• | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 27:33
  • Passages covered: Genesis 1:20-24, Genesis 2:7, Psalm 148:7, Ezekiel 29:3, Ezekiel 32:2,Isaiah 27:1, Genesis 17:4-6, Genesis 35:10-11, Exodus 1:7, Genesis 47:27.

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Genesis 1 Series, Part 20, Verses 20-24

Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #20 of Genesis, chapter 1 and we are going to read Genesis 1:20-23:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

In our last study we saw how this statement in verse 20 says, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly,” and in the middle of the verse it said, “which the waters brought forth abundantly.” The waters typified the Word of God, the Gospel, that brings forth salvation and that is why it sounds as if the waters created the living creatures. Once we understand that the waters represent the Word of God and Christ and the living creatures that come forth are a picture of God’s elect that are saved through the Gospel of salvation, then we can see that it is the “waters” that create life. We know that when God saved a person, he or she became a new creature, as King David besought the Lord in Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Or, we can look at what it says in 2Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The Word of God creates a new creature, spiritually, when we become born again and this is what is being illustrated during creation: “Let the waters bring forth abundantly.”

We looked at the word “abundantly” and we saw it was the same word found in Ezekiel 47:8-9:

Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

The word translated as “moveth” is the same word translated as “abundantly” in Genesis, chapter 1. Here in Ezekiel, chapter 47 God gives a vivid picture of salvation as the “waters” that flow forth from Him. Wherever the waters go they bring abundant life. The waters point to the Gospel of God that went out into the world as God saved all of those predestinated unto salvation and during the time of the second part of the Great Tribulation God saved the great multitude – He saved abundantly. It was the sending forth of the “water” and that is what happened during the Latter Rain period at that time.

This is the reason for this kind of language. We see another interesting thing in Genesis 1:21:

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly…

That term word translated as “creature” is literally “soul.” It is the Hebrew word “neh-fesh,” Strong’s #5315, and it should be translated as “living soul.” It is the same word in Genesis 2:7:

And JEHOVAH God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The word “soul” is the same word as used in Genesis 1:21. We can see how God is typifying these creatures as men, as He does in various places in the Bible. Again, Jesus told the disciples, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” and with that statement the Lord was setting up a parabolic picture of the fish in the sea as men. So the waters brought forth the living creatures and they bring forth abundantly because God had a plan to save a great many people over the course of the history of the world.

Let us talk about one other thing you may have noticed in Genesis 1, verse 21 and that is when it said, “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.” For some reason, whales were mentioned by name, but we do not find that God listed other types of sea creatures or the types of fowl. We wonder why the Lord specify that He created “great whales.” I do not know if I know the answer to this, but we will take a look at the word “whales.” It is Strong’s #8577 and it is translated as “whales,” “dragons” and “serpents.” It is the word we find in Psalm 148:7:

Praise JEHOVAH from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

The word translated as “dragons” is the same word translated as “whales” in our verse.

It is also translated as “dragons” in Ezekiel 29:3:

Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.

This is very significant because we know that Pharaoh is a type of Satan and he is called the “great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers.” We know from the New Testament in Revelation, chapter 20 that one of the names of Satan is “dragon.” It says in Revelation 20:2:

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

This same word for “whales” is translated as “dragon” and “serpent.” Pharaoh is a type and figure of Satan who is called the “great dragon.” It is also mentioned in Isaiah 27:1:

In that day JEHOVAH with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

The word “dragon” is the word translated as “whales” in our verse, except it is in singular form here. Isaiah 27 is, without question, referring to God slaying Satan, so Satan is figured by this same word translated as “whale” or “dragon.” It says in Ezekiel 32:2:

Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers.

God goes on to speak of the judgment He will bring upon Pharaoh, another type of Satan. So we can see that this word translated as “whales” does relate to Satan, so why did God point out that He created “great whales”? It could be that God is indicating that Satan had been created. Now Satan is not a whale; neither is he a dragon or a serpent. He was formerly a good angel, which is also a created creature. God is not speaking of creating the angels here, but through this figure of creation, God did create some great sea monster. By the way, this word is also translated as “sea monster” and God did create the whales that we see in the seas today. But by stressing that He did create the whale, it very well could be that God is indicating that He created Satan, who was originally created “good.” We know that God says at the end of verse 21, “And God saw that it was good,” so the whale was a good creature. All the angels were initially good creatures; there was no sin of any kind in them when they were created. There was no corruption in any creature of God at the time of creation. There was no transgression or rebellion against God at this time in anything He had created.

