That being said, among all the living creatures (humanity included), isn't it quite funny that the Lord didn't bless the land beasts with reproduction and multiplication? In Genesis 1:24-25 He just created them without giving them the blessing to reproduce...

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

...unlike the sea and sky creatures (vv. 21-22) and humankind (vv. 27-28).

21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, 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 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

I've been studying the Creation account in Genesis 1 and am confused. I'd like to hear thoughts as to why you think that is, since the Bible doesn't mention anything about it.

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    Probably for stylistic reasons (we'd have two similar blessings on the same day, which seems aesthetically cumbersome).
    – Lucian
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 19:59
  • That's a really great way of looking at it, @Lucian. Please turn your comment into an answer and I'll note that as the most reasonable one. :D
    – Philip
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 3:48

12 Answers 12


After the physical universe was created on the fourth day, God finished each day by adding a blessing:

Fifth Day:
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22) [ESV]

Sixth Day:
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.” (Genesis 1:28)

Seventh Day:
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:3)

With the advantage of examining all of creation, we can see that in each case God blessed what He had authority over at the time. Timing is significant because on the sixth day, God's blessing of man also comes with His giving man authority over the fish of the sea, birds of the air and over every living thing that move on the ground. Since God "relinquished" authority of these parts of creation to man, God did not bless them. The implication is, man who has authority should bless them. In other words, just as God blessed man, man should bless the animals. In a similar vein, man who had previously named the animals (a "premature" use of authority), should also bless them.

This does necessarily mean the land animals were not blessed because the command to observe the Sabbath implies a blessing on the seventh day:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

The Israelites were previously instructed to observe the Sabbath (Exodus 16), so this command makes the Sabbath to a "corporate" rest. Observing the Sabbath is no longer simply an individual experience; one must ensure their family, their servants, and their livestock also rest. The reason: man is to follow God's example from creation; that is, all creation rested on the seventh day.1

Therefore, just as God ensured everything rested on the seventh day, His blessing of the seventh day would "cover" all of creation, and, since everything which moves on the ground did increase and multiply, this blessing had the same effect as the individual blessing fish and birds received on the fifth day and man received on the sixth day.

1. Interestingly there is no mention of fish or birds resting. This may be a reflection of the physical impracticality of such a command. However, man is exempt from ensuring rest for the two types of life which were blessed on the fifth day and so the Sabbath does serve as a weekly reminder of man's authority, and potential misuse, or failure to use authority, over every type of animal which God gave authority.

  • What do you mean by premature use of authority? +1 Very good answer.
    – Austin
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:04
  • @Austin Premature in the sense giving them names is a use of authority before authority had been given. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:13
  • Thanks for replying. Where do you get the idea that Adam named the animals before he had the authority from God to do so?
    – Austin
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:27
  • @Austin The naming takes place before the first woman. The plan to give man authority is stated before either the man or woman were made but the authority was given after both were made. Since the naming takes before the woman, it was done before God spoke to them about the authority. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 5:05

That’s a very very interesting detail you point out. I’ve not considered that until you’ve mentioned it

Here is my interpretation. The land animals were blessed but by man.

“And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Notice how blessing, increase (great nation) and name are used in conjunction with each other. Likewise happened in the garden

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its NAME. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Adam named the animals but I guess the omitting is intentional to show emphasis that humans that share the same domain as the land creatures specifically pronounced the blessing over them, thereby reinforcing HUMAN dominion over land animals.

Dominion was given to man over all creation but I feel that this was a deliberate attempt at drawing attention to a number of aspects including that man was able like his Creator to give names and to pronounce blessings.

Also I would add this. Man was not created on the fifth day together with the sea animals and birds, so it re-enforces the fact that what man cannot or is unable to do, the Creator does and sets up a reference model. In fact He didn’t see waiting 24 hours for man as appropriate but once man is able to do something he is expected to do it and was given specific instructions on what to do. Again notice the animals were brought to man, probably because that too indicated something he was not able to do. Certainly man wouldn’t have known when all the animals were named because he didn’t know how many there were created in all.


He didn't? Land animals were not created with the ability to reproduce? Is that what you are suggesting? Or, are you suggesting that their ability to reproduce was not blessed by God? Or, are you suggesting that they were not blessed with reproductive powers until a later stage in the narrative? Or are you suggesting that their ability to reproduce was a curse, and not a blessing?

Until that wee list of questions is cleared up, the question is ambiguous, requiring further clarification.

