Genesis 1:29
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food.
The Sixth DayR.A. Redford Genesis 1:24-31
Dependence on GodJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 1:29-30
FoodBib. Sacra.Genesis 1:29-30
Let no Man be Discontented with Mean FareJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 1:29-30
Man's Proper FoodProf. Gaussen.Genesis 1:29-30
Nature ProductiveProf. Gaussen.Genesis 1:29-30
The Miracle of NourishmentProf. Gaussen.Genesis 1:29-30
The Universe God's Gift to ManJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 1:29-30

Take it -

I. As a revelation of God in his relation to man.

II. As a revelation of man to himself.


1. As the Father as well as Creator. As to the rest of creation, it is said, "Let be," and "it was." As to many "Let us make in our image." Closely kin by original nature, man is invited to intercourse with the Divine.

2. The spirituality of God's highest creature is the bond of union and fellowship. The languages "Let us make," suggests the conception of a heavenly council or conference preparatory to the creation of man; and the new description of the being to be created points to the introduction of a new order of life the spiritual life, as above the vegetable and animal.

3. God entrusts dominion and authority to man in the earth. Man holds from the first the position of a vicegerent for God. There is trust, obedience, responsibility, recognition of Divine supremacy, therefore all the essential elements of religion, in the original constitution and appointment of our nature and position among the creatures.

4. The ultimate destiny of man is included in the account of his beginning. He who made him in his image, "one of us," will call him upward to be among the super-earthly beings surrounding the throne of the Highest. The possession of a Divine image is the pledge of eternal approximation to the Divine presence. The Father calls the children about himself.

II. MAN REVEALED TO HIMSELF. "The image and likeness of God." What does that contain? There is the ideal humanity.

1. There is an affinity in the intellectual nature between the human and the Divine. In every rational being, though feeble in amount of mental capacity, there is a sense of eternal necessary truth. On some lines the creature and the Creator think under the same laws of thought, though the distance be immeasurable.

2. Man's by original creation absolutely free from moral taint. He is therefore a fallen being in so far as he is a morally imperfect being. He was made like God in purity, innocence, goodness.

3. The resemblance must be in spirit as well as in intellect and moral nature. Man was made to be the companion of God and angels, therefore there is in his earthly existence a superearthly, spiritual nature which must be ultimately revealed.

4. Place and vocation are assigned to man on earth, and that in immediate connection with his likeness to God. He is ruler here that he may be prepared for higher rule elsewhere. He is put in his rank among God's creatures that he may see himself on the ascent to God. Man belongs to two worlds. He is like God, and yet he is male and female, like the lower animals, lie is blessed as other creatures with productive power to fill the earth, but he is blessed for the sake of his special vocation, to subdue the earth, not for himself, but for God.

5. Here is the end of all our endeavor and desire - to be perfect men by being like God. Let us be thankful that there is a God-man in whom we are able to find our ideal realized. We grow up into him who is our Head. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. When all things are put under him, man will see the original perfection of his creation restored.

6. Man is taught that he need not leave the earthly sphere to be like God. There has been a grand preparation of his habitation. From a mere chaotic mass the earth has by progressive stages reached a state when it can become the scene of a great moral experiment for man's instruction. The god-like is to rule over all other creatures, that he may learn the superiority of the spiritual. Heavenly life, communion, society, and all that is included in the fellowship of man with God, may be developed in the condition of earth. Grievous error in early Church and Eastern philosophy - confusion of the material and evil. Purity does not require an immaterial mode of existence. Perfection of man is perfection of his dominion over earthly conditions, matter in subjection to spirit. Abnormal methods, asceticism, self-crucifixion, mere violence to original constitution of man. The "second Adam" overcame the world not by forsaking it, but by being in it, and yet not of it.

7. God's commandments to man are commandments of Fatherly love. "Behold, I have given you," &c. He not only appoints the service, but he provides the sustenance. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," &c. Here is the union of creative power and providential goodness. We are blessed in an earthly life just as we take it from the hand of God as a trust to be fulfilled for him. And in that obedience and dependence we shall best be able to reach the ideal humanity. The fallen world has been degrading man, physically, morally, spiritually; he has been less and less what God made him to be. But he who has come to restore the kingdom of God has come to uplift man and fill the earth with blessedness. - R.

