Thru The Word Ministries
Genesis 1-2





The book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. Arguably, it can be said that it is the book of beginnings. Understandably, the book begins with life and ends with death. It begins with the ultimate in fellowship with God and ends in man’s futile attempt to relate to God in his own way.

It is the beginning of creation … both things and beings. It is the beginning of sin. It is also the beginning salvation; of God revealing Himself to man in order to establish and maintain relationship with him. This is done mainly through a covenant relationship as we will see.

Within the realm of creation it is the beginning of the universe and light forms. All we know today as science has discovered and shared with each of us concerning our universe is as the result of thousands of years of study. Are the scientist’s studies exhaustive? Pastor Chuck Smith (in his eighties at the time of this writing) says when he was in school the earth was ten thousand years old. Since that time he says the universe is now about half that age. Someone will say, "Yes, now we have it all straight." Yeah, right! We know as much as we do now until new knowledge comes along. When will that happen? Well, as long as scientists continue to study and uncover new findings, it could happen before you finish reading this.

It is also the beginning of a nation. God’s redemptive plan is rooted firmly in the nation of Israel. In fact the nation of Israel is said to be in the very center of the world. You can question that until you examine a map of the world that lays out flat. Take a look at what is about in the center of that map. It is the tiny nation (geographically speaking) of Israel. Someone has said Israel is the navel of the world. Perhaps you will as well upon further examination. Let’s get to the bottom line: the nation of Israel is His nation. It always has been and it always will be.

It is possible to believe the Bible in its entirety if one sincerely believes Genesis 1:1. This means that the opposite is true as well. If one cannot get past the truth of the first verse of the Bible, then there is not a lot of hope for him or her to ever believe the rest of the book as a unified whole. We’ll expound more when we come to that particular verse.

Something else for us to consider: all the major doctrines of the New Testament are covered in Genesis. Sin, separation, salvation, grace, mercy, love, judgment, and so many more actually have their beginnings in the book of beginnings. And there you have the number one reason why people are always trying to discredit Genesis. Everything from the act of creation to its authorship it seems is questioned. If those liberal so-called scholars can successfully knock Genesis off its perch, as it were, they can discredit the remainder of the Bible. Isn’t it something that no one has been able to do so to this point? What’s more no one will ever be able to do so. What God says is true is exactly that. "Let God be true, but every man a liar…" (Romans 3:4).

The word for the book’s title is the Greek word for "generations." The Hebrew word is toledot; the Greek word used for the Septuagint is translated "genesis’. Interestingly enough, the only time it’s used in the New Testament is in Matthew 1:1: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Geneseos carries with it the idea of that which has a definite beginning and is then carried on through the generations to come. You’ll notice that in Matthew 1:1 the generation of Jesus Christ has its roots in Abraham, whom we see in the book of … you guessed it … Genesis. By the way, get ready to be even more amazed as we proceed with our study of this awesome book. Not only have we seen Genesis in the New Testament just now, but we will see Jesus all throughout the Old Testament. It’s going to be a great ride. 

When Jesus preached to the two on the road to Damascus, we find that He started with them in Genesis. "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27). I am of the belief that the two had full knowledge of what Moses and the prophets said. They were just like us, though, in that they too needed to be reminded of what God had done starting "in the beginning." Dr. Morris also pointed out how the New Testament contains at least two hundred direct references, quotations, or clear allusions from the book of Genesis - more than any other Old Testament book. Suffice it to say that we all do well to understand the New Testament through the eyes of the Old Testament, especially by starting in Genesis.

The book of Genesis contains the first argument for the existence of God - His creation. If anyone wants to know God or that He exists, all one need do is look on creation. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are sure to encounter a portion of God’s creation. How could it have come to be? If you believe that it evolved over time from a blob or a mass, in the words of my kindergarten teacher, you don’t have your thinking cap on! There are people in this world that have studied first one thing and then another. They have acquired a variety of information from a variety of sources. They have not been careful to discern the source or to intellectually disseminate anything. These people have brains that are just like sponges: willing to soak up anything that comes into it. This brings me to my definition of a liberal - someone who knows too much for their own good! God has a different take on it, though.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night showeth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the
end of the world.
  Psalm 19:1-4

The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
  Romans 1:20

Man can say whatever he wants but always remember and never forget, God has the last Word. This is why the atheist/agnostic has yet to find a plausible argument for evolution over creation, God versus no God, etc. None of them pan out. Why? Because God has the last Word!

We never see where the Bible makes a case for His existence. It merely reads, "In the beginning God …" This was written at a point in time when no one ever doubted the existence of God. Ever since that time man has made it his aim not only to doubt God but in some cases lead others to do so as well. In the words of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Friend, we’ve come a long way, but we’ve come the wrong way." As we will see in chapter three when one begins to ask, "Yea, hath God said …", they are on the fast track to at least doubting the existence of God. That sort of belief system is always sad because the consequences are always tragic. If you are reading this and there is the faintest of a doubt in your mind as to the existence of God, who He is, or what He can do, I must tell you that your life will never be right until you settle that issue. You are lost for time and eternity. I believe it is no accident you are reading this now. Please stay with our study and see from God’s very own Word that not only is He real, but desires to be real in your life. "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). If you have a sincere seeking spirit you will not be denied. "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). Your time for seeking Him is limited. "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8-10). It is not His desire that you be separated from Him for all eternity. "The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Please don’t let time run out. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more important in your life than seeking the Lord with your whole heart. Do it and you will be blessed. You have God’s Word on it. 

