And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יִקָּו֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ אֶל־מָקֹ֣ום אֶחָ֔ד וְתֵרָאֶ֖ה הַיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃
On day one the Earth was just water, on the second day it was water and air, and on the third day there was land. Step by step the Earth was coming closer to habitability. Rather than have the earth burst forth from the sea, God commanded the waters to asswage and the let the Earth appear from under it. This act was repeated during the flood (see Genesis 8:1). The waters had to be gathered together so that the land could appear. But where did this water go? Well, some of it went into the seas, of course. The rest was brought below the crust.
The waters were brought into one place–both surrounding the land and below the land. Psalm 24:2 says that God founded the Earth upon the seas and established it on the floods. Psalm 33:7 says that God gathered the waters of the sea together and laid up the depth in storehouses. These waters were shut up underground as if held back by doors; during the flood the ground burst open and water sprang forth as if gushing from a womb when a woman’s water breaks (see Job 33:8). Not all of the underground waters came up, however. Most of it is in fact still underground. The geochemist Graham Pearson and his team discovered a rare mineral that suggests a massive water reservoir exists approximately 300 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, under the crust. Pearson’s team analyzed a diamond found in Brazil in 2008 and found a microscopic mineral crystal, Ringwoodite, that contains about 1% water by weight. This might not seem like much but, as Pearson said, “When you realize how much ringwoodite there is, the transition zone [area between the crust and mantle] could hold as much water as all the Earth’s oceans put together.”6 God did not make all the waters come up during the flood, or else all the land on Earth would still be flooded today; and the water would absorb too much oxygen.
It was mentioned in the commentary on Genesis 1:2 that water is very good at absorbing oxygen. When most of the Earth’s water was underground in these great subterranean chambers, it was separated from the atmosphere by several miles of ground. You may recall that the antediluvian atmosphere contained about 35% more oxygen than it does now (see the commentary on Genesis 1:7). Much of the oxygen that was in the atmosphere is now in the oceans (oxygen makes up 34.3% of the gases dissolved in the oceans but only makes up approximately 21% of the atmosphere). Less water in the oceans would not only mean less oxygen absorption in the water but also less CO2. Less CO2 absorption means more in the air for plants to breathe. As a result the antediluvian world had larger plants and higher food yield. God set the balance perfectly.
God also created an Earth that contains many resources to be extracted and used for all sorts of purposes. He buried gold, silver, salt, onyx, and many other substances just waiting to be found. The Earth was made to be–in a way–a big treasure hunt for humans to take advantage of. What’s more, these substances have some uses that are obvious but many other uses that can only be found out after a great deal of research. Consider that magnesium was not a resource 500 years ago. Of course magnesium existed 500 years ago, but to mankind it was just a grey metal. It was not until much more recently that it was turned into a resource, and today is used in a variety of industrial applications. Consider also glass, that peculiar substance with ever-increasing versatility. It has been a resource for thousands of years, but only continues to grow in usefulness as the centuries go by. After hundreds of years of experimentation, Romans were able to create the Lycurgus cup which changes color when held up to the light. But even the most intelligent Roman glass blowers and engineers could not have imagined that someday all the nations of the world would be connected by glass fibers. God’s brilliant design allows for limitless potential when the resources of the Earth are transformed by human ingenuity. It boggles the mind to imagine what technologies we would have today if Noah’s contemporaries had spent their 900-year lifespans serving God and subduing the Earth with wisdom and righteousness.
6Lovett, Richard A. “Tiny Diamond Impurity Reveals Water Riches of Deep Earth.” Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 2014/03/12. Web.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.
וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לַיַּבָּשָׁה֙ אֶ֔רֶץ וּלְמִקְוֵ֥ה הַמַּ֖יִם קָרָ֣א יַמִּ֑ים וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֹֽוב׃
Exactly what the seas and continents looked like is unknown to us. It is a sure thing that the surface of the Earth bore little resemblance to the Earth of today. For one thing, Noah’s flood deposited a great deal of water into the oceans and made them take up a greater percentage of the Earth’s surface. That alone changed the Earth’s appearance dramatically. A close examination of the continental shelves will reveal that if the oceans were to drop a few hundred feet then all of the continents would be connected to each other except Antarctica. It is the firm belief of this author that South America and Antarctica were indeed connected originally but the land bridge connecting them was violently washed away during the flood. The dirt that made up that land bridge is spread out over a portion of the Atlantic Ocean (see picture below).
The light gray in the picture represents the continental shelf.
There appears to have been an incredible rush of water moving eastward.
God created the Earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). A high percentage of land area (higher than the 29.2% we have now) would allow for more habitation. God also told Adam and Eve to fill the Earth (see Genesis 1:28). Continents that are connected would make it easy to do this. If Adam and Eve were separated from the Americas by a vast ocean then they would have had a hard time fulfilling God’s command. When studying God’s word and learning about the world of the past, we must take nothing for granted–not even the appearance of the world. The oceans were much smaller and much shallower in the beginning. At the end of the flood, the continents rose up and the sea floors sank down (see Psalm 104:8). Therefore it is uncertain how much of the modern ocean floor was originally land. Suffice it to say that the Earth today is a poor imitation of the original design.
And the Earth was indeed designed. Throughout the planet we find proof that Earth was created by an intelligent designer. A scientist named Robert Gentry has put a great deal of study into granite halos. He wrote a book named Creation’s Tiny Mystery detailing microscopic halos that prove that the Earth was created instead of “formed.” Basically, he found that there are billions upon billions of Polonium-238 radiohalos in granite (They look like halos when examining a flat cross-section of granite under a microscope, but really they are spherical shells).7 Each of these halos had to be formed in less than three minutes because of the short half-life of polonium. There is no way these halos could have formed after the granite was already solid, but it had to be solid when they formed or else they would have decayed–therefore they both came about simultaneously. Not only that, but all the granite around the world had to form and solidify in less than three minutes. And granite is found under every continent around the world. It is impossible that the Earth could once have been a molten mass (unless we are to accept the laughable notion that it was molten for less than three minutes). Interestingly enough, granite can be melted; but it will reform into rhyolite, never again into granite. The existence of granite itself is proof of God’s creation.
There is ample evidence that not only was the land of Earth formed quickly, but it happened not very long ago. Approximately 29 Billion tons of sediment are deposited in the oceans every year.8 At this rate all of the Earth’s land would be below sea level within 14 Million years. Erosion by rivers, rainfall, etc., causes land to gradually work its way down from higher elevations to lower elevations. Debris from outer space and volcano blasts occasionally replenish some dirt above sea level, but this is minuscule in comparison to the amount being lost. The old-Earth theory hinges upon the assumption that dirt is somehow being recycled at a rate greater than that which is lost to erosion (it must be greater, or else there could not be a gradual buildup of sediment to make fossils and geologic strata). This is a fairytale. God produced overwhelming proof that the Earth is as He says it is.
The Earth was created with perfect balance. If the crust were much thicker then it would absorb too much oxygen, but if it were much thinner then there would be more volcanic and seismic activity. God made the Earth “just right.” There are many other balances which exist now and need to exist, but did not exist originally and did not need to exist because they canceled out each other. For example, the higher level of water vapor in the atmosphere back then would have brought about a sizable greenhouse effect, but the higher albedo caused by the greater percentage of land area canceled out the effect, so temperatures stayed comfortable. God made sure that the flood canceled out both variables so temperatures would stay comfortable (on average). Even when God is punishing us He is still looking out for us!
…and saw that it was good. He continues to judge His creation; this shows that He has the authority and knowledge to. Not only did God have the right to name His creations (as their creator and owner) but also had the goodness and authority to sit in correct judgment upon them. He is good so His judgment is true and good. When God said that it was good, it really was. This, of course, is obvious; but sometimes we don’t fully understand something until it is stated clearly to us.
God saw that it was good that the dry land and the seas should be separated. The Flood was not only bad for the humans and animals that perished in it; the flood was also bad in that it subverted the goodness of the separation here established by God. It was with grief that God flooded the world. He would have rather that it never happened.
7Gentry, Robert V. Creation’s Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, TN: Earth Science Associates, 1988. Print.
8Ferrell, Vance. Science vs. Evolution. Altamont, TN: Evolution Facts, 2001. Page 65.
- [electronic version of Science vs. Evolution is available here] THIS AUTHOR VERY STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT YOU READ SCIENCE VS. EVOLUTION.)
