The classic werewolf legend features a human who transforms, often at the time of a full moon, into a particularly vicious wolf. Some such shape-shifters were thought to be sorcerers with the ability to transform themselves into animals. Others were supposedly victims of a werewolf's bite or a curse. Lycanthrope — a synonym for werewolf — recalls the cruel Greek tyrant Lycaon who angered the mythological god Zeus and was punished with such a curse, henceforth bearing in his flesh the animalistic ferocity that had always ruled his life. Ancient Greek and Roman writers record accounts of werewolves. Therefore, it is no surprise that these dangerous magical animals also haunt medieval lore as well as, quite sadly, the lists of people persecuted under the Inquisition during which thousands perished with such a label. Clinical Lycanthropy
History — including the history in the Bible's Old Testament — and the annals of modern medicine record people who sincerely thought they became animals. Taking its name from the cursed Lycaon, lycanthropy is the psychiatric syndrome in which a person believes he or she shape-shifts into a wolf or other animal. Daniel 4 records how such a delusion fell upon the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Despite Daniel's warning that he should avoid pride because he only held power with God's permission, Nebuchadnezzar declared himself the author of his own good fortune and the designer of his own destiny. As God had warned through Daniel's prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar suffered what we would consider a mental breakdown, behaving and being treated as a beast until he came to know "that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men" (Daniel 4:25):
While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses."
That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:31–33)
That true story had a happy ending, for so chastened Nebuchadnezzar eventually recovered his wits and declared, "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down" (Daniel 4:37).
[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]