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1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
1:7 And 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. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto 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 called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
1:16 And 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 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon 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 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 1

Overview:
God creates Heaven and Earth. (1,2) The Creation of Light.
(3-5) God separates the Earth from the waters, and makes it
fruitful. (6-13) God forms the Sun, Moon, and Stars. (14-19)
Animals created. (20-25) Man created in the image of God.
(26-28) Food appointed. (29,30) The work of Creation ended and
approved. (31)

1,2 The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying and
useful account of the origin of the Earth and the heavens. The
Faith of humble Christians understands this better than the
fancy of the most learned men. From what we see of Heaven and
Earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our make
and place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always to
keep Heaven in our Eye, and the Earth under our feet. The Son of
God, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world;
nay, we are often told that the world was made By him, and
nothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts should
there be in our minds, of that great God whom we Worship, and of
that great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at the
beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit,
whose work upon the Heart of Man is So often mentioned in other
parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing
desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void;
it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of
Grace in the soul is a new Creation: and in a graceless soul,
one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and
every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God;
it is dark, it is Darkness itself: this is our condition By
nature, till Almighty Grace Works a change in us.

3-5 God said, Let there be Light; he willed it, and at once
there was Light. Oh, the power of the Word of God! And in the
new Creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is
Light: the blessed Spirit Works upon the will and affections By
enlightening the understanding. Those who By Sin were Darkness,
By Grace become Light in the Lord. Darkness would have been
always upon fallen Man, if the Son of God had not come and given
us understanding, 1Jo 5:20. The Light which God willed, he
approved of. God divided the Light from the Darkness; for what
Fellowship has Light with Darkness? In Heaven there is perfect
Light, and No Darkness at all; in Hell, utter Darkness, and No
gleam of Light. The Day and the night are the Lord's; let us use
both to his honour, By working for him every Day, and resting in
him every night, meditating in his Law both Day and night.

6-13 The Earth was emptiness, but By a Word spoken, it became
full of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use of
them is allowed to Man, they are from God, and to his service
and honour they must be used. The Earth, at his command, brings
forth Grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the Glory of all
the benefit we receive from the produce of the Earth. If we
have, through Grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we
may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are
dried up.

14-19 In the fourth Day's work, the Creation of the Sun, Moon,
and Stars is accounted for. All these are the Works of God. The
Stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling
their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the
Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us
astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints. The
lights of Heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully,
and shine in their season without fail. We are set as lights in
this world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the End
of our Creation? We do not: our Light does not shine before God,
as his lights shine before us. We burn our Master's candles, but
do not mind our Master's work.

20-25 God commanded the Fish and fowl to be produced. This
command he himself executed. Insects, which are more numerous
than the birds and beasts, and as curious, seem to have been
part of this Day's work. The Creator's Wisdom and power are to
be admired as much in an Ant as in an Elephant. The power of
God's Providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the
effect of his blessing.

26-28 Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an
honour and a favour to him. Yet Man was made the same Day that
the beasts were; his body was made of the same Earth with
theirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same Earth
with them. God forbid that By indulging the body, and the
desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that
perish! Man was to be a Creature different from all that had
been hitherto made. Flesh and Spirit, Heaven and Earth, must be
Put together in him. God said, "Let us make Man." Man, when he
was made, was to Glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into
that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe
our being. It is the soul of Man that especially bears God's
image. Man was made upright, Ec 7:29. His understanding saw
Divine things clearly and truly; there were No errors or
mistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and in
all things, to the will of God. His affections were all regular,
and he had No bad appetites or passions. His thoughts were
easily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Thus holy, thus
happy, were our first parents in having the image of God upon
them. But how is this image of God upon Man defaced! May the
Lord renew it upon our souls By his Grace!

29,30 Herbs and fruits must be Man's Food, including Corn, and
all the products of the Earth. Let God's people cast their care
upon him, and not be troubled about what they shall eat, and
what they shall Drink. He that feeds his birds will not starve
his babes.

