The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
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Themes Archive

    Describing it as one great divine act of creation that provided all the tremendous masses of matter that were involved, Genesis 1:1 opens up the Holy Bible with the words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.".
      The beginning here mentioned does not refer to the creation of the invisible heavenly spirit realm and its creatures. It refers to the beginning of the history of the planets, stars and island universes or galaxies within the range of man's sight, and the planet earth beneath his feet. The concluding statement of this first general account of creation says: "This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven." (Gen. 2:4) How long ago was that beginning of the universe's history? The Bible does not state. Modern science estimates the average age of the stars in the island universe or Milky Way, of which our solar system is a part, to be three to four billion years. Genesis 1:1 by its silence on a date allows for that estimate of time or any future correction of it. By time-measuring devices called "radioactive clocks" the scientists estimate the age of earth's rock to be around three and one-half billion years. However, there are a number of factors entering into the measurement of earth's age by this means that we cannot be sure about. Hence the estimate of earth's age by this means is not wholly reliable. The biggest factor that modern science disregards in its measurements and investigations is God, the Creator himself. This cannot but throw all their calculations off. "By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." - Ps. 33:6.
    "God created." (Gen. 1:1) The Hebrew word translated "God" is El-ohim'. This is the plural number of the word El-o'ah, meaning "God". Al-though the word Elo-him' is in the plural number, the verb "created" (Hebrew, ba-ra') is in the singular number, so that we cannot translate it "Gods created", as atheists want to do. Some would translate Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning he created gods with the heavens and the earth." They would make it agree with the Babylonian epic of Creation, which says: "When on high heaven had not been called by name, the earth below a name had not received - ... when no gods at all had come into existence, not [yet] called by name, not [yet] with their destinies fixed  - then it was that the gods were created within them." But their attempted translation betrays gross ignorance of the Hebrew, for in the entire creation account from Genesis 1:1 to 2:4 El-o-him' occurs thirty-five times in connection with what God did and said, and every time the verb is in the singular number, showing that El-ohim' is the subject of the verb and means one Person.
    Many clergymen follow the pagans in believing in a trinity. They try to see in the plural title El-o-him' a support for their teaching that there are "three persons in one God", namely, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. However, el-o-him' means "gods" only when the Scriptures apply this plural word to the false pagan deities. The pagan Philistines applied the title el-o-Mm' to their fish-god Dagon. (Judg. 16:23, 24; 1 Sam. 5:7) If, then, the trinitarians argue that the use of El-o-Mm' with a singular verb means there are three coeternal, coequal Persons in one God, then the same thing must hold true for the fish-god Dagon: he must be three persons in one god. Further, there is the Hebrew word (adon') meaning "master" or "lord". In the Scriptures this is often applied in its plural form (a-do-nim') to one man or person, as at Genesis 24:9, 10, 51; 39:2-20; 40:1; 42:30, 33; Exodus 21:4, 6, 8; Judges 19:11, 12; Isaiah 19:4; Malachi 1:6. The plural number of a title is thus used to apply to just one individual or person, to denote his excellence, majesty or superiority in this capacity. In the same way, El-o-him', as applied to the Creator, is the plural of majesty, excellence and supremacy; it does not mean he is mysteriously a trinity. In harmony with this fact the Greek Septuagint Version of the Scriptures translates El-o-him' with the singular title ho The-os', and the Latin Vulgate with the singular Deus. Thus El-o-him' is first of all connected with creation. He is the Creator.
    His inspired account of creation continues: "Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of the surging waters, and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters."  - Gen. 1:2.
    The once popular theory that the earthly globe was of secondary origin, that is, that its mass was pulled out from the mass of the sun by the attractive power of some still larger sun that was passing by, has now been abandoned by almost all scientists. The Bible does not call for such a tidal theory of earth's creation. Scientific theory is, however, that at a certain stage of development the proto-earth was a brilliantly hot ball of gas that finally liquefied and then hardened. So time was when the infant earth was a glowing globe of melted rock and no solid crust existed. As a result of internal processes this molten spheroid became surrounded with a thick atmosphere of air, water vapors and, likely, some other extremely vaporizable substances. Science reasons that earth became surrounded with a "liquid envelope". This would all be prior to the six days of creation during which God prepared the earth for human creatures to occupy. Without describing how it came about, his record says surging waters covered the globe. Underneath that great watery abyss lay the hard crust of the earth. Evidently the internal heat of the earth still warmed those waters, but no form of life, no one-celled organisms nor any subsea vegetable life existed in them. As the Creator gazed at earth at this stage the surface of its waters was formless, that is, featureless, being empty and waste. Nothing poked itself up above their surface.
