Creation Week (Genesis 1:1-Genesis 2:3)

Creation Week (Genesis 1:1-Genesis 2:3)


            The church must have the right foundation for its faith.  This foundation should be built solely from the Scriptures.  However, many people within the church are getting their thinking from outside the Bible and attempting to force external theories into the pages of Scripture.  Instead, the church should be building its thinking directly from the Bible.  Genesis, chapters 1-11 sets the foundation for a proper Christian understanding of the world we live in.  And as Psalm 11:3 declares, “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?[1]

            Unfortunately, the foundational truth of the infallibility of the Word of God has been lost in most cultures around the world today.  This has been in large due to the church failing to uphold the authority of the Word of God, the Bible.  As the church fails to uphold His Word in one area (creation), its authority diminishes in all areas (including salvation).  Yet Scripture declared “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).  Likewise Paul also declared in 2 Timothy 3:15 “you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  And as Jesus stated in John 8:51 “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

            Therefore, if the church is going to grow in a healthy manner, it must be equipped to defend the authority of the Word of God from the attacks Satan is launching against it.  The so called “scientific” assault on Genesis is likely the most damaging attack Satan has on the authority of the Word of God today.  The church must stand tall and defend the Biblical history in Genesis if it is going to have authority in the message proclaimed concerning salvation through faith in Jesus.

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point." – Martin Luther, 1483-1546

The point of the battle in today’s world is on Genesis, chapter 1-11. 

            Just as evolutionary theory was gaining steam, the Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon saw the destructiveness of this lie.  During his July 25th, 1886 sermon entitled “Hideous Discovery”, he stated the following:

“In its bearing upon religion this vain notion is, however, no theme for mirth, for it is not only deceptive, but it threatens to be mischievous in a high degree. There is not a hair of truth upon this dog from its head to its tail, but it rends and tears the simple ones. In all its bearing upon scriptural truth, the evolution theory is in direct opposition to it. If God’s Word be true, evolution is a lie. I will not mince the matter: this is not the time for soft speaking.”

            It is sad that the introductions of many commentaries on the book of Genesis will wax philosophical about how these passages are not to be taken literally; or they will relegate Genesis 1 to poetry.  Yet these verses do not show the marks of Hebrew poetry which are readily identifiable.  The text is written in a straightforward, historical manner. 

[Are any of the first 11 chapters of Genesis poetry? Answer: No, because these chapters do not contain information or invocation in any of the forms of Hebrew poetry, in either overt or covert form, and because Hebrew scholars of substance are agreed that this is so….. Note: There certainly is repetition in Genesis chapter 1, e.g. ‘And God said …’ occurs 10 times; ‘and God saw that it was good/very good’ seven times; ‘after his/their kind’ 10 times; ‘And the evening and the morning were the … day’ six times. However, these repetitions have none of the poetic forms discussed above; rather they are statements of fact and thus a record of what happened, and possibly for emphasis—to indicate the importance of the words repeated.][2]

            The following verse by verse study is going to look at Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 just as God intended it to be studied, as literal history of the origin of the universe.  Warning: those who have been indoctrinated in naturalism and reject the existence of the omnipotent Creator described in the Bible may find the following study to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14).


Creation Week

            God created the universe and everything in it, including Adam and Eve in six literal days.  He then rested from His work of creation on the seventh day.  God directly stated in the giving of the 10 commandments in Exodus 20:11, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. [3]

            See World History According to the Bible for a fuller description of the use of the word “day” and it’s meaning in Genesis 1. Also, see The Local Flood Theory: Catastrophic Heresy for a description of the main point of contention concerning earth's history.

            The creation itself is testimony enough to man that God exists.  On the basis of the creation alone, man is held accountable to God.  As stated in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse


1:1       In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


* What is ‘In the beginning’ in verse 1 referring to?

a) Were the heavens and the earth both created instantaneously and then given shape afterwards as described in Gen 1:2-2:3?

b) Is this a summary statement of the 6 days of creation, and then Gen 1:2-2:3 fills in the details?

c) Could verse 1 be better translated as Young’s Literal Translation does “In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth— 2the earth hath existed waste and void[4]?

The Hebrew word for ‘In the beginning’ is re'shiyth (ray-sheeth'), which has 4 primary meanings as stated in Brown-Driver-Briggs: 1) beginning 2) first 3) chief 4) choice part.  Clearly, option 1) is the correct use here in Gen 1:1.  However, the generic nature of this Hebrew word for ‘In the beginning’ does not provide clarification to which of the 3 options above is correct.  We will have to look at the context of this passage and the rest of the scriptures for this answer.  Fortunately, we can see later in this chapter that God created the firmament on day 2 out of the water He created on day 1 and called it Heaven, the same word used in verse 1.  Therefore, the heavens and the earth were not both created in an instant of time.  Option a) is therefore not a possibility.  Either option b) or c) remain as possibilities.


*Who is this God?

