The sixth day of Creation.
Genesis 1: 24-31
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Verse 24 uses the world livestock. It comes from: בְּהֵמָה bᵉhêmâh, be-hay-maw’; from an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly, a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collective):—beast, cattle.
“Creeping things” comes from: רֶמֶשׂ remes, reh’-mes; from H7430; a reptile or any other rapidly moving animal:—that creepeth, creeping (moving) thing.
“Beasts of the earth” comes from a different root word than livestock. It is: חַי chay, khah’-ee; from H2421; alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively:— age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life(-time), live(-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, merry, multitude, (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.
In verse 25, we see those three broad categories of created things used again: בְּהֵמָה bᵉhêmâh (livestock / cattle), רֶמֶשׂ remes (reptiles / creeping thing), and חַי chay (living creatures.)
In verse 26, “man” is introduced: אָדַם ʼâdam, aw-dam’; from H119; ruddy i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.):—× another, hypocrite, common sort, × low, man (mean, of low degree), person.
“in Our image” צֶלֶם tselem, tseh’-lem; from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol:—image, vain shew.
“according to Our likeness”: דְּמוּת dᵉmûwth, dem-ooth’; from H1819; resemblance; concretely, model, shape; adverbially, like:—fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude.
“and let them rule” רָדָה râdâh, raw-daw’; a primitive root; to tread down, i.e. subjugate; specifically, to crumble off:—(come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule,(-r, over), take.
In verse 27, this is restated and it is clarified that He created “male” זָכָר zâkâr, zaw-kawr’; from H2142; properly, remembered, i.e. a male (of man or animals, as being the most noteworthy sex):—× him, male, man(child, -kind). AND “female” נְקֵבָה nᵉqêbâh, nek-ay-baw’; from H5344; female (from the sexual form):—female.
In verse 28, we are told that God “blessed” them: בָּרַךְ bârak, baw-rak’; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason):—× abundantly, × altogether, × at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, × greatly, × indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, × still, thank.
“be fruitful” פָּרָה pârâh, paw-raw’; a primitive root; to bear fruit (literally or figuratively):—bear, bring forth (fruit), (be, cause to be, make) fruitful, grow, increase.
“and multiply” רָבָה râbâh, raw-baw’; a primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect):—(bring in) abundance (× -antly), archer (by mistake for H7232), be in authority, bring up, × continue, enlarge, excel, exceeding(-ly), be full of, (be, make) great(-er, -ly, × -ness), grow up, heap, increase, be long, (be, give, have, make, use) many (a time), (any, be, give, give the, have) more (in number), (ask, be, be so, gather, over, take, yield) much (greater, more), (make to) multiply, nourish, plenty(-eous), × process (of time), sore, store, thoroughly, very.
“and subdue” כָּבַשׁ kâbash, kaw-bash’; a primitive root; to tread down; hence, negatively, to disregard; positively, to conquer, subjugate, violate:—bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection. [Sidenote: Is this root word the origin of the mysterious English word, “kibosh“?]
“and rule” רָדָה râdâh, raw-daw’; a primitive root; to tread down, i.e. subjugate; specifically, to crumble off:—(come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule,(-r, over), take.
In verse 29: “I have given”: נָתַן nâthan, naw-than’; a primitive root; to give, used with greatest latitude of application (put, make, etc.):—add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, × avenge, × be (healed), bestow, bring (forth, hither), cast, cause, charge, come, commit, consider, count, cry, deliver (up), direct, distribute, do, × doubtless, × without fail, fasten, frame, × get, give (forth, over, up), grant, hang (up), × have, × indeed, lay (unto charge, up), (give) leave, lend, let (out), lie, lift up, make, O that, occupy, offer, ordain, pay, perform, place, pour, print, × pull, put (forth), recompense, render, requite, restore, send (out), set (forth), shew, shoot forth (up), sing, slander, strike, (sub-) mit, suffer, × surely, × take, thrust, trade, turn, utter, weep, willingly, withdraw, would (to) God, yield. [If there are any readers out there named “Nathan” this is your word.]
“that is on the surface” פָּנִים pânîym, paw-neem’; plural (but always as singular) of an unused noun פָּנֶה pâneh; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.):— accept, a-(be-) fore(-time), against, anger, × as (long as), at, battle, because (of), beseech, countenance, edge, employ, endure, enquire, face, favour, fear of, for, forefront(-part), form(-er time, -ward), from, front, heaviness, × him(-self), honourable, impudent, in, it, look(-eth) (-s), × me, meet, × more than, mouth, of, off, (of) old (time), × on, open, out of, over against, the partial, person, please, presence, prospect, was purposed, by reason of, regard, right forth, serve, × shewbread, sight, state, straight, street, × thee, × them(-selves), through ( -out), till, time(-s) past, (un-) to(-ward), upon, upside ( down), with(-in, -stand), × ye, × you.
“food” אׇכְלָה ʼoklâh, ok-law’; feminine of H401; food:—consume, devour, eat, food, meat.
In verse 30, “green” יֶרֶק yereq, yeh’-rek; from H3417 (in the sense of vacuity of color); properly, pallor, i.e. hence, the yellowish green of young and sickly vegetation; concretely, verdure, i.e. grass or vegetation:—grass, green (thing).
We see in these verses that human beings are not like the rest of creation. Mankind is the first creation made in the Creator’s image. David Guzik has this to say about that distinction:
i. This means there is an unbridgeable gap between human life and animal life. Though we are biologically similar to certain animals, we are distinct in our moral, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities.
ii. This means there is also an unbridgeable gap between human life and angelic life. Nowhere are we told the angels are made in the image of God. Angels cannot have the same kind of relationship of love and fellowship with God we can have.
iii. This means the incarnation was truly possible. God (in the Second Person of the Trinity) could really become man, because although deity and humanity are not the same, they are compatible.
iv. This means human life has intrinsic value, quite apart from the “quality of life” experienced by any individual, because human life is made in the image of God.
In Abraham Cohen’s work, “Everyman’s Talmud” we are told that the explanation for human origins with a single man – as opposed to a crowd of Adams – is:
“Because of the righteous and the wicked, that the righteous should not say ‘we are the descendants of a righteous ancestor’ and the wicked say ‘we are the descendants of a wicked ancestor’.” The moral is that “neither can plead hereditary influence as the deciding factor in their character”. “Man was first created a single individual to teach the lesson that whoever destroys one life, Scripture ascribes it to him as though he had destroyed a whole world; and whoever saves one life, Scripture ascribes it to him as though he had saved a whole world.”
A lot of vegetarians and vegans are quick to note that the Chapter 1 plan of creation, for all created entities, is to subsist on green things and fruit. Genesis will return to this topic in a couple of chapters and we will look at it more closely there.
A lot of modern readers take issue with the creation account of Genesis because it leaves them with so many unanswered questions:
What do we do with the idea of human “evolution” here? Is there room in this account for both the idea that God created a fully formed human as well as the idea that God created a primate that evolved into a fully formed human? And what of the archaeological record? (Modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans, Cro-Magnon Man, etc.)
That concludes our look at Genesis Chapter 1. However, we are not done with Creation. There is some business with Eve and a rib and whatnot coming up.