Filling The Earth

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1).

This was the first command given by God to mankind in the new world after the Flood. Actually, it simply renewed the first command given to Adam and Eve in the primeval world. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth . . .” (Genesis 1:28). The Old English word “replenish” means simply “fill,” and the same is true of the Hebrew word (mala) from which it is translated. In fact, of its 220 occurrences, the King James translators rendered it “replenish” only seven times. Almost always they translated it by “fill,” or the equivalent.

Thus, God’s first command to men and women was to multiply until the earth was filled. Despite our latter-day concerns about exploding populations, this goal is far from accomplishment today. “Filling,” of course, would imply filling only to the optimum capacity for productive human stewardship of the earth under God.

The pre-Flood Earth was filled in only 1656 years, but it was “filled with violence through them,” and God finally had to “destroy them with the earth”  (Genesis 6:13)

In spite of man’s failures, the Lord has given a gracious promise: “And the LORD said, . . . as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Numbers 14:20,21). This will not be man’s doing, however. When Christ returns in power and great glory as the destroying Stone, then “the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). The new Earth will finally be filled with an innumerable multitude of the redeemed (Revelation 7:9), and “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). HMM

Series: 
In the Beginning
Book: 
Genesis
Verses: 
9:1
Article Type: 
Days of Praise

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