In a second set of three days, God created the inhabitants of the cosmos which he had formed on the first triad of days.

On the fourth day, God spoke to generate the lights of the heavens (Gen 1:14–19), paralleling the creation of light on the first day (Gen 1:3–5). These lights enabled vision and set both the secular and religious calendars.

People tracked the movement of the stars to synchronize the lunar and the solar calendars. In contrast to the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) focus upon worshiping these lights as gods, the Lord created them to serve.

Day five harmonizes with day two.

On the second day, God separated the sky from the waters (Gen 1:6–8). Then on the fifth day, he created the inhabitants of those environments: aquatic creatures and birds,[1] including “tannin,” “the great sea monsters” (Gen 1:20–23).[2]

Moses’s original audience would have associated these with the forces of anarchy who ruled the cosmic waters in ANE creation epics.[3] However, these monsters were not chaotic rivals of God but creatures whom the Lord had made,[4] living under their creator’s command.[5]

He wrote, “And God saw that it was good” and the Lord blessed them.

On the sixth day, the Lord brought forth living creatures from the earth to live upon the dry ground which appeared on the third day (Gen 1:9–13, 24–25).

These animals separate into three categories: domestic animals, prey, and predators. Together, they comprise “every living thing which moves on the earth.”

By constructing plants and creatures which self-propagate “according to their kind,” the Creator produced creators.[6]

Image via Wikimedia Commons



Go to Let Us Make Humanity

[Related posts include Let There Be Light (Gen 1:3–5); God Separates the Waters (Gen 1:6–8); Dry Ground Appears (Gen 1:9–13); Greater and Lesser Lights (Gen 1:14–19); Inhabitants of the Sea and Sky (Gen 1:20–23); Living Things from the Earth (Gen 1:24–25); and Author and Date of Genesis]

[Click here to go to Chapter 3: The Image of God (Genesis 1:26–31)]


[1]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 220.

[2]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 24.

[3]Walton, Genesis, 126–7.

[4]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 24.

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

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