There have been eight answers so far, all with their merits (some more meritorious than others), and perhaps the best answer is one that combines all possible ways of looking at the peculiarity you have raised. That would result in this list:

  1. Because of the later Flood, God's blessing of land creatures was reserved till then (Gen. 6:19 cited by the answerer, though before the Flood, they were already male and female. Plus, birds were also brought into the ark despite having been blessed at creation, so bang goes that theory.)

  2. Earth could not have supported dinosaurs reproducing, also God would not bless reproduction of serpents (symbolic of Satan) and creeping things. (Problems here too: what about carnivorous dinosaurs? That would require their prey to reproduce to avoid extinction. Also, to save the planet becoming a cess-pit, untold trillions of wee beasties and bacteria are needed. Dinosaurs drop a lot of dung.)

  3. The "mayim" (waters) "brought forth" (became the habitat of) two types of living creatures..." answer had me sunk. It majored on the blessing of sea and air creatures, but said precious little about land animals, only adding that God "did not curse the waters" (though he cursed the earth. That hardly answers the question.)

  4. The main focus was on man while beasts of the earth are said to be ignorant and uncomprehending (scriptures cited), so man is given the blessing to reproduce. The answerer thinks the animals were blessed; it just wasn't mentioned due to the focus being on man's blessing. (Problem there: the Bible tells man to go to the ant, to learn from it, and also favourably mentions amazing things about other land creatures.) But the idea of the blessing focusing on man does seem reasonable.

  5. The idea is that "had God blessed ‘the creeping things’, how could he then turn around and pronounce a curse on one? Wouldn't seem right." The serpent was cursed, yes, but not prevented from reproducing. (This does not deal with the simple fact that all land animals and creeping things reproduce. The question is about reproducing, so the curse on the serpent was not to prevent snakes reproducing.)

  6. Because man is made in the image of God, and his will is known to man, the idea is raised that "The animals obey this as if God did command them". (Problems - how do animals obey the will of God in relation to man? The matter in question is reproduction, but pointing out falling human birth rates in some parts of the world today does not address the state of reproduction in animals in Genesis.)

  7. At the end of Days 5, 6 & 7, God blessed "all that he had authority over, at the time," the idea being that he'd given authority to earthly creation to Adam. Ex.20:10 is invoked to say [domestic] animals were included in the blessing of rest on sabbath days. (More problems, as God delegating responsibilities does not equate with him relinquishing his authority overall. Also, non-domestic animals and creeping things don't come under sabbath-rest blessings; and precious few domestic animals have ever been rested one day a week. Most of humanity has mercilessly worked them to death.)

  8. The point is made that "humans that share the same domain as the land creatures specifically pronounced the blessing over them". By naming them? (Difficulty - what has that got to do with land creatures being blessed with reproducing - or not?)

I'm not a lot further forward with trying to answer the question, except to be glad it was raised, for it's worthy of consideration. Also, I've noted the point raised that man was not created at the same time as sea creatures and birds, but as the climax of the land animals. There might be mileage in that point.

My answer (so far) is that if the question dropped any supposed link of blessing with reproduction, matters might become clearer. After all, nobody can deny the fact that land animals and creeping things all reproduce at a great rate, and as far as human history goes back, there is testimony to that fact. However, given the way God makes animals accountable to him if they kill humans (Genesis 9:1-17) just as is man who sheds man's blood, and how man was then permitted to eat animal flesh as long as it didn't have blood in it, with fear of man coming on the animals, this is significant with regard to blessing. Those verses show the rainbow covenant blessing included all creatures, fowl, and fish, not just man. So, this would need to come as the conclusion to a basic question about God's blessing on all his creatures in Eden.

This might be a good time for someone to raise a fresh question (in case the PO is no longer around to select the most useful answer), hopefully a question that would not give rise to the 4 main questions I mentioned in my para. 1 that show the difficulties the question (as it stands) raises.


There is a simpler answer. God DID give animals etc. the power to reproduce, which means that he DID bless them. For that is what "blessing" means- the gift of life. When God "blessed the latter days of Job", what that means is that his life was extended and living things were multiplied around him- that is, children and domestic animals (Job ch42 vv10-17). Similarly when the patriarchs were blessed.

The real difference between the two cases is that the blessing of mankind was important enough to be annnounced explicitly and highlighted (Genesis ch1 v28), while the blessing of other living things was left to be inferred, as something less important.

