Genesis 1:24
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Let the earth bring forth.—Neither this, nor the corresponding phrase in Genesis 1:20, necessarily imply spontaneous generation, though such is its literal meaning. It need mean no more than that land animals, produced on the dry ground, were now to follow upon those produced in the waters. However produced, we believe that the sole active power was the creative will of God, but of His modus operandi we know nothing.

On this sixth creative day there are four words of power. By the first, the higher animals are summoned into being; by the second, man; the third provides for the continuance and increase of the beings which God had created; the fourth assigns the vegetable world both to man and animals as food.

The creation of man is thus made a distinct act; for though created on the sixth day, because he is a land animal, yet it is in the latter part of the day, and after a pause of contemplation and counsel. The reason for this, we venture to affirm, is that in man’s creation we have a far greater advance in the work of the Almighty than at any previous stage. For up to this time all has been law, and the highest point reached was instinct; we have now freedom, reason, intellect, speech. The evolutionist may give us many an interesting theory about the upgrowth of man’s physical nature, but the introduction of this moral and mental freedom places as wide a chasm in his way as the first introduction of vegetable, and then of animal life.

The living creature, or rather, the creature that lives by breathing, is divided into three classes. The first is behêmâh,” cattle: literally, the dumb brute, but especially used of the larger ruminants, which were soon domesticated, and became man’s speechless servants. Next comes the “creeping thing,” or rather, moving thing, from a verb translated moveth in Genesis 1:21. It probably signifies the whole multitude of small animals, and not reptiles particularly. For strictly the word refers rather to their number than to their means of locomotion, and means a swarm. The third class is the “beast of the earth,” the wild animals that roam over a large extent of country, including the carnivora. But as a vegetable diet is expressly assigned in Genesis 1:30 to the “beast of the earth,” while the evidence of the rocks proves that even on the fifth day the saurians fed upon fish and upon one another, the record seems to point out a closer relation between man and the graminivora than with these fierce denizens of the forest. The narrative of the flood proves conclusively that there were no carnivora in the ark; and immediately afterwards beasts that kill men were ordered to be destroyed (Genesis 9:5-6). It is plain that from the first these beasts lay outside the covenant. But as early as the fourth century, Titus, Bishop of Bostra, in his treatise against the Manichees, showed, on other than geological grounds, that the carnivora existed before the fall, and that there was nothing inconsistent with God’s wisdom or love in their feeding upon other animals. In spite of their presence, all was good. The evidence of geology proves that in the age when the carnivora were most abundant, the graminivora were represented by species of enormous size, and that they flourished in multitudes far surpassing anything that exists in the present day.

Genesis 1:24-25. Let the earth bring forth — He that of stones can raise children to Abraham, and who called forth the universe from nothing, could easily produce animals from the dull and sluggish earth, although inanimate. Cattle — Those tame beasts which do not shun the society of men, and are most useful to us for food, clothing, or various services. The beasts of the earth — The Hebrew word חית, chaiath, generally signifies the wild beast, which is evidently its meaning here.1:20-25 God commanded the fish and fowl to be produced. This command he himself executed. Insects, which are more numerous than the birds and beasts, and as curious, seem to have been part of this day's work. The Creator's wisdom and power are to be admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power of God's providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the effect of his blessing. - VIII. The Sixth Day

24. בהמה behēmâh, "cattle; dumb, tame beasts."

רמשׂ remeś, "creeping (small or low) animals."

חוּה chayâh, "living thing; animal."

חוּת־חארץ chayatô-chā'ārets, "wild beast."

26. אדם 'ādām, "man, mankind;" "be red." A collective noun, having no plural number, and therefore denoting either an individual of the kind, or the kind or race itself. It is connected in etymology with אדמה 'ădāmâh, "the red soil," from which the human body was formed Genesis 2:7. It therefore marks the earthly aspect of man.

צלם tselem, "shade, image," in visible outline.

דמוּת demût, "likeness," in any quality.

רדה rādâh "tread, rule."

This day corresponds with the third. In both the land is the sphere of operation. In both are performed two acts of creative power. In the third the land was clothed with vegetation: in the sixth it is peopled with the animal kingdom. First, the lower animals are called into being, and then, to crown all, man.

Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:25

This branch of the animal world is divided into three parts. "Living breathing thing" is the general head under which all these are comprised. "Cattle" denotes the animals that dwell with man, especially those that bear burdens. The same term in the original, when there is no contrast, when in the plural number or with the specification of "the land," the "field," is used of wild beasts. "Creeping things" evidently denote the smaller animals, from which the cattle are distinguished as the large. The quality of creeping is, however, applied sometimes to denote the motion of the lower animals with the body in a prostrate posture, in opposition to the erect posture of man Psalm 104:20. The "beast of the land" or the field signifies the wild rapacious animal that lives apart from man. The word חוּה chayâh, "beast or animal," is the general term employed in these verses for the whole animal kind. It signifies wild animal with certainty only when it is accompanied by the qualifying term "land" or "field," or the epithet "evil" רעה rā‛âh. From this division it appears that animals that prey on others were included in this latest creation. This is an extension of that law by which the organic living substances of the vegetable kingdom form the sustenance of the animal species. The execution of the divine mandate is then recorded, and the result inspected and approved.

Ge 1:24-31. Sixth Day. A farther advance was made by the creation of terrestrial animals, all the various species of which are included in three classes: (1) cattle, the herbivorous kind capable of labor or domestication.

24. beasts of the earth—(2) wild animals, whose ravenous natures were then kept in check, and (3) all the various forms of creeping things—from the huge reptiles to the insignificant caterpillars.1. Those living creatures hereafter mentioned, whose original is from the earth, and whose habitation is in it.

2. Those tame beasts which are most familiar with and useful to men for food, clothing, or other service.

3. Creeping thing; to wit, of the earth, of a differing kind from those creeping things of the water, Genesis 1:20.

4. The wild beast, as the Hebrew word commonly signifies, and as appears further, because they are distinguished from the tame beasts, here called cattle.

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 (c) 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 (e), 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 kind; 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, &c. 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, &c,

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

and it was so; such creatures were immediately produced.

(c) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 7. (d) Laert. in Vita Archelai, p. 99. (e) Ib. in Vita Zenonis, p. 524.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. Let the earth, &c.] The work of the sixth, like that of the third, day is twofold. Furthermore, the creation of the land animals on the sixth day seems to correspond to the creation of the earth on the third day.

The creation of the land animals immediately precedes that of mankind. It is implied that they are closer both in structure and in intelligence to the human race than the animals of the water and air. On the other hand, the words “let the earth bring forth” (the same phrase as is used in Genesis 1:11 of the creation of the vegetable world) emphasize the difference in origin between the land animals (“let the earth bring forth”) and mankind, who are described (Genesis 1:26-27) as, in a special manner, “created” by God Himself.

the living creature] viz. “living soul,” as above (Genesis 1:20-21). Here the words are used especially of the land animals. To speak of animals having “a soul” is strange to modern ears. But it was not so to the Israelites, who realized, perhaps better than we do, man’s kinship with the animal world, in virtue of that principle of nephesh, the mystery of life, which is shared by the animals and human beings.

after its kind] viz. the various species of the animals about to be mentioned.

cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth] This is a rough threefold classification of the animals dwelling on the earth: (1) “the cattle” (Heb. behêmah, LXX τετράποδα (= “quadrupeds”), Lat. jumenta (= “cattle”)), under which head are here probably classed all the domestic animals, e.g. oxen, sheep, horses, asses, camels, as in Jonah 4:11. Here it seems to be implied that the domestic animals were tame originally, and not through association with mankind. (2) “creeping things”; LXX ἑρπετά, Lat. reptilia. In this class seem to be included not only snakes and lizards, but also the smaller animals, generally, and the insect world. (3) “the beasts of the earth”; LXX θηρία τῆς γῆς, Lat. bestias terrae, viz. the wild beasts, strictly so called, as distinguished from the domestic animals.

24–31. Sixth Day:

(a) Creation of the Land Animals (Genesis 1:24-25);

(b) Creation of Man (Genesis 1:26-30);

