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Genesis 1:20

    Genesis 1:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And God said, Let the waters be full of living things, and let birds be in flight over the earth under the arch of heaven.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    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."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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.

    Definitions for Genesis 1:20

    Firmament - Expanse or vault over the earth; sky.
    Let - To hinder or obstruct.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 1:20

    Let the waters bring forth abundantly - There is a meaning in these words which is seldom noticed. Innumerable millions of animalcula are found in water. Eminent naturalists have discovered not less than 30,000 in a single drop! How inconceivably small must each be, and yet each a perfect animal, furnished with the whole apparatus of bones, muscles, nerves, heart, arteries, veins, lungs, viscera in general, animal spirits, etc., etc. What a proof is this of the manifold wisdom of God! But the fecundity of fishes is another point intended in the text; no creature's are so prolific as these. A Tench lay 1,000 eggs, a Carp 20,000, and Leuwenhoek counted in a middling sized Cod 9,384,000! Thus, according to the purpose of God, the waters bring forth abundantly. And what a merciful provision is this for the necessities of man! Many hundreds of thousands of the earth's inhabitants live for a great part of the year on fish only. Fish afford, not only a wholesome, but a very nutritive diet; they are liable to few diseases, and generally come in vast quantities to our shores when in their greatest perfection. In this also we may see that the kind providence of God goes hand in hand with his creating energy. While he manifests his wisdom and his power, he is making a permanent provision for the sustenance of man through all his generations.

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 1:20

    - VII. The Fifth Day

    20. שׁרץ shārats, "crawl, teem, swarm, abound." An intransitive verb, admitting, however, an objective noun of its own or a like signification.

    נפשׁ nephesh, "breath, soul, self." This noun is derived from a root signifying to breathe. Its concrete meaning is, therefore, "that which breathes," and consequently has a body, without which there can be no breathing; hence, "a breathing body," and even a body that once had breath Numbers 6:6. As breath is the accompaniment and sign of life, it comes to denote "life," and hence, a living body, "an animal." And as life properly signifies animal life, and is therefore essentially connected with feeling, appetite, thought, נפשׁ nephesh, denotes also these qualities, and what possesses them. It is obvious that it denotes the vital principle not only in man but in the brute. It is therefore a more comprehensive word than our soul, as commonly understood.

    21. תנין tannı̂yn, "long creature," a comprehensive genus, including vast fishes, serpents, dragons, crocodiles; "stretch."

    22. ברך bārak "break, kneel; bless."

    The solitude בהוּ bohû, the last and greatest defect in the state of the earth, is now to be removed by the creation of the various animals that are to inhabit it and partake of its vegetable productions.

    On the second day the Creator was occupied with the task of reducing the air and water to a habitable state. And now on the corresponding day of the second three he calls into existence the inhabitants of these two elements. Accordingly, the animal kingdom is divided into three parts in reference to the regions to be inhabited - fishes, birds, and land animals. The fishes and birds are created on this day. The fishes seem to be regarded as the lowest type of living creatures.

    They are here subdivided only into the monsters of the deep and the smaller species that swarm in the waters.

    Genesis 1:20

    The crawler - שׁרץ sherets apparently includes all animals that have short legs or no legs, and are therefore unable to raise themselves above the soil. The aquatic and most amphibious animals come under this class. "The crawler of living breath," having breath, motion, and sensation, the ordinary indications of animal life. "Abound with." As in Genesis 1:11 we have, "Let the earth grow grass," (דשׁא תדשׁע tadshē‛ deshe', so here we have, "Let the waters crawl with the crawler," שׁרץ ישׁרצוּ yı̂shretsû sherets; the verb and noun having the same root. The waters are here not the cause but the element of the fish, as the air of the fowl. Fowl, everything that has wings. "The face of the expanse." The expanse is here proved to be aerial or spatial; not solid, as the fowl can fly on it.