Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
"In the Beginning..."
Genesis 1:14-19 seems to say that YEHOVAH God created the sun, moon and the stars on the fourth day and then placed them "in the firmament" with the sun ruling the day and the moon ruling the night. Other Biblical verses seem to indicate that the sun, moon and stars were created PREVIOUS to the six days of re-creation. What is the truth? And how does earth's fossil record fit into all this? What about the water canopy that surrounded the earth and fell during the time of Noah?
by John D. Keyser
Genesis 1:1 tells us the basic truth that in the beginning of the material universe YEHOVAH God was already present. He existed before all what we can see came into existence. He is the One who created matter.
When did YEHOVAH God first create the world, the sun, the moon, the whole universe? Was it about the time man was created? Some believe so. But, as we have seen, this belief does not make sense when we examine what the fossil record has to say. And, even more importantly, the Bible itself does not say that YEHOVAH God created the universe about the time He created man and the plants and animals described in Genesis 1. Notice Genesis 1:2, in the King James Version: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Compare this with Isaiah 45:18, "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it NOT in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
The Hebrew words for "without form and void" in Genesis 1:2 are tohu and bohu. They have the English meaning of "waste, empty, confusion, and chaos." The Hebrew word translated "in vain" in Isaiah 45:18 is also tohu, the very same word used in Genesis 1:2
So we see that YEHOVAH God did not create the earth in a state of tohu, but rather it had become that way. In the beginning the earth was not created in chaos. Something happened, however, that made it a chaos. Genesis 1, verse 2, reveals what most creationists do not understand. The earth was no longer in a state of order. It was (or had become) in a state of utter confusion and waste.
Now consider this: the Hebrew word translated "was" in Genesis 1:2 is hayah and can have the meaning of "became." The Rotherham translation of Genesis 1:2 is "Now the earth had become waste and empty." So the Bible does tell us that in the beginning YEHOVAH God did not create the earth in tohu, but that it was now, as a result of some catastrophic event, in a state of tohu and bohu -- confusion.
In Genesis 1:2 we find that YEHOVAH's spirit moved above the face of the waters. The earth was already in existence, but its surface and atmosphere were in confusion. Then, after YEHOVAH God purified the waters and buried the remaining floating debris of a destroyed world, in six literal twenty-four-hour days, YEHOVAH remade the earth into an inhabitable state (Ps. 104:29-30). Life once again flourished on the earth, but this time we find that new kinds of life are introduced -- and man.
YEHOVAH God created Adam, the first man (I Cor. 15:45), out of the dust of the ground and set him over the earth and over the life He had made to live with man.
When YEHOVAH made man, He gave man plants and animals which would be useful for him. Man was not given a world filled with reptiles in which to live. To say that the "Age of Reptiles" was in the time of man is contradicted by the fossil record which we have that clearly shows a major line of demarcation. Man, and the animals associated with him, are not found in the rocks of this prior "Age of Reptiles." Fossil remains of man and his artifacts are found associated with mammals and the useful seed-bearing plants called angiosperms.
When Genesis 1 is further examined, we find that this is exactly what we should expect.
On the third day YEHOVAH God said: "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so" (Genesis 1:11).
Now let us examine the geology books and discover what the facts of science reveal. We will find a direct correlation between the revelation of the Bible and the findings in the rock layers! Notice this amazing quote:
"SUDDENLY -- and suddenly is the proper word -- a rapid diversification and radiation of the flowering plants occurred. Seward called the upper Cretaceous 'the dawn of a new era' and Lesquereux many years ago observed that 'the flora of the globe has become modified as by a NEW CREATION.' There has been no adequate explanation for this apparently sudden modernization of the earth's flora. The angiosperms appear in familiar form, not in small variety but in GREAT NUMBERS: of existing families and genera. It is this perplexing paradox which has obscured the origin of the angiosperms" (Principles of Paleobotany, William C. Darrah, page 219).
Here, then, is direct geologic confirmation of the Scriptures! The plants described in Genesis 1:11 appear suddenly in the geologic record.
Genesis 1:11 would also include the grasses of the field, vegetables, cereals, and the other seed- and fruit-bearing shrubs, which are known as angiosperms.
