Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #24 of Genesis, chapter 1 and we are going to read Genesis 1:26-28:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and 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 creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we saw that God made this special creature that was created in His own likeness and after His own image, the man Adam. In keeping with man being the chief of God’s creation, he was created in God’s image and none of the other creatures were created in God’s image. As far as we know, our glorious Creator has never created anything like this particular creature in any of His prior creations, so this was a special creature that was given the ability to rule like God. He would have many of God’s attributes and traits and he would have desires and thoughts that follow the mind of God. He would rule, like God, over the creation that God had just created. This is why God said they were to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Notice that God refers to man as “them” in a few places. He said, “Let us make man in our image,” but then He said, “in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them…” God had only created Adam on that 6th day and he would be alone for an unspecified period of time. We do not know how long it was until Eve was created. We can be sure it was not that long. Here is what we know from the Bible, if we turn to Genesis 2:18-23:
And JEHOVAH God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground JEHOVAH God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And JEHOVAH God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which JEHOVAH God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
God recognized that Adam was by himself and it was not good that he should be alone. Then God created the woman out of the man. We read in 1Timothy 2:11-13:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
This was the order of creation. God created man and he was alone. Then later God created the woman. It was probably a very short time later, perhaps, a few days or weeks. God was not specific about this, but later God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and He took one of his ribs and made the woman.
In a passage where the Lord gives the structure for the chain of command, He says in 1Corinthians 11:3:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Then it says in 1Corinthians 11:8:
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
This is what we read in Genesis, chapter 2. It is an accurate description of how God made the woman of the man. He took a part of the man and made the woman. Then it says in 1Corinthians 11:9:
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
God saw that the man was alone and He created the woman to be a help meet for Adam, the man. Of course, in our modern world the women’s movement has become so common and this would seem to them to be outdated material when it says that the woman was created for the man. Do not try to say that in some circles because you will certainly receive a lot of opposition and, yet, it is what the Bible says – the woman was created for the man.
Now we know that all of this has spiritual meaning and we will wait until we get to chapter 2 to discuss the spiritual meaning of God creating the woman and how it relates to the eternal church of God’s elect, the bride of Christ. They come forth as a result of the Lord Jesus Christ and the death He experienced.
Nonetheless, God created an order of things. He created Adam first and then He created the woman and this fits in the authority structure of the home when God says that the woman is to be in submission to her husband, and so forth. The husband is the head of the woman. This is how God wanted it because the order of things is very important and the submission of the woman to the man is very important spiritually. Would God have that woman throughout history be in submission to their husbands in order to teach a spiritual truth? Of course He would and that is exactly why He gave the commandment. It is why God commanded man to observe the seventh day Sabbath; when that seventh day came, no work was to be performed. This was the commandment of God from the very beginning. What difference does it make if you work on that day as on any other day? The difference is that God set apart that day in order to teach a tremendous spiritual truth and that is that there was no work that men could do to earn salvation. The Lord Jesus had done all the work from the foundation of the world and we are to rest in His finished work. God altered the whole lifestyle of mankind in instituting that seventh day Sabbath and man was to observe it week after week. Even when He changed it to the Sunday Sabbath, the people of the world that were given any understanding of the Bible would observe the Sunday Sabbath for centuries. Even today there are people that observe God’s holy day in a time when many of God’s commandments are trampled upon by the world and by the churches. And, yet, the Sunday Sabbath has been observed for almost 2,000 years and, again, it was to teach a spiritual truth. God often does this. He will give a command that will impact the lifestyle of people. He also does this in order to instruct us and to paint a picture to give us an example of what He has done.
It says in Genesis 5:1-2:
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
God says He called “their” name Adam, referring to both the male and female. So at the point of Adam’s creation, the woman was also counted to have been created; when Adam was formed from the dust of the ground and came into being, God says that “they” were created and that is why it says that He “called their name Adam.” Again, this would have spiritual significance that relates to the Lord Jesus Christ. The people of God whose sins Christ bore were “in” Him and, yet, we did not yet exist. It would not be until the world was created and time unfolded before all the people that were in Him were born into the world. Yet, God looked at Christ and He saw all the elect in Him and when Christ died and rose again and was declared to be the Son, it was as though all the elect, the bride of Christ, were also in Him at that time.
