Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Food for you

After engaging in some lengthy linguistic analysis, Provan concludes by saying:
This translation allows us to notice something rather striking when Gen 9:2 is compared with Gen 1:24-25 and Gen 9:10. In Gen 9:2, one class of animals not mentioned at all–the behemah, "livestock." Gen 9, we thus realize, is concerned only with animals life in the nondomestic sphere: the predatory wild animals, the birds, the remaining wild animals (remes), and the fish. It is wild creatures, and not creatures in general, that now live their lives in fear and dread of human beings. The livestock already "belong" in human hands, from the perspective of Genesis. We may go further: the animals explicitly singled out in Gen 9:3 as being given over to humans now for food are not animals in general but only some of the wild land animals: "every wild but nonpredatory land animal [Heb. remes] that is living shall be food for you. As I gave green plants to you–everything" (Gen 9:3; my translation). Why are these particular animals (e.g., deer) singled out? Most likely it is because they are to become a much more important food source for humans than the others mentioned. I. Provan,Seriously Dangerous Religion (Baylor 2014), 233. 

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