This is the command God gave regarding the food before the fall: "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. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.” (Genesis 1:28-30) 

Thus both animals and men were not eating meat originally   They were all vegetarian originally.  Plants are not “alive” in the biblical sense of nephesh chayyah, only animals and man. 

The plants or the vegetables are essentially the sustainer of life.  It is through these that all living get healing and regeneration.  Eating them is not considered as killing.  This is because it comes just above that of elemental matter which have no life.  Vegetations though life providing do not have souls and hence given as food for both animals and man.  “ Plants are not described as “living creatures” as humans, land animals, and sea creature are (Genesis 1:20–21, 24 and 30; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 6:19–20 and Genesis 9:10–17), and the words that are used to describe their termination are more descriptive such as “wither” or “fade” (Psalm 37:2; 102:11; Isaiah 64:6). “Plants are never the subject of haya חָיָה ” (Gerleman 1997, p. 414) neither are they “… alive in biblical Hebrew or in second Temple Jewish literature …” (Kennard 2008, p. 169)”

Image for: Did death occur before the Fall?
Ps. 37 1-2 Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb.




“Unless a wheat of grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.”

(John 12:24, 25)

However the whole creation rests on the principle of servant leadership and dying for others; which arise out of the fundamental character of God as Love. In order to create souls with free will and freedom even to exist, the only reality God himself had to contract and withdraw himself to provide space to create within him.  This contraction is called Tzimtzum in Hebrew.

Tzimtzum - Creation "Out of Nothing"

In the beginning there was only God... and nothing else. God, or Ein Sof, was an all-encompassing Divine Presence/Light called Or Ein Sof (the Light of Infinity). Since nothing but God existed before creation, when God decided to create yesh (i.e., "something") from its Ein (i.e., "nothing"), God needed to "make a space" or to "provide room" for that which was not God (i.e., otherness).  God therefore "emptied himself" by contracting his infinite light to create a conceptual space for the creation of the universe. In a great cosmic flash, God then "condensed" into a point of infinite density and infinite energy called tzimtzum (צִמְצוּם, "contraction") and "exploded out" in all directions (i.e., the cosmic "Big Bang").  In a sense, this self-imposed "contraction"of the Infinite Light is a picture of God "sacrificing" Himself for the sake of creation.


This principle is firmly ingrained in the root of the cosmic structure where the vegetables through the main source of repair, rejuvenation and maintainance of life, dies itself in order to give that.  Remember that this is exactly what God was continuosly doing in the ancient times and this is what finally God has promised through Jesus the Christ who laid down his life to open up this new life for man.

Even after the recreation and the new heavens and the new earth, the tree of life provide this.

Ez 47:12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing."

Revelation 22:  1-2  And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

In this sense of voluntary sacrifice, death was indeed the law of the creation unless you are in the divine realm.  How did this happen?  Why and When did death enter the creation?

The only reason for death to enter the creation is because of the decision, his free willed creatures took.  Was there such a condition prior to creation of Adam where redemption and healing had to be brought in whereby God has to give himself death to redeem his entire creation?






Thomas Aquinas

The Bible passages that teach about sin and death are clearly referring to the death of humans. Do these passages also refer to animals? Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) didn’t think so. He believed that God’s original creation included animals that killed each other, writing that “the nature of animals was not changed by man’s sin.” Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, Part 1, Question 93, Article 1

Pastor Daniel Harrell makes a logical argument for animal death, writing that “there had to be death in the Garden, otherwise Adam would have been overrun by bugs and bacteria long before he took that forbidden bite of fruit.”2 Animal death is also necessary to maintain population levels in a balanced ecosystem (see below for more). Some Bible passages portray predatory animals as part of God’s original plan for creation (Job 38:39-41, 39:29-30, Psalm 104:21,29). Other passages speak of the “wolf laying down with the lamb” instead of killing the lamb (Isaiah 11:6-7, Isaiah 65:25), but these verses refer to the future kingdom of God, not the original creation. While animal death and suffering raises other theological questions, it does not contradict Biblical teaching about death as a consequence of sin.


Could physical death be part of God’s original plan?