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after their kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים תַּֽדְשֵׁ֤א הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ דֶּ֔שֶׁא עֵ֚שֶׂב מַזְרִ֣יעַ זֶ֔רַע עֵ֣ץ פְּרִ֞י עֹ֤שֶׂה פְּרִי֙ לְמִינֹ֔ו אֲשֶׁ֥ר זַרְעֹו־בֹ֖ו עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃
Step by step God was continuing to ready the planet for humans. On the third day He not only made land but also food. Plants, by their nutrients, conduct good health and impart continued life unto those who eat them, but they do not have life in them. Although we have been taught that plants are alive, in the biblical sense they are not strictly alive. Plants have much in common with living beings, but they are not themselves alive. You may find this impossible to believe, but consider the virus. Viruses, just like plants, have much in common with living organisms. They have an organized structure, they respond to stimuli, etc. But there are five requirements for life and viruses do not meet all five. They lack a metabolism and cannot reproduce without first infecting cells. Because of this viruses are not scientifically considered alive (although some scientists will say that they are). Many scientists refer to them as organic “structures” or “agents.” Viruses can be seen as biological machines rather than lifeforms. And viruses can move from one place to another; this is something plants cannot do. If one can accept that viruses are not alive even though they have much in common with living organisms, surely one can also entertain the idea that plants too are not alive.
God’s requirements for life are blood (See Gen. 9:4, see also Lev. 17:14, John 6:54) and breath inhaled through nostrils (see also Gen. 2:7, Gen. 7:22, Ezek. 37:5, John 20:22). Plants do not have noses to inhale air, and contain no blood. In the Bible there are many instances where plants wither and fade, but never is it written that they die. They only wither (Job 8:12, Isaiah 19:6,Ezek. 17:9, Ezek. 47:12, Matt. 21:20). Now, it is not known whether plants would have withered had Adam and Eve not sinned. Even though plants are not alive it may have been the case that plants were meant to be “unwithering” just as living things were meant to be undying.
Either way, plants were created on the third day as an extension of the work God did on the land. They are a sophisticated, self-replicating food source that made survival possible for the animals and humans. Let us turn now to three vitally important words: after their kind.
…yielding fruit after their kind… Genesis chapter 1 contains the words “after their kind” no fewer than 10 times. Now either the Bible is entirely true and the word of God, or it is a lie. There are no compromises to be made here. It is either literally true or a lie. There is no verse in the Bible stating that the Genesis account is in any way symbolic, even though there are plenty of opportunities to do so; every book from Exodus to Revelations mentions or alludes to Genesis at least once. If Genesis were not meant to be taken seriously then the scriptures would make note of this (or more likely, the Bible would just exclude Genesis). Jesus certainly believed the writings of Moses. He referred to the Genesis account also. Are we to believe, then, that Jesus is a liar? Or is Genesis truthful? If Genesis is truthful then let us take it at its word.
Genesis states here that God created every plant to bear seed and fruit after its own kind. An apple tree will always bear apple seeds that will grow into apple trees. God created each distinct kind to reproduce after its own kind. This means that organisms do not change into different species over time. There are variations within kinds (e.g. Red Delicious apples, Macintosh apples, etc.) but no variation across kinds ever occurs. This is a great test for Christians, for we are told throughout our lives that it is a scientific fact that all organisms evolved from a common ancestor, and yet the Bible assures us that this is not true. It is a tragedy that so many self-proclaimed christians fail the test and abandon God’s word in favor of such a religion.
The evolutionist Francis Hitching wrote the following concerning Evolution:
“In three crucial areas where it can be tested, it has failed: the fossil record reveals a pattern of evolutionary leaps rather than gradual change. Genes are a powerful stabilizing mechanism whose main function is to prevent new forms evolving. Random step-by-step mutations at the molecular level cannot explain the organized and growing complexity of life.”9
This means that only a sudden leap across species could provide for evolutionary change. But this too is impossible. As other scientists pointed out:
“Since Lamarck’s theory [acquired characteristics] has been proved false, it is only of historical interest. Darwin’s theory [natural selection] does not satisfactorily explain the origin and inheritance of variations … deVries’ theory [large mutations, or “hopeful monsters”] has been shown to be weak because no single mutation or set of mutations has ever been so large that it has been known to start a new species in one generation of offspring.”10
Evolutionism is a religion, and as such requires a tremendous amount of faith in the impossible. Dr. R.L. Wysong summed up the situation nicely.
