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Hebrew Bible Voices

Old Testament scripture related to caring for creation

(All verses are from the New Revised Standard Version.)

Genesis 1:3-31
“God saw everything that [God] had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (verse 31)

Genesis 2:7 and 15
  “…then the Lord God formed [the human, adam] out of the dust of the ground [adamah]. …The Lord took the [human] and put [the human] in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”

Genesis 9:8-11

  “Then God said to Noah. . ., ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.’”

Exodus 23:10-11

“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. …” 

Leviticus 19:9-20

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest … you shall leave them for the poor and the alien….” (verses 9 & 10)

Leviticus 25:2-7

“…the land shall observe a sabbath for the Lord.  Six years you shall sow your field . . . but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land….” (verses 2-4)

Leviticus 26:3-4, 14-15, 33-35

“If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce ….” (verses 3-4)

Deuteronomy 20:19-20 

“If you besiege a town . . . you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them….” (cf. 22:6-7)

Deuteronomy 25:4 

“You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”

Job 12:7-10 

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In [the Lord’s] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.”

Job 38-39 

“The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind . . . ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me, if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements … Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together …? ’” (chapter 38, verses 1 & 4-7)

Psalm 19:1-6

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims [God’s] handiwork.” (verse 1)

Psalm 24:1-2 

“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; ...” (verse 1)

Psalm 74:16-17 

“Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.  You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made the summer and winter.”

Psalm 96:11-13 

“Let the heavens rejoice and the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it.  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord….”

Psalm 104

“O Lord, how manifold are your works!  In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. …These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.” (verses 24-28)

Psalm 148

“Praise [the Lord], sun and moon; praise [the Lord], you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!  … Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost … Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!  Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! …”  (verses 3-4, 7-10)

Song of Songs 2:10-13 

“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land….” (verses 10-12)

Isaiah 5:8 

“Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!”

Isaiah 11:6-9 

“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together … The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. …They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 24:4-5 

“The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth.  The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants … .”

Jeremiah 23: 23-24 

“Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? …Do I not fill heaven and earth?”

Ezekiel 34:18 

“Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture?  When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet?”

Joel 2:21 

“Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!  Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green…”

Amos 5:8 

“The one who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is [your] name...”

Wisdom of Solomon 11:24-12:1 (from the Apocrypha) 

“For you [God] love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.  How would anything have endured if you had not willed it?  Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved?  You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.  For your immortal spirit is in all things.”

Sirach 42:15-25 & 43 (from the Apocrypha) 

"The works of God in creation.  “Look at the rainbow, and praise [God] who made it; it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.  It encircles the sky with its glorious arc; the hands of the Most High have stretched it out.” (chapter 43, verses 11-12)

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