The Talmud on Adam and his Seed Not Eating Meat


Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin Folio 22b Rab Judah said in Rab's name: Adam was not permitted to eat flesh, for it is written, [Behold I have given you all the herbs, etc.] to you it shall be for food, and to all the beasts of the earth,18  implying, but the beasts of the earth shall not be for you.19  But with the advent of the sons of Noah, it was permitted, for it is said, [Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you;] even as the green herb have I given you all things.20  Now one might think that the prohibition of flesh cut from the living animal does not apply to them [sc. the Noachides]: therefore the Writ teacheth, But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.21  One might think that this prohibition applies even to reptiles; therefore it is stated — but.22  How is this implied? — R. Huna said [But flesh with the life thereof, which is] the blood thereof: this shews that the prohibition applies only to those creatures whose flesh is distinct from their blood [in its prohibition]; excluding reptiles, whose flesh is not distinct from their blood.23

An objection is raised: And rule over the fish of the sea;24  surely that means that they should serve as food?25  — No. It refers to toil.26  But can fish be made to work? — Yes, even as Rahabah propounded: What if one drove [a wagon] with a goat and a shibbuta?27 (One can use a goat and a carp to pull a wagon) Come and hear: and over the foul of the heaven.28  Surely this is in respect of food? — No. It refers to toil. But can fowl be made to work? — Yes, even as Rabbah, son of R. Huna propounded: According to the ruling of R. Jose b. R. Judah, what if one threshed [corn] with geese or cocks?29  (One can use geese and chicken to thresh our corn)

Come and hear: And over every living creature that moveth upon the earth!30  (Surely that means that they should serve as food) — That refers to the serpent. For it has been taught: — R. Simeon b. Manassia said: Woe for the loss of a great servant. (The devil in the garden) For had not the serpent been cursed, every Israelite would have had two valuable serpents, (Imagine teaching this) sending one to the north and one to the south to bring him costly gems, precious stones and pearls.31  Moreover, one would have fastened a thong (Scoop) under its tail, with which it would bring forth earth for his garden and waste land.32  (So these rabbis conclude that Adam was forbidden by God to eat meat in the garden and that his children were likewise forbidden to eat meat until the ark set down after the flood and Noah made righteous sacrifices unto God and the eating of meat was Noah’s reward. – We have written an article in which we discuss the first covenant given by God unto Adam and his seed. It involved the sacrifice of a lamb, it involved the sacrificing of it in place of a member of a household, it involved its blood being used as a temporary covering of a person’s sin for a year, it involved the partaking of the sacrifices in a meal before God. And the sign of the covenant was the coats of skins that was worn for an entire year as a covering from the sun by day and the cold of night. Able became than a shepherd of sheep and by faith offered the sacrifice of God that was taught by God to his father Adam and it was accepted of the Lord and they partook and Able bore about on this body the sign of the covenant – but Cain did not so and his offering was rejected, there was no partaking of it with God and Cain did not receive the sign of the covenant either. -- Being tillers of the land and shepherds over flocks indicates that after the fall Adam, Eve and their children ate both meat and vegetables.)

A [further] objection is raised: R. Judah b. Tema said: Adam reclined in the Garden of Eden, whilst the ministering angels roasted flesh and strained wine for him. Thereupon the serpent looked in, saw his glory, and became envious of him?33  — The (Rabbi) reference(d that) there is to flesh that descended from heaven. But does flesh descend from heaven? — Yes; as in the story of R. Simeon b. Halafta, who was walking on the road, when lions met him and roared at him. Thereupon he quoted: The young lions roar after their prey;34  and two lumps of flesh descended [from heaven]. They ate one and left the other. This he brought to the schoolhouse and propounded: Is this clean [fit for food] or not? — They [sc. the scholars] answered: Nothing unclean descends from heaven.


Here we see in this doctrine that it is laden with the tall tales of their great rabbis, scholars, and the like


Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, (In the Mishnah and Talmud) that turn (Believers) from the truth.


18.  Gen. I, 29f.

  1. I.e., the herbs, etc. have been given to you and to the beasts of the earth, but the beasts of the earth have not been given to you for food.
  2. Ibid. IX, 3.
  3. Ibid. 4.
  4. Heb. [H]. It is a principle of Talmudic hermeneutics that the particles akh (but) and rak (save) always indicate a limitation or exclusion. Here akh is interpreted as teaching the exclusion of reptiles from the law under discussion.
  5. The mention of blood is redundant, for the verse should have read, but flesh with the life thereof shall ye not eat, meaning, whilst life is in it thou must not eat its flesh; it being self evident that the life force lies in the blood. The redundancy teaches that this applies only to those creatures that have a separate prohibition for its flesh (cut from, the living animal), and a separate one for its blood. But the blood of reptiles is not separate from its flesh and is forbidden by the same injunction, there being no separate law. Hence they are excluded from the present verse.
  6. Ibid. I, 28.
  7. This was said to Adam.
  8. Adam was given dominion over the lower creatures, to make them work for him.
  9. Name of a fish, conjectured by Jastrow to be the mullet (Cephalus, v. Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus 4029). The problem raised is whether this would involve the transgression of the prohibition, Thou shalt not plow an ox and ass together, Deut. XXII, 10.
  10. Continuing the verse.
  11. V. B.M. 91b. The problems raised in connection with the prohibition, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. Deut. XXV, 4 shows that birds may be utilized for service.
  12. The Heb. [H] translated 'living creature', denotes literally a wild animal, which cannot be put to service, but can only be caught and eaten.
  13. Heb. [H] from [G] (Levy) or [G] (Krauss).
  14. Thus the Serpent was intended to be put to service before it was cursed.
  15. This proves that flesh was permitted to Adam.
  16. Ps. CIV, 21.
  17. Yarod is a bird of solitary habits, or a jackal (Rashi). The meaning is: what a foolish question to ask!
  18. Hence thy supposition is an impossible one; and if it did happen, it would be fit for food.