24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
creature (v.24) — “Creature” (Heb. nephesh) is usually translated “soul,” as in 2:7. In itself nephesh or soul, implies conscious life, as distinguished from plants which have unconscious life. In the sense of conscious life an animal also has a soul. — Scofield, page 2.
It is noteworthy that the record says that God “made” (Heb. asah) these land animals; whereas He was said to have “created” (bara) the air and sea mammals. It would seem, if anything, that the land animals were of a higher order than the others and therefor they should have taken a higher category of divine activity.
The reason for this apparent anomaly undoubtedly is that the act of creation (v.21) was that of “every living soul,” not only of sea and air creatures. Since this “soul” principle was created on the fifth day, there was no need to mention it again on the sixth day. The formation of land creatures merely involved new types of organization of materials already in existence, including the nephesh as well as the physical elements. There was no intrinsic difference in the actual “making” of land animals from that of the marine animals or, for that matter, of the making of plants. All involved the same fundamental biochemical structure and reproductive mechanisms. — Morris, pages 70-71.
The land animals made during the early part of the sixth day are categorized as “cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the earth.” this description is evidently intended to be comprehensive, in so far as land animals are concerned. Very likely, the term “cattle” refers to domesticable animals, “beasts of the earth” refers to large wild animals, and “creeping things” refers to all animals that crawl or creep close to the surface of the ground.
This classification has no correlation with the arbitrary system of man-made taxonomy (amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects), but is a more natural system based on the relation of the animals to man’s interests. — Morris, page 71
All these land animals were said to have been “brought forth” from the earth, or ground. That is, their bodies were composed of the same elements as the earth; and when they died, they would go back to the earth. — Morris, pages 71-72.
… Contrary to modern scientific theory—there are a certain number of animal species that have always been “tame” and of a nature lent to husbandry by man. This further underscores the human-focused nature of Creation in this chapter. — Wechsler, page 71.