Cosmology, the Study of Origins
Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. Genesis 1:9
Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation .... And it was so." Genesis 1:11
Third Day of Creation
God's Formation of Land and Vegetation
1. God's Decree to Coalesce the Waters (Gen. 1:9)
9 "Then God said," – Literally, "Then said," the 3rd Person Singular Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb 'âmar (559), "to say" or "speak." This common verb is used in this precise format in this chapter in Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29. It is used in this chapter with slight variations in word order in Gen. 1:22, 28. The verb is followed by the generic plural designation for God, 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430).
“Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place,"
"Let the waters" is the always-plural mayim (4325), here referring to the vast ocean which, prior to the third day, covered the entire surface of the globe at this point in God's creation. Quite likely, this vast ocean was not crystal clear, but was a watery matrix of soil and various elements in suspension.
"below the heavens" – "below" is literally, "from underneath", translating the preposition tachath (8478), "underneath, below", preceded by the preposition min (4480), expressing the idea of separation, "from" (BDB); "the heavens" is the always-plural noun shâmayim (8064) (preceded by the article ha), in context here meaning the heavens in which birds fly, the heavens which were underneath the upper layer of waters, the water vapor canopy.
"be gathered" is the 3rd Masc. Pl Nifal Imperfect of the verb qâvâh (6960), meaning, in the Nifal, "be collected" or "be gathered." (See also Jer. 3:17.)
"into one" is the Adjective 'echâd (259), the cardinal number "one";
"place" is the noun mâqôm (4725), "place" or "standing-place."
Henry M. Morris, father of the modern Creation Science movement, wrote the following in his book, The Genesis Record (p. 61).
The "waters under the firmament" still constituted a shoreless ocean, in which probably all other material elements were randomly dissolved or suspended. On the third day of creation, a third act of division was accomplished by God. The light had been divided from the darkness on the first day, the waters above the firmament divided from the waters below the firmament on the second day, and now the dry land from the lower waters on the third day.
2. God's Decree to Uplift Dry Land (Gen. 1:9)
"and let the dry land appear”;
Gen. 1:9 - "dry land": is the noun yabbashah (3004), "dry land, dry ground" (BDB). This noun is used in Genesis only twice, in Gen. 1:9, 10. (See also Jon. 1:9.) It is used four times in Exodus to indicate the dry land that Israel walked on through the middle of the Red Sea! (Ex. 14:16, 22, 29; 15:19). See also Neh. 9:11; Psa. 66:6. It is used in Josh. 4:22 to indicate that Israel crossed the flooded Jordan River on dry ground. It is used elsewhere in the OT in Ex. 4:9; Isa. 44:3; Jon. 1:13; 2:10.
Thus appeared the first continent or continents. It is not without reason to hypothesize that originally there was one land mass, Pangea, if you will. We cannot know for certain, but Walter Brown makes a credible case. (See his explanation; see another image.) In his explanation, all the dry land was one continent at the beginning. If his model is correct, the Flood of Noah divided the single continent along either side of what is now known as the mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge. (See his discussion.) Ensuing rapid continental drift halted abruptly as all land masses closed in on what is now the Pacific Ocean. The ring of fire (volcanoes) around the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean is an ongoing testimony to the tortured stress placed on the subterranean regions by that drift. Brown has an excellent description of the proposed process of Hydroplate Drift caused by the Great Flood.
Regardless of whether there was initially one land mass or multiple land masses as there are today, it was at this point (Third Day) that land mass(es) emerged from the ocean depths. Psalm 104:1-9 records, I believe, the process whereby land masses emerged at Creation and also whereby they once again emerged at the end of the Great Flood.
Gen. 1:9 "dry land appear": In a mighty, creative act, in the space of one day, God uplifted a prodigious amount of land mass into a continent or continents, establishing shorelines and continental slopes. His action was extremely efficient, and is described, I believe, in Psalm 104:5-9. The passage does double duty, I believe, for God used the same action to raise up submerged land masses after the Flood of Noah. Since there was a fragile ark adrift the vast ocean during the Flood, God took much longer to raise up the land masses and depress the ocean canyons to hold the extra water after the Flood than He did to uplift the land masses at Creation. This action is described in Genesis 8:1-13.
"and it was so." Literally, "and it came to be thus." "And it came to be" is the 3rd Masculine Singular Apocopated (shortened) Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb hâyâh (1961), in this context meaning "became" or "came to be" or "happened" or "came about." The verb is preceded by the connective waw ("and"), and is linked with the adverbial particle kên (3651), meaning "so, thus" usually "as has been described or commanded, with ref. to what has preceded." It occurs frequently with the verb hâyâh, and is translated "and it was so" (adapted from BDB).
