RE: [asa] Land Animals and the Flood

From: Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri Aug 24 2007 - 08:56:27 EDT

Gordon,

Which verse says that God is sorry he made the animals? Are you referring
to Gen 6:7 ? I would say before trying to figure out why the Lord was sorry
about the animals, we need to make sure that's what it actually means.

[Gen 6:7] And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the
face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the
fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

You are assuming "them" at the end of the verse is referring to the
immediate antecedant, "man, beast, creaping thing, fowls." However, in
context this is written after Gen 6:1-7a has said:

"...when men began to multiply...the Lord said, My spirit shall not always
strive with man...And God saw that the wickedness of man was great...every
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it
repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth...I will destroy man
whom I have created..."

There seems to be a theme here. Man is the one with whom God was
displeased, not the animals. The only confusion seems to be that after God
says he will destroy man, he parenthetically says he will also destroy the
animals, but the "them" at the end is really referring back to "mankind"
with whom God was displeased. So I would argue that the traditional way of
reading this (or if you will, glossing over this potential problem) is
correct. The animals just happened to be collateral damage of God's chosen
method of judgment, which might still be seen as a theological problem. But
then it becomes part of the larger question of why there is so much
(sinless) animal death throughout time.

Jon Tandy

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of gordon brown
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 9:59 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: [asa] Land Animals and the Flood

In Genesis 6, after describing the extreme sinfulness of man, it is said
that God was sorry that He had made man. It also says that He was sorry
that he had made the land animals. I have somehow managed to mentally skip
over the latter and assume that what happened was collateral damage. This
is not good theology since it seems to assume that God couldn't think of a
means of judgment that would be restricted to humans.

It is natural to ask why God was sorry that He had made these animals. I
haven't found very much commentary about this. Ambrose suggested that
God would no longer have a purpose for these creatures if there were no
humans. I am not satisfied with this because it doesn't tell us why He
wasn't sorry that he had made the rest of creation, marine animals for
example.

The thought occurred to me that it might have been because men were
worshipping images of these animals. Paul's list in Romans 1:23 of animals
whose images men worshipped appears to be the same as the list in Genesis
6. On the other hand Exodus 20:4 also forbade images of anything in the
waters under the earth, whatever that means.

I have two questions that someone on the list might have ideas about or
more information on.
1. Is my suggestion about the idolatry a possible answer to why God
said He was sorry about having created land animals?
2. Do the animals that Paul mentions in Romans 1:23 pretty well cover the
list of creatures whose images were widely worshipped among the pagans?

Gordon Brown

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Received on Fri Aug 24 08:56:53 2007

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