BEGINNING: The Heb (reshith) sig a period of unlimited
duration -- ie not at a single point approx 6,000 years ago! That is, of Adam's
era. "Which existed ages before!" Were there previous creations?
GOD: Elohim. "Out of whom" (ie God) was all: Rom 11:36;
1Co 8:6. Direct creation: Isa 52:5; 45:18; Psa 148:5.
CREATED: Bara. Singular verb, but plural subject. Psa
51:12: All things created by God's spirit. Psa 104:30: "Thou renewest the face
of the earth." "Bara" = to rearrange, remold, sig from some material (ie created
man out of dust). The earth was created out of God's basic energy (Phan 46,47).
In future again, God will be "all in all" (1Co 15:28). See Elp 10-12; Trial
58-71. Adam was told to "be fruitful... replenish (refill) the earth" (Gen
1:28), same as told to Noah (Gen 9:1). Exact meaning to be determined by context
THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH: A parable of the new
spiritual "creation", in Christ: Isa 65; Rev 21.
WAS: Or "became".
FORMLESS AND EMPTY: Heb "tohu-bohu". "Without form and
void" (AV). Used together in Isa 34:11; Jer 4:23. "Without hope (formless) and
without God (empty)": Eph 2:12. (Yet God did not create it with this in mind; He
created it to be inhabited: Isa 45:7,8 -- ie, eternally: to bring forth
WAS: Not in orig.
DEEP: Called "the abyss" in Job 35:9. The Heb is
"tehom": a cognate with Akkadian Tiamat, the name of the chaos monster
supposedly overcome by Marduk in connection with the creation: See Lesson,
Leviathan (the "Creation").
SPIRIT OF GOD: Heb "ruach Elohim": "The spirit strength
of the Mighty Ones". "Spirit" = the "wisdom" of Pro 8:22-26.
WAS HOVERING: "Moved" (AV). Like a mother bird brooding
over her young: Deu 32:11 (cp Exo 19:4). The words portray the energy-giving
presence of God -- wrapping, protecting, and caressing the chaos of the
unfinished earth as He prepared to complete His creation.
"What a blessing to know that our Heavenly Father can take
total chaos and create out of it, a functional, dynamic, God-glorifying
Your personal life might, at this point in time, resemble the
state of things that existed right here at the beginning of time on this
planet... dark, turbulent, sad, dysfunctional and 'lifeless'.
But the powerful creative words of our Loving Heavenly Father
can change all that, even as they changed the face of this globe in just six
days, 6,000 years ago.
The God of the Bible can transform your life into a dynamic,
vibrant, fully functional creation that will give HIM glory for ever and ever.
By opening your heart to HIS gracious message in HIS wonderful
book, the Bible.
Is it hard, I hear you ask? No. The simplest of folk can
understand this wonderful book, and the most intellectual will never exhaust its
wonder and beauty.
Why not begin this New Year with a resolution to let the light
of this Word into your life every day for the year?" (CY).
Vv 3-31: Six days of Creation: themes: (1,2,3) Light, water,
earth; (4,5,6) Light, water, earth again.
WAS: Not in orig.
SEPARATED (DIVIDED) THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS: Alt
rend Heb "between the light and between the darkness": v 18. "What fellowship
between?" (2Co 6:14). No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than a
division is necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided
them, let us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with
doctrines or deeds of darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest,
and bold in their Lord's work, leaving the works of darkness to those who shall
dwell in it for ever. Our ecclesias should by discipline divide the light from
the darkness, and we should by our distinct separation from the world do the
same. In judgment, in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must
discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the great distinction
which the Lord made upon the world's first day.
"A believer has two principles at work within him. In his
natural estate he was subject to one principle only, which was darkness; now
light has entered, and the two principles disagree. Mark the apostle Paul's
words... 'I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with
me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law
in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members' [Rom 7:21-23]. How is this
state of things occasioned? 'The Lord divided the light from the darkness.'