    Darkness was upon the surface of the surging waters. How so? By God's will. "I am Jehovah, and there is none else; forming the light and creating darkness." (Isa. 45:6, 7) In a lesson on creation Jehovah asked the patient Job: "Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb; when I made clouds the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling-band for it?" (Job 38:8, 9) It is known that in our own Milky Way or Galaxy there are critical regions for observation that are hidden from human eyes by layers of cosmic dust, which even the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palo-mar, California, cannot penetrate, although the "blind" radio telescope is able to do so. It is possible that by such means Almighty God clothed the earth covered with water and vapor in a dense darkness, until the critical moment. Despite the darkness "God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters". Ferrar Fen-ton's translation reads: "But the breath of God vibrated over its fluid face." (Gen. 1:2) The expression "active force" here translates the Hebrew word ru'ahh. An American Translation renders it "a tempestuous wind", which would have dispelled the thick vapory cloud that encased the earth. "Tempestuous wind" does not convey the thought of more than the force of a stormy wind operating upon the waters. True, ru'ahh is elsewhere rendered by translators as "blast, breath, tempest, wind, spirit"; but by the movement of this ru'ahh there was more than the mere agitation of the water's surface as by a raging wind. There was the operation, not necessarily violent or noisy, of the invisible "active force" of the Creator to accomplish his will. It was not the supposed third person of an imaginary, unscriptural "trinity".


    "And God proceeded to say: 'Let light come to be.' Then there came to be light." (Gen. 1:3) This divine command toward our earth marked the beginning of a new epoch known as the "creative week". In response, the obstruction causing the darkness moved away or dissolved and light beams struck the vapory canopy about the earth. It was evidently light from the sun, of which the earth is a satellite. It did not yet reach the surging waters that enveloped the earth. "After that God saw that the light was good, and God brought about a division between the light and the darkness." (Gen. 1:4) This separation of light from darkness suggests that the earth rotated as it revolved around the sun. In this creation account or in the rest of the Bible there is nothing that teaches the geocentric view of the earth, namely, that the earth is the center of the universe and that the heavenly bodies, sun, moon and stars, revolve about it, and that the earth is flat. Three thousand years before Copernicus and Galileo Galilei the words of Job were recorded in God's Word: "He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." (Job 26:7) Or, "He spread out the Northern expanse, and suspended the earth upon space!" This fact allows for its motion round the sun. In harmony with this is the later inspired statement at Isaiah 40:18, 22: "To whom then will ye liken God? ... It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth." Or, "That He sits over the round earth." By earth's receiving daylight only from the sun the light on earth was separated from the darkness; and by earth's rotating on its axis both hemispheres, Eastern and Western, enjoyed alternating periods of light and darkness.
    Modern science still does not know what light is. It does not know its Creator, of whom it is written: "God is light and there is no darkness at all in union with him." (1 John 1:5) But the Creator knows and he saw that the light was good for the earthly creations that would need the light to live here. "And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a first day." (Gen. 1:5) God thus ended his first creative day.
    It is stoutly contended that because the creative days of which this was the first are numbered, this limits the length of each such day to twenty-four hours' length. This raises the question: If evening and morning made up the first literal day, then was the moon, which appears at evening, created before the sun of morning? Also, darkness was upon the surface of the surging waters before the first day; and since the evening grows darker before the morning or daybreak, how did the darkness on the surface of the surging waters get darker than before, and when did that primordial darkness change to the darkness of the evening of the first creative day? Since the account of the fourth creative day mentions the sun of morning ahead of the moon and stars of the evening, why did it not, on the first creative day, become morning and then evening? Morning would break off the primordial darkness and show a termination of it more so than evening would.
    It is therefore evident that in the creative days evening and morning are figurative rather than literal, and are to be understood differently from mere darkness and light, called Night and Day. Because of the inclination of the earth's axis the length of Day and Night differs at different latitudes on the earth's surface and at different seasons. But the evening and morning of each creative day are equal in length of time. That is to say, each creative day is of the same length.
