|We must remember that when
Moses wrote the five books of the Pentateuch, he did not provide chapter
or verse divisions. It was written as one long narrative. Therefore, we
should not divide the creation story into two parts, as the Bible
translators have done in making two chapters to the story. Remembering
this erases much confusion regarding the “two” accounts of the
creation of mankind.
the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
This verse specifically identifies God as
the Creator of the universe
Why is this fact the first thing said
in the whole Bible?
the pagan cosmologies, Genesis exhibits no interest in God’s
origins, it simply states that He is. God does not attempt to
prove His existence.
other religions and philosophies begin with preexisting matter
or energy in some primal form. True religion begins with God.
verse refutes atheism, pantheism, polytheism, materialism,
humanism, and evolution.
- What does this verse tell us about
- Psalm 33:6; John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3
God created everything, then He is bigger than everything
has existed longer than everything
is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent
- If we fully believed this one verse
what would be the benefit?
- Jeremiah 10:10-14; Psalm 96:5
confidence in His power to protect and provide
the origin of everything we see—we don’t need to speculate
or accept any form of evolutionary theory
- “Beginning” = Hebrew = “first”
refers to the initiation of a series of historical events, indicates a
point of beginning for a specific duration of time (Theological
Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), #2097e)—see Deuteronomy
11:12; and Ezekiel 40:1—Moses is saying: “here is the beginning of
the history which follows”
the starting point of history of this world
an end of “history” in this world
if a “beginning” has been specified, it follows that an
“end” must also follow
end of “time” or the consummation of “history”
“time” is irrelevant to God, this must be understood only from
man’s perspective—not God’s. When sin is removed, time will
also be irrelevant to mankind, who will then live eternally.
- “Time” implies a forward
progression and an irreversible process toward destruction (the
Second Law of thermodynamics).
what was this earth and heaven created? Hebrews
does this tell us about the Gospel message? Ephesians
are nothing: “It is to acknowledge that God is great, and we
are mean [ordinary]; that He is holy and we are sinful; that
He is all and we are nothing, less than nothing, worse than
nothing; and to humble ourselves before Him, and under His
mighty hand. It is to come off from all confidence in our own
righteousness and strength, that we may depend only upon the
merit of Christ for our justification, and the spirit and
grace of Christ for our sanctification. That broken and
contrite spirit with which the publican cried for mercy to
a poor sinner, is that poverty of spirit. We must recognized
ourselves as poor, and always in want of God’s grace, always
begging at God’s door, always hanging on in His house.”
(Matthew Henry, Commentary on Matthew 5:3).
- Power in the word—Isaiah 55:10;
not forget that creation is immediate, or else it is not
creation; if not immediate, it is evolution. . .when God
speaks, there is in His word the creative energy to produce
the thing which that word pronounces. That is creation; and
that word of God is the same yesterday, and today, and
forever; it lives and abides forever; it has everlasting life
in it … There is the word of God, which said, ‘It
shall accomplish that which I please.’ It was spoken thus of
the creative power. And though they professed to recognize the
creative energy of the word of God, yet in their own lives
they left that all out, and said, We will do it. They
looked to themselves for the process which would bring
themselves to the point where that word and themselves would
agree.” (Lessons on Faith p. 55-56).
versus creation—“Now, what has been the process of
your progress from the worse to the better? Has it been
through ‘many ups and downs’? Has your acquiring of the
power to do the good—the good works which are of God—been
through a long process of ups and downs from the time of your
first profession of Christianity until now? … Nevertheless,
in spite of all the ups and downs, you start in for another
effort; and so through this process, long-continued, you have
come to where you are today; and in ‘looking back’ over it
all, you can mark some progress, you think, as judged by your
feelings,—is that you experience?” (Lessons on Faith,
- Heaven and earth—Hebrew = “sky and
land” and literally means the totality of everything in this present
world (Isaiah 44:24)
primary themes dominate the Creation account: the land and the
blessing. In recounting the events of Creation, the author [Moses]
has selected and arranged his narrative to allow these themes full
development. . .Thus from the start the author betrays his
interest in the covenant by concentrating on the land in the
account of creation. ‘Nothing is here by chance; everything must
be considered carefully, deliberately, and precisely.’” (John
Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative, pp. 81-82).
everlasting covenant is revealed in the creation account as He
created the earth and gave it all to Adam as his everlasting
possession. It remained his until Adam gave it to Satan. The
Gospel is about Christ purchasing the lost property back from
Satan and eventually giving it back to Adam and his posterity.
