Genesis 1:24-1:31


Genesis 1:24

And Elohim said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind: livestock, and creeping things, and beast of the earth according to their kind,” and it was so.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים תֹּוצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ נֶ֤פֶשׁ חַיָּה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ בְּהֵמָ֥ה וָרֶ֛מֶשׂ וְחַֽיְתֹו־אֶ֖רֶץ לְמִינָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

way-yō-mer ‘ĕ-lō-hîm, tō-w-ṣê hā-’ā-reṣ ne-p̄eš ḥay-yāh lə-mî-nāh, bə-hê-māh wā-re-meś wə-ḥay-ṯōw-‘e-reṣ lə-mî-nāh; way-hî-ḵên.

And Elohim said, “Let the earth bring forth… It is the sixth day, and now the land is ready to be inhabited. All of the land animals were created on the same day as man; before him because they are lesser in glory, and after the sea and air animals, being suited to the same environment as we. The land animals are, generally speaking, more useful to humans and in many respects closer to humans than the beasts of the sea and air. The Lord said, “Let the earth bring forth,” however, because they are far from man in glory. The animals were brought forth with the same words as the plants and sea/air creatures—as opposed to man, who was brought forth with a special address and in a special manner.

…living creatures according to their kind: livestock, and creeping things, and beast of the earth… The living creatures are, just like the plants, categorized into three main classes. They are בְּהֵמָ֥ה (behemah), the dumb, quadrupedal beasts, including cattle, sheep, and dinosaurs such as the brontosaurus; רֶ֫מֶשׂ (remes), literally “things” or “creeps,” the things that creep, moving close to the ground, including reptiles, serpents, and some, perhaps all, non-flying insects; and חָי (chay), all the living beings not fitting into the two prior categories, including lemurs, bipeds such as the velociraptor, and possibly flightless birds and flying mammals.

 

…according to their kind,”… The Lord prescribed again that each creature would only produce offspring according to its own kind. Great leeway has been given to us in exploring the limits of their genetic elasticity, but God ensured that every creature’s DNA would always attempt to regress to the mean when in the wild, and so preserve and protect the creatures from permanent degradation at the hands of an unskilled breeder.

These creatures sprang out of the ground fully grown. The Christian may easily answer that old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” There must be a starting point, and that point was not an egg, for an egg needs incubation. No, all the creatures were formed fully grown and ready to serve man in all their various capacities.

 

…and it was so. And the land was populated by creatures of all kinds. God did not address the creatures of the land as He addressed the creatures of the air and sea the previous day. This author believes that God omitted the blessing upon the land animals so that the serpent was left unconsecrated, and then Satan could inhabit him to beguile Eve. For whatever reason He omitted the blessing, this omission destroyed not the goodness of the creation, as we shall see in the following verse.

Genesis 1:25

And Elohim made the beasts of the earth after their kinds, and livestock after their kinds, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after their kinds; and Elohim saw that it was good.

וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֩ אֶת־חַיַּ֨ת הָאָ֜רֶץ לְמִינָ֗הּ וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־רֶ֥מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֹֽוב׃

way-ya-‘aś ’ĕ-lō-hîm ’eṯ-ḥay-yaṯ hā-’ā-reṣ lə-mî-nāh, wə-’eṯ-hab-bə-hê-māh lə-mî-nāh, wə-’êṯ kāl-re-meś hā-’ă-ḏā-māh lə-mî-nê-hū; way-yar ’ĕ-lō-hîm kî-ṭō-wḇ.

And Elohim made… In the previous verse God said, “Let the Earth bring forth,” the animals, and now it is written that God made them. This verse serves as proof, although no further proof was needed, that God possesses the ability to create, and used the soil of the Earth as the material from which He made the living creatures. It was He who made them, not anyone or anything else.

…the beasts of the earth after their kinds, and livestock after their kinds, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after their kinds; God possesses the greatest imagination. He did not only create animals to be functional (or else He would only have needed to create one kind) but ornamental too. He created such fascinating creatures as the cute little Dumbo Octopus, the plumed Peacock, the awesome Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the goofy Seal. There are many creatures for our benefit, amusement, and service. All of the various animals may serve us in different ways. Some are well-suited to being beloved pets, others are inclined to help with field work, and other animals can have medicinal uses.