    But if not 24 hours long, then how long? How are we to know? By measurement of the seventh day, which is now possible. That a creative day is not to be understood as a literal 24-hour day is shown by Genesis 2:4, which speaks, not of six days, but of the "day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven". As we examine Genesis 2:1-3 regarding the seventh day we note that it does not say as with the preceding days, 'And God saw that it was good; and the evening and the morning were the seventh day.' No, it leaves the day unfinished. According to the New World Translation it says: "Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion. And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made. And God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred, because on it he has been resting from all his work that God has created for the purpose of making." This agrees with the argument of the apostle Paul at Hebrews 4:3-11 that God was continuing to rest in the day of King David the psalmist and was still resting in Paul's day in the Christian era.
    The Christian era is now nearing its close and we are almost six thousand years from man's creation, after which God's resting began, or his desisting from earthly creation; and now the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ is before mankind, after which he will hand over all things to God his Father. So, not by human interpretation, but by God's own interpretation, the seventh day of rest adds up to seven thousand years.
    Just as the Hebrew prophets did not know the full meaning of what they prophesied, so the Bible writers needed not necessarily to know the length of the creative day. The apostle Peter showed the expression "day" could mean more than 24 hours, saying: "One day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." (2 Pet. 3:8) Now we are living in the day of fulfillment of Bible prophecy and it is possible to understand the length of God's seventh day of desistence from earthly creation. This in itself helps us to understand the figurative meaning of an evening and a morning as making up a creative day. In the evening period things would be indistinct, but in the morning they would become clearly discernible. How God's seventh creative day would turn out was in evening darkness at its beginning, for it was conditional upon man's course of free-will action. It turned out dark as to how it would be a day of blessing. But when God's only-begotten Son came to earth to bring life and incorruptibility to light through the good news, the morning began. Not long before his coming, Bible prophecy began fulfilling on a large scale by the deliverance of the faithful Jewish remnant from Babylon and by their return to the Holy City, Jerusalem, 537 B.C. This was near the middle of the seventh creative day, or about 3,500 years from man's creation. Thus it has been with this day as described at Proverbs 4:18: "The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day."
    Similarly, with the six preceding creative days. They started out indistinctly but ended up with full light as to what had been purposed and accomplished each day. Since the Fourth Commandment about the weekly sabbath day is based upon the creative week as a pattern, and since the days of the week marked out by the Fourth Commandment are all equal, it argues that each of the days of the creative week were likewise equal in length, 7,000 years. Since the period described in Genesis 1:1, 2 preceded the creative week, this, according to God's will, allows that period of original creation to be indefinite in length, much longer than the entire 49,000 years (7 X 7,000) of the creative week. The creative week itself began about 46,025 B.C., according to the Bible's timetable.


    The morning of the first creative day has now passed, and it is time for the evening of the second day to begin. "And God went on to say: 'Let an expanse come to be in between the waters and let a dividing occur between the waters and the waters.' (Gen. 1:6) Science today reasons that, before the formation of large bodies of water on the earth's surface, all of its water had existed in the form of atmospheric vapor, because then the earth's surface must have been extremely hot. Eventually the temperature dropped below the boiling point of water, and then there was a condensation of much of the vapor and it was de-posited upon the earth as a great body of water, whether by heavy rainfalls or by other processes. But not all the atmospheric vapor was deposited upon the earth. A thick blanket of it swathed the earthly globe, and there was no open space with an atmosphere. God saw the need of this for earth's future inhabitants. At the right time he called for an expanse to be formed. His power was equal to his expressed will: "Then God proceeded to make the expanse and to make a division between the waters that should be beneath the expanse and the waters that should be above the expanse. And it came to be so." - Gen. 1:7.
    A great body of water was thus raised high above the surface of the earth and rotated with the rotation of the earth, like a canopy above it. It doubtless reflected the sunlight as brilliantly as the planet men call Venus, which till now is wrapped in a layer of clouds. The water canopy was held in suspension, not by the expanse beneath it, but by God's decree and power. In addition to the gravitational pull of the earth it kept the earth's atmosphere from expanding and dissipating to an unlimited extent.
    "And God began to call the expanse Heaven. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a second day." (Gen. 1:8) The expanse that spread out all around the earth during this second day, and which God called Heaven, was not the same as "the heavens" spoken of in Genesis 1:1. Those heavens were created before the first creative day and included all the celestial bodies of our material universe. The expanse now called Heaven was brought about by the division of the watery elements on and about the earth during the second creative day. The waters in suspension above it did not enclose any of the stars of the outer heavens. Through this vast body of water above the expanse the sun, moon and stars were not visible at the surface of the waters under the expanse. The division between the waters above and the waters beneath was to be broken in God's due time, and to serve his awesome purpose, but without destroying this expanse called Heaven.


