Genesis One Studies
There's been a lot of talk lately about the story of Noah, what's true, what's false, what's accurate, and what's not. But what's interesting is that a lot of people who recite the story, or argue about what the "true" version is, don't seem to know how it actually reads in the Bible.
So what does the Bible actually tell us?
This will most likely have to be a multi-part series as there is a lot to cover on this very important topic. The first part will be to discuss the famous line, "Even Noah knew about clean and unclean animals, so they ate meat." But let's see what the Bible actually says in Genesis 6.
"But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive." Genesis 6:18-20
Here we see God's instructions to Noah and his family to go into the ark. He also instructs that TWO of every sort of living thing, of all flesh......should also be brought onto the ark, to keep them alive. Male and female, to keep the species from becoming extinct. This makes sense so far. Let's continue reading:
" 'And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.' Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did." Genesis 6:21-22
And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it (harvest) to yourself, and it shall be food for you AND FOR THEM. First of all, note that God then instructs Noah to bring food that is eaten, onto the ark. This is a separate command, discussing food that is eaten, not discussing the animals. This food is for Noah and his family, and also for them – the ANIMALS. Let's think about that for a minute. God instructs two of every species of animal to be brought onto the Ark.....and then to bring food that is normally eaten (Genesis 1:29-30) onto the ark as well, for Noah and his family as well as all the animals. The same food, for BOTH of them. If Noah and his family were eating the animals, that same food would then be the food for the animals, themselves. Were the animals eating themselves as well? And how could any species survive this year long cruise? There'd be no animals left. But you're probably asking yourself, wow OK, that all makes sense. How could this be confusing, it's pretty clear?
Because we have the very next verse, in Chapter 7.
"Then the LORD said to Noah, 'Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.' And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him." Genesis 7:1-5
Does this strike you as kind of odd? First of all, you are probably experiencing de ja vu right about now, and had this occurred I would imagine Noah would have been experiencing it as well. God apparently repeats Himself to Noah, stating again that he and his family should get in the ark because God has seen that he is righteous. But then, God apparently changes His instruction. Now Noah is to take seven of every “clean animal”, and two of every “unclean” animal. How interesting that a law of “clean and unclean animal” from the Levitical priesthood at the time of Moses, who comes many years later....appears out of nowhere being allegedly told to Noah, by God. This, allegedly, is so that Noah and his family can eat some of the animals.
Isn't that sort of a strange interjection of repetitive verses? You almost get the feeling of watching a cheap movie where suddenly an edited clip was stuck into a scene of the movie, that obviously just doesn't match. This was obviously added.
"So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah." Genesis 7:7-9
We get the clean and unclean stated again, just in case we missed it earlier.
"And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights." Genesis 7:10-12
Here we have the description of the flood here, and how long the flood lasted.
"On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in." Genesis 7:13-16
What just happened? The flood started, and next thing you know, we are back outside the ark getting in again, with a more detailed description of Noah and his family.....and here we see the animals getting in the ark again, two by two, of all flesh which is the breath of life. Notice for a moment, the style of writing. Do you notice something? The words are back to being spoken/written as they originally were in Chapter 6. We are back to discussing every creature getting in, male and female of all flesh. The word flesh is used again as was previously, not clean and unclean animals. They are two completely different styles of writings of different authors & times. The original not noting clean or unclean, but just the types of animals overall.
Also notice that God spoke the flood would last 40 days and 40 nights. The flood is said to have started on the 17th day of the 2nd month, during the “clean and unclean” part of the story. In Chapter 8, it says after one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. While the torrential flood itself last 40 days and 40 nights, note that it took much longer before the water regressed. The ark rested on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. And the waters decreased until the first day of the tenth month. That's about 5 months.
"And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried." Noah 8:13-14
According to this, we have now passed a year. It is now back around to the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, of the 601st year. More than a year has apparently gone by before Noah and his family remove the covering from the ark and exit onto the dry ground.
Are we to honestly believe that Noah and his family were eating clean animals on the ark for 5 months, to now over a year? I would assume the unclean animals were also eating the clean animals? How were there any animals left to continue some of these species?
"Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark." Genesis 8:15-19
Had animals been eating each other, and Noah and his family had been eating the animals, there would be no animals left, at least not the clean ones, to exit the Ark. It is obvious that both Noah and his family, as well as the animals, were vegetarian. Just as it was in the beginning (Genesis 1:29-30) and as it will be again (Isaiah 65:25; 11:6-9). Additionally it explains how none of the animals were attacking eachother on the ark, all was peaceful amongst them still.
"Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of , every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered e burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done." Genesis 8:20-21
Look who's back. It's the “clean animal” author. Noah is now taking one of every clean animal and clean bird, and offering it as a burnt offering. I have news for you. If there were any animals left after all the clean animals were being eaten, and eating themselves, Noah just killed off the last of its kind by doing this. It is impossible.
So Noah is preserved, along with his family, and a sample of all of His creation, in the Ark, in the water for 40 days and 40 nights (related as symbolic to baptism by water, see 1 Pet 3:20-21).
"So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it." Genesis 9:1-7
The NLT translates verses 2-3: "All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables."
Here's where it really gets interesting. We have an obvious change in God's set rules for mankind. I say obvious for the fact that God is making it a point to speak of this to Noah. If Noah had already known this were to be acceptable (eating of meat), it would have been rather silly for God to have made this statement. This was something new. Animals would now fear us, dread us, no longer trust us to handle them peacefully, lovingly. The taste of flesh had been interjected into the human bloodstream, the human DNA. When an animal bites a human, we claim they have to be put down because they have the taste for it now. Likewise for us as well. It becomes a part of you. And in the ancient days of Noah, Abraham, and later Israel, this craving for flesh would now be constant.
Question: If God just made this change after the flood, then how did Noah know what clean and unclean meat was, before the flood?
Time for a quick story. God had provided a food from the heavens at one point later on for the Israelites. He did not make it rain steaks or chicken legs. It was called Manna. Manna had the taste of wafers made with honey. And they didn't like it. They wanted meat. Flesh. And God gave them all these quail so they could eat meat, and they lived happily ever after. You remember that story, right? There's just one problem. That's not how it actually went. According to Numbers, it didn't end so well:
"So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore s to their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and p do not let me see my wretchedness!" Numbers 11:11-15
The Israelites complain, they want meat. Moses says to the Lord, what am I supposed to do with these people? Just kill me now! And so the Lord tells Moses to say, “...the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you.” Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah,[c] because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving." - Numbers 11:16-20,31-34
Wow, I bet that's not how you remember how that little story has been told your whole life. But again, it's right in your very Bible! Blow the dust off of it, and read it for yourself. Read also Psalm 78:24-31. Those same Israelites that demanded meat from Moses, would be those same Israelites that were spoken of in Jeremiah:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward." -Jeremiah 7:21-24
In summary, it's obvious there are mysterious additional writings of scribes at work in the story of Noah. "The false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood" - Jeremiah 8:8 But even more obvious, is the following conclusion:
Either you believe that God initially created man and beast to eat of the greens and fruits of nature (Genesis 1:29-30). Or you believe that God initially created man and beast to eat of the greens and fruits of nature. Because whether or not you believe that God allowed clean and unclean meats, it's evident in this story that it had been changed, and that God started this new rule at the time of Noah. If this was actually what happened, then you can not deny the fact that it was not this way from the beginning. If you believe the parts of these scriptures as they are read in one of the two versions, you can not deny that God went out of his way to inform Noah the change in the rules, and that flesh was now allowed to be eaten, and the animals would now fear man (for their own survival, to no longer trust us and run from us). If someone tells you, “OK, from this point forward, just like I allowed you to do this, I will now allow you to do something else as well”....that means before they said that, it was previously NOT allowed. If it was previously the norm, and God made this speech to Noah, I'm pretty sure the next verse would have been, “and Noah already knew this and wondered why God was telling him this like it was something new”.
A last point. A popular Christian organization (which will not be named as confrontation is not intended) says this on their website about the topic:
"Some Christians interpret Genesis 1:29-30 to mean that vegetarianism was part of God’s original purpose and plan for both man and the animals. Because of that, they’ve decided that vegetarianism is a necessary part of a redeemed and sanctified life. But the strictly vegetarian program outlined in Genesis was lifted immediately following the Flood. In Genesis 9:3 God told Noah, 'Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.' (ESV, emphasis added)."
Exactly. There is no "but". This is said to somehow debate the initial intention of God's creation, but as with every one who tries to use the story of Noah to prove their case, all it does is simply confirm what God's original purpose was In The Beginning. It cannot be disputed.
Additionally, with that version as it is written, if God actually did make the rule change after the flood (i.e. allowing the eating of meat in addition to the original vegetarian diet), how would Noah have even known which animals were "clean" and which animals were "unclean", before the flood had even occurred? The answer is pretty obvious, he wouldn't have.
The Genesis One Project doesn't believe in a bipolar God who repeats himself, or changes His mind after sleeping on it. He is the Alpha and Omega, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Something to always remember whenever He appears to be portrayed differently.
The Genesis One Project Video