- “Do not forget as we proceed
that the covenant and the promise are the same thing [Galatians
3:17], and that it conveys land, even the whole earth made new, to
Abraham and his children. Remember also that since only
righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and the new earth, the
promise includes the making righteousness of all who believe. This
is done in Christ, in whom the promise is confirmed.” (E.J.
Waggoner, Glad Tidings p. 72).
the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of
the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
- Without form and void—Hebrew =
literally “formless and empty” referring to the condition of the
land in it’s “not yet” state—“not yet” perfect and ready
for human habitation; an inhabitable stretch of wasteland
of the chapter details God’s work in preparing a place to put
His final creation—humanity
and void” in today’s scientific meanings carries a different
connotation than in the days when the KJV was translated
translators incorporated their own cosmological ideas into the
translation of the Septuagint rather than adhering strictly to the
Hebrew meaning of the words, and so came up with the idea of
“unformed” or a chaotic, amorphous mass of swirling gasses.
This idea lends itself well to both atheistic and theistic
theme appears in the reverse when Israel becomes
“uninhabitable” due to the nation’s rebellion against God
and their exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 4:23-26).
be the condition of the land during the millennium when only Satan
and his evil angels reside here. (Revelation 20:1-3; Jude 6;
Isaiah 24:1; Jeremiah 4:23-27;—“bottomless pit” = “abyssos”)
- Spirit of God “moved” = literally
- Deuteronomy 32:11; Exodus 19:4
is described as an eagle hovering over His creation,
protecting it, caring for it
- This same Holy Spirit, as a
gift from Jesus (John16:7-13), is available to protect, guide,
and provide for us in our earthly walk.
God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- Let there be light
3 has often been taken to mean that God created light before He
created the sun. It should be noted, however, that sun, moon, and
stars are all included in the usual meaning of the phrase ‘the
heavens and earth,’ and thus according to the present account
these celestial bodies were all created in verse 1.” (Sailhamer,
The Pentateuch as Narrative, p. 87).
- This “light” can only mean the
sun, but is best understood as the sun breaking through an
overcast sky or morning gloom, much the same way as the sunrise
breaks the morning darkness.
God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the
- God saw
recognized as One who is able to know all things (cf Genesis
the first name that any human gives to God—“El Roi” =
God who sees
- Abraham also recognized God as One
who sees—Genesis 22:14, adding that not only does God see
man’s need, but He provides (literally “will see to it”).
about the Gospel implication of this characteristic of God
- What is man’s need?
does God provide?
God was able to see and provide for Hagar and Abraham is
He still able to do the same for you and me?
- It was good
- For what purpose did God say light
was “good”? What was the end goal of His creation?
phrase appears only in the context of things that are
beneficial for humanity; some things are just “so” but not
designated as “good” because they were “not yet” ready
the creation story, God is said to know what is good, which
implies that He also knows what is evil. Only God can inherently
tell the difference, but He gives us spiritual discernment
(Revelation 3:18) so we can know the difference when Satan tempts
part of the creation story tells us that God’s only purpose was
to give mankind “good” things.
- What happens when Eve later sees
that the fruit is “good”? Is her judgment comparable to
God’s? Why not?
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the
evening and the morning were the first day.
- The Hebrew word “yom” (day)
always is used in the Old Testament in the natural way to mean a
literal 24 hour period of time, sometimes delineated by the phrase
“evening and morning.”
used in the prophetic or symbolic meaning, as “day of the
Lord” (Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 31, 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; etc.)
so-called “day-age” theory used by evolutionists to
“prove” the age of the earth from the geological record is
discounted by the way the Bible writers used the word “yom”
first occurrence of the word “yom,” God Himself gives
the definition; we’re arguing with God if we try to give it a
- It is incontrovertible that God
intends us to know that the days of creation week were of the same
duration as any of the natural solar days.
God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it
divide the waters from the waters.
- Firmament = “expanse”
- This area is identified with
heaven (see verse 8) and can also be known as “space” and
should be understood as the atmosphere between earth and the outer
limits of our ionosphere. It is not “atmosphere” as we use the
meaning today, because there were no clouds or rain.
God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the
firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
- The waters that God moved above the
earth were transformed into a vapor state so they could be separated
from the liquid waters that remained on the earth as the sea, thus
providing a thermal barrier and radiation shield (Job 38:9).
thermal barrier created a “greenhouse” effect assuring a
stable temperature from pole to pole for earth and its
radiation shield prevented Carbon 14 and other destructive
energies from penetrating to the surface of the earth.
uniform temperatures from pole to pole and surface to atmosphere,
there was minimal movement of the air, thus there was no
“weather” as we have today. Without global air circulation
there was no hydrologic cycle to create rain. Comfortable
humidities were maintained which allowed for the formation of
ground fog and dew as night and day temperatures varied slightly.
(Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record, pp. 58-61).
barrier will be recreated when the earth and heavens are restored
to their original states (Isaiah 30:26).
- This part of the creation
narrative is contrasted to verse 6 where God speaks the firmament
into being. There is no contradiction.
- Moses tells us how God created
the firmament (“God said”), then recounts the work as an
action carried out to completion (“and God made”).
God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the
God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one
place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
- A theme that is repeated in the Bible
narrative is the “parting of waters”
handles the waters shows His power in working in behalf of mankind
and in bringing judgment against evil (as in the flood).
- Identify other times where God
separated water; what was the purpose in each case?
- Is there a thematic connection
between the creation story and the “giving” of the land to
Adam, and these stories? (Refer to point #6 above)
God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters
called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11And God
said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the
fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon
the earth: and it was so. 12And the earth brought forth
grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit,
whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
- There are two distinct acts of God on
the third day
- Preparation of the dry land
must be removed so humanity can enjoy the gift of land
awesome power is demonstrated in the separation of the waters
- There was more than a single
ocean—God called them “Seas”—plural
of these reservoirs were open directly to the waters
descending from above, others were formed as great
subterranean chambers within the crust itself. All were
interconnected by a complex network of tubes and
waterways, so that in essence they were all ‘gathered
together unto one place.’” (Morris, p. 62).
were not the same as our present oceans, since the
arrangement of the continents and marine areas was
rearranged at the flood
- The land included fertile soil
— the soil didn’t have to go through a decomposition
process of organic matter before it was fertile
contained microorganisms, beneficial bacteria, earthworms,
and other living things, as well as the correct mineral
content for plant growth
was ready in advance for God’s plant life, ready to
provide everything the plants needed to survive and grow;
God, in advance, thought of everything His creation
- Furnishing of the dry land with
accounting of plants that were of benefit to mankind
(grain), seed bearing bushes, and fruit trees
were provided as fully mature plants “bearing seeds”
and fruit, ready for man to partake of their nutrition
- Verse 11 is the first mention
of “things” as individuals and also as “kinds” of
modern understanding of the extreme complexities of the
so-called DNA molecule and of the genetic code contained
in it reinforces the Biblical teaching of the stability of
kinds. Each type of organism has its own unique structure
of the DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that
same kind. There is a tremendous amount of variational
potential within each kind, facilitating the generation of
distinct individuals and even of many varieties within the
kind, but nevertheless precluding the evolution of new kinds!
A great deal of ‘horizontal’ variation is easily
possible, but no ‘vertical’ changes. (Morris, p. 63).
own statement refutes the evolution theory that different
“kinds” arose from a common ancestry (see also 1
- Consider the scientific
work going on today in the field of genetic manipulation,
gene splicing, and stem cell research.
are these human endeavors doing to God’s creation?
do they say about man’s view of himself?
- Unlike the second day’s
activities which were “so” these two acts are called
“good” because they both are created specifically for
- The entire focus of this
section of the narrative is preparation for man and his needs.
the evening and the morning were the third day.
- The Hebrew terms used here for
“evening” (ereb) and “morning” (boqer) each
occur more than 100 times in the Old Testament, and always have a
literal meaning of a period of darkness that ends with the coming of a
period of light.
addition of a numeral with this phrase likewise indicates a
literal 24 hour period.
- Plants could not survive except
under the conditions of a recurring cycle of darkness and daylight
so their photosynthetic cycles could function, therefore the
extended “days” of evolution, both atheistic and theistic, are
God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the
day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for
days, and years:15And let them be for lights in the
firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And
God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the
lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. 17And
God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,18And
to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the
darkness: and God saw that it was good.
- Consider the narration carefully:
- This narration raises several
the text say that the sun, moon, and stars were created on the
the author speak of a “day and night” in the previous
verses if there were no sun?
there vegetation growing on the land before there was a sun?
- Two common interpretations:
evangelical understanding is that everything was “created”
on the first day, but some things were not completed
until days later.
Bible prepares the way for the prophetic “Gap Theory” by
allowing for long periods of time between one event (creation
of the sun) and its later being visible from the surface of
the earth (after the primaeval vapors were dispelled).