Darkness, by itself, is quiet and undisturbed, but when the Lord sends in light,
there is a conflict, for the one is in opposition to the other: a conflict which
will never cease till the believer is altogether light in the Lord. If there be
a division within the individual Christian, there is certain to be a division
without. So soon as the Lord gives to any man light, he proceeds to separate
himself from the darkness around; he secedes from a merely worldly religion of
outward ceremonial, for nothing short of the gospel of Christ will now satisfy
him, and he withdraws himself from worldly society and frivolous amusements, and
seeks the company of the saints, for 'We know we have passed from death unto
life, because we love the brethren' [1Jo 3:14]. The light gathers to itself, and
the darkness to itself. What God has divided, let us never try to unite, but as
Christ went without the camp, bearing His reproach [Heb 13:13], so let us come
out from the ungodly, and be a peculiar people. He was holy, harmless,
undefiled, separate from sinners [Heb 7:26]; and, as he was, so we are to be
nonconformists to the world, dissenting from all sin, and distinguished from the
rest of mankind by our likeness to our Master" (CHS).
Alt rend: "And the evening was, and the morning was, etc." A
traditional Heb expression: lit 24-hour day: Exo 20:9-11. The natural order of
the day: from dark (first) to light. Spiritual lessons!
"The evening was 'darkness' and the morning was 'light,' and
yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone!
This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an exact analogy in spiritual
experience. In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not to
be named a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint
because he possesses some degree of holiness. This will be a most comforting
thought to those who are mourning their infirmities, and who ask, 'Can I be a
child of God while there is so much darkness in me?' Yes; for you, like the day,
take not your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are spoken of
in the word of God as if you were even now perfectly holy as you will be soon.
You are called the child of light, though there is darkness in you still. You
are named after what is the predominating quality in the sight of God, which
will one day be the only principle remaining. Observe that the evening comes
first. Naturally we are darkness first in order of time, and the gloom is often
first in our mournful apprehension, driving us to cry out in deep humiliation,
'God be merciful to me, a sinner.' The place of the morning is second, it dawns
when grace overcomes nature" (CHS).
Nothing "good" created on 2nd day, but only the rearrangement
EXPANSE: "Firmament" (AV). Heb "expansion" (AV mg). To
spread, or stretch, as Job 37:18.
Day Two: the only day in which God did not pronounce
UNDER... ABOVE: Once, a vapor cover encircled the earth
to a great altitude: cp Psa 29:10; 148:9. This caused an even, warm climate -- a
greenhouse, or tropical effect; and protection from radiation (the reason for
very long lives in the beginning?). Spiritual lesson: clouds, mists = the
righteous (Rev 1:7n); oceans, lakes = the wicked (Rev 17:15; Isa
SKY: "Heaven" (AV). Heb "shameh": sig "lofty"
(singular, not as plural in v 1).
LET DRY GROUND (LAND) APPEAR: Being "born" out of the
water = baptism! On the 3rd "day" of 1,000 years, Israel appears as the "earth"
among the other nations ("waters"). As in Hag 2:6; Act 17:26, God sets "bounds"
on both lit and fig "seas".
VEGETATION: "Grass" (AV). AV mg: Heb "tender grass",
from rt "to sprout forth", as the "flesh" in Isa 40:6-8.
SEED-BEARING PLANTS: "Herb yielding seed" (AV). The
higher forms, edible (cp Gen 1:29).
ACCORDING TO THEIR KINDS: This phrase, 10 times in Gen
SEED: The seed = God's continuing creation: In men, to
bring forth fruit (Gal 5:22). In 3rd 1,000-year period, the promise to Abraham
and his "seed" Christ (Gen 13:15).
On the 4th day (of 1,000 years), a more distinct light -- ie,
Christ -- appears!
LIGHTS: Heb "meoroth", not as in vv 1-5. Here,
"luminaries" or "lamps", as in tabernacle: Exo 25:6; Lev 24:2; Num
TO SEPARATE (DIVIDE) THE DAY FROM THE NIGHT: AV mg: Heb
"between the light and between the darkness".