“Evolution requires plenty of faith: a faith in L-proteins that defy chance formation; a faith in the formation of DNA codes which if generated spontaneously would spell only pandemonium; a faith in a primitive environment that in reality would fiendishly devour any chemical precursors to life; a faith in experiments that prove nothing but the need for intelligence in the beginning; a faith in a primitive ocean that would not thicken but would only hopelessly dilute chemicals; a faith in natural laws of thermodynamics and biogenesis that actually deny the possibility for the spontaneous generation of life; a faith in future scientific revelations that when realized always seem to present more dilemmas to the evolutionist; faith in improbabilities that treasonously tell two stories—one denying evolution, the other confirming the creator; faith in transformations that remain fixed; faith in mutations and natural selection that add to a double negative for evolution; faith in fossils that embarrassingly show fixity through time, regular absence of transitional forms and striking testimony to a worldwide water deluge; a faith in time which proves to only promote degradation in the absence of mind; and faith in reductionism that ends up reducing the materialist’s arguments to zero and facing the need to invoke a supernatural creator.”11
Every scientific experiment ever conducted to prove Evolution (e.g. by Richard Goldschmidt or H. Nilsson) or observation made to prove Evolution (e.g. by H.T. Band or John B.S. Haldane) has instead proved that it can’t happen. God created organisms as they are. Just because many persons adamantly insist that Evolution is scientific fact does not mean that it is. If the Bible is true then anything contradicting it must straightaway be false. If God created organisms to reproduce after their own kind, then that is the end of the discussion. The duty of the Christian is to believe God no matter what anyone says. This is a central aspect of faith. If a verse in the Bible hasn’t been proved true yet, it will be eventually. This point is of paramount importance, not only because the belief in evolution requires the disbelief of God’s word, but also because Evolution is thoroughly anti-Christian in every aspect. The Bible teaches that nothing died until Adam sinned, and thus man brought death into the world. But Evolution teaches that billions of years of organisms struggling to survive (i.e. Survival of the Fittest) have led to the evolution of homo, and thus death brought man into the world. If men evolved from plants and animals then we have no spirits–we are just animals. How could Jesus save us if we are nothing but mere vats of chemicals? And when we someday evolve into supermen with cosmic superpowers, how could we possibly need Jesus? The desire to reconcile the Bible with such excrement is nothing but evil. Good intentions do not necessarily mean good consequences.
9Hitching, Francis. The Neck of the Giraffe, 1982. pp. 103, 107.
10Hall, Mark and Lesser, Milton. Review Text in Biology, 1966. Page 363.
11R.L. Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy (1981), p. 455.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
וַתֹּוצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ דֶּ֠שֶׁא עֵ֣שֶׂב מַזְרִ֤יעַ זֶ֙רַע֙ לְמִינֵ֔הוּ וְעֵ֧ץ עֹֽשֶׂה־פְּרִ֛י אֲשֶׁ֥ר זַרְעֹו־בֹ֖ו לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֹֽוב׃
And the earth brought forth… In an instant the Earth was changed. The barren land suddenly became green at the command of God. Plants sprouted into existence fully mature. God did not plant seeds in the ground and wait for them to grow. Firstly, the Sun did not yet exist. Secondly, the insects and birds upon which the plants rely did not yet exist. The seeds never would have sprouted without the Sun, and even if they did then they would have gone extinct without their animal helpers. God created everything mature and fully formed–the perfect and ideal image. We must remember this as we continue throughout the Creation week.
When we see that the plants were made to sprout in mature form all at once, we may be tempted to ask why God bothered to divide the Creation into different days. Why not make everything at once? He very well could have if He wanted. In discussing the matter of time, Barnes wrote; “Is the commodity of time so scarce with Him that He must or should for any good reason sum up the course of a universe of things in an infinitesimal portion of its duration?” God is not in a hurry. As to the appropriateness of pacing, consider the following.
God has always had a very specific plan, which includes making His actions distinct. Every mythological creation story follows some of the same points as Genesis because there remained some basic recollection of the histories recounted by Noah to his descendants. All of these myths, however, quickly diverged from the history and told stories that were quite similar to each other but not to the real history. No man could have written Genesis chapter 1 on his own. It is so unlike a human’s storytelling that it has to be divinely inspired. Is there any religious deity who created all of the plants before creating the Sun? And why is every creation account seen as incidental or unimportant to its religion? The Genesis account of Creation is a central aspect of Christianity, for the events of the Creation and the events directly following it resulted in the prophecy concerning the Messiah (see Gen. 3:15) who is the principal focus of the Bible. The Earth was hardly a week old when the victory of Jesus was already prophesied.
