The Dominion of Man over Creation

The first commands given to man were to be fruitful, to multiply, and to subdue the Earth (Gen 1:28). These can be recognized as commands rather than a position or task to fulfill because these words are given in the imperative verb form instead of being a simple noun or adjective form.

Servant Leadership

Within Scripture, the position of leadership often comes with the responsibility of serving, often referred to as servant leadership. It is a type of stewardship. This is in contrast to the dictatorial style of leading often seen in the world today. Positions of leadership and servitude are found in the creation account and as duties for man.

Dominion / Radah

In Genesis chapter 1, man is instructed to have dominion over the animals (Gen 1:26,28). This comes from the Hebrew word ‘radah’ and refers to the act of ruling or governing. This is sometimes referred to as the Dominion Mandate.

Subdue / Kabash

This ruling authority is further intensified by the instruction to subdue the earth (Gen 1:28). This is represented by the Hebrew word ‘kabash’ and demonstrates the use of force and bringing something into bondage.

Serve / Abad

Genesis chapter 2 has a different tone to the instructions. Here is where the servitude is found. Man is instructed to till the ground (Gen 2:5). The word for till is the Hebrew word ‘abad’. This word is more typically translated as servant and represents working for another. This same word is again found in verse 15 where man is instructed to ‘dress’ the Garden of Eden.

Protect / Shamar

Also seen is the instruction to ‘keep the Garden of Eden’ (Gen 2:15). Keep comes from the Hebrew word ‘shamar’ which typically is translated as to guard or protect.

No Ruling over People

One thing that we do not see in Scripture is the use of dominion over other people. Yes there are positions of servant leadership, but not dominion. Man was not made to rule man. After the fall, they tyranny that man is capable of with plants and animals also occurs with fellow man.

Naming the Animals

One of the first tasks given to Adam was the naming of the animals (Gen 2:19-20). This authority implies that Adam was able to recognize and distinguish the different types of creatures, probably quite simply by visual sight and not a complicated process. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Adam Test’ for kinds and suggests that simple recognition of the differences is all that is needed to distinguish the different kinds. Some have argued it would be impossible to name all of the different species as there are today. However, Adam probably was only dealing with the number of original kinds, and not species, which would have been quite manageable.

VIB. Last Updated: 01/01/2016
Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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