“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
Explanation and Commentary of Genesis 1:29
It was not until after the great flood of Genesis 6 that God allowed man and beast to eat meat. Because of the absence of death in the original creation design, eating meat would not have been possible. This is not an indication that God would have us refrain from eating meat today. We have record of Jesus eating fish and lamb. God himself asked his people to sacrifice to him the fat portions of the animal (Lev 3:3).
We should also take heart that God will always provide for his children. Jesus taught his disciples to pray the following prayer.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
God’s desire is to provide for us by blessing us to work. Paul told the Thessalonians that, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thes 3:10). But even when we work hard for our food, we should understand that the outcome of our hard work belongs to the Lord (1 Cor 15:10). Our hard work is even the Lord working through us.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Genesis 1:29
#1 “Then God said,”
How precious is God’s Word to us. The Bible is inspired and infallible. If only we would believe him and live accordingly, we would be blessed beyond our imaginings.
#2 “I give you…”
Everything we have is from God. We have nothing, no matter how hard we worked for it, that God hasn’t provided. Whenever Jesus broke bread to eat, he gave thanks (Jn 6:11) because all that we have is given to us.
#3 “every seed-bearing plant…and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.”
God has entrusted the stewardship of the whole earth to man, his delegated authority over creation. He has provided for our sustenance only those plants and fruits that are digestible for us. Even apart from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17), there would be some plants that we aren’t built for eating. God knows what we need, and we can take him at his word.
#4 “…on the face of the whole earth
Even when Adam and Eve were still allowed in the paradisal Garden of Eden, God shows his plan here by offering up the produce of the “whole earth.” His will for men and women to populate the whole earth is revealed further as Scripture unfolds (Gen 11).
#5 “They will be yours for food.”
Everything we have comes from and belongs to God. At the same time, he does lay a foundation for the rights of private property by the giving of items and land to his people and by the carefully constructed laws protecting private property given to Moses for the Israelites in the land that God gave to them (Nu 26-27). But God never gives in such a way as to make us any more than stewards, and he will demand an account of what we have done with what he has given us (Mt 25:14-30).
Expert Overview of Genesis Ch. 1-11
Biblical Translations of Genesis 1:29
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.”
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
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.”
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.