31 When we come to think about our Works, we find, to our
shame, that much has been very bad; but when God saw his work,
all was very good. Good, for it was all just as the Creator
would have it to be. All his Works, in all places of his
dominion, Bless him; and therefore, Bless thou the Lord, O my
soul. Let us Bless God for the Gospel of Christ, and when we
consider his almighty power, let us sinners flee from the wrath
to come. If new-created unto the image of God in Holiness, we
shall at length enter the "new heavens and new Earth, wherein
dwelleth Righteousness."

E2 Modern Biblical Commentary
The Book of Genesis, Chapter 1

The first chapter of Genesis presents most of the story of creation, and thus is a controversial chapter in the perspective of the creation versus evolution debates.

Overview
It is an eternal human question: how did the world come to be? Here we have the Biblical answer to that very question. In this first chapter of Genesis, God creates everything, and then makes man in his own image. We don't know the mechanisms of how this was done, but this chapter states clearly that God did create all life. The action of creation shows God's authority over people, but at the same time demonstrates God's love for people.

Five Key Verses

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

This simple statement opens the Bible, and in it is one of the most challenging statements for the human mind. When one considers the vastness of the universe (i.e., the heavens) and then looks again at the complexity of the earth we live in, this statement is truly incredible.

We have no modern scientific explanation for how all of these things came into being. We have the big bang theory, but it is far from provable and is vociferously debated. The only thing that is clear scientifically is that things are not clear. There is no real science-based explanation for the creation of the universe.

We will likely never know the answer to how the universe was created. The only real biblical statement on the matter is from Genesis 1:1, that God created it.

Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

This statement says that the universe was empty and void of life and form. This statement is important in that it matches well with the science; most theories have the universe's creation coming in a formless chaos; the cooling process and arrangements of chemicals resulted in the production of living things.

Also important here is the idea of the spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. This theme of God's spirit on the face of the water, actively involved in the world's creation, repeats itself later in the Bible, most notably at Job 33 and Psalm 104.

Genesis 1:5 - And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

What exactly is a "day" here? Some might see it as meaning a period of twenty four hours. Others can interpret it as an indefinite period, perhaps billions of years, whereas other "days" in Genesis last for a million years or less.

The Bible is unclear on this. To meditate on this concept, though, it is worthwhile to note that the author of Genesis is Moses, who intended to retell the story of creation and of the early world for the people of Israel. The goal of the story was not to explain the mechanisms, but to make clear only that God created the world in an orderly fashion, with mankind coming last. This matches roughly the order of events in the creation of the universe in terms of physical science and evolutionary theory, meaning that perhaps there isn't such a huge gap between evolution and creation as once thought.

Genesis 1:26 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

An interesting meditative point about this verse is God's use of us in Let us make man in our image.... Who constitutes the us in that verse? One could believe that this is in reference to the Holy Trinity. Another possibility is that the word us is used here to denote majesty, in the style of monarchs.

Another question is in what way are we made into the image of God? We obviously aren't the same in a physical sense, so we must turn to the non-physical attributes. It is likely that in our capacities for love, caring, and cognition that we reflect God, as Genesis describes all of those traits in God.

Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This verse makes it clear that man and woman were both created in the image of God, neither one more so. Both men and women are the final creation of God, one is not more exalted than the other.

Genesis 1:27 makes it clear from the earliest point that in the eyes of God, the sexes are equal.

 

Modern Perspective on Genesis 1
The first chapter of Genesis is one of the most controversial in the Bible, if for nothing else than the creation story. But once one digs into the creation story, only two megathemes appear: one, this was God's work; and two, God had an orderly plan for creation and executed that plan.

If you have a belief in God and a belief that He was involved with the process of creation, then the first chapter of Genesis aligns with modern thinking quite well. The order of events in Genesis align with the order of events in the physical sciences. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the noted equality of the sexes, as noted in Genesis 1:27 and discussed above. Men and women are equal and are the creations in the image of God on earth.