Let us go on to Genesis 1:22-23:

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Again, it is the fifth day and the number “five” points to the atonement, which we see that by His command to “let the waters bring forth” He is illustrating His Gospel program in which He would apply the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ to those for whom Christ died.

First of all, it says of the creatures that “God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply.” Once again, this is a pre-figure of God’s salvation program. The blessing of God points to salvation. It says in Psalm 133:3:

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there JEHOVAH commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

This is the ultimate blessing. There are earthly blessings of various kinds, but when we read in the Bible that someone is blessed, the spiritual reality it points to is, ultimately, life for evermore. It is the opposite of being cursed. When God curses the sinner, the sinner will die and cease to exist. God has blessed His people, the elect, and they will live for evermore. This is what is in view when it says, “And God blessed them.” It goes on to say, “Be fruitful, and multiply.” This was the promise God would later give to Abraham in Genesis 17:4-6:

As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

God is giving the promise to Abraham that he will have a son and he will be “exceeding fruitful” and nations will come from him. At one point God tells Abraham to look at the stars of heaven and He tells him that his seed will be as the stars of heaven for multitude. We understand this to be the promise of Christ and His people. Christ is the “seed” (singular) and all those God has saved are the seed (plural), so the promise to be “exceeding fruitful” is a promise that points to God’s elect, spiritually, as they become saved. It is the promise that God reiterated to Jacob in Genesis 35:10-12:

And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

The Lord changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” to point to spiritual Israel, the company of the elect. Further on in Genesis, it says in Genesis 47:27:

And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.

The word “grew” is Strong’s #6509, which is translated as fruitful in Genesis 1, verse 22. So Israel was fruitful and multiplied exceedingly in the land of Egypt.

It says in Exodus 1:6-7:

And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

We know what happened after that. Once Israel had multiplied abundantly, then God sent the deliverer. God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to set the children of Israel free. Finally, Pharaoh did release them and all Israel was delivered. The exceeding multitude of Israel that had multiplied in the land of Egypt came out all at one time. Egypt is a picture of the world under the rule of Pharaoh, a type of Satan. Israel is a picture of God’s elect. On May 21, 2011 God set spiritual Israel free by saving the great multitude, the last part of spiritual Israel that had been held captive by sin and Satan in the world. All the elect “came out” at once, in a figure. So the command to “Be fruitful, and multiply” has a spiritual dimension of all the elect. The Gospel went forth that they might be found and saved and be abundantly fruitful insofar as the salvation of God’s elect was concerned.

Of course, this command has a physical and moral aspect to it, which was that mankind, whether saved or unsaved, was to bear children, whether saved or unsaved. God commanded His people, as well as the animals and sea creatures, to be fruitful and multiply. Later on when Noah came out of the ark mankind received the same commandment from God to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. That is the command of God and this is why birth control is contrary to the command of God to be fruitful and multiply. It goes against the will of God. Mankind is to produce children. This commandment has never been rescinded and remains in effect even today. If anyone is qualified in marriage, then they are to leave the bearing of children to God. A man and woman that enters into marriage are to be fruitful and multiply and not try to hinder God’s creative work in their lives in the area of having children. God has operated that way from the very beginning and no interference should come from mankind. It is man’s tendency to rebel against God and to think that he knows better than God and, therefore, he interferes by saying things like, “I am not ready. I do not have enough money. I do not have a house yet.” Whatever the reason, man thinks he has a right to planned parenthood and he can determine when he will (or will not) have children and this is contrary to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply.

The child of God does not interfere with that process. When believers marry, they trust God in all things including when to have children. When they enter into marriage, the children of God will leave these matters to God. Everyone should leave it to God, whether they are saved or unsaved, but only the elect have a desire to do God’s will and they will leave the timing of having children with God. It may be that two or three children will be born and it may not seem that you have an ability to take care of so many children, but what are you to do? You are to trust God to provide. The parents do what they can to provide for their children as they pray to God to help them in this and they continue to look to God to govern their lives in that area, as well as in every other area of their lives.