April 24, 2013
Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.1: The Beginning.
Scripture: Gen. 1:1, 2.


Genesis 1.1, 2 (KJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.


Introduction
No other book of the Bible has been attacked more often or as severely as Genesis; because, if those who hate God could disprove any part of it the entire Bible would becom suspect. The attacks have been going on now for more than two thousand years, but Genesis has stood the test and still does provide the only true account of the creation of the universe, and the oldest recorded history of mankind on this little planet.

This chapter contains the following topics and themes:
1. Genesis 1:1-5; the creation of heaven and earth, and light—the work of the first day.
2. Genesis 1:6-8; the creation of the firmament—the work of the second day.
3. Genesis 1:9-13; the appearance of the earth, and the production of grass, herbs, and trees in the earth—the work of the third day.
4. Genesis 1:14-19; the creation of the sun, moon, and stars—the work of the fourth day.
5. Genesis 1:20-25; Creation of fish, fowl, beasts and cattle —the work of the fifth day.
6. Genesis 1:26-31; Creation man in the image of God, and Provision for food—the work of the sixth day.

God creates. Everything begins with God and fulfills His purposes for His glory (Col. 1:16–17; Rev. 4:11). He works by the power of His Word (Ps. 33:6–9), the same Word that can work in our lives (1 Thess. 2:13). He works according to a plan: first He forms, and then He fills. He formed the earth and filled it with plants and animals. He formed the firmament and filled it with stars and planets. He formed the seas and filled them with living creatures. He can form and fill our lives today if we will yield to Him. Persons who have trusted Jesus Christ are a part of the new creation (2 Cor. 4:6; 5:17; Eph. 2:8–10).

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Commentary

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In the beginning
I prefer this meaning for “In the beginning”—a period of remote and unknown antiquity, hid in the depths of eternal ages. Moses simply intends to affirm that the world was not perfected at its very beginning, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth. His verse, therefore, may be explained this way: When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and a wasteland.

This verse makes one of the most profound statements that have ever been uttered, and yet it is a statement that is certainly challenged in the times in which we are living. The problem of origin provokes more violent controversy, wild theories, and wide disagreement than any other; and behind it there are always the theories men have proposed, and which liberal thinkers have promoted as fact, and as a result there is a babble of voices that has drowned out the clear voice of God. Actually, there are two extreme groups who have blurred the issue, and they have muddied the waters of understanding by their dogmatic assumptions and assertions. One group is comprised of the arrogant scientists who assume that biological and philosophical evolution is the gospel truth. Their assumed axiom is “the certain finding of science”. The other group is comprised of the young and proud theologians who claim to have super–knowledge; that they have discovered how God did it. They write and speak intellectually about some clever theory that reconciles science and the Bible. They look with contempt upon the great giants of biblical expositors of the past as being Bible dwarfs compared to them. I think both of these groups should consider a statement that was made to Job when the Lord finally appeared to him. God asked him the question: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding” (Job 38:4). In other words, God is saying to man, “You talk about the origin of the universe, but you don’t even know where you were when I laid the foundation of the earth!”

There are a great many theories as to how the world began, but all of them can be boiled down to fit into one of two classifications: one is creation, and the other is speculation. All theories fall into one of these two divisions.

The theory of evolution is comprised of many different theories in our day, and some of the most reputable scientists of the past, as well as the present, reject evolution. So we can’t put down the theory of evolution as being a scientific statement like 2 + 2 = 4. Then there is the creation account in Genesis 1, which must be accepted by faith. It is very interesting that God has made it that way—by faith is the only way in the world by which you can accept it. Notice what the writer to the Hebrews said: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb. 11:1–3). So today the great problem still remains: How did it get from nothing to something? The only way that you can ever arrive at an answer is by faith or by speculation—and speculation is very unscientific.

If you believe in the “theory of evolution” you have to take it by faith; in fact, you have to have a whole lot of faith. And did you notice that even the educators and scientists still call it a “theory?” One definition of “theory” is: “a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.” Evolution is speculation and always has been. But, unfortunately, a great many people have accepted it as fact. It still makes more sense to me to read: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Who created the universe? God did. He created it out of nothing. When? I don’t know, and nobody else knows.

The Psalmist wrote, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained” (Psalms 8:3; KJV); and “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalms 19:1; KJV). The apostle Paul wrote this to the Romans: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). And the writer to the Hebrews says: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb. 11:3). We must accept creation by faith. Even science cannot tell us how something can be made out of nothing. God apparently did it just that way. And man today cannot tell when He did it.

There is something we do know about creation; we know why He created. The Word of God tells us that this universe was created for His own pleasure. He saw fit to create it; He delighted in it. In the final book of the Bible we find these words: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). He created this universe because He wanted to create it. He did it for His pleasure.

The second reason that He created this universe was for His own glory. The original creation, you remember, sang that wonderful Creator’s praise “… When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). It was created for His glory. And in the prophecy of Isaiah are these words: “… I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isa. 43:7). God created this universe for His own glory.

The Word of God also tells us that God created man in this universe for fellowship. He wanted to have fellowship with mankind, and so He created him a free moral agent. God could have made a bunch of robots. God could have made mechanical men and pushed a button to make them bow down to Him. But God didn’t want that kind of a man. God wanted a man to be free to choose Him and to love Him and to serve Him.

In the midst of all the unbelief, the blasphemy, and the hostility toward God which is around us today, the greatest thing you can do as a human being is to publicly choose the Lord Jesus Christ. To believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth and to receive His Son, Jesus Christ, is the most glorious privilege that you and I have.

God
“God” is the name of the Supreme Being. In Hebrew the meaning is "Strong," "Mighty." It  signifies omnipotent power; and by its use here in the plural form, a doctrine is suggested at the opening of the Bible which is clearly revealed in other parts of it, namely, that though God is one, there is a plurality of persons in the Godhead—Father, Son, and Spirit, who were engaged in the creative work (see verses: Pr 8:27; John 1:3, 10; Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2). The concept of Trinity is basically a New Testament revelation.

In this verse, important statements concerning God’s nature and character are implied; statements which refute at least six fundamental heresies.

First, there is atheism, the view that God does not exist. The Bible offers no philosophical argument for the existence of God; it assumes His existence and views everything in the light of that assumption.
Second is polytheism. The singular form of the key verb indicates that the Hebrews believed in one God and not many gods. There is no evidence that Israel’s religion evolved from animism (The belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.) through polytheism (The doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.) and henotheism (The worship of a particular god, as by a family or tribe, without disbelieving in the existence of others.) before it reached ethical monotheism (The doctrine or belief that there is only one God.).
Third, this verse opposes a radical materialism which maintains that matter is eternal. Without preexisting material God brought the earth—that is, matter—into existence.
Fourth, since God is clearly distinguished from His creation, this verse clearly denies pantheism (any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.).
Fifth, the supernatural origin of the earth and the universe refutes naturalism (A manner or technique of treating subject matter that presents, through volume of detail, a deterministic view of human life and actions.); God is the Architect and Creator of all that exists.
Sixth, the uniqueness of this concept of origins in ancient literature makes indefensible the position that special revelation is nonexistent or impossible.


Human reason and inquiry, while valid, are seriously limited; the problem of origins, therefore, is best solved in the light of biblical truth”

 Prov 8:27 (KJV) “When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth.”

John 1:3, 10 (KJV) “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made… He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

Eph 3:9 (KJV) “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

Heb 1:2 (KJV) “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”

created
The word “create” is from the Hebrew word bara, which means to create out of nothing; the universe was not formed from any pre-existing materials, but was made out of nothing. This word is used only three times in the first chapter of Genesis, because it records only three acts of creation. (1) The creation of something from nothing: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (2) The creation of life: “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth …” (v. 21). That’s animal life of all kinds. (3) The creation of man: “So God created man in his own image …” (v. 27). Theistic evolution is not the answer. It attempts to follow creation until the time of man, and then considers Adam and Eve to be products of some evolutionary process. The theistic evolutionist considers the days in Genesis as periods of time, long periods of time. I do not believe that is true. God’s marking off the creative days with the words, “And the evening and the morning were the first day,” etc., makes it clear that He was not referring to long periods of time but to actual twenty–four hour days. It is simply ridiculous for some to imagine that unformed matter existed in eternity past, and that everything we see today came from that mysterious glob. This theory was a common fable in earlier times among heathens, who had received only a vague version of the creation, and who, according to custom, polluted the truth of God with strange fantasies; but for Christian men to put their faith in this gross miscalculation is absurd and intolerable. Let us; therefore, place our faith in the Word of God which unequivocally declares that the world was created by God. There is no doubt that Moses gives the name of heaven and earth to that confused glob which he, shortly afterwards (Genesis 1:2.), calls waters.

There are several theories of creation which do not involve God in the creative process and none of them have a viable explanation for how something was made out of nothing. They all need something miraculous to happen, such as “the Big Bang.” And they require millions of years for the created “something” to evolve into the minerals, insects, plants and animals that inhabit our world. Friends, I think it takes more faith to believe in any of man’s theories of creation than it does to accept God’s Word which says; “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The writer of Hebrews expresses what most Christians believe: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3; KJV).

the heaven and the earth.

“The heaven and the earth” is of course the universe. This first verse is a general introduction to the inspired book of Genesis, and it declares the great, important truth that all things had a beginning; that nothing in all of nature existed before God created the heaven and the earth. It proclaims that nothing originated by chance or from the skill of any human agent; but that the whole universe was produced by the creative power of God (See Acts 17:24 and Romans 11:36). “Heaven” may refer to the three heavens mentioned in Scripture: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2; KJV). The event referred to in this verse was a translation of the apostle into heaven. The three heavens are the atmospheric heaven, the heaven of outer space, and the habitation of God, and of the holy angels. Apparently, the angels were created at the very beginning of the first day of creation week, because they were already on hand to rejoice at the creation of the earth: “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”(Job 38:7; KJV). The sons of God, and the morning stars, mean the same—the angelic. They were created first in the order of creation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and the angels witnessed the progress of the creation; and, when God had finished His work they shouted for joy and celebrated his wisdom and power. 

The third heaven (as Paul called it) was likely to have been created and made perfect at the same time. The lower and visible heavens though they were created in substance were not yet adorned and made perfect: the expanse of it not established at this time, or the ether and air not yet stretched out; nor had any light been placed in them, or the sun, moon, and stars placed precisely to support human life.

At this time, the earth had not been separated from the waters, that is, the dry land is made to appear afterwards; but before their separation the whole thing is a mass of earth and water in a chaotic state. It is true that the mass consists of matter or substance, but it is indistinguishable from anything we would recognize. It was the matter or substance of the heaven and earth that was created first.


Acts 17.24 (NKJV) “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

Romans 11:36 (KJV) “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” God is the source, the constantly working cause, and end of all things.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And the earth was without form, and void;
“Form and void” are the two words Moses used to describe the earth; the Hebrew words he used were תוהו (tohu), meaning a ruin, vacancy, “void;” and בוהו (bohu), meaning emptiness. The Hebrews used them when they designate anything empty and confused, or vain, and worthless. Undoubtedly Moses was expressing something that was entirely different from all those created objects which have a form, and adorn the perfection of the world which God created—a mass of matter where nothing was solid, stable, or distinct. It was not in the form it is now, but it must have a form, since all matter has one; it was fluid matter, and the watery parts were not separated from the earthy ones. The sea part, and the earth part were mixed and blended together; it was empty and devoid of both men and beasts, of fishes and fowls, and also of trees, herbs, and plants. Isaiah described it as “confusion and emptiness”—“…  and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness” (Isaiah 34:11; KJV).

There is one view of these two verses that I do not ascribe to, but it is accepted and promoted by some preachers of the Word. This view describes an earth wrecked by divine judgment (See Is. 34:11 and Jer. 4:23). Some have theorized that the creation of the heavens and earth described in verse 1 was destroyed in the judgment of Lucifer (Is. 14; Ezek. 23). This “Gap Theory” assumes a stretch of time between verses 1 and 2; verse 2 then begins the story of the re-creation. More likely, Jeremiah and Ezekiel simply used the phrase as descriptive of utter desolation. According to this view, verse 1 describes God’s first creative act, while verses 2–31 follow with a detailed description of His creative work following an interlude of unfinished business between verses 1 and 2. This view has been discredited by many in the past few years.