The Garden of Eden has a reputation as a perfect place, with no death, pain, or even danger for humans or animals. Yet Genesis only teaches that the original creation is “good”, not “perfect.” Some verses in Genesis 1-2 suggest that God’s creation was not safe or pain-free. D. C. Spanner points out that God charged humanity to “subdue” (Genesis 1:28), a word that implies danger.7 Also, Genesis 2 places Adam and Eve in a garden; in the ancient near east, this was a walled enclosure, protecting the inhabitants from the wilderness and dangerous animals beyond. The Bible is clear that the culmination of God’s plan in the new creation is a place without tears, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4), but is less clear whether the first creation shared these traits.

The death of plants and animals is actually an essential feature in a healthy ecosystem. Plants provide food for animals, and animals return nutrients to the soil upon their deaths. Without predators, populations of some species would explode and crowd out others, maybe even pushing those species to extinction. Predators tend to pick the most populous species to eat, limiting its growth so that other species can compete successfully.

 Was There Death Before the Fall?  Matt Fradd



Okay, if the tree of life was necessary for Adam and Eve to live forever, one might reasonably ask, did animals have access to the tree of life? The answer seems to be no.

If the tree of life was unique, it might have been enough for Adam and Eve to eat from, but it would never have been enough for all of the animals of the world to eat from. This may be another sign that the animals were not understood to have the tree of life for their food. If so, then the text of Genesis itself would suggest that, while man was meant to be immortal, animals were not. That would support the idea, based on St. Paul’s statement, that it was human death that entered the world through the Fall, not animal death.

Furthermore, we should note that giving “every green plant” to animals as food does not mean that some of them weren’t also carnivores. It’s not as if, before original sin, lions ate dandelions and toadstools and only afterward did they begin picking on poor old wildebeest. This is something Thomas Aquinas wrote about in his Summa Theologica:

In the opinion of some, those animals which now are fierce and kill others, would, in that state, have been tame, not only in regard to man, but also in regard to other animals. But this is quite unreasonable. For the nature of animals was not changed by man’s sin, as if those whose nature now it is to devour the flesh of others, would then have lived on herbs, as the lion and falcon.

(We should add, lest anyone be tempted to think that this is a forced retreat in the face of modern evolutionary theory, that Thomas wrote these words nearly 550 years prior to the birth of Charles Darwin.)


What about plants? Is there evidence in Genesis to suggest that plants died before the Fall?

My colleague Jimmy Akin addressed this in a recent post of his:

We can go even further, though, because of God’s permission to eat fruit. That means death. Specifically, the death of the fruit’s flesh (and its seeds, if those get chewed up, too).The fruit’s flesh (and its seeds) are alive. They’re made of living cells.

The seeds are even little fruit embryos, which makes them independent organisms. Of course, they aren’t human. They aren’t rational beings, so they don’t have rights or a right to life, and it’s okay to eat them. But they do die when we eat and digest them. The same thing is true of other plant matter we eat. So we have reason to think, even on a highly literal reading of Genesis, that there was plant death before the Fall.

D. C. Spanner in Biblical Creation and the Theory of Evolution, Paternoster, 1987 argues for the existence of antagonism between animals and even resistance to the growth of plants even before the fall

    . . . the mandate given to man in Genesis 1:28 which reads, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion . . . over every living thing” charged man with “subduing’” the earth. The Hebrew word for “subdue” is kabas, and in all its other occurrences in Scripture (about twelve in all) it is used as a term indicating strong action in the face of opposition, enmity or evil. Thus, the land of Canaan was “subdued” before Israel, though the Canaanites had chariots of iron (Josh. 17:8; 18:1); weapons of war are “subdued,” so are iniquities (Zech. 9:15; Micah 7:19). The word is never used in a mild sense. It indicates, I believe, that Adam was sent into a world where all was not sweetness and light, for in such a world what would there be to subdue? The animals, it suggests, included some that were wild and ferocious, and Adam was charged to exercise a genuinely civilizing role and to promote harmony among them.

These arguments proposes that second law of thermodynamics of entropic increase was part of the creation below the divine and spiritual realm in the realms of soul and body.  Adam and Eve being also in the dimensions of  Spirit and Divinity were not part of the mortal region. Remember it is the contact with the Spirit that gives life, his life will be renewed.

