Category Archives: GENESIS 1:20-31

The account of the 5th and 6th days of creation. culminating in the making of man

GENESIS 1:20-31

NOTES ON GENESIS 1:20-31

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS CHAPTER 1, VERSES 20 TO 31:

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.

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.

1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

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.

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.

1:26 And God said, Let us make man 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.

1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Subject of the passage
The creation account continues with the description of the making of living creatures, culminating in the creation of man.

 

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.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life- it is a question whether this means that God created the sea creatures and then commanded them to bring forth abundantly, or whether they were made from the water itself, the environment in which they would live. Fish are made of up to 90% water, so quite possibly God made the fish from the waters and from matter in solution in them.
“The moving creature that hath life” is the general term, (being in the singular), for all these varied creatures. So it is especially noticed that they have life, drawing attention to the fact that this is the first time life has been produced. Whilst the plants and trees of the third day were living, they did not live in the animal sense, for the word for live is translated in the majority of cases as soul. Animals have souls in the sense that they breathe, (this is the basic meaning of “live” in this passage), and can decide on the basis of instinct and their senses.
And fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven- if we did not know from 2:19 that the birds were made out of the ground, we might think from this expression that the birds were made from seawater as well. Could it not be that they were made from the sea-bed, so that they were of the ground and yet were also brought forth out of the sea?
We have seen that there is the original created heaven of verse 1, the expanse in which the stars are, and which is also called the heaven of heavens. Then there is the expanse that God inserted into the waters, the atmospheric heavens. This explains why the word for heaven is dual, but is not translated in the plural in verse 1, since the division had not been made then. Now we have the expression “the open firmament of heaven”, in which the birds fly. If the firmament of heaven is the stellar heavens, why are the birds said to fly there? The answer is found in the word “open”, a word meaning the face of something. The Lord Jesus referred to the “face of the sky”, when He was speaking of discerning what the weather was likely to be, Matthew 16:3. They do not fly in stellar space, but they do fly on the face of it as far as an observer on earth is concerned. The best way to see if birds are migrating is to watch the moon, and to see if birds pass across it.

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.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth- this is the first time since verse 1 that the word “created” has been used, reinforcing the fact that a new concept has been introduced, namely the breathing of air. Who told Moses that whales and fishes breathe? Only God could have given this account. It is interesting that the whales are specially mentioned. Who told Moses that whales are different, being mammals?
Perhaps this reversion to the basic word for create is also because in the heathen world all around their creation myth involved a battle between the sea-creature goddess Tiamat who battled with Marduk the god of heaven. The emphasis on the creation of the sea creatures by God is a protest against that myth, and disposes of it by setting out the facts.
Which the waters brought forth abundantly- it is one of the features of fishes that they reproduce very rapidly. Who told Moses they did this?
After their kind- God has programmed plants and animals to reproduce within fixed limits as being of diverse species. Whether man has discerned what those limits are, and whether he has named those limits correctly, does not alter the fact of their existence.
And every winged fowl after his kind- despite being made on the same day as the fishes, the winged fowl are separately mentioned as being produced after “his kind”. The evolutionist wishes to suggest that the birds came from the sea-creatures. The Creator says otherwise, and makes them on the same day to prove the point, just as animals and man were made on the same day to highlight their differences. The word of God says that “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds”, 1 Corinthians 15:39.
And God saw that it was good- this is only the second time that we do not read “it was so”; the other occasion is on the first day.
The earth has now been prepared for its main purpose, to support life of various forms. The vegetation has been provided, and the earth is now ready for the animals, and then, as a climax, man.

