23/12/18 Genesis 1:20-31 “Man has free will to govern the earth”
Genesis 1:20 – 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.
bring forth abundantly – sharats (to teem; swarm; multiply)
the moving creature – sherets (teeming or swarming things; creepers; swarmers; of insects, animals, small reptiles, quadrupeds) All creatures that live in the water.
fowl – ‘owph (flying creatures; fowl; insects (esp winged); birds)
that may fly – ‘uwph (to fly about or to and fro)
And God commanded that the waters teem with swarming water-life, and flying creatures to fly in the air above the earth’s surface.
Genesis 1:21 – 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.
whales – dragon; serpent; sea or river monster; dragon; dinosaur; venomous snake. It is translated “dragon” 21 times, “serpent” 3 times, “whale” 3 times, and “sea monster” once. The other 2 occurrences of “whale” are in Job 7:12 and Ezekiel 32:2, not once in Jonah, either!) If not a whale, it would have to be something very big.
God created all sea creatures and flying creatures as commanded in Vs 20. He considered it to be pleasing and acceptable to His will. That is, it was created exactly as he had willed it.
Genesis 1:22 – And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply (become numerous), and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
blessed – barak – a word that is translated “cursed” in Job 1:5 &11.
multiply – be abundant; become numerous
Apparently at first the sea wasn’t filled with sea creatures and skies filled with flying creatures (only teeming); otherwise there wouldn’t be room to multiply! Man was also told to be fruitful and multiply (Vs 28) yet commenced with just the two. The idea, though, is that all life created would thrive as plants would in very fertile land. The earth was fully fertile, able to not only support all those created at first, but with the ability to support much more than the initial numbers.
Genesis 1:23 – And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
And the 5th day is noted by the passing of another night and another day. Note that the Jewish day commenced at sunset, not midnight or sunrise!
Genesis 1:24 – And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Now God commands (an order that will be carried out) that all land animals be created, from domestic animals to creeping animals to wild beasts, all are created.
after his kind – Life must be able to produce life after its own kind. Life propagates itself. And it was so (see Vs 25), exactly as God has commanded.
Genesis 1:25 – And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
And God created all land animals according to His commands in Vs 24, and God saw that it was pleasant and acceptable to His will.
Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man (‘adam) in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
have dominion – to have dominion; rule; subjugate. That is, Adam (as the first man) is to be ruler over all creatures, plant life and the earth in general, and through Adam, all mankind (“and let them”) are to be rulers.
This is where creation becomes really serious. Until man is created, life is relatively simple, just like a huge planet-wide zoo with God in charge. But the game plan includes more than just a huge zoo once man is created. Man is not one of the animals in the zoo, for one of man’s tasks will be to watch over and have dominion over (take charge of) of this huge zoological garden (including Eden). In one sense, man is created as co-worker with God in the care of this world-wide garden and zoo.
Genesis 2:15 – And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Adam and Eve are still under God’s authority, yet they have a special place in fellowship with God.
Genesis 3:8-9 – 8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?
Man is made in the image of God. But what does that mean? Do we look like God? That’s not a logical conclusion because we are flesh and God is spirit. And, when Jesus came, He came as a fleshly man which means that His normal original form was not likely to be that of a fleshly man.
John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
It is not likely that we have taken on the physical appearance of God in any way.
Hebrews suggests that Jesus took on the nature of man, not angels …..
Hebrews 2:16 – For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham.
…. yet the original Greek actually says “did not take hold of angels but took hold of the seed of Abraham.” This would mean that Jesus took control of the salvation of man rather than control of the salvation of angels.
The context of Hebrews 2:16 shows this.
Hebrews 2:14-18 – 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham. 17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
This says that Jesus took on the flesh and blood nature of man so that He could take back control (that is, buy back, redeem, etc) of man, in order to make reconciliation for their sins and to be a merciful and faithful high priest. This shows that man was not made in the flesh and blood form of God.
Rather, God is a spirit and we are flesh and blood.
John 4:24 – God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Jesus is the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3); that is, he is the exactly-the-same-in-every-way image of the Father.
We are to conform to that same image.
