Genesis 1:28 MEANING

Genesis 1:28
Verse 28. - And God blessed them. Not him, as LXX. As on the introduction of animal life the Divine Creator conferred on the creatures his blessing, so when the first pair of human beings are formed they are likewise enriched by their Creator's benediction. And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply. As in the case of the lower creatures the Divine blessing had respect in the first instance to the propagation and perpetuation of the species, "which blessing," says Calvin, "may be regarded as the source from which the human race has flowed," a thought in full accord with Scripture teaching generally (cf. Psalm 127:3); yet by making one man and one woman an important distinction was drawn between men and beasts as regards the development of their races and the multiplication of their kind (Malachi 2:7). "Carte fraenum viris et mulieribus non laxavit, at in vagus libidines ruerent, absque delectu et pudore; seda sancto castoque conjugio incipiens, descendit ad generationem" (Calvin). And replenish the earth. The new-created race was intended to occupy the earth. How far during the first age of the world this Divine purpose was realized continues matter of debate (Genesis 10.). After the Flood the confusion of tongues effected a dispersion of the nations over the three great continents of the old world. At the present day man has wandered to the ends of the earth. Yet vast realms lie unexplored, waiting his arrival. This clause may be described as the colonist's charter. And subdue it. The commission thus received was to utilize for his necessities the vast resources of the earth, by agricultural and mining operations, by geographical research, scientific discovery, and mechanical invention. And have dominion over the fish of the sea, etc. i.e. over the inhabitants of all the elements. The Divine intention with regard to his creation was thus minutely fulfilled by his investiture with supremacy over all the other works of the Divine hand. Psalm 8. is the "lyric echo" of this original sovereignty bestowed on man.

1:26-28 Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an honour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day that the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth with theirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same earth with them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and the desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that perish! Man was to be a creature different from all that had been hitherto made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must be put together in him. God said, Let us make man. Man, when he was made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe our being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God's image. Man was made upright, Ec 7:29. His understanding saw Divine things clearly and truly; there were no errors or mistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and in all things, to the will of God. His affections were all regular, and he had no bad appetites or passions. His thoughts were easily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Thus holy, thus happy, were our first parents in having the image of God upon them. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! May the Lord renew it upon our souls by his grace!And God blessed them,.... The man and the woman he had made, with all the blessings of nature and Providence; with all the good things of life; with his presence, and with communion with himself in a natural way, through the creatures; and particularly with a power of procreating their species, as follows,

and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth: if this is not an express command, as the Jews understand it, for marriage and procreation of children, it seems to be more than a bare permission; at least it is a direction and an advice to what was proper and convenient for the increase of mankind, and for the filling of the earth with inhabitants, which was the end of its being made, Isaiah 45:18. This shows that marriage is an ordinance of God, instituted in paradise, and is honourable; and that procreation is a natural action, and might have been, and may be performed without sin,

and subdue it; the earth; not that it was in the hands of others, who had no right to it, and to be conquered and taken out of their hands; but is to be understood of their taking possession, and making use of it; of their tilling the land, and making it subservient to their use:

and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the face of the earth; which was giving them an universal and unlimited dominion over all the creatures; of which see an enumeration in Psalm 8:6.

Courtesy of Open Bible