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.  Romans 5:20

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.  Acts 16:31



1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Short, simple, and to the point, right? Well, yes and no. The first three words of the Bible take us exactly to where we need to be at this point in our study. I do not know of an architect anywhere that will tell you a solid structure can be built apart from a solid foundation being laid first. The first three words of the Bible do just that as we go back to where it all began. When God went about a creative act He did it from less than scratch. There is a word from the text that deserves our utmost attention. The word in the Hebrew is bara. Koehler and Baumgartner define the word as "to give birth." I’m not sure that goes quite deep enough. We think of giving birth in the sense of a baby. This is an act that happens each and every day. But when this happens, it does so in the sense of two already-created beings coming together. When God created, He did it out of nothing. That is exactly the sense of this word bara in biblical Hebrew. In the beginning God bara the heavens and the earth because He did it out of nothing. How can this be, you may ask? This is but one of the many wonders of the Lord that makes Him God. Only God can bara. You and I can never bara. But He can … and could … and did. This is what makes Him God and you and I not God. This is the supreme importance of this first verse of the Bible. This is the solid foundation we must first lay. 

I shared this verse with a room full of first graders one day and this little female voice from off to the side said, "Did that really happen?" My response was that it did. I felt so impressed of the Spirit one day to share that with this particular group, and when this little girl asked that question, I then understood why the Holy Spirit wanted me to share this truth. I believe that six-year-old spoke for many of today’s people when she asked that question. You and I and everything around us are here today because of the truth found in the first verse of the Bible. Again, I agree with the late Dr. Henry Morris when he said that if one can get past this truth, it is in fact possible for someone … anyone … to believe the rest of the Bible. Without that foundational belief, it is very difficult at best for anyone to believe the rest of what God has to say to each of us concerning Him, who He is, what He has done, and the great love He has for each of us. This divine love began when God created the heavens and the earth in the very beginning.

This, of course, begins to open up an entirely different realm of discussion for those who choose not to believe the truth found in the first verse. If we didn’t get here as a result of God’s creative act, His bara, then how?

Evolution remains a major topic in our culture today. One of the movies of our day is ‘Expelled’. I have yet to see it as of the time of this writing, but the premise of the movie is that thought and reason as many of us know it has been "expelled" from the educational system in our nation. As a result anything goes, as they say, and that brings up the prevalent thought of how man was not created, but rather evolved from an ape and as time went along, the ape learned more and more. As he learned more and more, he developed intellectually, culturally, and physically. And what’s more, man is who he is today because he had his beginnings with the ape. That could be all well and good, I guess, but my question concerns the ape. How did the ape arrive on the scene? Did he evolve out of something, and if so, what? If the something from which the ape evolved evolved, then from what? I think you’re starting to get the picture here. Every created thing had to have a beginning. How could it have happened? The first verse of the Bible contains our answer. Just in case you’re not satisfied with that, however, there are some other views to examine as well.

What we know as theistic evolution says that God created it but then let it develop into whatever it will. The only problem with that is that the universe goes back only 6-7,000 years (much closer to six than seven). In the grand scheme of things we’re talking about a rather young universe. And due in large part to the spade of the archaeologist, all things in fact continue to go along in a very uniform manner.

Very small, infantile particles of matter have been said to come together out of nothing and then all at once in a "big bang" begin to develop very naturally into more complex systems. Such is the premise of the modern evolution movement. In the same way pantheism has its beginnings in very small, infantile particles of matter coming together out of nothing, then developing into more complex systems of thought and matter, which have manifested themselves in different gods and goddesses. Once this worldview is extended according to human reason, you then have the premise that God is all and all is God (like its "cousin" panentheism, which states God is in all things).

We could go on like this for a while yet, but just to "tie a bow" in it for now, the phrase "In the beginning God…" presupposes that things and people didn’t just come to be. Man would like to write off God and His created work because then man would realize he is not the master of his own destiny. Yet none of the creation "just happened." It was all designed and for that design, there must be a Designer. Hence, when man is confronted with the evidence and chooses to look the other way, as it were, they can try to convince as many people as possible as to the absence of a Designer, but in the end they will still be responsible before Him. Why? Because He has left all necessary evidence of Himself in the very "print" of His own creation. The New Testament speaks of this in Romans 1 beginning with verse eighteen:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.  For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.  
Romans 1:18-20, emphasis mine

The emphasized words on the end of the passage speak to the responsibility of man and how he will not be able to plead ignorance before God when he stands before Him at the Great White Throne of Revelation 20. In other words, man is born into this world with the basic understanding of who God is and that He should be worshipped. This is what is known in theological circles as "general revelation." The step beyond is "specific revelation," which speaks to man’s sinfulness, his need for a Savior, and his introduction to Jesus Christ, through whom came mercy and grace that we may be saved from our sin by grace alone through faith alone and reconciled unto Him in order that we may live in right relationship with God for time and eternity; i.e., the essence of the Gospel. Let’s get down to the bottom line: it is far better and easier to believe Genesis 1:1 than to believe anything other than that.