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Isaiah 34:11 (KJV) “But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness”

Jer 4:23 (KJV) “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.”

and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
“Darkness was upon the face of the deep” indicates the absence of God. Darkness is not always a symbol of evil in the Bible. Psalm 104:19–24 (See below) makes it quite clear that physical darkness (the absence of visible light) is not to be considered inherently evil or as the result of divine judgment. It conveys the fact that God makes the darkness and the night for animals to find their prey.
“The deep” is the whole fluid mass of earth and water mixed together. This abyss is called waters in the next clause; and it was all a dark murky chaos, without any light or motion. God seems at first to have created the elementary state of all things; and this formed the grand mass of matter, which in this state must be without form and void, or any recognizable parts: a vast collection of indescribably confused materials, of nameless “stuff” strangely mixed. The scene is wonderfully described by an ancient heathen poet:—


Before the seas and this terrestrial ball,
And heaven's high canopy that covers all,
One was the face of nature, if a face;
Rather, a rude and indigested mass;
A lifeless lump, unfashion'd and unframed,
Of jarring seeds, and justly Chaos named.
DRYDEN.


The most ancient of the Greeks have spoken nearly in the same way of this crude, indigested state of the primitive chaotic mass. 
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Psalm 104.19-24 (NKJV) “He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down. You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.


The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God. When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening. O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions.” Here the psalmist turns his attention to God’s coordination of the heavens. HE CREATED THE MOON FOR SEASONS (cf. Gen 1:14). The Jewish calendar was a lunar calendar; dates followed the movements of the moon. Thus, the Jewish psalmist viewed the moon as all-important in setting the seasons. THE SUN KNOWETH HIS GOING DOWN (i.e., a poetic picture of the sun knowing when it is time to set). THOU MAKEST DARKNESS, AND IT IS NIGHT. It is at night that ALL THE BEASTS OF THE FORESTS DO CREEP FORTH and the primeval jungle comes alive with action. THE YOUNG LIONS ROAR AFTER THEIR PREY, stalking the night forests seeking God’s provision for their own sustenance. And then THE SUN ARISETH, which causes the jungle to rest when the lions and beasts of the forest LAY THEM DOWN IN THEIR DENS.

 

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Interpreters have translated this passage in various ways. The opinion of some is that it refers to the wind, and they have suggested that the verse ought to be translated, “An awesome wind sweeping over the water.” But the context demands otherwise. It is definitely a reference to the third person of the Godhead (See Job 26:13 and Ps 104:30). Here God is depicted as having a “Spirit” who acts as His agent in creation, although the Spirit is not revealed as a separate member of the Trinity until the NT (John 3:1–21; 14:16, 17, 26; 16:5–14; 20:22). The Spirit of God is seen “hovering over” (See Deut 32:11), protecting, and participating in the creation with God the Father. John 1:1–3 and Colossians 1:16 make it clear that more than one person of the Godhead was involved in creation. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3; KJV).  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col 1:16; KJV). GOD is said to have created all things in Genesis 1.1, and in these two verses, Christ is said to have created all things: the same unerring Spirit spoke in Moses and in the evangelists: therefore Christ and the Father are ONE. To say that Christ made all things by a delegated power from God is absurd; because the thing is impossible. Creation means causing that to exist that had no previous being: this is evidently a work which can be accomplished only by omnipotence. Now, God cannot delegate his omnipotence to another; because if it were possible, he to whom this omnipotence was delegated would, in consequence, become GOD; and he from whom it was delegated would cease to be such; therefore, it is impossible that there could be two omnipotent beings. Hence, the Holy Spirit is also God, and He was there and participated in the original creation. The power of the Spirit was necessary in order to sustain it. The question may have occurred to the mind of someone, how such a chaotic glob could manage to stay together for even a few moments. Moses asserts that this glob, however confused it might be, was rendered stable, for the time, by the secret operation of the Spirit. Now there are two possible ways to understand “moved upon;” either that the spirit moved and excited Himself over the waters in order to give it vitality; or that He brooded over them because He cherished them. It probably makes little difference which view you adopt, though I believe the latter is correct, and I will explain why in the next paragraph. But if that chaos required the secret inspiration of God to prevent its rapid dissolution; how could this order subsist by itself, unless it derived strength elsewhere? The scriptures have the answer: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Psalms 104:30; KJV). The Holy Spirit was active in creation, but as soon as the Lord takes away his Spirit, all things return to their dust and vanish away—“Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (Psalms 104:29; KJV).

“And the spirit of God moved” suggests that He cherished creation, since the word for “moved” means brooded, like a mother hen broods over her little chicks. He brooded upon the face of the waters. The Holy Spirit began a ministry here which we will find Him doing again and again. It is re–creation! He comes into this scene and He recreates. This is precisely what He does for us. And so the Scriptures represent the original earth as standing out of the water, and consisting of it, (See 2 Peter 3:5) and upon the surface of these waters, before they were drained off the earth, "the Spirit of God moved"; which cannot be understood as referring to a wind, as many Jewish writers, as well as Christians, interpret it; since the air, which the wind is a motion of, was not made until the second day. The Spirit "moved" or brooded, "like a dove on her young,” “upon the face of the waters,” to impregnate them and give life to them, like a hen upon eggs to hatch them; He separates the parts which were mixed together, and produces living creatures in them. The account of this new creation begins at the end of this second verse; and the details of the process are described in the natural way an onlooker would have done, who saw first-hand the changes that took place

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Job 26:13 (KJV) “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
 (Psalms 104:30; KJV) “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”
Deut 32:11 (KJV) “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings.” God, by the influences of his Spirit, enlightens, encourages, and strengthens the minds of His people.

2 Peter 3:5 (KJV) “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” “Of old” means "from of old;" or from the beginning of all things, or FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION. “Earth standing out of” means “consisting of," that is, "formed out of the water." The waters under the firmament were at creation gathered together into one place, and the dry land emerged out of and above, them.

                                                                                                                                                                                               May 3, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.2: The Darkness Terminated.
Scripture: Gen. 1:3-5.


Gen. 1:3-5. (KJV)
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.


Introduction

This passage provides additional information about the work God did on the first day. The first thing He created was light; not that He needed light in order to see and do His work—the darkness and light are both alike to him—but He knew we needed the light in order to see His works and His glory in them, and so that we might work our works while it is day. The works of Satan and his servants are works of darkness; but he that speaks truth, and does good, comes to the light, and desires it, “that his deeds may be made manifest” (Jn. 3:21). In the New Jerusalem there will not be a sun or moon because God Himself will provide the light. In the new creation, the first thing created in the soul is light.  We can see because He created light, so let us be led by that light to believe in Him and to love Him who is infinite and eternal light (See 1 Jn. 1:5), and the Father of lights (See Jam. 1:17), and who dwells in inaccessible light, (See 1 Tim. 6:16).
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John 1:5 (KJV) “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

James 1:17 (KJV) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

1 Tim 6:16 (KJV) “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”


Commentary

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God said,
This mild command is also found in verses 6, 9, and 14, and it suggests a divine plan and purpose for the creation; that it is not a mere accident or the result of chance. Neither does it appear to be self-sustaining or self-perpetuating. It is a demonstration of God’s awesome power. God merely spoke creation into existence by the word of His mouth. The psalmist says, “… he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps 33:9). We are reminded in Hebrews that “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God …” (Heb 11:3).

This phrase, “And God said,” which occurs so repeatedly in the creation account means: willed, decreed, appointed; and the formative will of God was followed in every instance by an immediate result. The sun was not created until the fourth day, so, on the first day the dense accumulation of fogs and vapors which enveloped the chaos had covered the globe with total gloom. But by the command of God, light suddenly appeared; the thick murky clouds were dispersed, broken, or diluted, and light diffused over the expanse of waters. The effect is described in the name "day (v. 5)," which in Hebrew signifies "warmth," "heat"; while the name "night (v. 5)" signifies a "rolling up," as night wraps all things in a shady mantle.

Let there be light:
Notice that God said, “Let there be light.” Each of the six days begins with the announcement, “Let there be.” Ten times in this chapter we will find “let there be”—let there be a firmament, let there be lights, let the waters be gathered together, etc. Someone has called these the ten commandments of creation. This is the divine Decalogue that we find here. “God said, Let there be light.” This is the first time we are told that God spoke. These are His first words recorded in Scripture.

The light was made by the word of God’s power. He said, Let there be light; he willed and decreed it, and it was done immediately: there was light, and it was an exact copy of the original idea that appeared in the Eternal Mind. Oh, what awesome power there is in the word of God! He spoke, and it was done, done in fact, efficiently, and for perpetuity. The world of God (that is, his will and the good pleasure of it) is quick and powerful. Christ is the Word, the essential eternal Word, and by him the light was produced, for in him was light, and he is the true light, the light of the world, (See Jn. 1:9; 9:5). The divine light which shines in sanctified souls is created by the power of God, the power of his word and of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, opening the understanding, scattering the mists of ignorance and misunderstanding, and revealing the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, like God on the first day, commanded the light to shine out of darkness (See 2 Co. 4:6). Darkness would reined perpetually in the mind and heart of fallen man if the Son of God had not come, and given us an understanding (See 1 Jn. 5:20)

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John 1:9 (KJV) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Christ is the true, or genuine, or real Light. He is the one who gives to every man the light of reason and conscience. The result of this revelation was that the world knew him not. The world rejected Him.

John 9:5 (KJV) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Like the sun, it is Christ’s business to dispense light and heat everywhere; and to seize every opportunity that may arise to enlighten and save the bodies and souls of men. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’" (John 8:12; NKJV).

2 Cor 4:6 (KJV) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The apostle refers here to Genesis 1:3. For when God created the heavens and the earth DARKNESS was on the face of the deep; and God said, Let THERE BE LIGHT; and there was light. Thus he caused the light to shine out of darkness.

1 John 5:20 (NKJV) “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” Christ's, work is to give the inner spiritual understanding to discern the things of God.

and there was light.
This light is not the sun, which was created on the fourth day (See v.16). Many have asked, "How could light be produced on the first day, when the sun, the source of it, was not created until the fourth day?" There have been numerous explanations advanced in an attempt to explain how it happened, but I believe the Bible has the answer to this question. We only need to go to the Revelation of Jesus to the Apostle John. John says, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev 21:23; KJV). Throughout eternity in the new heaven and new earth, there would never be the need for the sun or the moon. God created the sun and the moon for our benefit and for His glory. These celestial bodies will have served their purposes of providing heat and light for the earth and its inhabitants, since the first earth and first heaven will have been destroyed (see Rev. 21.1). Their light would be unnecessary in the new Jerusalem. In their place, THE RADIANT GLORY OF GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB WOULD SERVE TO ILLUMINATE THE NEW EARTH AND NEW HEAVEN.
The sun will no longer be your light during the day,
nor will the brightness of the moon give you light,
But the Lord will be your everlasting light.
Your God will be your glory. (Isaiah 60:19)

Light is one of the most astonishing inventions of the creative skill and power of God. It is the channel by which all his other works are discovered, examined, and understood. Its immense diffusion and extreme velocity alone are enough to provide a demonstration of the being and wisdom of God. Light has been proved by many experiments to travel at the astonishing rate of 194,188 miles in one second of time, and comes from the sun to the earth in eight minutes 11 43/50 seconds, a distance of 95,513,794 miles.
_____________________
Gen 1:16 (KJV) “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”

Rev 21:1 (NKJV) “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Whatever the light was, “God saw the light, that it was good.” God willed it, and when it was produced, he approved of it. It was exactly the way he designed it, and it was suitable and prepared to serve the purpose for which he designed it. It was helpful and useful; the world, which now is a palace, would have been a dungeon without it. It was pleasant for God to look upon. “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun” (Eccl 11:7; KJV); “The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat” (Prov 15:30; KJV). Whatever gives light brings joy to the heart, by relieving the anxiety caused by the inability to see obstacles and hazards ahead. What God commands he will approve and graciously accept; he will be delighted with the work of his own hands. Nothing can be better than that which God says is good, because He does not look at things the same way man does.  The question is, “If the light is good, how good the One that is the fountain of light is, the One from whom we receive the light, and to whom we owe all praise for giving it to us and for all the benefits we gain from it.

