This is the first part in a two part series on Genesis 9:1-3.
The opening verses of Genesis 9 are best understood when compared to the events that occurred on the sixth day of history. By the sixth day, God had already created the sun, moon, stars, plants, fish, and animals. All that was left to do was create man.
God created man in His image (Genesis 1:26). He made them male and female. The very first recorded words that God spoke to the first two human beings were:
Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. (Genesis 1:28)Adam and Eve were assigned the task of growing the human race from two people. They were also commanded to rule over God's creation. This ruling was not to be done with a destructive iron rod; they were not to rule as viscous tyrants. Instead, they were to rule with nobility as the those who bore the image of God, living in harmony with the animals.
Although man was much different from the animals (in that he was made in God's image), man also shared some things in common with the animals. The food which man was given to eat was the same food that the animals were given to eat: every plant yielding seed (Genesis 1:29), every tree which has fruit yielding seed (Genesis 1:29), every green plant for food (Genesis 1:30). This diet, however, would not be permanent.
Fast forward over 2000 years of human history and it becomes quite obvious that Adam and Eve did not have any trouble obeying the command to be fruitful. After over 2000 years of human history, there were a grand total of eight people living on the earth!
How Man's Diet Changed After The Flood - Genesis 9:3-4
Summary of Genesis 8
Did Noah Gather "Vegetarian" Food? - Genesis 6:21
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
The Cycle Of The Seasons - Genesis 8:22