1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

And God blessed them, saying- when Jacob blessed Joseph, part of what he wished for him was “blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under”, Genesis 49:25. Did he have in view the abundant blessing that God pronounced on the fishes and the birds, and desired that Joseph multiply as they did? It is also worth noting that God promised Abraham, Joseph’s great grandfather, that his seed would be like the sand on the seashore for multitude, Genesis 22:17, and this may tie in with the idea that the birds possibly came from the sea bed.
Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas- the psalmist spoke of man having dominion over “the fish of the sea”, (perhaps meaning the large specimens), and “whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas”, (perhaps a reference to the teeming millions of small fish, which swim in shoals), Psalm 8:8. This dominion extends to harvesting this great supply of nutritious food. Man has made little progress in this, and relies on the food that grows on land, with all the risks involved. The fish never suffer from drought, or flooding, or monsoons, and God has provided them for man’s good. Sadly, men will rather rail at God because multitudes are starving, than stir themselves to take advantage of what He has supplied for them.
And let fowl multiply in the earth- given the right conditions, birds can multiply very rapidly, and thereby supply man, after the flood, with a good supply of nutritious food. Bird-meat has the advantage of not having blood mixed with it as red meat does.

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.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind- we are now introduced to the land animals, which, appropriately enough, are made from the earth, as man will be later on in the day. Again there is the distinguishing of kinds, all with God’s boundaries built into their DNA. There is much variety within kinds, as the Dog kind demonstrates, but fixity of species. If this were not so, there would be myriads of different animals, and the distinctiveness of each would be more and more diluted. If one were found to be specially useful, it would soon be lost to man if it did not reproduce its like.
Cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so- we are now introduced to three classes of animal, the cattle being animals capable of being domesticated, creeping things being land reptiles, beetles and insects, and the beast of the earth that ranges free and tends, now at least, to avoid man.

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 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- just to make sure the “after his kind” of verse 24 is not thought to apply to the three classes as a group, we are now explicitly told that each class was made after his kind.
And God saw that it was good- despite the fact that the serpent would be used of Satan to deceive the woman, even creeping things, (if, indeed, the serpent was a creeping thing before it was cursed), were seen to be good in God’s eyes.

Special note
Just as sea creatures and birds were made on the same day, so both land animals and man were brought into being on the sixth day. There are several ways, however, in which the narrative ensures we realise there is a difference between the two classes.
1. The animals were pronounced to be good, before man was made, thus distinguishing them from man.
2. The animals were said to be made after their kind, whereas there is only one kind of man. The Bible does not speak of different races, for God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth”, Acts 17:26. The differences between men are caused by descent from the sixteen grandsons of Noah, whose genealogy is detailed in Genesis 10.
3. The animals were made by God making a statement, whereas man was made after the persons of the Godhead had conversed, marking man out as special. All other acts of creation were after God had said words such as, “Let there be”, whereas with man it was “Let us make man in our image”, making the creation of man more personal to God.
4. There is no mention of the animals being made in the image and likeness of God, as there is with man.
5. The land animals were made and given life by God as He spoke to bring them into being. Man, however, received life directly by the in-breathing of God after he had been brought into being.
6. The animals were to be ruled over, as is shown by Adam asserting his authority by naming them. Adam was given dominion over the animals, and this established Adam as being different.
7. Animals are called beasts of the earth. Only when man becomes depraved does God say that he is “become like the beasts that perish”, Psalm 49:18. Man does not evolve from the beasts, but he can become so depraved that he acts like them.
8. Adam was made in the image and likeness of God, so he would have the intelligence to know that he was not descended from the animals.
9. Just as when the word “create” was used of the whales in verse 21, it signalled a change, for then the idea of soul was being introduced, and living creatures came into being, so here, thus emphasising the fact that man will be a spiritually capable being.

1:26 And God said, Let us make man 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.

And God said, Let us make man in our image- as we have already noted, one of the differences between the creation of the animals and the creation of man is that there was a specific conversation before God made man. The event was of such importance, not only because man would be the crowning point of God’s creation, but also because, far in the future, the Son of God would become man.
The idea behind the word “image” is representation, whereas the idea behind “likeness” is resemblance. The Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:15-22 referred to the head of Caesar on a coin as the image of Caesar. In other words, the image represented Caesar and His authority, and those who used the coin were recognising this. Part of God’s plan in making man, then, was that he might represent Him to the rest of the creation. One of the reasons why murder should be penalised by capital punishment is that man is made in the image of God, see Genesis 9:5,6. Those who murder erase the image of God in a man.
After our likeness- it was not necessarily true that Caesar’s image on the coin was a very good likeness, but God made sure that man had the capacity to represent Him well, by giving him certain characteristics which He Himself possesses. This, again, distinguishes man from the animals, for how can a brute beast represent and resemble the God of glory?