With God within the cosmos, it is an infinite system where life is pumped in to every living and second law of thermodynamics applies only to a closed system, a finite system.  In the fall Adam and Eve chose to enter into a finite system by cutting himself off from the infinite divine realm.  A wall of separation was created and  the whole creation now came under the entropic increase and consequential death.

One of the first reference to the death of animals is when  God himself killed animal to clothe Adam and Eve soon after the fall. As the wickedness of man increased we also see that wickedness of animals also increased so that God decided to kill the animals along with mankind during the flood. God set up the system of animal sacrifice for atonement for sin.

Very good?
right:  http://www.paleosoc.org/Oldest_Fossil.pdf

According to the carbon dating of the age of the fossil records of dead specimens indicate that the oldest dead man is 400,000 years while there is a long millions of years fossil records of dead animals, sea creatures and plants.  What is often forgotten is the fact the existence of fossils does not mean the validity of the theory of evolution.   Here again what is missing is the dimensions of existence of the life form as we go from lower form to the higher.  The theory of evolution assumes that matter is potent enough to grow into all life forms extending itself into all dimensions into which it never existed.  In other words, matter must be God in order to indiscriminately enter into all dimensions..

If our interpretation of the fossil dating is correct, anatomically modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago.  Humans entered history late in the sixth epoch of the creation of cosmos and were unique with the breath from God directly.

 The presentation of the people who argue against this long period of history of death on earth as presented by fossil record is given as follows:


Thus on the basis of their interpretation of Genesis (the Word of God) the recent earth theory hold that the Cosmos was created by  God only over 6000 years ago, plus 6 days and death came in the whole creation as a result of the fall of Adam.  But we do have human like fossils in existence for around 100,000 years.  

There are other interpretation of the bible which allows for the scientific dates.

One most probable error lies in the interpretation of the word “Yom” Day in the creation story. 

·        The word yom however does not mean in itself a day, leave alone 24 hours. It has to be inferred based on the circumstances.

·        The word yôm is accompanied by sequential numerical denotation and the language of ‘evening and morning’ gives a prima facie case that regular 24-hour days are in view. However what I have found in all cases of argument is the assumption that these days – literal days – refer to the period of creation by God.  How can evening to morning refer to a whole day which should be from evening to evening?

Leviticus 23:32  defines the Sabbath day as follows:

“It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath."

This I feel is a problem of hermeneutics. 

The book of Genesis is written by Moses where he was writing about creation of which he has never seen.  How did he know these details.  Unless you believe the JEPD traditions which Moses collected together, the only other alternative is that he heard it from God while he was with God forty days.  What else was he doing up there.  Moses probably wrote all those in a diary.  Did God show him a movie of creation every night?  Probably.  It makes sense to say, “this is what I saw on Day 1 from evening to morning”  “it was evening and morning, day one”   The reckoning of day probably has no connection with the historical creation process.  After all without the sun and the solar system, which came later the 24 hour day has no meaning.  The concept of hour itself came from there.

 “Nature in the New Creation: New Testament Eschatology and the Environment,” Doug Moo published in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 49 (2006) 449-88:

This does not necessarily mean, however, that physical death itself was first introduced into the created world at the Fall. On the contrary, the necessary continuity between the world that God created (Genesis 1-2) and the world that we now observe suggests that physical decay and death – an indispensable component of the created world as we know it – were likely present from the very beginning. To be sure, as Rom 5:12, for instance, makes clear, Adam introduced "death" into the world. But the "world" Paul has in view here is almost certainly the world of human beings (compare the roughly parallel vv. 18a and 19a), and the "death" to which Paul refers here is mainly (though not exclusively) spiritual death (compare again v. 12 with vv. 18 and 19, where "condemnation" occurs). What was Adam's relation to death before the Fall, then? Some think, as Gerald Bray puts it, that Adam was "a mortal being who was protected from death as long as he was obedient to the commands of God: disobedience removed the protection, and Adam was allowed to complete the life cycle which was normal to his physical being" (Gerald L. Bray, "The Significance of God's Image in Man." TynBul 42 [1991] 216). But it is preferable to think of Adam as possessing conditional immortality, with physical death as "a possibility arising from his constitution" (Blocher, In the Beginning, 184-87 [187]).