The following will quickly summarize the usefulness of the plants described in Genesis 1:11-12, which we have noted appeared suddenly in the geologic record. "...They [the angiosperms, or our modern plants] supply nearly all the plant life for the mammals [which also, remember, appear suddenly at this same time] that now dominate all other life upon the earth. Angiosperms provide the nuts and fruits that MAN has cultivated, to say nothing of the flowers that add so much pleasure and inspiration to HUMAN surroundings" (Historical Geology, page 336). When YEHOVAH God created man, He also created the necessary animals and plant life to sustain him!
Is it only coincidence that all these plants suddenly appear in the geologic record?
There are many other "coincidences" when we compare the geological record with the Bible account of creation in Genesis 1.
The Fourth Day
Now we come to the fourth day of Genesis 1:14-19. Many people have read these verses -- along with Genesis 1:3-5 -- and, as a result, have come to the conclusion that the Bible contradicts itself and is therefore an unreliable guide for human behavior. Genesis 1:14-19 reads as follows:
"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
People look at these verses and say -- "this is referring to the creation of the sun, moon and stars!" But then some go back to Genesis 1:3-5 and read --
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Now we seemingly have a problem: The fact that verse 3 says, "Let there be light: and there was light" indicates that the sun must be in existence to produce that light! Right here people start to think that these verses in Genesis are contradictory and, therefore, the Bible is unreliable. Let's, however, study this question in more detail.
The Days of Re-Creation
As we have already seen, Genesis 1:1-2 refers to a time BEFORE the six days of creation. When these days commenced in Genesis 1:3, the sun, moon and stars were already in existence, their creation being referred to at Genesis 1:1. However, just prior to these six days of re-creation "the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was a darkness upon the surface of the watery deep" (Genesis 1:2). Apparently, a swaddling band of cloud layers still enveloped the earth -- preventing light from reaching its surface.
We find mention of this in Job 38:9: "When I made the clouds its [the earth's] garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band."
A very forceful argument was advanced by Isaac N. Vail in the latter part of the 19th century to the effect that all planets are formed by universal or inexorable law; and since we now can see the rings surrounding Saturn, and can also see Uranus forming toward the uncompleted annular system, we must conclude that the earth also was developed by the progressive and successive collapse of aqueous canopies that enveloped the planet.
The birth, growth and development of worlds are regulated by the inexorable laws of YEHOVAH God; and if one planet was ever surrounded by rings, a sister planet -- under the same circumstances, ruled by the same dynamic and static conditions of force, in process of development -- must also be attended by rings during some stage of its career. Not that we should ignore the fact that circumstances must vary the resulting phenomena of ruling forces, but the great principles of planetary growth must be THE SAME on all planets. Wrote Isaac N. Vail --
"It is, for instance, as essential that ring-formation should follow igneous action, as the oblatoidal form of a planet should follow its rapid rotation. They are pure results of acting forces everywhere apparent in the solar system, from the great burning, seething and smoking sun, to the utmost and smallest satellites. If we can detect this universal disposition in the worlds around us, we may rest assured that our own has passed through the same grand cycles of change. Nay, we may, in fact, read the geological history of the earth in the ringed and belted worlds of the solar system.
"It must now be clear that these features exhibited by the belted vapors of Saturn and Jupiter are vital considerations. Modern science has established beyond a doubt the fact that the motion of their polar belts is slower than the equatorial. From this we are forced to the conclusion that they revolve nearer their primaries" (The Earth's Annular System, pages 42-43).
If those belts could in any way increase their motion they would rise and revolve in a larger orbit. That is, they would move from the poles toward the equator. On the other hand, if the equatorial belts should lose the smallest part of their motion they would sink along the lines of least resistance and greatest attraction -- i.e., toward the poles. Now can it be possible -- in a universe of UNCHANGING LAW -- that one planet could become the possessor of a ring system while another doesn't? Can it be possible that the earth, under the influences of these universal laws, avoided passing through the same mode of planetary development?
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." This statement refers to the light that came from the sun illuminating the rings around the earth but not reaching the earth.
