Biblical Kinds

(C)Copyright 2008 by Carl Drews
Updated: November 6, 2011

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Part 1. Method
Bible Verses That Contain "Kind"
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
Other Relevant Bible Verses
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7
Part 2. Baramin
Bible Verses That Contain "bara"


Genesis 1 uses the Hebrew word "miyn" to describe the created types of plants and animals. Hebrew "miyn" (Strong's Concordance #4327) is usually translated into English as "kind." Biblical "kind" refers to some category of living things, but at what level of classification? The author examines the Biblical usage of "miyn" in context and concludes that the Hebrew word refers to any informal classification of organisms, all the way down to a recognizable species.

Part 1. Method

When analyzing the meaning of Biblical words, it is important to read them in context of the original passage. It is also important to examine all the occurrences of the word, to be sure that all possible meanings are included in the analysis. One-verse interpretation can often lead the modern Bible reader astray.

Modern English has many more words than ancient Hebrew. There is usually not a one-to-one correspondence between Hebrew words and their English equivalent, because translators use different English words to capture the intent of the original Hebrew. The key step is to locate the Strong's Concordance number for the word under study. You may find the number by:
a) looking up the English word in a Hebrew-English dictionary, and
b) verifying that the Hebrew word does indeed occur in the passage(s) you are studying.

In the case of Biblical "kinds" the Strong's Concordance number is Hebrew 04327, or simply H4327. The Hebrew word "miyn" is pronounced "meen". The Blue Letter Bible has a very useful on-line lexicon at the following location:

The Outline of Biblical Usage states a definition for H4327:

1) kind, sometimes a species (usually of animals)

This definition is some scholar's understanding of the Biblical meaning of the word "miyn". Although we could simply take the scholar's word for it, when the meaning is important we should verify the supplied definition ourselves. No human authority is higher than the Biblical text. That's why we look up all the verses in context. Below the word's definition this particular entry has a curious paragraph without any explanation:

Goups [sic] of living organisms belong in the same created "kind" if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool. This does not preclude new species because this represents a partitioning of the original gene pool. Information is lost or conserved - not gained. A new species could arise when a population is isolated and inbreeding occurs. By this definition a new species is not a new "kind" but a further partitioning of an existing "kind".
(Collected on the Internet - April 20, 2008.)

I am familiar with the Bible, and when I first read this paragraph I thought to myself, "I don't remember reading anything in the Bible about partitioning of gene pools, or information lost and gained! Where does the Bible say all that? I want to know book, chapter, and verse! Where is this paragraph coming from?" Here is a perfect example where we must examine the Bible verses ourselves to verify the interpretation in the mystery paragraph. The Blue Letter Bible entry states that H4327 occurs 31 times in the Old Testament. The large number is good, because we need a comprehensive pool of usages to determine all possible shades of meaning for this word.

Bible Verses That Contain "Kind"

The Blue Letter Bible lists 31 occurrences of the Hebrew word "kind", as follows. The numbers are Strong's Concordance numbers.

Gen 1:11 And God 0430 said 0559 , Let the earth 0776 bring forth 01876 grass 01877, the herb 06212 yielding 02232 seed 02233, [and] the fruit 06529 tree 06086 yielding 06213 fruit 06529 after his kind 04327, whose 0834 seed 02233 [is] in itself, upon the earth 0776: and it was so.

Gen 1:12 And the earth 0776 brought forth 03318 grass 01877, [and] herb 06212 yielding 02232 seed 02233 after his kind 04327, and the tree 06086 yielding 06213 fruit 06529, whose seed 02233 [was] in itself, after his kind 04327: and God 0430 saw 07200 that [it was] good 02896.

Gen 1:21 And God 0430 created 01254 great 01419 whales 08577, and every living 02416 creature 05315 that moveth 07430 , which the waters 04325 brought forth abundantly 08317 , after their kind 04327, and every winged 03671 fowl 05775 after his kind 04327: and God 0430 saw 07200 that [it was] good 02896.

Gen 1:24 And God 0430 said 0559 , Let the earth 0776 bring forth 03318 the living 02416 creature 05315 after his kind 04327, cattle 0929, and creeping thing 07431, and beast 02416 of the earth 0776 after his kind 04327: and it was so.

