Thursday, October 06, 2011

How Man's Diet Changed After The Flood - Genesis 9:3-4 Bible Commentary


Man's diet before the flood was simple:
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. (Genesis 1:29-30, bold emphasis added)
People and animals were vegetarians right after creation— in fact, death itself was nonexistent until the Fall— but when Adam and Eve sinned, their eyes were opened and they became ashamed of their nakedness. In order to hide their nakedness, God Himself slaughtered the first animal in history and used it to cover them.

After that first animal was slaughtered, men also began to slaughter animals. However, Scripture does not indicate that people in the Post-Eden world began slaughtering animals for food. Rather, people began slaughtering animals in the Post-Eden world for the same reason that Abel did: in order to offer up an offering to God (Genesis 4:4).

Perhaps people also slaughtered animals for other non-sacrificial reasons, but the bottom line is this: Scripture does not indicate anywhere that man's diet changed after the Fall. In fact, the evidence is very strong that man's diet did not change at all until after the Flood, when for the first time, God permitted man to kill to eat. God said to Noah:
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. (Genesis 9:3)
Why did God permit this change? One possibility is that as people continued devolving over successive generations (and as people began to live shorter and shorter lives), the nutrition that came from meat must have become necessary. It might be helpful to compare this dramatic change in diet to the dramatic change that happened in Moses' time, when God forbid the marrying of close relatives. Why? Because man was continuing to devolve— and marrying close relatives did not produce enough genetic variation (for more information see Who Was Cain's Wife).

God tacked on only one exception for anyone who chooses to eat meat. God said to Noah:
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. (Genesis 9:4)
The reasoning for this seems quite clear (and simple): eating bloody meat is not the most healthy of decisions. Blood also serves an interesting role in forgiveness: without the shedding of it, there is no forgiveness. Since blood plays this crucial role in redemption, the idea of consuming it is all the more disgusting.

The Post-Flood Era ushered in many changes, including a change in man's diet. Indeed, man's diet (or, at least, the diet of believers) would undergo two more major changes in the Post-Flood World: God would limit the type of meat man could eat (Leviticus 11:1-12), and then once again allow all meat to be eaten (Acts 10:9-16).

Related Posts:
The Origin Of The Death Penalty - Genesis 9:5-7
How The Relationship Between Man And Animal Changed After The Flood
Did Noah Gather "Vegetarian" Food? - Genesis 6:21
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
The Cycle Of The Seasons - Genesis 8:22

11 comments:

  1. I love the things that you notice about Scripture, I never noticed any of this before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousJune 21, 2013

    Good article, however I don't think Acts 10 Peter's vision is about food, if you read the context it is about the gentiles coming to faith and being considering "clean" God just used a vision of food to convey the message of clean and unclean. The vision came down THREE times and then THREE gentiles knocked on Peter door, the Holy Spirit add these additional points to get our attention. Then Peter went with these men and the Cronelius and his house were born again, so the whole story was focused getting the message through to the Jews that the gospel is for the gentiles also, I don't believe the context is anything to do with food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Born AgainMarch 27, 2014

      Amen !
      I don't understand why some Christians pick and choose or define God's Word for their own understanding and pleasure. Thank you so much for your Clarification. Praise The Holy Spirit !

      Delete
    2. There are several versus in the New Testament, which declares all food clean.
      Mark 7:18-23
      18 He said to them, 'Even you -- don't you understand? Can't you see that nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person unclean, 19 because it goes not into the heart but into the stomach and passes into the sewer?20 And he went on, 'It is what comes out of someone that makes that person unclean.21 For it is from within, from the heart, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder,22 adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean

      1 Timothy 4:3-5
      3 they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth. 4 Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving:5 the word of God and prayer make it holy.

      Delete
  3. There are several versus in the New Testament, which declares all food clean.
    Mark 7:18-23
    18 He said to them, 'Even you -- don't you understand? Can't you see that nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person unclean, 19 because it goes not into the heart but into the stomach and passes into the sewer?20 And he went on, 'It is what comes out of someone that makes that person unclean.21 For it is from within, from the heart, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder,22 adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean

    1 Timothy 4:3-5
    3 they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth. 4 Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving:5 the word of God and prayer make it holy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the time this whole scene plays out, it was a common fact/knowledge that certain animals were clean and some not. When Yeshua spoke of "all animals" He was referring to what was commonly accepted as clean animals. Robby Hayes has it right when he says it was common knowledge that Yeshua did not mean lizards, snakes, prawns etc.
      Also, imho, if you were to read the first two verses in context, you cannot argue that Paul was talking about the people who will instigate these things. Again "they" will say that "all that is good" (officially declared clean animals and understood by everyone at that time as clean animals)is now bad.

      Delete
  4. Does that include opposum,crows, vultures,rats,horses,dogs,cats

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is an astounding post I seen because of offer it. It is truly what I needed to see trust in future you will proceed in sharing such a great post. look here

    ReplyDelete
  6. To understand the South Beach Diet, we first have to understand the process the carbs undergo when we consume them. Initially, the carbs consumed are broken down into sugar.
    http://formamigliore.it

    ReplyDelete
  7. However having said this, it cannot be over-emphasized that diabetics and others should take care to consult their doctors first before embarking on any diet regimen or exercise.
    guarantor

    ReplyDelete