How is this difference to be explained? Surely from v26; God created man in his own image for the purpose of giving him dominion over the living things of the world. But this dominion would only become possible when the human species was on the scene in large numbers. So man was told to be fruitful and multiply in order to "fill the earth and subdue it". The blessing of man is announced explicitly because it is more important for God's purpose in delegating dominion.


The reason I believe God did not bless the animals was that He knew he would be using one of these perfect creatures as a sacrifice, to cover the shame of Adam and Eve. Imagine that he just created everything perfect and so when man sinned did it cause everything else to spoil so to speak ? My answer would be No. so then when he used this animal for its skin to cover shame he was revealing the coming of Christ who would one day cover the worlds shame.

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  • Which one animal was a sacrifice to cover the shame of Adam and Eve?
    – JoelFan
    Commented Feb 1 at 13:52

You will notice that God blesses and tells to multiply the creatures of Heaven that have the breath of life... "that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."

They are blessed because they are above the earth in heaven. As all God's people are.

Those that are not blessed are not in, or from heaven...they are from the Earth which is below. Just as Jesus announced, "I am from above...you are from below."

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind..."

You see there is no blessing or wish to multiply creatures (Man) who have sprung from the Earth ... but great blessings and proliferation for the people of heaven.

It is necessary to see the Words of God with eyes that see, and sometimes as Jesus pointed out with the eyes of a child. Human beings in the Bible are very often referred to as having the characteristics of animals. If I say David was a lion, that means he had the characteristics of a lion. Once we see the beautiful language God has used to conceal mysteries...we see that the concealment is only for those who have not developed the required inner vision.

The trees referred to as producing fruit and seeds after their own kind, are a parallel and reference to the Tree of Life and the Tree of Good and Evil later mentioned in the Eden story.

I am sure we will have no difficulty understanding why God blesses the fruit of the Tree of Life but withholds his blessing from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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    – agarza
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 20:52

Maybe He did; He was just oinking and mooing at the time, so we couldn't understand it and it didn't make its way into the Bible because Moses didn't speak "oinkish". But, animals certainly behave as if He did.

This is quite a funny thing you found, though.

To be serious, I would generally interpret this with Man being the Image of God (Gen 1:27) and that the Bible clarifies God's will for us in this regard. The animals obey this as if God did command them, which is more than can be said for Western civilization with its declining birthrate. We do tend to have trouble with obedience, more so than the animals.

That's my take. Kudos for an awesome observation!


Well, after pondering this for a while, and seeking guidance from Scripture, here is what I conclude.

Genesis 1:24-25 (NET) - 1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” It was so. 1:25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good.

In this list is the inclusion of creeping things. I am going to say God could not bless creeping things because in Genesis 3:14, he pronounces a curse on the serpent, whom the devil inhabited to deceive Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:14 (NET) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life.

Having prior knowledge, had God blessed ‘the creeping things’, how could he then turn around and pronounce a curse on one? Wouldn't seem right.


I think that perhaps the reason an explicit blessing isn't mentioned for the land animals is because the main focus is on man. That isn't to say the land animals weren't also blessed—just that it wasn't mentioned in that particular passage.

Man is higher than the other animals and is capable of greater understanding:

Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

-Psalm 32:9 (NKJV)

13 The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s?
14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground,
And warms them in the dust;
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them,
Or that a wild beast may break them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers;
Her labor is in vain, without concern,
17 Because God deprived her of wisdom,
And did not endow her with understanding

-Job 39:13-17 (NKJV)

Another example of this is after the Flood:

15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

-Genesis 8:15-17 (NKJV)

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

-Genesis 9:1 (NKJV)

Here we see that even though God does indeed want the birds, cattle, and creeping things to be fruitful and multiply, an explicit blessing to do so is only mentioned for Noah and his sons a few verses later in chapter 9.

Everything considered, I do think the land animals were blessed in Genesis 1, but that it just wasn't recorded due to the focus primarily being on man.