Gen 1:25 And God 0430 made 06213 the beast 02416 of the earth 0776 after his kind 04327, and cattle 0929 after their kind 04327, and every thing that creepeth 07431 upon the earth 0127 after his kind 04327: and God 0430 saw 07200 that [it was] good 02896.

Gen 6:20 Of fowls 05775 after their kind 04327, and of cattle 0929 after their kind 04327, of every creeping thing 07431 of the earth 0127 after his kind 04327, two 08147 of every [sort] shall come 0935 unto thee, to keep [them] alive 02421 .

Gen 7:14 They 01992, and every beast 02416 after his kind 04327, and all the cattle 0929 after their kind 04327, and every creeping thing 07431 that creepeth 07430 upon the earth 0776 after his kind 04327, and every fowl 05775 after his kind 04327, every bird 06833 of every sort 03671.

Lev 11:14 And the vulture 01676, and the kite 0344 after his kind 04327;

Lev 11:15 Every raven 06158 after his kind 04327;

Lev 11:16 And the owl 01323 03284, and the night hawk 08464, and the cuckow 07828, and the hawk 05322 after his kind 04327,

Lev 11:19 And the stork 02624, the heron 0601 after her kind 04327, and the lapwing 01744, and the bat 05847.

Lev 11:22 [Even] these of them ye may eat 0398 ; the locust 0697 after his kind 04327, and the bald locust 05556 after his kind 04327, and the beetle 02728 after his kind 04327, and the grasshopper 02284 after his kind 04327.

Lev 11:29 These also [shall be] unclean 02931 unto you among the creeping things 08318 that creep 08317 upon the earth 0776; the weasel 02467, and the mouse 05909, and the tortoise 06632 after his kind 04327,

Deu 14:13 And the glede 07201, and the kite 0344, and the vulture 01772 after his kind 04327,

Deu 14:14 And every raven 06158 after his kind 04327,

Deu 14:15 And the owl 01323 03284, and the night hawk 08464, and the cuckow 07828, and the hawk 05322 after his kind 04327,

Deu 14:18 And the stork 02624, and the heron 0601 after her kind 04327, and the lapwing 01744, and the bat 05847.

Eze 47:10 And it shall come to pass, [that] the fishers 01728 shall stand 05975 05975 upon it from Engedi 05872 even unto Eneglaim 05882; they shall be a [place] to spread forth 04894 nets 02764; their fish 01710 shall be according to their kinds 04327, as the fish 01710 of the great 01419 sea 03220, exceeding 03966 many 07227.

The verses in Genesis 1 are familiar to most people who have studied this problem. The first usage of "kind" in verse 24 is either a generality or a plural: "the living creature after his kind". Either "living creature" is a general single kind, or there are many different kinds of living creatures. Perhaps the word "kind" should be plural there: "after his [many] kinds". Verses 24-25 go on to list three more particular kinds: cattle, creeping things, and beasts. These are all living creatures. Thus we can already refute the assertion in the mystery paragraph; partitioning and sub-dividing the taxonomy does indeed represent a new Biblical "kind".

The Flood story in Genesis 6-7 uses categories similar to Genesis 1. The purpose of Noah's animal collection is to preserve a small breeding population (by pairs and sevens). The "kinds" of animals taken onto the Ark are able to breed together successfully with others of that same kind. If two animal groups cannot breed together, then Noah must judge them to be of different kinds. This is the "Noah Test".

The verses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are very instructive. Notice how specific are the different "kinds" listed there. Jumping insects that can fly are different kinds (Leviticus 11:22):

a. Locust (Locusta migratoria)
Photo by Danny Steaven

b. Bald Locust - Acrida? (Truxalis johnstoni)
Photo by ChriKo

c. Egyptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium)
Photo by Alvesgaspar

Figure 1. Three different insect kinds.

Similar birds are different kinds:

a. Glede (Red kite) (Milvus milvus) extinct

b. Black kite (Milvus migrans)
Photo by Ferdinand Grassmann

c. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Photo by Alan Vernon

Figure 2. Three different bird kinds.

The dietary laws in Deuteronomy 14 list two different kinds of hawk. Tall slender birds with long necks that wade in the shallows and eat little fish are two different kinds (stork and heron). The Biblical usage of "kind" in Leviticus and Deuteronomy is nearly at the level of species. These verses directly contradict the idea that "miyn" always refers to some broad classification of organisms.

a. Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
Photo by J.M.Garg

b. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Photo by Mbz1

Figure 3. Two different bird kinds.

