Food in the Bible: Genesis 1:29-30

Genesis 1:29-30: Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

I noticed something in this passage that I had never seen before. The only thing given for humans and animals to eat in the creation account is plants. And then the bubble of my discovery was burst when I read Greg Boyd’s The First Fruits of the Coming Non-Violent Creation. Someone else found it first…DANG! (I’m sure greg wasn’t the first either).

Boyd says, “People often fail to notice that the only food God originally intended humans and all other creatures to eat was vegetation. The fact that humans now eat animals and many animals eat each other was not part of God’s original plan for creation. It’s rather the result of the fall.”

Greg goes on to discuss Genesis 9 after the Flood, but we’ll have to wait until we get there. For now let’s just say that it has to do with violence. It appears that God’s creation was originally intended for sentient beings not to do violence to one another. Boyd points out that this also the vision Isaiah has of the coming future perfection of God’s reign.

We already assume that creation was given by God for humanity, for our use and consumption. We have already pointed out that this is not the whole truth. Creation also existed prior to humanity and therefore we must also see ourselves as a dependent part of the whole ecosystem of creation. We now add another element to this creation theology. The only part of creation intended for food was plants. Both animals and humans were given “every green plant for food,” but animals were not given for food until Genesis 9.

More on violence and food as we go…