            The first word God uses to reveal Himself in the Scriptures and throughout Gen 1:1-2:3, is the Hebrew word 'Elohiym (El-o-heem'), which was discussed in the ‘Who Created?’ study.


*What is meant by the word created?

            God uses two different Hebrew words for created or made in Gen 1:1 to Gen 2:3.  The first is bara' (baw-raw') and the second is `asah (aw-saw'); bara is used here in verse 1, and asah is first used in verse 7.  Much has been made out of the fact that God used two distinct words within His creation account, such as bara being a creation out of nothing and asah being a creation from something.  However, these words seem to be used interchangeably.  Sometimes God uses bara (things in the sea, birds, man, everything) and sometimes He uses asah (land animals, sun, moon, man, everything): In the making of man God uses both words interchangeably. In Gen 1:26, the text states "Then God said, 'Let Us make (asah) man in Our image.'" Yet, in the next verse, verse 27, the text states "So God created (bara) man in His own image." In Gen 2:3 God uses both words together to emphasize the completion of His creation.  Therefore, the context of Genesis shows both words are being used with similar meanings in the same way the English language currently uses created and made interchangeably. Additionally, bara is used elswhere in Scripture in a context that clearly shows it was not a creation out of nothing (1 Sam 2:29).


*Heavens is a plural word and will be dealt with later in this study. 


*Are the heavens and the earth permanent?

            As vast and beautiful as God’s creation is, Christians should always keep in mind that they are not permanent parts of God’s creation.  Psalms 102:25&26 makes this clear – “Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.”  Likewise, in Revelations 21:1 John tells us that there will one day be a new heaven and a new earth – “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”  Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”


            Will God need 14-15 billion years to create the new heaven and earth?  No, He will speak it into existence similar to how He did the first creation.  He won’t need 14-15 billion years to get it done as the unbelievers and compromisers would like us to believe for this first heavens and earth.


Day 1 – Time, space, matter (Earth/water), and light

1:2       The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.


*What is this earth/water?

            The Hebrew word for earth is 'erets (eh'-rets).  This word is a very common word in the Old Testament, used over 2,500 times.  It is a generic word with broad meanings; such as land, ground, nation, the entire abode of the earth, or the entire abode of the original creation as discussed here in verse 2.

            The generic nature of this word can be seen here in Genesis 1.  Here in verse 2 it refers to the entire abode of the initial watery existence God created.  However, God’s next use of this word in verse 10 is applied more specifically to just the dry land.  However, verse 15 uses the word more generically again to refer to the entire abode of the earth which receives light from the luminaries in the heavens.  Therefore, one most keep in mind the generic use of this word and its specific context for each use, and not limit it to our normal use today to refer to the planet.

            The Hebrew word for water [mayim (mah'-yim)] is a very common word and a simple Englishman’s concordance search on this Hebrew word reveals a consistent use of this word as water of some sort.  Therefore, God’s initial creation was a substance of water.


* Did God start with pre-existing material (the earth/water) in the creation, or was it out of nothing?

            Verse 2 can give the appearance the earth was already in existence - if option b) above from the discussion on verse 1 is correct.

The following verses answer this question:

Proberbs 8:22-26 talking about wisdom stated “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. 23I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; 26While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world.”

Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the ages were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Therefore, it is apparent in the beginning God created a watery existence ex nihilo – “out of nothing”.  The context of these passages above and Gen 1:2 reveals that God’s very first creative act was apparently a ball of water, referred to as the deep.  The Spirit of God was hovering over this body of water.  This was the initial state of the creation before there was any light.

Isaiah 40:21&22 “Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”

Note: the Hebrew word used for circle in verse 22 can also mean a sphere.

The universe starting as water is a major contradiction to the big bang theory, which has the universe beginning as subatomic particles that eventually first become the elements hydrogen and helium.  In the big bang theory, water did not appear for another 10-13 billion years (just a couple billion or so years ago).  Therefore, the big bang is wrong because God started with water!


*Interestingly, the first miracle of Jesus as recorded in John 2 involved Him turning jars of water into wine.  Jesus started with water just as He had during the creation week.  Jesus created wine with an appearance of age.  Yet, it had just been created instantaneously.  How many jars were there?  Six!  Although this passage does not specifically refer to Jesus as the Creator of the universe in six days, it appears to be alluding to it (John 1, Colossians 1, and Hebrews 1).


1:3       Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.


*The way God began His creation with the earth being without form and void and covered with darkness is a good parallel to us before salvation.  Before salvation, we are likewise incomplete and covered in darkness.  Then God does His work of making a new creation and shining His light in our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Paul makes this case by referring to Gen 1:3 when he states in 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  Salvation is a miracle of God just as the creation of the universe is a miracle of God.


*What is the source of the light before the sun?

