Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Genesis 1:29-2:1

Genesis 1:29-30 finishes off DAY 6—quite a busy day! Food is provided for both animals and man (Ps 136:25). Interestingly, both living things and food are made out of “the dust” (2:19; Eccl 3:20).

Moreover, both animals and man are given life by God’s provision-- 1:30, 2:7’s “breath of life”, and here, are sustained by the fruit of earth (2:7; Mt 6:26). Man was created separate from the animals in hierarchy. But here, his connection to the animals lends an air of humility and has something to imply about proper “dominion”.

The passage also explains that we were vegetarians before the Fall. (This does not seem to change until 9:2-3's post-flood instructions.) First, it’s interesting that man was given dominion over all, but was only able to eat some. Second, this initial instruction might imply that meat-eating is bothersome ethically &/or indicates what carnivorous activity would do to the natural order. As we know, animal cruelty-- abusing some of the vulnerable-- is a very bad sign. That said, things get ugly anyways, going into Gen 6. Perhaps this is to make the point to a modern audience that vegetarianism could not be the fix.

Genesis 1:31-2:1 provides a summary. The word “finished” is the same word as is used in Ex 40:33’s tabernacle and II Chron 7:11’s temple. (See also: Jn 19:30, Rev 21:5-6.)


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