Genesis 1 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
cChart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Summary Chart of
The Book of Genesis
Focus Foundation Events
(Four Events)
(Events Predominant)
Foundation People
(Four People)
(People Predominant)
Divisions Creation
(Ge 1-2)
(Ge 3-5)
(Ge 6-9)
(Ge 10-12)
(Ge 12-24)
(Ge 25-26)
Jacob's Conflicts
(Ge 27-36)
(Ge 37-50)
Topics Beginning of the Human Race
(Race As A Whole)
Beginning of the Hebrew Race
(Family of Abraham)
Faithfulness of Mankind
Faithfulness of One Man's Family
Historical Biographical
Place Eastward
From Eden to Ur
From Canaan to Egypt
Time ~2000+ Years
(20% of Genesis)
About 300 Years
193 Yr in Canaan, 93 Yr in Egypt
(80% of Genesis)
Primeval History
of Humanity
Patriarchal History
of Israel
Author Moses


  • Ge 1:1-25 - The Universe (Everything)
  • Ge 1:26-2:25 - The Human Race
  • Ge 3:1-7 - Sin Enters the World
  • Ge 3:8-24- God Promises Redemption from Bondage to Sin
  • Ge 4:1-15 - Family Life
  • Ge 4:16ff - Civilization
  • Ge 10:1-11:32 - The Nations of the World
  • Ge 12:1ff - The Story of Israel and the Jews

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

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

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

BGT  Genesis 1:1 ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν

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

ESV  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

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

YLT  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

LXE  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.

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

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

NRS  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,

NAB  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,

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

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

BHT  Genesis 1:1 Bürë´šît Bärä´ ´élöhîm ´ët haššämaºyim wü´ët hä´äºrec

BBE  Genesis 1:1 At the first God made the heaven and the earth.

  • Num 1:21; 1:42; 2:28; 4:36; 7:17; 7:73; 10:14; 26:51; 31:32; 35:4; 2 Chr 9:1; Ezra 1:11; Ecc 11:1; Ezek 43:14; Deut 11:29 
  • beginning: Pr 8:22-24 16:4 Mk 13:19 Joh 1:1-3 Heb 1:10 1Jn 1:1 
  • God: Ex 20:11 Ex 31:18 1Ch 16:26 Ne 9:6 Job 26:13 Job 38:4 Ps 8:3 Ps 33:6,9 Ps 89:11,12 Ps 96:5 Ps 102:25 Ps 104:24,30 Ps 115:15 Ps 121:2 Ps 124:8 Ps 134:3 Ps 136:5 Ps 146:6 Ps 148:4,5 Pr 3:19 8:22-30 Ec 12:1 Isa 37:16 Isa 40:26 Isa 40:28 Isa 42:5 Isa 44:24 Isa 45:18 Isa 51:13,16 Isa 65:17 Jer 10:12 Jer 32:17 Jer 51:15 Zec 12:1 Mt 11:25 Ac 4:24 14:15 Acts 17:24 Ro 1:19,20 Ro 11:36 1Co 8:6 Eph 3:9 Col 1:16,17 Heb 1:2 3:4 Heb 11:3 2Pe 3:5 Rev 3:14 Rev 4:11 Rev 10:6 Rev 14:7 Rev 21:6 Rev 22:13 
  • See 148 Questions Related to Creation at bottom of this page - all from - a highly recommended website.
  • Elohim - Creator of Heaven and Earth - Scripture and notes that describe God as the Creator
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Psalm 90:2  Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; 

2 Timothy 3:16-17+ All (HOW MUCH?) Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.



You are probably asking "test what?" Your faith. The test is found in God's Word of Truth recorded in Genesis 1,2,3 (thus the "1-2-3"). The test is simple. Do you believe God? Do you believe His Word? Do you believe that a natural, simple, literal reading of His Word is profitable and sufficient to fuel your life (2Ti 3:16+)? That's the test found in these first three chapters of Genesis. It is not just a test for unbelievers, but in some ways, even more importantly, is a test for believers. Will we believe God or will we allow the teachings of the secular, pseudo-scientific world to "color" (or better "discolor") the pure milk of God's Word which alone will cause us to grow in respect to salvation (1Pe 2:2+)? That's the "sixty four dollar question." As an aside if you don't think God created the heavens and the earth as a finished product but you think He also needed so-called "evolution", how do you think God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1)? Do you think it will be by "evolution"?

Before we begin might I suggest you take a moment to worship our great Creator Elohim by singing one of Isaac Watts great hymns (As you sing ponder what you think Watts most likely believed about Genesis 1?)

