I just noticed something interesting in day 6 of the Genesis creation week that I hadn’t seen before. It’s well-known that there are eight “And God said” statements that are divided between the six days, so day 3 and 6 both get two of these statements. On day 3, God first gathers the seas so the dry land appears, then commands the land to produce plants. On day 6, God first creates the land animals, then creates humanity.
But here’s the thing: the first creative act on the sixth day includes making every kind of creature. “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind’.” This is itemized as including cattle, creeping things and wild animals, but I think this is just showing that it covers every category of earth creature. Humans are a kind of earth creature.
The second creative act is to make the human kind in God’s image. It’s not “Let us make humankind” but “Let us make humankind in our image.” Rather than day 6 having a one-two punch of making land animals and then humans, it seems to have (1) making all kinds of land creatures and (2) elevating humankind.
This also fits very well with the Bible’s other key description of the image of God:
What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet … (Psalm 8:4–6)
The psalm’s question, “what are humans?” seems to expect “not much” as the answer. There’s nothing in humans that deserves the place God gave them. The crowning with glory and honour seems to be a gracious promotion rather than a recognition of our superior created nature.
Thoughts? Is this old hat and I just never noticed it?