My favorite steak is rare prime rib, and my favorite fish fillet is grilled Cajun salmon. Did Adam enjoy these same pleasures?
Did Eve cook Adam a savory steak for their first romantic dinner together in Eden? Did she do a Surf & Turf combo, serving him a swordfish or tuna steak as well?
Many Christians suppose that Adam did not enjoy steaks and fish fillets till much later in life. They reason that the two original cows or two salmon that God made would need time to reproduce. Only much later would there be enough cattle and salmon for Adam to harvest some for food. If he ate a steak or salmon the first night, they assume the cow or salmon kinds would be finished, because they think only two of each kind were created in the beginning.
While I agree with the conclusion that Adam did not have steak or fish for dinner on his first evening, I disagree with the reasoning used to reach that conclusion.
How Many Creatures Did Yahweh Create?
How many fish, birds, and animals did Yahweh make on Creation Days Five and Six?
We know Yahweh did begin with a single pair of humans. He created Adam first, and then made Eve later in the day from Adam’s rib. Yahweh commanded the couple to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). All subsequent humans descended from Adam and Eve through the usual human reproductive process. The Apostle Paul confirmed this in his speech to the Athenians:
He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. (Acts 17:26 NASB)
But Genesis seems to indicate that at least with the fish, Yahweh made many pairs of each kind.
Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-21 NASB)
The Hebrew word translated teem or swarm is shârats (שָׁרַץ, Strong’s H8317). It means bring forth abundantly. Thus it appears that with the fish and possibly also for the birds and animals, Yahweh created abundantly and profusely to get the world started. Not only did He create many kinds of animals, but it seems that He created many pairs of each kind.
So why didn’t Adam have Surf & Turf for dinner his first night?
Adam Was a Vegetarian!
Scripture tells us exactly what food God provided for Adam to eat:
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 NASB)
Adam’s food was plants that had seeds and fruits with seeds. It would probably never even have occurred to Adam to eat an animal. The idea would have been repugnant to him. Ugh!
Adam’s first dinner was probably salad and fruit. But it likely tasted better than any fruit or salad you or I have ever had. What about dessert? I’m pretty sure it was pecan pie, the obvious way to finish a perfect meal!
Should Humans Be Vegetarians?
Yahweh told Adam to eat green plants and fruit, the perfect food in a perfect world. Does this mean we should all be vegetarians today?
No. After Noah’s Flood around 2500 BC, Yahweh explicitly gave man permission to eat meat.
The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. (Genesis 9:2-3 KJV)
Yahweh gave meat, birds, and fish to man to eat, just as He had originally given green plants.
So the first human carnivores were Noah’s family.
Eating meat and flesh was affirmed by the words and example of Jesus Himself. He commanded His disciples to prepare the Passover meal, and He ate it with them (Matthew 26:18-21). This was an unvarying ritual according to Divine instructions, and it included lamb meat.
Jesus also prepared fish for His disciples to eat, and He ate fish Himself.
And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:18-19 NASB)
So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. (John 21:9-13 NASB)
While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. (Luke 24:41-43)
In Peter’s vision he was specifically told to “kill and eat” animals and birds. (Acts 10:11-16)
Adam died over a century before Noah was born. So Adam would have enjoyed a vegetarian diet for his whole life. He never had a Surf & Turf meal. But pecan pie makes up for a lot!
Questions to Ponder
- Why did Yahweh add meat to the menu only after the Flood?
- Which meat, fish, or fowl would you miss the most if you lived before Yahweh added meat to the human menu?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 37th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam (with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 3, 2016 A.D.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6 NASB)