Genesis 1:24

Genesis 1:24

And God said, let the earth bring forth the living
creature after his kind
All sorts of living creatures that live and move upon the earth; not that the earth was endued with a power to produce these creatures of itself, without the interposition of God: for though it might be impregnated with a quickening virtue by the Spirit of God, which moved on it whilst a fluid, and had been prepared and disposed for such a production by the heat of the body of light created on the first day, and of the sun on the fourth; yet no doubt it was by the power of God accompanying his word, that these creatures were produced of the earth, and formed into their several shapes. The Heathens had some traditionary notion of this affair: according to the Egyptians, whose sentiments Diodorus Siculus F3 seems to give us, the process was thus carried on; the earth being stiffened by the rays of the sun, and the moist matter being made fruitful by the genial heat, at night received nourishment by the mist which fell from the ambient air; and in the day was consolidated by the heat of the sun, till at length the enclosed foetus having arrived to a perfect increase, and the membranes burnt and burst, creatures of all kinds appeared; of whom those that had got a greater degree of heat went upwards, and became flying fowl; those that were endued with an earthly concretion were reckoned in the class or order of reptiles, and other terrestrial animals; and those that chiefly partook of a moist or watery nature, ran to the place of a like kind, and were called swimmers or fish. This is the account they give; and somewhat like is that which Archelaus, the master of Socrates, delivers as his notion, that animals were produced out of slime, through the heat of the earth liquefying the slime like milk for food {d}: and Zeno the Stoic says F5, the grosser part of the watery matter of the world made the earth, the thinner part the air, and that still more subtilized, the fire; and then out of the mixture of these proceeded plants and animals, and all the other kinds; but all this they seem to suppose to be done by the mere efforts of nature; whereas Moses here most truly ascribes their production to the all powerful Word of God:

cattle, [and] creeping things, and beast of the earth after his
the living creatures produced out of the earth are distinguished into three sorts; "cattle", which seem to design tame cattle, and such as are for the use of man, either for carriage, food, or clothing, as horses, asses, camels, oxen, sheep and "creeping" things, which are different from the creeping things in the sea before mentioned, are such as either have no feet, and go upon their bellies, or are very short, and seem to do so, whether greater or lesser, as serpents, worms, ants

and the beast of the earth
seems to design wild beasts, such as lions, bears, wolves

and it was so;
such creatures were immediately produced.


F3 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 7.
F4 Laert. in Vita Archelai, p. 99.
F5 Ib. in Vita Zenonis, p. 524.