            Maybe the light was God’s Shekina Glory.  Maybe it was just another light source releasing photon’s as the Sun does today.  God does not give us the details explaining the light before the sun.  He only tells us there was light.  God revealing a light source and then removing it on day 4 is not something too difficult for Him.  He frequently revealed His Shekina Glory throughout history (wilderness, Temple, maybe the star of Bethlehem).  There will once again be a time when God will be the source of light and not the sun or the moon - Rev. 21:23 “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Of importance is that Jesus describes Himself as the light of the world that removes the darkness.  For example, John 8:12 states “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” 

How did God create?

Gen 1:  verse 3 “Then God said”

            verse 6 “Then God said”

            verse 9 “Then God said”

            verse 11 “Then God said”

            verse 14 “Then God said”

            verse 20 “Then God said”

            verse 24 “Then God said”

            verse 26 “Then God said”

            God simply spoke the universe into existence.  See Hebrews 11:3 above.


Psalm 33:6-9 “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 8Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”


1:4       And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.


*In verse 4 God makes the statement ‘it was good’.  This one referring to light is the first of six similar statements.


1:5       God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.


*Where did the light exist?

            Verse 4 & 5 reveals the light must be coming from a point source on one side of God’s initial creation (water), since He describes the division between day and night.  Likewise this reveals the ball of water was rotating on its axis given the cycle in place of day and night.  The phrase “the evening and the morning” adds further to the clear interpretation that this was a literal day.


Day 1: God creates time, space, matter (water), and light (possibly Shekina Glory)


*Verse 5 closes the account of day 1.  The verse literally ends with the expression “day one” or “first day”.  The definite article is not present –“the first day”.  This is also the case for the first 5 days of creation.  Some have stated that the lack of the definite articles for the first 5 days shows they were not true 24 hour days.  However, there are 13 other places similar to Genesis 1 where the Hebrew does not have the definite article, but likewise has the presence of a number.  In all of these cases, the number serves to provide the sense of a definite article and Bible translations place the definite article with them just as is done here in Genesis, chapter 1.[5]

            Exodus 20:8-11 & 31:12-17 make it very clear these were literal days.  Also, see the first few pages of the “World History According to the Bible” paper for a fuller description of the use of the word “day” and it’s meaning here in Genesis 1.

            Professor James Barr, Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford is one who does not believe the Genesis text.  Still, as a professor of the Hebrew language, he honestly stated the following concerning what is being stated here in Genesis, chapter 1:

[‘Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.’][6]


Day 2 – An expanse to divide the waters

1:6       Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

1:7       Thus 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.

1:8       And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.


*What was this firmament that God created on day two and called Heaven?

Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”

            The Hebrew word for firmament is raqiya` (raw-kee'-ah).  This word is used 17 times throughout the Scriptures with 9 of the uses here in Genesis, chapter 1.  The clearest understanding is that the firmament is an expanse and describes the space in which the sun, moon, and stars were placed on day 4.  Psalm 19:1 above is another place it is used, clearly referring to space.

            17 different places throughout the scriptures, God states that He stretched out the Heavens like a curtain.   One example is Isaiah 40:22 “Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”  This stretching may have occurred here on day 2 as God “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament”.  Day 4 and the fall or flood may also be possible times of additional stretching.  Interestingly, putting together the stretching of space with Einstein's General Relativity removes the starlight and time problem, as explained by Dr. Russ Humphreys.

            So we see God created an expanse with water under this expanse and water above this expanse, as described by the division of the waters.  This expanse was separate from the waters and God called this expanse Heaven.


*What is Heaven? 

            If we want one consistent definition that describes Heaven it is – ‘up’.  Heaven is ‘up’.  If someone asks you where Heaven is, just tell them ‘up’.  However, as we look deeper into the Scriptures, it appears Heaven can be split into 3 distinct classifications as follows:

  • 1st Heaven: the domain of the earth’s atmosphere.  Deuteronomy 11:11 “but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven.”  Here is a reference of heaven referring to the atmosphere.
  • 2nd Heaven: the domain of the stars and other celestial bodies.  Isaiah 13:10 “For the stars of heaven and their constellations.”  Here is a reference of heaven referring to space.
  • 3rd Heaven: the domain of God.  1 Kings 8:30 “And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.”  Also, it appears Paul was describing himself in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 when he talks about someone personally going to this third Heaven – called Paradise “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”


*What Heaven is God talking about here in Gen 1:8 first referred to as the firmament?

            Some within Biblical creation science circles believe the firmament could [possibly have been a canopy of water vapor which acted to make the earth like a hothouse, provided uniform temperature, inhibited mass air movements, caused mist to fall, and filtered out ultraviolet rays, thus extending life.][7]  This view is known as the Canopy Theory.  This theory teaches the firmament here only consists of the 1st Heaven, the atmosphere.  The Canopy Theory teaches this canopy of water came down in the flood.  Many within creation science circles hold to this view, and respect should be given to those who do.  However, a growing number of creation scientists are rejecting the Canopy Theory for several reasons.  Most significantly, a closer look at Gen 1 shows the firmament is more than the earth’s atmosphere and includes the celestial heavens.  This can be seen in Gen 1:14, 15, & 17.  All three verses state that God made the lights ‘in the firmament of the Heavens’, not above the firmament as would be necessary for the Canopy Theory and the interpretation that the firmament refers to the atmosphere.  Additionally, in Gen 1:20 God creates the birds to “fly above the earth across the face of the firmament”.  The birds did not fly in this firmament, but across the ‘face’ of the firmament.  Therefore, this firmament cannot be isolated to the earth’s atmosphere, but must include the celestial heavens which the sun, moon, and stars were placed on day 4.  Additionally, our current understanding of the higher concentrations of oxygen and carbon within the pre-flood atmosphere (as noted by air bubbles trapped within the fossil record) can likewise explain the reason for the different pre-flood atmospheric conditions inferred from the pages of Scripture.  The Canopy Theory is no longer necessary to explain these conditions.


