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October 11, 2008

a weekly look at answersingenesis.org

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Q: Did Abel Break God’s Law?

A: Was Abel eating meat soon after the curse when he wasn’t supposed to be (Genesis 1:29), since he kept the flocks and sacrificed an animal in Genesis 4:2–4?

This alleged contradiction comes from assuming Abel was doing something that Scripture doesn’t say he was. The relevant passages are:

Genesis 1:29
And God said, “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”
Genesis 4:2–4
Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering

Those assuming this is a contradiction are assuming that Abel, who was commanded by God to be vegetarian, was eating the meat from his sacrifice. Matthew indicates that Abel was righteous and therefore was surely not being disobedient to God’s command in Genesis 1:29 to be vegetarian.

Matthew 23:35
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.

So, there is no reason to assume that Abel was eating any of the meat—and thus, there is no contradiction.


Many claim that there are contradictions in the Bible—perhaps someone has asked you about them or you yourself have wondered about certain verses or difficult passages. Our new series, Contradictions, will answer some of the toughest questions that critics raise about Scripture and show that God’s Word is true from the very first verse.

You can read the rest of our answer to this week’s alleged contradiction at Contradictions: Meat of the Matter. Check back each Monday for a new installment!

News to Note Quick Look

The oldest “footprints” around: They may not be much to look at, but the supposed oldest “footprints” are trampling over previous estimates of the age of animals. Read more.


Another case of “evolution” in action: Evolution observed in nature—again! Will it convince us this time? Read more.


Also: the invention of a missing link; saying goodbye to human evolution; E.T., phone Edinburgh; hold Jeremiah 38:1 in your hands; beware the Pterodrone; and more media coverage of museum milestones. Read more.

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