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Genesis 1:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— 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.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And God said—Let the waters swarm [with] an abundance of living soul, and, birds, shall fly over the earth, over the face of the expanse of the heavens.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 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.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And God said, Let the waters bring foorth aboundantly the mouing creature that hath life, and foule [that] may flie aboue the earth in the open firmament of heauen.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life, and winged creatures flying above the earth in the firmament of heaven, and it was so.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Elohim 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Let the waters 4325
{4325} Prime
מַיִם
mayim
{mah'-yim}
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
bring forth abundantly 8317
{8317} Prime
שָׁרַץ
sharats
{shaw-rats'}
A primitive root; to wriggle, that is, (by implication) swarm or abound.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
the moving creature 8318
{8318} Prime
שֶׁרֶץ
sherets
{sheh'-rets}
From H8317; a swarm, that is, active mass of minute animals.
that hath y5315
[5315] Standard
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
life, 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
x5315
(5315) Complement
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
and fowl 5775
{5775} Prime
עוֹף
`owph
{ofe}
From H5774; a bird (as covered with feathers, or rather as covering with wings), often collective.
[that] may fly 5774
{5774} Prime
עוּף
`uwph
{oof}
A primitive root; to cover (with wings or obscurity); hence (as denominative from H5775) to fly; also (by implication of dimness) to faint (from the darkness of swooning).
z8787
<8787> Grammar
Stem - Polel (See H8847)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 72
above 5921
{5921} Prime
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the earth 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
in x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the open 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
firmament 7549
{7549} Prime
רָקִיעַ
raqiya`
{raw-kee'-ah}
From H7554; properly an expanse, that is, the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky.
of heaven. 8064
{8064} Prime
שָׁמַיִם
shamayim
{shaw-mah'-yim}
The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 1:20

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

_ _ 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, etc.; 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.

_ _ A farther advance was made by the creation of terrestrial animals, all the various species of which are included in three classes: (1) cattle, the herbivorous kind capable of labor or domestication.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 1:20-23

_ _ Each day, hitherto, has produced very noble and excellent beings, which we can never sufficiently admire; but we do not read of the creation of any living creature till the fifth day, of which these verses give us an account. The work of creation not only proceeded gradually from one thing to another, but rose and advanced gradually from that which was less excellent to that which was more so, teaching us to press towards perfection and endeavour that our last works may be our best works. It was on the fifth day that the fish and fowl were created, and both out of the waters. Though there is one kind of flesh of fishes, and another of birds, yet they were made together, and both out of the waters; for the power of the first Cause can produce very different effects from the same second causes. Observe, 1. The making of the fish and fowl, at first, Genesis 1:20, Genesis 1:21. God commanded them to be produced. He said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly; not as if the waters had any productive power of their own, but, “Let them be brought into being, the fish in the waters and the fowl out of them.” This command he himself executed: God created great whales, etc. Insects, which perhaps are as various and as numerous as any species of animals, and their structure as curious, were part of this day's work, some of them being allied to the fish and others to the fowl. Mr. Boyle (I remember) says he admires the Creator's wisdom and power as much in an ant as in an elephant. Notice is here taken of the various sorts of fish and fowl, each after their kind, and of the great numbers of both that were produced, for the waters brought forth abundantly; and particular mention if made of great whales, the largest of fishes, whose bulk and strength, exceeding that of any other animal, are remarkable proofs of the power and greatness of the Creator. The express notice here taken of the whale, above all the rest, seems sufficient to determine what animal is meant by the Leviathan, Job 41:1. The curious formation of the bodies of animals, their different sizes, shapes, and natures, with the admirable powers of the sensitive life with which they are endued, when duly considered, serve, not only to silence and shame the objections of atheists and infidels, but to raise high thoughts and high praises of God in pious and devout souls, Psalms 104:25, etc. 2. The blessing of them, in order to their continuance. Life is a wasting thing. Its strength is not the strength of stones. It is a candle that will burn out, if it be not first blown out; and therefore the wise Creator not only made the individuals, but provided for the propagation of the several kinds; God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, Genesis 1:22. God will bless his own works, and not forsake them; and what he does shall be for a perpetuity, Ecclesiastes 3:14. The power of God's providence preserves all things, as at first his creating power produced them. Fruitfulness is the effect of God's blessing and must be ascribed to it; the multiplying of the fish and fowl, from year to year, is still the fruit of this blessing. Well, let us give to God the glory of the continuance of these creatures to this day for the benefit of man. See Job 12:7, Job 12:9. It is a pity that fishing and fowling, recreations innocent in themselves, should ever be abused to divert any from God and their duty, while they are capable of being improved to lead us to the contemplation of the wisdom, power, and goodness, of him that made all these things, and to engage us to stand in awe of him, as the fish and fowl do of us.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 1:20-23

Each day hitherto hath produced very excellent beings, but we do not read of the creation of any living creature till the fifth day. The work of creation not only proceeded gradually from one thing to another, but advanced gradually from that which was less excellent, to that which was more so. 'Twas on the fifth day that the fish and fowl were created, and both out of the waters.

Observe, 1. The making of the fish and fowl at first. Genesis 1:20-21 God commanded them to be produced, he said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly — The fish in the waters, and the fowl out of them. This command he himself executed, God created great whales, &c. — Insects which are as various as any species of animals, and their structure as curious, were part of this day's work, some of them being allied to the fish, and others to the fowl. Notice is here taken of the various species of fish and fowl, each after their kind; and of the great numbers of both that were produced, for the waters brought forth abundantly; and in particular of great whales the largest of fishes, whose bulk and strength, are remarkable proofs of the power and greatness of the Creator.

Observe, 2, The blessing of them in order to their continuance. Life is a wasting thing, its strength is not the strength of stones; therefore the wise Creator not only made the individuals, but provided for the propagating of the several species, Genesis 1:22. God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply — Fruitfullness is the effect of God's blessing, and must be ascribed to it; the multiplying of the fish and fowl from year to year, is still the fruit of this blessing here.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 1:20

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the (p) moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

(p) As fish and worms which slide, swim or creep.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Let the waters:

Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
Genesis 8:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is] with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Psalms 104:24-25 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. ... [So is] this great and wide sea, wherein [are] things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
Psalms 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, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

moving:
or, creeping,
1 Kings 4:33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that [is] in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

life:
Heb. a living soul,
Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labour [is] in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it [for] his portion. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.

fowl that may fly:
Heb. let fowl fly, This marginal reading is more conformable to the original, and reconciles this passage with
Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
. The word fowl, from the Saxon fleon, to fly, exactly corresponds to the original, which denotes every thing that flies, whether bird or insect.

open firmament:
Heb. face of the firmament,
Genesis 1:7 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 1:14 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:
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Gn 1:7, 14, 22, 30; 2:19; 8:17. 1K 4:33. Ps 104:24; 148:10. Ec 2:21. Ac 17:25.

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Here, we learn that even men touched by Grace may fail to live up to their high calling on occasion. Here, also, that the LORD GOD is greater than they, forgiving and delivering them for the sake of His Covenant, from their folly. Here, also, that the LORD GOD is sovereign over all, even great heathen kings. Lastly, that with the LORD GOD are the issues of life itself, and not merely at the creation, but also the procreation of new life.
- BRIAN F. STUART (12/3/2012 8:11:06 PM) [qBible.com]
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