To you it shall be for meat.

1. Extensive.

2. Valuable.

3. Increasing.Every day becoming better known and more thoroughly appreciated. All the gifts of God are productive; time unfolds their measure, discloses their meaning, and demonstrates their value.


1. To evince love. One of the great objects of creation was to manifest the love of God to the human race, which was shortly to be brought into existence. The light, the sun, the stars, and the creation of man; all these were the love tokens of God. These were designed, not to display His creative power — His wisdom, but His desire for the happiness of man.

2. To teach truth. The world is a great school. It is well supplied with teachers. It will teach an attentive student great lessons. All the Divine gifts are instructive.

3. To sustain life. God created man without means, but it was not His will to preserve him without; hence He tells him where he is to seek his food. We must make use of such creatures as God has designed for the preservation of our life. God has provided for the preservation of all life. Let us learn to trust God for the necessities of life in times of adversity. Men who have the greatest possessions in the world must receive their daily food from the hand of God.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)


1. Asking them by prayer.

2. Acknowledging our own beggary.

3. Trusting Him by faith.

4. Remembering His promise.

5. Obedient to His will.


1. Else we are ungrateful.

2. Else we deserve famine. All the provisions that God allows man for food are drawn out of the earth. The homeliness of the provision on which God intended man to feed.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. It is as good as the body it nourishes.

2. It is better than we deserve.

3. It is more than we are able to procure of ourselves.

4. It is more profitable for health.

5. It is free from the temptation to excess. God gives us not all our provisions at once, but a daily supply of them.

(1)To manifest His Fatherly care.

(2)To make us dependent on Him.

(3)To exercise our faith.

(4)To teach economy. God makes provision for all the creatures He hath made. Man was not only a good creature but a blessed one.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. It exerts an influence on the disposition of man. A hungry man always feels the risings of cruelty, however they may be conquered by nobler principles. When you think of the cruelty of an Indian you should always think of his famished condition.

2. It indicates the civilized condition of man. You are told that a people are a wheat-eating people. Of course they must raise it; they must have the plough and the ploughshare; they must command iron, or, at least, some hard metal; they must understand the process of mining and smelting; they must have fields and fences; they must have foresight to sow and patience to wait for a crop; and, finally, they must be protected by law, for no one will lend the labour who is not assured of protection.

3. It contributes to extensive social changes. The introduction of sugar, for example, has changed the whole face of society. It was found to be one of the purest and least cloying sweets ever discovered. It was handed from the Arabs to the Spaniards; it was cultivated first in the Madeira Islands; then it was given to all the European nations; was raised in the West Indies on an immense scale. Then came rum, brandy, and all the alcoholic drinks, slavery and all its consequences, until now it is a debated problem whether the sweet cane was a blessing or a curse. At any rate this single article of food, so unimportant and neglected in its origin, changed the whole face of society.

4. It indicates the general refinement of the mind. Nay, we are instructed not to be totally indifferent to the kind of food, for discrimination here is connected with other discrimination, and indicates improvement in the taste. We will not take advantage of Dr. Johnson's remark, who held that he who did not mind his dinner would scarcely mind anything else. Suffice it to say, that taste in food and taste in dress, science, and literature, always go together. He that feeds grossly will judge grossly.

5. It is essential in order to the higher pursuits of life. Take away from the astronomer his food, and he will soon cease to lift his telescope to the stars. The saint, the martyr, the moralist, and the poet, all pursue their sublime occupations through the vigour and animation of the body. In a word, as the sweetest blossom on the highest tree, though it seems to be fed by the very air which it decorates, is nourished by the dirt and manure around the roots of the tree, so the sublimest mind is supplied by the food of the body.

(Bib. Sacra.)

