Does replenish mean to

Fill or re-fill?


             2010 The King James Bible Church


PO Box 310 Mt Ommaney

Australia 4074




“Does replenish mean to fill or re-fill?”

2012 The King James Bible Church

The changed meaning of the Bible word “replenish” has come to provide support for belief in the Gap Theory.

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen 9:1)

Rather than fill the earth, which is the meaning of the word ‘replenish’, Gappists believe that God gave Adam and Eve the go ahead to repopulate or to restock the earth after God destroyed his first creation (which he didn’t) along with a pre-Adamite race.

Now at the first glance, this would seem to have merit, in that the popular use of the word today is exactly that – to re-fill or re-stock. But, when dealing with the Authorized Bible – the King James, we must tread carefully.

Words change

Certainly, the meanings of words have changed over time. For example, Paul says he was let (Rom 1:13) when he wanted to travel somewhere. The meaning today is to be allowed but Paul’s use of the word meant he was hindered - which is the opposite.

Satan also likes to get involved in all of this, and one of favourite tricks is to take words of the Bible and give them another meaning, such that the effect is twofold:

1. Christians stop using certain words of the Bible, and indeed, may be ashamed to do so

2. Unsaved people can look at the Bible and justify their lifestyle.

For example, take the word gay (Jam 2:3) where a man is wearing gay clothing, and in the Bible, it means bright. However, this term has been ambushed and commandeered by a very small minority. So it should come as no surprise then, that satan has helped to change the word ‘replenish’ to mean restock.

Supermarket shelves

Now to everyone’s mind, the word re-stock is associated with supermarket shelves. For example, a grocery department head might walk along and notice that all the tins of Baked Beans are gone and the shelves are empty. He calls over a store employee and says “I’d like

you to re-stock the shelves.” The employee looks and sees that he needs to find some more cartons of Baked Beans. He’s not thinking “I’ll get some cans of Tuna.” And so to re-stock, he replaces like with like.

Early gappist theory meant that God’s instructions to Noah would see him re-populating the earth with men and women, to replace the men and women who drowned prior to the Lucifer’s flood after Gen 1:1.

But doesn’t Noah restock the earth?

Not necessarily, as re-stocking may not be filling. Adam does better – he fills.

Now according to the gappists, because Noah re-populates the earth, which he does, this second mention of the word ‘replenish’ in the Bible, has taken on the meaning of to restock, and becomes the substituted meaning to the first mention, where Adam is told to fill by replenishing. 

So the popular meaning of the second mention is carried back to the first mention to read: Be fruitful, and multiply, and restock the earth, and subdue it: (Gen 1:28)

No, re-stocking does not necessarily mean re-filling, but any re-stocking that happens is the byproduct of filling.

Strong’s number 4390 Maw-law is the Hebrew word from which replenish is translated and it means to fill, be full of, accomplish, confirm, be at an end, fulfill,

fullness, furnish, satisfy, consecrate.

Even if you play the Greek Game by substituting different English words from the back of Strong’s Concordance, you can’t give

the word ‘replenish’ the meaning of ‘restock’.

The plain reading

There’s a plain reading of Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen 9:1)

God says to be

fruitful – give birth

multiply – have plenty of babies

replenish - fill the earth


Restock and restock?

Now wouldn’t you think that being fruitful and multiplying would mean to restock? So gappists have us believe that God says to Noah “Be fruitful and multiply (restock) and then replenish (restock)? Surely not.


Further understanding is had when God says to Noah - And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. (Gen 9:7)


In this verse God simply tells Noah to populate the earth by telling him to be fruitful and multiply, and of course in doing so, he will be filling (or replenishing) the earth.



But doesn’t the word ‘replenish’ mean the same in Gen 1:28 as in Gen 9:1?

Absolutely, but as we’ve seen it’s not the common accepted meaning of today. With man the pinnacle of God’s creation, God tells both Adam and Noah to finish and satisfy God’s creation by filling it with people.

In comparing the two accounts, people naturally assume that because Noah restocks the earth by replenishing, then Adam must also be restocking, because the same word ‘replenish’ is used.

However, as gappists began to see that sin only entered the world through Adam, and not via the rebellious pre-Adamite men, reason took over and this got watered down to less definitive terms, such as a race like men, a pre-Adamite race of beings, sons of God, angels and spirit beings and so on.

Adam was only filling not restocking – there was no replacing like with like.


Although English dictionaries were not in existence before the 18th century, a ‘dictionary like’ publication was Robert Cawdrey’s Alphabetical Table of 1604 which defines the word “replenish” as “fill”.


Also, the Oxford English Dictionary states that the foremost usage of the word ‘replenish’ was ‘to make full, stock with.”


Below, are reproduced copies of the word ‘replenish’ out of three of Webster’s dictionaries – 1828, 1891 and 1892.



Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1828

REPLEN′ISH, v.t. [ Norm. replener, to fill;

    It. riempire; L. re and plenus, full. ]

1.  To fill; to stock with numbers or abund-

     ance.  The magazines are replenished with

     corn.  The springs are  replenished

     with water.

       Multiply and replenish the earth.  Gen. i.

2.  To finish; to complete     [Not in use ]


REPLEN′ISH, v.i.  To recover former ful-ness.                                                   Bacon

REPLEN′ISHED, pp.  Filled ; abundantly



Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1891

RE-PLEN′ISH, v.t. [ Norm. replener, to fill;

    It. riempire; L. re and plenus, full. ]

      1.  To fill; to stock with numbers or abundance. 

          The magazines are replenished with corn. 

          The springs are  replenished with water.

            Multiply and replenish the earth.  Gen. i.

       2.  To finish; to complete     [Not in use ]


RE-PLEN′ISH, v.i.  To recover former fulness.                                                   Bacon

      RE-PLEN′ISH-ED, (re-plen′isht,) pp.  Filled ;

        abundantly supplied

      RE-PLEN′ISH-ING, ppr.  Filling ; supplying

        with abundance


Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1892

Re-plen′ish ( rē-plĕn′ ĭsh),  v. t.  [REPLENISHED

    (-plĕn′isht) ; REPLENISHING, ]    To fill up again ;

     To fill completely


Kent Hovind explains:

In the 1828 dictionary, the word ‘replenish’ had a primary meaning of fill and a secondary meaning of fill again.

In 1891, it was the same way with the primary meaning of the word being fill. The secondary meaning is to recover former fullness.


Notice how fill again is the primary meaning, and to fill is the secondary meaning.

In later dictionaries after this, what used to be the original meaning, to fill, is now gone, and the new dictionaries often only list fill again.

Conclusion …

Gappists have wrongfully taken the “re-“ from the word ‘replenish’, and prefaced it onto the word ‘stock’ to get the word “re-stock”.

Then this new meaning of ‘restock’ has been applied back to ‘replenish’, such that its meaning of ‘fill’ has been changed to ‘refill’




Furthermore …

The fuller meaning of ‘replenish’ is not just to fill but also to consecrate.

You can stock, restock, and fill supermarket shelves – but you can’t replenish them.

Adam wasn’t re-populating, re-stocking or re-filling the earth. He wasn’t just stocking and filling it either!

“None of these” says God to Adam, “You’re doing a far greater thing than just filling the earth, you are consecrating it.


 Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia