in our society, the treatment of animals has become a source of controversy. there are groups and individuals who have taken extreme positions concerning animals and their rights. the torah, prior the pronouncement of the ten commandments contained pronouncements as to humanity’s relationship with animals.
genesis 1:20-25, provides for god’s creation of animals and god’s declaration that he saw that it was good. he blessed animals and pronounced that they should be fruitful and multiply. genesis 1:21-22. genesis 1:26-30, provides that humanity should rule over animals. god provided plants, herb and trees for humanity to eat. genesis 1:29. humanity is to name the animals. genesis 1:19. prior to the flood, god told noah to save animals along with his family in the ark. genesis 6:19-20. god determined that some animals were considered “clean” and others were not. genesis 7:2-9. god remembered both noah and the animals during the flood. genesis 8:1. god indicated that animals should be fruitful and multiply. genesis 8:17. post flood, god indicated that humanity could eat animals but not the flesh with its soul they were forbidden to eat. genesis 8:2-5. god makes a covenant with both humanity and animals to concerning that the he would not longer destroy all flesh. genesis 8:15.
in sum, respect for animals within the ten commandment is meaningful. it represents a further codification of humanity’s relationship with them. the relationship changed with respect to the consumption of animals. while there was this change, it came with limitation.
in sum, the ten commandments is not only about humanity’s interaction within humanity, but also with the world.