For example, the sting of the Brazilian wasp (Polybia Paulista) kills bacteria and certain cancer cells.24 Assuming that their sting didn’t hurt in God’s original creation, then Adam and Eve may have allowed or even encouraged the wasps to sting them for the upkeep of good health. The venom of snakes is composed of proteins in a twisted configuration, but in a simulation of the pre-flood environment their venom becomes orderly in structure and is no longer harmful but in fact becomes nutritious (being rich in protein).25

Above: Venom of a snake.   Below: Venom of the same snake after treatment

 

…and Elohim saw that it was good. They lived in peace and harmony; there were no carnivores to be found. (See Gen. 1:30, see also Isaiah 11:6) Their usefulness to man was as versatile as the usefulness of the minerals of the Earth. And now the Earth was ready for the creation of man.

 

Bibliography/Footnotes:

 

24 The peptide Polybia-MP1 is toxic to bacteria and mutated cells. MP1 punches through the membrane of the cell, causing death. It is also good at inhibiting the spread of bladder and prostate cancer cells, and could kill leukemia cells as well.

 

DeChant, Tim. “Venom of Aggressive Brazilian Wasp Rips Holes in Cancer Cells.” PBS. PBS, 02 Sept. 2015. Web.

 

25 Carl Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum conducted experiments in which snakes kept in a hyperbaric air chamber with a strong magnetic field for a month produced “venom” that no longer had the scrambled structure of an untreated snake.

rexresearch.com/baugh/baugh.htm

 

Genesis 1:26

And Elohim said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the Earth, and over every thing that creepeth upon the ground.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ וְיִרְדּוּ֩ בִדְגַ֨ת הַיָּ֜ם וּבְעֹ֣וף הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבְכָל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבְכָל־הָרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, na-‘ă-śeh ’ā-ḏām bə-ṣal-mê-nū kiḏ-mū-ṯê-nū; wə-yir-dū ḇiḏ-ḡaṯ hay-yām ū-ḇə-‘ō-wp̄ haš-šā-ma-yim, ū-ḇab-bə-hê-māh ū-ḇə-ḵāl hā-’ā-reṣ, ū-ḇə-ḵāl hā-re-meś hā-rō-mêś ‘al-hā-’ā-reṣ.

And Elohim said, “Let Us… As was stated before,26 the simplest matters are often rendered the most complicated by learned men who love to overthink. Elohim (Noun, plural masculine) were speaking in the plural, which means that the three Hypostases were speaking in one accord as one God. This is simple. It cannot be true that God and the angels were speaking together here. The angels shared no part in the creative process and are not made in God’s image. Angels lack creativity and fleshy bodies, which God and humans have in common. And angels are inherently immortal, a characteristic God and angels share but not humans. (See Gen. 3:22, Luke 20:36) Jesus is the only one who has all three characteristics, and so is the single overlay among God, man, and the angels. (See Heb. 1:4)

God did not consult the angels or anyone else in order to create humans. (See Isaiah 40:13-14) Sundry passages of scripture testify that He worked alone. He consulted with no one, deliberated with no one, and created man in the image of no one but Himself. (See Gen. 1:27, Gen. 9:6, Colossians 1:15, James 3:9) It was not just the image that set us apart, but also the manner in which we were created.

In all of His previous works, God always spoke of the thing being created in its own regard. The works of God declare His glory but they are not partakers in the divine nature and are not offered a fellowship with God. Here, God mentioned Himself first and then mentioned the man He was to create. He used language that ascended to Himself. This new creation, then, was to hold a place in creation apart from every other.

 

…make man in Our image,… Man was created on the same day as the beasts of the land and came from the same earth, yet is far higher than any animal. Plants have only a physical aspect, animals possess both body and mind/breath, and humans possess body, mind, and spirit. The roughly inverse-pyramid shape of our brain roughly corresponds to the three levels of function. The human brain contains the lowest and basest parts which serve only to maintain our bodies (e.g. Medulla Oblongata, Hypothalamus), higher parts that serve animal functions and mental faculties (e.g. Amygdala, Hippocampus), and the highest parts which serve human concerns (e.g. Prefrontal Cortex).