 God “saw the light, that it was good,” and then He “divided the light from the darkness,” and He made sure they could never be joined together; because “what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Co. 6:14). He divided one from the other and established the alternation or succession of the one to the other. This does not imply that light and darkness are two distinct substances, since darkness is only the absence of light. Man has known for around five-hundred years that the rotation of the earth around its own axis once in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four seconds is the cause of the distinction between day and night, by bringing the different parts of the surface of the earth successively into the sun’s rays; and it was probably at this moment that God gave this rotation to the earth, to produce this gracious provision of day and night. For the manner in which light is supposed to be produced, see Genesis 1:16.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God called the light Day,
The word “day” (Heb. yom) is somewhat vague. It may refer to the 24-hour period of darkness and light—“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even” (Ex 12:18; KJV)—or simply to a specific period of time: for example, the “day of the Lord of hosts” is a time of judgment: “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low” (Isaiah 2:12; KJV). “Day” is also defined as “evening and morning”—“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psalms 55:17; NKJV). The word "day" is used in Scripture in three ways:
1. That part of the solar day of twenty-four hours which is light (See Gen 1:5, 14; John 9:4; John 11:9).
2. A specific day, set apart for some unique purpose, such as the "day of atonement" (See Le 23:27), and the "day of judgment" (See Mat 10:15).
3. A period of time, long or short, during which certain revealed purposes of God are to be accomplished, such as the "day of the Lord."

The word day is used in three different ways in Genesis:
1. A twelve-hour period of light (See vs. 1:5, 14, 16, 18).
2. A twenty-four-hour period.
3. The entire creative week (v. 2:4)

God created, He named, and then He divided time between them, the day for light and the night for darkness; and He set the earth in motion to produce a constant and regular succession of one to the other; each one takes its turn. God also divided them from each other by giving them distinctive names: He called the light day, and the darkness he called night. He gave them names, since He was the Lord of both—“The day is yours, the night also is Yours; you have prepared the light and the sun” (Psalms 74:16; NKJV).

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

“And the evening and the morning were the first day,” indicates beyond any doubt that the word, as it is used here, is a twenty-four-hour period of time. The “first day” was a natural twenty–four hour day (I don’t see how you could get anything else out of it.), as the mention of its two parts clearly indicates; and Moses, according to Oriental usage, views it from sunset to sunset, not saying day and night as we do, but evening and morning.

Since God has divided time between light and darkness, we have a daily reminder that this is a world of amalgamation and changes. In heaven there is perfect and perpetual light and no darkness at all; in hell, there is out-and-out darkness, and not a single gleam of light. Between heaven and hell there is a great gulf fixed; but, in this world, we may feel as if we pass daily from one to another, and we may learn to anticipate fluctuations in the providence of God; peace and trouble, joy and sorrow. But when we trust God in the dark as well as the light we are able to say—“Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death” (1 Phil 1.20)—welcoming both, and making the best of both.

He is the Lord of time, and will remain so, until day and night cease to exist, and time itself is swallowed-up in the ocean of eternity. Let us see God in the constant succession of day and night, and devote ourselves to bringing honor to Him by working for Him every day and resting in him every night, and meditating in his law day and night.

This was the first day’s work, and a good day’s work, because He said it was. The evening and the morning were the first day. The darkness of the evening came before the light of the morning. This was not only the first day of the world, but the first day of the week. I observe it as a day of rest to honour that day, because the world began on the first day of the week, likewise the resurrection of Christ, as the light of the world, was early in the morning on the first day of the week. In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, forever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                May 7, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.2: A Firmament Made.
Scripture: Gen. 1:6-8.


Gen. 1:6-8. (KJV)

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.


Commentary

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

This is the record of the second day of creation; the creation of the firmament. “God said, Let there be a firmament”—the Hebrew word for firmament is raqia, meaning air spaces. We are sure that God did not only command it and someone else did the work, because in the next verse the Holy Spirit adds, “And God made the firmament.” The Psalmist said the firmament was the work of His fingers—“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained” (Psalms 8:3; KJV). He had frequently gazed at the heavens with astonishment, and he could not keep from being affected by the skill, design, and power, displayed in their creation. He must have been under their spell when he asked, “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalms 104:2; KJV). “Light” is used here as a figurative representation of the glory of God.

All parts of the earth were covered by water; but now, for the first time, a separation was produced where a confused mixture of the two had previously existed. Moses describes the purpose God has for this vastness, which was to divide the waters from the waters; but this has caused a great deal of difficulty for some people. Admittedly, these words appear opposed to common sense, and quite hard to believe, that there is a huge amount of water above us in the heavens. Rather than accept the word of God little men will resort to symbolism and philosophizing to offer an explanation that doesn’t include God at all. As for me, there is nothing in these words of God but the visible form of the world. Those who want to make something more of it and turn to astronomy, or another of the little known arts and sciences, can take their false conclusions elsewhere, because the ideas they embrace by faith is not in accordance with the writings of Moses. We can see the clouds suspended in the air and floating over our heads, and yet, they leave us space to breathe. We know that the rain is naturally produced by the clouds; but the deluge which thankfully occurs on rare occasions shows how rapidly we might be overwhelmed by the bursting of the clouds, unless God willed it to stop. David was so impressed by the concept that he counted it among His miracles, and called upon the celestial waters to praise God—“Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!” (Psalms 148:4; NKJV). Therefore, since God has created the clouds, and assigned them a region above us, it should not to be forgotten that they are restrained by the power of God, who prevents them from gushing forth with sudden violence and swallowing us up, as it did in the days of Noah. There is currently no other barrier to oppose them than the air we breathe, which would easily give way unless His word prevailed, “let it divide the waters from the waters.”

What does that mean? “Let it divide the waters from the waters.” Well, it means that God first divided the waters perpendicularly. There is water above us and water beneath us. Between them God placed a firmament; something stretched out and spread like a curtain, tent, or canopy; the Scriptures often refers to it as “stretching out of the heavens”—“… who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalms 104:2; KJV), and by “heavens” is meant the air. Psalm 19:1 calls it the "firmament" from the word which the Greek interpreters use, because it is fixed, lasting, and durable: and it is called an expanse because of its wide extent, reaching from the earth to the third heaven; the lower and thicker parts of it forms the atmosphere in which we live and breathe; the higher and thinner parts of it, the air in which birds fly, and the ether or sky in which the sun, moon, and stars are placed; since all these are said to be in the firmament or expanse—“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” (Gen 1:17; KJV). The prophet Amos called these layers the stories in the heavens—“It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.” One Bible scholar gave what may be the best analogy for the firmament or expanse: “the beating out as of a plate of metal," suggesting the function of a shield, which is appropriate when one remembers that the earth would have been destroyed long ago by showers of meteorites (the same as the moon) had it not been for the protection of our atmosphere. This single creation should cause men to be in awe of God’s creation, when it is remembered that millions and billions of tons of water are constantly suspended in the atmosphere in the form of clouds; and of course being much heavier than the atmosphere, only an act of creation could have accomplished such a thing. The patriarch Job marveled at this wonder: “Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?” (Job 37:16; KJV).

I read that in the Hawaiian Islands, five inches of rain fell in Honolulu in just a very short time—in a matter of minutes. In one place over two hundred inches of rain fall in a year. Brothers and sisters, there is a whole lot of water up there if two hundred inches of it can fall! Well, that’s what God did. He divided the waters above from the waters which are beneath.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

“And God called the firmament heaven.”
It is the visible heaven, the pavement of the holy city where God dwells. God is said to have his throne above the firmament—“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it” (Ezek 1:26; KJV). The pure oriental sapphire is one of the most beautiful and dazzling blues that can be imagined. I have sometimes seen the heavens assume this illustrious hue. The human form above this canopy is supposed to represent the Lord Jesus who, in the fullness of time, was revealed in the flesh. Daniel wrote, “thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule” (Dan 4:26; KJV). God has chosen to reside in the heavens; the heavens therefore are said to rule. Job asked this question, “Is not God in the height of heaven?...” (Job 22:12; KJV). Yes, he is, and when we pause to gaze at the stars, we should be led to think about our Father who is in heaven. The height of the heavens should remind us of God’s supremacy and the infinite distance there is between us and him; the brightness of the heavens and their purity should remind us of his glory, and majesty, and perfect holiness; the vastness of the heavens, their encompassing of the earth, and the influence they have upon it, should remind us of His immensity and universal providence.

And the evening and the morning were the second day.
“The evening and the morning” made up one twenty-four day, which was another natural day. The body of light, created on the first day, may have again moved around the chaos during that period of time; or else the chaos had rotated around its own axis in that time; and that revolution produced a second day’

It should be noted that we do not read, “And God saw that it was good,” at the end of the second day, as we do at the end of days 3-6. The reason some Jewish writers give, is because the angels fell on this day; but I believe Jarchi gives a better explanation, which is, because the work of the waters was not finished; it was begun on the second day, and perfected on the third. It is interesting that he used the phrase twice on the third day.

                                                                                                                                                                                             May 10, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.4: Dry Land, Seas, and Vegetation.

 

Gen. 1:9-13. (KJV)

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.


Commentary

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

After God created light and air and put them in their proper places, the next in density, the water, or rather the lower water, or that under the air, is separated, by divine command; and the earth, or dry land, emerges at once. Therefore, instead of that confusion which existed when earth and water were mixed in one great mass; now there is order. Up till now the power of the Creator had been employed in the upper part of the visible world; now he descends to this lower world, designed for the use of men, both for their habitation, and their preservation.

The work God did on the third day amounted to dual creation, with both parts closely connected. At first the waters beneath the heavens, those upon the surface of the earth, were gathered together, so that the dry (or solid) ground appeared; and then the earth was made fruitful. The Holy Spirit has not chosen to reveal in what way the gathering of the earth’s waters into seas and oceans, and the appearance of the dry land were brought about, though we may speculate how it happened. Perhaps God caused some places on the globe to sink or deepen, into which the waters flowed, or He caused the ground to rise up out of the water. The Biblical record does not describe the process, and God never describes the process by which His desired results are produced. It is probable, however, that the separation was caused both by depression and elevation. Geography seems to support this theory since all the seas of the world are connected, while all the land is not. In order for the dry land to appear it would have to be raised up above the level of the water. Most of the land remains covered by great depths of water, and the dry land on this planet occupies less than one-third of its surface.

One theory offered for this miracle says that land appeared when volcanic convulsions occurred on the surface of this globe causing the up heaving of some parts, the sinking of others, and the formation of vast hollows, into which the waters flowed, which is graphically described by David—“Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” (Psalms 104:6-9; KJV). This would account for how a large part of the earth was made “dry land,” and how oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers were formed.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

“The dry” ground God called Earth, and “the gathering…of the waters,” or rather, the place into which the waters were collected, He called Sea, which is the great oceans that surround the continents, so that the earth appears to be founded (established, brought into being) upon seas—“For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods” (Psalms 24:2; KJV). Earth and sea are the two components of the globe, and when they were separated its formation was completed. The “seas” include the rivers which flow into the ocean, and the lakes which can the dubbed “detached fragments” of the ocean, although they are not specifically mentioned here. By the divine act of naming the two components of the globe, and the divine approval which follows, this work is made permanent; and the second act of the third day, the clothing of the earth with vegetation, is immediately connected with it

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

“And God said,” indicates that it is the power of God's word that makes the earth fruitful, which before, was naturally barren. By this we know that not only is the earth the Lord's, but the fulness thereof, and he is the rightful owner and sovereign ruler, not only of it, but of all that fills the skies above it, moves or stands upon it, or is in the earth itself. The earth was emptiness (Genesis 1:2), but now, by the power of His word, it has become full of God's riches, and they are still His—“Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax …” (Hosea 2:9; KJV). Although we are allowed to use them, the resources still belong to him. This is a good practice for everyone to follow, because it is good to provide things that are needed before we have occasion to use them: before the beasts and man were made, God created the grass and herbs for them to use. God therefore dealt wisely and graciously with man; man then, should not be foolish and unwise in the use of His provisions. God must have the glory for all the benefits we receive from the products of the earth, either for food or medicine.