The sun was created long before the earth became a form, because the sun is the center of attraction of the solar system. Light from the sun was shining through space, but had not yet shined upon the earth because of the "swaddling band" that surrounded it. YEHOVAH God needs only to express His will, and things transpire. The time came for the light to shine upon that which immediately surrounded the earth. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1: 3-5).
Prior to the beginning of the first creative day, as described by the Genesis account, some of the rings around the earth may have fallen. It is apparent, however, that many remained. With the beginning of the first creative day or period, "darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
What is meant here by "the deep" and "the face of the waters"? Without a doubt there were waters ABOVE the earth and waters UPON the earth. This is obvious from the Genesis statement. The great deep, therefore, must have reference to the waters above the earth -- waters that could have been held up only by reason of the fact that they were revolving rapidly in an orbit about the earth. As soon as they would become inactive they would necessarily fall to earth. The lighter one of these rings would necessarily be farthest out from the earth and nearest the sun.
The time came when the spirit of YEHOVAH God, that is to say, His power, moved upon or took action upon the face of the waters, and the light penetrated this great deep or canopy that surrounded the earth. What this really means is that YEHOVAH God caused the sun's rays to shine upon the face of the waters or great deep, ILLUMINATING THEM. YEHOVAH pronounced the light good, and the light YEHOVAH called day and the darkness he called night, and YEHOVAH divided the light from the darkness. That was the beginning of the division of day and night. So far as the Bible discloses, such constituted the work of the first creative day, and concludes with the words: "And the evening and the morning were the first day." There is NO evidence to warrant the conclusion that at this time the light had penetrated to the earth.
When YEHOVAH God said on Day One, "Let light come to be," diffused light evidently illuminated the cloud layers (swaddling band) even though this light could not yet be discerned from the earth's surface. It seems that this was a gradual process, as is indicated by translator J. W. Watts: "And gradually light came into existence" (Genesis 1:3, A Distinctive Translation of Genesis). YEHOVAH God brought about a division between the light and the darkness, calling the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." This clearly indicates that the earth was rotating on its axis as it traveled around the sun and, as a result, its hemispheres (eastern and western) could enjoy periods of light and darkness (Genesis 1:3).
The visible arch of the sky that we see when we look up is called the FIRMAMENT. It is a great aerial expanse containing the atmosphere and ether surrounding the earth. The work of the second creative day or period was devoted to preparing this great expanse and to dividing the waters. The firmament is called heaven because it is high and lofty, above the earth. "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the MIDST of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were UNDER the firmament from the waters which were ABOVE the firmament: and it was so" (Genesis 1: 6-8).
All the rings formed by the rising vapors from the early days of a developing earth, and surrounding the earth, necessarily contained great quantities of water -- as well as carbon and other mineral substances. These revolved with greater rapidity near the equator and gradually spread out like an envelope toward the poles until they enveloped the earth as a canopy. As these rings neared the poles their motion was slowed, and both the weight and the slowing velocity caused them to fall. As each one fell, great pools of water or bodies of water were rained down upon the earth. All the mineral substances taken up in solution were brought down at the poles and were rushed on toward the equator.
There would then, of course, be water upon the earth and waters above the earth. King David backs up this conclusion in the Bible when he says: "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" (Psalm 42:7); "Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains" (Psalm 104:6; Proverbs 8:27,28; Job 38:9-11). By the falling of these aqueous rings or canopies the oceans were formed, and these great bodies of water on the earth were separated from the deep above the earth by the firmament. The firmament was not holding up the water -- the great deep above the earth was held there by virtue of the fact that it was rapidly revolving in its orbit.
The firmament merely served to form A DIVISION between the waters on the earth and the great deep far out from and surrounding the earth. We understand the formation to be something like this: First the earth; then the firmament or earth's atmosphere; and beyond that many rings containing heavy carbon and other minerals and sublimations, the lighter rings containing hydro-carbons being still further from the earth, and the outermost ring being principally water. YEHOVAH God called the firmament above the earth heaven.
