A web-only series carefully considering what the Bible says about Satan, evil in the world, and suffering.
Was Abel eating meat soon after the Curse even though he wasn’t supposed to (Genesis 1:29)? After all, he kept the flocks and sacrificed an animal in Genesis 4:2–4, and it wasn’t until Genesis 9:3 that humanity was permitted to eat meat.
Matthew indicates that Abel was righteous and therefore was not being disobedient to God’s command to be vegetarian in Genesis 1:29.
. . . so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:35)
So, as to why Abel was tending flocks, we need to consider that flocks can yield many other things besides food—such as wool, milk, leather, etc. A fattened lamb, for example, would produce a great deal of wool, had the most life ahead of it, and so on; hence, it was the most valuable.
So, when Abel sacrificed the fattened ones, he was offering his best—a true blood sacrifice. This sacrifice was acceptable to the Lord, as it mimicked what God did in making a blood sacrifice to cover Adam and Eve’s sins (see Hebrews 9:22 and Genesis 3:21).
The passage doesn’t indicate that Abel ate of the sacrifice; so, there is no reason to assume he did. When God sacrificed animals to cover Adam and Eve’s sin, there is no indication that they ate either. Since Abel mimicked what God did, then there is no reason to believe that he would have eaten from the sacrifice.
The first possibility of righteously eating the sacrifice would have been with Noah and his family after the Flood. When they sacrificed, God told them they were no longer restricted to a vegetarian diet (Genesis 8:20–9:3).
Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.
“Now that I have updated, revised, and expanded The Lie, I believe it’s an even more powerful, eyeopening book for the church—an essential resource to help all of us to understand the great delusion that permeates our world! The message of The Lie IS the message of AiG and why we even exist! It IS the message God has laid on our hearts to bring before the church! It IS a vital message for our time.”
– Ken Ham, president and founder of AiG–U.S.
Answers magazine is the Bible-affirming, creation-based magazine from Answers in Genesis. In it you will find fascinating content and stunning photographs that present creation and worldview articles along with relevant cultural topics. Each quarterly issue includes a detachable chart, a pullout children’s magazine, a unique animal highlight, excellent layman and semi-technical articles, plus bonus content. Why wait? Subscribe today and get a FREE DVD download!