Creation Moment’s – Let Birds Fly Across The Expanse

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. :)

Beauty of Pollination Video

Another friend sent this video. It is worth watching. Amazing photography. The cactus flower part was very interesting considering we saw so many of them on our recent trip.

Cactus Flower - Arizona Living Desert Museum by Lee

Cactus Flower – Arizona Living Desert Museum by Lee

From the e-mail:

Take just 4 1/2 minutes of your time to WATCH this…..It is worth every moment…..
Then ask yourself “How do atheists explain these wonderful happenings ? “
Be sure to watch this on the largest computer screen you have (HD if possible)
And have your sound turned on.
The hummingbird doing rolls chasing a bee is not to be missed.
Be sure and watch closely (around 2 min 40 sec) and check out the baby bat under its mother. Unreal.
If you never knew what goes on in the garden when you aren’t paying attention, watch this – some of the finest photography you will ever see.

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Wordless Birds
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Birds of the Bible – The Bat Revisited

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. In that article, the controversy over whether a Bat is a Bird was mentioned, with several commentary comments. 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 wrapped 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 demarcated 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 is highly sensitive to low-frequency acoustics, 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

Birds of the Bible – The Bat?

Birds of the Bible

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“Wings of Life” from YouTube

This was taken from TedTalks.com and was received by me in an e-mail. It is FANTASTIC!

I do not know the story behind the video, but I see God’s mighty creation at work in helping plants be pollinated. The photography is phenomenal.

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8 KJV)

Today is also National Bird Day.

http://nationalbirdday.com/

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Birds of the Bible – The Bat?

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. (Leviticus 11:19-20 KJV) and
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

Townsends Big-eared Bat from Wikipedia

These verses show up at the end of the list of “unclean birds.” I have heard people say or write that since the Bat is not a bird, that make the Scriptures incorrect and not true. Let’s look at this a little closer. For one thing, the following verses go on to mention “fowls that go upon all fours” and other critters that are not birds. “Fowl” in the Bible refers to being covered with wings and that includes birds, bats, insects, and others that fly.

Here is what some of the commentators say about these verses.

Gill – “and the bat; a little bird which flies in the night, Aben Ezra says; Kimchi (s) describes it a mouse with wings, which flies in the night, and we sometimes call it the “flitter mouse”; it is a creature between a fowl and a beast; and, as Aristotle says (t), it partakes of both, and is of neither; and it is the only fowl, as Pliny (u) observes, that has teeth and teats, that brings forth animals, and nourishes them with milk. It is a creature so very disagreeable, that one would think almost there was no need of a law to forbid the eating of it; and yet it is said by some to be eatable, and to be eaten, as Strabo (w) affirms, yea, to be delicious food. It is asserted (x), that there is a sort of them in the east, larger than ordinary, and is salted and eaten–that there are bats in China as large as pullets, and are as delicate eating.”

Dan holding a bat at Avon Park AF Range

Clarke – “The bat – עטלף  atalleph, so called, according to Parkhurst, from עט  at, to fly, and עלף  alaph, darkness or obscurity, because it flies about in the dusk of the evening, and in the night: so the Septuagint νυκτερις, from νυξ, the night; and the Vulgate vespertilio, from vesper, the evening. This being a sort of monster partaking of the nature of both a bird and beast, it might well be classed among unclean animals, or animals the use of which in food should be avoided.” “Lev 11:20  All fowls that creep – Such as the bat, already mentioned, which has claws attached to its leathern wings, and which serve in place of feet to crawl by, the feet and legs not being distinct; but this may also include all the different kinds of insects, with the exceptions in the following verse.”
JFB – “the bat — the great or Ternat bat, known in the East, noted for its voracity and filthiness.” Lev 11:20  All fowls that creep, etc. — By “fowls” here are to be understood all creatures with wings and “going upon all fours,” not a restriction to animals which have exactly four feet, because many “creeping things” have more than that number. The prohibition is regarded generally as extending to insects, reptiles, and worms.”

