Genesis 1:24-25, Yom Shishi Part 1: The Twilight of Life
[This is the sixth in a series about Creation week, specifically, how each day corresponds to the progress men and women make as they exercise their salvations, showing that the fruitfulness of the physical earth is God’s foreshadowing of spiritual success.]
On Yom Echad – the First Day – I separated God’s Word from “darkness”, which is everything that attempts to overcome the truth.
On Yom Sheni – the Second Day – I learned that I have excesses like the earth had excess water. God not only “circumcises” my excess but teaches me how to rely on “Heaven.”
On Yom Shlishi – the Third Day – I accepted that Israel (the Kingdom of God)- differs from “the nations”. In Israel, I discover faith produces good works of fruitfulness.
On Yom Revi’i – the Fourth Day- I learned that the temporary lights of Torah are the key to experiencing God on his time, and preparing me for more difficult days to come.
On Yom Chamishi– the Fifth Day- I brought the message of Good News to the nations, and sought that which is lost.
Yom Shishi Part 1- The Twilight of Life
“God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures after their kind, livestock, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind;” and it was so. God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25)
Similar to Yom Chamishi (Day Five), at the literal level the first part of Yom Shishi (Day Six) is self explanatory. God literally “brought out” (Heb. yatsah; other translations: “produce”) of the earth land-dwelling animals, all of which are described by generic words: chayah (beast), behemah (animal), and remes (mover). “Life” is the literal meaning of chayah, but to describe a wild beast, it is used within a compound as it is here- chayahto eretz [chayah (life) + eretz (earth) = “life of the earth”, most often translated “beast of the earth” The Septuagint uses θηρία-teria-“wild animal”]. The generic word for ‘animal’ is behemah; in almost all other occurrences, it describes animals under the ownership of humans, such as cattle or beasts of burden. Finally, ramas means “to move” (“move” is chosen before the common translation “creep” as creep has a negative connotation in English); it is also usually paired within a compound to denote a creature’s activity more so than its species. Here ramas is paired with adamah (the ground), literally “moves by ground.” Most commentators have equated this term with the reptilian kingdom.
Before describing this at the prophetic level, a quick glance at the previous days of the week prophetically show our salvation, growing pains, establishment, fruitfulness, obedience, worship, maturity, and advancing the Kingdom. In other words, we have been disciplined by the One True God and represented Him to those on the outside. We have been hearers and doers of the Word; we have shown His light to the nations. Now it is time for all that discipline and wisdom to oversee the Kingdom on the haaretz (haaretz is symbolic of Haaretz Yisrael, “Land of Israel”, a representation of the Kingdom of God). This is what occurs on Yom Shishi, at the twilight of life. By this point, we are entrusted as an elder of God who can oversee the three types of men that always comprise a congregation, both of which are repeated in verses 24 and 25: the chayat haaretz, the behemah, and the remes haadamah.
Chayat Ha’aretz. These are the subject of many a prophet and apostle’s writings. Though near the kingdom/Israel, many of these “wild beasts” don’t enter (which would translate “as a heathen and tax collector” Matt. 18:17, see also 2 Pet 2:20-22, Jud 1:10-11). These fellowship with “vultures” and would devour the saints (Psa. 79:2, Isa 35:9). The greatest comparison to wild beasts is in Psalm 22, which prophesies Messiah’s execution. In the Psalm Messiah’s hands and feet are pierced while surrounded by wild bulls, roaring lions, and dogs (Psa. 22:12-13, 16). This was fulfilled at the stake, when he was “wagged and roared at”. What I’m trying to say is, by this phase of life, the elder and shepherd in us has to guard against the “wild beast” – religious-but-faithless types who would slander, mock, spit on, slap, scourge, and crucify Yeshua (who God is if He had flesh). Sometimes difficult decisions need to made; perhaps a “giving over to satan”, but the ultimate goal is that these will eventually honor YHVH, so that he could call them “Mine” (Psa 50:10, Isa 43:20) in the same breath as behemah. Before then, all behemahs need a fence or shepherd to stay off the wolves; this is the role of the elder, as elders have the experience to spot a wolf long before reaching the flock.
Behemah. Unlike the wild beast, behemah is a tamed, servant-type animal with a favorable disposition. The difference between behemah and chayat ha’aretz is that the behemah is willing to be raised, serve, and even sacrificed to YHVH. These are disciples and friends, willing to be trained in the way of YHVH to become remes haadamah.
Remes Haadamah. As mentioned in Yom Chamishi, remes is the sign of life (Gen. 1:30) distinguishing animals from the “herd mentality.” On Day Five-prophetically speaking of course- remes marked the potential God saw in the “swarms”, that some of them may break from the swarms, and move… into salvation. Similarly on Day Six, we find remes, not moving into the Kingdom, but being released from the other behemah to move, this time over… adamah. At the prophetic level, what do we see? We see hidden in the word for dry ground the name for mankind, Adam. In other words, the remes of the Kingdom are moving among the peoples of the world to win them for the Most High. They are missionaries, evangelists, prophets and apostles. They are ready to move out the same way the elder formerly moved in the phase of Yom Chamishi. It is fitting that this is prophetically hidden in the context of reptiles, as these former behemah (sheep) have learned to be harmless, but now clever as serpents, who can move among the wolves (ref. Matt. 10:16). Again, the best qualified to “open the gates” and levy support for those who are ready are elders who’ve done it all before.
Let me just say, the twilight of life is supposed to be an honorable time, a time when the wisdom accrued pays back the youth to show them how the Kingdom works, and all the Lord’s benefits. The elderly in the Lord are not designed to be cornered off in a retirement home, but very much a part of His administration. The world changes, but human nature is human nature. Every congregation will have those who are “wild”, who cannot be tamed, those who are willing to learn and serve, and those who have potential to move unsupervised among the world, performing great exploits for YHVH. The best men to build a fence between the wild and domesticated, and to open the gates for the messengers of God is he and she who have seen it all before. This is the inheritance the grey-headed have in Messiah’s Kingdom, as the experienced elders are the best at identifying the wolf, the lamb, and those who are wise as serpents to win the lost.◊