I Sing the Mighty Power of God"...

I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures with the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there.

The wonders of the universe should compel us
to worship our wonderful God.

The reader should be aware that I am a literalist. Simply stated, if God says it, that settles it for me, whether I can comprehend it or explain it or not. Therefore this commentary will not dive very deep into non-literal interpretations (which are many), speculations, theories, etc, but will seek to stick with the facts which are undeniably true, because our God is a God "Who never lies" (Titus 1:2ESV+). In many ways this is one of the simplest chapters I have ever commented on because God is speaking clearly and without confusion about how this universe began. There are many evangelicals who say Genesis 1-2 are only of secondary importance, but I strongly disagree. If one is "off" on the beginning, where else in the 66 books might they veer off of a literal interpretation of God's Word? I fear that some who call themselves evangelical, have more faith in the pseudo-science of evolution than in the literal record of the creation. Dr John MacArthur does not mince words when he says...

I would like to suggest a sort of basic test for any Christian ministry that you might be drawn toward, either to participate with them or to support them in some way. I would suggest that you ask any ministry – any so-called Christian ministry, especially a Christian college, Christian seminary that you’re thinking about going to or sending your friends or your children to or church that you might attend – one question. And here is the first question you should ask them. Write it in a letter and send it to them next time some ministry solicits money from you. “Do you believe completely in the literal interpretation of Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2?” There are 106 Christian colleges in what is called The Christian College Coalition. Five would say yes to that. A hundred and one would say no. Now just exactly what does Genesis 1 and 2 mean then? If it doesn’t mean what it says which even a child can understand, then how are we to know what it means? And at what point can we trust anything that the Bible says? (The Theology of Creation - 2008)

The reader, whether a believer or non-believer, who questions God's sovereign power to create EVERYTHING in six days, needs to realize they are NOT in the good company of the later writers of Scripture who again and again refer to these first chapters of Genesis, always accepting them as both factual history and authoritative doctrine (See related study Elohim-Creator of Heaven and Earth, a compilation of all the passages that exalt God as the Creator of the Universe). 

We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator,
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring;
We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee,
We bless Thy holy Name, glad praises we sing.
(Play Hymn)

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones has a comment in his opening sermon series on Ephesians that is applicable to the study of Genesis reminding us that "The Bible is God’s book, it is a revelation of God, and our thinking must always start with God. Much of the trouble in the Church today is due to the fact that we are so subjective, so interested in ourselves, so egocentric." (Sermons on Ephesians) It seems that one of the main problems with the "Genesis conundrum" is that we don't "start with God." We don't let God simply, naturally speak to us, but we inject ideas and teachings that have been foisted off on most of us from our secular, basically godless educational system. The result is that we come to Genesis with a host of preconceptions of what it must mean in order to fit into the evolutionary dogma most of us have been forced to take at face value. The truth is that the more one studies evolution, the more it becomes apparent that you need more faith to accept it as "gospel truth," than to accept the true gospel of God! One must try to read Genesis as if they had  been stranded on a desert island away from all secular, pseudo-scientific interpretations of Genesis. 

Matthew Henry writing in the 1700's (1708–10) opens his highly respected commentary with these thoughts on Genesis - The foundation of all religion being laid in our relation to God as our Creator, it was fit that the book of divine revelations which was intended to be the guide, support, and rule, of religion in the world, should begin, as it does, with a plain and full account of the creation of the world-in answer to that first enquiry of a good conscience, "Where is God my Maker?'' (Job 35:10). Concerning this the pagan philosophers wretchedly blundered, and became vain in their imaginations, some asserting the world's eternity and self-existence, others ascribing it to a fortuitous concourse of atoms: thus "the world by wisdom knew not God,'' but took a great deal of pains to lose him. 

Sidlow Baxter emphasizes the importance of Genesis writing "besides being introductory, Genesis is explanatory. The other writings of the Bible are inseparably bound up with it inasmuch as it gives us the origin and initial explanation of all that follows. The major themes of Scripture may be compared to great rivers, ever deepening and broadening as they flow; and it is true to say that all these rivers have their rise in the watershed of Genesis. Or, to use an equally appropriate figure, as the massive trunk and wide spreading branches of the oak are in the acorn, so, by implication and anticipation, all Scripture is in Genesis. Here we have in germ all that is later developed. It has been truly said that "the roots of all subsequent revelation are planted deep in Genesis, and whoever would truly comprehend that revelation must begin here." (Explore the Book-volume 1 online)

Bereshith is the first word in the Hebrew text and gives us the name for the book of Genesis which means "in the beginning.”