Before we go any further, I want to be clear on a particular point. I am aware that down through the years there has existed a group of younger theologians who believe not only that God created the heavens and the earth, but they know how He did it as well. There is far more than a hint of arrogance in this approach. I can assure you that as of this writing the more I learn, the less I find I really know. Please let me emphasize to you that the purpose of this study is not to inform you of how much I know, how much more I know than you, etc. I am not even here to sell you on a particular view other than what has already been stated. I am here, however, to present the more prominent views on a matter as it concerns the book of Genesis or virtually any other book. From there it’s up to you to do your own digging; your own research, your own study, your own fact-finding mission. My job is to encourage and challenge you to do so by filtering all of your findings through the Word of God. If I have been successful in that, I will have considered this study a great success, not just in the eyes of man necessarily, but in the eyes of God who has called me out and raised me up for this work. May God find me faithful to remain committed as such to the only work that really matters in this life … mining the depths of the riches of His Word in a humble yet forthright manner. It is in this manner that we will find the greatness of His great salvation!


Next we come to one of the names of God found in this beginning of all things. All things except God, of course. One of the questions children like to ask the most in Sunday School or other church-related settings is, "Where did God come from?" The short answer … in fact the only answer I know to that is that He has always existed. The reason is that God transcends time. There is no beginning to God and, in the same way, there will be no end to God. I wish you the best in trying to get a five- or six-year-old to understand that answer. These things are not easy to explain, but in the end, there again, that is what makes Him God. If I could explain God away in a few sentences, then that would mean God can be understood by man and, in the end, has been brought down to the level of man. To reiterate, God is God and we are not. That means for Him nothing is impossible (Mark 10:27). Praise Him for that truth today!

The word for God in biblical Hebrew used in this verse is the word Elohim. In short this is a plural form of the name of God that is El. El is the singular form which means there is one. The first plural form is then Elohah, referring to two. Three or more gods brings us to the term used here in verse one. This so-called uni-plural form is used more commonly in reference to deities in general, but is used here to denote what is known as the tri-unity of the Godhead. The mutated term we use today is the term ‘Trinity’. This refers to the oneness of God in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Herein lies another great biblical mystery: How can God be three yet one? Someone will ask, "But doesn’t one plus one plus one equal three?" Good math, wrong equation. On the other hand, one times one times one will equal one every time. To add together the three members of the Godhead would mean that all three are completely separate from one another. But when we see the Godhead as three in one, that brings God up to an entirely different level; a level beyond our understanding. So before we even clear the first verse of the entire Bible, we have a birds-eye view, if you will, of the tri-unity of God.

In this verse we see where God created the heavens and the earth. ‘The heavens’ refers to the expanse of the sky we see over our heads each and every day. The Hebrew word in the text can be translated either ‘heaven’ or ‘heavens’. The earth refers to the land itself. It was at that point that God made the land inhabitable for the created things that were soon to make their habitation on the earth. This we will see in greater depth before we get out of the first chapter. 

2 - And the earth was formless and empty, and darkness upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
  In certain circles, the second verse of the Bible is about as controversial as the first. Some question as to why the earth was formless and empty at this point. The Hebrew phrase tohu vabohu has been interpreted differently in certain streams of biblical thought. Not translated, but interpreted. No matter how you slice it, the phrase will always mean "formless and void." This phrase is used elsewhere in the Old Testament. When words such as ‘formless’, ‘empty’, and ‘darkness’ are used, it does tend to paint quite a gloomy picture, doesn’t it? Yet what does it mean or denote? 

First of all, people such as myself see verse two as the continuation of verse one; that is, the context of verse one is carried over into the next verse. There are others, however, who believe this verse is very much separate from the previous one. So much to the point that it is believed there was a period of hundreds or millions of years … some say even possibly billions … between the events of verses one and two. This is what is known as the gap theory.

Understand that the gap theory is not a Johnny-come-lately to the theological world. Several renowned Bible expositors have leaned rather heavily on the "gap" between verses one and two. Evangelical luminaries of the last one to two centuries such as Donald Grey Barnhouse, G. Campbell Morgan, the aforementioned J. Vernon McGee, Jon Courson and others have taught this theory from their pulpits largely in Britain and America. And of course the gap theory was highly advanced by one C. I. Scofield in the study notes section of what we know today as the Scofield Reference Bible of 1917. I elaborate and name-drop only to let you know this is something that’s not out on the ‘lunatic fringe’ somewhere, but has caused great debate in creationist circles in at least more recent church history. Now it doesn’t make those people right and me wrong or vice versa, but it does help to put into perspective the weight of the matter.

This is something I would consider a non-essential doctrine; this business of the "gap theory." In other words this is a matter of biblical doctrine on which we may agree to disagree. But here again this is a matter not viewed the same by everyone either. In fact I understand Morgan felt it was very much an essential just by virtue of the fact that it involved the creation story. Once again not everyone believes such, but now you know where Thru the Word Ministries stands on the matter. Feel free to disagree if you must and we would like to believe we can remain friends with you. 

3 - And God said, "Let there be light." And there became light.
  Now that God has made His presence known as it concerns the earth, He begins His transformation process of the earth by creating light forms that were unknown before. From a personal standpoint, I am not as fascinated with what is happening, but how it is happening. He is creating, looking upon and taking notice of what He has created, then creating more. What is the purpose since He can create it all in an instant anyway? Let’s move on and delve deeper to see if perhaps the answer is there.

4 - And God saw that the light [was a] good thing, and God separated; He separated the light from the darkness.  We use an idiom in the English language that says, "There’s a method to the madness." Well, not that anything God does is considered madness, but we sometimes wonder why we see God bringing certain things to pass as He does. I believe this is a good example. We can say He had to start somewhere with something, but not really … not God. We have already seen that God can in fact bara in the Hebrew tongue; that is, create something out of nothing. He could have done it all instantaneously. Talk about a "Big Bang"! Someone once said he was a Christian and he did in fact believe in the Big Bang Theory. Someone else asked this gentleman how he could have one foot in the Christian camp and the other foot in the evolutionist camp, so to speak. He replied, "It’s simple. God said, ‘BANG,’ and it happened." I understand the basic premise behind his statement and his enthusiasm for wanting to share it with others. Truth be known, however, we see in this first chapter of the Bible a definite progression over a period of time where God was very deliberate in what He did, how He did it, and when He did it. 

