The author portrays an utopian animal kingdom by stating that in the beginning all animals ate the green herb for meat. But what about the predators? Either the author want us to believe that lions ate plants, or that lions and other predators didn't exist in the original animal kingdom.

Is this an original idea with the author of Gen 1:30, or was the author influenced by an earlier creation story — and in such a parallel, did predators eat plants or where they simply absent?

Genesis 1:30 (KJV)
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.

Genesis 1:30 (NLT)
And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground--everything that has life." And that is what happened.

  • 1
    @Nigel Isn't that what OP is asking? Jul 4, 2018 at 12:55
  • 2
    I removed the first question (did lions eat plants or were they absent), because on SE we prefer one question per question. However, I added it to the latter question about extrabiblical parallels. If this changes too much of the original intent of the question, feel free to rollback.
    – user2672
    Jul 4, 2018 at 13:08
  • How many other Eden stories are we aware of? It seems there would have to be a similar "fall" of nature in order to be meaningfully parallel. Are there other earlier similar accounts at all?
    – Ruminator
    Jul 4, 2018 at 21:11
  • Exactly how many 'stories' containing references to two trees and a serpent and a garden were in circulation prior to 1,500 B.C. I wonder.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:16
  • ...or early men were unaware of them. (The world was just as disturbing when we were little children, but our inner purity shielded our minds from noticing its darkness).
    – Lucian
    Jul 8, 2018 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


@brewpixels.....First, your question presupposes that Genesis (or, in fact, the entire Bible) reflects modern science or a modern understanding of the world. This is not the case. In general, the OT reflects an ancient Near Eastern worldview and the NT reflects a greco-roman worldview. Genesis 1-2 is not a retelling of how God scientifically created and ordered matter from a modern point of view. Second, the KJV is old English and "meat" here in the KJV might cause confusion. It means food--in this case plant food. All modern translations understand the Hebrew " ochla / אָכְלָ֑ה " to be plant-food. Third, yes, the author(s) of Genesis seem to have had the understanding that in the primeval or pre-flood world, animals and humans were vegetarians. But, there are a lot of other logical gaps throughout Genesis 1-11 if you push too far. It's like asking if Adam and Eve had belly buttons at creation. It's a fair question you have, but it's also a can of worms. Lastly, I recommend the following scholarly and non-scholarly resources:

By Prof. John H. Walton ( https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/faculty/john-walton ):

  • Genesis, New International Version Application Commentary
  • Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology

By Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden

  • In the Beginning... We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context

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