We do not have the greatest strength or the highest speed, nor the acutest hearing nor the tallest stature. But neither were we meant to possess these superlatives as if we ought to rely on them. For it is the human’s brain which is the greatest among all living things. It is thus in extending beyond the raw physicality wherein we may excel. Humans have more advanced language than any animal and have the ability to consider the future, which no animal may do (outside of instinct). We are set apart from the animals in many ways. We were meant, then, to have a balance between the might of flesh and the power of the mind. We were created with the flesh of the earth and the likeness of God, and so were made to be a perfect amalgam of the mundane and extramundane.

We were equipped to reign over the animal kingdom, just as God is equipped to reign over us. He has given us the characteristics of His image. We have opposable thumbs which allow us to harness our surroundings, a bipedal gait to move while using said thumbs, and a set of vocal chords for complex communication. Having these tools we can utilize the potential of the animals and their strength becomes our strength. Whichever features we lack become ours when we cleverly put do use what God gave us.

The aesthetic image of the human body could be discussed endlessly. The beauty of our form has been a source of artistic and architectural fascination since time immemorial. This commentator needn’t bore the reader with a diatribe of God’s great achievement. Suffice it to say that the image which God endowed us with is the greatest image in every way. Although horses look beautiful in their own way, their proportion is not perfect as the human proportion is.

Above: The famous “Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo demonstrates some geometric properties of the human male proportion.

 

Of course, if man consists of both the mundane and extramundane characteristics, then being made in God’s image speaks to some constitution of the human beyond what the eye can see. Indeed, we consist of three parts.27 Just as Elohim consists of God the Father (mind), God the Son (flesh), and the Holy Spirit (spirit), so too do we consist of mind, body, and spirit. (I Thess. 5:23—πνεῦμα καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ καὶ τὸ σῶμα)

We were created not as gods, being His image, but rather in His image. Christ Jesus is the image of God. (See II Cor. 4:4, Col. 1:15) We are not the image of God but are made בְּ (in) the image of God. Pseudo-Dionysius wrote of likeness, “[They are like] insofar as they imitate He who is inimitable, and [they are unlike] as regards to the dependence of the things caused upon the cause, and their being inferior in degrees, endless and incalculable.”28

 

…after Our likeness,… To be in God’s likeness shows something closer and more intimate, more internal. If the “image” of God includes our composition (mind, body, and spirit), all external features, and the structure of the brain etc., then “likeness” includes reason and intellect, the desire for companionship, and the potential to grow unto holiness.

 

…and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the Earth, and over every thing that creepeth upon the ground. The Earth and all its goodies were created for man to have reign over. God instructed mankind to rule over not only the animals, but over the Earth itself. The Earth was mentioned in between the livestock and the miscellaneous creatures here. This eliminates grammatical ambiguity that the inattentive reader may find in the list (i.e. and over the livestock over all the Earth). This author does not know what other purpose this may have served, but continued study of the scriptures may reveal an additional answer.

 

Bibliography/Footnotes:

 

26 See the Commentary on Genesis 1:2 concerning the word “Earth.”

27 See the Commentary on Genesis 1:1 concerning the word “Elohim”

28 Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. De Divinis Nominibus, IX, ¶7.

 

Genesis 1:27

And Elohim created mankind in His own image; in the image of Elohim He created them: male and female He created them.

וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמֹ֔ו בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃

way-yiḇ-rā ’ĕ-lō-hîm | ’eṯ-hā-’ā-ḏām bə-ṣal-mōw, bə-ṣe-lem ’ĕ-lō-hîm bā-rā ’ō-ṯōw; zā-ḵār ū-nə-qê-ḇāh bā-rā ’ō-ṯām.

And Elohim created… God did not need to create us because of some defect within Him, and He is not served by humans in order that some need of His could be fulfilled. (See Acts 17:25) God is fully self-sufficient and is the source of fulfillment. He created us, then, in order that we may participate in His goodness. Angels are incomplete (as was shown in the commentary on the previous verse) and cannot experience God’s goodness in the same way that humans can (although we too are incomplete). We were created to complete God’s good creative work and to live for His glory.

