Re: two creation accounts - follow up

Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 00:04:04 EDT

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    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,
    for food."

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