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Genesis 1:26-31 (Part 2)
by Tom Phelps
01/04/02
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In Genesis 1:29 we read that God gave Adam and Eve some guidlines on what to eat. They needed help identifying what was healthy for humans to eat at that time and what was not.

"I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

Most people look at this verse and assume that it is saying that every living creature on the Earth was a vegetarian.

Notice in Genesis 9:3 God was speaking to Noah after the flood:

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

This verse does not alter the diet of the animals. God only alters the diet of mankind. This shows us that in Genesis 1:29 God was putting dietary guidelines on "Adam" because it was important to his health.

Heavy elements (which can build up in the body and actually harm you) in animal tissue are 10 to 10,000 times the concentration than that in plant material. To someone living 120 years or less after the flood eating animal tissue would be little problem. (After the flood lifespans decreased from around 1,000 years to 120 years or less) However, for someone living close to 1,000 years before the flood, it would be a tremendous problem to their health.

Since the animals diet was not altered in Genesis 9:3, we can assume that their diet included plants and animals.

Genesis 1:24-25 identifies 2 different long legged mammals that God created, those that are easily domesticated and those that are wild and hard to tame. The first group as we see today are herbivores(plant eating) and the second group are carnivores(meat eating).

There is a difference between God's gift to people "every seed-bearing plant...and every tree that has fruit with seed in it," and His gift to animals, "every green plant." Both take in some non-green plants but, green plants are the foundation of the food chain. Perhaps God was helping them understand that all life depends on green plants for survival.

Another point to consider is that if "Adam" "Man" had no desire to eat anything but plants why would God have to guide him on what to eat?

There is only a difference of opinion on this issue because some assume that "no" form of death existed before the Fall of mankind in chapter 3.

Is this the case?

This is a lengthy subject. We will deal more with it in detail when we study Chapter 3.


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Member Comments
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Judy Fulton 08 Jan 2002
While this is well written, I believe you need to look at and meditate on the text a bit further. First of all, there are carnivorous animals that are quite easy to domesticate (i.e., the dog), and carnivores were more often domesticated in ancient history than herbivores were. Secondly, there are some herbivores that cannot truly be domesticated, but only kept penned or caged (i.e. the rabbit, most other rodents). Thirdly, it appears you are reading into the text something that isn't there; even to this point, there has been no mention of death of any kind in the text from Genesis 1:1 through 1:31, so it cannot be presumed that any kind of death has yet occurred. None of this text appears to be poetic, so we should be taking it literally at this point. Even if it were poetic, the poetry factor would not allow you to read into the text something that is neither stated plainly nor inferred. Fourthly, your rationale that those animals that have a soul-like creation are either carnivore or herbivore, and animals that do not have a soul-like creation are the other has no basis in the text, as the text doesn't clearly designate which animals are soul-like and which aren't. To analogize, it would be like saying you could tell who is saved and who isn't based on some physical characteristic. Finally, the text appears to be quite plain about the type of food animals ate in verse 30; God is quoted to state that the green vegetation is what all the animals are given to eat. This supports the argument of those like myself, who believe the first death did not occur until after the fall, when God slaughtered at least one animal to provide coverings for Adam and Eve. I realize you say you are going to cover that later, but I believe that there are several key points you need to review in this particular portion of your study; your style and presentation of your understanding is well done, but lacks the necessary support to allow those who don't agree to truly see the basis for your position. I don't mean to be overly critical, but I do believe these are points you should take into consideration. I recognize the work you have put into this study, and do appreciate it.




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