*What does all of the above mean?

            It means that God divided the water from day 1 on day 2.  God separated these waters by an expanse called the firmament in which he placed the sun, moon, and stars on day 4!  The water below became the substance for the creation of the planet earth.  The water above became the substance which God used to create the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, planets, galaxies, etc. on day 4) or there is massive amounts of water at the edge of the universe.  



Day 2: God divides the waters


Psalm 148:1-4 “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 2Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 3Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! 4Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!”  


*Over the past several years two different teams of astronomers were involved in analyzing supernovas (supernovas are exploding stars that become orders of magnitude larger and can be seen over a several day period, even in deep space).  Both teams determined independently from their analysis of these supernovas that they were not only moving away from us, but accelerating away from us!  Furthermore, the closer they were to the edge of the universe, the more acceleration outward they possessed.  Everyone was surprised since this was not the result they expected given their big bang presuppositions.  There is no naturalistic, big bang model that can explain the universe accelerating away from itself.  One researcher trying to explain their observations stated it must be some ‘god force’ moving the universe outward.  Maybe they are simply observing the gravitational effects of massive amounts of water (mass) at the edge of the universe which God placed there on day 2 (if that is what He did with the water) or the stretching of space noted throughout the Scriptures (if He used the water above to create the galaxies).


*Interestingly, there are many mysteries surrounding the celestial heavens in regards to the physics to explain the motion of the stellar bodies (galaxies and galaxy clusters).  Many physicists have theorized the idea of dark matter - matter that cannot be seen, but makes up most of the gravitational force of the universe.  The firmament is still well beyond man’s ability to explain? However, Christians must stand against such naturalistic views of origin as the big bang or the nebular hypothesis if they are going to remain consistent with the Scriptures and true observational science.


*Note: Day 2 has the shortest description of any of the days of creation, yet the largest area of God’s creation occurred on this day.


*Note: many want to believe there are aliens on other planets within the universe.  However, the account of day 2 makes this hard to accept given that God created everything out of a ball of water referred to as the earth and then created the heavens as an expanse by dividing this ball of water into a spherical shell of water above and a sphere of water below.  God’s focus for His creation is clearly on the earth.  Alien theories are a rejection of the clear reading of God’s creation account.


Day 3 – Dry land and plants

1:9       Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.

1:10     And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.


* God’s second ‘it was good’ statement refers to the appearance of the dry land and it’s separation from the seas.  This solid material could have been under the surface of the waters from day 1 and God just now brings it up from beneath the surface; or God, on day 3, could have supernaturally developed this material out of the water.  God now focuses the meaning of the word Earth to the dry land, with a separate word for the water (Seas).  The word for dry land is singular.  Before the flood, there was one connected land mass.  Interestingly, the idea that the continents had once been together was first thought of by someone who believed the Bible.  He noticed this language in Genesis and theorized that the land must have split apart during the flood.  However, it was not continental drift as most teach today, but continental sprint!


1:11     Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

1:12     And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

1:13     So the evening and the morning were the third day.


* God created the earth’s vegetation on day 3.  Therefore an atmosphere had to exist to support this plant life.  This appears to show the heavens created on day 2 included not only the 2nd heaven (the firmament), which the stars are placed in on day 4, but also the 1st heaven (face of the firmament – the earth’s atmosphere).


*10 times God uses the phrase ‘according to its kind’ in the text of Genesis 1.  God created fundamental forms of life that would produce according to their kind.  The Darwinian tree of life that all things developed from a common ancestor is a direct affront to Genesis 1.  Interestingly, chapter 4 of Darwin’s famous book (On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection, or, The Preservation Of Favored Races In The Struggle For Life) capitalized the phrase ‘Tree of Life’ when he discussed his idea of a common ancestor.  He clearly knew the blasphemy he was committing against the Scriptures with his theory.

            Darwin only observed natural selection.  Natural selection is not the creation of new information in the DNA as required by evolution, but the sorting of the original DNA information.  God programmed this variability into the DNA code for each living thing in the beginning.  No new information is ever added to the DNA code.  This DNA is passed down in the plant life through the seeds they produce.  See the discussion on natural selection for more information.