    At the beginning of the history of creation surging waters covered the entire face of the globe. Water continued to cover the globe even after the waters were divided to permit an atmospheric expanse, until the close of the second creative day. "And God went on to say: 'Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place and let the dry land appear.' And it came to be so." (Gen. 1:9) The featureless appearance of this water-covered sphere became broken by the appearance of land above the waters. This was evidently caused by a contraction or shrinking of the globe, which produced a buckling of earth's crust so that land surfaces were pushed up above the waters. The circumference of the entire earth thus decreased. The waters were thus proved to be resting upon the earth; and the earth was not floating upon the waters the way some religious critics of the Bible would interpret Psalm 24:2 to mean. The earth was the base of our planet, and the waters were purely incidental. At Exodus 20:4, 5 waters were said to be "under the earth"; but that meant merely underground and not under the entire earth and all the way down with no support by earth. In this the Giver of the Ten Commandments is perfectly scientific.
    "And God began calling the dry land Earth, but the collection of the waters he called Seas. Further, God saw that it was good." (Gen. 1:10) The term "seas" would include lakes, com-paring with the 12|-mile-long "Sea of Galilee" of today, also larger inland seas and the great oceans. Today the oceans and seas cover nearly three fourths of the surface of our planet, but how much back there on the third creative day we do not know. Were they sweet waters? Geological evidence clearly indicates that during the early period of their existence they consisted entirely of sweet water. The saltiness of the oceans was a later development, as the waters drained off the land. The same as today, the earth's surface above the waters was doubtless discontinuous. The dry land did not enclose the seas or oceans, but the seven or more or less seas surrounded the land surfaces. Hence there was a circumfluent ocean, and it was possible to go to the ends of the earth, even though the earth was not flat. Falling off would not launch one into boundless space; it would land one in the surrounding water. Up till then there was no form of life in the primeval global sea, and there was no form of life on the dry land at its first appearance. How, then, did life on this planet begin? Not by so called "spontaneous generation". It was not because the chemical and physical conditions of dead matter became favorable for it, and accidentally the structural and chemical rearrangement within a molecule of dead matter sparked off life to a faint, lowly start. Life's beginning was no accident, no more than the existence of matter is. It was a miracle of the great Life-giver, to whom it is said: "For with thee is the fountain of life; through thy light do we see light." (Ps. 36:9, AT) First, though, there must have been a preparation of the earth's rocky surface for this by the building up of a soil upon which plant life could live, both on land and under the sea. "And God went on to say: 'Let the earth cause grass to shoot forth, vegetation bearing seed, fruit trees yielding fruit according to their kinds, the seed of which is in it, upon the earth.' And it came to be so."  - Gen. 1:11.
    Here, now, was something wonderful when divine power superimposed the life principle upon atoms of matter and produced living matter, vegetable matter, organic matter. It was now that the vegetable kingdom of life began. Bacterial life now began; and the formation of the complex organic molecule did not require hundreds of millions of years, as godless, false scientists reason, and that accidentally by the complicated self rearrangement internally of previously dead matter. It was created instantly by God.
    God's utterance divided up the plant world into three general divisions: grass, the lowliest and most widely spread; then vegetation bearing seed, a larger and higher division; and then fruit trees yielding fruit according to their kinds. All this plant life could reproduce itself and thus keep the earth adorned, and also provide food for the future animal kingdom. The presence of carbon in the primeval seas and in the earth's crust would prove valuable for both of these kingdoms of life. At that time the air was doubtless densely laden with carbon. The property that plants have of taking in the carbon dioxide of the air and giving off oxygen would serve to purify the atmosphere and provide it with free oxygen for the later animal kingdom to breathe. At the very beginning God created the many different family kinds of plant or vegetable and set bounds about each kind which could not be crossed; and he arranged for the preservation of these distinct kinds by the reproduction each of its own kind. This divine rule, which cannot be violated, is marked by the decree that the trees should yield "fruit according to their kinds". The vegetable kingdom did not start with one original plant and all the different kinds develop from it. By creating the different kinds at the start with an allowance for variety within each family kind there was at once revealed the "greatly diversified wisdom of God". (Eph. 3:10) He laid down a principle that he was to follow in creating later forms of life.