Here are some interesting facts about the bat (not a bird) from Wikipedia:

1) Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera (pronounced /kaɪˈrɒptərə/). The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and only for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium. Chiroptera comes from two Greek words, cheir (χείρ) “hand” and pteron (πτερόν) “wing.”

Fruit Bat at Avon Park AF Range

2) There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species feed from animals other than insects. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.
3) Bats range in size from Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat measuring 29–33 mm (1.14–1.30 in) in length and 2 g (0.07 oz) in mass,[4] to the Giant Golden-crowned Flying-fox, which has a wing span of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and weighs approximately 1.2 kg (3 lb).
4) Bat echolocation is a perceptual system where ultrasonic sounds are emitted specifically to produce echoes. By comparing the outgoing pulse with the returning echoes the brain and auditory nervous system can produce detailed images of the bat’s surroundings. This allows bats to detect, localize and even classify their prey in complete darkness. At 130 decibels in intensity, bat calls are some of the most intense airborne animal sounds.
5) The finger bones of bats are much more flexible than those of other mammals. One reason is that the cartilage in their fingers lacks calcium and other minerals nearer the tips, increasing their ability to bend without splintering. The cross-section of the finger bone is also flattened compared to the circular cross section that human finger bones have, and is very flexible. The skin on their wing membranes has more elasticity and so can stretch much more than other mammals. The wings of bats are much thinner than those of birds, so bats can manoeuvre more quickly and more accurately than birds. It is also delicate, ripping easily. However the tissue of the bat’s membrane is able to regrow, such that small tears can heal quickly.
6) The teeth of microbats resemble insectivorans. They are very sharp to bite through the hardened armor of insects or the skin of fruit.
7) Mammals have one-way valves in veins to prevent the blood from flowing backwards, but bats also have one-way valves in arteries.
8) One species of bat has the longest tongue of any mammal relative to its body size. This is beneficial to them in terms of pollination and feeding their long narrow tongues can reach deep into the long cup shape of some flowers. When their tongue retracts, it coils up inside their rib cage.

God has graciously created the Bat to fulfill its role in doing His will. He has given it exactly what it needs. To some, it may seem a contradiction, but to those of us who believe in creation, there is no conflict.

Below is something we read recently from Comments on Here and Hereafter by Bob Jones, Sr., p. 79-80.

“The animals and fowls decided to have a battle, so the story goes. The animals lined up one one side and the fowls on the other. In the crowd was a little bat. The animals came upon the bat, and he dropped his wings, showed his teeth and said, ‘I am an animal.’ the fowls came upon the bat. He stretched his wings and said, ‘I am a fowl.’ I have known people like the bat. Whatever crowd they are in, that is what they are. They are like the chameleon. They are colored by their surroundings. God’s people, instead of being affected by their surroundings, should affect their surroundings. A good, consecrated Christian who will be faithful to his trust will have some influence upon his environment.”

When I Consider! – Incredible Bats

When I Consider!

Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number: (Job 5:9)

Evidence From Biology

“The largest known cooperative community of mammals spend their summers together inside Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas. During the day 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats raise their 20 million pups, while each night they gulp down an estimated 150 tons of insects! The bats winter in Mexico and mate in the spring. Then, for a reason unknown to scientists, only the females fly to Texas.

During their migration, the bats fly at 40 miles per hour at an altitude of eight to ten thousand feet. Once settled in at Bracken Cave, they become pregnant from the sperm of male bats which they have carried on the journey with them! Four month later each has a single pup. Although the cave’s one-room nursery has 20 million noisy pups, a mother bat released anywhere within the cave can find her own baby in as little as twelve seconds.

How marvelous is our God who created such wonders!”
From April 21 in “A Closer Look at the Evidence,” Kleiss – “Letting God Create Your Day,” Vol. 3, p.91

“Incredible Bats”

Also another Creation Moments video on YouTube.

And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 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; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
(Isaiah 2:19-21 KJV)

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