The point is that the creative act God had proposed, coalescing the waters and causing the dry land to appear, came about exactly as He had proposed. The phrase "and it was so" appears in this chapter in Gen. 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30.
Henry Morris said this (The Genesis Record, pp. 61, 62):
Once again, the energizing agent was the Word of God. "Let the dry land appear!" Tremendous chemical reactions got under way, as dissolved elements precipitated and combined with others to form the vast complex of minerals and rocks making up the solid earth – its crust, its mantle, and its core. The materials so formed tended in general (though with many localized exceptions due to the complex and cataclysmic energies operating) to arrange themselves isostatically, with heavier materials sinking and lighter materials "floating," and with many substances still in suspension or solution.
Great earth movements also got under way, in response to differential heating and other forces. Finally, surfaces of solid earth appeared above the waters and an intricate network of channels and reservoirs opened up in the crust to receive the waters retreating off the rising continents.
Some of these reservoirs were open directly to the waters descending from above, others were formed as great subterranean chambers with the crust itself. All were interconnected by a complex network of tubes and waterways, so that in essence they were all "gathered together unto one place."
Although in one "place," the waters had assembled in numerous distinct basins, so that God called this "gathering-together of the waters "Seas" (i.e. a plural term). These were, of course not the same as our present seas, since the antediluvian arrangement of continental and marine areas was completely changed at the time of the Flood.
3. God's Naming of the Dry Land and the Waters (Gen. 1:10).
10 "God called the dry land earth," literally, "And called God the dry land earth."
"And called" is the Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb qârâ' (7121), here meaning that God named the dry land "earth."
The verb qârâ' (7121) is used in Genesis 1 5 times. (1) God called the light "day" (Gen. 1:5). (2) God called the darkness "night" (Gen. 1:5). (3) God called the expanse "heaven" (Gen. 1:8). (4) God called the dry land "earth" (Gen. 1:10). (5) God called the gathering of the waters "seas" (Gen. 1:10).
Calling or naming something indicates a certain mastery over it. If we have an inexplicable illness, there is always a certain amount of relief when the doctor names it. If he names it, that signals to us there is some hope of cure with the proper medicine, God willing.
In politics, people who name something gain the upper hand, the mastery, if you will. Liberals delight in renaming common words to gain a political advantage over their conservative opponents.
God showed mastery over the light, the darkness, the expanse, the dry land, and the gathering of the waters by naming each of them. It is not surprising that God brought the animals to Adam to see what he would name them (Gen. 2:19, 20). God created man in His likeness and image (Gen. 1:26, 27). God is the Supreme Sovereign, and he delegated a limited amount of sovereignty to man (Gen. 1:28). Naming animals was part of that sovereignty.
"God" is the always-plural, generic name for God, 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430) the Strong One.
"the dry land" is the noun yabbâśâh (3004), "dry land, dry ground" (BDB)
"earth." The word for "earth" is erets (776), and is used more times in Genesis (311 X) than in any other book of the OT. The book second in usage of erets is Jeremiah (272 X). The two primary meanings of erets are “earth,” and “land.”
As “earth” it can mean 1. “whole earth (as opposed to a part)”; 2. earth (as opposed to heaven)”; 3. “earth” (inhabitants)”.
As “land” it can mean 1. “country, territory”; 2. “district, region”; 3. “tribal territory”; 4. “piece of ground”; 5. “land of Canaan, Israel”; 6. “inhabitants of land” 7. “Sheol, land without return, (under) world”; 8. “city (-state)”.
As “ground, surface of the earth” it can mean 1. “ground”; 2. “soil.”
Erets is used repeatedly in the first two chapters of Genesis, and in different senses. (1) References to the whole of planet earth include Genesis 1:1, 2, 15, 17, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30; 2:1, 4, 5. (2) Other references include earth as dry land as opposed to waters: Genesis 1:10, 11, 12, 20, 22. (3) Other references include earth as the ground upon which animals tread and crawl: Genesis 1:25, 26, 28, 30. (4) Other references include earth as that which man is responsible to cultivate: Genesis 2:5, 6. (5) And finally, other references include earth as a region or portion, usually translated “land”: Genesis 2:11, 12, 13.