First, light came into the picture then God established the purpose for light. I don’t have the credentials to get into all the scientific how-to’s and wherefores but I can tell you that God spoke and light came into existence. My friend, the Word of God brings light! I have believed that with every fiber of my being as far back as I can recall and I believe I will always believe that. After all, I have more reason than ever to believe it is so at this point in my life. Why would I want to turn back and go in the opposite direction? Not only is that true in my life but in the lives of countless others down through the centuries. Many great saints of yesterday and today have spoken the Word of God asking Him to come into their lives and save them, knowing it could only happen by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Can that be said of your life today? I hope and pray that it can. If it isn’t already, I pray that your life can speak to others in the same way these first three verses of the Bible can. As Dr. Morris puts it, the Father is the source of all things (verse one), the Spirit is the energizer of all things (verse two), and the Word is the revealer of all things (verse three). What reason is there for your life not to carry that kind of testimony? God will not force it on you. You must decide for yourself whether He will or won’t be your Source, your Energizer, your Revealer. If you say ‘yes’ to Him, you’ll never be sorry! 

5 - And the light He called day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning, day one.  There had been darkness on the earth and we see that darkness continues on the earth, even after God had spoken. But darkness now serves a different purpose. He is in the process of setting up shop for what He now calls ‘Night’. Remember, this is a deliberate and meticulous process that sets the precedent for the organizational aspects of the world in which we live today. If we don’t see any other aspect of that, we read at the end of the verse that the light and darkness served as dividers for what would become known as calendar days. Notice the evening is listed and then the morning, which corresponds even at the time of this writing with the Jewish calendar (as opposed to the Roman calendar used in America where the new day begins at a second after midnight). 

This brings us to another interesting fork in the road in our study. When the Bible uses the word ‘day’, to what does it refer? Is ‘day’ referring to a calendar day, or to a period; i.e., an extended length of time? To find out more about this, we need to refer to the text. Since we at ‘Thru the Word’ ministries believe the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself, we now refer you to the Hebrew word yom. To be brief and to the point, yom is never used to designate a period of time. It is always used to designate a calendar day. That, of course, is how it’s used here and five other times here in the first chapter. Now in English, we have different ways of using the word ‘day’, but English is a different language in some regards; certainly not as precise as languages such as Hebrew and Greek. Hence we do not subscribe to what is known as the Day-Age Theory, denoting that the word ’day’ as rendered in English refers to a period of hundreds or possibly even thousands of years (or perhaps a million or more according to some). 

6 - And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters. And let it be dividing the waters from the waters."
  Here we have another distinct purpose in view. It could be a bit confusing if we view it just from the standpoint of this one verse, so we use this verse to link to the next and see if perhaps there is an answer for us there. 

7 - And God made the expanse, and He separated the waters that [were] from underneath the expanse from the waters that [were] upon the expanse; and it was so.
  Now we see not just that it was done but how. The biblical account is awesome. You can try, but in the end you can’t get away from it. As we move along through our study we will see that the Bible is not a science book per se, but God does tell us just enough of how He created and how that pertains to His overall ultimate purpose to show each of us how sovereign He truly is. The word ‘expanse’ translated here is the Hebrew word raqiya, rendered ‘firmament’ in the Authorized Version, referring to a thin, stretched-out space. So on the second day, we see where God created the atmosphere. Water is stored there as we know by virtue of the rains, ice, humidity, and other watery substances. Not to do away completely with the water on the earth, God hangs on to that for another purpose as we will see before too long. Again to emphasize, there is a definite progression taking place. 

8 - And God called the expanse heaven; and the evening and the morning, the second day.  Not to be confused with the place where God Himself resides, the reference here is to what we call the sky. To clear up any further potential confusion, Paul referred to the "third heaven" in 2 Corinthians 12:2. This is the place where God resides and where those who know Him will be for all eternity (Hebrews 9:24). The second heaven would refer to the place where the stars reside (Isaiah 13:10). This present verse refers to what is considered the first or atmospheric heaven. 



9 - And God said, "Let the waters become assembled from underneath the heavens into one standing place, and let the dry ground appear." And it was so.  Now we see that water no longer covers the entirety of the earth as was more than likely the case before. The formation of oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, and the like begins here. God continues to speak the Word and whatever He says becomes so.   

10 - And God called the dry ground earth, and the collection of the waters He called seas. And God saw that [as] a good thing.  The word for ‘earth’ is eretz which can also be rendered ‘land’ or ‘ground’. Even though the different types were listed in the commentary on the previous verse, collectively they all come under the heading of ‘seas’, which I view as an umbrella term for what can be termed various types of bodies of water. 

11 - And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, making fruit of its kind whose seed is upon the earth." And it was so.  God now has it in His heart to provide for those created beings that are about to inhabit the earth by His hand. Isn’t it interesting how He provides for them first, then creates the beings? The grass, seed, and tree will provide much-needed food for man and animals alike. 

12 - And the earth produced grass, herb yielding seed belonging to its kind, and the tree making fruit whose seed is of itself belonging to its kind. And God saw that [as] a good thing.