* Note verse 11: ‘Then God said….. and it was so”.  There is no room for the progressive creationist view here.  God did not take 100s of millions of years here to progressively create plant life as many would have us believe, but he simply spoke it into existence between an evening and a morning on the 3rd day.


Day 3: Dry Land and Plants (pre-flood day 3 Earth) illustration


Day 4 – Sun, moon, and stars (luminaries)

1:14     Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

1:15     "and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

1:16     Then 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.

1:17     God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,

1:18     and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

1:19     So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


* How did we have a day before the sun?

            As previously discussed, to have a 24-hour day period, the sun is not necessary.  Just something rotating on its axis while being illuminated by an outside light source.  God provided (or He was) a temporary light source for day 1, 2, & 3 for the day/night cycle.  However, now He fixes the Sun as the main light source for the Earth.


*Did the Sun and other celestial objects only just now become visible to the earth, meaning they were created earlier on day one?

            This question comes from people who have bought into the naturalistic based big bang model for the origin of the universe.  This model has hydrogen as the first element in the universe about 13-14 billion years ago.  In this view, the sun came before the earth about 5-6 billion years ago, being a collection of this hydrogen. 

            The clear answer to the question above is no.  Genesis 1 is not poetry, as previously discussed.  It is a straightforward chronology of God’s creative acts as clearly delineated by the 6 separate days of creation.  Clarifying passages like the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Exodus 31 remove any doubt.  Genesis 1 states the Earth existed (day 1 - water) before the expanse (day 2 – firmament/heavens) in which the sun and other celestial bodies were placed on day 4.  Interestingly, even poetical portions of the Scriptures agree with this same order.  Although it is poetry, Psalm 136 goes through history chronologically beginning with the creation account and continuing through with Israel.  The creation verses are as follows:


            “5To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,    Day 2 (firmament or expanse)                

                        For His mercy endures forever;

            6To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,          Day 3 (dry land)

                        For His mercy endures forever;

            7To Him who made great lights,                                     Day 4 (sun, moon, and stars)

                        For His mercy endures forever—

            8The sun to rule by day,

                        For His mercy endures forever;

            9The moon and stars to rule by night,

                        For His mercy endures forever.”


*What about the planets, when were they created?

            The word for star, kowkab (ko-kawb'), is a more generic term for a luminous object.  This word would have covered the creation of the planets as well.  Similarly, the 'star of Bethlehem' was likely not a star in the same terms as we think of today.  This was some luminous light that went before the wise men.  Matt 2:9-10 states “When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”  A real star, which is hundreds of times larger than the earth, could not have gone before the wise men and stood over the place of Christ’s birth.  However, the New Testament Greek word for star likewise has a more general meaning of luminous objects.  It was some luminous light, possibly the same light from day one of creation?  Perhaps it was God’s Shekina Glory leading the wise men to the Christ child just as He led the Israelites in the desert by night.


*We were not made as a by-product of the stars as the big bang would teach, but the celestial bodies were all made for the earth to ‘be for signs and seasons, and for days and years’.

Significantly, the seven-day week has nothing in common with cosmology.  All other major references to time do, as stated in Gen. 1:14.

1.      Year - time for the earth to circle the sun.

2.      Month - time for the moon to circle the earth

3.      Day - time for the earth to rotate on its axis

However, the basis for the seven-day week is only found in the created order in that God created in six days and rested for one.


*The context of day 4 shows that verses 14 & 15 were summary statements with verses 16 – 18 providing further detail to these verses.  For example, ‘the greater light to rule the day’ mentioned in verse 16 fulfills the purpose ‘to divide the day from the night’ mentioned in verse 14.  Additionally, we see the lights are described from the perspective of how things are seen from the earth.  For example, the moon being the lesser light, even though it is in reality smaller than the stars in size and is actually a reflector of light.


Day 4: Sun, Moon, and Stars (Luminaries)


*How do we see distant starlight in a young universe?

            I believe God has given us the explanation to this apparent problem in other Biblical passages.  In 17 references throughout Scripture, God states that He "stretched out the heavens like a curtain" or something of a similar language: Job 9:8, Psalms 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, Jeremiah 10:12, Zechariah 12:1, 2 Sam 22:10, Job 26:7, Job 37:18, Psalms 18:19, Psalms 144:5, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 48:13, Isaiah 51:13, Jer. 51:15, Ezekiel 1:22.  We are not looking at the result of billions of years of light travel when we look at the most distant stars, but we are most likely seeing the result of this stretching of the heavens described throughout the Scriptures.  Significantly, the big bang has its own starlight and time problem.  We should not be able to see the edge of the universe as we do today if a big bang were truly the origin of the universe!


Day 5 – All living things in the water and every winged bird


1:20     Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."


*What is meant by ‘living creatures’?

            Verse 20 & 21 use the same two combination of words with the following meanings.  One of the words used is nephesh (neh'-fesh), translated as living here and has the Strong’s definition of ‘properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).