    How much of the sun had now reached the surface of the dry land to nourish this plant life is not disclosed. But as the creating of the vege-table kingdom followed the appearance of the dry land, it doubtless occurred in the morning of this third creative day. How close this was to the fourth day with its great increase of light, we do not know. "And the earth began to put forth grass, vegetation bearing seed according to its kind and trees yielding fruit, the seed of which is in it according to its kind. Then God saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a third day." (Gen. 1:12, 13) Thus the third creative day ended brightly with its purpose accomplished, not only with luxuriant plant life robing the dry land but with many forms of submarine plants decking the floors of the seas.


    As time now moves on into the evening of the next creative day, what takes place proves to be comparable with what took place on the first day, when God said: "Let light come to be," and not contradictory of it. "And God went on to say: 'Let luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night, and they must serve as signs and for seasons and for days and years. And they must serve as luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth.' And it came to be so." (Gen. 1:14, 15) No darkness is said to have preceded this creative day, which darkness needed to be dispelled by the light. So this differs from what occurred at God's command on Day One. The light of that day was said to come from the sun. Why, then, would God call for luminaries to appear in the expanse?
    "Prior to this day the outside surface of the watery canopy that swaddled the earth got the full benefit of the sun's rays. Beneath, the atmosphere of the recently created expanse was not yet thinned down and cleared of its murkiness, so that what light may have penetrated it was diffused, without its source being discernible. Now God decreed a change. "And God proceeded to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars. Thus God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth, and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fourth day."  - Gen. 1:16-19.
    Significant is the account's use here of the verb "make" instead of "create" with reference to these luminaries. The sun, long thought to be the parent of our earth, had been created before the first creative day. The same is true of the moon and the stars. They are included in the "heavens" mentioned in Genesis 1:1. But now on the fourth creative day God makes these celestial bodies to occupy a certain new relation toward earth's surface and the expanse above it. The statement that "God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth" indicates that they now became discernible, as if they were in the expanse, and their light reached the surface of the earth with greater strength than before. The source of light by day was discerned to be a powerful luminary, and a dimmer luminary was seen to be shedding light by night. Although the atmosphere of the expanse cleared sufficiently to permit this effect, yet these luminaries were not visible at earth's surface in sharp outline and detail, because of the waters that had been raised up in suspension above the expanse on the second creative day.
    The fact that the two great luminaries are not named would suggest that they were not then distinctly visible but had an effect like indirect lighting in a house. Not till after the global flood of Noah's day does the Bible name the sun for the first time and, later, the moon for the first time. (Gen. 15:12; 37:9) After the flood there is definite evidence that the intercepting mass of water in suspension above the expanse had been broken up and deposited on the earth. That it used to be warmer all over the earth has had to be admitted even by atheistic scientists. Geology undeniably shows that vegetation of our present temperate zone used to flourish in far northerly points as Alaska, south Greenland, Iceland and Spitsbergen, and subtropical plants grew richly farther north, with palm groves even in south England. Correspondingly various forms of land and marine animal life lived farther north also. The fact that coal deposits have been found in places along the shore of Antarctica is taken as indisputable proof that rich vegetation once covered that vast continent now almost completely ice-coated. The general warmth of the globe was doubtless due to the canopy of waters above the atmospheric expanse, which let the light and heat rays of the sun in and diffused it everywhere but which, like a hothouse, kept the heat from escaping.
    The irrigating of earth's plant life at this time was done the way it is described in the fuller creation account of Genesis, chapter two: "Jehovah God had not made it rain upon the earth and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a vapor went up continually from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground." (Gen. 2:5, 6) This means an upgo of moisture rather than a downpour of it as rain. At night this vapor would condense and provide enough moisture regularly for the growing things. Despite the rising vapor during the light of day there was no rainbow visible. A rainbow is reported to be seen by humans first after the Flood, when God made it a sign to remind mankind of his covenant toward them and of their obligations to hold animal life, represented by the blood, as sacred. If the rainbow had always been appearing since the appearance of the greater luminary in the expanse over earth on Day Four, there would have been no real force or effect in God's making it an outstanding sign of his covenant that a deluge of waters should never again wipe mankind off the face of the earth. (Gen. 9:8-17) It would have been commonplace and not novel, not a marker of a change, of things new.
