6

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.

  • Probably for stylistic reasons (we'd have two similar blessings on the same day, which seems aesthetically cumbersome). – Lucian Jan 2 at 19:59
2

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.

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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.

0

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.

0

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.

-1

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!

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