Morris commented (The Genesis Record, p. 62),
Finally, these "foundation(s) of the earth" (Psalm 102:25; Job 38:4; Zech. 12:1; Isa. 48:13; etc.) had been perfectly laid, and "God called the dry land Earth." This name (Hebrew eretz) is the same as was used in Ge. 1:1, 2, showing that the formless matter originally created is the same matter as used in the finally constituted solid ground. All of this was accomplished during the first part of the third day of creation.
and the gathering of the waters He called seas;
"and the gathering together" is the noun miqveh (4723), "gathering, reservoirs, collecting, accumulation."
"of the waters" is the always-plural noun mayim (4325), preceded by the article ha.
"He called" is the Qal Perfect of the verb qârâ' (7121), "to call out," in this context, "to name, identify."
"seas" is the Plural of the noun yâm (3220), "sea," referring, in this context, to the cumulative waters of the global sea, and any subdivisions thereof. There is no reason to believe that there was a distinction at this stage of earth's history between salt water and fresh water. In my opinion, the cataclysmic breaking up of "the fountains of the great great deep" (Gen. 7:11) caused enormous subterranean and ground-level erosion, putting enormous amounts of minerals into suspension as salts. That, I believe, was the origin of the salty sea. If I am correct, a salty sea is the result and sign of God's judgment. I suspect that is why there will be no (salty) sea upon the New Earth (Rev. 21:1).
4. God's Assessment of His Activities (Gen. 1:10).
"and God saw that it was good." "Good" is the adjective tôb (2896), meaning "pleasant, agreeable, good" (BDB).
It is impossible that God could have called an earth and sea beds littered with the fossils of dead creatures “good” (tôb, 2896). It was a pristine earth with pristine, unsalty seas. There was no death, there were no fossils, there was no decay. It was good! Repeatedly in this first chapter of the Bible, God calls what He has created, "good." This phrase is repeated in Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.
5. God's Decree of Vegetation (Gen. 1:11).
11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation,"
"Then God said" literally, "And said God," where "and said" is the Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb 'âmar (559), to utter, say, or speak. The substitution of "then" for "and" is legitimate English style. "God" is the always-plural 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430), the Strong One.
"let sprout" is the Hiphil Imperfect of the verb dâshâ' (1876), to cause to sprout or shoot forth (BDB). This rare verb is used only in Gen. 1:11 and Joel 2:22.
"the earth" is the noun 'erets (776), here meaning the dry ground everywhere. In that pristine earth there were no deserts anywhere, no places where vegetation could not grow.
"vegetation" is the noun deshe' (1877), "grass, vegetation," used in Genesis only in Gen. 1:11, 12. The ensuing text specifies what is meant by "vegetation." According to BDB the primary meaning is "grass."
Gen. 1:11 vegetation: God made vegetation to appear on the earth before He had created the sun, moon or stars. The dogma of evolution is incompatible with the historical account of God’s creation of the earth. I call evolution a dogma, because it is a religious belief system grounded, not on scientific facts, but on atheistic presuppositions. It is a belief system that deliberately ignores historical documentary evidence contrary to its atheistic presuppositions.
"plants yielding seed,"
It is signifcant that these plants were made, not as seeds, but as full-grown plants whose seed was in themselves. They thus had an "appearance of age." The concept of apparent age does not, of course, suggest a divine deception, but is a necessary accompaniment of genuine creation. The processes opeerating in Creation Week were not the processes of the present era, but were processes of "creating and making," and are thus not commensurate with present processes at all. Adam was created as a full-grown man, the trees were created as full-grown trees, and the whole univeerse was made as a functioning entity, complete and fully developed, right from the beginning. The "apparent age" that might be calculated in terms of present processes would undoubtedly be vastly different from the "true age" as revealed by the Creator.
"and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit" (Gen. 1:11), literally, "tree of fruit bearing fruit after its kind whose seed is in itself upon the earth."
"and fruit trees" literally, "tree of fruit" – no conjunction "and" appears in the Hebrew text.
"tree" is the masculine singular noun ‛êts (6086), "tree", used in this chapter in Gen. 1:11, 12, 29. God created trees in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9), including the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The latter tree became a test for the first man and his wife (Gen. 2:16,17), a test which they failed miserably (Gen. 3:1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 17, 22, 24).
"of fruit" is the masculine singular noun perı̂y (6529), typically, fruit from trees (Gen. 1:11, 12, 29), but sometimes "fruit of the ground" (Gen. 4:3), and even "fruit of the womb" (Gen. 30:2).