The other word comes from the word chay (khah'-ee) and has the following definition:

[The word chay is used both as an adjective and as a noun. Used adjectivally it modifies men, animals, and God, but never plants. In <Gen. 2:7> the word used with the noun nepech ("soul, person, being") means a "living" person: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The same two words are used in <Gen. 1:21> but with a slightly different meaning: "And God created... every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind...." Here a living nepesh ("creature") is an animal.][8]

            Therefore, from the understanding of these words, God is now, for the first time, describing a creation of His that is referred to as living.  This is significant since plants had previously been created and yet they were not described as living or having the breath of life.  There was no death before sin.  The eating of plants by man and animals was not considered death as it did not cause the death of a living being.  Death of things that were described by God as ‘living’ (animals and man) was a result of sin.


*Where did the birds fly?

            Not in the firmament, but across the face of the firmament, as previously discussed in the day 2 discussion.


1:21     So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.


*What are the great sea creatures?

            The Hebrew word according to Brown-Driver-Briggs is the word tanniyn or tanniym (tan-neem') (Ezek. 29:3) - a dragon, a serpent, a sea monster

a) a dragon or a dinosaur

b) a sea or a river monster

c) a serpent, a venomous snake


Was Leviathan part of this creation?

            There are 5 locations throughout the Scriptures in which this great sea creature is mentioned by name: Job 3:8, Job 41, Psalm 74:14, Psalm 104:26, & Isaiah 27:1.  Job 41 describes this creature in great detail and shows that it also had the ability to shoot fire from its mouth (18-21).  Additionally, Psalm 104:26 described the Leviathan in the same context as things living in the sea.  Brown-Driver-Briggs provides the following definition:

[leviathan, a sea monster, a dragon

a) a large aquatic animal

b) perhaps the extinct dinosaur, plesiosaurus; the exact meaning is unknown.

Some think this is a crocodile but from the description in Job 41 this is patently absurd. It appears to ba a large fire-breathing animal of some sort. Just as the bombardier beetle has an explosion-producing mechanism, so the great sea dragon may have an explosive-producing mechanism to enable it to be a real fire-breathing dragon.]

Given that Leviathan lived in the water and all things living in the water were created on day 5 as stated above in verse 21, the answer is yes.  Leviathan was part of God’s creation on day five.  This is an animal that now appears extinct, and is likely classified today as a dinosaur.


*God makes all things living in the waters and all flying creatures on day 5.  Again, God created these creatures ‘according to their kind’.  All of the information for the variability for these creatures was in the original DNA code as previously discussed in the day 3 section.  For example, common species of fish have been found to live in both fresh water as well as salt water.  However, these species cannot be displaced in the other type of water and live today.  Their genetic makeup has separated through natural selection to adapt to the different types of water.  However, this variability was already placed in their DNA from the beginning.  These two species have lost genetic variability that was initially present in the original kind’s DNA.


1:22     And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."


*As one who has a minor in Mathematics, I find it encouraging that God also loves multiplication.  He could have created the planet full of these creatures in the very beginning, yet instead he chose to create original kinds and have them multiply to fill the earth.  This is similar to His plan for the church.  God could have sent an angel throughout the earth and converted the whole world if He so desired.  Yet He chose to start with His disciples and through their efforts to multiply the Christian faith throughout the world.


1:23     So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.


Day 5: All living things in the water and every winged bird


Day 6 – Land animals and man (male and female)

1:24     Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so.

1:25     And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.


*Theistic evolutionists like to say that the ‘Let the earth bring forth’ statement is pointing to the process of evolution.  However, this same verse shows this to be ridiculous – ‘Then God said……..and it was so’.  God spoke and it was accomplished.  Theistic evolutionists are doing no less than making the Scriptures say something it does not. 


*What are the living creatures mentioned in these verses?

            This makes use of the same two root words used to describe the living creatures God created in the sea on day 5 - nephesh (neh'-fesh) and chay (khah'-ee).  Therefore, these are likewise creatures with ‘life’, except they were land animals instead of in the water.


*Why are cattle singled out?

            Actually this is a more generic word mainly focused on domesticated animals.  The Vine’s definition is as follows:

            [behemah "beast; animal; domesticated animal; cattle; riding beast; wild beast." A cognate of this word appears in Arabic. Biblical Hebrew uses behemah about 185 times and in all periods of history.

            In <Exod. 9:25>, this word clearly embraces even the larger "animals," all the animals in Egypt: "And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast...." This meaning is especially clear in <Gen. 6:7>: "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air...." In <1 Kings 4:33>, this word seems to exclude birds, fish, and reptiles: "He [Solomon] spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes."

            The word behemah can be used of all the domesticated beasts or animals other than man: "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and [wild] beast of the earth after his kind..." <Gen. 1:24>, first occurrence. <Psalm 8:7> uses behemah in synonymous parallelism with "oxen" and "sheep," as though it includes both: "All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field." The word can, however, be used of cattle only: "Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs [NASB, "animals"] be ours?" <Gen. 34:23>.][9]


*What are the creeping things?

