Most of the animals are clearly depicted in the oracle bones. Below the oracle bones for dog, elephant, rat, tiger, horse and pig.
But a few animals are depicted in another way. One is the sheep.
has the meaning sheep or goat.
The sheep took the place of Adam. It had to die in his place. Adam sinned. And the judgement for that is eternal death. But through the sacrifice of a sheep Adam could recieve a temporary forgiveness.
The body of the sheep is the body of the disobidient Adam . Just the hornes of the sheep are added. Instead of Adam going to hell, the innocent lamb did go there. The purpose of the lamb was to take the sin of man.
This is also a prophecy of the coming savior that is called the lamb of God.
Today is written 羊
oracle bone script for 羊
has the meaning shy, embarass, shame, mortification and feel ashamed. The character consists of two parts: a sheep and a hand. Accordning to dictionaries the original meaning of the character is to submit and to present. It could be refering to offering delicious food. It is a picture of a hand catching a ram.
Where does the shame and mortification come in?
As I see it, the sheep/lamb was innocent and blameless. Adam was full of sin. He felt ashamed that an animal had to die. But there was no other way. The lamb had to take his punishment. And its blood had to be shed.
The lamb was then submitted and presented unto God as a sacrificial animal.
Today is written 羞
oracle bone script for 羞
has the meaning auspicious, propitious, promising and lucky. The character consists of two parts: a sheep and a sacrificial altar. The character has the original meaning to sacrifice a lamb.
This was for sure the lamb that gave clothes to Adam and Eve.
That God did not immediately kill Adam and Eve was only because of his great love for man. Simply said it was a lucky day (despite of all). God killed a lamb instead.
This sacrifice was then repeated by the Chinese year after year and was a reminder of the promise that one day the final sacrifice will be offered.
Today is written 祥
oracle bone script for 祥
has the meaning beautiful, attractive, satisfactory, good, good deed, satisfiction and be pleased with oneself. The character consists of two parts: and , a person with a sheep on his head. One explanation is that it depicts a man with a feather headdress, a chief of a tribe. Another that it is a person that is dressed very beautifully.
The skin of a lamb was used as clothes. But as I explained in the last article, there is something much more important than just the clothes. The sheding of blood. An animal have to die. It is punished despite it has no sin.
The charater for clothes consists of two persons under a shelter. This character is showing us the shelter. The skin of a lamb. It is not only beautiful in an outer sence. It is also good and satisfactory before God.
So I see Adam clothed with the righteousness of God. We will in an article later on see that the character for righteousness also is built up in this way.