In Ezekiel 47 the word "miyn" is translated here in the plural: kinds.

Other Relevant Bible Verses

In Genesis 2:19-20 Adam gives names to all the animals. The simplicity of this process implies that identification is done by simple recognition. The different kinds of animals are distinguished by Adam as a layman; the Bible does not describe here any more complicated taxonomy or hierarchy of classification. If a living creature has a distinct name, it is a distinct Biblical kind. This is the "Adam Test".

Genesis 8:6-8 states that Noah took with him onto the Ark a raven and a dove. Although the word "kind" is not used here, the two birds clearly have different names. They are recognizably distinct. Noah did not take a single pair of generic proto-birds with him onto the Ark, from which all modern birds are descended. Genesis 8:6-8 strongly implies that the raven and the dove were two different kinds of birds while they were on the Ark.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells of the coming judgment of the nations, and likens this event to a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats. A shepherd easily recognizes the difference between sheep and goats. This parable implies that livestock are not all the same Biblical "kind", but are recognized as distinct kinds of animals.


The Hebrew word for "kind" in the Bible can be very specific. Although "miyn" (Strong's Concordance H4327) may sometimes refer to a broad class of animals, it certainly also refers to animals at nearly the species level of classification. There is no Biblical support for the assertion that genetic information cannot be gained, nor for any "change barrier" that restricts how far a "kind" may evolve.

Figure 4. Two different Biblical kinds: two separate species of Foraminifera (by morphology).
Reprinted by permission from Dr. Tony Arnold, Florida State University.
For more information see

Figure 5. Macroevolution between two different Biblical kinds.
Reprinted by permission from Dr. Tony Arnold, Florida State University.
For more information see

In Leviticus and Deuteronomy the Biblical usage of "kind" refers to a recognizable species; recognizable to people living among them. People naturally identify plants and animals at roughly the species level (Gould, Stephen Jay, 1980. A quahog is a quahog. In The Panda's Thumb, Norton, New York.). I include the adjective "recognizable" in my definition to allow that trained biologists may sometimes identify separate species that are not obvious to the layman. Biblical "kind" falls between Genus and species, and represents the level of naming used by people familiar with the plants and animals of interest.

The Biblical usage of "kind" is close to the scientific usage of "species". The Biblical phrase "after their kind" is commonly interpreted to imply fixity of species in Genesis 1, but this interpretation is not consistent with the usage in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Species is defined scientifically as reproductive isolation; organisms are of the same species if they can interbreed successfully, and are of different species if they cannot. In the case of fossils, where the reproductive test cannot be conducted, different species are distinguished by morphology (physical characteristics). If two fossils look different enough, they are classified as different species. A panel of scientists may judge the differences in morphology. This practice also matches the Biblical usage, where different organisms are identified by how they look. If two populations can be reliably distinguished, then they are different Biblical "kinds".

Figure 6. Two different Biblical kinds:
(B) Australopithecus africanus, STS 5, 2.6 My; and (N) Homo sapiens sapiens, modern.
Reprinted by permission from Dr. Douglas Theobald. (Images (C) 2000
Smithsonian Institution.)

Figure 7. Macroevolution between two different Biblical kinds.
Smoothly transitional fossils from ancient Australopithecus africanus to modern Homo sapiens.
Image A is a modern chimpanzee for comparison. For more information, see
Douglas Theobald's article.

The Bible does not state any bounds on the variations that may be produced by mutation plus natural selection. Genetic information may be added by a gene duplication followed by a point mutation. However, suppose we interpret Genesis 1 to imply that a creature always produces more offspring of the same kind. How is it that macroevolution can produce entirely new kinds and be consistent with this understanding of the Biblical text?

The answer is that according to standard evolutionary theory, the child is always the same species as the parent. By any test of speciation (reproduction or morphology), the parent and the immediate child are the same species. It is only after a large number of generations that we notice a substantial change in the Biblical "kind". The text in Genesis 1 is obviously a short summary of God's magnificent creation, and we should not expect it to cover exhaustively the biological changes that occur over longer periods than a human lifetime. Genesis 1 is a hymn of glory to God's mighty works, not a technical specification.