Notice that the key "Player" in this chapter is God (Elohim) which is used 32 times in 26 verses. Couple that fact with the truth that "God is not a man, that He should lie." (Nu 23:19). Acceptance (belief) of this attribute of God is pivotal because if you are like me, you have been taught many things from MEN (many of whom are brilliant in human terms) regarding the interpretation of Genesis 1-2. Beloved follower of Christ, I would urge you to lay aside all your preconceptions and past teachings on these first two crucial chapters, even teachings from supposedly "evangelical" sources. You need to approach the text with a "clean slate" so to speak. You need to trust implicitly and without question, hesitation or reservation the God's pure milk of the Word, and surrender your will wholly to your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who inspired this text, and He "will guide you into all truth" in these great opening passages of the Bible. The Spirit Alone can supernaturally enable you to read and understand the God breathed truths in Genesis 1-2. John writes that as a true disciple of Jesus...

"you have an anointing from the Holy One (THE HOLY SPIRIT), and you all know....As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:20, 27+)

If you want to test your faith, read Genesis 1:1 and you will immediately realize you have only two choices! Like Robert Ripley once said said concerning strange and unusual things, you can choose to either "Believe It or Not! If you choose not to believe it, the question then arises as to when (and/or what) you will believe in Genesis? Will you believe when Adam and Eve fell into sin in Genesis 3 or will you reject that event as a fable, myth or mere story.If you reject Genesis 3+, then there would be no need for a Redeemer, for you are rejecting the truth that every man is dead in his trespasses and sins from the moment of his conception! (Ro 5:12+, Eph 2:1+, Ro 3:23+, 1Ki 8:46, Ps 130:3; Pr 20:9, Ecc 7:20; ) and is in desperate need for redemption!

You may be asking but what about the scientific writings on Genesis? The answer is that there are no valid scientific writings on Genesis because no scientist was at Creation, therefore no scientist could even reproduce the conditions necessary to conduct a valid experiment (I have a BS in chemistry and graduated number one in my class from the U of Texas in 1969, obtained my Doctor of Medicine in 1973 and then specialized in Pathology in 1977, so I have experience with the scientific method). 

Let me quote from Dr John MacArthur in his message on the Theology of Creation...

There are a lot of people themselves Christians who believe that Genesis is an inadequate presentation of what happened, and we have to marry it with scientific discovery in order to get to the truth....Get past that notion, and you will free yourself from needless doubts and endless confusion. Get past the idea that science makes any contribution to an understanding of creation. It makes none. Now this may shock you. There is no such thing as the science of creation. There is no such thing...Why? Because there is no scientific way to explain creation. It was not a natural event...It was a brief series of monumental supernatural events that cannot be explained by science....All science is based on observation and no one observed creation. All science necessitates verification by repetition and creation cannot be repeated and thus it cannot be verified (ED: SEE THIS SCHEMATIC OF THE "SCIENTIFIC METHOD" - NOTE THE "ACHILLES HEEL" IS "OBSERVATION"! NO SCIENTIST WAS THERE!). Creation had no observers and cannot be repeated. It is not observable. It is not repeatable. It did not happen by any uniform, predictable, observable, repeatable, fixed natural laws....Creation was a series of supernatural, instantaneous, inexplicable miracles – supernatural. That is why there is nowhere in the Genesis account where evolution is mentioned or even hinted at. There are no natural processes in creation. They are all supernatural. Evolution was not the means or a means by which God created. It was all supernatural and miraculous. There’s only one record of creation, Genesis 1 and 2. You can believe it or you can reject it, but that’s all there is. (Bolding Added. If you are struggling with what Dr MacArthur has stated above, you might want to read or listen to his entire message Theology of Creation in which he gives some excellent logical illustrations of the deficiency of the scientific method as an aid to understand creation). 

In the beginning (reshith) God created (bara') the heavens and the earth - The Hebrew word for God is Elohim. See related study "Elohim: My Creator" on this great Name of God. Created is bara’ which emphasizes initiation of something new. God did not just re-form existing matter when He made the universe; He brought something totally new into existence. "Thus we are immediately introduced to an eternal person who existed before the universe and who is Himself its origin. There is no confusion about the relationship between Elohim and the material universe, no doubt as to which has precedence, and no uncertainty about the power possessed by Israel’s God." (Larry Richards)

John MacArthur Herbert Spencer who died in 1903 (AGE 83) said that all that is knowable in the universe can be summed up in five categories: time, force, action, space and matter and he was heralded as a genius. Everything that exists can fit into (those 5 categories) That’s exactly what it says in the first verse of the Bible, In the beginning … that’s time; God … that’s force; created … that’s action; the heavens … that’s space; the earth … that’s matter. It’s all in that verse! (ED: AND SPENCER DID NOT SEE IT BECAUSE HE WAS AN AGNOSTIC AND AN EVOLUTIONIST!)