Romans 8:29 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
And what is that image that we are conform to? It has to do with all the attributes of God that define Him as God: holiness, righteousness, just, loving, merciful, gracious, truth, etc. We are to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We to be made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Likewise, we are expected to be just in our dealings with others; we are to show mercy and be gracious to others; we are to be truthful (as opposed to the pharisees who were liars after their father satan). Effectively we are to have the nature of God in our lives.
We are to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Galatians 5:22-24 – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
let them have dominion – and let them be rulers over. This in itself is a statement of free will, for how may anyone govern without the freedom to make decisions for which he then is to take responsibility? Is it even possible to rule over something yet have no freedom of will to make decisions? We have a word for a ruler who can’t make free will decisions concerning his rule: we call him a puppet ruler; puppet king; puppet government etc.
Barnes says: We gather from the present chapter that God is a spirit Genesis 1:2, that he thinks, speaks, wills, and acts (Genesis 1:3-4, etc.). Here, then, are the great points of conformity to God in man, namely, reason, speech, will, and power. By reason we apprehend concrete things in perception and consciousness, and cognize abstract truth, both metaphysical and moral. By speech we make certain easy and sensible acts of our own the signs of the various objects of our contemplative faculties to ourselves and others. By will we choose, determine, and resolve upon what is to be done. By power we act, either in giving expression to our concepts in words, or effect to our determinations in deeds. In the reason is evolved the distinction of good and evil Genesis 1:4, Genesis 1:31, which is in itself the approval of the former and the disapproval of the latter. In the will is unfolded that freedom of action which chooses the good and refuses the evil. In the spiritual being that exercises reason and will resides the power to act, which presupposes both these faculties - the reason as informing the will, and the will as directing the power. This is that form of God in which he has created man, and condescends to communicate with him.
Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Therefore God created man in His own image exactly as He had willed to do. It is clear that all other creatures were created with the ability to produce life after their own kind, and this included (particularly in the higher classes) both male and female. It is also clear that much of creation follows a basic pattern of life; for example, mammals have (in general) a similar body framework with similar operations from the various bodily organs. Thus man is also created in both male and female (as much of the rest of creation must have been). This does not assume that God is male and female, as it is also clear that God has no need to reproduce Himself; He remains the same for all eternity. That God Himself should represent both male and female forms is a ridiculous lie brought about by new age thinkers who think of their god as female (gaia, mother earth, etc) and therefore the God of the Bible must be made to conform to their image! We must conform to God’s image, never the other way around!
Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
This blessing is not specifically to do with man, as God also similarly blessed water creatures and flying creatures in Vs 22.
multiply – rabah [to become many; become numerous; multiply (of people, animals, things); to be or grow great] Translated “multiply” twice in Vs 22 above.
replenish – male’ (to be full; fulness; abundance; be accomplished) Translated “fill” in Vs 22 above.
subdue – kabash (to bring into bondage; make subservient; subdue; force; violate; dominate; tread down)
and have dominion over – and rule over. See notes on Vs 26 above. They were to be rulers over all God’s creation on earth.
If one is to subdue anything, it requires the ability to consider the options. “subdue” has to firstly assume that an opposing force or will is being applied. “subdue” also has to assume that this opposing force or will is not currently under your control and that it is required (by you, of course) to be under your control. The word involves bringing something or someone under bondage, by force if necessary.
You do not need to subdue that which is already under your control. You subdue in order to bring something under your control. Control involves the ability to manipulate that which is controlled, like a puppet is controlled by its strings. Control therefore means having the strings to pull on whatever you are controlling. The puppet dances to the tune of the puppeteer. Likewise, all creation on earth is to dance to the tune of man the puppeteer. And, a puppeteer is the will of the puppet! What a ridiculous idea to consider that man, the puppeteer, is likewise manipulated by strings attached to him, that man himself is both puppeteer and puppet!
said – ‘amar (to say; to answer; to say in one’s heart; to think; to command; to promise; to intend) “emir” (ruler, leader; commander) appears to be a related word. The idea is probably that God, as sovereign of all, said it as an order that could not be disobeyed. The speaking of the order is the same as the action being carried out.
