“For the life [nephesh] of the flesh is in the blood:”
Some people find insects, such as butterflies, fascinating. But there are also those who cannot stand the sight of other insects. Wasps and leather jackets are not particularly loved. I have often wondered why God created such nasty creatures, and I have to remind myself that, like everything else, they were created perfect originally.
But when did God make insects? What classification do we put them in?
Were they created with land animals on the sixth day? Are they the creeping things? Probably not, because all such animals are described as nephesh, and the life (nephesh) of the flesh is in the blood. Were they created on the fifth day? After all, most insects can fly. But, again, the creatures on Day Five werenephesh. Insects do not have blood.
In Genesis 7:14, we read about the flying creatures taken aboard the Ark. They were to be “every bird… every winged creature”. In a previous Creation Moment, we saw that there are two Hebrew words for birds – ôph and tsippor. The first refers to all winged creatures. The juxtaposition of both terms in Genesis 7:14 suggests that insects are specifically excluded, especially as insects do not breathe through nostrils, which was a condition for creatures being taken on the Ark.
In short, the creatures mentioned in Genesis 1 all have nephesh. So non-nephesh animals, like insects, and, for that matter, spiders, are not mentioned. Everything was created in that one week, but we don’t know when insects were made. As non-nephesh animals, they do not have the blessed quality of life of those animals with blood.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for making all things. Thank You that they all had a perfect purpose in Your perfect design. Amen.
Ref: Sarfati, J. (2015), The Genesis Account, (Powder Springs, GA: CMI), pp. 247-248. Image: J.J. Harrison, CC BY-SA 3.0.