Man was made in the likeness of God in at least three ways.
First, God has personality, meaning He has consciousness of self. Each of the persons of the Godhead has His own particular distinctive features, by which He displays Himself. So man was given personality, not only to express himself as an individual, but primarily so as to display God.
God has spirituality, which not only means that He is a Spirit, see John 4:24, but also means He can appreciate His own glories. Man has a spirit, so that he might appreciate those glories too, and worship God in his spirit.
God has rationality, which means that He reasons, plans, purposes, and decides. Man has these abilities too; not, of course, in the sense that He could advise God, see 1 Corinthians 2:16, but so that he may order his life in relation to God’s purpose in an intelligent way. The reason man has these qualities is because he was formed in a unique way, for he lives because God breathed His life into him, and he became a living soul, Genesis 2:7.
Sadly, as the subsequent chapters show, this perfect state of things did not last long, for man sinned, and Adam “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image”, Genesis 5:3. The original purpose for which man was created was now only partially realised, and his abilities were now diverted for his own ends.
The remedy for this situation is found in the Lord Jesus, who became man that He might be the head of a new order of things. He displayed to perfection those things that God looked for in man. As such He is the perfect example to those who believe. As Ephesians 4:21 says, “the truth is in Jesus”, which means that if we would see a life lived that is true to God’s will, then we may see it in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus. Only those who are in Christ, and as such are a new creation, are able to represent God adequately now. It is still true, however, that all men, very faintly bear the similitude of God, as James affirms, James 3:9. Because of this, murder should still be dealt with capital punishment.
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- notice the word “them”. It raises a question as to whether it refers to Adam and Eve, alluded to in the next verse as being the male and the female, or whether it includes all who would come from Adam. For Adam is not just a personal name, but is the name of the whole of mankind.
By giving man dominion, God was giving permission for man to use the rest of the creation for his good and advantage. He was not given licence to ruthlessly and cruelly exploit. His was to be a beneficent rule. He was certainly not given permission to exploit and dominate his fellow-man, yet sadly that has been what he has done through the ages.
The inspired psalmist commented on this passage in Psalm 8, when he wrote,
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?
For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1-9.

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews quoted part of this psalm as an introduction to the seven reasons why the Lord Jesus became man. He had reminded his readers that the Son of God would one day sit upon the throne of the earth, and rule for God, Hebrews 1:8,9. Just in case any thought that angels would have a part in that, (and also to reinforce the truth that Christ is superior to angels, one of the themes in chapter 1), he writes as follows:

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection- the fact that the Lord Jesus has come, and men have been sent forth with power to work miracles of confirmation and grace, (the theme of verses 1-4), shows us that angels are no longer to the fore.
T
he world to come whereof we speak- a reference to the habitable earth in its future condition, the subject of 1:5-2:4. There are three major words used in the New Testament for “world”. There is the word cosmos, which, ideally, is the world of order, beauty and harmony as it came from God, (used in Hebrews 9:1); the opposite of cosmos being chaos. Sadly, that world has been spoiled, and hence it is now the world, not of harmony, but of hostility.
Another word for world is “aionas”; which has to do with the passing of time, and so is the world of history. The third word is “oikoumene”, the habitable earth, the world of humanity. So the writer is here referring to the future state of the earth as it will be when man’s day has come to an end, and his rule over the earth is cancelled. This is the earth as the writer has spoken of it in chapter 1:5-14. The question is, if that world is not to be subject to angels, then to whom is it to be subject? And if the answer is man, then the question is, which man? Who is competent enough to manage the earth for God? For the answer to this question the writer turns to David’s words in Psalm 8.
Perhaps he penned the psalm after a night spent on the hillside looking after the sheep near Bethlehem, his home town. Just as centuries later shepherds would be guarding their flock on those same hillsides, when the birth of Christ was announced to them, Luke 2:8. They were keeping watch over their flock by night, too, for David does not mention the sun, only the moon and stars, suggesting it was a night scene. As David looked above, he saw the moon and stars; as he looked around, he thought of men; as he looked back he thought of Adam; as he looked forward he thought of Christ, as he looked down he saw the town of Bethlehem, the place where Christ would be born, centuries later.

Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying- the writer does not distract us by telling us the name of the psalmist, nor the particular place where the psalm is found.
What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?- the word used for man in Psalm 8:4 is “enosh”, meaning frail, mortal, man. Seemingly so fragile, and subject to death, how can God’s purpose be centred there? He seems almost beneath God’s notice.
Or the son of man, that Thou visitest him?- not only does God notice him, but visit him, to make known His ways. From this we learn that God has great interest in man. He not only is mindful of man, but moves towards him. He not only has interest, but intervenes.
We should not think of this expression “son of man” as being a reference to Christ, for that is not how the psalmist uses it; he is simply describing men as sons of Adam, through their fathers, in a long line which stretches back to Adam. Implied in this is the fact that a sinful nature is passed on from father to son.

Hebrews 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels- both man and the son of man are made by God, either through creation or procreation. Man will always be lower than angels, so the meaning “for a little while” lower, is not meant here.
Note that it is not “made a little higher than the animals”. Man was made on the same day as the land animals, as if to highlight the difference between them, Genesis 1:24-27. The apostle Paul emphasised this difference when he wrote, “There is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts,” 1 Corinthians 15:39. Prominent evolutionists may hoodwink the public that it is “proved” than man came from the lower animals, but it is they themselves who are deceived, for they have adopted a world-view which takes no account of God, and in many instances denies that He exists. But if God does not exist then there is no logical, rational thought. So by thinking, the atheist verifies that God exists!
Man is lower than angels because:
Angels are greater in power and might than men, 2 Peter 2:11.
Angels do not die, being pure spirit.
Angels are fitted to live in heaven.
Angels can move from heaven to earth.
Angels are not limited by an earthly body.
Angels rest not day and night, worshipping God, Revelation 4:8.

So angels are higher because of their power, permanence, privilege and praise of God. But man is said to be only a little lower, so despite the foregoing, there are things which compensate, for man was made in the image and likeness of God, and the Son of God passed angels by, and became man.
God’s intention to make man is expressed in a unique way- “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”, Genesis 1:26. That this applies to the male and the female is clear from verse 27. As far as relationship with God is concerned, there is no bias with God towards the male or the female, all are equal in His sight, and both were created in God’s image and after His likeness.
Some translations of Psalm 8 say that man was made a little lower than God, since the word the psalmist used was “elohim”, and this is a word used many times for God. But it is also used in a lesser sense, even of the judges in Israel, Exodus 22:28; Psalm 82:6; John 10:34. In any case when the inspired writer to the Hebrews came to quote the psalm in Greek, he had separate words for God and angel at his disposal, and chose the word for angel. Since the writer to the Hebrews was just as much inspired of God as David was when he wrote, we understand by the Spirit that “elohim” is correctly translated “angels”. Does it not go without saying that man is lower than God; how could he be anything else? And is he only a little lower?
Thou crownedst him with glory and honour- glory is official, honour is moral, and these two perhaps correspond to man made in the image of God, (official position), and after His likeness, (moral character). So although lower than angels in the ranks of creation, yet man has a potential beyond all the angelic hosts.
The word used for crown here is “stephanos”, a wreath or circlet that was merited, (in contrast to the diadem that was inherited). This was the crown of the one who won the race as an athlete; who won respect as a citizen; who won a battle as a soldier; who won a bride as a suitor. Clearly that sort of crown was given to Adam in anticipation that he would be worthy of it. How soon he failed!
And didst set him over the works of Thy hands- man was a steward, responsible for the safe keeping of the property of another, even God.

Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet- in the case of Adam this was limited to things on the earth, which the psalmist specifies, sheep, oxen, etc. Being crowned with glory and honour should have ensured that the task was carried out faithfully. But Adam allowed his authority to be usurped.
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him- this shows that there is nothing put under angels, and also that the “all” is not qualified, as if it was only all of a certain range of things, for there is nothing else to be under him. We must understand this in connection with Adam before we advance to the idea, under the guidance of the writer, that these things can only be fulfilled in Christ.
Summarising, we may think of what the psalmist says as follows:

What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
The mystery about man.

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels.
The minority of man.

Thou crownedst him with glory and honour.
The majesty of man.

Thou didst set him over the works of Thine hands.
The ministry for man.

Thou hast put all things under his feet.
The mastery of man.

But now we see not yet all things put under him- a change has come in, showing that the potential of Psalm 8 has not been realised in Adam, and this situation continues, hence the word “now”. There is also the word “yet”, telling us that there is something in prospect. The “now” refers to conditions under Adam, the “yet” to conditions under Christ.
The emphasis in this chapter is on the manhood of Christ, as in chapter one it was on His Deity, and the remainder of the chapter sets out seven things that Jesus has been able to do by coming into manhood, as follows:

Verses 5-8 Vindicate God’s trust in man.
Verse 9 Consummate God’s purpose.
Verses 10-13 Elevate God’s people.
Verse 14 Eradicate the Devil.
Verse 15 Emancipate the slaves.
Verses 16-17 Propitiate sins.
Verse 18 Relate to believers’ sufferings.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus- this is the first of seven uses in the epistle of the name which emphasises His manhood. The Son of God has been made in fashion as a man, to be all that God expected man to be from the beginning. The writers of the New Testament are very sparing of their use of the name Jesus on its own, and only do so when there is a special need. The disciples never addressed the Lord as Jesus. He Himself said, “Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am”, John 13:13.
Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death- here we see why the writer quoted from Psalm 8, for the full potential of that psalm is not reached in Adam, but in Jesus, who is the second man, and the Last Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45-47. By coming into manhood, He, the creator of angels, has become lower than they are, for “made a little lower than the angels” has now become in the writer’s mind the equivalent of saying “became a man”. Adam was made a little lower than the angels for the enjoyment of life, but sadly, he fell, and this brought in suffering and death. Only Jesus could remedy this, and He did it by enduring the suffering connected with death. “For” means “with a view to”, so He became man expressly to die. Angels do not die, and Adam’s death had no merit, so only Christ’s death can deal with the situation brought in by the fall.
Crowned with glory and honour- not only must He correspond to Adam by being made lower than angels, but He must correspond too in being crowned with glory and honour before His great work is done at the Cross, just as Adam was crowned before his great sin in disobeying God. So there was seen in Christ the perfect representation and likeness of God that glory and honour involve, and it takes four gospel records to set just a glimpse of it forth.
We see this in the brief insight Luke gives to us of the boyhood of the Lord Jesus. He is taken by Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. Instead of returning with them He remained behind. When they at last found Him He was in the Temple “sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers”, Luke 2:46,47. See how his corresponds with what we have said about the image and likeness of God given to man at the beginning:
His personality. “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?”. He is aware of His distinct mission from the Father, even though He had not yet been anointed for public ministry.
His spirituality. He is with the doctors or teachers in the temple as they discuss the Law.
His rationality. Hearing and answering questions in a manner which impressed the learned doctors, but without asserting Himself as superior to them, for He ever “made Himself of no reputation”.

