A Meditation: On Genesis 9:5 // Keeping Cruelty At Check //

by Matheus Yuhlung

And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man – Genesis 9:5

Whether or not animals have souls from whom God would inquire after their death is a matter that demands to have their own private debate; but what intrigues me in this verse is the amount of care that God pours on all beings both animals and men.

Adam was initially given a vegetarian diet which comprised of seed bearing plants and fruits[i] (probably keeping its renewability in mind). But after the fall of man and Noah’s flood; it seemed meat became a suitable diet to keep man energized as vegetation had suffered and hence God gave them as food[ii] as well.

But even after that He still cared for them; and the verse-in-focus here is evidence of that. I consider it as a great advice to keep at check of our self imposed liberal dietary habits – where we don’t hesitate to take a life for the sake of taste. Also it is a great reminder to believers to live their lives with grace by keeping cruelty towards our fellow men and animals at check.

[i] Genesis 1:29

[ii] Genesis 9:3