Let Birds Flying Across The Expanse – Creation Moments

LET BIRDS FLY ACROSS THE EXPANSE

Genesis 1:20

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

On the fifth day of the Creation Week, God created swarms of sea creatures. He also created flying creatures. In Genesis 1:20, God says: “Let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” The birds were not, in fact, in the firmament. When the KJV translates the phrase as “in the open firmament”, the word open reminds us that the birds are simply seen against the background of the firmament, and are not in it. We heard in the previous Creation Moment that God created whole swarms of sea creatures. It could also be assumed that He created a very large variety of flying creatures.

This brings us to the fact that many translations tell us that God made birds. The KJV refers to fowl. The use of a word other than bird in the KJV is significant. The Hebrew word is ôph (עוֹף). There is another Hebrew word that means birds. It is tsippor(צִפּוֹר). In fact, the word ôph is much wider in meaning than birds and includes all flying creatures. For instance, in Leviticus 11:13-19, the bat is included at the end of a list of birds. But the collective word used in Leviticus 11:13 is ôph, not tsippor. So ôph does not really mean birds – it means flying creatures. Hence, the creation of flying creatures in Genesis 1:20 includes not only birds, but also bats, and, by implication, flying insects also – and pterosaurs – the flying dinosaurs.

Once again, we notice the efficiency and economy of the words used in Genesis 1, which gives far more information than at first we think.  

Prayer: Your wonderful book, the Bible, astonishes us again and again as it explains to us how and why You created this world. Thank You for the wide variety of creatures that You put in the world. Amen.

Ref: Sarfati, J. (2015), The Genesis Account, (Powder Springs, GA: CMI), pp. 223-225. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.

©Creation Moments 2019, Used with permission.


A very interesting study of the creation of the “fowls/birds.” Would make for a good BIrds of the Bible article, but they beat me to it. :)

Bible Birds – The Bat?

 

Giant Fruit Bat at Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13 by Dan

Giant Fruit Bat at Cincinnati Zoo by Dan

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
(Leviticus 11:19-23 KJV)

While we were at the Cincinnati Zoo, we were able to see and photograph several Bat species. They were really cool and I wanted to share them with you.

Giant Fruit Bat at Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13 by Lee

Giant Fruit Bat at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Then I remembered that I had written about them in Birds of the Bible – The Bat?, in 2010. That article was about the controversy over whether a Bat is a Bird. This time, I am mainly sharing the photos of the Bats that are there at the Zoo and comments about them. Just one personal observation about the above verses. The use of “fowl” in the King James Version and some of the others seems to refer to any creature that had wings and flies. I quoted the whole context because; 1) The verse and chapter separations were inserted later, 2) Birds, bats, and insects all seem to be referred to with the same collective term, “fowl.” I do not have a problem with the bat. It is not a bird.

The only other verses using “bat” or “bats” are:

And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; (Isaiah 2:20 KJV)

The bats we saw at the Cincinnati Zoo were the Giant Fruit Bats and the Vampire Bats. They are amazing creatures of design and creation from their Creator, the Lord.

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Giant Fruit Bat at Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13 by Lee

Giant Fruit Bat’s Foot amazed me

Giant Fruit Bat (Pteropus giganteus) or Indian Flying Fox is found in Bangladesh, China, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Also known as the greater Indian fruit bat, it lives in mainly forests. It is a very large bat with a wingspan between 3 ft 10 in and 4 ft 10 in (1.2 and 1.5 m). It is nocturnal and feeds mainly on ripe fruits, such as mangoes and bananas, and nectar. This bat is gregarious and lives in colonies which can number a few hundred. Their offspring have no specific name besides ‘young’. They have one to two young.

The Indian flying fox lives in tropical forests and swamps, where a large body of water is nearby.

The way they were hanging up there amazed me. I zoomed in and took a photo of its foot. Also, they almost looked like a large cocoon hanging up there with the wings wrapper around them. The first photo, Dan caught one of them stretching.

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Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus) Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13 by Lee

Common Vampire Bat Cincinnati Zoo by Lee (Shot through glass into a dark exhibit)

(Common) Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus) – The common vampire bat mainly feeds on the blood of livestock, approaching its prey at night while they are sleeping. It uses its razor-sharp teeth to cut open the skin of its hosts and laps up their blood with its long tongue. They are native to the New World, ranging from Mexico to Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

The common vampire bat is short-haired, with silver-gray fur on its undersides, sharply separated from the darker fur on its back. It has small, somewhat rounded ears, a deeply grooved lower lip, and a flat, leaf-shaped nose. A well-developed, clawed thumb on each wing is used to climb onto prey and to assist the animal in take-off. The bat averages about 3.5 in (9 cm) long with a wingspan of 7 in (18 cm). It commonly weighs about 2 oz (57 grams), but its weight can double after a single feeding. The braincase is relatively large, but the snout is reduced to accommodate large incisors and canines. It has the fewest teeth among bats.

Common Vampire Bat - Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Common Vampire Bat – Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Common vampire bats have good eyesight. They are able to distinguish different optical patterns and may use vision for long-range orientation. These bats also have well-developed senses of smell and hearing: the cochlea (ear) is highly sensitive to low-frequency sounds, and the nasal passages are relatively large. They emit echolocation signals orally, and thus fly with their mouths open for navigation.

Common Vampire Bat - Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Common Vampire Bat – Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

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(Wikipedia with editing)

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Links:

Cincinnati Zoo

Giant Fruit Bats – Cincinnati Zoo

Indian Flying Fox – Wikipedia

Vampire Bats – Cincinnati Zoo

Common Vampire Bat – Wikipedia

Bible Birds

Birds of the Bible – The Bat?

Birds of the Bible

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