13 - And the evening and the morning, the third day. The creative cycle continues pertaining to the thing created, its significance, that it was done, and that it was good in God’s eyes.

14 - And God said, "Let there become lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for festivals, and for days and years.
  What are these lights in the heavens making the division between night and day? We already have light and darkness divisions going back to day one, do we not? Then what is the distinction that needs to be made here? There was in fact light and night and day before this, certainly. It is the difference in the light forms that I want us to look at in this case. Is it not possible for God to create what He wants to create for whatever purpose He deems necessary? Certainly so! God can create and direct a ray of light at any time and for any place. It takes a grand design by the grand Designer to accomplish divine will and purpose, however. 

Here we see the creation of what we know today as the sun, moon, and stars. We see His purpose in creating them in this verse also. Not only will there now be division between day and night, but between seasons and years. "Signs" may refer to how certain constellations aligned themselves to denote the advancement of a calendar year. The meaning of this word is a little unclear. Koehler and Baumgartner see the use of this Hebrew word in the context of this verse as referring to an omen or something that foretells the future. If this is correct it is altogether possible that what God intended for good was eventually corrupted by man, in this case in the form of pagan astrology. 

15 - And let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens, in order to cause light to shine on the earth." And it was so. 
The basic purpose for the light’s creation is so that man would not be stumbling in the dark, as it were. Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father?

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness [overcame] it not.  John 1:3-5

16 - And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the small light to rule the night; and the stars also. The sun generates light during the day and the moon reflects the light of the sun at night with accompaniment by the stars. 

17 - And God set them in the expanse of the heavens, to cause light to shine on the earth.

18 - And to rule in the day and in the night and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that [as] a good thing.  Notice not that God creates and not even how He creates, but what He creates. And even beyond that we see how He reacts to what He creates. He saw it as a good thing. 

19 - And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.  The cycle continues on a day by day basis.

20 - And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarming things [as] the living being that is alive, and flying creatures that may fly about over the earth, above the surface of the expanse of the heavens."  The words "bring forth" as used in the Authorized Version are a mistranslation. It’s actually a play-on words; the waters are to be swarming with swarming things. Creatures that are to have their habitat in water are to have their habitat there . In other words sea life are to have their own special place to live. The saying "…like a fish out of water," is a metaphor to describe something that just doesn’t belong. Water creatures are to have their habitat in the water - nowhere else. Let me add also that we don’t even see all the life under the sea, yet God created them all and He created them to "swarm."

In a similar manner creatures that are flying are to have their own natural habitat: the sky. It has never meant that birds are always in the sky. The land, however, was not created for the bird to have and enjoy their domain. 

21 - And God created the great sea monsters and every living creature [that is] creeping [and] which were swarming in the waters belonging to its kind, and every winged creature belonging to its kind. And God saw that [as] a good thing.
  God created larger creatures to have their habitat in water that were much less likely to be domesticated. When we think of some of these types of creatures that we’re probably imagining, it’s easy for us to see why their habitat would be in very large bodies of water. Whether they lived in water or in the sky, there was great consistency in how each one was made. 

22 - And God blessed them, saying, "Bear fruit and become many and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds become many on the earth."  This is God’s way of insuring the species occupies the earth for years and years to come.

23 - And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 

24 - And God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living soul belonging to its kind; cattle and creeping things and animals of the earth belonging to its kind." And it was so.  How can one possibly need any more proof that the God of the universe can speak anything into existence He pleases at the time He desires? 

25 - And God made the animals of the earth belonging to its kind, and the cattle belonging to its kind and all creeping things of the ground belonging to its kind. And God saw that [as] a good thing.  My personal belief is that God created the different "kinds" all at once, not necessarily all that are within the species.  The operative word is "kind" or type.  The dog was created by God at this point, but not necessarily in the form of a German shepherd and a coyote and a wolf and a collie.  There are differences within the species, but all of the same "kind."  There is about to be a different process involved with His next creative act as we shall see. 

26 - And God said, "Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over all the earth and over all the creeping things creeping over all the earth."  Now we’re back to this issue of the tri-unity of God. The text reads that God said, "Let Us…" Who is this "Us" to whom God is talking here? I believe we see the first strains of fellowship that will go on to be manifest in the creation of man. The relationship here is with the three Persons involved in the tri-unity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I realize not everyone will agree with my conclusion, but nonetheless we see where God does not discuss having fellowship with what He has created up to this point, much less actually doing it. It is the introduction of this concept of fellowship brought about adjacent to the creation of man that I believe needs to entertain us at this point in our study. 

27 - Then God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.  This seals the deal! Since both the man and woman were created in the image of their Creator, they both have the capacity to fellowship with not only each other, but most importantly with their Creator. Because both the man and the woman were created in the image of God, it certainly stands to reason that God desired fellowship with that into which He breathed the breath of life. The breath came from Him. More on that in the next chapter, but for now suffice it to say that God does this with no other of His creation as we view this account. Moral and social responsibility, feelings of emotion, intellect, and so many other capabilities did God build into man when He created him. Let us rejoice today because we are created in the image of Him! 

28 - So God blessed them, and God said to them, "You are to bear fruit and become many, and you are to fill the earth and to subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing moving upon the earth."  ‘Fill’ is the proper translation from the Hebrew maleh (as opposed to ‘replenish’ in the AV). The Lord’s mandate here is to man as it pertains to His animal creation. Man was not to have dominion over man. In a perfect world (which at this time it was), there would have been no need for such an imperative for all was in proper fellowship with God, thus would man have been with each other.