All things wish to bear children, for the end of goodness is to create more goodness like it. God’s only begotten Son was born of man, so for Him to be born man had to be created. It was for and by Jesus that we were created, that through His blood we may become partakers in the divine nature. Again, we are not gods, and we are not a part of God, and our spirits are not each a chunk of His Spirit. But being made in His image, and furthermore as Christians being made to conform to the image of Jesus (See Romans 8:29) who Himself is the image of God (Heb. 1:3), we may become one with God (I Cor. 6:15). There are two creative acts for the Christian, then. The first act is the calling into life as a living creature (this is what Adam experienced), and the second is the rebirth, being grafted onto the Vine. We will also one day be risen and each given an imperishable body (I Cor. 15:42). In that day we will be complete and shall be greater than even the angels (I Cor. 6:3).

This creation of Adam, despite being only the first of three births that humans shall experience, was perfectly good (See Gen. 1:31). God is so amazing that He can make a second infinite goodness that’s even better than the first infinite goodness. This is mathematically impossible, but God is not frustrated by the impossible. The original creation of Adam was infinitely good and the recreation of the Christian in Christ Jesus is infinitely better.

 

…mankind in His own image;… This author chose to translate הָֽאָדָם֙ (ha-adam) as “mankind” instead of “man” for the following reason: this chapter includes the creation of Adam and Eve together. The word אָדָם may refer to the first man or more broadly to all of humanity. In this chapter God speaks about the couple and to the couple together. Therefore the word is most properly rendered as “man” meaning “mankind,” and not “man” meaning “Adam.”

 

We, being descendants of this original pair, share the same characteristic of God, although our image has been corrupted by sin and we must be made to conform to the image of the Son (See Romans 8:29). We ought to love one another as brothers and sisters, being related by a common bloodline. We have in our sin reversed this relationship, as now we are kin in our failing and shortcoming.

 

 

…in the image of Elohim created them: male and female He created them. This first chapter of Genesis relates the general occurrence of Creation, and Chapter 2 specifies the particulars. Thus the two humans were not created at the exact same time (See Gen. 2:21-2) but were created on the same day (this shall be proven in the commentary on Chapter 2). The mention of both humans here also shows that they are alike in glory, alike in likeness, and alike in fellowship with God. This commentary has shown that the Creation week moved from the lesser to the greater. If, then, Chapter 1 listed the woman as being created after the man, this would imply that the woman had greater glory than the man. The two are mentioned together, however, meaning that they are equal in God’s eyes. He addressed them together and blessed them together. They were of one flesh and were addressed as such.

They were not homogenous or meant to be interchangeable, however. God created them male and female. The two sexes are separate and meant to be separate. In humans there are two and only two sexes; two and only two genders. The theory of gender neutrality is a popular one nowadays, but a fatally wrong one. The psychologist John Money found an opportunity to test his theories on gender identity (he believed that gender was malleable, that it was something that was learned rather than determined by sex) by using identical twin brothers, one of whom suffered an irreparably mangled penis during a botched circumcision.

That baby, Bruce Reimer, underwent a sex change operation at 22 months of age and his parents were instructed to raise him as a girl. His name was changed from Bruce to Brenda. Despite his parents’ best efforts, he grew increasingly unhappy with his life as a “girl,” preferring to play with his twin brother’s toys. As a teenager he was given estrogen to induce feminine secondary sex characteristics but still was not comfortable being female. At the age of 15 Brenda (formally Bruce) learned of his past and chose to identify as a boy, and changed his name to David. Unfortunately the damage was done. As an adult his love life was never healthy or normal. David’s brother Brian died of an anti-depressant overdose, and David killed himself with a shotgun after his wife told him she was leaving him.29 David Reimer’s suicide well proves the danger that lies in trying to twist God’s word. God created us as male and female; that’s the end of the story. Of course, it is much easier to spread lies than it is to stop them. Many, many persons today continue to believe that gender is malleable, unrelated to sex, and unimportant. Sociology professors spread this lie in universities and gullible students fall for it. We Christians certainly should know better than that, of course.

We ought also to know that what God has ordained no man may undo. God sewed our sex into our genes (specifically the allosome pair) and that cannot be undone by superficial changes. It is unhealthy for a man to entertain a fantasy of becoming a woman, it is unhealthy to pay a doctor to mutilate his body, and it is very unhealthy to lie about his sex. We may judge others by appearance but God judges by the heart. (I Samuel 16:7) No matter how well-constructed a lie may be, it is still a lie. Running away from a problem will not make it go away. Nearly half of all transgender persons commit suicide or attempt to, many of them even after the procedure is completed and they “should” be happy.30 Let us follow the word of God that we may be truly happy.

