Chapter 11: The Completion of Vegetation; The Last Part of Day Three
Gen 1:11 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.
Moses saw in a separate view on this, the last part of “day 3,” completed seed bearing vegetation including, grass (sprouts), and that which produces fruit (seed). Other vegetation had long since existed but, in this view, is in decline or is mostly extinct.
Although unmentioned biblically, Moses saw in this view a brighter overcast sky- brighter since the overcast condition was continuously clearing or thinning. The moving light in the sky (the Sun) was more focused than on previous creation “days,” and seas were calmer due to solid landmasses above sea level. In the absence of a rain cycle, sparse vegetation was concentrated only in low-lying inland oasis type areas and next to streams. Animal life existed abundantly in the seas but was not complete and not ready for mention. Globally, the sky was overcast but had become oxygenated, as had the seas. Condensation of atmospheric water onto Earth’s landmasses was occurring primarily at Earth’s cooler poles, and now on ice-capped mountaintops. There were rivers, streams, and swamps supplied with mountain runoff- the water supply for all freshwater vegetation.
11.1 The fourth command is given
Biblically, God said, “Let the earth bring forth…” this plant life. The plant life was not put on the ground or planted. It does not say that God walked around planting magic seeds out of his pocket of creation. Nor does it say that God spoke this seed bearing vegetation into its initial existence. What it does say is that this particular seed bearing vegetation, because of its importance, shall be allowed to advance and exist for the duration of time. Moreover, it says that this vegetation would be “brought forward” or advanced from earth or dirt. The biblical statements are perfectly true.
Things suddenly existing from nothing are not a part of the human experience. How can one even phrase a command that orders something to suddenly exist? Many had supposed that the “let the earth bring forth…” expression implies instant, from nothing creation since it had been thought all of creation occurred in only a few days. However, a careful analysis shows that, more than anything else the expression says, “Allow this vegetation which originates from earth (dirt) and propagates by spreading seed to advance and populate Earth. “ “Allow this vegetation” to advance implies vegetation had already existed and has been culled its final time. Vegetation had already existed for eons, albeit created by God or at least created by processes allowed by, or created by God. Now what was to advance and survive for the duration is specified in Gen 1:11 above.
11.2 Let the earth bring forth vegetation- evolution?
Let, or allow the seed bearing vegetation to come from earth (dirt) and let it exist for the duration of time. Note that seed bearing vegetation evolved its traits from life that existed on or in dirt. The phrase of Gen 1:11 “Let the earth bring forth…“spoken by God, is consistent with what is now called evolution. However, without having read and analyzed the rest of the creation story, the phrase could be taken to mean that vegetation simply began growing in dirt or earth. Later in the creation story, it becomes clear that this expression actually means something more than the simple growth of vegetation out of dirt. The meaning will be further explored, and then rendered clear, as one reads on.
This is the first mention of life on Earth in the creation story, yet scientific evidence shows that sea life, both plant and animal had already existed for many millions of years. Seed bearing vegetation occurred late in the evolution of plant life. Clearly, that plant life described in the creation story is only that plant life that has survived extinctions and continues to exist even today. It is only the completed seed bearing plant life that was noted as having been seen by Moses. The view seen by Moses of the last part of “day 3” was at the end of the Paleozoic Era 240Mya.
11.3 Vegetation extinctions
Similar to a modern refinery process, die offs had filtered out most all vegetation except that which was seed bearing. Frozen conditions had often been the culprit, but for seed bearing vegetation, seed remained preserved indefinitely on the often arid, frozen land. When conditions allowed, sparse vegetation existed in oasis type areas where both liquid fresh water and some sunlight were available. There was no rain cycle. The surviving vegetation was predominately seed bearing.
Animal life in the sea had systematically experienced extinctions as well. Essentially all other life had become extinct prior to this creation “day’s” view with only remnants of some species remaining.
Please see Figure D for a reasonable assignment of “day 3, part 2” in the geologic chronology.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
The seed bearing vegetation had progressed, or had evolved, until it was after its kind.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Note: the first life of mentionable importance to people that has survived all extinctions, even until today, is seed bearing vegetation again showing continued agreement between science and creation.
Animal life has now made its way onto the scene. Perhaps due to the availability of oxygen in the sea first from early plankton/bacteria, sea dwelling animal life reaches its peak next, but first, the completely overcast sky would clear and except for a rain cycle, would remain clear until modern times.