What does the word “replenish” mean in Genesis?

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth.” Gen 1:28 (KJV).

This verse in the King James Version is used to support the Gap Theory because it uses the word “replenish.”  We know that today the word “replenish” means to “fill up again.”  Most words starting with the prefix “re” mean to do something again.  But has this always been the case? 

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

Language does change over time.  Compare today’s English with Old English, and you will see a vast array of changes.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, between the years of 1300 and 1700 during which time the KJV was written (1611), the word “replenish” meant to “fill up” as in “to fill something up one time or for the first time.”  It wasn’t until centuries later that the prefix “re” began to mean “again.”  You can look up the Hebrew word male, which is translated to “replenish” in the Strong’s Concordance (#4390).  Replenish, at the time of the KJV, did not mean to fill up again, but to fill up for the first time.  Therefore, this word cannot be used to support the Gap Theory.