The definition of Biblical "kind" usually comes up in discussions of microevolution vs. macroevolution. Many creationists profess to accept microevolution but not macroevolution. Many creationists accept speciation, but quickly assert that the new species is still the same Biblical kind. "It's still a finch." "It's still a snail." "It's still a bacteria." "It's still a bird." They suggest that there is some Biblical "kind" beyond which microevolution cannot reach. I have tried to solicit a testable definition of "kind" from several creationists, but have not received any coherent response. So I have searched the Bible myself! This article summarizes my findings. "Miyn" in Hebrew means what "kind" means in English: any informal classification of organisms, at multiple levels down to a recognizable species. The two endpoints of Figures 5 and 7 are recognizably different, and they would have different names in ancient Hebrew; macroevolution has occurred.

Furthermore, Biblical macroevolution is close to the scientific definition of macroevolution. A new Biblical "kind" emerges when reproductive isolation newly separates two child populations. A new Biblical "kind" has emerged when an observant layperson can reliably tell them apart (the Adam Test). A new Biblical "kind" has emerged when Noah would have to take breeding pairs of both child populations onto the Ark, in order to preserve the existing lines of biological descent (the Noah Test). And I am not surprised by these findings, for I believe that God's Word and God's Creation are in harmony.

Carl Drews
April 20, 2008

Part 2. Baramin

"Baramin" is not a Hebrew word. It is a term coined and used by creationists to refer to a created kind.

Hebrew "bara" + "miyn" = baramin
bara = Strong's Concordance #1254; to create
miyn = Strong's Concordance #4327; kind (see Part 1)
The concept behind "baramin" is that God originally created a limited set of life forms that may undergo natural selection and speciation, but there are boundaries beyond which speciation cannot extend. Although one species may evolve into another species within the same baramin, one baramin many never evolve into another different baramin. We will examine this concept to see if it is Biblical.

Here is an article at talkorigins that mentions baramins extensively:

Baraminology is referenced here at Wikipedia:

Devising new words based on Hebrew roots is not bad in itself; Francis Collins coined the term "Biologos" to refer to biological evolution as an expression of God's creative words of command given in Genesis 1. The problem is in assuming that since the term is made from ancient Hebrew words, the concept itself must be Biblical. To examine if the concept of a "created kind" is what the Bible teaches, we must look up all the instances of the Hebrew word bara.

Bible Verses That Contain "bara"

The Blue Letter Bible lists 54 occurrences of the Hebrew word "create", as follows. The numbers are Strong's Concordance numbers. The KJV summary is: create 42, creator 3, choose 2, make 2, cut down 2, dispatch 1, done 1, make fat 1. It's interesting to note that bara (H1254) only appears together with miyn (H4327) in a single verse: Genesis 1:21.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning 07225 God 0430 created 01254 0853 the heaven 08064 and 0853 the earth 0776.

Gen 1:21 And God 0430 created 01254 great 01419 whales 08577, and every living 02416 creature 05315 that moveth 07430 , which the waters 04325 brought forth abundantly 08317 , after their kind 04327, and every winged 03671 fowl 05775 after his kind 04327: and God 0430 saw 07200 that [it was] good 02896.

Gen 1:27 So God 0430 created 01254 man 0120 in his [own] image 06754, in the image 06754 of God 0430 created 01254 he him; male 02145 and female 05347 created 01254 he them.

Gen 2:3 And God 0430 blessed 01288 the seventh 07637 day 03117, and sanctified 06942 it: because 03588 that in it he had rested 07673 from all his work 04399 which God 0430 created 01254 and made 06213 .

Gen 2:4 These 0428 [are] the generations 08435 of the heavens 08064 and of the earth 0776 when they were created 01254 , in the day 03117 that the LORD 03068 God 0430 made 06213 the earth 0776 and the heavens 08064,

Gen 5:1 This 02088 [is] the book 05612 of the generations 08435 of Adam 0121. In the day 03117 that God 0430 created 01254 man 0120, in the likeness 01823 of God 0430 made 06213 he him;

Gen 5:2 Male 02145 and female 05347 created 01254 he them; and blessed 01288 them, and called 07121 their name 08034 Adam 0120, in the day 03117 when they were created 01254 .

Gen 6:7 And the LORD 03068 said 0559 , I will destroy 04229 man 0120 whom I have created 01254 from the face 06440 of the earth 0127; both man 0120, and 05704 beast 0929, and the creeping thing 07431, and the fowls 05775 of the air 08064; for it repenteth 05162 me that I have made 06213 them.