It is also quite significant that the Genesis account is written in plain prose, not the poetic language seen in myths. Myths, especially those of the Near East, were written in a poetic style that used parallel lines throughout the story. Although Genesis 1 uses certain phrases repeatedly (e.g. “It was good”), it is still quite dissimilar to the parallelism seen in other texts. The topics of Genesis are also different. The Creation account focuses only on what God did, not how He did it. God did not use a rake and hoe to till the ground and make plants grow. The Creation account includes neither a war between gods, nor a birthing of the world from a mother goddess’ loins. The origins of things such as seasons or specific land formations are never discussed. Furthermore, Genesis chapters 2 and 3 do not focus on the “chosen people” as do myths (e.g. The Shintou myth is mainly concerned with the creation of Japan and the Japanese people). Adam was not an Israelite, because he was created about 2,000 years before Jacob. Genesis reads like an impartial history book. Simply put, the style of Genesis is wholly different from religious texts. And all of the historical books of the Bible follow in the same manner. The writer C.S. Lewis, when discussing the claim that the gospels are mythological, said,
“I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, [and] myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like [the gospel]. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage… Or else, some unknown writer in the 2nd century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn’t see this has simply not learned to read.”12
So in creating the universe as He did, God left behind a historical record that proves, merely by its peculiarity and uniqueness, that it is a factual account, wholly unlike any religious text in the world. The writing style of Genesis has hitherto remained undiscussed in this commentary, but it is a treasure trove of information. Future opportunities will present themselves for further study.
…grass, and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind… The plants were not called into existence in the same way as the light and the air. They were made to sprout; and they have grown ever since. On this day they did not, however, come forth by the slow process of vegetation, but through Divine power, without rain, dew, or any process of labor—in a single day.
The plants were created in three different classes. They seem here to be distinguished by their seeds and structures. The grasses are characterized by the green blade and the seed is not easily noticed. The herb is distinguished by the exposed seed and the stalk, and the tree is characterized by the tall wood tree trunk and the fruit–the seed-bearing ovary which encloses the seed. The division is quite simple. This division loosely corresponds to current botanical distinctions but it is much less complex and is founded upon obvious characteristics. The plants that are on the margin of these great divisions may be arranged conveniently enough under one or another of them, according to their several orders or kinds.
…and God saw that it was good. When God saw all the plants that He had made, He saw that it was good. We can hardly say that all plants today are good, so we must come to an understanding of what the Earth was like on the third day to earn this approbation.
Most plants that are considered weeds benefit from disturbances in the environment and benefit in ways that other plants don’t. Weeds can easily grow in rocky soil while other plants cannot, for example–when the weeds grow thick then other plants are choked or starved. When there is good soil the problem is only exacerbated. It is their opportunistic and invasive growth which primarily earns weeds the contempt of farmers. But we must understand several things about weeds. One is that one man’s weed is another man’s crop. The dandelion is a perfect example of a plant which one person may desire for its appearance or medicinal qualities, but another may despise for crowding out his other plants. Weeds are not inherently bad. Rather, it is the brokenness of the world which causes weeds to behave as they do (see also Gen. 3:18). The plants that He created were originally meant to nicely compliment and coexist with the others. No toxins, no overcrowding, and no allergies. Have you considered that our immune systems were designed perfectly, but the broken world causes us to mistake pollen for bacteria? Oh how wonderful it must have been to live in a world without sneezes. (Of course, Adam and Eve didn’t appreciate it because they didn’t have a frame of reference. Sometimes you need the dark in order to appreciate the light.)
12C. S. Lewis, “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism” or “Fern-Seeds and Elephants” (1959)
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר יֹ֥ום שְׁלִישִֽׁי׃ פ
Other commentators have said that the creation week is divided into two three-day halves, and their rationale is that light was created on the first day then the Sun was created on the fourth day, and so the two days correspond to one another. Although some corresponding features may be found in the various days, this is little more than an entertaining diversion. There is no scriptural purpose that is served by thinking of the creation week as two trilogies with a seventh day tacked on.
It is more likely that God created the Sun on the fourth day in order to dispel the Day-age and Gap theories, to emphasize the importance of Earth in His plan, and to group plants with the non-living materials. If plants were alive, it would make sense to create the non-living creations on days one through three (light, land and sky, stars), then to create living organisms on days four through six (plants, animals, humans). Keeping plants separated from animals and man by day four, however, reminds us to not think of plants as living beings. They are more like bio-chemical machines. In order for a plant to grow fruit the flower must wither, and plants were created to have fruit on them from the start (see Genesis 1:29, see also Genesis 3:2). Therefore the plants had withered flowers from the start, but this was not death. Nothing died originally.