(c) The End of the Creation (Genesis 1:31),Verse 24. - Day six. Like day three, this is distinguished by a double creative act, the production of the higher or land animals and the creation of man, of the latter of which it is perhaps permissible to see a mute prediction in the vegetation which closed the first half of the creative week. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. In these words the land animals are generically characterized as nephesh chayyah, or animated beings; in the terms which follow they are subdivided into three well-defined species or classes. Cattle. Behemah; literally, the dumb animal, i.e. the larger grass-eating quadrupeds. And creeping thing. Remes; the moving animal, i.e. the smaller animals that move either without feet or with feet that are scarcely perceptible, such as worms, insects, reptiles. Here it is land-creepers that are meant, the remes of the sea having been created on the previous day. And beast of the earth (chayyah of the earth) after his kind. i.e. wild, roving, carnivorous beasts of the forest. In these three comprehensive orders was the earth commanded to produce its occupants; which, however, no more implied that the animals were to be developed from the soil than were the finny tribes generated by the sea. Simply in obedience to the Divine call, and as the product of creative energy, they were to spring from the plastic dust as being essentially earth-born creatures. And it was so. Modern evolutionists believe they can conceive - they have never yet been able to demonstrate - the modus operandi of the supreme Artificer in the execution of this part of the sixth day's work. Revelation has not deemed it needful to do more than simply state that they were - not, by an evolutionary process carried on through inconceivably long periods of time, developed from the creatures of the fifth day, but - produced directly from the soil by the fiat of Elohim. The Sixth Day. - Sea and air are filled with living creatures; and the word of God now goes forth to the earth, to produce living beings after their kind. These are divided into three classes. בּהמה, cattle, from בהם, mutum, brutum esse, generally denotes the larger domesticated quadrupeds (e.g., Genesis 47:18; Exodus 13:12, etc.), but occasionally the larger land animals as a whole. רמשׂ (the creeping) embraces the smaller land animals, which move either without feet, or with feet that are scarcely perceptible, viz., reptiles, insects, and worms. In Genesis 1:25 they are distinguished from the race of water reptiles by the term האדמה ארץ חיתו (the old form of the construct state, for הארץ חיּת), the beast of the earth, i.e., the freely roving wild animals.

"After its kind:" this refers to all three classes of living creatures, each of which had its peculiar species; consequently in Genesis 1:25, where the word of God is fulfilled, it is repeated with every class. This act of creation, too, like all that precede it, is shown by the divine word "good" to be in accordance with the will of God. But the blessing pronounced is omitted, the author hastening to the account of the creation of man, in which the work of creation culminated. The creation of man does not take place through a word addressed by God to the earth, but as the result of the divine decree, "We will make man in Our image, after our likeness," which proclaims at the very outset the distinction and pre-eminence of man above all the other creatures of the earth. The plural "We" was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity: modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis; or as an address by God to Himself, the subject and object being identical; or as communicative, an address to the spirits or angels who stand around the Deity and constitute His council. The last is Philo's explanation: διαλέγεται ὁ τῶν ὁ͂λων πατὴρ ταῖς ἑαυτο͂υ δυνάεσιν (δυνάμεις equals angels). But although such passages as 1 Kings 22:19., Psalm 89:8, and Daniel 10, show that God, as King and Judge of the world, is surrounded by heavenly hosts, who stand around His throne and execute His commands, the last interpretation founders upon this rock: either it assumes without sufficient scriptural authority, and in fact in opposition to such distinct passages as Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:22; Isaiah 40:13 seq., Genesis 44:24, that the spirits took part in the creation of man; or it reduces the plural to an empty phrase, inasmuch as God is made to summon the angels to cooperate in the creation of man, and then, instead of employing them, is represented as carrying out the work alone. Moreover, this view is irreconcilable with the words "in our image, after our likeness;" since man was created in the image of God alone (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:1), and not in the image of either the angels, or God and the angels. A likeness to the angels cannot be inferred from Hebrews 2:7, or from Luke 20:36. Just as little ground is there for regarding the plural here and in other passages (Genesis 3:22; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Isaiah 41:22) as reflective, an appeal to self; since the singular is employed in such cases as these, even where God Himself is preparing for any particular work (cf. Genesis 2:18; Psalm 12:5; Isaiah 33:10). No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis, - an interpretation which comprehends in its deepest and most intensive form (God speaking of Himself and with Himself in the plural number, not reverentiae causa, but with reference to the fullness of the divine powers and essences which He possesses) the truth that lies at the foundation of the trinitarian view, viz., that the potencies concentrated in the absolute Divine Being are something more than powers and attributes of God; that they are hypostases, which in the further course of the revelation of God in His kingdom appeared with more and more distinctness as persons of the Divine Being. On the words "in our image, after our likeness" modern commentators have correctly observed, that there is no foundation for the distinction drawn by the Greek, and after them by many of the Latin Fathers, between εἰκών (imago) and ὁμοίωσις (similitudo), the former of which they supposed to represent the physical aspect of the likeness to God, the latter the ethical; but that, on the contrary, the older Lutheran theologians were correct in stating that the two words are synonymous, and are merely combined to add intensity to the thought: "an image which is like Us" (Luther); since it is no more possible to discover a sharp or well-defined distinction in the ordinary use of the words between צלם and דּמוּת, than between בּ and כּ. צלם, from צל, lit., a shadow, hence sketch, outline, differs no more from דּמוּת, likeness, portrait, copy, than the German words Umriss or Abriss (outline or sketch) from Bild or Abbild (likeness, copy). בּ and כּ are also equally interchangeable, as we may see from a comparison of this verse with Genesis 5:1 and Genesis 5:3. (Compare also Leviticus 6:4 with Leviticus 27:12, and for the use of בּ to denote a norm, or sample, Exodus 25:40; Exodus 30:32, Exodus 30:37, etc.) There is more difficulty in deciding in what the likeness to God consisted. Certainly not in the bodily form, the upright position, or commanding aspect of the man, since God has no bodily form, and the man's body was formed from the dust of the ground; nor in the dominion of man over nature, for this is unquestionably ascribed to man simply as the consequence or effluence of his likeness to God. Man is the image of God by virtue of his spiritual nature. of the breath of God by which the being, formed from the dust of the earth, became a living soul.