The problem here seems to be total disregard of  presence of all the dimensions of cosmos in existence.  Sin was not introduced into this world by man.  Bible clearly indicate the presence of sin long before the creation of man.  That is exactly why the Serpent was in Eden.  Who was the first sinner? Adam or the Serpent?  The identity of the Serpent as the Devil is clearly made in the Bible.  Devil was sometimes associated with the name Lucifer. Though we do not have details of the fall of Lucifer, there is references to it and church doctrine clearly refers to it.  What was the result of that fall in the cosmos? 


 When God created everything, He saw that it was all good (Gen. 1:31).

·        On the sixth day of creation, God created a "garden in the East" and placed Adam and Eve there to care for it (Gen 2:8, for more this see "Does Genesis HYPERLINK "http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con005.asp"1 HYPERLINK "http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con005.asp"Contradict Genesis HYPERLINK "http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con005.asp"2HYPERLINK "http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con005.asp"?")

·        God instructed Adam to eat from any tree but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:17)

You'll note that nothing in the Genesis account states that there was no death at all, it only implies that Adam would not die unless he disobeyed God's command.

However, many people believe there was no death at all before Adam. They base their argument mainly on two passages in the book of Romans. Paul, in writing his epistle t the Roman, laid out our need for a savior and the glorious hope we have in Christ. In Romans 5: 12 he writes "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned". Paul here shows that Adam's actions reached beyond himself and Eve; his sin caused death for all men.

Later, in Romans 8, Paul explains that Adam's sin also had consequences for the rest of God's creation. Starting in verse 21 we read "the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:21-23). So, because Romans says death entered through sin and there was no sin until Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it is believed that there was no death.



1. What Type of Death?

 ….. When we look more closely at Genesis 2, we see that God said "in the day you eat from it you shall surely die." But Adam didn't die physically in the very same day that he ate from the tree. In fact, he fathered Cain, Abel, Seth and other children and lived a total of 930 years! Now it may be true that the natural aging process we experience began in Adam on that day (to some extent at least), but in order for God's word to be accurate, the idea of death has to mean something other than cessation of biological life.

One point I always make in speaking of passages such as these is that it's important to remember that in the Bible death always speaks of separation, not annihilation. Sometimes this can mean separating the soul from the body as in physical death. But it can also mean separating the soul from God, which is defined as spiritual death or "dead in our sins" (Col 2:13, Eph 2:5).

It is this spiritual death that Paul is speaking of in Romans 5 and indeed throughout the entire book of Romans. The whole purpose of Romans is to show that the Jews are dead in their sins because they have the Law and the gentiles are dead in their sins because God gave them a law unto themselves. In Romans 8 he continues this analogy, writing "the mind set on the flesh is death... Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God." (Rom 8:6,7).

Even if we were to grant that Romans 5 was speaking of physical death, Paul makes it clear that the "death through sin" applies to mankind. The verse says "death spread to all men because all sinned", not death spread to everything. Paul's comments about death entering the world are directed toward men only.

2. "God Saw That it Was Good"

Another objection people have with the idea of death before the fall comes from the idea of God creating imperfection. They reason that when God created the heavens and the earth, He saw all that He made and said it was very good (Gen. 1:31). So, how could there be death in God's perfect creation?

This objection stems from a misunderstanding of the role of death. Since God is the Creator, He has the prerogative of creating certain things for limited use. Just because something dies doesn't mean that death is necessarily a bad thing. For example, in order for consumption to occur, something must die. We know that God gave Adam and Eve freedom to eat of all the fruit in the Garden but one. Fruit is a living thing, but once Adam ate of it, it would die. It's not a bad thing that this fruit died, for it provided nourishment to Adam, and thus fulfilled its purpose.

Jesus teaches us this concept in John 12:24. He says, "except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." And since seeds and fruit were part of God's original creative act (Gen. 1:11), then it stands to reason that God intended these to bring forth greater fruit through their death.

Because death did exist, it would be disingenuous for Christians to infer a young earth from this point alone. Also, this doesn't measure into the evolution debate in either direction. We must look to other reasons why evolution is false. (For more on this, see our article "Is it more reasonable to believe in Creation over Evolution".)

I hope this discussion has helped you in your understanding of death and the role it plays in creation. Although we can't know much of what the world was like before the fall, I think the evidence is clear that there must certainly have been some kind of death existing. But, like all of God's creation, He used this for a specific purpose and to His ultimate glory. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Fall of Lucifer

There are three main views concerning when Satan’s fall into sin took place. 