God said (that is, commanded with every expectation that it would be carried out without question) to man: subdue the earth! This is an order that cannot be countermanded. Man is ordered to subdue the earth, and therefore man is to be given the authority to do so. You don’t order a puppet to do anything; you just make it do it and it will do it. There can be no suggestion at all that the puppet could ever oppose the will of the puppeteer. The order itself demonstrates that man has a choice to obey or not to obey.
In the same way, God said “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) If man is merely a puppet, then God has to have pulled the strings that prevent man from eating of that tree (or else lied). If man is a puppet, man cannot oppose the puppeteer. But man opposed God and ate of that forbidden tree. It is ridiculous to assume that God in some way made man sin, because that also assumes that God pulled the “sin” string on man to make man sin (after allegedly pulling the “do not sin” string to prevent man from sinning!). And a puppet itself can never be blamed for any of the alleged “crimes” it commits, for, like Punch and Judy, the puppet just does what it is manipulated to do. Likewise, man, if merely a puppet, can only do that which he is manipulated to do, without any option of his own will being imposed, ever.
Unless God should give the man-puppet life, and order him to have dominion over the earth, and to subdue the earth (this has to assume by force if necessary). And therefore man has to have the freedom of will to make his own decisions, even when they oppose God’s will, for unless he can have the option of opposing God’s will, then man is no more than a puppet in the hands of God.
Of course, if God is to remain absolutely sovereign, then ultimately His will cannot be denied. If He should permit man to have free will, then He must also demand a full accounting of man as to every free will decision man has made. And God does indeed demand that.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
Genesis 1:29 – And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
meat – ‘oklah (food; eating) It can mean generally anything eaten including meat.
And God said to man: I have given you every plant and tree on earth for your food. That is, man’s food needs are fully provided with a wide range of options. However, it is apparent that there was not even one option that included flesh meat of any sort. No steaks, no barbecues; it doesn’t seem to even permit fish and eggs.
Genesis 1:30 – And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Likewise all animals, birds, beasts, etc were to eat plant and vegetable matter. Not one animal ate the flesh of another.
And it was so, exactly as God had commanded it.
It is interesting that today we have people claiming that man should not be eating meat because we were never intended to eat meat. Of interest also is that most of the people saying this also do not believe in the God of the Bible, nor do they believe in the creation as described in the Bible. In general, such people believe in the evolution lie which is basically described as the survival of the fittest, that is, what you don’t eat today may eat you tomorrow! So, if evolution means the stronger destroying (and often eating) the weaker, then how is this consistent with vegetarianism? But, all lies introduce inconsistency; only the truth is consistent!
Genesis 1:31 – And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
And God saw that (His creation over 6 days) which He had made, and behold it was very good (while previous verses merely say “It was good”). This implies that the overall effect of those “good” things became “very good” in total. The good parts had been put together in such a way that they were, as one, very good.
And the 6th day (of the beginning of night and the beginning of day) was completed.
Calvinists do make such a song and dance about man having no free will (although some in an effort to placate those who know their Bibles well, will say that man has no free will unto salvation, which is pointless, for unless a man has free will in salvation, there is no point in having free will otherwise!). But, if man has been given dominion over the earth, and is commanded by God to subdue the earth, then either man has free will to do so, or else he is a puppet who cannot be responsible for any of his decisions, for the puppeteer makes all decisions. And a puppet cannot be truthfully accused of disobeying his puppet-master (and therefore cannot be justly punished for such). And, if God is truth (like His word), then God will not unjustly accuse man of crimes that He, God, has made man do. For if God has made man sin against Him, and then called such sin an abomination against His holy nature, then such a God himself is to be accused of the sin against himself! Either man has free will or God must be punished for the sin He makes man do.
But, the God of the Bible who created man did not demand to be puppet-master of man. He gave man some measure of free will to decide for himself, and to take responsibility for every one of his free will decisions. In this way, man has freedom of will to rule, yet God remains totally sovereign in requiring a complete accounting for all man’s free will choices. Man is held responsible for his decisions, and God justly and righteously punishes man for the wrong choices he has made. And sent His Son to buy back mankind after mankind sold himself to satan. God is sovereign.