- To address this apparent riddle we
must determine two things:
God really did create the entire solar system on the first day
- We must determine exactly what
God does and does not say.
the original Hebrew God does NOT say “Let there be
lights … to separate” as if there were no lights
before this command and afterward there were lights in
response to this command. The original language says:
“Let the lights be for separating.” In other words,
God now gives His prior creation an assignment or
purpose—as “signs” for marking the 24 hour days,
seasons, and years; to mark the cyclical rhythms of
- A fourth point not to be
overlooked is that fact that if God created the sun, moon, and
stars, then these things are part of His creation and are not to
be worshiped. God alone is worthy of worship because He alone is
the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that
hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of
heaven. 21And God created great whales, and every living
creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after
their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was
good. 22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the
- The creation of the living creatures
is divided into two days, and three distinct groups—marine
creatures, birds, and land animals
day brings forth the living, breathing creatures of the sea and
marks the beginning of a different type of creation—creatures
that have the “breath of life” in them and are distinct from
creation brought forth every kind of marine animal—
invertebrates, vertebrates, and reptiles; microscopic and
kind of bird was produced
- God gives these creatures a
blessing and a command
blessing relates to God’s giving them life
blessing is identical to the one given to humanity with
the exception of “dominion” which was only given to
- a similar blessing and
command is given after the animals leave the ark (Genesis
8:17; 9:1, 7)
the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind,
cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it
was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth after his
kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the
earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
- A differentiation is seen here between
the creation of the plant organisms and those creatures with the
“breath of life” in them
“earth” brought forth plant life at God’s spoken command
- The “earth” was used in a
different way to create the animals (“God made”)
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness [“similitude”]:
and let them have dominion [“rule over”]
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own
image [“likeness”], in the image of God
created He him; male and female created He them. 28And
God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth, and subdue [“keep under”]
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. 29And
God said, Behold, I have given you every herb [“green plant”] bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the
which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat [“food”
— the word has no meaning of “flesh” as in flesh foods called
“meat”]. 30And to every beast of the earth,
and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the
earth, wherein there is life [Hebrew = “khah’-ee”
not “nephesh”], I have given every green herb for meat:
and it was so.
- The creation account changes in its
narrative form with the creation of mankind. Here God says “let us
make” as opposed to “let there be.” This shows a personal
interaction between God and man that continues throughout the Bible.
Man was created to be a companion to God
- Other points of difference in the
- Man is created in the
“likeness” of God
- Humans are creatures, but
“special” creatures with the ability to share with God
in certain things
and emotional senses
- It is specifically mentioned
that mankind is both male and female
was created as a singular individual, but Adam stands for
the plurality of humanity (corporate man — 1 Corinthians
God created one humanity but it is expressed in the plural
form may give some indication of the corporate nature of
originally created, both male and female were equal before
God (Eve’s sin changed this)
a man and woman marry they become “one flesh” (Genesis
2:24; Matthew 19:5, 6; Ephesians 5:31)
humans were given dominion over the rest of creation
- God originally gave man a
type of sovereignty in this earth
sold his sovereign power over the earth to Satan
(Matthew 4:8-10; John 12:31)
sold his birthright possession to Satan and it could
only be reinstated through the Kinsman Redeemer (the
story of Ruth illustrates this for us: Ruth 3:8-12;
4:1-8; Lev. 25:48,49; Numbers 5:6-8)
permission to rule over God’s creation gives no license
to exploit nature, does not give unrestrained power and
authority over this world, its resources, or its
creatures. Responsibility is subject to accountability to
the One who gave the right.
God gave this dominion power to Adam, this was a perfect
world in which interrelationships between all organisms
was in perfect harmonious balance, a balance that was
mutually beneficial to all of creation.
man has dominion over all plant and animal life, God still
specifies what may be eaten of the plant world, and
specifically declares that no flesh will be eaten.
- Vegetarianism is God’s
ideal diet for all His creatures, both man and animals
(Isaiah 11:7 and 65:25).
God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And
the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
after creating man does God declare that things are “very good.”
With the creation of this world and
everything in it, God established His everlasting covenant with His
creation. His covenant included the whole earth and everything in it as a
gift to mankind. When man was created he was without a single blemish or
spot of sin. He was therefore able to stand before his Creator in his
nakedness without shame. God is calling His people to return to Him. He
promises to save us from our sin (Matthew 1:21), to redeem us in
righteousness, us and restore us in holiness before Him. His promise
includes covering our sinful nakedness with His righteousness (Revelation
3:18), and the restored gift of the whole earth made new as our eternal
home (Revelation 21:1-27).
“Do not forget as we proceed that the
covenant and the promise are the same thing, and that it conveys land,
even the whole earth made new, to Abraham and his children. Remember also
that since only righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and the new
earth, the promise includes the making righteous of all who believe. This
is done in Christ, in whom, the promise is confirmed” [Galatians
3:13-18] (Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, p. 72).