| Now we look at the last day of God's work. He has just brought into existence in the fifth day the birds and other living sea creatures. Now on the sixth day he brings into existence all other living creatures, including humankind (Gen. 1:24-31).
24 "Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.
25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good."
|These verses describe the creation of the animals on the earth (as contrasted with the Day 5 creations of sea life and air life). Again as in Day 5, God emphasizes the unquestionable direction of life.|
There is a difference between the terms "create" (Hebrew: bara) and "make" or "bring forth" (Hebrew: asah). To "create" means to make out of nothing. You may see the Latin words "ex nihilo" which means "out of nothing". There is even a Creationist magazine called "Ex Nihilo". To "make" means to mold or generate out of what God has already created (what already exists). God now makes humankind. Later on in Chapter 2 we will study the details of the birth of humankind. God made the earth and all associated minerals and elements for same. Now God uses what He has already created, dirt, to fashion humankind. There are several considerations for these verses. First, God refers to the plural terms when referring to Himself. In addition, the "after their kind" is repeated.
"… after its kind …"
This term is used in the Bible to describe exactly what God is creating. The Hebrew for "kind" is meen or min which means "kind" or "species". The archaeologists believe in the randomness of evolution. Consider the horizontal and vertical likenesses of humans and animals (see chart from Day 5). If God is creating a lamb, He is creating a lamb; not an animal close to, or almost, or one which will evolve into a lamb. This infers a horizontal ability to have some differences or adaption rather than a vertical evolutionary change ability. In other words, on a horizontal plane, one might see the dog and its many different types. Another horizontal plane might be cats, and their variants. In the vertical, the dogs may be on the top or bottom of the cats; but, the cat cannot become a dog and a dog cannot become a cat. So there are variants horizontally, but not vertically. Therefore, "… after its kind …" is referring to the horizontal. The different animals were in the vertical.
26 "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
|"… in Our Image, …"|
We can take a close look at these misunderstood words. It would appear there are four major things this could mean; most likely, all are included. Remember, these are the words which state we are clearly different than any animal. This is not a comprehensive examination; but, it does give some food for our understanding. Are there others you could add from your thoughts. This is not a salvation issue; but, it certainly would give us more insight into our relationship with God and characteristics of God.
It should also be known that there are other theories about the "us", "our", etc. Some believe that the words refer to a council of some sort. Biblically, there is no support for it. Also, perhaps God called in the angels to either help or be the "image" example. Do we believe the omnipotent God needs help. No!. God is all inclusive within Himself. He needs nobody and no thing to help Him. In addition, God is making us in His image, not the angelic image. So we keep on going back to His nature. There are some who believe that the plural was used for the emphasis of power. Sometimes the Hebrew writings would use a plural for power. Christians would believe that the context of the text supports the triune God. The Hebrews would go with the emphasis because, of course, they have not bought into the triune God.
It is a little confusing that in verse 26, God "makes" man; but, in verse 27 God creates man. What is scripture trying to say, assuming it is EXACTLY as God wants to say? It is obvious that God can "make" man from all that is created just as He "made" the land animals in verses 24-25. To then "create" us is confusing unless one looks at the difference between animals and humans. Man was to be in the image of God; the other living things will NOT have the image of God. Therefore, we were also "created" in God's image. So, we are both made (from the earth) and created in the image of God. Remember, as we study the Bible, we have to put the confidence in the words. Otherwise, we have not basis of accuracy and perfection. If we start interpreting, we put human thought into what is right and wrong. Therefore, if words appear different, we look at the language and context for the answers. Therefore, the words "make", "brought forth", and "create" are exactly the words God meant to say. Because of the difficulty of the concept and comprehension, one can see why there are differences of opinion on the meaning. The following is a quote from The Genesis Record, written by Henry M. Morris. He summarizes this question very well:
28 "God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.""
|Biblically, God made the male (man) first. Then He made the female from the male. We call him Adam, which means "man" that came from the word adamah, which means "earth". So, he was a man that came from the earth. In Chapter 3 we find out the meaning of the name of the first woman. God blessed them. He told them to be fruitful and multiply and file the earth and subdue it. This was kind of like a Christian's Great Commission. They were commissioned and given instructions on what to do. The KJV (King James Version) says to "replenish" the earth. The meaning of "replenish" in these passages is not the same as we normally use. We normally think of replenishing as refilling, as it was filled before. However, the Hebrew for "replenishing" is male or mala. This means simply to fill or satisfy or accomplish. The word is used more than 300 times in the OT, it is translated "replenish" only 7 times. It is believed by many scholars that those should also be "filled". Let us not use the word "replenish" to support the "gap theory" argument (gap theory). It simply is not written to support the gap. We have not yet filled the planet as God said. There are those who argue over-population and not enough food, etc. However, it is not the ability of the earth to handle many more people; it is the distribution of wealth on the planet. Is God trying to tell us something: help each other and there is enough for all.
After God gave the "commission" to Adam, He told him he had provided for Adam ALL that was necessary. Since Adam was going to work somehow, somewhere (next chapter), he would have to be nourished. Everything was given by God. Adam would never run out of food. The "seed" was mentioned in scripture to tell us that all the food would be replenished as necessary. It would be controlled by a perfect world, in perfect balance, designed and built by the perfect God. The KJV says that the tree fruit would be our "meat". We did not eat meat at the beginning. The word for "meat" (Hebrew: oklaw) simply means food. This is not a point FOR people who do not eat meat or a point AGAINST people who eat meat. Later on we will establish that God gave us permission to eat meat. The purpose for the scripture is to tell people that God gave us enough things to eat (other than meat) that our bodies would never want of those things we believe meat gives; for example, protein. He gave us ALL we would need without what we call meat.
In addition, the same nourishment would be given to all the other living creatures. God gave "every green plant for food". That tells us that at the beginning, no animals were carnivores. They ALL ate plant life. That also states something else that is unsaid. There were no dangers of people or animals hurting each other. There was no fright built in. There was not hunger. Isn't that really a perfect world as God states in verse 31. It was very good. The sixth day ended.
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