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?”
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
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.]
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).
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.” 
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
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
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
*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.
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
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.”
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.
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.’]
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
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
- 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
- 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.] 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
*What does all of the
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
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).
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
*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.
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
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
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)
mercy endures forever;
7To Him who made great lights,
Day 4 (sun, moon, and stars)
mercy endures forever—
8The sun to rule by day,
mercy endures forever;
9The moon and stars to rule by
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
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!
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.]
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
[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
*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
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
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
*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
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>.]
*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
*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.)
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.
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.]
*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
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
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
Verse 12: The plant life is good
Verse 18: Sun, moon, and stars are
Verse 21: All sea creatures and
birds are good
Verse 25: All land animals and man
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,
shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and
the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little
child shall lead them.
cow and the bear shall graze;
ones shall lie down together;
And the lion
shall eat straw like the ox.
nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.”
Day 6: All
land animals and man
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. 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.
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”.
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
[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
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.] 
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
[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).]
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,
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.
Scriptures quoted from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982
(electronic ed.) (Ps 11:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Scriptures quoted from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982
(electronic ed.) (Ps 90:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
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ed.) (Ge 1:1). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge
1:7). Nashville: Word Pub.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge
1:24). Nashville: Word Pub.
J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ge
1:26). Nashville: Word Pub.
W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge
1:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge
2:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
J. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (electronic ed.). ,: :
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
W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge
2:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.