 

Bibliography/Footnotes:

 

29 Colapinto, John. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.

 

30 Maguen, S., & Shipherd, J. “Suicide risk among transgender individuals.” Psychology & Sexuality 1(1), 34-43. 2010.

 

Note: Different cultures have different social norms for the two genders. Traditional Scottish dress calls for men to wear kilts, but in many other cultures it is considered effeminate to wear something open-bottomed, and men are expected to wear trousers. This cultural disagreement is a social construct. There are many cultural differences concerning the two genders, but this does not make gender itself a social construct. Some things are universal, and this universality proves the “genuineness” of gender. Men are expected to have short hair in every culture, and the Bible states that men ought to have short hair and women ought to have long hair. (I Corinth. 11:14-15) No matter which culture or time period, men only have long hair as a fashion statement rather than a permanent cultural expectation.

 

Genesis 1:28

And Elohim blessed them and Elohim said to them, “Have children and become many [in number] and fill the Earth, and rule [over] it, and reign over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth.”

וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹתָם֮ אֱלֹהִים֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר לָהֶ֜ם אֱלֹהִ֗ים פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֛וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁ֑הָ וּרְד֞וּ בִּדְגַ֤ת הַיָּם֙ וּבְעֹ֣וף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וּבְכָל־חַיָּ֖ה הָֽרֹמֶ֥שֶׂת עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

way-ḇā-reḵ ’ō-ṯām ’ĕ-lō-hîm way-yō-mer lā-hem ’ĕ-lō-hîm, pə-rū ū-rə-ḇū ū-mil-’ū ’eṯ-hā-’ā-reṣ wə-ḵiḇ-šu-hā; ū-rə-ḏū biḏ-ḡaṯ hay-yām ū-ḇə-‘ō-wp̄ haš-šā-ma-yim, ū-ḇə-ḵāl ḥay-yāh hā-rō-me-śeṯ ‘al-hā-’ā-reṣ.

And Elohim blessed them and… First God blessed them and then He instructed them. The instructions which God gave are not the blessings; they follow the blessing. It is therefore inaccurate to refer to the instructions as “the three (great) blessings.”

 

…Elohim said to them, “Have children and become many [in number] and fill the Earth,… The blessing and the instructions which God gave to the humans were meant not only for them but for all mankind. (See Genesis 9. God blessed Noah and his descendants, and gave them the same instructions as those given here.) It was not just Adam and Eve who were given dominion over the Earth and its animals, but us too. God wished us well in our prodigiousness. He omitted this benediction to the land animals, perhaps to give priority to the growth of the human population.

Adam and Eve were given a great gift in being the parents of a new and noble race. No matter how many humans would be born, this couple would always be first two, the original undertakers of such a rewarding enterprise. It is natural for parents to be pleased with their children and grandchildren. Imagine, then, how blessed Adam and Eve should be to admire billions of descendants and to know that they started it. (See also Psalm 127:3)

The instruction to have children was absolutely binding to Adam, who needed to populate the Earth, and to Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who needed to repopulate it. To all other men it does not bind us strictly as a law, but is to be regarded as a strong recommendation. The Lord Jesus mentioned men who, in service to God, became eunuchs; and told us to accept this fact if we can. (See Matthew 19:12) Jesus Himself never married or sired children, and the apostle Paul said it was good to stay chaste for the sake of devotion to God. (I Cor. 7) Nevertheless Paul said that we ought to marry for the sake of our weaknesses, as a concession rather than a commandment. (I Cor. 7:6)

 

…and rule [over] it,… Man was authorized by his Creator to exercise power in subduing the Earth and all in it. Being formed for such a reign, the Earth and its inhabitants were then assigned to man for not only his biological needs, for which provision is made in Gen. 1:29, but to accomplish whichever sundry and divers ends he shall commit his efforts. With the guidance of God it was assured that these ends should be beneficent.