The first chapter of Genesis sets the stage for what is to follow: Adam and Eve's trials in the Garden of Eden. These begin in the next chapter.

Darkness. Thick weary.

None could draw lethargic Past to Present, and bade him sit, and wait. Forever behind he would remain, but Space could not tell this to him; Space was too shy. And Non-Existence shook her filthy mane, standing to the side, afraid to tell her ex-lover, afraid to name names.

They all knew what approached, one and two: God and Future. There had never been Future, though they all knew Past.

Then, though none could say when, they felt the appearance of a murky sphere, bubbling and splashing like viscous mud. A rumbling shook them all, and though the words, "Let there be light," were meaningless to them, they knew it meant for certain that it had happened: God had come.

When Light bloomed over the form of the sphere, all thought they were dreaming. But Past could not bear it, and hid his face; and has been hiding ever since.

God smiled. God amazed them, for He, too, was Form. Like the distant creation of a statue, "David," he was sculpted and fine, with thick, long hair, glimmering blue eyes and pouting lips. He stood naked and magnificent, suspended in Space.

Space blushed.

"This is Day," he remarked of Light, and what had always been he called Night. With these they knew for certain that Future had come, and would live always in the promise of the following Day.

God continued, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." A brilliant sheen of blue and gold swept over their faces, splashing and shining like Light, and was gone. This had been Heaven. They could not find it again.

Now God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear." A fiery substance erupted from the floor of the waters, and build upon itself until a great mass of land was made. They were awed by His Power, for none of them knew how to Create.

"He is Beautiful," said Space, reveling that God stood within her, touching her, being touched by her; God did not seem to notice, but Space did not mind.

"This is Earth," he grinned, caressing its loamy surface. "And these," he said, moving his left hand to the waters, "These are the Seas."
"How good," he murmured, repeating it several times. He stood back.

"Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth!" How delighted they were! So many magnificent things sprouted up from the lifeless soil - verdant grasses, towering trees, vegetables and fruits and grains, more than any of them had ever begun to imagine. It was Summer on Earth.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." Light scattered itself, scintillating and crackling into the pits of Dark, and made myriad shimmering orbs. One remained close, that it still illuminated the sphere, though only half received its full glow at a time. From it Light further flew to wrap itself against half a bit of rock that had flown from Earth, and again to press against Earth itself.

Four Days had passed.

"Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." Then, almost as an afterthought, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply on the earth." Great beasts rose up in the Seas, with scales and fins and sandpapery skin, and some of them had scarcely form at all, and were eaten by the larger, who were eaten by the larger, and so it went until there was nothing larger to consume. Above formed fluttering creatures reminiscent of the Heaven, with soft thin wings to soar through Air. "What a God I am!" he cried, nearly dancing with rapturous pride.

Calmed, he continued, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth after his kind." Now there came massive beasts who trumpeted, stampeded, fought and wrestled and loved, with fur, horns, fangs, hooves and thick tough skins. Tiny creatures possessing many legs, and those with none at all, spread across the Earth. They found their homes in the soil and trees and beasts themselves; they buzzed, crawled, slithered and droned; Past grew quite certain he had made the proper choice.

Now God felt bold, and thought he should like some more companionable creatures: something more like himself. He said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." So they formed, a Woman and Man, small and covered with leaves, holding hands and gazing about in wonder. God blessed them in his Glory. "Be fruitful and multiply," he said to them, and they smiled at the sound of his smooth, young voice. "And replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." He waited expectantly. They stared around. The Woman rubbed her nose.

"Behold!" God cried, and they jumped. "I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat!"

Then Man knelt and thanked him, falling on the Earth; and Woman fell with him, and they kissed the soil and grass, thanking him for Beauty, thanking him for Life.

Now God smiled a grand, Divine smile, surveying all he had made. "And it is very good," he said to himself, "It is very very good."

"Where is Non-Existence?" Present suddenly asked. There was no response.

It was the sixth Day.

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