            This word comes from the root Hebrew word ramas (raw-mas').  Strong’s definition is stated as: a primitive root; properly, to glide swiftly, i.e. to crawl or move with short steps; by analogy to swarm.

            The creeping things most likely include the insects and the reptile families of animals.


*What are the great beast?

[beast of the earth. Different from and larger than the clan of cattle, this would include dinosaurs like Behemoth] (Job 40:15ff.)[10]


1:26     Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

1:27     So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.


*See the ‘Who Created?’ study for the specifics of how the Us, Our, and God mentioned here refers to the Trinity.


*[man. The crowning point of creation, a living human, was made in God’s image to rule creation. Our image. This defined man’s unique relation to God. Man is a living being capable of embodying God’s communicable attributes (cf. 9:6; Rom. 8:29; Col. 3:10; James 3:9). In his rational life, he was like God in that he could reason and had intellect, will, and emotion. In the moral sense, he was like God because he was good and sinless.][11]


*Gen. 2:7-25 adds further details concerning how God created Adam and Eve.  The word used for man in Gen 1:27 is the same word used for Adam in chapter 2.  The context of the passage must be used to determine if the word is referring to mankind in general or Adam specifically.  In Gen. 1:27, the word is referring to mankind in general.  The makeup of Adam and Eve together represents the image and likeness of God, yet individually we still reflect this image and likeness.


1:28     Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."


*What did God want man to do?

            God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply.  God wants lots of people.  This command was issued again after the flood and neither has been revoked in the Scriptures.  Additionally, a parallel thought to the New Testament is that believers should be fruitful and multiply. 

[Like the created beings in Genesis, believers have the responsibility of being fruitful and multiplying “after their kind.” In a parallel to Adam’s position of dominion, the believer is part of royalty under God’s rule and can “reign in life” through Christ (Rom. 5:17ff).][12]

            God also commanded man to have dominion over everything He had created on the earth.  Significantly, this passage is the Biblical basis for science.  If man is to subdue the earth and have dominion over all living things, then he must understand the earth and the living things.  Growing in the knowledge (science) of God’s creation is therefore part of this command in verse 28.  The problem with most of what is called science today is that it has rejected the revelation of God and instead filled itself with the falsehood of naturalism.


1:29     And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

1:30     "Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.


*What did they eat?

Man and animals were given plant life for food in the original created order.  Both were created to be vegetarians.  Interestingly, even pre-flood T-Rex teeth, when examined, reveal they were used mainly on plant life as seen by the presence of chlorophyll on the teeth.  The eating of plant life did not represent something dying as plants were not ‘living’ in the same sense as the animals and man.  The death of ‘living’ things was the result of sin.  Only after the flood was man allowed to eat the ‘living things’ as food.  This may have been due to the loss of some plant life after the flood that was high in protein.  Today, vegetarians have a hard time getting the required amounts of protein for the body.  Meat today provides the easiest way to obtain the required protein for proper health and development.


1:31     Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


*How did God view His creation?

The following are the lists of the things God individually calls good before he collectively calls everything very good.

Verse 4: The light is good

Verse 10: The land and Seas are good

Verse 12: The plant life is good

Verse 18: Sun, moon, and stars are good

Verse 21: All sea creatures and birds are good

Verse 25: All land animals and man are good

Verse 31: Everything was very good


*What was Eden like?

            At this point in the creation, everything was very good.  There was no evil in the world.  No death, no sickness, no disease, no suffering, no sin, nothing that would be an offense to God.  This blessed state was not only for man, but also for the animals that were described as “living”.  God will once again restore His creation to the pre-fall state.  This is described in Isaiah 11:6-8:

            “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them.

7The cow and the bear shall graze;

Their young ones shall lie down together;

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,

And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.



Day 6: All land animals and man


Day 7 – God rested from His work of creation

2:1       Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

2:2       And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

2:3       Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

*Did God finish His work on the sixth or seventh day?

            Gen. 2:2 begins with “And on the seventh day God ended His work”.  Yet the context of Gen. 2:1 points back to the first six days and states that it was finished.  Additionally, other Scriptures clarify that God created everything in six days (Exodus, 20:8-11 and 31:12-17) and commanded that no work should be done on the seventh day. 

  • There is some textual discrepancy between whether the day mentioned at the beginning of Gen 2:2 is the sixth or the seventh.  The Masoretic text reads the seventh, whereas the Septuagint, Syriac, and Samaritan read the sixth.[13]  Therefore, the original reading could have been the sixth. 
  • Alternatively, the text could be rendered ‘By the seventh day God ended His work’.  This is the interpretations some translations use.  Therefore, keeping the use of the seventh day as the original reading, yet with the use of the different preposition showing the work to have finished by the end of the sixth day, is consistent with the rest of the Scriptures.


*Is God done working?

            No, God still works sustaining His creation and completing His plans.  The deists say God set things in motion and now watches from a distance.  God is and has been intricately involved with His creation throughout history.  We show in the “Before Creation” study that God has a detailed plan He is unfolding on the earth that was determined from before the beginning.  God stopped only His work of creation at the end of day 6.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power”.