The environment of the Earth was made to serve us. We have a responsibility to take care of the environment in that we are to keep it (See Gen. 2:15) and to avoid causing wanton destruction or abuse (Levit. 25:5), and to be ever aware that the Earth belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1) who allows us to rule over it. Insomuch as we are not vicious in our actions to the Earth, we are in charge of it. Beware the philosophy that places humans equal to or below the environment in importance or glory. It is selfish to sacrifice a person’s livelihood for the benefit of a bird. Human health and happiness are more important than temporary decreases in parts of nature. As long as we respect the freedom of each individual, then these decreases of nature shall be less severe and unlasting.31 There are many documented examples of the environment being destroyed as a result of public policy,32 whereas individuals acting within their private property are much more likely to preserve and protect their environment.33

 

…and reign over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth.” To rule over the many different animals requires a full complement of character and talent from us. But God did not create animals to be too powerful for us. Being created lower than humans they were given to us for dominion. We were to be a representation of God to the Earth, being made in His image and being granted His holy charter of authority. Given the context of the previous verses, “every living thing” means all of the animals. And given the context of the current verse, all humans were meant to share in this dominion over the living things together. Therefore we were given dominion over the animals but not over other humans. We are not meant to rule over one another, for we are here implied by God’s address to be equal rulers of the other species.

In the last letter Thomas Jefferson ever wrote, he reminded us that “the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” How happy we would be if only we took these words to heart, and in love served God instead of human masters. God did not make us to be ruled over by politicians (See Judges 8:23, I Sam. 8:7, 10:19) nor to rule, and it is the duty of the Christian to serve only the good master. (Acts 5:29)

 

Bibliography/Footnotes:

 

31 Fraser Institute. Economic Freedom of the World, 2015 Annual Report. 2015.

States which are more economically free experience less overall pollution and deforestation. The most economically free states in the world actually experience reforestation (positive forest growth rates).

 

32 DiLorenzo, Thomas J. “Why Socialism Causes Pollution.”  Foundation for Economic Education. Web.

 

33 Burlie, Dalton. “How the Free Market Saved the Bison.” Being Libertarian. 03 May 2016. Web.

 

Genesis 1:29

And Elohim said, “Behold, I have given to you every plant yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. To you it shall be for food.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים הִנֵּה֩ נָתַ֨תִּי לָכֶ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־עֵ֣שֶׂב ׀ זֹרֵ֣עַ זֶ֗רַע אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י כָל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְאֶת־כָּל־הָעֵ֛ץ אֲשֶׁר־בֹּ֥ו פְרִי־עֵ֖ץ זֹרֵ֣עַ זָ֑רַע לָכֶ֥ם יִֽהְיֶ֖ה לְאָכְלָֽה׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, hin-nêh nā-ṯat-tî lā-ḵem ’eṯ-kāl-‘ê-śeḇ | zō-rê-a‘ ze-ra‘,’ă-šer ‘al-pə-nê ḵāl hā-’ā-reṣ, wə-’eṯ-kāl-hā-‘êṣ ’ă-šer-bōw p̄ə-rî-‘êṣ zō-rê-a‘zā-ra‘; lā-ḵem yih-yeh lə-’āḵ-lāh

The Earth was devoid of violence and death, even animal death (See Romans 5:12). Men, just like animals, were meant to eat the fruit and the herb (See also Gen. 9:3). Animals were given the blade of grass, which is unpleasant and indigestible to humans, and the miscellaneous leaves and herbs. Mankind was given the higher class of food, the juicy fruit and the nuts/seeds, as well as whichever herb we find pleasing. Man was implicitly made aware of his dependence and potential vulnerability in that he was to rely upon the Earth which he ruled in order to derive living energy. This on its own should well enough impart the desire and sense of duty to care for this domain.

 

There is great variety in foods and they give us varied gifts of nutrition. The avocado is fatty and has a creamy yet fleshy texture, the apple is crisp and sweet, the fig is chewy, and chocolate is invigorating yet comforting. In today’s world certain plants may only be grown in certain areas where the climate is friendly (such as coffee), and often by great pains of labor (such as tequila agave). But in this original creation all plants grew everywhere, covering the face of the whole Earth.

 

Of any two things created, there is not by nature any right by one to make use of the other in any way. The right to the life and property of each thing belongs to its creator and owner. The Creator, then, with respectful consideration to the sovereignty of living things, made not one dependent on the other for life or livelihood, but made a graceful charter by which He granted us express permission to have reign over the creatures of the Earth but without the need for bloodshed. The plants were meant to be a shared resource of man and beast.