That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man- this phrase refers to the whole of the previous part of the verse. Note the punctuation, with commas between phrases until the word honour, which is followed by a semi-colon. This would suggest that “crowned with glory and honour” refers to Him during His life, for the first two statements, “made a little lower”, and, “crowned with glory and honour”, become true in order that He might taste death for every man. He showed Himself fit to die by His life before God and men.
Adam was made in the image of God, to represent God to creation. This was a glory indeed. He was also made after the likeness of God, involving, as we have seen, personality, spirituality and rationality. These are honourable things, and they were expressed by Adam as far as man is able to manifest them. Adam fell, however, and lost the dominion that his crown entitled him to. There is Another, however, in whom these features are seen to perfection, and with the eye of faith we discern in Christ when He was here those qualities and characteristics which make a man glorious and honourable.
The words “every man” could very well include the idea of “every thing”, and assure us of the far-reaching effects of the work of Christ, which has guaranteed the deliverance of a groaning creation, Romans 8:20,21; Colossians 1:20. (A creation, moreover, that groans because of the sin of the first man, Romans 8:19-22). He gave insights into His power to effect this deliverance when He was here the first time, as He defeated death, disease, demon-possession, danger and distress, as Matthew 8 details. No wonder the writer speaks of the Hebrews tasting the powers of the age to come, 6:5. Adam tasted of the forbidden tree, and forfeited his rights over the earth, but Christ has tasted death, (on a tree, Acts 5:30), and purchased for Himself the right to have all creation subject to Himself. As the creator of all things, He is supreme over them, but He has become man to prove His claim.
The apostle Paul also used a phrase from Psalm 8 when he was enlarging on the future reign of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, as follows:

1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Then cometh the end- the apostle has been detailing the sequence of resurrections, beginning with Christ’s, then of those that are His, and he has now come to the final one, when the unsaved dead shall rise at the end of time. The Greek word used for “then” means “after an interval”, whereas the “then” of verse 28 means “immediately”. The interval is in fact one thousand years, (the period of time mentioned repeatedly in Revelation 20:2-7), and then the end of the series of resurrections takes place.
When He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father- Christ’s reign over the earth is mediatorial. In other words, He reigns as the Firstborn on behalf of His Father, see Psalm 89:27; Hebrews 1:6. The resurrection of the wicked dead takes place after Christ has subdued everything else.
When He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power- put down means to destroy, as in verse 26, or to render powerless.
All rule every form of government upon the earth, as was illustrated by the various metals of the image in Daniel 2; all shall be replaced because of their failure to govern for God’s glory.
All authority and power every aspect of Satan’s support of human government for his own ends, seen in its worst form in the tribulation, when the Beast dominates the whole earth. It is the Dragon (Satan) who gives him his “power, and his seat (throne), and great authority”, Revelation 13:2. The Lord Jesus refused this kingdom from Satan, when tempted in the wilderness, Luke 4:5-8. He will receive His kingdom from God when He asks for it, Psalm 2:8, Daniel 7:13,14.

15:25 For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.

For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet- the second half of this verse is a quotation from Psalm 110:1, which can only be fulfilled by Christ, see Acts 2:34,35; Hebrews 1:13. He (Christ) must reign, till He (God) hath put all things under His feet. The subjection of all things to Christ is a process that lasts at least one thousand years. In Hebrews 1:13 Christ is set by God at His right hand until He makes His foes His footstool. There the word for “until” means “up to the time when”. So Christ is seated in heaven up to the time when God begins to manifestly put all things under His feet, which begins at the start of His reign, but even after the benefits of Christ’s benign rule have been felt for that long period, some men will still rebel. He must reign in this way, subduing all hostile forces, to vindicate God in His choice of man and not angels to rule the earth, see Hebrews 2:5.

15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death- when the unsaved dead are raised, death itself is cast into the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:14. At this point every hostile force in God’s universe will have been eradicated.

15:27 For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.

For He hath put all things under His feet- this is a quotation from Psalm 8:6. Note that now it is not just enemies that are in view, but all things. In Psalm 8 the initial reference was to Adam, and the “all things” are defined as sheep and oxen, fowls of the air and the fish of the sea. But when the psalm is used in reference to Christ, all things absolutely are in view, whether angels, men, the earth, or hostile powers. This is important to notice in view of the end of verse 28, where God is the only one not subject to Christ.
But when He saith “all things are put under Him”- “put under” is in the perfect tense, which signifies permanent result. At the end of the reign of Christ, God will announce that all things are permanently put under Him, just as He announced it anticipatively in Psalm 8.
It is manifest that He is excepted, that put all things under Him- clearly the One who has the right to delegate to Christ a position of supremacy over all things, must of necessity not be one of the “things” put under Christ.