Exd 34:10 And he said 0559 , Behold, I make 03772 a covenant 01285: before all thy people 05971 I will do 06213 marvels 06381 , such as have not been done 01254 in all the earth 0776, nor in any nation 01471: and all the people 05971 among 07130 which thou [art] shall see 07200 the work 04639 of the LORD 03068: for it [is] a terrible thing 03372 that I will do 06213 with thee.

Num 16:30 But if the LORD 03068 make 01254 a new thing 01278, and the earth 0127 open 06475 her mouth 06310, and swallow them up 01104 , with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down 03381 quick 02416 into the pit 07585; then ye shall understand 03045 that these men 0582 have provoked 05006 the LORD 03068.

Deu 4:32 For ask 07592 now of the days 03117 that are past 07223, which were 01961 before 06440 thee, since the day 03117 that God 0430 created 01254 man 0120 upon the earth 0776, and [ask] from the one side 07097 of heaven 08064 unto the other, whether there hath been [any such thing] as this great 01419 thing 01697 [is], or hath been heard 08085 like it?

Jos 17:15 And Joshua 03091 answered 0559 them, If thou [be] a great 07227 people 05971, [then] get thee up 05927 to the wood 03293 [country], and cut down 01254 for thyself there in the land 0776 of the Perizzites 06522 and of the giants 07497, if mount 02022 Ephraim 0669 be too narrow 0213 for thee.

Jos 17:18 But the mountain 02022 shall be thine; for it [is] a wood 03293, and thou shalt cut it down 01254 : and the outgoings 08444 of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out 03423 the Canaanites 03669, though they have iron 01270 chariots 07393, [and] though they [be] strong 02389.

1Sa 2:29 Wherefore kick 01163 ye at my sacrifice 02077 and at mine offering 04503, which I have commanded 06680 [in my] habitation 04583; and honourest 03513 thy sons 01121 above me, to make yourselves fat 01254 with the chiefest 07225 of all the offerings 04503 of Israel 03478 my people 05971?

Psa 51:10 Create 01254 in me a clean 02889 heart 03820, O God 0430; and renew 02318 a right 03559 spirit 07307 within 07130 me.

Psa 89:12 The north 06828 and the south 03225 thou hast created 01254 them: Tabor 08396 and Hermon 02768 shall rejoice 07442 in thy name 08034.

Psa 89:47 Remember 02142 how short 02465 my time is: wherefore hast thou made 01254 all men 01121 0120 in vain 07723?

Psa 102:18 This shall be written 03789 for the generation 01755 to come 0314: and the people 05971 which shall be created 01254 shall praise 01984 the LORD 03050.

Psa 104:30 Thou sendest 07971 forth thy spirit 07307, they are created 01254 : and thou renewest 02318 the face 06440 of the earth 0127.

Psa 148:5 Let them praise 01984 the name 08034 of the LORD 03068: for he commanded 06680 , and they were created 01254 .

Ecc 12:1 Remember 02142 now thy Creator 01254 in the days 03117 of thy youth 0979, while the evil 07451 days 03117 come 0935 not, nor the years 08141 draw nigh 05060 , when thou shalt say 0559 , I have no pleasure 02656 in them;

Isa 4:5 And the LORD 03068 will create 01254 upon every dwelling place 04349 of mount 02022 Zion 06726, and upon her assemblies 04744, a cloud 06051 and smoke 06227 by day 03119, and the shining 05051 of a flaming 03852 fire 0784 by night 03915: for upon all the glory 03519 [shall be] a defence 02646.

Isa 40:26 Lift up 05375 your eyes 05869 on high 04791, and behold 07200 who hath created 01254 these [things], that bringeth out 03318 their host 06635 by number 04557: he calleth 07121 them all by names 08034 by the greatness 07230 of his might 0202, for that [he is] strong 0533 in power 03581; not one 0376 faileth 05737 .

Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known 03045 ? hast thou not heard 08085 , [that] the everlasting 05769 God 0430, the LORD 03068, the Creator 01254 of the ends 07098 of the earth 0776, fainteth 03286 not, neither is weary 03021 ? [there is] no searching 02714 of his understanding 08394.

