c) Gen 1:24–25: Moses wrote, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living things according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so.”

“The sixth day” corresponds with “a third day,”[1] as the inhabitants of dry land appeared.[2] God produced living creatures from the earth, paralleling his creation of vegetation.[3]

These animals came forth “according to their kind” and fall into three categories.[4]

The first type (behemah) usually refers to domestic animals. However, it occasionally depicts wild beasts, such as birds, fish, and carnivores.[5]

A second category (remes) means “creeping/ moving things,” although it too can apply to all animals, including sea creatures.[6] Carnivores often feed upon them.[7]

The third group (hayyah) can mean any “living thing,”[8] although it typically refers to predators.[9]

In Gen 1:28, God jointly described these divisions as “every living thing which moves on the earth.”

By constructing plants and creatures which he designed to self-propagate “according to their kind,” the Creator produced creators.[10]

Since the Lord imbued them with his own creative ability, he enabled them to honor God as they used that gift. Nevertheless, if the Lord withdrew from sustaining the world, all would perish.[11]

Commentators remain divided over the reason for the lack of a divine blessing in these verses. Possibly God blessed sea creatures and fowl in Gen 1:22 because they inhabit different spheres from people and pose little threat to humanity,[12] whereas an abundance of predatory beasts could endanger survival (Exod 23:29; Lev 26:21–22).

On the other hand, the blessing in Gen 1:28–30 might include the fertility of all those created on the sixth day.[13]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Read Gen 1:24–25. What types of creatures were formed on the sixth day? Why do you think God did not speak words of blessing over the land animals?




Go to Introduction to Chapter 3


[Related posts include Dry Ground Appears (Gen 1:9–13); The Breath of Life Extinguished (Gen 7:21–24); Bring Them Out (Gen 8:15–19); and Author and Date of Genesis]


[Click here to to go Chapter 2: God Creates Inhabitants for His Cosmic Temple (Genesis 1:14–25)]


[1] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 25.

[2] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 132.

[3] Walton, Genesis, 127.

[4] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 25.

[5] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “בְּהֵמָה” (behemah), BDB, 96–7, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/96/mode/2up.

[6] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “רֶ֫מֶשׂ” (remes), BDB, 943, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/942/mode/2up.

[7] Walton, Genesis, 127.

[8] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “חַיָּה” (hayyah), BDB, 312, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/312/mode/2up.

[9] Walton, Genesis, 127.

[10] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 132. Note that the Hebrew verb for how God created differs from the words used to describe human and animal propagation.

[11] Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, 58–9.

[12] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 64.

[13] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 26.