The Fall

2 Peter 2:12  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
What the apostle says is this: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Now here he evidently is entirely occupied with the effect of sin in bringing man under death, as the beginning of death declares. Neither in Genesis nor in Romans is anything said of the beasts. In both, men alone are spoken of as the specific subject. In Genesis, and to that the apostle refers, it is a sentence previously pronounced on man. When man was created, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, a thing never said of beasts. Death was pronounced in case of failure. As far as any other testimonies go, the New Testament rather speaks of beasts, as indeed does the Old, as perishing beings-" The beasts that perish." Peter says, "Natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed." Now I grant this does not positively prove anything, because the psalmist and apostle may refer to their present condition. But it shows how little ground there is for the objection. For with a holy wisdom, the word of God does not answer our curiosity, but leaves beasts as they are before our eyes. We are told, indeed, that the creature has got into misery and ruin by our fall, and, as a system, will not be restored till we are manifested in glory; and this is true even of our bodies. This was morally important for us to know, that we might be humbled by the sense of the way in which we had dragged down subordinate creation with us-encouraged by the thought that our glory would be the occasion of the restoration of the blessing. But no further curiosity is indulged.1