In the beginning God created man. And told him to procreate ..

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply

What is, or was the reason or purpose for procreation?

[Footnote: This question was prompted by some recent comments which outlined reasons for procreating. And, the reasons were quite markedly different to my own thoughts - So am curious as to what others think.]

3 Answers 3


Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply

Isaiah 45:18 shows God's perspective:

For this is what the LORD says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.

This agrees with the immediate context of Genesis 1:28

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth

From man's perspective:

Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.

God wants mankind to fill the earth. Children are rewards from God.


Because humans as created are 'good'. More humans means more of the 'good'. Genesis 1:31 actually calls the Earth with humans tasked to fill and subdue it 'very good'.

"indeed, it was very good."


The instruction to be "fruitful and multiply" (or very similar occurs in numerous places and is always succeeded by the reason - to full something.

  • Gen 1:22 - birds and fish to fill the seas
  • Gen 1:28 - beasts and mankind to fill the land
  • Gen 8:17 - animals to fill the earth
  • Gen 9:1, 7 - animals and mankind to fill the land
  • Gen 17:20 - Abraham's descendants to fill the promised land
  • Gen 28:3 - Jacob's descendants to fill the land
  • Gen 35:11 - Jacob's descendants to become a great nation
  • Gen 47:27 - Israelites filled the land of Goshen
  • Gen 48:4 - repeats the same promise as in Gen 35:11
  • Lev 26:9 - Israelites to be a company of peoples
  • Jer 23:3 - Jews to be gathered and fill the land of Judah

In all of these cases we see a consistent pattern of a small start with rapid growth of numbers that then becomes stable.

Take the example of Jacob's descendants. At his entrance top Egypt in Gen 47 and Ex 1 we have just 75 people. By the time of the exodus, the total had grown to several million people. The number in Israel today is still several million people (but slowly growing).

Thus, the command by God to be "fruitful and multiply" applied until the population filled the environment or locale.

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