The earth was naked and barren, but when God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass,…herbs,…and trees” the earth was immediately prepared for the maintenance of men and beasts; and all this happened before the creation of the Sun (the fourth day of creation, Genesis 1:14-19). This means the plants must have had sufficient nourishment because of the light God had created before the sun and the moon existed. Those who allege these days of creation were not literal days, but successive “ages” of slow, evolutionary development have a real problem here. It is hard to explain how plants and all vegetation could grow and thrive eons before the sun and the moon. No modern evolutionist would argue plant life is older than the sun or the moon, but this is what the Genesis record tells us. Furthermore, we must not think of the work of creation as consisting of the production of the first tender microorganisms which were gradually developed into herbs, shrubs, and trees; on the contrary, we must think of it as one element in the miracle of creation itself, that at the word of God not only tender grasses, but herbs, shrubs, and trees, sprang out of the earth, each ripe for the formation of blossoms and the bearing of seed and fruit, without the necessity of waiting for years before the vegetation created was ready to blossom and bear fruit. Even if the earth was employed as a medium in the creation of the plants, since it was God who caused it to bring them forth, they were not the product of the powers of nature, in the ordinary way we are familiar with, but a work of divine omnipotence, by which the trees came into existence before their seed, and their fruit was produced fully developed, without expanding gradually under the influence of sunshine and rain. This clearly settles any objection that the tree could not be there until the seed was planted. If God had wanted to create the seed first, He could easily have done so. But He commanded the fruit of the earth to come forth before seed was sown. This was just as simple for Him as to do the opposite

The products of this upstart earth were now ready for man and beast, but they would not appear on the scene until the sixth day. The Lord also provided for the needs of man during the countless years ahead by creating and perpetuating numerous kinds of vegetables and every one “having its seed in itself after its kind,” so that, as long as man continues upon the earth, food might be taken out of the earth for his use and benefit.

When he says, “Let the earth bring forth the herb which may produce seed, the tree whose seed is in itself,” he signifies not only that herbs and trees were created, but that, at the same time, both were endued with the power of propagation, in order that their several species might be perpetuated. They were created as mature plants, having the “appearance” of age. The chicken really did come before the egg.

“And God saw that it was good.” God knows what is “good.” He is not some vague, moral, creative, entity. He knows what is good and He organizes His creation to result in something good. Notice, God does not call the earth good until it has become habitable.


12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

This sentence is a repeat of the previous one, to signify that God made all his creatures to work for his glory and for the benefit of man: but because of sin they were cursed, yet the elect of God are restored through faith in Christ.

We must believe that “grass, herbs, and trees” emerged in absolute maturity and perfection, by the immediate effects of the Divine Power: nor can we fail to be in awe of the grand ideas of the Supreme Mind, when we reflect on the infinite variety, beauty, and regularity of this part of the creation; every individual herb and flower that we know of have been planned and formed by His wisdom, before it was brought to being and perfection.


Whose seed is in itself—since no plants can be produced without seed, we are again reminded of God's wisdom, because the origin of all the plants upon the earth; which have existed from the beginning have continued through the ages, by means of this original provision of seed. It should be noted that the production of plants, in the beginning, differed from their production ever since, in these two things: First, that they have sprung ever since, out of their seed, either sown by us, or falling from them: but, in the beginning, they were brought out of the earth, with their seed in them, to propagate them until the end of time. Second, that they need now, as they have ever since the first creation, the influence of the sun to make them germinate. But in the beginning they sprung forth, in perfection, by the immediate power of God, before there was any sun. For this reason, God must have the glory for all the benefit we receive from the products of the earth.

Some have said that thorns and thistles, brambles and briers were around before the fall, though not in the same abundance as now. Others disagree, and they say that until sin came into the world, the rose was without prickles. There is no way for us to know, but since the fall, all creatures are fortified against man. I wonder, if Adam had not sinned and sin never entered our world, would those grasses, herbs, and trees first created continue to flourish today?

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
We would not recognize our planet at the end of the third day; there is no sun or moon in the sky, and the sky does not have any life in it, there are no fish in the oceans, no animals or insects, no man to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. The third day has come to an end, and for the second time today God “saw that it was good.”

                                                                                                                                                                                              May 17, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.5: The Heavenly Bodies Made to Give Light and to Serve as Signs.                    

 

Gen. 1:14-19. (KJV)

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


Commentary

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And God said,
This is the history of the fourth day's work; the creati0n of the sun, moon, and stars to serve as lights. God created these bodies in the sky, and assigned them several functions to benefit mankind: to make the distinction between day and night, to serve as indicators that would enable them to distinguish between the two divisions of the twenty-four hour day; to serve as signs for men to use in navigation, to create and regulate the oceans tides; and to be the means of measuring time in hours, days, months and years and creating the calendar of the world in general. This should be enough to fill us with praise and thanksgiving. Ancient Job mentions this as a demonstration of the glorious power of God—“that by the Spirit he hath garnished the heavens…” (Job 26:13; KJV)—and here we have an account of that garnishing which is not only the beauty of the upper world, but also the great blessing of this lower world.

Day four begins the second half of the creative week, whose works have a striking likeness to the labors of the first day. The Creator having eliminated the original chaos and perfected the four fundamental elements of light, air, water, and land, begins a second series of operations, in which He places light permanently in the sun, and fills the water with fish and the air with birds and the land with animals, and then in His final creative act, he makes a man and a woman.

Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;
Since the atmosphere has been completely purified, the sun, moon, and stars were for the first time unveiled in all their glory in the cloudless sky; and they are described as “in the firmament” which they appear to be to the eye, although we know they are really a great distances from it. They are actually in the upper part of it, which we have designated the starry heavens. Some commentators, both Jewish and Christian, and even modern astronomers, believe that they appeared at this time, but had been formed on the first day. They presume they did not shine out as clearly and visibly as they do now, on the fourth day: this theory assumes that the body of fire and light produced on the first day was now distributed and formed into the sun, moon, and an infinite number of stars. The firmament itself is spoken of as having a brightness of its own—“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3; KJV)—but this was not sufficient to give light to the earth and perhaps for this reason it is not expressly said of the second day's work, in which the firmament was made, that it was good, because, until it was adorned with these lights on the fourth day, it had not become helpful to man.

God had created the light on day one, but now He establishes a new order in nature by making the sun the dispenser of cyclic daylight, and the moon and stars shinning by night, so there would be alternating periods of day and night. He teaches us by this arrangement that all creation is subject to his will; because Moses reports nothing else than that God created these heavenly bodies by merely speaking; “And God said, Let there be lights.”

“Let there be lights,” are lights that are more magnificent than that created on the first day, having by now been condensed and reduced into these lights; which are higher in the heavens, more illustrious for light, and more powerful and influential, than that which was at first. It is important to note that herbs and trees were created before the sun, but now the sun is necessary for their life and production of fruit and leaves, and this shows that God does not depend upon help from any part of His creation.

There should not be any objections arise from the moon being a reflective body; since Moses does not say it is a luminous one; any more than a lamp or chandelier is luminous in itself, though it is the instrument of holding or diffusing light.

“To divide the day from the night” refers to the artificial day, which begins at the rising of the sun and ends at its setting. This is different from the natural day, which lasts twenty-four hours and includes the night in itself. Hence, the implication is that the interchange of days and nights will be repeated continually: because the God, who determined that the days should be distinct from the nights, directs the action of the sun and the earth until time ceases to exist.

and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
That is, for "signs" of good and bad weather; for the times of ploughing, sowing, reaping; for the "seasons" of summer and winter, spring and autumn; for hours and days by the rotation of the earth on its axis for the space of twenty four hours; and for "years" by movement of the earth around the sun for the space of three hundred sixty five days and some odd hours.

The child of God must bear in mind, that Moses does not speak philosophically of occult mysteries, but relates those things which are readily observable and well known today. These things are taught to children, and have been proven by science.

The question may be asked, “Why does Moses call them signs?” Perhaps, it was because certain people abused this passage, such as the ancient Egyptians did in order to give emphasis to their frivolous predictions. I call those who pretend to deduce everything from the position of the stars fakes and fortunetellers who hate God, and want to take credit for things only God can know. Because Moses declares that the sun and moon were designated by God to be used as signs, they think they are entitled to elicit from them anything they please. But this is easy to refute, because they are called signs of certain things, not signs to represent whatever it is that suits their fancy. Moses asserts that the only things to be signified by them are those things belonging to the order of nature? The same God who decrees here that they are for signs testifies through Isaiah that he “frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad” (Isaiah 44:25; NKJV); and forbids us to be “dismayed at the signs of heaven. (Jer 10:2; NKJV).

The lights of heaven are made to serve us, and they do it faithfully, but we are set as lights in this world to serve God, but are we faithful to the purpose of our creation? No, we are not, our light does not shine before God as His lights shine before us—“You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14; NKJV).

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

It is good, I think, to repeat what I have said before, that Moses did not intend to kick off a philosophical discussion on how great the sun is, and how great, or how little the moon is, or even how much light comes to us from them; rather, Moses here speaks to our senses, so that we do not lose the knowledge of the gifts of God which we now enjoy. Therefore, in order to understand the meaning of Moses, it is not necessary to soar above the heavens; we only need to open our eyes to behold this light which God ignites for us who live on the earth.

It is the function of the heavenly light-producing-bodies, to send us light, either their own or that reflected by them; to be light-bearers for the earth. No sooner had God spoken than it was done; because it was not an ordinary work that He did, but an act of creation.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

And God made two great lights;
This was His work which He did Himself; and it shows the foolishness of idolaters who worship these luminaries which were the creations of God, and were placed by him in the heavens to serve some purposes on earth beneficial to men, but not to be worshipped. These two "great lights" are the sun and the moon; and they may rightly be called great, especially the former, because the diameter of the sun is calculated to be about eight hundred thousand miles. The moon's diameter is 2175 miles, and its surface contains fourteen hundred thousand square miles. The moon has been called great, not on account of its size, since it is the least of all the planets except Mercury, but because of its superiority as a light; it reflects more light upon the earth than any heavenly body besides the sun,

Since Moses considered the day beginning at sunset, the moon, which would be seen first in the horizon, would appear “a great light,” when compared with the little twinkling stars; while its pale feeble radiance would be eclipsed by the dazzling splendor of the sun. When this brilliant sphere rose in the morning and gradually followed its course through the heavens in a blaze of glory, it would appear “the greater light” that ruled the day. Both these lights may be said to be “made” on the fourth day—not created, because a different word is used here, which indicates they were composed, and assigned to the important and necessary mission of serving as luminaries to the world, and regulating the divisions of time by their movement.

the greater light to rule the day,
The sun was never meant to rule over mankind, although the heathens have worshipped it under the names of Molech and Baal; names which signify king and lord, as if it was their lord and king to whom they were to pay homage; but by the decision of God it would preside over our world, give it light, and continue to do so until God and Christ are the light in the New Jerusalem. And it rules alone; it is greater than the moon and all the other planets. It is called the "greater light,” in comparison to the moon, not only with respect to its size or substance, but on account of its light, which is far greater and stronger than that of the moon; which in fact receives its light from the sun, since the moon cannot make light, and is, in actual fact, a reflecting body. 

Let us learn from Psalm 19:1-6 how to give unto God the glory due unto his name, as the Maker of the sun.
Psalms 9:1-6 (KJV)
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.
For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.
Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

and the lesser light to rule the night:
The moon was designed by God to give light, although it is a fainter, dimmer light produced by reflecting it from the sun; and it rules alone, since the sun is on the other side of the earth at night. The moon is of great use to travelers and sailors (though not as useful as it used to be). It is called the “lesser light,” in comparison with the sun. Astronomers have determined that the moon is about fifty-two times smaller than the earth, and four thousand one hundred and fifty times smaller than the sun. It is greater than any of the stars, not really, but it appears greater to the eye. Although it borrows its light from the sun it is said to “rule the night” because of the service it does for the benefit of man.

he made the stars also.
“He made the stars also,” in vast numbers and scattered them across the heavens, and they gave light to earth in some lesser degree than the sun and moon. There are several constellations which the Scriptures speak of, such as:
1. Job 9:9 (KJV) “Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south…”
2. Job 38:31 (KJV) “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?”
God made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day since He has foreknowledge and realized the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on earth came from the stars, so that they might set God aside. Therefore, in order to demonstrate the truth, plants and seeds came into existence before the stars. Because, that which comes into existence later cannot cause what comes before it.

The moon is said to “rule the night”, but the stars share in that administration, since they add their light to what the moon provides—“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night” (Jer 31:35; KJV).

The ancients worshipped the sun, moon, and stars; this was foolish idolatry; but what we have learned plainly shows that they are both God's creation and man's servants and therefore it is both a great insult to God and a great criticism of ourselves to make deities of them and attribute to them what only God can do—“And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them” Deut 4:19; KJV). The worship of the heavenly bodies was the oldest species of idolatry. Those who did not have the knowledge of the true God were led to consider the sun, moon, planets, and stars, as not only self-existing, but the authors of all the blessings possessed by mankind. The knowledge of a rational system of astronomy served to destroy this superstition; and very little of it remains in the world.

Perhaps the chief reason for introducing the luminaries in this place was to guard against the notion that there were any luminaries which were not the work of Elohim, and in particular to prevent the Hebrews, for whom the creation record was written, from yielding to the heathen practices of star-gazing and star-worship. "The superstition of reading the destiny of man in the stars never took root among the Israelites; astrology is excluded by the belief in one all-powerful God. Jeremiah warns the Hebrews not to be afraid of the “signs of heaven,” before which the heathen tremble in vain terror (See Jeremiah 10:2); and Isaiah speaks with taunting irony against the astrologers, star-gazers, and monthly prognosticators, saying it is foolish and wicked to rely on their council—“Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee” (Isaiah 47:13; KJV). But the Israelites did not have enough moral strength to resist the example of star-worship in general; they could not keep aloof from an aberration which formed the focus of the principal Eastern religions; they yielded to that tempting influence, and paid honor to the sun and the hosts of heaven—“And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods” (Jer 19:13; KJV). (Also see Ezekiel 8:16; Zephaniah 1:5.).

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven
He not only ordered precisely where they should be placed in the heavens, and made them stay there, but he placed them there with his own hands; He paid particular attention to the sun, and put it precisely at the distance where it would be the most beneficial: had it been set nearer to the earth, its heat would have been intolerable; and had it been further off it would have been useless; in the one case we would have been scorched by its heat, and in the other we would have been frozen. The various expressions used by Moses seem to be designed to guard against and expose the foolishness of worshipping the sun and moon; which, since they were visible, useful, and had a great influence on the earth, were the first things the Heathens worshipped as early as the times of Job—“If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness” (Job 31:26; KJV)—and yet these were lifeless things made by God. They were His servants and agents under him, and therefore, those who worship them, served the creature rather than the Creator.

to give light upon the earth,
“To give light upon the earth” is repeated from Genesis 1:15 to show the reason for which they were made, and how they were to be useful to the earth; being hung up like so many lamps or chandeliers, to provide light for the inhabitants of earth, so that they may see to walk and work, and do all the activities of life, as well as providing warmth and comfort. It is amazing that light emitted from the sun, when it is at such a great distance from the earth, can reach it in so short a span of time. A modern astronomer has said that a bullet discharged from a gun would require nearly twenty five years to reach the earth: and yet the rays of light travel from the sun to earth in seven minutes and thirty seconds, and are said to travel 186,000 miles through space every second.

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

And to rule over the day and over the night,
The one, namely the sun, or greater light, to rule over the day, and the moon and stars, the lesser lights, to rule over the night: this is repeated from Genesis 1:16 to give us confidence in the reality of this creative act, and so that the proper uses of these lights might be indicated, and that the proper value might be placed upon them.

God's almighty, creative act is the premise; He put the light-bodies in their proper place, and their functions are given in the order in which they usually impress men: they give light upon the earth; their influence controls day and night, respectively; their rising and setting governs the division of light and darkness.

and to divide the light from the darkness:
“And to divide the light from the darkness;” or rather, the day from the night, which is done by the sun (See Genesis 1:14), whose rays dissolve and scatter the darkness of the night, as the earth rotates on its axis. The moon and stars give some degree of light, to the hemisphere in darkness, though it is in a feebler manner. 

and God saw that it was good.
God looked into the future and knew it would be “good;” that such lights in the heavens would be extremely beneficial to the inhabitants of the earth, which they would discover from their experiencing its benefits, and therefore they would have a great many reasons to be thankful, and to adore the wisdom and goodness of God’s creations.

This clause was omitted from the first day’s work because the light was a glimmer and imperfect, but on the fourth day it was made clearer and complete.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

“The fourth day,” like the other three was made by the rotation of the earth on its own axis, in the space of twenty four hours.

The Scripture references to this day's work are both numerous and instructive, but the Hebrew writers do not supply any information relative to the astronomical theories which were prevalent in their time; however, we have facts from other sources that would lead one to believe that even in the time of Moses there was noteworthy astronomy in the East, and some good theories. The Chaldeans at a very early period had determined the rotation of the earth, the position of the poles, and the nature of the apparent motions of the heavenly bodies as the result of revolutions on an inclined axis. The Egyptian astronomers, whom we know through Thales, 640 B.C; taught the true nature of the moon's light; that the earth was a sphere, and the position of its five zones. Pythagoras, 580 B.C; knew of the tilt of the earth, the identity of the evening and morning star, and the earth's revolution round the sun. Modern astronomy, although it claims to have highly probable theories as to the formation of the universe, is still unable to speak with absolute precision with regard to this fourth day's work, even though there are plenty of indirect corroborations of the truth of the Mosaic narrative from both it and geology. According to the sacred writer, the presently existing atmosphere, the distribution of land and water, the succession of day and night, and the regular alternation of the seasons, were established prior to the introduction of animal life upon the earth;  and these must have been created by God to support animal and human life.

                                                                                                                                                                                             May 24, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.6: Fishes and Fowls Created.                    


Gen. 1:20-23. (KJV)

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.


Commentary

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

And God said,
Just as Day 4 paralleled Day 1, Day 5 parallels Day 2. Just as the waters and the firmament were in view there, so are they here. This parallelism does not deny the chronological sequence of the six days. But, the creation on Day 1 of the heavens and the earth was followed by a special creation of the earth and its solar system on Day 4. In the same way, the seas and the dry land of Day 2 are endowed with the life for which they had been designed by God, on Day 5.

Nature never makes a forward movement, in the sense of an absolutely new departure from the “status quo,” unless it is reacting to the word of Elohim. These words distinctly claim that the creatures of the sea and of the air, even if created from material elements, were produced in obedience to the Divine command, and not spontaneously generated by some chance chemical reaction of either land, sea, or sky

The great message of this day is that God created life, since there is no other possible source of it. The plain and simple proposition of the passage is that God created all of the species of life mentioned here simultaneously. The balance in creation that is still witnessed by the ecological systems in nature could not have come into being except by a royal decree. Nothing is more unreasonable and ridiculous than the various theories of evolution. If it could be proved, which is impossible, that all life originated from a single one-celled creature in some pre-Azoic sea, the existence of that one-celled creature with the potential to produce all that is alleged to have come out of it, in any such hypothesis, GOD ALMIGHTY is just as necessary in the making of that one-celled beginning; and it would have been in every way a creation just as magnificent and glorious as the simultaneous creation of countless forms of life by one Divine decree. Evolution as a means of getting rid of God is a false crutch indeed!

It is clear in this six-day sequence that, "The progress of God's creative activity was upward toward man." In fact, the special thrust of this entire creation narrative is pointed squarely at the emergence of man upon earth as the crowning act of all creation! Each day, up till then, has produced very excellent beings, which we can never sufficiently admire but we do not read of the creation of any living creature until the fifth day. The work of creation not only proceeded gradually from one thing to another, but rose and advanced gradually from that which was less excellent to that which was even more so, teaching us to pursue perfection and attempt to make our last works our best works. It was on the fifth day that the fish and fowl were created, and both were created from the waters. Although fish have one kind of flesh, and birds have another, they were made at the same time, had the same source, and the same creator.

The waters and the air separated on the second day and now they are filled with their respective inhabitants.

Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,
On the fifth day the birds and fishes are created, but then God adds an additional blessing, and gives them the ability to produce offspring. Here is a different kind of propagation from that utilized by herbs and trees: for there the power of propagating is in the plants, and that of germinating is in the seed; but here the generation of life takes place.

It seems that some people reject the idea that birds were created from the waters because to them it is unreasonable, and they call it a lie. But although there appears to be no other reason for Him to have done it this way, except that He decided to use that particular method, shouldn’t we go along with His judgment? If He created the world out of nothing, couldn’t He create birds out of water? And, what is more absurd, the creation of birds from water, or the making of light from darkness? It is clear from Moses’ account that although God is the Author of nature, He did not use nature as His guide when He created the world, but has chosen instead to give such awesome demonstrations of His power that we are compelled to be in awe of His glory and majesty.

There is something in these words which is seldom noticed. Countless millions of microscopic creatures are found in water. Eminent naturalists have discovered not less than 30,000 in a single drop! How inconceivably small must each be, and yet each is a perfect animal, equipped with the whole system of bones, muscles, nerves, heart, arteries, veins, lungs, intestines, etc. What a proof this is of the manifold wisdom of God! But the fertility of fishes is another point implied in the text; no other creatures are as prolific as these. A Tench, or doctor fish, can lay 1,000 eggs, a Carp 20,000, and 9,384,000 Leuwenhoek were found in a medium sized Cod! Therefore, by the will of God, the waters bring forth abundantly. And what a merciful provision this is for the necessities of man! Many hundreds of thousands of the earth‘s inhabitants live for a great part of the year on fish only. Fish provide, not only a wholesome and nutritious diet; they are affected by very few diseases, and they generally move about in vast quantities. We can see in this that the kind providence of God goes hand in hand with His creating energy. While He shows his wisdom and his power, he is making a permanent provision for the food of man.

In addition to the fish and birds, the creations on the fifth day included the great sea creatures, such as the whales; small aquatic creatures that have short or no legs, such as snakes and lizards, which live either on land or in the water; the insects which fly over the earth and crawl upon it or dig into it.

“That hath life;” literally, a living breath. The creatures of the sea are distinguished from all previous creations, and in particular from vegetation, since they possess this one vital advantage; the ability to breathe. This does not, of course, contradict the fact that plants are living organisms. Only the life principle of the animal creation is different from that of the vegetable kingdom. It may be impossible by the most acute microscopic analysis to differentiate the protoplasmic cell of vegetable matter from that of animal organisms, and plants may appear to be possessed of functions that resemble those of animals, yet the two are generically different. The thing that sets animal life apart is the possession of respiratory organs, which enables them to breathe. To that I would add the ability to move about, which is unique to man and animals.

and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
It says here that birds were also made from the water; not out of water alone, but out of earth and water mixed together, or out of the earth or clay that lie at the bottom of the waters. It is common knowledge that some birds live on the water, and others live partly on land and partly on water; and as the elements of fowl and fish bear a resemblance, so do the elements of air and water: and the same can be said about these creatures; some fowls both fly and swim; and what wings are to the birds, fins are to the fish; and both steer their course by their tails. There appears to be a contradiction here when compared to Genesis 2:19—“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof”—which clearly states that the fowls were produced from the earth. The apparent contradiction can be explained if you know that the Hebrew is, “and let fowl fly above the earth, in the open firmament of heaven;” that is, in the air; which is not only more agreeable to the original, but more consistent with what is said in Genesis 2:19, that God formed the fowl out of the ground.

All birds have many things in common with fish. Naturalists have observed that the eyes and brain of both are similar: their bodies are prepared for swimming, the one in the air, and the other in the water.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God created great whales,
“Created,” means that something new and distinct was summoned into existence.

“Great whales or Great fishes” are created on day five. Though this is generally understood to denote whales, yet the term must be understood to be a general rather than a particular term, encompassing all the great aquatic animals, such as the various species of whales, the porpoise, the dolphin, the narwhale, crocodiles, and the shark. God takes pleasure in creating little as well as great things: that's why he forms animals so minute that 30,000 can be contained in one drop of water; and others so great that they seem to require almost a whole sea to float in.

“And God created” may cause some to pose a question which can be developed as follows: The world was created out of nothing; but now Moses says that things formed from other matter were created. Which is it? The fact is, the material from which the fish were created was already in existence; which does not fit the definition of “created.” One way to resolve this rather small problem is to NOT restrict the creation spoken of here entirely to the work of the fifth day, but rather consider it to refer to that shapeless and confused mass, which was as the fountain of the whole world. Then it can be said that God created whales and other fishes, but not when they received their form; but their creation must include the universal matter which was made out of nothing. Therefore, with respect to species, form only was added to them on day five, because the material they were created from already existed; but creation is nevertheless a term that can be applied to both the whole and the parts. The way I see it, we should let the word of God stand as the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write it; and stop spending time trying to rewrite God’s Word, especially when such trivial matters arise.