    Besides furnishing light by day and night, the sun, moon and stars were to serve for man's guidance in other ways, "as signs and for seasons and for days and years." They have shone forth on high as "signs" of God's existence, "his eternal power and Godship"; and, as prophecy developed, they have served as symbols of actors playing a part in the great controversy over Jehovah's universal sovereignty. They have marked not only the natural seasons, days and years, but also those of special meaning in the Creator's theocratic arrangement with his chosen people. Though silent in their inanimateness, they have joined mightily in the universal Hallelujah song to which Psalm 148:1-6 calls: "Praise ye Jehovah. Praise ye Jehovah from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his host. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that are above the heavens. Let them praise the name of Jehovah; for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also established them forever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass away."  - AS.


    Astronomers today know of no planet in the discovered universe that is so ideally adapted for the life of intelligent creatures as is our earth. Everything stamps it as a special creation of an intelligent God. He scientifically prepared it for the dwelling place of living, thinking creatures, and his inspired account of the creative week reveals the ordered steps that he took to that end. By the close of the fourth day he had made conditions just right for conscious creature life to live on earth's great store of food and to fill this earth with movement and action.


    By the Bible time schedule it was now 28,000 years from the week's beginning, or about 18,025 B.C., which means that animal life on earth is quite recent when compared with wild guesses of atheistic "science". The waters now became a cradle, not of man's life, but of marine animals' life. "And God went on to say: 'Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth in the bosom of the expanse of the heavens.'" (Gen. 1:20; Ro) Not one lone creature is commanded to come into existence in the waters to start off animal life, but swarms of them at once of many different family kinds. At the same time flying creatures of many kinds are to fly, not merely over the waters, but "over the earth", in bold outline against the face of the expanse of the heavens.
    Take note of what the Creator called those living creatures in the waters, "living souls." In this way the Creator gives us his definition of "soul". He makes known to us what an earthly "soul" is and startles us with the fact that fishes and marine reptiles are "souls". He thus differs from the philosophy of paganism and of Christendom as to what a "soul" is, namely, an unseeable, untouchable, intelligent and immortal something that inhabits a mortal, material body for only a time and then departs for the spirit realm. It cannot be argued that the Creator called marine animals "souls" because such a supposed "soul" (neph'esh) was the most important part of them. The Hebrew word neph'esh being drawn from the verb na-phash', which means to "breathe", the word "soul" (neph'esh) here means a conscious thing that breathes. For such the Creator had prepared the atmosphere of the expanse.
    The inspired account sticks to the Creator's definition of "soul" when it describes what followed the divine command: "And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that glides, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God got to see that it was good." (Gen. 1:21) Here is the second time that the creation account uses the word "create", a word used in the Hebrew Scriptures only to describe what God does. Its use here shows that "create" does not always mean, as at Genesis 1:1, to produce something out of nothing, but may mean to produce something new out of matter already existent. The latter is what God did here on the fifth day by giving life to animals in the sea and to winged flying creatures. Showing matchless skill as a designer, he created many kinds at one time, each kind distinct from the other. Among the denizens of the seas at that time were such reptiles as the ichthyosaurus and the plesiosaurus, fossils of which have been discovered, also the fish known as the coelacanth, which was long thought to be extinct but one of which was caught in 1938 and another of a different type caught off southeastern Africa in December, 1952. Modern science recognizes the archaeopteryx as the "first bird", fossils of which have been found; but the Creator did not limit himself to that bird. He created many kinds. By "winged flying creatures" is to be understood, not merely birds, but also great flying creatures of very ancient times, such as the pterodactyl with its 25-foot wingspread. Winged insects may here also be understood, of which there are hundreds of thousands today.
    God was pleased with what he produced; it was good, as all his works are. "With that God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters in the sea basins and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.' And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fifth day." (Gen. 1:22, 23) According to the law of Moses, God's blessing upon his chosen people of old meant that they would be abundantly supplied with food and that he would bless their powers of reproduction to continue as a populous nation. God's blessing upon the living creatures of the sea and air meant the same thing for them, suitable food for their enjoyment and a great multiplication of their family kind. The psalmist marks this fact, saying: "How manifold are thy works, O Jehovah! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Yonder is the great and wide sea: therein are moving things innumerable, living creatures small and great. There go the ships; there that leviathan, which thou hast formed to play therein. These all look unto thee, that thou mayest give their food in its season: that thou givest unto them, they gather; thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good."  - Ps. 104:24-28.