Remark here, that when God assigned to man, while still innocent, his proper food, he gave him only the fruits of the field; and it was not till after the earth had been twice cursed because of sin that he was permitted to eat the flesh of animals. "Upon this point also," says M. de Rougemont, in his interesting "History of the Earth," — "upon this point, as well as others, science has arrived, by long, circuitous ways, and painful study, at the very same truths which are plainly revealed to us in Genesis." "It is a question," says M. Flourens, "which has much perplexed physiologists, and which they have not yet been able to determine, what was the natural and primitive food of man. Now, thanks to comparative anatomy, it is very easy to see that man was originally neither herbivorous nor carnivorous, but frugivorous." It was not till after the curse had been brought on the earth by sin that man began to feed on the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Before he sinned he had a dominion over the creatures, which he lost in a great measure, and which he only keeps in a degree by force and violence; but at first they did not flee from him, and he did not eat them. Doubtless, before man sinned, the productions of the earth were richer and better than they are now, and offered a much greater variety of food and nourishment to man. But at the fall the nature of the soil and of its vegetable productions must have been in some way altered. Probably God greatly reduced the number of food-producing plants, and the earth brought forth instead those bearing useless thorns, and even some whose fruits or juices cause death.

(Prof. Gaussen.)

Perhaps it may appear to you a very natural thing that corn, strawberries, cherries, grapes, figs, dates, peaches, pineapples, and all the various and delicious fruits of our orchards and of other climates, should feed and nourish you; but think of the miracle which must be wrought in your body — in your stomach, your lungs, your heart, your veins, your glands, your arteries, and all the various parts within you — before these fruits, or any other food that you eat, can be prepared in your stomach, changed into a kind of milky substance, and conveyed in your veins, and passed with your blood through one of the ventricles of your heart, and thence into your lungs, to be burned and purified there, and return again as perfect blood into the other ventricle, and thence be driven by a rapid movement into your arteries, and to the very extremities of your body, in order that it may reproduce, without your interference, your skin, your flesh, your bones, your nerves, your nails, and the thousands and thousands of the hairs of your head. It is a miracle wrought by God, that any kind of food, whether leaves, seeds, fruits, or bread should serve as food and nourishment to me at all; it is a mystery and a wonder how it is changed into a part of my body, so as to make it grow, repair it, and renew its waste: and therefore it was a work of almighty power when God appointed man's food, and said of the trees and plants, "To you it shall be for meat." What is bread? It is a paste composed of ground corn, water, and salt, baked after it has begun to ferment. But how does it happen that the corn and the salt should nourish me? Corn, we are told, is composed of carbon and the two gases which form water. Now, how can carbon or charcoal nourish me? Try to eat a bit of charcoal, and you will find it like taking a mouthful of sand. Think how wonderfully these substances, of which corn is composed, must be transformed by Divine power to produce the corn, and then still further changed to become a part of our bodies. Then salt is composed of two substances which separately would hurt me, and yet combined they are wholesome, and help to cause the corn and other things to nourish me. If I were to take two phials, one filled with sodium and the other with hydrochloric acid, and if I were to mix them in a glass, they would combine and form salt at the bottom of the glass; and yet, separately, each of these phials would contain a destructive poison. If I were to swallow the hydrochloric acid, it would burn my stomach; and if I were to pour it into the palm of my hand and hold it there, it would soon burn a hole right through my hand; and yet this dreadful poison, when combined with sodium, forms salt, which is so wholesome and so necessary for our health.

(Prof. Gaussen.)

The botanist Ray tells us that he counted 2,000 grains of maize on a single plant of maize sprung from one seed, 4,000 seeds on one plant of sunflower, 32,000 seeds on a single poppy plant, and 36,000 seeds on one plant of tobacco. Pliny tells us that a Roman governor in Africa sent to the Emperor Augustus a single plant of corn with 340 stems, bearing 340 ears — that is to say, at least 60,000 grains of corn had been produced from a single seed. In modern times, 12,780 grains have been produced by a single grain of the famous corn of Smyrna. In eight years, as much corn might spring from one seed as to supply all mankind with bread for a year and a half.

(Prof. Gaussen.)

Genesis 1:29 NIV
Genesis 1:29 NLT
Genesis 1:29 ESV
Genesis 1:29 NASB
Genesis 1:29 KJV

Genesis 1:29 Bible Apps
Genesis 1:29 Parallel
Genesis 1:29 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 1:29 Chinese Bible
Genesis 1:29 French Bible
Genesis 1:29 German Bible

Genesis 1:29 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Genesis 1:28
Top of Page
Top of Page