John 4:34 “34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

John 5:17 “But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”


*What is significant about the seventh day?

            Hebrews, chapter 4 describes how believers through faith are able to enter God’s rest.

[The word “Sabbath” simply means “to cease.”….He had blessed the creatures (1:22) and man (1:28). Now He blessed the Sabbath by setting it apart as a special day .….. the Sabbath Day was actually the first day for him……While on earth, Christ observed the Sabbath since He lived under the dispensation of law. Of course, He did not follow the man-made rules of the Pharisees (Mark 2:23–28). In the early years of the church, Christians did meet on the Sabbath in the synagogues, until Jewish believers were persecuted and driven out.] [14]

            The fact that the early church began to meet on Sunday can be seen from the following early church writings.

[in the post-apostolic literature we have the following references: Ignatius, Ad Mag., ix.1, “No longer keeping the Sabbath but living according to the Lord’s day, on which also our Light arose"; Ev. Pet., verse 35, “The Lord’s day began to dawn” (compare Matt. 28:1); verse 50, “early on the Lord’s day” (compare Luke 24:1); Barn 15 9, “We keep the eighth day with gladness,” on which Jesus arose from the dead.” I.e. Sunday, as the day of Christ’s resurrection, was kept as a Christian feast and called “the Lord’s day,” a title fixed so definitely as to be introduced by the author of Ev. Pet. into phrases from the canonical Gospels. Its appropriateness in Rev. 1:10 is obvious, as John received his vision of the exalted Lord when all Christians had their minds directed toward His entrance into glory through the resurrection.] [15]

            The following reference gives the approximate times the works mentioned above were written.  Significantly, Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John.  Ignatius clearly viewed Sunday as the Lord ’s Day.  This historical perspective provides evidence the Rev. 1:10 verse is speaking of Sunday.

[in such early Christian writings as Ignatius’s Epistle to the Magnesians 9:1 (c. a.d. 108), the Didache 14:1 (c. a.d. 100–125), and the Gospel of Peter 9:35; 12:50 (c. a.d. 125–50).] [16]

            Nowhere in the scriptures, post resurrection, are Christians commanded to observe the Sabbath.  This likely influenced the early first century church in its view of worshiping the lord.  [the first day of the week (Sunday, the Lord’s Day) was their special day for fellowship and worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1–3; Rev. 1:10). The first day commemorates Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1), the completion of His work in bringing about the new creation. See 2 Cor. 5:17. These two special days—the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day—commemorate different things and must not be confused. The Sabbath Day relates to the old creation and was given expressly to Israel. The Lord’s Day relates to the new creation and belongs especially to the church. The Sabbath speaks of law as six days of labor which are followed by rest, but the Lord’s Day speaks of grace, for we begin the week with rest that is followed by works.

            Hebrews 4 indicates that the OT Sabbath is a type of the future kingdom of rest, as well as the spiritual rest we have through faith in Christ. Colossians 2:13–17 makes it clear that the Sabbath belongs to the “shadows” of law and not the full light of grace (And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ).  If people want to worship on the Sabbath, they certainly may, but they must not judge or condemn believers who do not join them (Col. 2:16–17). Galatians 4:9–11 indicates that the legalistic keeping of Sabbaths is a return to bondage……Romans 14:5&6 “5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” ……… Certainly various groups of professing Christians may worship on Saturday if they prefer, but they must not condemn those who give special emphasis to worship on Sunday, resurrection day.][17]


            I (Clint Bishard) personally choose to rest from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday.  Not because I have to, but because I believe it patterns my life most consistently to God’s example in Genesis and the special observance of the Lord’s Day as demonstrated by the early church.


[1]All Scriptures quoted from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Ps 11:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Should Genesis be taken literally? By Russel Grigg; First published: Creation 16(1):38–41 December 1993

[3]All Scriptures quoted from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Ps 90:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4]Young's literal translation. 1997 (electronic ed.) (Ge 1:1). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

[5] Institute for Creation Research, IMPACT No. 184 October 1988
by James Stambaugh, M.DIV.*

[6] Should Genesis be taken literally? By Russel Grigg; First published: Creation 16(1):38–41 December 1993 - Letter from Professor James Barr to David C.C. Watson of the UK, dated 23 April 1984. Copy held by the author. Note that Prof. Barr does not claim to believe that Genesis is historically true; he is just telling us what, in his opinion, the language was meant to convey.

[7]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge 1:7). Nashville: Word Pub.

[8] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

[9] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

[10]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge 1:24). Nashville: Word Pub.

[11]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge 1:26). Nashville: Word Pub.

[12]Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 1:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[13] Clarke’s Commentary, by Adam Clarke

[14]Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 2:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[15]Orr, J. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (electronic ed.). ,: :

[16]Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. 1997, c1996. Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed.). Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids

[17]Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 2:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Jesus Created Ministries (JCM) - Page last updated January 13, 2007