(Note: "The breath of God became the soul of man; the soul of man therefore is nothing but the breath of God. The rest of the world exists through the word of God; man through His own peculiar breath. This breath is the seal and pledge of our relation to God, of our godlike dignity; whereas the breath breathed into the animals is nothing but the common breath, the life-wind of nature, which is moving everywhere, and only appears in the animal fixed and bound into a certain independence and individuality, so that the animal soul is nothing but a nature-soul individualized into certain, though still material spirituality." - Ziegler.)

The image of God consists, therefore, in the spiritual personality of man, though not merely in unity of self-consciousness and self-determination, or in the fact that man was created a consciously free Ego; for personality is merely the basis and form of the divine likeness, not its real essence. This consists rather in the fact, that the man endowed with free self-conscious personality possesses, in his spiritual as well as corporeal nature, a creaturely copy of the holiness and blessedness of the divine life. This concrete essence of the divine likeness was shattered by sin; and it is only through Christ, the brightness of the glory of God and the expression of His essence (Hebrews 1:3), that our nature is transformed into the image of God again (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24).

"And they (אדם, a generic term for men) shall have dominion over the fish," etc. There is something striking in the introduction of the expression "and over all the earth," after the different races of animals have been mentioned, especially as the list of races appears to be proceeded with afterwards. If this appearance were actually the fact, it would be impossible to escape the conclusion that the text is faulty, and that חיּת has fallen out; so that the reading should be, "and over all the wild beasts of the earth," as the Syriac has it. But as the identity of "every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (הארץ) with "every thing that creepeth upon the ground" (האדמה) in Genesis 1:25 is not absolutely certain; on the contrary, the change in expression indicates a difference of meaning; and as the Masoretic text is supported by the oldest critical authorities (lxx, Sam., Onk.), the Syriac rendering must be dismissed as nothing more than a conjecture, and the Masoretic text be understood in the following manner. The author passes on from the cattle to the entire earth, and embraces all the animal creation in the expression, "every moving thing (כל־הרמשׂ) that moveth upon the earth," just as in Genesis 1:28, "every living thing הרמשׂת upon the earth." According to this, God determined to give to the man about to be created in His likeness the supremacy, not only over the animal world, but over the earth itself; and this agrees with the blessing in Genesis 1:28, where the newly created man is exhorted to replenish the earth and subdue it; whereas, according to the conjecture of the Syriac, the subjugation of the earth by man would be omitted from the divine decree. - Genesis 1:27. In the account of the accomplishment of the divine purpose the words swell into a jubilant song, so that we meet here for the first time with a parallelismus membrorum, the creation of man being celebrated in three parallel clauses. The distinction drawn between אתו (in the image of God created He him) and אתם (as man and woman created He them) must not be overlooked. The word אתם, which indicates that God created the man and woman as two human beings, completely overthrows the idea that man was at first androgynous (cf. Genesis 2:18.). By the blessing in Genesis 1:28, God not only confers upon man the power to multiply and fill the earth, as upon the beasts in Genesis 1:22, but also gives him dominion over the earth and every beast. In conclusion, the food of both man and beast is pointed out in Genesis 1:29, Genesis 1:30, exclusively from the vegetable kingdom. Man is to eat of "every seed-bearing herb on the face of all the earth, and every tree on which there are fruits containing seed," consequently of the productions of both field and tree, in other words, of corn and fruit; the animals are to eat of "every green herb," i.e., of vegetables or green plants, and grass.

