Before the 6th century, it was not uncommon to find lamps among Egyptian Christians with images of frogs on them. Some of these frogs had the cross crafted into their backs and some of these lamps were inscribed with the words "I am the Resurrection" (John 11:25). Egyptian religions had associated the small green frog of the Nile with resurrection, rebirth, fertility, virgin birth, and divine descent among their own gods even before the time of Moses. Early Egyptian Christians familiar with this imagery found in the frog a meet symbol of Christ and the resurrection.
Like many animals which disappear in the winter and return or "resurrect" in the spring, all frogs became a symbol of the resurrection in other cultures. This association with resurrection and rebirth is strengthened by the frog's emergence from an egg and tadpole state similar to the familiar Easter symbolism of the butterfly, chick, bee or dragonfly passing through their various stages of life. Not only do we see here the resurrection of Christ but also the rebirth of the Christian in repentance and the final resurrection when "We shall be changed" (I Cor. 15:52).
In symbolism, the frog is the antithesis or opposite of the toad. Even so, the frog has been used to symbolize baser qualities such as heresy, greed, worldliness, the disgusting enjoyment of sin , envy, and vice. Europeans considered the tree frog a good omen but Israelites considered frogs unclean.
In the Bible, evil spirits or heretics appear in the form of frogs: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (Rev. 16:13). In Exodus 8, God sends a plague of frogs upon the Egyptians.
Even so, in art, it is the toad which is used to symbolize Satan, evil spirits and the sins of lust, greed, envy, and jealousy. Especially in the Middle Ages, toads are used in artistic representations of the punishments of the damned. Greedy persons are punished in hell by being forced to eat toads. Those damned by the sin of lust are punished by having their sexual parts eaten by toads and other reptiles. Toads coming out of a person's mouth represent demons being expelled through exorcism.
All scripture quotes are from the NKJV.
More information about frogs is available at:
© 1997 by Suzetta Tucker
To cite this page:
Tucker, Suzetta. "ChristStory Frog Page." ChristStory Christian Bestiary. 1997. http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/legend01/frog.htm ().