The Biblical record "does flatly contradict the accepted evolutionary system, which has marine animals, both invertebrates and vertebrates, evolving hundreds of millions of years before the volution of frut trees and other highter plants" (Henry Morris, The Genesis Record, p. 64).
"bearing" is the masculine singular Qal Participle of the verb ‛âśâh (6213), a fluid verb meaning "do" or "make", with precise meaning determined by the context. "Bearing" is an entirely appropriate translation here.
"fruit" is the masculine singular noun perı̂y (6529), "fruit" (see above on "fruit" in Gen. 1:11).
"after their kind" literally, "according to its kind", translating the noun mı̂yn (4327), "kind" or "category", preceded by the inseparable preposition lamed, here meaning "according to" (Simple Hebrew-English_Dictionary, meaning #5), and followed by the 3rd Masculine Singular Suffix, "its".
Min is not to be construed as being identical to the modern biological classification of species. It may, in fact be broader. However, min represents a distinct boundary or limit of development. There can be and is no change from one min to another min, even though there may be variation with a min. For example, there are many sizes and shapes of horses, but a horse can never evolve or mutate into a cow. Nor can a monkey or an ape ever evolve or mutate into a man. On this count, the dogma of evolution is utterly incompatible with the Biblical account of creation, which, by the way, is far more scientific. Evolution, though it is the standard narrative of origins, is actually a gargantuan hoax which passes as settled fact. If evolution were true, there would be billions of transitional forms between one min and other mins. The truth of the matter is that there are none.
Gen. 1:11 - fruit trees ... bearing fruit: God created enough mature fruit trees already bearing fruit so that the first humans would have had sufficient to eat. It is impossible to have creation without also having an appearance of age that is greater than the real age. Scientific calculations as to the apparent age of the earth are doomed to inaccuracy because of their presumption of uniformitarianism, the belief that geologic processes on earth and astrophysical processes up in the heavens have always happened at the same rate of speed. Uniformitarianism is a secular humanist assumption that belies the Biblical account of creation in six solar days and the account of a global flood, which accounts for the sedimentary layers littered with trillions of fossils. Both Creation and the Flood destroy the notion of uniformitarianism. Uniformitarian evolution will always come up with wrong dates about the origin of stars, the solar system, and the earth.
"with seed in them;” literally, "whose seed is in itself" – "whose" is the particle of relationship, 'ăsher (834), in this context, "whose"; "seed" is the noun zera‛ (2233), "seed"; "is in itself" translates the preposition bet ('in" or "within") with the 3rd Person Masculine Singular Suffix "itself."
"on the earth." In the Hebrew text, this prepositional phrase concludes the initial sentence of Gen. 1:11. It consists of the extremely fluid preposition ‛al (5923), here meaning "on" or "upon"; followed by the noun 'erets (776), preceded by the article ha, "the earth," referring to the dry ground of planet Earth.
"and it was so." Literally, "and it came to be thus." "And it came to be" is the 3rd Masculine Singular Apocopated (shortened) Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb hâyâh (1961), in this context meaning "became" or "came to be" or "happened" or "came about." The verb is preceded by the connective waw ("and"), and is linked with the adverbial particle kên (3651), meaning "so, thus" usually "as has been described or commanded, with ref. to what has preceded." It occurs frequently with the verb hâyâh, and is translated "and it was so" (adapted from Friberg).
The point is that the creative act God had proposed, filling the earth with vegetation, came about exactly as He had proposed. The phrase "and it was so" appears in this chapter in Gen. 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30.
6. The Appearance of Vegetation as a Result of God's Decree (Gen. 1:12a)
12 "The earth brought forth vegetation," literally, "And brought forth the earth vegetation"
"and brought forth" is the 3rd Person Feminine Singular Hiphil Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb yâtsâ' (3318), "to cause to go or come out, bring out, lead out"
"the earth" is the noun 'erets (776) (with the prefixed article ha) "the earth," referring to the dry ground of planet Earth.
"vegetetation" is the noun deshe' (1877), "vegetetation", used in Genesis only in Gen. 1:11, 12. It is used only 14X in the 0T. It is often translated by the NASB as some variation of "grass" (Deut. 32:2; 2 Sam. 23:4; Job 6:5; 38:27; Isa. 15:6; 66:14; Jer. 14:5).