On Day Two YEHOVAH made as expanse by causing a division to occur "between the waters and the waters." Some waters remained on the earth, but a great amount of water in the form of the "swaddling band" was high above the surface of the earth, and in between these two there came to be an expanse. YEHOVAH God called the expanse Heaven, but this was in relation to the earth, as the waters suspended above the expanse are not said to have enclosed stars or other bodies of the outer heavens (Genesis 1:6-8).
It was during the third creative day or epoch that the dry land appeared. Men have come up with many different theories regarding the process of bringing forth the dry land. The land might have been brought forth by pressure of water causing some portions to sink and others to rise -- or it might have been caused by waters running down into the crevices of the heated rock, which caused great upheavals. However it was done, YEHOVAH's statement is that it was done according to His will. There the controversy ends. YEHOVAH God then gathered together the waters on the earth in order that other portions of the earth might be free from water, as it is written: "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. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1: 9,10).
For the first time the Scriptures here mention the waters upon the earth as SEAS. The Biblical proof, therefore, is conclusive that there was a great deep ABOVE the earth, separate and distinct from the waters UPON the earth. The waters above the earth are designated in the Scriptures as "the deep"; whereas the waters upon the earth are called "the seas" or oceans.
The preparatory work progressed. The dry land did not appear suddenly but gradually, and no doubt its appearance covered a large part of the third creative day. During that period the earth brought forth grass and herbs, each yielding seed and fruit after his own kind. One kind of seed did not develop another kind of seed; but each kind produced its own seed -- which seed in due course produced other grass and herbs. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day" (Genesis 1:11-13).
Because of the canopies or rings surrounding the earth the heat and conditions upon the earth were conducive to the growth of plants and herbs. It seems that plant life during that period grew rapidly and very large.
On Day Three -- by YEHOVAH's miracle-working power -- the waters on the earth were brought together and dry land appeared, YEHOVAH calling it Earth. It was also on this day that, through no chance factors or evolutionary processes, YEHOVAH God acted to superimpose the life principle upon atoms of matter, so that grass, vegetation, and fruit trees were brought into existence. Each of these three general divisions was capable of reproducing according to its "kind" (Genesis 1:9-13).
Now we come to the day in contention. The Scriptural account of the fourth epoch or creative day reads:
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:14-19).
It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for "made" in verse 16 is NOT the same word found in Genesis 1:1 for "created." The word for "made" is a.sah -- which can mean "appoint" or "accomplish," whereas the Hebrew word for "create" is ba.ra -- meaning "create" or "made" (see Strong's Concordance). With this in mind Genesis 1:16 could be translated: "And God appointed two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He appointed the stars also." Also, in verse 17, the word "set" is na.than in the Hebrew, and can mean "bring (forth, hither)," "bestow," "cast," "assign" or "appoint." Therefore, verse 17 could be translated: "And God brought them forth in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth."
If it is true, as we have seen, that the light which appeared at the command of YEHOVAH God on the first creative day was from the sun's rays, how can we harmonize that idea with the statement that the light from the sun and moon could be seen on the fourth day? There is, however, no proof in the Bible -- or anywhere else for that matter -- that the sun shone directly upon the earth on the forth creative day. Also, there is no proof that if it were possible for a man at that time to have been on the earth that he could then have seen the sun, moon and stars.
But, in fact, the sun did not shine DIRECTLY on the earth on the fourth creative day. On the contrary, it is quite conclusive that even on the sixth day -- when Adam was on earth -- the sun did not shine, and that no man could see the sun prior to Noah's time. This does not refute the fact that the light emanating from the sun illuminated the "great deep", and, as the further statement of the scripture quoted above shows, that the sun appeared in the firmament. It should be noted that during the first creative day the statement is: "The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.... and there was light." This light was doubtless from the sun's rays, and it lighted the great body of water or deep above the earth and around the earth. On the second day or creative period, YEHOVAH God created the firmament; and on the fourth creative day the light from the sun's rays reached the firmament FOR THE FIRST TIME.