Isa 41:20 That they may see 07200 , and know 03045 , and consider 07760 , and understand 07919 together 03162, that the hand 03027 of the LORD 03068 hath done 06213 this, and the Holy One 06918 of Israel 03478 hath created 01254 it.

Isa 42:5 Thus saith 0559 God 0410 the LORD 03068, he that created 01254 the heavens 08064, and stretched them out 05186 ; he that spread forth 07554 the earth 0776, and that which cometh out 06631 of it; he that giveth 05414 breath 05397 unto the people 05971 upon it, and spirit 07307 to them that walk 01980 therein:

Isa 43:1 But now thus saith 0559 the LORD 03068 that created 01254 thee, O Jacob 03290, and he that formed 03335 thee, O Israel 03478, Fear 03372 not: for I have redeemed 01350 thee, I have called 07121 [thee] by thy name 08034; thou [art] mine.

Isa 43:7 [Even] every one 03605 that is called 07121 by my name 08034: for I have created 01254 him for my glory 03519, I have formed 03335 him; yea, I have made 06213 him.

Isa 43:15 I [am] the LORD 03068, your Holy One 06918, the creator 01254 of Israel 03478, your King 04428.

Isa 45:7 I form 03335 the light 0216, and create 01254 darkness 02822: I make 06213 peace 07965, and create 01254 evil 07451: I the LORD 03068 do 06213 all these [things].

Isa 45:8 Drop down 07491 , ye heavens 08064, from above 04605, and let the skies 07834 pour down 05140 righteousness 06664: let the earth 0776 open 06605 , and let them bring forth 06509 salvation 03468, and let righteousness 06666 spring up 06779 together 03162; I the LORD 03068 have created 01254 it.

Isa 45:12 I have made 06213 the earth 0776, and created 01254 man 0120 upon it: I, [even] my hands 03027, have stretched out 05186 the heavens 08064, and all their host 06635 have I commanded 06680 .

Isa 45:18 For thus saith 0559 the LORD 03068 that created 01254 the heavens 08064; God 0430 himself that formed 03335 the earth 0776 and made 06213 it; he hath established 03559 it, he created 01254 it not in vain 08414, he formed 03335 it to be inhabited 03427 : I [am] the LORD 03068; and [there is] none else.

Isa 48:7 They are created 01254 now, and not from the beginning; even before 06440 the day 03117 when thou heardest 08085 them not; lest thou shouldest say 0559 , Behold, I knew 03045 them.

Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created 01254 the smith 02796 that bloweth 05301 the coals 06352 in the fire 0784, and that bringeth forth 03318 an instrument 03627 for his work 04639; and I have created 01254 the waster 07843 to destroy 02254 .

Isa 57:19 I create 01254 the fruit 05108 of the lips 08193; Peace 07965, peace 07965 to [him that is] far off 07350, and to [him that is] near 07138, saith 0559 the LORD 03068; and I will heal 07495 him.

Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create 01254 new 02319 heavens 08064 and a new 02319 earth 0776: and the former 07223 shall not be remembered 02142 , nor come 05927 into mind 03820.

Isa 65:18 But be ye glad 07797 and rejoice 01523 for ever 05703 [in that] which I create 01254 : for, behold, I create 01254 Jerusalem 03389 a rejoicing 01525, and her people 05971 a joy 04885.

Jer 31:22 How long wilt thou go about 02559 , O thou backsliding 07728 daughter 01323? for the LORD 03068 hath created 01254 a new thing 02319 in the earth 0776, A woman 05347 shall compass 05437 a man 01397.

Eze 21:19 Also, thou son 01121 of man 0120, appoint 07760 thee two 08147 ways 01870, that the sword 02719 of the king 04428 of Babylon 0894 may come 0935 : both twain 08147 shall come forth 03318 out of one 0259 land 0776: and choose 01254 thou a place 03027, choose 01254 [it] at the head 07218 of the way 01870 to the city 05892.

Eze 21:30 Shall I cause [it] to return 07725 into his sheath 08593? I will judge 08199 thee in the place 04725 where thou wast created 01254 , in the land 0776 of thy nativity 04351.

Eze 23:47 And the company 06951 shall stone 07275 them with stones 068, and dispatch 01254 them with their swords 02719; they shall slay 02026 their sons 01121 and their daughters 01323, and burn up 08313 their houses 01004 with fire 0784.

Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden 05731 the garden 01588 of God 0430; every precious 03368 stone 068 [was] thy covering 04540, the sardius 0124, topaz 06357, and the diamond 03095, the beryl 08658, the onyx 07718, and the jasper 03471, the sapphire 05601, the emerald 05306, and the carbuncle 01304, and gold 02091: the workmanship 04399 of thy tabrets 08596 and of thy pipes 05345 was prepared 03559 in thee in the day 03117 that thou wast created 01254 .

Eze 28:15 Thou [wast] perfect 08549 in thy ways 01870 from the day 03117 that thou wast created 01254 , till iniquity 05766 was found 04672 in thee.

Amo 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth 03335 the mountains 02022, and createth 01254 the wind 07307, and declareth 05046 unto man 0120 what [is] his thought 07808, that maketh 06213 the morning 07837 darkness 05890, and treadeth 01869 upon the high places 01116 of the earth 0776, The LORD 03068, The God 0430 of hosts 06635, [is] his name 08034.

Mal 2:10 Have we not all one 0259 father 01? hath not one 0259 God 0410 created 01254 us? why do we deal treacherously 0898 every man 0376 against his brother 0251, by profaning 02490 the covenant 01285 of our fathers 01?


The "Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible", by Spiros Zodhiates and Warren Baker (1991) contains a discussion of the Hebrew word bara on page 1604 that emphasizes the special and Divine nature of this creation:

Bara: to create, form, make, produce; to cut, to cut down; to engrave, to carve. This word occurs in the very first verse of the Bible (Gen 1:1). Bara emphasizes the initiation of the object, not manipulating it alter [sic] original creation. The word as used in the Qal [the simple active or stative form of the conjugation] refers only to an activity which can be performed by God. Entirely new productions are associated with bara (Ex. 34:10; Num. 16:30; Ps 51:10; Is 4:5; 41:20; 48:7; 65:17, 18; Jer. 31:22). The word also possesses the meaning of "bringing into existence" in Is. 43:1; Ezek 21:30; 28:13, 15. Therefore, it is not surprising that it is used in Gen 1:1, 21, 27; 2:3. There is every reason to believe that bara was creation ex nihilo (out of nothing).

Unfortunately for Spiros Zodhiates, the Bible contradicts his last sentence about creation ex nihilo. Humans and animals were not created out of nothing; according to Genesis 2, we were created out of dirt. Genesis 2 also contradicts Zodhiates' assertion that bara does not refer to manipulating something after the original creation; God manipulated the soil in Genesis 2 to form humans and the animals.


If you are a responsible reader of the Bible you will thoughtfully consider the verses containing the Hebrew word bara above, and prayerfully come to your own understanding of what this word means. Here is mine:

There are a few outliers, verses that do not reflect the primary meaning of bara. The "dispatch", "cut down", and "make fat" verses fall into this minority. Although these meanings are obviously legitimate Biblical uses of the word bara, they do not reflect the primary idea of creation.

The idea that bara always refers to something entirely new is absolutely not true! In 11 of 54 occurrences the word bara refers to God's blessing and renewal of something that previously existed:

If baramin were really a Biblical concept we would find it used more often in the first two chapters of Genesis. But of all the earth's organisms, bara is used only for the creation of whales and humans. In the sequence of Genesis 1, whales are the first organisms with a consciousness (unlike plants). Aquatic creatures are the first creation to have some will of their own, some control over their own actions. Humans are the first creature to have an immortal spirit, like God and the angels have. If there is any biological significance to the usage of bara in Genesis 1 and 2, it is that bara organisms have a spiritual aspect that sets them apart from earlier creations.

The overwhelming usage of the Hebrew word bara refers to the Divine creation by God of His two most important works:

Although bara often refers to renewal of an existing entity, that renewal is a wonderful spiritual rebirth! When used for existing individuals, peoples, or lands, bara pre-figures the "new creation" described by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"(NIV).


The concept of "baramin", an originally created and bounded classification of living organisms, is not what the Bible teaches. The Biblical usage of miyn and bara contains nothing that opposes the idea of biological evolution. Biblical kinds produce more of their own, although in rare circumstances a trained biologist can observe a speciation event. The usage of bara even supports macroevolution to some extent, because the Bible often uses the language of creation to describe bringing something new out of that which already exists. God has chosen to unfold His constellation of earthly life in wonderful abundance and diversity!

Carl Drews
August 10, 2008

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