Genesis 1 Day 3: Creation of the Dry Land and Vegetation

Genesis 1:9-13

By Ron Jones, © The Titus Institute 2018

Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


On Day 1, God created the raw material of the universe, the earth as a gigantic earthen sphere covered by water and outer space unoccupied until the proper time. He will be like a master sculptor who has prepared the clay to be molded. His Holy Spirit is hovering over the face of this world wide ocean ready to participate with the Father and the Son in the creation. God then creates a supernatural light by which the earth can begin to rotate on its axis and the first 24 hour day can begin. On Day 2, God creates the sky between the waters above (clouds full of water vapor) and the waters below (ocean). This is the beginning of the hydrologic cycle which God created to grow the food supply and sustain life. Day 3 begins in v.9

Day 3 - The Creation of the Dry Land, the Seas, and Vegetation

v. 9-10 The third day concerns God's work on the surface of the earth.

First Creative Act on Day 3

9 And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.

The water surrounding the surface of the earth was gathered together in one place so that the ground underneath it could appear. The waters which covered the whole earth, were now concentrated into one place, and, as a result, the solid dry land appeared.

The phrase "in one place" refers to one place as opposed to every place the water occupied before God's action here. Whether there was one huge land mass or not, cannot be determined in this verse.

v.9 And it was so.

It was created as God declared it.

v. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

v. 10 God called the dry land Earth

God is sovereign over the earth and gives it a name. This name was known in Moses' day handed down by Adam.

v.10 and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas.

v.10 And God saw that it was good. On Day 2 when God separated the seas from the clouds of waters, it does not say that God saw that it was good, but here it does. This is probably due to the fact that the separating of the waters was not the complete picture. When God added the land, the three-fold world that we live in, land, sea, and sky was completed and God saw that it was good and beneficial for humans.

Second Creative Act on Day 3

v. 11 And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so.

Unlike the first two days of creation, on the third day God performs a second act of creation. After making the land appear, God creates vegetation upon it. God prepares the earth to produce food for his creatures on a regular basis.

v. 11 And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation"

"Vegetation" is most likely the general word for all the various kinds of plants on the earth.

v.11 "Let the earth"

Notice: God commands the earth to produce the vegetation and sets in motion the production by the earth of food for man. This is repeated in v.12. The production of food is a natural process. The immediate creation of vegetation to eat shows that the purpose of the land was to produce food for man as well as a place to live.

God causes the land to have the ability to produce vegetation by most likely infusing into it the original seeds and giving the soil the original nutrients to produce growth. From then on, the land produces the vegetation on its own.

v. 11 plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.

"Vegetation" is a general term which is described by "plants yielding seed" and "fruit trees."

There are two categories of Vegetation which are plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit

1) "Plants yielding seeds" includes those plants specifically but also bushes and grasses generally.

2) "Fruit trees" includes those trees specifically, but also includes all other trees generally.

These are broad categories with the emphasis on giving food for man and reproducing themselves to continue to give food for man. Their supply could not be exhausted because the earth will continue to produce. They would be available everywhere, all over the earth.

These two categories are to reproduce "according to their various kinds."

v. 11 each according to its kind

"Kind" is used for broad categories of plants. They do not necessarily correspond exactly to the scientific concept of species.

v.11 And it was so

Again, it happened upon God's command immediately.

v. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

For emphasis, Moses describes "it was so."

v.12 And God saw that it was good.

What was good? The land where man could live and where he could eat to maintain his physical life. God is the generous and wonderful provider of land and food for his creatures and it is a good land and good food.

V.13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.