1.      Satan's fall took place in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2  It is usually known as the "gap theory." 

It arises from the statement of the  initial condition of creation - namely,  tohu wa-bohu, formless and void. There is evidence that the sentence “And the earth was without form and void” (tohu v’bohu) indicates destruction, not simply primitive creation. This phrase is rendered more strongly elsewhere  in other ancient versions. For example, the Chaldee Version has “But the earth had become desert and empty,” the Septuagint has “But the earth had become unfurnished and empty,” and the Aramaic has “And the earth had become ruined and uninhabited.”

This view teaches that God originally created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), including angels.  They  believe that in the so-called gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there is a vast amount of time, even millions of years. During this time many things are said to have happened, such as Satan's fall into sin.

2.      Satan's fall took place in the gap between Genesis chapter 2 and Genesis chapter 3

  These people hold to a recent earth theory where the age of earth is not much more than 6000 years or so and they hold to a literal six day creation week.    Since the angels, including Lucifer, are part of all that is in heaven, they conclude that the creation of Lucifer took place during the six days of creation.    "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.  Yet within Eden was this serpent.  So the fall of Lucifer must have taken place sometime before the 6th day of creation. 


3.      The fall of Satan took place prior to Genesis chapter 1

The position that the fall of Satan took place prior to Genesis chapter one assumes that the creation of Satan (Lucifer) and his fall both took place prior to Genesis 1:1 and that his fall took place prior to the creation of Adam and Eve and not after their creation.

Did this fall of Satan had any consequential death within the cosmos?  Since the wages of sin is death, where can this death come in the cosmos other than the first Sin and with all the cosmic powers of the Angelic Lucifer.  Like Adam, Lucifer was a son of God.  The details of this are not revealed in the Bible because it is given to man and the portions relevant to us alone are given.  Most probably the severity of the sin came to earth as these fallen angels brought it to the earth as given below.

Here is the description of the fall of Lucifer in  Ezekiel 28:. “ In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god  in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god…… You were in Eden, the garden of God……Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth.“

Origen (184/185 – 253/254) interpreted such Old Testament passages as being about manifestations of the Devil. Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225),  also understood Isaiah 14:14 ("I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High") as spoken by the Devil.  Merrill Unger in his book on demonology, argued that this segment of Ezekiel’s work spoke of the ancient fall of Satan (p. 15; cf. Coffman, 285ff). Similarly, C.H. Pember, in his book Earth’s Earliest Ages, contended for this view in his defense of the “gap theory,” which was an effort to harmonize the Genesis record with secular geology.”

Apparently, this represents the actual beginning of sin in the universe—preceding the fall of the human Adam by an indeterminate time. Sin originated in the free will of Lucifer in which—with full understanding of the issues involved—he chose to rebel against the Creator.  This mighty angelic being was rightfully judged by God: “I threw you to the earth” (Ezekiel 28:18). This doesn’t mean that Satan had no further access to heaven, for other Scripture verses clearly indicate that Satan maintained this access even after his fall (Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1,2). However, Ezekiel 28:18 indicates that Satan was absolutely and completely cast out of God’s heavenly government and his place of authority (Luke 10:18).

Wickedness of man grew greatly in the earth

"Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.' There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.' But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:1-8)

The reference to the sons of God seems to imply beings very similar to humanoids who fell under the choice like Adam brought in severe sin into earth and as a result “the wickedness of man was great in the earth,” to the extent “that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”   It remained so till the great destruction by flood.

Soon after the flood God gave mankind permission to eat flesh without blood.  But until that time man was not permitted to eat flesh. They were vegetarians.

Gen 9:1-4 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat [food] for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Many centuries after the text of Genesis was written, we find the prophet Isaiah predicting a Messianic era, in the famous verses Is.11:6-7:

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard lie down with the kid,
The calf and the beast of prey shall feed together,
With a little child to lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
Their young shall lie down together,
And the lion, like the ox, shall eat straw.

Isaiah repeats this in 65:25:
"The wolf and the lamb shall graze together,
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox."
So, according to the Bible, all creatures were vegetarians in the Edenic state and will be so again in the eventual Messianic era. It's consistent with the notion that death will be abolished in the Messianic era.