The study of the heavens: Job 9:9; 38:31,32; Amo 5:8; Isa
40:26. The heavenly bodies can teach God's purpose: Psa 89:36,37; Mal 4:1,2; Dan
12:3; Psa 8:1,2; 19:1 ("The heavens declare the glory of God").
The lights in the sky and the seasons they pattern are
regarded thereafter as signs of Gods gracious, sovereign ordering of all of
life. Out of nothing came not randomness or chaos but a divinely ordered
progression of time, through segments called seasons, which in themselves show
the pattern of life and death and life again.
SIGNS: Heb "othoth", from rt "to come", ie prophecies
SEASONS: "Appointed", ie cycles of time -- used 3 times
in ref to promised "seed": Gen 17:21; 18:14; 21:2.
Poss the light of the first day of creation was the Shekinah
Glory of God. Now, on Day 4, that function of giving light to the earth is taken
over by created lights. Cp Isa 60:19,20. Two different words for light(s) are
used in Gen 1:3,4 and Gen 1:14-16.
MADE: Heb "asah" = "appoint" (Psa 104:19). Notice: this
is NOT the "creation" of the sun, etc. These were created earlier (v 3), but now
-- for the first time -- they appear, and are visible from the earth, and are
"appointed" by God as the lights that we now know.
LIGHTS: Cp v. 14n.
LIGHT: "Meowr", the sing. of word in v 14.
THE GREATER LIGHT: The sun = Christ (Mal 4:2; Joh 8:12;
2Sa 23:4). The absence of Christ = "night" (Joh 9:4,5). The sun in Scripture
(perh) = Christ. (Psa 19:4-6; 2Sa 23:4; Mal 4:1-3). The setting and rising of
the sun = Christ's death and resurrection. Sun, moon, and stars often = Israel.
In Joseph's dream (Gen 37:9-10) the sun (Jacob), moon (Jacob's wife), and 11
stars (his brothers) bow down to him; basis for Israel being repr quite often by
sun, moon, and stars. See also Jer 31:35,36; Gen 22:17; Dan 8:10 (cp v 24); Amos
8:9; Isa 30:26.
TO GOVERN (RULE): Mg: "for the rule of".
THE LESSER LIGHT: This will one day rival the sun: Isa
30:26. The moon = (?) the ecclesia: reflective and inconstant, but also a light
(Phi 2:15,16; Mat 5:14; Song 6:10).
HE MADE: Italics! Not in orig. Thus, "God made the
lesser light (ie the moon) to rule over the night AND the stars."
STARS: Individual saints, in ct to the collective
"Bride", the moon: Dan 12:3; 1Co 15:40; Psa 147:4.
TO GIVE LIGHT ON THE EARTH: The essential function of
the heavenly bodies is to "shine"! Spiritual lessons!
TO SEPARATE (DIVIDE) THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS:
Essential moral lesson: "What communion hath light with darkness? Or what
concord hath Christ with Belial?" (2Co 6:14). Christ, the "light", is separate
from sinners (Heb 7:26).
WATERS: That is, the waters above the firmament: Gen
TEEM: AV: "Bring forth abundantly": "Swarm", RV mg.
Note that Life comes out of the water (Rom 6)!
LIVING: AV: "Moving". "Creeping" (AV mg.).
CREATURES: Heb "soul" (mg). See Gen 1:21n; Lesson:
CREATED: "Bara", as in Gen 1:1.
GREAT CREATURES OF THE SEA: "Whales" (AV). "Tanninim" =
"long ones". "Sea monsters" (RV). Prob includes all sorts of whales, crocodiles,
CREATURES: "Nephesh". Heb "nephesh" (soul) applied to
animals: Gen 2:19; 9:10,15,16; Num 31:28; Lev 11:46. And to men: Gen 2:7 (cp 1Co
15:40,45); 12:5; Pro 19:10; Act 2:41; Rom 13:1. See Lesson: "Nephesh", soul. "Immortal"
and "soul" never appear together (note 2Ti 1:10).
