Genesis 1:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 1:30, NIV: "And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food.' And it was so."

Genesis 1:30, ESV: "And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so."

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, NASB: "and to every animal of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food'; 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."

Genesis 1:30, CSB: "for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth--everything having the breath of life in it--I have given every green plant for food." And it was so."

What does Genesis 1:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These words are very similar to the previous verse, in which God expressly makes clear that humankind could make use of every seed-bearing plant and tree for food. Now He says the same is true for the animals, birds, and creeping things. It's all but impossible to miss the fact that, in this moment, God does not expressly offer animals as food for humans or for other animals. Later, God would specifically change His instructions to man about what other parts of His creation were available for food.

This is often interpreted to mean that all creatures God created were initially herbivores: plant eaters. Other scholars see this in a less literal and more general sense: that self-sustaining plants are the core source of food for the animal kingdom. While there are various theological, scriptural, and scientific arguments to be made on both sides, neither is really the point of this passage.

In other words, the specific food being eaten is not the take-home lesson of this verse. Rather, this passage clearly defines God as the provider. That's who He has been from the very beginning. In His own way, by His own will, He provides food for man and beast (Matthew 6:26).