Adam and the animals
‘Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
‘And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
‘Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living’ (Genesis 1:24–31; 2:20–22; 3:20).
The bible says that on the sixth day of Creation Week, God made all the animals that live on the land. He did this by commanding the earth to ‘bring forth’ the land animals, and it did so.
God made animals of special use to us, like cows, sheep and horses. He made small animals like squirrels and spiders, rabbits and mice, frogs and lizards. And beasts, like apes and elephants, and lots more. On this day, God also made all the different kinds of dinosaurs. All appeared immediately at God’s command, and all lived peacefully together. What a sight it must have been!
How do we know God made the dinosaurs when the Bible does not mention ‘dinosaurs’? The Bible does not mention giraffes, elephants or kangaroos either, yet we know God made these land animals on Day 6. We know God made dinosaurs on Day 6 because dinosaurs are land animals too.
Did these animals struggle and evolve over millions of years? No! The Bible tells us that God made each animal ‘after its kind’. This means that God gave each animal the power to make baby animals just like itself. But one kind could not change into a different kind, either then or now. Rabbits have baby rabbits, not baby kangaroos! And the same is true for every other animal. When dinosaurs laid their eggs, baby dinosaurs hatched out, not baby birds!
The first man—Adam
The earth was now ready to be the home for God’s greatest creation, the first human beings—Adam and Eve. But before this, God had a little chat. He said, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ Who could He have been talking to? Not to the angels, as we are not made in their image. And not to any of the animals, like the apes, because we are not made in their image, either.
It must have been a conversation among the three Persons of the Trinity: Our heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. (The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in Genesis 1 indicates more than one Person.) Why? Possibly to show how special man is, and that he is absolutely different from all the animals, because in him there is something of the nature of God.
Man is special
We are like God in many ways, and unlike the animals in many ways.
- ‘God is spirit’ (John 4:24), so, unlike the animals, you have an eternal, immortal spirit. You can be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. And you can pray to God directly.
- ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8), so you can love and worship God, love other people, and know His love for you. Animals cannot do this.
- ‘God is good’ (Psalm 34:8; 1 Peter 2:3). God is holy and perfect—this means He never does anything that is wrong—and He commands us to be holy and perfect too (Leviticus 11:44–45; Matthew 5:48). Unlike the animals, people have a conscience which tells us what is right and what is wrong.
We are different from the animals in many other ways, too.
- We can talk with other people (as well as with God). Animals signal warnings, aggression or friendship to each other by the sounds they make, by the way they stand or move, by facial expressions, and by odour. However, animals can’t speak (or write!) a true language. (It is not an animal who wrote this or is reading it!)
- We can choose what we want to do. Animals do things by instinct (Jude v. 10).
- We can comfort others in their sorrows and laugh with others in their joys. One animal may help another, but they do not run first-aid clinics or hospitals.
- We can cook our meals, using fire (or electricity). Animals are scared of fire.
- We can cultivate the fields, planting and reaping crops.
- We can invent complex things like computer games, musical instruments, paintings, mathematics and aircraft, and use clocks to measure time. Animals may make nests or burrows, but this is the limit of their creativity.
God knew that the time would come when God the Son would become a man and live on the earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He gave the first man, Adam, the sort of body in which the Lord Jesus Christ would one day appear.
The first woman—Eve
To make the first woman, God did something very special. He caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. Then He took one of Adam’s ribs and, with great wisdom and skill, from this He built the lovely lady who was to be Adam’s helper and wife. When God gave her to Adam, it was love at first sight! Adam named her ‘Eve’, which means ‘life’, because she would become the mother of the whole human race. Everybody who has ever lived since then has descended from her.
Don’t worry about Adam. God knew what He was doing in removing a rib—this is the only bone in our body that will grow back if it is removed. And their children were not affected—so men and women today have the same number of ribs.
God blessed Adam and Eve and told them to have many children and fill the earth. So it was God who designed marriage of a man and a woman, and the family unit, way back in Genesis.
God also told Adam and Eve to look after the earth. God wanted people, who had been made in His image, to care for the earth and everything in it on His behalf. We were meant to find out all about the earth and to use this knowledge for the benefit of people and animals, in a way that was pleasing to God.
Lots of things to eat—Yum!
Adam and Eve lived in a lovely garden in a place called Eden. And what did they eat? God told Adam they were free to eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This supply would never run out, as God had programmed the plants and trees (when He made them on the third day of Creation Week) to keep on reproducing through their seeds.
The animals, too, were to obtain their food from ‘every green plant’. So God said in the beginning that neither man nor animals should eat meat. It was only after the Flood, in Noah’s time, that God told man he could eat meat (Genesis 9:3).
Everything on Day 6 was beautiful and perfect for God’s purpose. Nothing God had made was bad or evil. There was no struggle for existence, no disease, no suffering, no sin, and, above all, no death of people or animals!
During Creation Week, God looked at what He had made and called it ‘good’ six times. Now, on the sixth day, with everything finished, God looked again and joyfully said, ‘Very good!’
The word ‘dinosaur’ is not in the Bible because the word was not invented until about 165 years ago. However, a dinosaur-like animal called behemoth is described in Job 40:15–19, and another called leviathan in Job 41. The Hebrew words commonly translated ‘dragon’ appear in the Old Testament (King James Version) over 30 times. Modern versions like the NIV often use ‘monster’ (Psalm 74:13; Isaiah 51:9). From the Bible we can see that man and dinosaurs once lived together.