ACCORDING TO THEIR KINDS: Distinct species cannot
reproduce across species lines. Generally contrary to evolutionary theory.
LIVESTOCK: "Cattle" (AV). "Behema", from rt "dumb". The
domestic animals, in ct to the wild ("chai") animals in Gen 1:24.
GOD... US: Elohim. Plural: "sons of God", ie angels
(Job 38:7; Gen 3:22; Psa 8:5; cp Num 12:8; Act 7:38; Gen 32:30 with Hos 12:3,4;
1Ki 22:19). The plural prob relates to angels, although the verb here is
singular. So God prob entered into consultation with His surrounding hosts and
conferred with them on the creation of man in their joint image. Angels involved
in creation: Job 38:4-7; Psa 148:2 (describing creative acts of Gen 1); Psa
104:4,5 -- again in a creative context.
IMAGE: "Tselem". Form, appearance, shadow -- as Jam
3:9. Typ God's creation in Christ: "in his image" (Col 1:15; Heb 1:1-3). God
Himself and Elohim have a form and body. We are a copy of that (Ber 65:2,3; Elp
37-41). See Lesson, Gen 1:26, "Us".
LET THEM RULE OVER: A purpose for man, beyond all the
rest of God's creation. "Last Adam" and his "bride" to have dominion over all
God's creatures: Psa 8:4,6; Heb 2:6-8.
IN HIS OWN IMAGE: But after the Fall, Adam made a son
in HIS (not God's) image (Gen 5:1-3)!
MALE AND FEMALE: "Bridegroom" and "bride" together (Gen
FRUITFUL: Christ brings forth fruit: Joh 15:8; Isa
FILL: Or "replenish" (AV). Cp Gen 1:2. Also in Noah's
day (Gen 9:1,7), and beyond (Gen 17:2; 35:9,11; Exo 1:7,12... and the growth of
the ecclesia in Acts).
SUBDUE: "To tread down; to bring under control".
Implies that the one being subdued is hostile and there is need for correction:
sw Jos 18:1, Jer 34:11,16, Num 32:22,29, Est 7:8.
RULE OVER: "Have dominion" (AV). Cp Psa 8:4-6. But Adam
lost this dominion in curse: cp Heb 2:8,9. Ct here with Noah's time (Gen 9:2-5)
and Exo 21:28. Christ will have dominion: Psa 2:8; 72:8. See also Phi 2:5-10;
3:20,21; Joh 16:33; 17:1,2; Mat 28:18; 1Co 15:27; Col 1:15-23; 1Pe
FISH... BIRDS...: Ct Gen 9:2: not dominion, but fear
MOVES: "Creeps" (cp AV mg).
GREEN PLANT FOR FOOD (GREEN HERB FOR MEAT): Animals
were apparently herbivorous. This condition will be resumed in the Kingdom: Isa
SAW: In ct with Gen 6:5.
GOOD: "Tob". LM 104. Never after this is man so
described, but rather: Gen 8:21; Ecc 7:29; Jer 10:23; Mar 7:21-23; Mat 10:18;
Rom 7:23. At this time, sin and death had not yet entered the world (cp Gen
2:25). Everything will be made "tob" -- good, beautiful -- in God's own time
(Ecc 3:11). "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God
shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7).
VERY GOOD: As used of the Creation, this phrase appears
only here, in v 31. Now, for the first time, all God saw was "VERY good" --
because the Creation was finished? or because Man was the culminating expression
of God's creative force?
"Total peace and joy for man are found only in total service
to God. That is man's original and 'natural' condition. That must be gained. All
life must be given to the effort. All else is degeneration and perversion
without promise or hope" (GVG). Ct with Gen 6:12: "God saw... and the earth