What does Genesis 1:22 mean?
ESV: And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
NIV: God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.'
NASB: God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.'
CSB: God blessed them: "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth."
NLT: Then God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.'
KJV: And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
NKJV: And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
Verse Commentary:
For the first time in Genesis, God gives a direct spoken blessing. Specifically, He blesses all the creatures of the seas and the birds. His blessing is about reproduction and fertility and comes in the form of a command to these creatures: Be fruitful and multiply. In other words, God both commands the birds and fish to multiply and blesses them with the ability to do so. In making this statement, Genesis is declaring that God is not only the creator of life; He is the one who enables life to reproduce itself. He alone is the giver of fertility, of new generations.

That's important for us to hear on several levels. First, to worship any other god in hopes of being blessed with fertile crops or herds or human families is a waste of time. Only God grants that blessing.

Second, whatever our position on how and when God created, Genesis insists that He is the one who blesses all creatures with the ability to reproduce another generation of their kind. Reproduction doesn't happen without Him. For all of its beauty, the creation account of Genesis provides very few actual details. What's meant to be understood, however, is profound: God and God alone is responsible for the design and existence of life.

Finally, we see in this verse that reproduction is a blessing. God grants new life as a gift and to fulfill His own purposes.
Verse Context:
Genesis 1:14–25 describes the second three days of creation: days four, five, and six, just prior to the creation of human kind. As with the first three, there is a common pattern. God's spoken word results in creation, which God then names and declares ''good.'' The day is then numbered. Each of these days fills something created in one of the prior three days. The sun and moon are created on day four, while day and night were created on day one. Sea creatures are created on day five, for the oceans formed on day two. Land animals—and, later, human beings—are made on day six, for the dry land and plants which God created on day three.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 1 is nothing less than a bare-bones claim that God created the universe. Setting all of the debates on models and interpretations aside, the chapter undeniably insists on one thing: God means to be known as the Creator of all things. Written in the original Hebrew language according to a rigid, poetic structure, the chapter unfolds in a series of patterns and revelations. For those who believe these words, our response should be nothing less than to worship our Maker.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 1 is the first chapter of what came to be known as the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible. Likely written by Moses, Genesis 1 begins the story of God and His relationship with His people Israel. The role of God as Creator is not only important for setting up His work in later chapters, but also in His supremacy and authority for all of the other words of the Scriptures. God intends first to be known to all peoples as the Creator of all things—from sun, moon, and stars, to human life itself. And as the Creator, He is owed worship by all He has made, including and especially human beings
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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