Harvest sunset

(Journal photo by Lacey Newlin.)

Agriculture is not exactly a new occupation and we don’t have an exact date as to when the first farmer planted a row of seeds or milked the first cow. However, a recent visit to the Bible’s book of Genesis made me consider that agriculture could be traced back to God’s first week on the job. Could Adam and Eve, the first man and woman in creation, also be the first farmers?

Genesis 1:26-30

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

The Bible doesn’t come right out and say it, but God put Adam and Eve in charge of maintaining the land and all the food-bearing animals and plants. He chose humans to be the caretakers of the Earth and left the responsibilities of the food supply in their capable hands—after all, God never gives us anything we can’t handle.

Additionally, it seems God knew from the beginning just how important farm wives would become. God recognized that Adam needed a helper and so he created Eve. He knew farming would be a difficult and sometimes lonely. It seems the family farm goes all the way back to the first family, and many of us are still in the family business.

Adam and Eve’s story in relation to agriculture is just one of many with a connection to farm life. If we look beyond the surface of many of the Bible’s passages, a lot of wise and encouraging morals can be discerned which can be associated with agriculture. After all, a farmer is nothing without at least the faith of a mustard seed.

Lacey Newlin can be reached at lnewlin@hpj.com.

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