Let us go back Genesis, chapter 1 and look at the word “dominion,” where God said of man, “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 creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” He repeated some of this in verse Genesis 1:28:
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
We talked before about how the fish can represent men. Cattle can represent men. The creatures that God made can be types and figures of mankind. Adam and the woman are said to “have dominion over” all these creatures and, yet, all the creatures can represent mankind and Adam can be a type and figure of Christ and the woman can be a figure of the body of Christ, the elect. So it was given to them to have dominion over the peoples of world and that is the case because God’s people will inherit the earth. Here, they are given dominion over the creatures.
The word “dominion” is Strong’s #7287 and it is almost always used in regard to people, apart from these verses in Genesis. It is a word that expresses dominion over man. It is a word that relates to the Christ’s dominion over man in Psalm 110:2:
JEHOVAH shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Here, it is translated as “rule.”
It says in Psalm 72:8:
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
If you read Psalm 72, the masculine pronoun “he” is used repeatedly of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one with “dominion.”
Let us also go to Numbers, chapter 24, where the Lord is moving Balaam to make these statements in Numbers 24:17-19:
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
Out of Jacob comes a “Star” and this is a Messianic reference. Then it says, “Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion,” and Christ shall rule. The government shall be upon His shoulders. He is the one that will rule the nations with a rod of iron. In the Day of Judgment, we have seen that He comes with ten thousands of His saints. Christ will rule and have dominion and, at the same time, the body of Christ rules as they judge the world with Him and they have “dominion” over the unsaved inhabitants of the earth.
It says of Solomon, in 1Kings 4:24:
For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him.
Solomon, a type of Christ, had dominion. Solomon’s name means “peace” and Jesus (who is our peace) has dominions over kings, so this word “dominion” is often associated with ruling over men. You would not think God would use this particular word as He has done in Genesis to indicate ruling over animals.
It says in Isaiah 41:2:
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.
The “righteous man from the east” is Jesus. The nations were given to Him to rule. If you rule over the king of a nation, you would rule over that entire nation. The world was given to the “righteous man from the east” to have dominion over it.
So, in Genesis, chapter 1 Adam was given dominion over the creatures of the earth, just as the Lord Jesus Christ would have dominion over mankind, as typified by the animals. Adam and Eve, the woman, as the bride of Christ have dominion. They rule together. When an elect person is saved the Bible says he is lifted up into heavenly places to be seated with Christ Jesus and in the Bible “to sit” means to rule. The elect rule with Him. Even before Judgment Day, God’s people were in Christ and what was true for Christ was true for them.
Let us look at one more verse. Isaiah, chapter 14 is where we learn that the king of Babylon is said to be a “proverb” and he is set up as a type of Satan (Lucifer). In speaking of the king of Babylon or Satan, it says in Isaiah 14:6:
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
Before Satan fell, he ruled the nations or he had dominion over the nations. We know that when Satan was tempting the Lord in the wilderness he showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world and he told Christ that all the kingdoms of the world had been given to him (Satan) and he would give them to Christ if Christ would bow down and serve him. Of course, that offer was flatly rejected by the Lord, but Satan was correct in stating that the nations had been delivered to him because the “dominion” over the creation had originally been given to Adam and Eve. They were in subjection to God, but God had created them as underlings that would have dominion over the earth. Then Satan entered into the picture in Genesis, chapter 3 and the question of who they would serve came into view when Satan deceived Eve into taking a bite of the forbidden fruit. From that point, Eve began to serve Satan, the serpent, and Adam began to serve Satan, the serpent. Just as God ruled over them, now Satan would rule over mankind and over the nations and the people of the earth. It was by right of conquest that he had “dominion” over the nations and he could offer them to Christ if Christ would bow down and serve him. So the “dominion” that God first gave to Adam and Eve (mankind) is later taken away by Satan and he became the ruler of the earth and all things that had been given to Adam and Eve and mankind.