From this it follows, that, according to the creative will of God, men were not to slaughter animals for food, nor were animals to prey upon one another; consequently, that the fact which now prevails universally in nature and the order of the world, the violent and often painful destruction of life, is not a primary law of nature, nor a divine institution founded in the creation itself, but entered the world along with death at the fall of man, and became a necessity of nature through the curse of sin. It was not till after the flood, that men received authority from God to employ the flesh of animals as well as the green herb as food (Genesis 9:3); and the fact that, according to the biblical view, no carnivorous animals existed at the first, may be inferred from the prophetic announcements in Isaiah 11:6-8; Isaiah 65:25, where the cessation of sin and the complete transformation of the world into the kingdom of God are described as being accompanied by the cessation of slaughter and the eating of flesh, even in the case of the animal kingdom. With this the legends of the heathen world respecting the golden age of the past, and its return at the end of time, also correspond (cf. Gesenius on Isaiah 11:6-8). It is true that objections have been raised by natural historians to this testimony of Scripture, but without scientific ground. For although at the present time man is fitted by his teeth and alimentary canal for the combination of vegetable and animal food; and although the law of mutual destruction so thoroughly pervades the whole animal kingdom, that not only is the life of one sustained by the death of another, but "as the graminivorous animals check the overgrowth of the vegetable kingdom, so the excessive increase of the former is restricted by the beasts of prey, and of these again by the destructive implements of man;" and although, again, not only beasts of prey, but evident symptoms of disease are met with among the fossil remains of the aboriginal animals: all these facts furnish no proof that the human and animal races were originally constituted for death and destruction, or that disease and slaughter are older than the fall. For, to reply to the last objection first, geology has offered no conclusive evidence of its doctrine, that the fossil remains of beasts of prey and bones with marks of disease belong to a pre-Adamite period, but has merely inferred it from the hypothesis already mentioned of successive periods of creation. Again, as even in the present order of nature the excessive increase of the vegetable kingdom is restrained, not merely by the graminivorous animals, but also by the death of the plants themselves through the exhaustion of their vital powers; so the wisdom of the Creator could easily have set bounds to the excessive increase of the animal world, without requiring the help of huntsmen and beasts of prey, since many animals even now lose their lives by natural means, without being slain by men or eaten by beasts of prey. The teaching of Scripture, that death entered the world through sin, merely proves that the human race was created for eternal life, but by no means necessitates the assumption that the animals were also created for endless existence. As the earth produced them at the creative word of God, the different individuals and generations would also have passed away and returned to the bosom of the earth, without violent destruction by the claws of animals or the hand of man, as soon as they had fulfilled the purpose of their existence. The decay of animals is a law of nature established in the creation itself, and not a consequence of sin, or an effect of the death brought into the world by the sin of man. At the same time, it was so far involved in the effects of the fall, that the natural decay of the different animals was changed into a painful death or violent end. Although in the animal kingdom, as it at present exists, many varieties are so organized that they live exclusively upon the flesh of other animals, which they kill and devour; this by no means necessitates the conclusion, that the carnivorous beasts of prey were created after the fall, or the assumption that they were originally intended to feed upon flesh, and organized accordingly. If, in consequence of the curse pronounced upon the earth after the sin of man, who was appointed head and lord of nature, the whole creation was subjected to vanity and the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:20.); this subjection might have been accompanied by a change in the organization of the animals, though natural science, which is based upon the observation and combination of things empirically discovered, could neither demonstrate the fact nor explain the process. And if natural science cannot boast that in any one of its many branches it has discovered all the phenomena connected with the animal and human organism of the existing world, how could it pretend to determine or limit the changes through which this organism may have passed in the course of thousands of years?

The creation of man and his installation as ruler on the earth brought the creation of all earthly beings to a close (Genesis 1:31). God saw His work, and behold it was all very good; i.e., everything perfect in its kind, so that every creature might reach the goal appointed by the Creator, and accomplish the purpose of its existence. By the application of the term "good" to everything that God made, and the repetition of the word with the emphasis "very" at the close of the whole creation, the existence of anything evil in the creation of God is absolutely denied, and the hypothesis entirely refuted, that the six days' work merely subdued and fettered an ungodly, evil principle, which had already forced its way into it. The sixth day, as being the last, is distinguished above all the rest by the article - השּׁשּׁי יום "a day, the sixth" (Gesenius, 111, 2a).

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