early Prophecy Concerning The Medes

First mention of the Medes in Scripture is found in the prophetic utterance of Isaiah when he declared 175 years before it was fulfilled, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it” (Isaiah 13:17; cp. 21:2). In succeeding verses the downfall of Babylon is predicted, “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19).

Jeremiah includes the Medes as one of many nations which will be punished by God (Jeremiah 25:25). Jeremiah also states that the Medes will be used of God to destroy Babylon: “Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple” (Jeremiah 51:11; cp. 51:28). Thus long before Babylon fell it was predicted that the Medes would be God’s avenging instrument.

Black brar out on a limb in a tree surrounded by fall golden leaves.
Out on a limb!

The bear again is mentioned in Rev. 13:2. “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And his feet were as [the feet] of a bear;
to which the Persian monarchy is compared, ( Daniel 7:5 ). And this, as some think, may denote the strength and stability of the kingdom of antichrist, it having already endured a great while, and will be thought to be very firm and stable when its ruin is near; or rather the wars and fightings of antichrist against the saints, the fore feet of the bear being what that creature fights with, tears and destroys which opposes it, or fall a prey to it; and may also, as before, express the voraciousness and cruelty of antichrist, with respect to the bodies and souls of men… (Bible Study Tools)

Bears have a new meaning for me and when I photograph them I will always connect them as part of my Creators plan of salvation!

Black bear Skyline Drive in VA.

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