Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made , and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Everything that God made is described as “very good”. This indicates the perfect nature of God’s creation. Sin had not entered the universe at this point. Adam and Eve are best thought of as “innocent”—they had the ability to sin, but had not done so yet.
There are some logical conclusions to this sinless state. First, physical death was not a possibility. Sin brought sickness, pain, suffering, and death as is seen in Genesis 3 and numerous other passages in the Bible. Continue reading
Eating in the Garden of Eden was meatless as is explained in the verses below.
Genesis 1:29-30 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
In Eden, food came from plants. This was true for the land animals too. Some may scoff that some animals cannot survive without meat. That may be true in our fallen world, but not in Eden. Even in a fallen state, some animals which normally eat meat sometimes choose not to. (See No Taste for Meat and Unexpectedly Vegetarian Animals – What Does It Mean?) The prohibition against eating meat ended after the Flood of Noah. (Genesis 9:3) So there is no biblical reason to practice vegetarianism in our current dispensation.
At the pinnacle of God’s creation is mankind. Humans are exclusive among all other creatures in that they are created in the image and likeness of God.
Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
There has been much debate over what the “image” and “likeness” of God are. Image has to do with resemblance and likeness has to do with similar traits. Neither should be understood as relating to physical characteristics because God in His essence is spirit. (John 4:24) Rather, mental and spiritual attributes are likely the meaning. Continue reading
God begins the sixth day by creating land animals.
Genesis 1:24-25 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
The Hebrew word translated “creature” is nephesh. It was first used in verse 20 in reference to animals living in the water. Its basic meaning is “soul” or “life”. It should be understood as a “living being”. It is used of Adam in Genesis 2:7 after God breathed into him and brought him to life. Continue reading