Regarding my contention that in Gen. 1:29 God was talking to the first group
of men and women He had created, long before he created Adam, Dick wrote:
Early men were meat eaters. So if God was talking, they weren't listening.
I think they were listening very closely. For I have studied the Hebrew of
Gen. 1:29,30 and believe it has been mistranslated due to its translators
having a strong bias towards a belief that Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 are both
describing the same creation acts.
We have already discussed verse 29. now let's take a look at verse 30. This
verse reads, "And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air
and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath
of life in it - I give every green plant for food."
Why God would have told man what wild animals were allowed to eat. Why would
man have had any interest in their diets? And how would he have any control
over what they ate? If this translation is correct then both verses 29 and 30
appear to be scientifically inaccurate. After all, neither mankind nor all
creatures in the animal kingdom have ever been strict vegetarians.
Anatomically, human beings appear to have been designed by God as omnivores.
And many animals clearly appear to have been designed by God as carnivores.
Both human and animal physiology seem to clearly contradict Gen. 1:29 and 30.
With these things in mind, I contend that the Hebrew language in Genesis 1:30
has been widely mistranslated, in a way that also greatly affects the meaning
of verse 29. I believe these two verses should read as follows:
Then God said, "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, and all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all
the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life
in it - I give, as every green plant, for food." And it was so.
This variant translation only involves the removal of one word, "to," at the
beginning of verse 30, which does not appear in the Hebrew, and the addition
of one word, "as," toward the end of verse 30. Small words like "as" are
often added for clarity when biblical Hebrew is translated into English, just
as the small word "to" has long been added at the beginning of verse 30.
However, these two tiny changes in the translation of verse 30 completely
change the meaning of both verses 29 and 30. Instead of telling us that God
created mankind and all animal species to be strict vegetarians, they tell us
that God created mankind to be omnivores.
However, this creates a problem with the traditional understanding of Genesis
9:1-4. If mankind had long eaten both meat and vegetables, why did God tell
Noah after the flood that he would from then on be permitted to eat meat,
seemingly implying that mankind was not permitted to eat meat previously? I
believe the answer to this question can be found in a careful reading of the
text. Such a reading reveals that Gen. 9:1-4 may not actually be saying such
a thing. The only real change in diet that this verse may actually be
describing is one concerning the eating of blood. I believe that before the
flood God had allowed Noah and his family to eat meat with "its lifeblood
still in it." (vs. 4) But after the flood God required them to bleed their
meat before eating it. I believe this new command from God that required the
bleeding of meat is the only dietary change referred to in Genesis 9:1-4.
If this is true, then why would God have said that, from that time on, all
animals would be in fear of Noah and his family? Probably because Noah and
his family had, by necessity, been vegetarians for the year they had just
spent on the ark, and had during that time made friends with all of the
animals on board. Now, however, those same animals which had come to love and
trust Noah and his family would come to fear them.
As I recall, Dick pointed out in his book that evidence exists in scripture
that people were permitted to eat meat long before the flood. This evidence
is found in Gen. 4:4. There we read that, "Abel brought fat portions from
some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and
his offering." The reason God's servants in Old Testament times offered
sacrifices to God which included "fat portions" of meat from their flocks is
because they wanted to give God their best. And, as most of us know, cuts of
meat that are well marbled with fat are considered to be the best cuts of
meat. Why? Because they are far more tender and flavorful than lean cuts of
meat. How would God's servant Able have known this if he was not a meat eater?
I do not believe Adam was a fruitarian. God had only prohibited Adam from
eating the fruit of one tree. His doing so did not limit his diet to eating
only the fruit on the other trees. God did not prohibit Adam from eating
vegetables. Neither did He prohibit him from eating meat. And neither did God
prohibit the race of preadamic men and women he spoke to in Gen. 1 from
eating meat. In fact, I maintain that He gave them, "all the beasts of the
earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the
ground - everything that has the breath of life in it, as every green plant,
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 02 2002 - 00:41:29 EDT