The greatest, as well as the least, owe their breath and being to God; and the whale, which awkwardly moves through the ocean, costs him no more than the worm which twinkles in the drop under the lens of the microscope: each are endued with powers which are exactly suited to his situation, and so exquisitely made, that anyone who looks upon it without feelings of wonder and adoration must be blind indeed.

and every living creature that moveth,
The subject here is the smaller animals that live in the water of the great oceans or in the rivers; and those that are amphibious and can move about on the banks; and their numbers are too great to be counted. This includes creeping animals, either on land—“They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort” (Gen 7:14; KJV)—‘or in water—“Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them” (Psalms 69:34; NKJV)—though here it clearly signifies aquatic creatures.

which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind,
We see that the great variety of birds and sea creatures were created at the same time, not evolving slowly over millions of years. Even though plant life was created before animal life, animal life was not created out of plant life. Although animals are diverse in their nature, many share similar structures: birds, reptiles, mammals, and so forth. This makes a persuasive case for a common Designer: All life did not come from the same primordial cell, but it did all come from the same Designer.

The generic terms in this clause represent many distinct orders and species, and each was created after its kind. God commanded them to be produced. He said, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly” not as if the waters had any productive power of their own, but, "Let them be brought into being, the fish in the waters and the fowl out of them." God himself executed this command: “God created great whales.” Insects, which perhaps are as varied and as numerous as any species of animal, and their structure just as odd; were part of this day's work, some of them being similar to the fish and others to the fowl. God created a great variety of fish and fowl, each after their kind, and in great numbers. He made great whales, whose bulk and strength, exceed that of any other animal, which is another remarkable proof of the power and greatness of the Creator. The peculiar formation of the bodies of animals, their different sizes, shapes, and natures, along with the admirable powers of instinct with which they are endued, when duly considered, serve, not only to silence and shame the objections of atheists and infidels, but to suggest a generous Creator.

When he says that “the waters brought forth,” we must understand that though the waters itself is lifeless, they suddenly teem with a living offspring and God replenishes them daily, because He not only commanded that they exist, but that they continue for as long as there are oceans and rivers.

and every winged fowl after his kind:
Here the wing is made a characteristic of this class, which includes more than what we call birds; these were all created by God, or produced out of the water and out of the earth by His wonderful power.  Every creature was created “According to their kind”: Again, all animal life is created according to its kind. God deliberately structured plenty of variation within each kind, but one “kind” does not become another. For example, structure among dogs is diverse. The teacup poodle is very different from the Great Dane, but they are both dogs. However, they won’t become mice, no matter how much breeding is done. Evolutionists often give convincing examples of microevolution, the variation of a kind within its kind, because it is adapting to the environment. For example, the ratio of black to white peppered moths may increase when pollution makes it easier for dark moths to escape detection; or finches may develop different beaks in response to their distinctive environment. But the moths are still moths, and the finches are still finches. There has been no change outside of the kind. Microevolution does not prove macroevolution.

Why fowls and fish were created on the same day is not to be explained by any supposed similarity between the air and the water. The only answer this side of heaven, is to simply say, “That’s the way He wanted it.”

and God saw that it was good.
“And God saw that it was good;” or foresaw that those creatures he made in the waters and in the air would serve to display the glory of his perfect creation, and be very useful and beneficial to man. (Some of the creatures described by the ancients must refer to animals that are now extinct. Some of these may have been very large dinosaurs.)

When the Maker inspects His work, He “saw that it was good.”

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

And God blessed them,
This is a new act by the Lord, and it brings some good to the object of the blessing. The blessing pronounced here is upon the fish and the fowl; it is that they will abundantly increase. God does not wish like men do, and then pray that we may be blessed; but, by the mere hint of His purpose, He produces what men seek to obtain by intense prayer. Therefore, when He blesses his creatures he commands them to increase and grow; that is, he infuses into them fruitfulness (or fertility) by his word. Furthermore, the force of His word is not temporary, because it is infused into their nature, takes root, and constantly bears fruit—“I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever” (Eccl 3:14; NKJV)—which is evidenced by the vast number of birds and fish existing today; the heavens are stocked with fowl, and the fish replenish the waters; and it is all for the use of man. The power of God's providence preserves all things, just as His creating power produced them. Oh how I wish that all men were wise, and that they knew the bountiful Giver of life! Job was a man who certainly knew God, and spoke of His great works—"But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:7-10; NKJV).

Some may ask, “Doesn’t the fossil record show these creatures slowly evolved into existence, instead of suddenly appearing?” Most people are unaware that Darwin’s strongest opponents were not clergymen, but fossil experts. Darwin admitted the state of the fossil evidence was “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory,” and because of the fossil evidence, “all the most eminent paleontologists . . . and all our greatest geologists . . . have unanimously, often vehemently, maintained” that the species do not change. The fossil record is marked by two great principles: first, stasis, which means most species are unchanged in all their documented history. The way they look when they first appear in the fossil record is the way they look when last appearing in the fossil record. They have not changed. Second, sudden appearance, which means in any local area, a species does not arise gradually, but appears all at once and “fully formed.” Philip Johnson said, “If evolution means the gradual change of one kind of organism into another kind, the outstanding characteristic of the fossil record is the absence of evidence for evolution.” The Bighorn Basin in Wyoming contains a continuous record of fossil deposits for what geologists say is five million years. Because this record is so complete, paleontologists assumed a positive trail of evolution could be found. Instead, “the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.” (Johnson) Evolutionist Nile Eldredge writes: “We paleontologists have said that the history of life [in the fossil record] supports [the story of gradual evolution], all the while knowing that it does not.” (Johnson) Either evolution happened slowly, with each tiny change building on the last, over billions of years; or the changes came as quick leaps: something like a mouse coming out of a snake’s egg. The fossil record totally rejects the idea of millions of tiny changes; the quick leaps are a way of attributing miraculous power to “chance” or “nature” instead of God. While admiring the faith of those who believe in such hopeful monsters, it seems far more rational to believe in a wise, creating, designing God.

saying, Be fruitful, and multiply,

“Be fruitful” refers to the propagation of the species; and “Multiply” relates to the abundance of the offspring.

The phrase “Be fruitful and multiply,” became a regular formula of blessing (See Genesis 35:11; Genesis 48:4). The Divine benediction was not simply a wish, according to Calvin, who said; "by the bare intimation of his purpose he effects what men seek by entreaty." This Divine benediction was addressed to creatures, because it was designed to teach that the "force of the Divine word was not meant to be temporary, but, being infused into their natures, to take root and constantly bear fruit" (Calvin). And, as they say, “the proof is in the pudding,” because the fish did multiply greatly, so that there are vast numbers of them in the oceans, lakes, and rivers, in spite of many thousands of them going to human consumption daily.

Our English word "fish" is derived from the Hebrew word פוש, "fush", which signifies to multiply and increase.

and fill the waters in the seas,
“Fill the waters” is a command for them to be fully stocked. In the scriptures, the phrase “In the seas” includes the lakes, and, by association, the rivers too, which feed both the oceans and lakes. A new kind of creation is in view here. While in the case of some plants many individuals of the same species were simultaneously created, in order to produce a worldwide covering of greenness for the land and an abundant supply of food for the animals, about to be created; but when God created the animals He made a single pair only of the larger kinds of each type, and by the power of His will that accompanied this potent blessing of the Creator, the waters and the air was propagated by multitudes of fish and birds, respectively, and in a relatively short period of time.


and let fowl multiply in the earth.
The care, wisdom, and skill with which God has fashioned the different species of birds are truly astonishing, whether they are intended to live chiefly on land or in water. The structure of a single feather provides a world of wonders; and since God intended for the fowls to fly in the firmament of heaven—“… let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens” (Gen 1:20; NKJV)—he has adapted the form of their bodies, the structure and disposition of their plumage, and the design of their bones for that very purpose. The head and neck in flying are drawn principally within the breast-bone, so that the whole under part exhibits the appearance of a ship‘s hull. The wings are made use of as sails, or rather oars, and the tail as a helm or rudder. The bones are hollow to reduce their weight. By means of these innovations the creature is able to travel through the air with considerable speed, either straight forward, in a circular pattern, or in any kind of angle, upwards or downwards. God has also shown his skill and his power by providing birds, both large and small—in the huge ostrich, and in the beautiful humming-bird, which in plumage excels the splendor of the peacock, and in size is almost on a level with the bee
God said, “let fowl multiply in the earth”; and they did, and continue to do so today.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day
This is the fifth day of God’s labors. The sun has been in the firmament for two days now, since it was put there the day before. The earth has rotated 360˚ on its axis twice; each rotation requiring twenty–four hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                             May 28, 2013


Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

PART: I GENERAL HISTORY FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM—Gen. 1:1-11:9.

Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.

 

Lesson I.A.7: Creation of Land Animals and Man.


Gen. 1:24-28. (KJV)

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

 

Commentary

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

And God said,
Verses 24 and 25 form the first part of the sixth day's work. The oceans, lakes and rivers exist, and have been stocked with fish; the air has likewise been created and stocked with birds, and the ground is green with new grass. The first part of this day will see the creation of the “beasts of the earth, cattle, and creeping things.”

The method used to create remains the same—“And God said.” But later we will be given the details of how man was created, and it will clearly be seen to be a different method. Man is a special creation, and he has a position, relationship, and a hope that no other creature has.

Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind,

This branch of the animal world is divided into three parts: “cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth.” “Living breathing thing” is the general heading under which all these can be listed.

“Living creature” is a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied kinds, from the half-reasoning elephant down to the stupid worm. All wild animals, such as lions and tigers are included, as well as domesticated animals, such as cattle and sheep. Some are carnivorous, or live on flesh, and others live on grass and other vegetables, and are capable of being tamed, and some of these, such as horses and dogs, are used for domestic purposes.

Here, as before, the Lord gave the word, he said, “Let the earth bring forth,” which does not mean that the earth had any kind of creative facility by which it could produce these animals, and God has certainly not turned over his creating power to the earth.  The gist of what He said is this: "Let these creatures now come into being upon the earth in their respective kinds, and let them conform to the ideas of them as they exist in the divine counsels concerning their creation."

The recurring mention of "after their kind" rules out the notion that various species upon the earth developed into other species. It is still true that if one desires to raise a watermelon, he must plant the seed from a watermelon; he can plant all the corn seeds he wants to, but they will never grow into a watermelon. The conformity of each species to this God-ordained law is constant.

The earth's creatures, including man, are present in countless numbers, and they are all here as a result of the creative and active will of the eternal God Himself. This account does not allow any thought of so-called "spontaneous" or "naturally developed" life. God alone is revealed here as the Source of life, as well as the Source of all material things.

cattle,
“Cattle” represent the tame animals that reside with man; those that carry burdens, and those which are used by man for food and clothing—horses, asses, camels, oxen, sheep.

Some of the Hebrews distinguish between “cattle” and “beasts of the earth,” saying that “the cattle feed on grass, but the beasts of the earth eat flesh.” But the Lord, a little while afterwards, designates grass for the common food of both; and it may be observed, that in several parts of Scripture these two words are used indiscriminately. It is Possible that Moses, after he had named the cattle added the other, for the sake of providing a fuller explanation.

and creeping thing,
“Creeping things” evidently denote the smaller animals, as opposed to the cattle which are distinguished as the large kind. The characteristic of creeping is, however, applied sometimes to convey the motion of the lower animals, where the posture of the body is level to the ground, whereas man has an erect posture—“Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth” (Psalms 104:20; KJV). Creeping thing includes all the different kinds of serpents, worms, ants and such animals which have no feet or go on their bellies, and all the types of reptiles, from the very tiniest to the giant Komodo dragon.

and beast of the earth after his kind:
The “beast of the earth” signifies the wild predatory animal that lives away from man. This division includes animals that prey on other animals.

God has also shown his wondrous skill and power in the creation of beasts; the huge elephant, or the more gigantic mammoth or mastodon, the whole race of which appears to be extinct. He seems to have produced this animal merely to show what he could do, and after allowing a few of them to reproduce, he extinguished the race to keep them from destroying both man and beast. The mammoth appears to have been a carnivorous animal, which is revealed from the structure of its teeth. Scientists have computed that the mammoth must have been nearly twenty-five feet high, and sixty feet in length! Few elephants have ever been found to exceed eleven feet in height. How wondrous are the works of God! But His skill and power which are displayed in smaller creatures is no less wondrous; consider the swift cheetah, the graceful antelope, and the shrew mouse, perhaps the smallest of the many-toed quadrupeds. In the reptile class we also see the same skill and power, not only in the immense snake called boa constrictor, the mortal foe and conqueror of the Bengal tiger, but also in the cobra, a venomous snake that kills many people in India, every year.

and it was so.
“And it was so”: All the creature that existed in the mind of God were immediately produced.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind,
Everything in the animal world and vegetable world was designed by God to belong to a distinct species, and each was given the trait of producing its own kind through endless generations. In this way the many varieties of animals and plants have been kept distinct from the foundation of the world to the present day. This is a sufficient proof that all future generations of plants and animals have been included in the substance of those which God formed in the beginning. “And God made” confirms that the earth did not generate the animals by itself, as a result of some kind of inherent creative power; their formation is attributed here to the awesome power of God. The Holy Spirit would have us understand that the Creator, who is the absolute Master of nature, gave both to the earth and to animals all their fruitfulness and vigor: all life exists because of the effectiveness of God's omnipotence.

