The very first topic the Bible addresses at any length is food sufficiency for all creatures.

In Genesis 1, the only feature of “the dry land” that receives extended attention is the primordial food chains: the wealth and diversity of “seed” that God has provided. “Here, I have given you all this for eating,” God says: grains and tree fruit for humans (meat-eating comes later, after the flood) and green plants for the other animals (Genesis 1:29-30). Notably, this careful delineation of the food supply follows immediately after the divine charge that humans should “exercise skilled mastery among” the other creatures. (This is a better translation of Genesis 1:28 than the conventional rendering, “have dominion over.”) So we should probably infer that this is the primary and enduring form of skilled mastery that humans are meant to exercise: recognizing the God-given sufficiency of...

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