Does Genesis 1:30 apply to ALL animals?

I understand that Genesis 1:30 only says that God intended plants as food for animals, and that does not mean he wanted them to be vegetarian. I also think that that is the only interpretation that’s consistent with the book of Job and Psalm 104, as those mention predation as something God intends and controls, Psalm 104 even praising it as part of God’s design/creation, and since there’s no mention of animals changing diets, it makes sense to me that carnivores were part of God’s intention and it’s also consistent with the fossil record. However the specific wording of Genesis 1:30 is somewhat confusing, as in the translations I read it specifically says that God gave ALL animals (“Everything that has the breath of life in it”) plants to eat. Why would God give plants for carnivores to eat if they can’t use them for sustenance? If it simply said God gave plants for animals as food, I would understand it, but the fact that it points out all animals makes it confusing. Am I misinterpreting the verse? Would appreciate help with this.

The whole point of Genesis 1 is God created everything. So it means God created plants for a reason, not that animals could only eat plants.

And welcome to the forum.

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I understand that, but my problem is with the specific wording, it says “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” It says all the beasts, all the birds, etc. Why would God give plants for carnivores if they obviously can’t eat/digest/use them?

No it is your interpretation of the wording. If I create some new widget and say I “give it to all mankind” when not everyone has a need of it am I lying?

Oops slight edit to correct my meaning.


Welcome to the forum! Good question, and while I have no great insight, it does seem that it may be an example of how we often tend to look at verses in isolation of the whole of the scripture, and ascribe value or meaning to something that may not be intended. Ultimately, of course, one can argue that plants are the origin of all food on earth, as carnivores ultimately eat the plant eaters. Only exception I can think of would be some of the extremophiles, bacteria that live near vents in the ocean that derive energy from the chemicals in the vents. But that would have been unknown to the writer, and nonsense.
My conclusion is consistent with the writer expressing a generalization relating to the creative nature and provision of God, not the dietary habits of lions. As for vegetarians, I think they have a stronger argument with Daniel and his friends, though even there we see no prohibition of meat, only that God kept Daniel and buddies heathy and strong on a veggie diet, despite the expectations of the court.

The issue is taking a myth and trying to find science within it. That’s the wrong lens. It’s like saying “are penguins part of gods original plan because they are not birds of the sky”.
Wrong context.

Do I think the myth is telling a story where there was complete peace and animals did not eat each other? Yeah. But it’s a story, it’s not an actual historical or biographical narrative.

In the story did lions eat grass like an ox? Probably.
Is that suppose to reflect reality? No.

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I don’t think it even applied to all people (homo sapiens). How could it when eating and hunting meat is so much a part of our physiological structure?

But Adam and Eve and their descendants, AFTER the beginning of agriculture? Sure. Hey! That could explain why they lived so much longer! What do you think of that?

And after their teeth wore out, they couldn’t eat meat and could only gum mush, so maybe you have something there.

What makes sense to me is to read Gen 1 through the lens of a Hebrew farmer (thus, God is depicted as a farmer), and to recognize Gen 1 speaks in broad strokes. So I take v. 30 to be saying that God cares for his animal creation to give them what they need for food. When we start parsing all the details and talk about the “what abouts,” we can easily get into trouble. Let’s get the big picture right and then we can secondarily consider the smallish stuff.

Even obligate carnivors eat plants, some actually in the form of the stomach content of their prey or otherwise predigested.

Remember that all plants are edible, some only once :slight_smile:

Actually, I don’t see God as a farmer in Genesis 1. It is not until the second creation story beginning in Genesis 2.4b that God plants.

In the first creation story, God tells the earth to bring forth vegetation.

It appears the whole point of Genesis 1 is that man is responsible for creation.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Yes, God created. And then God told people the earth is their dominion.

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