Fishes and Fowls Created Part 1 of 3 (Genesis Series)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

May 24, 2013

Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe


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 lies 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.

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