He also made them all after their kind, not only in a variety of shapes, but with a variety of natures, behaviors, appetites, and appearance. Some were made to be tame and live in or nearby the house, others to be wild and live in the fields—some living upon grass and herbs, others upon flesh—some harmless, and others dangerous—some bold, and others fearful—some for man's service, and not his food, such as the horse—others for his food, and not his service, such as the sheep—others for both, such as the ox--and some for neither, such as the wild beasts; lions, tigers, etc. All of this came through the manifold wisdom of the Creator.

When we look at the infinite variety of the animal kingdom (both living and extinct), we must be impressed with God’s creative power, as well as His sense of humor. Any Being who makes the giraffe, the platypus, and the peacock is a God of joy and humor. To a peahen, the most attractive peacocks are the ones with the biggest fans, but the big fan on the tail makes it difficult to escape a predator. Therefore, the peahen rewards the peacock with the least chance of survival. This is a great problem for the idea of “survival of the fittest.”
“According to its kind” is an important phrase; therefore, it is repeated to emphasize that God allows tremendous variation within a kind, but one “kind” will NEVER become another “kind.”

and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind:
“Cattle” is a term that represents all tame creatures, and “everything that creepeth” takes in all the reptiles of the earth: this clearly shows and proves that these creatures were not produced by the mere force of nature, or that the earth possessed these powers; but, instead, the declaration of Scripture is that they were created by the omnipotent hand of God.

and God saw that it was good.
“God saw” that every creature he had made would in some way or other be for his glory, and for the benefit of man. Here we have the same seal of Divine approval, as we had after the third days work—“And God saw that it was good.” The creation of the higher animals has been completed and the earth has been prepared for the arrival of man; to which, no doubt, the Creator's commendation of his finished work had a special meaning. Everything was in readiness for the work of art which was to bring to a close his creative labor and crown his completed universe.

26 And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


And God said,
Here we have the second part of the sixth day's work, the creation of man, and I think we need to pay special attention to what God has done, since it presents us with the opportunity to know more about ourselves. Man was the last of all the creatures that God made, and the reason may have been so that no one would suggest that he had, in any way, helped God create the world: That idea was put to bed forever when God asked Job this question—“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4; NKJV). That question must have been both humbling and embarrassing for him. But, in spite of that, it has become clear that it was both an honour and a favor for him to be made last: an honour, because that which was made, advanced from the less complex to that which was complicated, and like its maker. And it was a favor for him, because it was not fitting for him to live in the palace designed for him until it was completely finished and ready for him to move in. As soon as man was made he had all creation for his kingdom. Man was made the same day that the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth as theirs and, while he is in the body, he inhabits the earth with them; but he is over them and better than them, because he was made in the image and likeness of his Creator.

The importance assigned in the Biblical record to the creation of man is indicated by the manner in which it is introduced—“And God said, Let us make man.” Here the word used for God is the term Elohim, which suggests the fullness of the Divine personality, and foreshadows the doctrine of the Trinity (first introduced in Genesis 1:1). The term “us” has led to other interpretations by some notable Bible scholars. One opinion is that God counsels with the angels (Philo, Aben Ezra, Delitzsch); another says his council is with the earth (Maimonides, M. Gerumlius), although I cannot see how anyone could hold that opinion; and then there is the idea that He consulted with himself (Kalisch). But all of these opinions must be set aside in favor of that which is supported by the testimony of scripture; that man was created by a sublime consortium, which were the persons of the Godhead (Calvin, Macdonald, Murphy). The thing which this consortium contemplated was the construction of a new creature to be named Adam.

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
Here we evidently enter upon a higher scale of being. This is indicated by the counsel or common resolve to create, which is now for the first time introduced into the narrative. When the Creator says, “Let us make man,” He calls attention to the work by making it of paramount importance and something undertaken with deliberate purpose. Moreover, in the former commands of creation his words were related to the thing itself that was summoned into being; such as, “Let there be light;” or to some preexistent thing that was physically connected with the new creation; such as, “Let the land bring forth grass.” But now the language of the ultimatum of creation rises to the Creator himself: “Let us make man.” This implies that the new being with its higher nature is related not so much with any part of creation as it is with the Eternal Uncreated Himself.

The plural form of the sentence raises the question, “Who did He take council with on this occasion?” Was it with Him, and does He simply use the plural to express majesty? That was not the usual style of monarchs in the ancient East. Pharaoh says, “I have dreamed a dream” (Genesis 41:15). Nebuchadnezzar, “I have dreamed” (Daniel 2:3). Darius the Mede, “I make a decree” (Daniel 6:26). Cyrus, “The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth” (Ezra 1:2.) Darius, “I make a decree” (Ezra 5:8). We have no ground, therefore, for assigning it to the style of the heavenly King. Was it with certain other intelligent beings in existence before man that he took counsel? This supposition cannot be accepted; because the expression “let us make” is an invitation to create, which is an exclusive attribute of the Eternal God, and because the phrases, “our image,” and “our likeness” when transferred into the third person, become “his image” and “the image of God,” and thus limit the pronouns to God himself. Does the plurality, then, point to a plurality of attributes in the divine nature? This cannot be, because a plurality of qualities exists in everything, without leading to the application of the plural number to the individual, and because such a plurality does not warrant the expression, “let us make.” Only a plurality of persons can justify the phrase. Hence, we are forced to conclude that the plural pronoun indicates a plurality of persons in the Divine Being.

“Man” is a new species, essentially different from all other kinds on earth, since he is made “In our image, after our likeness.” He is to be related to heaven as no other creature on earth is. He is related to the Eternal Being himself. This relationship, however, is not in substance, but in design; not in essence, but in resemblance. This rules out all agnostic notions of the origin of man. “Image” is a word taken from rational things, and indicates likeness in outward form, while the material may be different. “Likeness” is a more general term, indicating resemblance in any quality, external or internal. Here it is descriptive of image, and seems to show that this term is to be taken in a figurative sense, to indicate not a material but a spiritual conformity to God. The Eternal Being is essentially self-manifesting. The appearance he presents to an eye suited to contemplate him is his image. The amalgamation of attributes which constitute His spiritual nature is his character or likeness.

We understand from this chapter that God is a spirit (see Genesis 1:2), that he thinks, speaks, wills, and acts (see Genesis 1:3-4, etc.). Here, then, are the great points of conformity of man to God, specifically, reason, speech, will, and power. By reason we understand real things by insight and awareness, and comprehend abstract truth, both philosophical and moral. By speech we make known to others the various objects of our contemplative faculties. By will we choose, determine, and resolve what is to be done. By power we act, either by giving expression to our concepts in words, or in deeds. In reason is found the distinction between good and evil (see Genesis 1:4 and Genesis 1:31).

It is evident that God intends to impress upon the mind a sense of something extraordinary in the formation of man’s body and soul, when He introduces the account of his creation with “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The little word “us,” and the slightly larger word “our,” is so very important to mankind, because it conveys the thought that all three members of the Godhead participated in man’s creation. John 1:1, which affirms that the Word was God, and in the beginning with God, and that without Him there was nothing made that hath been made, supports the thought that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (revealed in Genesis 1:2 as active in the creation) should be understood as included in "us" and "our" as presented here. Thus, it appears from the very beginning that God is represented as a compound unity.

It is the kinship of humanity to God Himself that makes man unique and extraordinary, a concept that is launched here and is never diminished. The feature of man that makes him unique and extraordinary is that in all of creation, he stands alone as the potential beneficiary of the blood of Christ and an heir of everlasting life.
 
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The relationship of man to the creature is expressed as that of sovereignty. Those faculties of right thinking, right motivation, and right acting, or of knowledge, holiness, and righteousness, in which man resembles God, qualify him for dominion, and make him lord of all creatures that are deficient in intellectual and moral capability. That's why; wherever man goes he makes his influence felt. He studies the objects around him, notes their qualities and associations, envisions and decides upon the purpose and outcome to be achieved, and endeavors to make everything within his reach work together to accomplish the purpose and outcome he envisioned. This is dominion and control on a limited scale. The sphere of his dominion is “the fish of the sea, the fowl of the skies, the cattle, the whole land, and everything that creepeth on the land.” The order in which they are listed here is from the lowest to the highest. The fish, and the fowl, are beneath the domestic cattle. Fish, foul, and cattle are of less importance than the land, which man tills and makes fruitful in order to satisfy his appetite or indulge his taste. The last and greatest victory of all is over the wild animals, which are included under the class of creeping things. Man is dominant over all creation, in spite of being weaker than many of the lesser creatures, practically defenseless until reaching adulthood, prone to sickness, and having few natural defenses. But there is nothing within the knowledge of man which he does not aspire to make subservient to his purposes. He has made the sea his highway, the stars his guide on the pathless ocean, the earth the treasury from which he extracts his precious and useful metals and much of his fuel, the rivers his source of power. These are proofs of the ever-growing influence of man. In this sense, it is sin if man does not use this dominion responsibly, in the sense of a proper regard for stewardship on this earth

God created man capable of governing the world, and we see God‘s tender care and parental concern for the comfort and well-being of this masterpiece of his workmanship, in creating the world before the creation of man. He prepared everything for his survival, convenience, and pleasure, before he brought him into being; you might say that He built the house, furnished it, and stocked it with food, by the time the predestined tenant was ready to occupy it. Consequently man was rich before he was born. But if God had such care for us before we existed, he will by no means leave us destitute of food and of other necessaries of life, now that we are placed in the world.

 It should be noted, that the plural number is used—"let them"—which shows that the name "man" is universal in the preceding clause, and includes male and female.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

So God created man in his own image,
That man was created “in the image of God” is repeated in the next clause, but it is not a vain or useless repetition, because it is a remarkable instance of the Divine goodness which can never be proclaimed too often. God created man according to His plan as described in Genesis 1:26. The concept of man being created “in the image of God” is repeated to give emphasis to the idea. We are clearly told God created man fully formed, and created him in one day, not gradually over millions of years of progressive evolution. The idea that a slow, progressive evolution could produce a complex mechanism like the human body just doesn’t hold up. It is said there would be at least 40 different stages of evolution required to form an eye. What possible benefit could there be for the first 39 stages? The mathematician D.S. Ulam argues it was highly improbable for the eye to evolve by the accumulation of small mutations, because the number of mutations must be so large and the time available was not nearly long enough for them to appear. Evolutionist Ernst Mayr commented: “Somehow or other by adjusting these figures we will come out all right. We are comforted by the fact that evolution has occurred.” Johnson observes: “Darwinism to them was not a theory open to refutation but a fact to be accounted for.” (Johnson)

Darwin wrote: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Professor Richard Goldschmidt, a geneticist at the University of California at Berkley, listed a series of complex structures (from the hair of mammals to hemoglobin) he thought could not have been produced by thousands of years of small mutations. “The Darwinists met this fantastic suggestion with savage ridicule. As Goldschmidt put it, ‘This time I was not only crazy but almost a criminal.’ . . . To suppose that such a random event could reconstruct even a single complex organ like a liver or kidney is about as reasonable as to suppose that an improved watch can be designed by throwing an old one against the wall.” (Johnson)

Man was made in God's image and after his likeness. Man was not made in the likeness of any creature that went before him, but in the likeness of his Creator, nevertheless, between God and man there is an infinite distance. Only Christ is the express image of God's person, the Son being the image of his Father, in that they have the same nature. It is only a little of God's honor that is put upon man, who is God's image, like a shadow is an image of the one who casts it. God's image upon man consists in these three things:
1. In his nature and spirit, not those of his body (since God does not have a body), but those of his soul. It is the soul, the great soul, of man, that does particularly bear God's image. The soul is a spirit, an intelligent immortal spirit, an influencing active spirit, and in this it resembles God, the Father of Spirits. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. The soul of man, when seen in its three faculties, understanding, will, and active power, is perhaps the brightest and clearest looking-glass in nature, in which to see God.
2. In his place and authority: Let us make man in our image, and let him have dominion. Since he has authority over the inferior creatures, he is, so to speak, God's representative upon earth. They are not capable of fearing and serving God, therefore God has assigned them to fear and serve man. However, his governing of himself by the freedom of his will has in it more of God's image than his governing of the creatures.
3. In his purity and morality. God's image upon man rests in his knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness.
Ephesians 4:24 (KJV): “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Col 3:10 (KJV) “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him”
Eccl 7:29 (KJV) “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”

The first man had a habitual conformity of all his natural powers to the will of God. He understood divine things, and there were no errors or mistakes in his knowledge. His will complied eagerly to the will of God, without reluctance or resistance. He had no extravagant appetites or passions. His thoughts were easily applied to the best subjects, and there was no vanity or rebelliousness in them. All his inferior powers were subject to the dictates and directions of the superior powers of God, without any mutiny or rebellion. As a consequence our first parents were holy and happy, because they had the image of God upon them. But little man, how far you have fallen! How greatly has this image of God upon man been defaced! How small it is now, and how much has it been damaged! I pray that the Lord will restore his image upon our souls by his sanctifying grace!

in the image of God created he him;
According to John 1:1, the Word of the Lord created man in His likeness; even that Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God, and in time became incarnate, by whom all things were made. In the preceding paragraphs it was shown that God’s image was placed on man: In his nature and spirit; in his place and authority; in his purity and morality. The “image of God” was also stamped upon both the form of his body, and the erect stature of it, which is different from all other creatures. This notion is in agreement with the idea that the body of man was prepared in anticipation of the incarnation of the Son of God, which the Triune God agreed should happen in the fulness of time. Jesus Christ would enter the world in the image and likeness of man, because man was made in the image and likeness of God; in the immortality of His soul, and in his intellectual powers, and in that purity, holiness, and righteousness in which he was created; as well as in his dominion, power, and authority over the creatures—he was God's representative, and resembled him.