The Genesis record bears this out, where it is recorded: "God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night." Never before is there any mention made in the Bible of light in the firmament, and it must be taken as conclusive that the time mentioned here is the first time that light ever appeared in the firmament -- and this was on the fourth creative day. The light from the sun, moon and stars, shining through the depth of waters above the firmament and upon the firmament, lighted the firmament and divided the day from the night.
Then the statement follows that YEHOVAH God made two great lights to rule the day and the night. It does NOT follow that He made them at that time but that they were previously made by Him, and now the time had come for one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. The sun was not then visible from the earth and could not have been. The light of the sun which illuminated the firmament would cast light upon the earth through the remaining rings which, by that time, were translucent. But the sun could not shine directly upon the earth. Clearly, the sun, moon and stars must have been created long prior to the time which we are now discussing; for the earth is a part of the solar system -- and the earth cannot exist without the solar system!
One of the most conclusive proofs that Adam did not see the sun -- and that no man saw the sun until the flood of Noah's day -- is the fact that the rainbow appeared for the first time after Noah was delivered from the ark (Genesis 9: 9-13). That was the first time that the sun's rays lighted rainfall and produced the rainbow. In the day of Adam there was no rain, but the earth was watered by a mist rising from it (Genesis 2:5, 6). There could have been no rainfall as long as there was an aqueous canopy above the earth; and there could have been no flood, which the Bible says did occur, without the existence of such a ring or aqueous canopy. There could have been no rainbow until after that LAST aqueous canopy fell.
Therefore, the inevitable conclusion is that the sun's rays began to shine in the firmament or aerial expanse on the fourth creative day. Plants and herbs greatly increased from that day, because the sun shining in the firmament would warm it and cause a condition on the earth conducive to the growth of luxuriant plants. Up to this time, as the Bible discloses, no living creatures had appeared on the remade earth.
Up until Noah's six hundredth year of life, the "heavens in ancient times" were different or had a feature different from what the heavens or outer space have now. They had a water ring high in suspension above the earth and containing billions of tons of water. It was the last of many rings that once surrounded the earth, and it covered the earth like a canopy, so that the earth was standing "in the midst of water by the word of God." In November of the six hundredth year of Noah YEHOVAH's word brought that encircling water ring down upon the earth from which it had originally come. As a result, that feature of the heavens disappeared, but the heavens themselves -- with their sun, moon and stars -- remained (Genesis 1:14-19).
"But," a person might observe, "such a canopy of water suspended above the earth would greatly affect earth's climate." Indeed it would! The light and heat rays from the sun would be diffused by the vapor canopy, while this vast canopy would prevent heat from escaping. Such a "greenhouse effect" would thus produce a milder, more uniform climate across the earth. Biologist Harold K. Blum explained this effect of water vapor upon climate, saying:
"Just as the warm glass of the greenhouse tends to raise the temperature of the interior, the water vapor tends to raise that of the earth's surface below it. This surface, or any object on it, is constantly exchanging radiation with the water vapor in the atmosphere, so the temperature of the surface is closely dependent upon the amount and temperature of this vapor."
That earth's climate was uniformly warm at one time is commonly recognized. In an article the Scientific Monthly of August, 1949 observed:
"In those days the earth had a tropical or sub-tropical climate over much of its land surface, and in the widespread tropical lands there was an abundance of lush vegetation. The land was low and there were no high mountains forming physical or climatic barriers."
Of the now-frigid Antarctic continent the French magazine Science et Vie, in its July 1966 issue, said --
"This inhuman land, this desert of ice, was once a green land where streams flowed among flowers, where birds sang in the trees."
According to this source, at least sixty-one kinds of plants then grew in Antarctica.
How consistent, therefore, is the Bible's explanation that there was a suspended mass of water above the earth in man's early history! This water vapor would have created the uniformly warm climate that is known to have once existed earth wide. And it was the unleashing of this tremendous reservoir of water -- and not simply a severe rainfall -- that caused the Flood of Noah's day.
Moving on to Day Five, we see the addition of fish and birds to the earth (Genesis 1:20-23). The aqueous ring or rings surrounding the earth, and forming the canopy, now received the light from the sun that would produce a condition conducive to animal life upon the earth. The spirit or invisible power of YEHOVAH God -- now operating upon the waters in harmony with his fixed law -- caused these waters to bring forth many moving, living creatures, such as fish and other creature life -- and fowl that flew above the earth.
