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The 5th Day

Genesis 1:20–23 (ESV)  20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”   21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its 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 birds multiply on the earth.”   23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

God had “formed it [the earth] to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18); and the fifth and sixth days were to be devoted to this final work of creation.

  • Isaiah 45:18 (ESV)  18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • Plankton, invertebrates (sea slugs, sea anemones, starfish, octopi, clams, sponges, sea worms, crabs, and lobsters.), fish, reptiles (sea snakes, sea turtles, salt water crocodiles), marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals, etc)

The word “life” occurs for the first time in this verse (Hebrew nephesh). Actually, this is the word also for “soul,” and is frequently used to refer to both the soul of man and the life of animals.

  • In the Biblical sense, plants do not have real life, or soul (or consciousness); but both animals and men do.
  • Plants are alive
  • Animals are alive and have “soul” (animation)
  • Man is alive and has “soul” and eternal spirit

Along with animals for the water sphere, there also appeared animals for the air sphere: birds to fly in, literally, the “face of the firmament of heaven.”

Animal life was not simply “brought forth” from the earth or water, as was true for plant life.

The first animals specifically mentioned as the product of this act of creation were the “great whales,” or “great sea-monsters,” as most translations render the Hebrew word tannin.

  • It is significant, however, that this same word is most frequently translated “dragon.”
  • Evidently the term includes all large sea-creatures, even the monsters of the past that are now extinct.
  • The frequent references to dragons in the Bible, as well as in the early records and traditions of most of the nations of antiquity, certainly cannot be shrugged off as mere fairy tales.
  • Most probably they represent memories of dinosaurs handed down by tribal ancestors who encountered them before they became extinct.
  • Dragon myths and legends and symbols in every culture throughout all history

The types of animals mentioned in this passage are apparently intended to include every inhabitant of the waters and atmosphere.

1:20 living creatures. These creatures, including the extraordinarily large ones, included all sorts of fish and mammals, even dinosaurs (see notes on Job 40:15–41:34).

Job 40:15–41:34 (ESV)  15 “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you;…  

40:1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?   …”


God not only declared that His work was good, but also pronounced a blessing on the animals He had created.

  • Though not an object of God’s love as man would be, animals nevertheless are objects of His care and concern.

22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

The blessing included both a command and a provision for the continued multiplication of the animals He had created, so that they would soon occupy all parts of the world.

Once again it is obvious that the orthodox evolutionary order is not the same as the order of creation recorded here in Genesis.

  • Evolutionary theory says that marine organisms evolved first, then land plants, later birds.
  • Genesis says that land plants came first, then marine creatures and birds simultaneously.
  • The Bible confronts you with a choice to believe or not

Doesn’t the fossil record show these creatures slowly evolved into existence, instead of suddenly appearing?

  • The fossil record totally rejects the idea of millions of tiny changes; the quick leaps (punctuated equilibrium) are a way of attributing miraculous power to “chance” or “nature” instead of God.
  • It seems far more rational to believe in a wise, creating, designing God.

Genesis: Origins, Beginnings

In the Beginning (time), God (force), created (action),
the Heavens (space), and the Earth (matter).

A loving, eternal, all powerful, personal God
created us in His image for a purpose
Nothing  X Nobody = EVERYTHING

The plain meaning of Genesis is unmistakable.

  • Let the Bible determine your system of belief…
  • Or bring your system of belief to the Bible and make the Bible fit it.

“The only proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is not to ‘interpret’ it at all. That is, we accept the fact that it was meant to say exactly what it says.” (Morris)

“Where the Bible makes plain sense,
seek no other sense,
lest you turn it into nonsense”.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy BibleEnglish Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Biblecopyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.