Precept upon precept, Gen. 1:1 states that In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Several strict translations acknowledge that the phrase, "the heaven (not plural) and the earth (again not plural)" was a joint dual prepositional phrase of the verb, created. They show that because the Biblical Hebrew particle, ‘eth precedes the noun shamayim (heavens) and ve’et or, and ‘eth precedes the noun, ‘erets (earth), this phrase demands a "Hebrew dual" connotation: It is a joint duality of a single creation of something that verse 2 describes as a single deep expanse of waters. Both the depth and the substance had a face in common until the second day. According to Hebrews 11:1-3, we know that the Hebrew people always had understood this to be ONE invisible creation--such as ONE invisible deep body of gaseous matter:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

This phrase must be treated as a Hebrew dual because the Hebrew word translated as those very waters in Genesis 1:2 is the noun, "mayim" a Hebrew dual. This Hebrew dual is an inherent twosome of a primitive noun that is used in a singular sense, therefore, there were no plural heavens and there was no individually identifiable earth--only a single body of invisible gaseous waters from which all the numerous worlds, and even the earth's numerous individual bodies of liquid waters (seas) would be "formed and "made". This dual phrase reveals the identity of the twosome required here, (1) the heaven, and (2) the earth, from which all thiongs were made and formed.

Those "waters" were not specifically named in verse one, but just appeared in verse two typically as if being eternal, and afterward, at certain points in time over six days, were "made" into all visible things that are made. "Mayim" (waters) provide a very provable "type" of the invisible, eternal Word of God who was "made" visible flesh, "made" of a woman, "made" under the law, "made" of the seed of David, to become both Savior as well as to Prince who will who will reign as King of the Jews over all the earth.

On numerous occasions, scripture "typically" used waters in this manner as both a "type" of the spiritual "Word of God" above the earth, as well as the flesh of man under the firmament. John baptized on earth under heaven with visible (liquid) water, whereas Jesus baptized with the invisible Holy Ghost after ascending above the earth. Ezekiel 1:24-25 is speaking about certain sounds that the air (those invisible gaseous waters) made when four living creatures’ wings flapped and moved that air. Those sounds are described as being "like" the voice of the almighty, the voice of speech, "as" the noise of an hoist. John 1:33 quotes John the Baptist as saying:

And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

In John 3:5-8 we "typically see" the birth of liquid water, as well as the birth of the spirit that is again typified by the wind that is made up of gaseous waters, both being necessary for mankind to enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit . . . . The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

... and again, liquid waters "typically" as both mankind and their tongues (the word of man on earth) are used in John 1:31-32:

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.

To the point, "mayim" (waters) "brought forth" (became the habitat of) two types of living creatures: the fish of the liquid waters and the fowl of the gaseous waters. Liquid waters typify Jesus in the flesh who sanctified believers from the earth while He was on the earth, whereas the Holy Ghost sanctifies believers from the earth after Jesus ascended above the earth. The disciples were to be "fishers of men" while following the "Word of God) step-by-step on the earth, however, that fishermen description abruptly stopped when the "Word of God" told them they could not follow him when He ascended above the earth--out of their sight.)

After man first sinned, the earth--not the waters--was cursed for man's sake. God would never curse the Word of God, and "typically," He did not curse the waters. Therefore, it can be also said "typically" that the waters were not cursed for man's sake. Those waters further typified the Word of God who came to earth to judge the earth during the flood.

Yes, the fish and fowl which the visible and invisible waters brought forth were indeed blessed, whereas the earth creatures were not specifically blessed. This appears to follow the types.


On the 6th day of creation:
v24 Then G-d said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping things and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. v25 And G-d made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Yes G-d didn't bless all land living things/creatures nor asked them to be fruitful & multiply, except human. My thoughts are:

(1) At this point, some may speculate this 6th day was also when gigantic land creatures like dinosaurs were made. How to bless & have such huge animals to be fruitful & multiply? Earth may be too so small for them to live. Similarly ask ourselves whether is it ok to have cockroaches, mosquitoes, spider, rats etc to be fruitful & multiply?

(2) G-d already knew the plan of Satan who in chapter 3 revealed as serpent since Satan had already been cast down. Surely G-d will not bless Satan & ask him to be fruitful & multiple.


Another way of viewing this is, Since God Knows everything and He is Alpha and Omega, he knew there was going to be a flood during Noah's time and so, he knew the fishes of the seas and swarming creatures in the waters were going to survive it, so He didn't have to bring them into the Ark to bless them again. Gen 6:19. However, God did bless the animals in Gen 8:17, and blessed man again in Gen 19:1.

It is however seen that God has it in mind to bless the crawling animals as well, but it could have been delayed due to the future evil that will befall the earth and He will be able to separate only the animals chosen by Him according to the instructions given to Noah, whom we can belief to have the spirit of God.

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