The eating of flesh was never expressly forbidden, but to claim that this raises ambiguity about its permissiveness is not corroborated by scripture. God only forbade one thing originally (the eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) because it was in this one and only thing that Adam and Eve could be tempted. Having no knowledge of good and evil, they could not commit evil. The apostle Paul wrote that we are conscious of our sin because of the law (Romans 3:20), and without law there was no transgression (Rom. 4:15). The law was not meant to be dispensed unto Adam, but only the one simple command, and for this reason Adam was not told that he should abstain from theft, murder, and so on. The fact that Adam was never expressly forbidden the eating of flesh is not evidence for anything, since Adam was also never forbidden to commit any act other than the eating of the forbidden fruit. We must, therefore, take the instruction of eating fruits and herbs as an implicit command to not eat of flesh. God was meant to have companionship with us originally and to lead us, and so by his guidance we would have never erred, and never would have eaten of flesh nor done any other thing wrong.

Without the command to eat the fruits and herbs, Adam would have eventually done so anyway to quell his pangs of hunger, but may have been led by his appetite to instead kill an animal, for to an hungry man the flesh of the animal is just as filling as the flesh of the fruit. By the same reasoning that judgeth fruit good to eat, man may have easily used the animals also for food. Without instruction from God, man could only have known what his stomach told him. This command to eat of the fruit then frustrates the logical conclusion man’s stomach may have led him to. We must be careful to not put more in the Divine word than that which is already present.

Genesis 1:30

And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the air and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth in the which creature there is life [I have given] plant for food,” and it was so.

וּֽלְכָל־חַיַּ֣ת הָ֠אָרֶץ וּלְכָל־עֹ֨וף הַשָּׁמַ֜יִם וּלְכֹ֣ל ׀ רֹומֵ֣שׂ עַל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־בֹּו֙ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֔ה אֶת־כָּל־יֶ֥רֶק עֵ֖שֶׂב לְאָכְלָ֑ה וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

ū-lə-ḵāl-ḥay-yaṯ hā-’ā-reṣ ū-lə-ḵāl-‘ō-wp̄ haš-šā-ma-yim ū-lə-ḵōl | rō-w-mêś ‘al-hā-’ā-reṣ, ’ă-šer-bōw ne-p̄eš ḥay-yāh, ’eṯ-kāl-ye-req ‘ê-śeḇ lə-’āḵ-lāh way-hî-ḵên.

Today many animals eat fruits and nuts and seeds, but this was not so in the original creation. Food is scarce now and animals eat what they can, ergo many animals in this fallen world eat what was intended for us.

God designed the bodies of animals to be adaptable, such that they were able to accommodate a different diet after the flood, whether carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous. A close look at the skull of the common Panda bear reveals teeth that appear to belong to a carnivore.

It is possible that the preferred food of the panda before the flood was bamboo, as it is today. In the post-flood world this is not the most efficient diet and the panda would probably be better off nutritionally speaking if it were a carnivore, but the current arrangement is just fine anyway. Most animals who made the switch to carnivore can’t go back, unfortunately, without suffering severe damage of several internal organs. To feed a cat or a dog a vegan diet can be deadly. For these creatures, the hope for restoration lies in the recreation of the world, where all will be restored to its perfect original condition (Isaiah 11:7).

Genesis 1:31

 

And Elohim saw all that He had made/accomplished, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

וַיַּ֤רְא אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־טֹ֖וב מְאֹ֑ד וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר יֹ֥ום הַשִּׁשִּֽׁי׃ פ

way-yar ’ĕ-lō-hîm ’eṯ-kāl-’ă-šer ‘ā-śāh, wə-hin-nêh- ṭō-wḇ mə-’ōḏ; way-hî-‘e-reḇ way-hî-ḇō-qer yō-wm haš-šiš-šî.

At the end of God’s six previous works He saw that it was good. On this Friday He saw that it was very good. The creation of man, who is the beneficiary and deputy ruler of this world, rendered the creation most perfect. The defects present in Genesis 1:2 were finally and fully undone by the creation of humans. God looked at all he had made, with man as its crown jewel, and behold, is was good exceedingly.

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