The Sixth Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind --cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind. And it was so; God made the beast of the earth after its kind and cattle after their kind and earth-reptiles after their kind. And God saw it was so done and approved.
By this time matters on this earth were becoming more settled; the crust was thicker by hundreds of feet of sand and clays and shells and coal, and various other minerals gathered, some from crumbling rocks thrown up by earthquakes, some from the "rings" once surrounding the earth, and some from animal and vegetable deposits; besides, the earth itself must have cooled considerably during those 35,000 years. A sufficiency of earth's surface was now above the sea, and well drained by mountain ranges and valleys to be ready for the lower animals, which are here divided into three kinds: (1) earth-reptiles, cold-blooded, breathing creatures--lizards, snakes, etc.; (2) beasts of the earth, or wild beasts, as differentiated from domestic animals, specially suited to be companions for man, and here referred to as (3) cattle. The air also by this time would be purified of elements unsuited to breathing animals, absorbed from it by the rank vegetation of the carboniferous period, as the excessive hydro-carbons had been absorbed from the
oceans by the minute shellfish, preparatory to the swarming of sea creatures which breathe.
Here, again, we need not quarrel needlessly with Evolutionists. We will concede that, if God chose, he could have brought all the different species of animal life into being by a development of one from the other, or he could have developed each species separately from the original protozoan slime. We know not what method he adopted, for it is revealed neither in the Bible nor in the rocks. It is, however, clearly revealed that in whatever way God chose to accomplish it, he has fixed animal species, each "after his kind" in such a manner that they do not change; in such a manner that the ingenuity of the human mind has not succeeded in assisting them to change. Here is the stamp of the intelligent Creator upon his handiwork; for had "Nature" or "blind force" been the creator, we would still see it plodding blindly on, at times evoluting and at times retrograding; we would see no such fixity of species as we behold all about us in nature.
We may reasonably assume that it was just at the close of the sixth epoch-day that God created man; because his creation was the last, and it is distinctly stated that God finished his creative work, not on the sixth, but "on the seventh day"--the division of the man into two persons, two sexes, being, evidently, the final act.
And God said, We will make man in our image, and after our likeness; 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 reptile that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, and God blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue and control it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the heavens and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
In view of our remarks, foregoing, that the Scripture language does not forbid the possibility of the plants, water-creatures and land-creatures being more or less developed, or evolved, in their various kinds, it may be well for us to
note the wide difference in the language used when referring to man's creation. The latter is a specific declaration of the direct exercise of divine creative power, while the others are not, but rather imply a development:
"And the earth brought forth grass," etc.
"Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature," etc.
"Let the earth bring forth living creature after his kind, cattle," etc.
There are two accounts of the creation--the one we have just been considering, which treats the matter briefly and in its epochal order, and another which follows it in Genesis 2:4-25. In other words, the division of the chapters was at a wrong place--the two accounts should each constitute a chapter. The second one is a commentary on the first, explanatory of details. "These are the generations," or developments, of the heavens and the earth and their creatures, from a time before there was any plant or herb. The first and principal account gives the word "God" when speaking of the Creator; and the second, or commentary account, points out that it was Jehovah God who did the entire work--"in the day" that he made the heavens and the earth--thus grasping the whole as one still larger epoch-day, including the work of the six already enumerated.
The word God in the first chapter is from the common Hebrew word Elohim, a plural word which might be translated Gods, and which, as we have already seen, signifies "mighty ones." The "Only Begotten" of the Father was surely his active agent in this creative work, and he may have had associated with him in the execution of its details a host of angels to whom also the word elohim would be applicable here as elsewhere in the Scriptures. It is appropriate, therefore, that the second, or commentary, account should call our attention to the fact that Jehovah the Father
of all was the Creator, whoever may have been used as his honored representatives and instruments. The added particulars of the second account respecting man's creation may properly be considered here. It declares:
Jehovah God formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and the man became a living being.