"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. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: 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 fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day" (Genesis 1: 20-23).
During this fifth creative period YEHOVAH God brought into being great swarms of living creatures to inhabit the waters, whales, reptiles and creatures which could live out on land or in water, also shell-fish and like creatures. Geologists have discovered that there are immense beds of limestone in various parts of the earth that contain great quantities of shells of fish -- and these are called "shell-fish cemeteries". This would support the conclusion that after the beginning of this fifth creative day there was a falling of one or more of the rings near the poles, and an inrushing of snow and ice which swept to the equator and destroyed great quantities of these living creatures. Afterwards the way was opened for the creation and bringing forth of other living creatures.
All geology books assert that fish have been on this earth long before man existed. If this is true, then why are fish included in the re-creation account in Genesis? Remember, the animals and plants, in general, as described in Genesis are those which are found associated with man today or with his fossil remains.
The plain truth is that when geology books mention fish in the Paleozoic Era, they are not generally referring to the fish which today populate the waters of the earth. "Most of the modern families [of fish] and a few existing genera probably date from the Eocene [a subdivision of the modern era]" (General Zoology, Storer, page 610).
This is further substantiated by the following admission from the book Creation by Evolution: "In the following Cretaceous seas there were a few fishes that had the bony support of the tail as well formed as that of most existing bony fishes; indeed the reign of the modern THIN-SCALED bony fishes, completely adapted for rapid movement in water, had begun, and the only subsequent changes were those which have given almost endless variety to this thoroughly efficient race" (page 131).
Thus, those fish associated with dinosaurs did not have the thin scales of modern fish, but had hard, enamel-like plates. The modern fish which we have today appeared later, as geological findings validate.
As we have already noticed in Genesis 1:20, the bird family was also created on the fifth day. However, this does not include the winged reptile -- with wing claws, teeth, and long tail bone -- which scientists named Archaeopteryx.
Birds are very useful to man for food -- as in domestic birds -- and for holding a check on insects, weed seeds, and rodents. The beauty and song of birds were especially designed to please man's senses. The flying reptiles of the pre-Adamic world would hardly appeal to man's tastes or compare to the modern birds in usefulness to man!
The importance of mammals to man is immense -- in the role of providers of food, clothing and beasts of burden. The importance of mammals to man cannot be overemphasized! But the same could not be said of animals that existed with the dinosaurs in the pre-Adamic world.
With the opening of the sixth creative period or day the dry land had been separated from the waters for a considerable period of time. The earth's surface produced grass and herbs and fruit and these -- together with the climatic conditions -- were suitable for animal life. The Scriptural account concerning this creative period reads: "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. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1: 24, 25).
Beasts of the earth have not always been the same. At one time there were great numbers of large animals upon the earth, including the mammoth and rhinoceros -- some of which were covered with long woolly hair. Great numbers of these mammoths roamed the earth. Some have been found frozen in the ice and snow of Siberia and Alaska, while skeletons of others have been recovered from the beds of earth and stone in the tropical regions.
Previous to the glacial record there had closed a long period of perpetual spring. The long-haired elephant, and many of his forebears and contemporaries, fed in luxurious forests and grassy plains toward the north pole, which are now covered with glaciers grinding their bones to dust. Northern regions -- which for untold ages had been covered with tropical vegetation and animals of innumerable forms -- began to be invaded by glaciers which slowly made their way toward the equator.
The only way glaciers are now formed is by vapors wafted over them from adjacent lands warmed by solar heat. However, they were not formed that way during the glacial epochs, but by the declension of annular vapors. Glacial ice cannot accumulate extensively now. It flows, and cannot be heaped up in large amounts, its rate of motion being proportionate to the slope of its bed. The source of those snows which turned into glacial ice and built a great continental ice cap over the northern hemisphere must be attributed to the earth's ring system. They accumulated in the St. Lawrence valley several thousand feet thick and towered over the New England mountains.
