Table of contents
The Fifth Day of Creation
On the fifth "day" of the world according to the Word of God, the water brought forth living creatures, that is, there appeared in the water shellfish, insects, reptiles and fish, and over the earth, in the firmament, birds began to fly. On the fifth day animals were created that live in the water and fly in the air.
"And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and the fowl that might fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven...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 the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day" (Gen. 1:20-23).
The creative command of God, of course, formed these creatures from the elements of the earth; but everywhere else, though even more so here, the formative power belongs to Him, and not to the natural elements. In the formation of animals, something new was introduced — a higher principle of life — animated, freely moving, and feeling creatures made their appearance.
In giving His blessing to multiply to the newly-created creatures, God, as it were, gave them the creative power by which they received their being, that is, He granted them the ability to reproduce from themselves new beings, each according to its kind.
A more detailed creative action of the fifth day could be imagined in the following way. The heavens were adorned with stars. On the earth gigantic plants were spread about, but still, upon the earth there were no living creatures which could enjoy the gifts of God. The necessary conditions did not yet exist as the atmosphere was full of harmful gases which could only aid the plant kingdom. The atmosphere contained so many extra additives, and especially carbon dioxide, that animal life was still impossible. The atmosphere had to be cleared of these harmful additives. The gigantic plants achieved this under the influence of the sun that shone forth on the fourth day. Carbon dioxide is one of the most necessary elements for plant life, and as the atmosphere was permeated with it, the newly-created plant life began to develop in a luxuriant and rapid manner, consuming the carbon dioxide and clearing the atmosphere of it. Enormous coal deposits are nothing other than atmospheric carbon dioxide that has been transformed by plant processes into a solid body. Thus the cleaning of the atmosphere was accomplished, and the conditions were suitable for the appearance of animal life. It did not take long for it to appear as the result of a new creative act.
"And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and the fowl that might fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." As a result of this divine command, a new creative act took place, not just a formative one, as on the previous days, but a creative act in the full sense of the word, just like the first act of creating primal matter out of nothing.
Here there was created "a moving creature" ("living soul" Septuagint); something new was introduced, which had not yet existed in the primal matter. Indeed, the writer of Genesis for the second time, uses the verb bara — "to create out of nothing." And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the water brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind.
The most recent geological research explains and supplements this brief account by the writer of Genesis.
Digging into the depths of the layers of the earth, geologists reached a layer in which there first appeared the "living soul." This layer, consequently, is the cradle of animal life, and in it are found the simplest of the animal organisms.
The most ancient "living soul" known to geologists is the so-called Eo-zoon of Canada, which is found in the very lowest levels of the so-called Laurentian period. Afterwards, coral, infusoria and shellfish of various species appear. Higher in the earth’s levels there appear the gigantic, monstrous reptiles and lizards. Of these, the best known are the ichthyosaurs, hileosaurs, plesiosaurs and pterodactyls. They are all astounding because of their enormous size.
The ichthyosaurus was up to forty feet long, in the form of a lizard, with the head of a dolphin, the teeth of a crocodile and a tail equipped with a leathery, fish-like fin. The hileosaurus was up to nine feet high and was a fearsome type of lizard. The plesiosaurus had the form of a gigantic turtle with a long neck of twenty feet, a tiny snakelike head and a stinger six feet long. The pterodactyl was a sort of flying dragon, with wings like a bat, long head, crocodile teeth and claws in general like a bat, but of enormous size. Some of these monsters are still to be found nowadays, but the present ones are tiny midgets in comparison with their ancestors. Perhaps this is a sign of the decline in the productive powers of the earth.
"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 the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day." (Gen. 1:22-23).