Livestock, Creeping Things and Beasts
“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.”
The sixth day of the Creation Week seems to have been the busiest, as far as the variety of creation goes. On this day, God made land animals, and He made the first two people. During that day, we have to assume that all the events of Genesis 2 happened. That is, God made the animals, planted the Garden of Eden, made Adam, brought some animals to Adam for him to name, and finally God made Eve from Adam’s side.
It is not easy to understand what is meant by the threefold division of the land animals into livestock, creeping things and beasts of the Earth. It seems likely that these subdivisions are not along the lines of the classes of vertebrates. They probably, instead, refer to the way that these animals interact with humans – a more pragmatic, use-oriented classification system that would be more typical of biblical classification.
One point that we notice is that these land creatures, like the sea and flying creatures, are described as living creatures. In other words, they have nephesh. In Genesis 1:22, we read that God blessed these creatures. By implication, this blessing would seem to extend to all nephesh lifeforms – those animals that contain blood. We also read that the creatures were created “according to their kinds”. This concept of kinds is wider than species. A biblical kind (creationists often use the term baramin, from the Hebrew for “created kind”) is probably closer to the taxonomic term family. Species within kinds can vary widely, but one kind cannot evolve into another.
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