29 - And God said, "Behold, I have given to you every herb bearing seed which is upon the surface of the whole earth, and over all the trees of the [appropriate] seed bearing fruit; to you it shall be for eating. 

30 - "And in regard to everything living, and to all birds of the heavens, and in regard to every thing creeping upon the earth, in every being that is alive, every green herb [is] for eating." And it was so.
  See here that God is conversing with one man and one woman, unlike His creation of many different types of animals and insects with several created within each species. God shows His love, care, and provision for them with the simplest of instructions pertaining to diet and nutrition. This shows that it is possible for man to survive by eating only vegetables. So, parents, next time one of your kids wants a hamburger or some ice cream, show them this verse! 

31 - And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was abundantly good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  It was not just good - it was good in abundance or to the extreme. Six days worth of creation and all’s right with the world.

1 - So were finished the heavens and the earth and all their hosts.  Everything that God sought to accomplish within six days was in fact accomplished. He could’ve accomplished it all in six hours, six minutes, six seconds, or less, but the fact remains it was not only done by Him, done to completion to His satisfaction, but it was also suitable (habitable) for man.

2 - And on the seventh day God completed the work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had done.  Here we enter into the concept of rest. It became known in the Hebrew as the shabbat and is still known as that in today’s Jewish culture. The Westernized version of the word is ‘Sabbath’. It was not because God was tired and needed to rest, but He wanted to begin to instill in us the need for rest. God didn’t need rest then and He doesn’t today, but we need it! It is at this point also that we see the introduction of a formula. I refer to it as the "six plus one" formula; six of something followed by one of something else. We’ll see this countless times more it would seem, especially through our survey of the Pentateuch.

3 - And God blessed the seventh day and consecrated it, because in it He rested from all His work which God created in regard to what He had made.  The shabbat officially obtains God’s blessing. Because it has His blessing we are doing well to bless God for allowing each of us to be able to have and enjoy a day’s rest. For the believer this means the extra added bonus of being able to worship God on a day of the week. More specifically it doesn’t mean the believer has to worship, but that the believer gets to worship. Worship of the Lord was never meant to be a heavy religious trip. It is, however, an awesome privilege for the one saved by His grace. Therefore we as believers should each have the desire to "enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4).

4 - These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day Yahweh Elohim created the earth and the heavens.  No doubt you noticed some foreign type of nomenclature in the latter portion of this verse. What is rendered here as ‘Yahweh Elohim’ is rendered as LORD God in most if not all of the major translations of the Bible. However this is related to an issue I want to stand out in this commentary. Prior to this verse the name ‘Elohim’ had been used, which I translated simply as ‘God’. This is the verse that introduces the name for God in Hebrew known as the tetragrammaton. In the transliterated text it appears as YHWH. These are the four Hebrew letters that when used as a grouping are to this day extremely sacred to the Jewish people. So much so that even the Jews of today refuse to pronounce it. This is the sacredness and awe that I wish all of today’s people would have toward the name of God. From this point forward in our study the names ‘Yahweh’ and ‘Elohim’ when used together will remain to be used in a non-translated manner. There is nothing wrong with anyone who desires to use the names ‘LORD’ or ‘God’ or ‘LORD God’. I am not striving to be a legalist who tries to make everyone see these issues in the same way I do. But I point this out here in the context of this verse to state that there is a change on the horizon.

With the advent of man comes a change in our understanding of Yahweh. It is in His name and it is also ingrained in His character. He is LORD! He brings His Lordship into the picture with this passage and I don’t believe it to be accidental or a mistake in transcription or anything else. Think about it - God is God and He has every word available to Him in the entire vocabulary range. We all have heard that words mean things. Well, so do names. ‘Yahweh’ means LORD and if using the actual name in its original language helps to drive the point home, then this study will have accomplished one of its purposes. With the advent of man comes the understanding that man will be accountable to the LORD of the universe … the One who created everything and now everyone. This is an extremely important principle to introduce at this stage of our study of Genesis.

We also need to introduce the fact that Yahweh is the personal name of God. This means He seeks intimacy with those who claim to have a relationship with Him. This is not the same as having God as your ‘good buddy’. He is also not our ‘pal’ or one with whom we ‘hang out’. It is my job and my calling throughout this online study to point us back to both aspects of the Lord of all the universe. He demands and deserves both Lordship and intimacy. Both are as much a part of Him as sunrise and sunset are to each calendar day … more so, I might add. He is worthy of such. This is such a vital part of worshiping Him "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).



5 - At this point before any shrub of the field had come to be in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew up, Yahweh Elohim had not caused it to rain on the earth; and there was no man to work the land.  Even though no one existed that could tend to plant life and other vegetation (farming, in other words), God had everything under control. He was caring in His own way for that which He had already created. Well then, you may ask, why would God need to create man? Please understand that man is not created to be a glorified gardener, but rather someone with whom God desires to establish and maintain the most special and supreme of all relationships. And yet there is an aspect of this relationship that coincides with what God has already created to this point. The relationship doesn’t have to do with God and man or man and land, but rather with God creating man to work the land He has created. The ground and all things in it were created by God. Yet until man was placed to "have dominion" (1:26, AV) over it, the land really didn’t have any substance in relation to the provision for the man for which God created it. If you’ll remember back to the previous chapter in our study, we stated that God first made provision for man, then created man. By the time the man came on the scene, he already had, if you will, a built-in sense of responsibility. Rather than sitting around like Middle Eastern or Far Eastern royalty waiting for beautiful women to feed him grapes, God created the man to work the ground in order to produce the best for him. Now after the fall I believe we’ll see in the text that this process will become much more difficult, as it remains right on up until today.

