The Bible Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  

Genesis 1:24-31 DAY 6
Creation of Animals and Man

Hebrew Text

hyj vpn xrah axwt - Let the earth bring forth living creatures

The earth is commanded to bring forth animals. This is not ex nihilo creation. In the ANE animals and man sprouted from the ground like plants.

There are three kinds of animal; (domestic) cattle, hmhb, creeping things, ?mr, and wild animals, xra-wtyj. This is also in chiastic form. Note that no wild animals are said to be taken on Noah’s Ark.

Animals are to reproduce after their kind as the plants do. "Kind" should not be limited to "species."

Sumerian Literature

In Enki and the World Order two gods are assigned to the animals: one for domestic animals, the other for wild animals. This two fold division of animals is seen in the Dilmun Myth. Dilmun is probably modern Bahrain in the Persian Gulf which was an important trade center. Fresh water wells were found just off shore. Some equate it with Biblical paradise. The text says:

no lion kills,
no wolf takes a lamb.
Unknown is the dog herding the goats,
unknown is the pig, eater of grain (Clifford 1994, 36).

This text is describing the precreation state. It is not saying the lion and lamb will lay down together in peace, but the lion and lamb have not been created yet. First the wild animals are mentioned then the domestic animals.

In Eridu Genesis it tells of the creation of animals as follows, "They had made the small animals (that come up) from (out of) the earth come from the earth in abundance and had let there be, as befits (it), gazelles, (wild) donkeys, and four-footed beasts in the desert" (COS, 514). Here too animals are said to come up from the earth.  

Egyptian Literature

The Hymn to Aton says, "Thou didst create the world according to thy desire, Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts, Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet, And what is on high, flying with its wings" (ANET, 370, COS, 46; Psalm 8:7-8).

Next - Behemoth