"plants yielding seed" (literally, "plant yielding seed")
"plants" (literally, "plant") is the singular noun ‛eśeb (6212), "herb, herbage" (BDB), translated by NASB as "plant(s)" (Gen. 1:11, 12, 29, 30; 2:5; 3:18; 9:3; Ex. 9:22, 25; 10:12, 15), but elsewhere as "grass" (Deut. 11:15; 29:23; Job 5:25; Dan. 4:15, 25, 32, 33; 5:21, etc.), also as "vegetation" (2 Kings 19:26; Psa. 72:16; 104:14; 105:35; Isa. 37:27; 42:15, etc.).
"yielding" is the Hifil Participle of the verb zâra‛ (2232), "producing seed" (BDB); or "bearing"
"seed" is the noun zera‛ (2233), "sowing, seed, offspring" (BDB).
"after their kind," literally, "according to its kind", translating the singular noun mı̂yn (4327), "kind" or "category", preceded by the inseparable preposition lamed, here meaning "according to" (Simple Hebrew-English_Dictionary, meaning #5), and followed by the 3rd Masculine Singular Suffix, "its".
"and trees bearing fruit with seed in them," (literally, "and tree bearing fruit, whose seed is in itself")
"and tree" is the singular noun ‛êts (6086), "tree", used in this chapter in Gen. 1:11, 12, 29. See further discussion above in Gen. 1:11.
"bearing fruit" – "bearing" is the Qal Participle of the verb ‛âśâh (6213), "do, make" (BDB) with a wide range of meanings; "fruit" is the noun perı̂y (6529), "fruit" (see above on "fruit" in Gen. 1:11).
"with seed in them" literally, "whose seed is in itself" – "whose" is the particle of relationship, 'ăsher (834), in this context, "whose"; "seed" is the noun zera‛ (2233), "seed"; "is in itself" translates the preposition bet ('in" or "within") with the 3rd Person Masculine Singular Suffix "itself."
"after their kind," literally, "according to its kind", translating the singular noun mı̂yn (4327), "kind" or "category", preceded by the inseparable preposition lamed, here meaning "after" or "according to" (Simple Hebrew-English_Dictionary, meaning #5), and the 3rd Masculine Singular Suffix, "its".
7. God's Assessment of His Activities (Gen. 1:12b).
"and God saw that it was good." Literally, "And saw God that it was good"
"And saw" translates the Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb râ'âh (7200), to "see," "observe," "perceive."
"God" is the always-plural 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430), "Strong One"
"that" is the conjunction kı̂y (3588), "that"
"it was good" translates the adjective ṭôb (2896), "pleasant, agreeable, good" (BDB).
Everything God creates is "good" for that stage of creative development. This phrase is repeated in Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31. Once again, a world littered with dead bones and fossils and mutations could never be called "good." This assessment by God is totally incompatible with the myths of the Big Bang and Evolution. This assessment is completely compatible with God's special creation of land and vegetation.
8. The Conclusion of the Third Day (Gen. 1:13).
13 "There was evening and there was morning, a third day." Literally, "And there was evening and there was morning, day third."
"And there was" translates the Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb hâyâh (1961), the verb of being.
"evening" is the noun ‛ereb (6153), sunset, the closing of the day.
"and there was" translates the Qal Waw Consecutive Imperfect of the verb hâyâh (1961), the verb of being.
"morning" is the noun bôqer (1242), the coming of dawn, daybreak.
"day" is the noun yôm (3117), here referring to a 24-hour day.
"third" is the adjective shelı̂yshı̂y (7992), the ordinal number "third."
The sense is that the evening, followed by the morning, concluded a 24-hour cycle. Thus, by the end of the third day, God had collected all the waters of the vast, global ocean into one place; He had caused dry land to appear in what was, quite likely, a single continent, "Pangea." He had covered the dry land with three basic types of vegetation – grasses, deshe' (1877), plants under the general designation of herbs, 'eśeb (6212), herb, herbage, green plants, and trees, ‛êts (6086), "tree", bearing fruit perı̂y (6529), whether that be fruit such as apples and oranges, or fruit such as nuts. It is worth noting that God created the grasses, plants, and trees as mature specimens. It is impossible to have creation without having that which is created appear to be older than it actually is. The plant life which covered the earth – there were no barren deserts – would have caused the super-continent, from an orbiting satellite, to look a beautiful green, while the ocean would have looked blue. And there could be no evolution of one kind of plant life into another. Each category would reproduce according to the kind ı̂yn (4327), "kind" or "category" with which God had created it. It was a beautiful world, fit now for animals and man to live in. What a marvelous Creator God is!
Last updated September 6, 2020