Summary: What a powerful statement! Of all the chapters in the Bible this first chapter is the most remarkable, controversial and thought provoking!
What a powerful statement! Of all the chapters in the Bible this first chapter is the most remarkable, controversial and thought provoking!
So to start with, what is the character of this chapter? Is it history, is it science, is it myth, or is it revelation? If we can get through verses 1,2 & 3 creation falls into place nicely and naturally!
· “In the beginning” = of time, space and matter, not eternity.
There is no eternity with God in any way! God is self-existence! He is not dependent on anyone or anything to have purpose.
John 1:1,2 “(In the beginning) was the Word and the Word was with God and was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
Acts 17:24 Your Gods can’t explain creation!
So before the universe was, He was!
John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
Elohim. A term for deity.
Plural. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- “Elohim” apprears 32 times in chapter 1.
- “Elohim created” appears 4 times.
- “Elohim said” appears 8 times.
Verse 26 you find then same plural form.
Do you see that God is all over this chapter!
· “Bara” = to create from nothing. Vs. 1, life & 21, man
This word is always used in connection to God’s action and never man’s.
The word “Asah”(made from pre-existence material from vs. 1) is used throughout the rest of the chapter.
God created without pre-existing material! You try doing that!
Why does man think he something because of what he can do in a laboratory with pre-existent matter and cells. What arrogance on our part because of the advancement of science. If we’re not careful, man is going to get too big for his britches!
· “The heavens and the earth”.
Better said, the firmament or expanse that is around the earth. Which is referring to the canopy or covering of sky above the earth.
This is where the rain came from when the heavens opened up on Noah.
Just a thought: This is not mentioning the rest of the universe and what might have already been in existence if anything else in the universe or universes.
But for sure there was never before this time the existence of man!
Now between verse 1 and 2 is where the gap theory comes in! It goes like this…verse one is followed by verse 2 but with a catastrophe event (judgment from Satan’s fall and affect on earth) and millions of years (fossils), which makes God to re-create or re-shape in verse 3. Or some take it to mean that there was a gap between each day.
Some translate verse 2, as “The earth became formless and void.” This is grammatically impossible in Hebrew!
Vs. 28,22 KJV = “replenish”, a bad translation.
Some believe that soulless person inhabited the earth and somehow began to populate the earth and God had to destroy it. This is why you couldn’t have death and destruction before Adam and Eve!
· “Without form and void”
- “Formless” “tohu” = not chaos because we know God is not the author of chaos or confusion. It’s better translated as empty.
- “Void” “bohu” = wasteness or uninhabited.
So we have a situation of a universe that is empty and uninhabited before God does His creating out of nothing.
Now I want you to see something fascinating to me. If we take God’s creation and now put some of the pieces together we find out the full meaning behind those two words.
Day 1 - light Day 4 - lights, vs. 14-19
Day 2 - air, water Day 5 - fowl, fish, vs.20-23
Day 3 - land, plants Day 6 - animals, man; vs.24-31
So Day 1 corresponds with day 4 and etc. This is why God was able to say, “It was good”.
Verse 5: “Day”
The first day begins a pattern for us to see.
“Day” = “Yom” in Hebrew
“Yom” is used 2,300 times in the Old Testament in its natural use.
A good rule when studying the Bible… “When the plan sense makes common sense, take no other sense, lest it be nonsense.”
4 reasons for a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:
a. If God did intent to create in more than a 24-hour day, then there are plenty of other Hebrew words He could have used.
b. Some scholars believe it means an age, epoch or eon. And that God did not intend to create everything in a literal 24 hours, as some think in chapter 2:4.
But we need to look every carefully at the usage of the word “yom” in Hebrew.
In Chapter 1 “yom” is a singular absolute noun, but in chapter 2 “yom” is prefixed with “b yom” which generally translates it as “when”.