Studies in Genesis
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25 ESV)
Again, God speaks. He announces what He determines to create, bringing into existence all He intends. He creates the land animals. He has already covered the land with vegetation. He has already filled the waters with sea creatures and the air with flying creatures. Now, He brings into existence the land animals.
He commands the earth “bring forth” living creatures. He has spoken the same idea in Genesis 1:11, “let the earth sprout vegetation” and uses the same term in 1:12, “the earth brought forth vegetation.” Out of the existing materials of the ground, the dirt and dust of the earth, God fashioned living creatures. He does not need preexisting material to create anything but has chosen to do so.
It is interesting to note the order in which He declares the creation of animal life. He gives an order in verse 24 then changes the order in verse 25. I can only assume He does so to help us define the value and places of these creatures. All animal life carries the same value to God. It is “good.” That, and as we shall see, Man will have dominion over all animal life. We will discuss dominion in the future. For now it is important we recognize God has created these creature and, at least before the fall, given Man responsibility over them.
Out of the ground God created the “beasts of the earth,” “livestock,” and “everything the creeps.” “Beasts” are the flesh of raw animal life that wanders freely across the earth, avoiding Man. He creates “creeping” things which means those animals which move fast or glide across the ground, such as reptiles, insects and worms, mostly unaware of Man. They do not range over wide areas of land such as the beasts. Finally, he creates “livestock” which is the domesticated animals who stay close to Man.
Each of these species He creates “after its kind.” He uses this phrase five times in these two verses, and ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. This phrase is important to God and is, therefore, important to all His creation, but especially Man. We place ourselves in danger when we ignore what He is saying to us.
God declares His creation of the animal life “good.” He is pleased.