“In the image of God created he him” is repeated to show the certainty of it, and to emphasize man's superior glory and dignity to the rest of the creatures—“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God…” (1 Cor 11:7; KJV). The phrase "the image of God" refers to the fact that man was made in the likeness of his Maker, and proves that, though fallen, there is a sense in which he is still the image of God. It is not because man is holy or pure, and thus resembles his Creator; but it evidently is because he was invested by his Maker with authority and dominion: he was superior to all other creatures. This is still maintained; and this is what the apostle evidently refers to in the passage before us, and this he says should be recognized and respected. He was the direct representative of God on the earth, and had superiority to all other creatures.

male and female created he them.
“Male and female created he them” does not mean that man was created an hermaphrodite, or with two bodies, back to back and joined together, and afterwards cut apart; but first God made man, or the male, out of the dust of the earth, and infused a rational soul into him; and then He made a female, or woman, out of one of his ribs. She was presented to him as his wife, so that their species would be able to produce offspring. Only one male and one female were created, to show that after this a man was to have only one wife at a time—“Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth” (Mal 2:15; NLT). The “one" in this verse refers to the conjugal one body formed by the original pair (see Genesis 2:24). God could have joined many wives as one with the one husband, because He had plenty of spiritual being that could have been imparted to others besides Eve; but the purpose of the restriction was to obtain a pious offspring. One object of the marriage union is to raise a seed for God and for eternity.

Man is only half himself without his female partner. The numerous generations of men that have overspread the earth descend from this original pair. How foolish and vain it is then for a man to take pride in his pedigree, when a poor beggar can claim the most noble ancestry, as a son of Adam, who was the son of God! “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:38; KJV). We have, in the literal sense, one Father; we are brethren of one family, the same blood runs in our veins, and therefore brotherly affection should be in our hearts for one another.

This passage of Genesis gives us an overview of God’s creation of man, and Genesis 2:1-25 will explain exactly how God created male and female.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God blessed them,
This blessing by God may be regarded as the source from which the human race has flowed. And we should consider it applying not only to mankind in general, but also, to individuals; since we are either fruitful or barren with respect to children, because God imparts his power to produce offspring to some and withholds it from others. But here Moses is simply saying that Adam and his wife, Eve, were formed for the production of offspring, in order that men might replenish the earth. God could have, if He had chosen to do so, covered the earth with many millions of men and women; but it was his preference that we should go forth from one fountain (one couple), in order that our desire for mutual harmony and peace might be great, and so that each individual might freely embrace the other as his own flesh and blood. Besides, since men were created to inhabit the earth, we ought to assume that God has made the earth a suitable abode for them. Anything which is contrary to this arrangement is a corruption of nature which proceeds from sin.

This blessing has endured and is still in effect, and the result is that men have made their home in every part of the globe. Now, concerning marriage, we must keep in mind that God intends the human race to be multiplied by age group, but not by promiscuous intercourse, which is the manner of animals. God has joined the man to his wife, so that they might produce a divine, that is, a legitimate seed.

This divine blessing differs from that given the lower animals primarily in the element of supremacy. Power is presumed to belong to man‘s nature, according to the counsel of the Maker‘s will (see Genesis 1:26). But without a special permission he cannot exercise any lawful authority, since the other creatures are as independent of him as he is of them. Man is on equal footing with the other creatures, since he does not have any natural advantages over the other creatures. Therefore, he needs to receive from high heaven a formal proclamation of power over the things that were made for man. He is therefore authorized, by these words of the Creator, to exercise his power in subduing the earth and ruling over the animal kingdom. This is the intended outcome of his being created in the image of God. Man was created for dominion, and the earth and its various products and inhabitants are assigned to him for the display of his powers. The subduing and ruling do not refer merely to supplying his natural needs, which is provided for in the following verse, but to the accomplishment of scientific discoveries and performing acts of kindness, whether towards the inferior animals or his own race. It is the part of intellectual and moral reason to use one’s power for the accomplishment of both general and personal good. The power and influence of man ought to be used to benefit mankind and the other creations of God.

The blessing of God placed mankind under His special protection, and gave them power to propagate and multiply their own kind on the earth. A large book indeed, would be insufficient to contain what we know about the accomplishments of man, even in his present degraded fallen state. Both his body and soul are custom-made with astonishing wisdom. The construction, action, and re-action of the different parts of the body, show the admirable skill of the wondrous Creator; while the various powers and faculties of the mind, acting on and by the different organs of this body, proclaim the soul‘s Divine origin, and demonstrate that he who was made in the image and likeness of God, was a copy of His own excellence, and destined to know, love, and dwell with his Maker throughout eternity.

Without the goodness of God’s blessing, human life would be not only unbearable, but also impossible.

and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth:
If this is not an direct command, which is how the Jews understand it, for marriage and producing children, it seems to be more than simply permission; at the least it is advice about what was proper and appropriate for the increase of mankind, and for the filling of the earth with inhabitants, which was the purpose for which it was made—“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18; KJV). This shows that marriage is an ordinance of God, instituted in paradise, and is honourable; and that procreation is a natural action, and may be performed without sin,

Be fruitful, and multiply,
The procreation and nurture of the continuing generations of mankind upon earth is a God-ordained privilege and commandment. God also gives man a job to do: fulfill God’s intention for man’s exercise of dominion over the earth. Inherent in this command is that man should “be fruitful and multiply.”

God, having made them capable of passing on the nature they had received, said to them, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” With this pronouncement, he gave them:
1. A large inheritance: Replenish the earth is a directive that is bestowed upon mankind. They were made “to dwell upon the face of all the earth” (Acts 17:26). This is the place where God has placed man to be the servant of his divine will, to govern the inferior creatures, to give praises to his creator—“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee” (Psalms 145:10; KJV)—and, lastly, to serve a kind of probation, before going on to either a better state, or a worse state.
2. A numerous lasting family, to enjoy this inheritance. God has pronounced a blessing upon them by which their posterity would extend to the furthest corners of the earth and continue for the longest period of time. Fruitfulness and increase depend upon the blessing of God: Obed-edom had eight sons, “for God blessed him” (1 Chronicles 26:5). It is due to this blessing, which God decreed at creation, that the race of mankind is still in existence, and that as one generation passeth away another cometh.

and replenish the earth,
"Replenish the earth" does not depict a re-population of the earth, but the spread of mankind throughout the world. There is no record of previous populations that sometimes are alleged to have existed prior to humanity. The passage should be translated, "Fill the earth and subdue it."

Man cannot fulfill God’s plan for him on the earth unless he populates it.
1. Additionally, God gave mankind a desire for sex, which would make the populating of the earth rapid and probable.
2. However, many have thought that being fruitful and multiplying was God’s only or chief purpose for sex, but this isn’t the case. The primary reason God created sex was to contribute to the bonding of man with woman to form a one-flesh relationship.
3. Animals have sexual relations only for reproduction, but human sexual response is different from animal sexual response in many ways. Human ovulation has no outward sign; humans have sex in private; humans have secondary sexual characteristics (only in humans do females develop breasts before the first birth). Only humans demonstrate a constant availability for an interest in sex, as opposed to a “heat” season in animals. In humans, the duration of the sexual interlude is longer and the intensity of the pleasure of sex is stronger, and only humans continue to have intercourse after the end of fertility. None of these specifically human aspects of sex are required for reproduction, but all of them are useful for sex as a tool of bonding.

and subdue it:
“And subdue it” does not mean that it was in the hands of others, who had no right to it, and who must be conquered and have it taken out of their hands; but rather to make use of it by tilling the land, and making it useful to man.

“Subdue it” corroborates what he had said before with respect to dominion. Man had already been created with this stipulation, that he should bring the earth under his control; but now, he is put in possession of his right, when he hears what has been given to him by the Lord. And Moses reinforces this thought in the next verse, when he says God has given to him the herbs and the fruits. It is important that we understand that everything we have and everything He will give us in the future comes from the hand of God. And therefore Paul teaches us that when we eat and drink we sin, unless we have faith, “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23; KJV). If we need something, we should ask Him for it, and when we use His gifts, we should acknowledge His goodness and fatherly care.

Some conclude from this passage that men ate only herbs and fruits and that it was unlawful for them to eat flesh until the flood. This is probably true, because God confines the food of mankind within certain limits. Then after the deluge, he specifically grants them the use of flesh. The reasoning behind this view, however, is not very strong: because those on the opposite side can argue that the first men offered sacrifices from their flocks. Moreover, the law of sacrificing does not allow any sacrifice that has not been given for our use.  Finally, men were clothed in animal skins; therefore it was lawful for them to kill animals. God certainly did not intend that man should be meagerly sustained; but rather, by these words, He promises a liberal abundance of plant and animal life, which He was supposed to subdue and make use of as part of a gratifying and pleasant life.

Man by his superior wisdom has been given methods to make the fiercest animals yield, and the strongest to serve him; and he has dominion over all the animals, which has been granted by God himself. The commission He received was to utilize for his necessities the vast resources of the earth, by agricultural and mining operations, by geographical research, scientific discovery, and mechanical invention. 

and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
With these words, God gave to man, when he made him, a universal and unlimited dominion over the inferior creatures, over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and they are echoed in Psalms 8.6—“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” Although man provides for neither the “fish of the sea” or “the fowl of the air,” he has power over both, and even much more power over every living thing that moveth upon the earth, which are more commonly under his care and within his reach. God intended for this blessing to put an honour upon man, so that he might be more strongly obliged to bring honour to his Maker. This dominion was greatly diminished by the fall, and yet God's providence continues to give safety and support to mankind, and God's grace has given to the saints a new and better title to the creatures than that which was forfeited by sin for all is ours if we are Christ's—“Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours” (1 Cor 3:22; KJV).
• Or the world. “The world” is used to denote the things which God has made; the universe, the things which pertain to this life. And the meaning of the apostle probably is, that all things pertaining to this world which God has made—all the events which are occurring by His providence were theirs, to be used for their advantage and their enjoyment.
• Or life. Life is theirs to enjoy, and the various events and occurrences of life all tend to promote their welfare, and advance their salvation.
• Death. They do not fear death, although it is usually regarded as a calamity and a curse. But it is theirs:
o Because they shall have peace and support in the hour of their death.
o Because it has no terrors for them. It shall take away nothing which they are not willing to give up.
o Because it is the avenue which leads to their eternal rest.
o Because they shall triumph over it. It was subdued by Christ when He rose from the grave.
o Because death is the means by which they are translated to a world of glory.
• Or things present, or things to come. Events which are now happening and everything that can possibly happen to us.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39; KJV).
• All are yours.  All shall tend to promote your comfort and salvation.

Psalms 8:1-9 echoes this original sovereignty bestowed on man.