15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

And when all things shall be subdued unto Him- as God will announce they are. Note the apostle now speaks of all things subdued unto Christ, not just under Him, to heighten the sense of supremacy this involves. At this point Christ is supreme in heaven and earth; what will He do with this position? Lucifer had prominence in heaven and rebelled against God. Adam had it on earth and did the same. But the response of Christ has already been indicated, for Christ has made Himself of no reputation, unlike Lucifer, who sought reputation, wanting to be like the Most High, Isaiah 14:12-14; and has humbled Himself, unlike Adam, who sought to be as God, Genesis 3:5.
Then shall the Son also be subject unto Him that put all things under Him- the simple title of Son always indicates “Son of God”, not “Son of Man”. So the subjection of Christ, stretching forward into eternity as it does, takes account of the fact that He is the Son of the Father. He had come into the subject place when He became man, so that it is said of Him that “the head of Christ is God”, 1 Corinthians 11:3, but what will He do now that all is subject unto Him; will His supremacy represent a threat to God His Father? The answer is a resounding negative, for He will deliberately affirm His subjection at the moment of His highest supremacy, and will do it, moreover, as the Son, so that subjection becomes a permanent feature of Him in His Deity.
That God may be all in all- the last question over the supremacy of the Godhead has been settled, for the only one of the Persons of the Godhead who could conceivably rival the Father, has deliberately subjected Himself to Him afresh. Note the change from “Him that put all things under Him”, meaning God the Father, to “God”, meaning the Triune God. The way is clear, therefore, for the Triune God to be all things in all places, everywhere and in all things supreme. The Son does not claim any part of the universe or of the outworking of Divine purpose as His own exclusive domain; the Godhead is manifestly united. What a glorious panorama opens out before us here, culminating in the ultimate supremacy of God.

Returning to Genesis 1.

1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

Special note
We should remember that the next verses are expanded in chapter 2, where in verses 7-20 we have the forming of Adam and matters connected thereto, and in verses 21-25 we have the formation of the woman, and matters concerning her relationship to the man.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him is this truth expressed twice over to emphasise it, given that it is such an amazing thought? It also emphasises once again man’s superiority over the animals. Man is said three times over to be in the image of God, and of the animals this is not said, even though they are an important part of the creation which glorifies God. Notice that the idea of likeness is not found in this verse. The likeness to God stems from the image, so does not need to be mentioned, for it is included in the idea of image. We could summarise man’s situation as follows:

The duty of man
He is responsible to represent God to creation. As in the image of God, he is to represent God. He is able to do this because he is made in the likeness of God, and has personality, rationality, and spirituality.

The distinctiveness of man
As far as creatures on earth are concerned, only man exercises faith, has a sense of duty, desires to search for knowledge, enjoys beauty and harmony, has eternal existence, possesses a will to act, to translate thoughts into words. Animals are not able to do these things. If they were, Adam, as the one appointed over them, would have been told they could by God.

The dominion of man
Adam lost this dominion when he sinned, for “we see not yet all things put under him”, Hebrews 2:8. But there is a day coming when this will be realised in Christ, as we have seen in connection with 1 Corinthians 15:23-28. Only believers currently recognise, for He is “head over all things to the church”, Ephesians 1:22.

The destiny of man
At the present time, believers are said to have “put off the old man” in principle at conversion, (meaning they have renounced Adam and his deeds), and to have “put on the new man”, (meaning they have consciously resolved to be like Christ). This new man is “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him”, see Colossians 3:9-11. Adam begat Seth “after his own likeness”, Genesis 5:3, and so it has been down the generations, each child begotten in the likeness of Adam, and passing on that likeness of nature to the next generation.

