Genesis 1:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky."

New Living Translation
Then God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind."

English Standard Version
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”

New American Standard Bible
Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then God said, "Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."

International Standard Version
Then God said, "Let the oceans swarm with living creatures, and let flying creatures soar above the earth throughout the sky!"

NET Bible
God said, "Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then God said, "Let the water swarm with swimming creatures, and let birds fly through the sky over the earth."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And God said, Let the waters bring forth great quantities of creatures with living souls and fowl that may fly above the earth upon the face of the firmament of the heavens.

King James 2000 Bible
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

American King James Version
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

American Standard Version
And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living souls, and let fowl fly above the earth in the expanse of the heavens.

English Revised Version
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky."

Young's Literal Translation
And God saith, 'Let the waters teem with the teeming living creature, and fowl let fly on the earth on the face of the expanse of the heavens.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20.

Day five. The waters and the air, separated on the second day, are on this filled with their respective inhabitants. And God said. Nature never makes an onward movement, in the sense of an absolutely new departure, unless under the impulse of the word of Elohim. These words distinctly claim that the creatures of the sea and of the air, even if evolved from material elements, were produced in obedience to Divine command, and not spontaneously generated by the potentia vitae of either land, sea, or sky. Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature. Literally, swarm with swarmers, or crawl with crawlers. The fundamental signification of sharatz is to creep or swarm, and hence to multiply (Gesenius); or, vice versa, to multiply in masses, and hence to swarm or abound (Furst; cf. Genesis 8:17; Exodus 1:7; Exodus 8:3). The sheretzim, though including small aquatic creatures that have short or no legs, are obviously "all kinds of living creatures inhabiting either land or water which are oviparous and remarkable for fecundity" (Bush). We may, therefore, understand the creative fiat of the fifth day as summoning first into existence the insect creation (in Leviticus 11:20-23 defined as flying sheretzim), the fishes of the sea (sheretzim of the waters, Leviticus 11:9, 10), and the reptiles and saurians of sea and land (sheretzim of the land, Leviticus 11:41, 42). Dawson concludes that "the prolific animals of the fifth day's creation belonged to the three Cuvierian sub-kingdoms of the radiata articulata, mollusca, and to the classes of fish and reptiles among the vertebrata. That hath life. Nephesh chayyah; literally, a living breath. Here the creatures of the sea are distinguished from all previous creations, and in particular from vegetation, as being possessed of a vital principle. This does not, of course, contradict the well-known truth that plants are living organisms. Only the life principle of the animal creation is different from that of the vegetable kingdom. It may be impossible by the most acute microscopic analysis to differentiate the protoplasmic cell of vegetable matter from that of animal organisms, and plants may appear to be possessed of functions that resemble those of animals, yet the two are generically different - vegetable protoplasm never weaving animal texture, and plant fiber never issuing from the loom of animal protoplasm. That which constitutes an animal is the possession of respiratory organs, to which, doubtless. there is a reference in the term nephesh from naphash, to breathe. And fowl that may fly. Literally, let "winged creatures" fly. The fowls include all tribes covered with feathers that can raise themselves hate the air. The English version produces the impression that they were made from the waters, which is contrary to Genesis 2:19. The correct rendering disposes of the difficulty. Above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Not above the firmament like the clouds (Von Bohlen, Baumgarten), but in the concave vault (Tuch, Delitzsch), or before the surface of the expanse (Kalisch).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly,.... The waters gathered together in one place, the waters of the ocean, and those in rivers, pools and lakes, and which, before their collection into those places, had been sat on, moved, and impregnated by the Spirit of God; so that they could, as they did, by the divine order accompanied with his power, bring forth abundance of creatures, next mentioned:

the moving creature that hath life: an animal life, of which sort of creatures as yet there had been none made; vegetables, or such as have a vegetative life, were made on the third day; but those that have a sensitive and animal life not till this day, the fifth; and the less perfect, or lower sort of these, were first produced, even such as move or "creep" (n), as the word used signifies; which is applied to fishes as well as creeping things, because in swimming their bellies touch the water, and are close to it, as reptiles on the earth: and of these creeping things in the seas there are innumerable, as the Psalmist says, Psalm 104:25. Pliny (o) reckons up an hundred and seventy six kinds of fishes, which he puts in an alphabetical order:

and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven; which according to our version were to be produced out of the waters also; not out of mere water, but out of earth and water mixed together, or out of the earth or clay (p) that lay at the bottom of the waters: and it may be observed of some fowls, that they live on the waters, and others partly on land and partly on water; and as the elements of fowl and fish, the air and water, bear a resemblance to each other, so do these creatures, some fowls both fly and swim; and what wings are to the one, fins are to the other; and both steer their course by their tails, and are both oviparous: though it should seem, according to Genesis 2:19, that the fowls were produced from the earth, and the words may be rendered here, "let the fowl fly above the earth", &c. as they are in the Samaritan and Syriac versions, and in others (q).

(n) "reptile", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "reptilia", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 32. c. 11. (p) Vid. T. Bab. Cholin. fol. 27. 2.((q) "et volatile volet", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Amama, "et volatile volitet", Tigurine version; "et volucres volent", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "et aves volent", Drusius; "et volucris volet", Cartwrightus; "et avis volitet", Schmidt.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Ge 1:20-23. Fifth Day. The signs of animal life appeared in the waters and in the air.

20. moving creature—all oviparous animals, both among the finny and the feathery tribes—remarkable for their rapid and prodigious increase.

fowl—means every flying thing: The word rendered "whales," includes also sharks, crocodiles, &c.; so that from the countless shoals of small fish to the great sea monsters, from the tiny insect to the king of birds, the waters and the air were suddenly made to swarm with creatures formed to live and sport in their respective elements.

Genesis 1:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Fifth Day: Fish and Birds
20Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." 21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.…
Cross References
Genesis 1:19
And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.

Genesis 1:21
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 7:21
Every living thing that moved on land perished--birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.

Leviticus 11:42
You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean.

Leviticus 11:43
Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
Treasury of Scripture

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Let the waters.

Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill …

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, …

Genesis 8:17 Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you, of all …

Psalm 104:24,25 O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom have you made them …

Psalm 148:10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, …

moving. or, creeping.

1 Kings 4:33 And he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even …

life. Heb. a living soul.

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and …

Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity…

fowl that may fly. Heb. let fowl fly. This marginal reading is more conformable to the original, and reconciles this passage with ch.

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, …

open firmament. Heb. face of the firmament.

Genesis 1:7,14 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under …

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