Snow seldom falls in arctic regions now. Sledge and vehicle tracks that were made several years ago can still be seen today. How, then, did those boundless reaches of snow and ice accumulate but by the decent of an orbiting canopy?
Animals are found entombed in the frozen soil and snows under the arctic circle. For many years a large trade has been carried on in ivory by Siberian traders who recovered it from the frozen soil. Many of the animals, such as the mammoth and rhinoceros, etc., remain undecayed, and in their stomachs and between their teeth are found the vegetation upon which they fed. And even the capillary blood vessels still retain their contents -- showing that there was not the slightest decomposition. The catastrophe which overwhelmed them was incredibly sudden. The climate was changed as if by a stroke, which congealed and sealed the land in ice, locking the mammoth and other animals inside.
Had those animals not been frozen as soon as they were killed purification and decomposition would have taken place. Nothing but the down-rush of snows from the earth's canopy could have done this. These remains are dredged from the northern oceans, and they are also found fossilized over large portions of Siberia -- in both cases, without a doubt, being dropped from icebergs. The mammoth is found frozen in a glacier; the glacier was originally snow; the destruction must necessarily have been sudden.
If not more than one tenth of the waters now upon the earth had fallen in the form of snow it would have covered the entire land surface of the globe more than 30,000 feet deep; and as one tenth must have fallen in polar regions it brings out the Annular Theory as a competent source. The sudden fall of snow sufficient to overwhelm a semitropical world could not accumulate in the atmosphere as it does now, and fall from there. It must have come from a source BEYOND the atmosphere.
During this creative "day" mankind was also created by YEHOVAH God. We read about this in Genesis 1:26-30. Therefore, mankind coexisted with the woolly mammoth and the other denizens of the pre-flood age. Writes George E. Lankford --
"Mammoths and mankind lived together in North America millennia ago. One human even carved the image of a mammoth on a shell...in the Delaware River Valley....one archaeologist urged the examination of Native American legends for examples of the retention of the mammoth in oral tradition" ("Pleistocene Animals in Folk Memory," Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 93, Issue 369. 1980, page 293).
In 1998 fossil hunter Neville Hollingworth uncovered mammoth bones and a flint axe in a gravel pit in Latton, Wiltshire, England. Some of the bones showed evidence of cut marks -- possibly caused by the flint axe found alongside the mammoth bones. During the next year ice gravel experts Daryl Maddy and Simon Lewis of Cheltenham and Gloucester College excavated more bones and several more hand axes indicating, once again, that mammoth and man coexisted at this time.
YEHOVAH God rested from the work He had done in the previous six days.
In this article we have seen that the Bible does not reveal the exact age of the earth, but the Bible does tell us that man has been on the earth almost 6,000 years. Much unnecessary confusion has arisen because creationists generally have not understood that the earth was created -- along with the sun, moon and stars -- at some unrevealed length of time before man's creation.
However, once it is understood that there is a time span between the first two verses of Genesis, it will be clearly seen how there was a time before man's creation when various and different forms of life existed. YEHOVAH God, however, has not revealed to man the time duration between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. But, we do know that the originally created beautiful earth came to be, over a period of time, in a state of abject ruin. The famous six literal days of re-creation mentioned in Genesis 1 were a time of remaking the earth's surface and atmosphere so that man and other life forms YEHOVAH made at that time could live on the earth.
YEHOVAH God did not create the sun, moon and the stars on the fourth day as many people think, but created them probably billions of years ago in the dim, distant reaches of time. On the first re-creation "day" the expression "Let there be light" was used. The Hebrew word there used for light is ohr, meaning light in a general sense. But on the fourth re-creation "day" the Hebrew word changes to ma.ohr, which refers to a luminary or source of light (Genesis 1:14). So, on the first day, the "swaddling band" or canopy that surrounded the earth was illuminated by the sun. By the fourth day the light from the sun had made its way through the canopy and was lighting up the earth or "firmament." The sun and moon had been created LONG before -- when YEHOVAH God created the heavens in Genesis 1:1.
For more information on the earth and its rings, read our articles: Earth Rings and Noah's Flood and Earth Rings and Frozen Mammoths!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God On This Earth!
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