But “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation”, so the believer is enabled to live like Christ. As to the future, believers shall one day reign with Christ, 2 Timothy 2:11.
It is interesting to notice that in verse 26 God signals His intention to make man, and the word used is “asah”, a word translated in many ways in the Old Testament, but always indicating that something was done. It reminds us that God’s work was ongoing, and was reaching its climax in man.
Then in verse 27 He created man in His own image, and the word is “bara”, which is the basic word for creating something. This emphasises that God’s work was original. A new concept was being introduced, so even though man as to his body was made of materials created on the first day, it can be said that he was created on the sixth day because he was completely different to all other creatures in that he was made in the image of God. We saw in connection with the whales in verse 21 that a new idea was brought in, so that for the first time creatures that had life were made, thus justifying the use of the word “bara” for create. Here a further thought is in view, that of a creature being like God in some respects.
In the more detailed account of how this was done, in 2:7, God formed man of the dust of the ground, and the word is “yatsar”, which means to mould into a form, especially as a potter would do. We could say that God’s work was ornamental and outstanding.

Male and female created He them- in verse 26 God had said “Let us make man…let them have dominion”. So as soon as man is made, the idea of the female is brought in, for the woman is just as much of mankind as the male is. This means that she also is made in the image and likeness of God. We live in a day when some are confused about their gender, but our Creator has given us each our gender, and it is not for us to question His wisdom. When we are born, each of the multitude of cells in our body is either male or female. Nothing we may try to do will change that. We shall learn in chapter 2 the way in which the female was formed from the male. One of the outcomes of this is that there is an attraction between male and female. If it should be that a female is attracted to a female in an inappropriate way, or a male to a male, then we know there is perversion of the true order. As for a male “marrying” a male, this is abomination to the Lord, Leviticus 18:22. The apostle Paul writes by the Spirit as follows:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet”, Romans 1:18-27.

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.

And God blessed them- they enter upon their life as those upon whom God’s favour rests, for they are responsible for the whole of mankind coming into existence. Bound up in this is the coming of Christ into the world, for He would be “made of a woman”, Galatians 4:4. His coming is the greatest blessing of all, and is anticipated in this original blessing here.
And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it- their initial charge is to have children, and through them to multiply in number. They are to do this so that the whole of the earth is filled with people. As for the material earth, it is man’s task to subdue it in the sense of exercise dominion over it. Where, for instance, plant growth becomes too prolific, man is to control it. There is no warrant here to subdue men in slavery or warfare.
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- man is to exercise his authority over the classes of creature that have been made on the fifth and sixth days, thus once again emphasising his distinction from them. He is not given dominion over fellow-man. As we have seen from Psalm 8, this is the extent of the dominion that was given to man in Adam, whereas the dominion of Christ extends to all things, including death and the forces of evil.

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.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth- we see here that at the beginning it was not God’s mind that man should kill that which had life in order to eat. Man was to live on a vegetarian diet. Notice that these are the first words of God to Adam and his wife.
And every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat- the word meat originally signified any form of food, so that the offering that had no animal flesh in it, was called the meat offering, Leviticus 2. The Lord Jesus asked His disciples, who had been fishing all night, “Have ye any meat? He had asked them when they were together the same question, and they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb, Luke 24:41,42. So seeds, fruits and vegetables were to be the diet of man before the flood. Abel became a keeper of sheep, but this would yield milk, wool and skins, and primarily, sacrifices to God; it did not involve the eating of meat. Cain, who tilled the ground, could have bartered for an animal to sacrifice to God, but chose not to.
Note that the trees are qualified. It is only those whose fruit contained seed that may be eaten without restriction. Presumably the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not bear seed. They were one of a kind, and did not need to be perpetuated.

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.

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- so the animal kinds were vegetarian also, and did not have to kill to eat. The suffering and death associated with meat-eating was completely absent.
And it was so- not only did God make the living creatures, but He provided for them, and determined what they were to eat. God spoke and all obeyed, so it was so as He decreed. How sad that the animals and birds obey Him, but man, the highest of God’s creatures, soon did not.

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 every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good- various parts of the creation had been pronounced good, but now God surveys all that He had made, and it was very good, for everything was integrated together, for God is the God of order.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day- as with the first day, the definite article is placed before the sixth day, to mark it out as the last day of creation, and to show that it is of 24 hours as the first day was, being bounded by evening and morning, which ages of time do not have.