Eventually I retreated to our camper away from the assault of the little biting blood-suckers.
I wished that Adam had simply squashed the mosquitoes instead of naming them.
Were Mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden?
After wiping dripping blood away, I thought more carefully about the question,
“Were mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden before Adam sinned?”
I concluded that they were in Eden, because Yahweh created mosquitoes just like everything else, and He finished His work of creation in six days.
And maybe Adam did not even name them, because insects are not in the category of creatures that the Bible says Adam named:
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. (Genesis 2:19-20)
But I think that in Eden mosquitoes were not the annoying pests that they are today, because when Yahweh finished His work of creation, He pronounced everything “Very good.”
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
Mosquitoes — Adam’s Fault
So why are mosquitoes pests today? It is Adam’s fault.
After Adam sinned, Yahweh cursed all of creation. This curse physically changed many things. The ground no longer brought forth only good crops, but now weeds, thorns, and thistles proliferated. Childbirth for women became much more painful. Snakes no longer traveled upright but were condemned to go on their belly. (Genesis 3:14-19)
Yahweh also put enmity between men and snakes. Later after the Flood He changed the brains of animals so that they would fear humans (Genesis 3:15; 9:2).
Another change is that man and animals did not eat meat before the Fall; all were vegetarian. Only after Noah’s Flood did Yahweh authorize man to eat meat (Genesis 9:3).
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).
We know very little about what animals were like before Adam’s Fall. One thing we do know is that Creation has been severely distorted by God’s Curse as a result of Adam’s sin. (Romans 8:20-22) But nobody knows how much things changed compared to before the Fall. The full extent of the effects of the Fall and Yahweh’s subsequent curse is unknown.
Thus we have no certain information about what mosquitoes were like before the fall, but I suspect mosquitoes were changed from a benign insect into a pest when Yahweh cursed all of creation because of Adam’s sin. Before the Fall, mosquitoes were a beneficial part of Yahweh’s very good ecosystem. Since then they have become the World’s Most Dangerous Creature through transmitting deadly diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, yellow fever, and dengue fever.
Even today many mosquito species do not suck blood. They feed on plant nectar and are active in pollinating plants. Pollination was probably the function of the very good mosquitoes that Yahweh originally created.
Before the Fall, female mosquitoes probably got protein for their egg production from certain plants instead of from blood, just as vegetarians today get protein from a plant-based diet. For example, leghemoglobin is a protein similar to hemoglobin that’s found in plants such as soybean and alfalfa.
Were Mosquitoes on the Ark?
Some people criticize Noah for letting the pair of mosquitoes off the Ark. If only Noah had smacked them, it would have saved untold agony for millions of Noah’s descendants.
But we don’t know whether mosquitoes were on the Ark. The Bible does not specifically say that mosquitoes were on the Ark. It says Noah took “animals and birds and everything that creeps on the ground.” (Genesis 7:8)
Mosquitoes could have survived the Flood in egg, larva, or pupa form either on the Ark or on floating vegetation mats outside the Ark.
I think it’s likely that mosquitoes plagued Noah and his sons and their work crews as they labored building the Ark. The increase in exhaled carbon dioxide, body heat, and perspiration due to their physical exertion would be key attractive factors for mosquitoes (see Mosquito: World’s Deadliest Creature). So I don’t think Noah would have been favorably disposed to voluntarily board mosquitoes on the Ark.
Thus we can’t really blame Noah for mosquito bites. We have to blame Adam.
One insect that probably was on the ark is the bee. But where did Noah keep the bees? In the archive of course. How could Noah see to take care of them? He used flood lights!
The next time a mosquito bites you, let this minor irritation remind you of the universe-wide consequences of Adam’s sin and the good news of the Gospel which fixes Adam’s mistake.
Questions to Ponder
- What would you have enjoyed most about life in Eden?
- Even in a sin-cursed, mosquito-infested world, God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). What other mosquito-like annoyance is buzzing around your life? Will you trust Him with that today?
- In your experience, what works best to repel mosquitoes?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday September 2, 2015 A.D.
But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10)