6 - And a mist went up out of the earth and gave water to all the surface of the land.  Here we see God’s very own natural irrigation system keeping all vegetation alive and well prior to the arrival of the man. Only God could design and execute such a system. What it all consisted of is something I probably couldn’t comprehend even if someone explained it to me. All I know and all I need to know is that it was done by the hand of God. Just as He spoke all the world’s creation into existence, He is the One that can maintain it any way He sees fit. Is that contrary to what I’ve stated above pertaining to verse five? I don’t think so. After more thought see if you don’t come to the same conclusion (provided you haven’t already).

7 - And Yahweh Elohim formed man with the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the living breath; and the man became a living soul.  Man now exists according to how he was fashioned by God. Everything that goes into you and I has its origin in the dust (particles) that come from the air. I’ve seen and heard more than once where the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee says that in terms of dollars and cents, that doesn’t amount to a whole lot. In the later portion of his life he was heard to say that he used to tell people you and I are worth $2.98, but that inflation has now probably driven that figure up a little. We can chuckle and chortle over that, but it should drive us to praise the God of the universe. We continue to exist in spite of ourselves, especially considering we are worth no more than four or five dollars. It is so important that we adhere to the Creator’s admonitions in regard to how we may care for our frail, feeble bodies. Now more than ever we realize we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).

8 - And Yahweh Elohim planted a garden in Eden toward the east; and He set there the man that He had formed.  Depending on who you talk to about it, Eden means either ‘place of much water’ or ‘delight’. Both definitions would seem to make sense to me knowing what we know about it. Whether it’s ‘either/or’ or ‘both/and‘, this was now man’s home specifically designed for man by God his Lord. The man’s job was to cultivate and maintain it all within the parameters set forth by the Creator for his good and Yahweh’s glory.

9 - And Yahweh Elohim caused to grow from the ground every tree desirable in appearance, and good for food; and the tree of life [was] in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Two words come to mind when I meditate on this verse: ‘beautiful’ and ‘functional’. When the trees are described as "desirable in appearance," I get the picture that one would desire to look at them. I would liken it as to how a man would gaze in awe upon a beautiful woman. But they served a purpose also: to provide for man the essential nutrition he had to have for strength and nutrition on a daily basis. You’ll also notice the mention given to the two most prominent trees in all the garden. These would go on to play a vital role in the choice the man would have to make concerning whether he desired continuous fellowship with Yahweh or "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).

10 - Now a river was coming out of Eden to give water to the garden; and from there it was divided, and became four branching streams.  When you consider this verse, it would seem as if ‘Eden’ in fact means ‘place of much water’. It could be that the water flow was so great coming out of Eden that it automatically (or naturally) split off into four different branches. The New King James Version translates it as "riverheads," from the Hebrew rashim.

11 - The name of the first [is] Pishon; it [is] the one that [is] surrounding all the land of the Havilah, where there is gold.  Very possibly one of those rivers that no longer exists due in large part to the flood. The topography was changed radically as a result. We do know that ‘Havilah’ was a name given to descendants of both Ham and Shem. It would seem obvious the prosperity of this region made a great impact on the descendants of Noah and probably used the names to pay tribute or homage to the ‘good times’ they spent there in the land prior to the days of the flood.

12 - And the gold of her land is good. There [is] the bdellium and the onyx stone.  The words for ‘bdellium’ and ‘onyx stone’ are probable translations and not for certain. The Hebrew shoham refers to a gem of some sort, probably an onyx. Bdellium likely as not refers to a gum which could at least have similarities to ‘manna’, referred to in Numbers 11:7.

13 - And the name of the second river is Gihon. It is the one surrounding all the land of Cush.  ‘Cush’ is the literal rendering. It appears as ‘Ethiopia’ in the AV. Why that is I’m not sure. Dr. Henry Morris interjects that Cush "is associated later in Scripture with both a region of Arabia and the present land of Ethiopia … there is certainly no river encircling it."1  There is not a lot of agreement as to the modern day name of Gihon. Some suggest it is the Nile, others say the Gihon no longer exists as it was just part of the pre-flood era.

14 - And the name of the third river is Hiddekel. It is the one going east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] the Euphrates itself.
  Once again, not a lot of concurrence on the identity of the Hiddekel today. Some say it is the Tigris, others the Assyria, still others that it no longer exists.

15 - And Yahweh Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it.  See commentary on verse eight.

16 - And Yahweh Elohim commanded the man in saying, "From every tree of the garden you may absolutely eat;

17 - "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat from it, for in the day you shall eat from it you shall absolutely die."
 Who says there are no absolutes? The word used is ‘surely’ in the AV. The verbs for ‘eat’ and ‘die’ are used in the infinitive absolute. The infinitive absolute is an anomaly in any language; that is, it rarely if ever exists in a language other than biblical Hebrew. If you are a user of the Authorized Version (a.k.a., King James Version), you will see this occasionally in the Old Testament where it states, "…he sacrificed a sacrifice…" or "…he journeyed on a journey…" or something to that effect. Whenever you see that in the AV, it’s not that the translators were being "redundantly redundant," as I like to say. Rather, they were translating this Hebrew verb form that is very difficult to translate into English. In the text it is viewed as the same verb in twice consecutive fashion; once in a more common form, then again in this tense known as the infinitive absolute. All technicalities aside, when translating this I figured what better way to render the infinitive absolute than with the word "absolutely"?

In less technical forms it could be rendered, "…you may eat ad infinitum" or "you shall experience death on top of death." Certainly eating from practically any tree in the garden is what God said man can do indefinitely. It would be for not only nutrition but pleasure and enjoyment as well. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would bring death twice to the man. So no, it is not over the top to say it would bring death on top of death. Adam would die first spiritually, then physically. This is by far the worst kind of death anyone could die, but I can’t help but think it was most agonizing for Adam. Knowing what he had which consisted in perfect relationship with Yahweh and the world around him, it was the most crushing of blows to know Adam forfeited it all for a moment’s pleasure. The title of John Milton’s poem rings true here: Paradise Lost.

18 - And Yahweh Elohim said, "It is not a good thing for the man to be alone. I will make for him a helper proper for him."  Everything was good - even abundantly good - to God up to this point in time, but He does notice one discrepancy. Something is missing; actually a someone.  A helper, to be exact. With all created things there still was not anything that serve as a compliment to Adam. So for man to have a helper suitable for him ("proper") would reverse the situation that was "not good" and make into that which is good.

19 - Then Yahweh Elohim created out of the ground every living thing of the land, and every fowl of the skies, and brought [them] to the man to see what he would call [them]. And that which the man called every living creature, that [was] its name.  J. Vernon McGee told the story about how each of the animals was presented to Adam in the naming process. When the big, pink creature with the long trunk and tail was brought out to him, Adam was asked, "So, Adam, what in the world are you gonna name this one?" And Adam responded, "Well, it looks like an elephant to me!" And so it must have gone, on and on until each one was named.

20 - And the man gave names to all the cattle and to all the fowl of the skies and to every animal of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper proper for him.  Our Heavenly Father sets a precedent here that I believe is for all the Church today. He sees a negative situation, but He doesn’t leave it at that. He gets right to work on providing a positive alternative. That the man was lonely has already been established. Likewise, his loneliness was not a good thing.

21 - And Yahweh Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up his flesh in the place of the rib.  If you’ve seen or heard this before please forgive, but I dare say Matthew Henry’s classic commentary on this verse bears repeating:

That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.2

That, my friend, is marriage in a sentence!

22 - Then Yahweh Elohim fashioned a woman with the rib which He had taken from the man, and He brought her to the man.
  Thus we now have the institution of marriage. No institution has ever been the butt of more jokes than marriage. Think of it - there would be no in-law jokes were it not for the institution of marriage. We know that in-law jokes didn’t have their beginning with Adam and Eve, obviously. Oh, and let’s not forget all the business and industry that has spawned as a result. I’m not trying to poke fun at that last point, however. In many ways marriage and family can only be good for the economy. One of the tragedies of my lifetime has been the legalizing of abortion by way of the Roe v. Wade amendment passed in early 1973. With all the deaths that have transpired within the womb over the last thirty-plus years, we have a tax base that is now lacking in this country. This in turn has forced Washington to open the borders of America and allow illegal aliens into this country in order to make up for the lack of people who should be paying taxes. You see, there’s something to these commands and ordinances from God. We each are doing well to listen while there’s still time. That’s what this on-line study is all about.

23 - Then Adam said, "This is finally bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. For she shall be called woman, because out of man she was taken." … Or to paraphrase, "Then Adam said, ‘WOW!’" Well, we could play with that one for a while perhaps, but the main issue is that Adam marveled that someone was created finally to compliment him. The reason for that was that she came from him. Not every union of man and woman is complimentary today, but where it exists it is an amazing thing how one can, so to speak, offset the other thereby compensating for one another‘s weaknesses. May I hasten to add here that it is only God that can put this together. Jesus said it best in Matthew 19:6: "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." May that verse be a part of every marriage ceremony both now and always. 

24 - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and shall cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
 Man needs a helper specially designed for him. Father and mother are not the ones ordained by God to be that helper. The so-called "Mama’s boy" who can never seem to leave his mother has a problem. He is not being who God has called him to be. This is compounded when he claims to be a Christian. I don’t run into them very often but when I do I can’t help but believe that the umbilical cord has yet to be cut, if you know what I mean. I find this type of man in both married and unmarried varieties. Whether it has to do with money or a wimpy demeanor, this man (if you can call him that) needs a simple Bible lesson in how he is to live and conduct himself. And by the way in most every case he himself is not to blame, for it all begins in the home. Usually it has its beginnings with the mother who coddles him as if he were still a toddler, and a father who for whatever reason senses he is powerless to do anything about it.

By the way, this does not pertain to the man who is waiting on the Lord and is in a time when he is seeking God’s best for his life. If this man persists he will absolutely be blessed in what the Lord bestows upon him. If that’s you, believe me I have a real heart for you. I also have one word for you: persist! I repeat, you will be blessed if you continue waiting on the Lord to act in His way and time concerning the marriage partner He has for your life. In the meantime I encourage you to enjoy your singleness and allow Him to use this time to prepare you for the marriage partnership.

25 - And both the man and woman were naked and not ashamed.  They had no reason to be ashamed. Man was still in a perfected, that is to say sinless, state at this point. There was no sin which meant there was no sexual perversion of any sort. It was understood there was care and concern one for the other. To once again quote Matthew Henry, "Those that had no sin in their conscience might well have no shame in their faces, though they had no clothes to their backs."  


1Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional
        Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
(Grand Rapids: Baker
        Book House, 1976), 89. 

2Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991), 10.