Note that in this passage God is not further identified (as to which member of the Trinity created) which is appropriate for Scripture reveals that all three persons of the Trinity participated in creation:

The Father - Ge. 1:1-31; Isa. 40:21-28; Isa. 43:1, 7; Isa. 45:12, 18; 48:13; 51:13; Acts 14:15; 17:24

The Son - John 1:3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:3; Rev. 3:14+

The Spirit - Ge. 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps. 104:30; Isa. 42:5

Thomas Mccomiskey on bara - "The limitation of this word to divine activity indicates that the area of meaning delineated by the root falls outside the sphere of human ability. Since the word never occurs with the object of the material, and since the primary emphasis of the word is on the newness of the created object, the word lends itself well to the concept of creation ex nihilo, although that concept is not necessarily inherent within the meaning of the word. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

NET NOTE - The translation assumes that the form translated “beginning” is in the absolute state rather than the construct (“in the beginning of,” or “when God created”). In other words, the clause in Ge 1:1 is a main clause, Ge 1:2 has three clauses that are descriptive and supply background information, and Ge 1:3 begins the narrative sequence proper.

Henry Morris - No other cosmogony, whether in ancient paganism or modern naturalism, even mentions the absolute origin of the universe. All begin with the space/time/matter universe, already existing in a primeval state of chaos, then attempt to speculate how it might have “evolved” into its present form.  But, very significantly, the concept of the special creation of the universe of space and time itself is found nowhere in all religion or philosophy, ancient or modern, except here in Genesis 1:1. Appropriately, therefore, this verse records the creation of space (“the heaven”), of time (“in the beginning”), and of matter (“the earth”), the Tri-universe, the space/time/matter continuum which constitutes our physical cosmos. The Creator of this tri-universe is the triune God, Elohim, the uni-plural Old Testament name for the divine “Godhead,” a name which is plural in form (with its Hebrew “im” ending) but commonly singular in meaning.  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

THOUGHT - Just a caution on our need to be an Acts 17:11+ user of Wikipedia - while I use Wikipedia frequently, followers of Christ need to be aware of its "bias" away from Divine Creation. For example here is the entry under cosmogony, which says "In mythology, creation or cosmogonic myths are narratives describing the beginning of the universe or cosmos. Some methods of the creation of the universe in mythology include: the will or action of a supreme being or beings." So they classify creation by the Almighty God as a "myth!" One day they will learn that Paul was right when he wrote "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools (PUTTING DIVINE CREATION IN THE CATEGORY OF "MYTH!")." (Ro 1:20-22+)

Beginning in English dictionaries is defined as the point in time or space at which something starts. In regard to God's Creation this definition is actually not accurate, because when God created there was neither time nor space. He created them both and then in time continued to create over a period of 6 twenty-four hour days (see later notes). Then He rested on the seventh to give a pattern for mankind to follow (Are you resting at least one day of the week?) 

The Greek Septuagint translates beginning (reshith) with the Greek noun arche which BDAG says is "the commencement of something as an action, process, or state of being." Careful study of some of the uses of arche in the New Testament further undergirds and substantiates the truth that in Genesis 1:1 God created at a point in eternity (because there was not yet time). For example, note the use of arche by the apostle John in the "beginning" (pun intended) of his Gospel

"In the beginning (arche) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (go to Jn 1:14+). He was in the beginning (arche) with God. 3 All things (HOW MANY) came into being (this Greek verb ginomai give absolutely no support to the lie of evolution, the aorist tense indicating Jesus' creative work occurred in the past at a point in time!) through Him (JESUS WAS CREATOR), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:1-3+). (See more discussion on uses of arche below)

Well known evangelical J Vernon McGee commenting on in the beginning said "You can estimate it as billions of years, and I think you would be accurate, but who knows how many?" Note how McGee glibly says billions in a chapter which describes 6 days! In my opinion this shows how powerful the deception of evolution has been in the American education system. Why didn't McGee include the possibility of "thousands?" Obviously he does not believe that a "young earth" is possible, which is sad because many trust his teaching in the Thru the Bible. In fact he believes in the so-called gap theory. 

I believe God created the heavens and the earth in 6 literal 24 hour days. I believe that God was present at the beginning and I was not, so that I will rely totally on what His inerrant, inspired Word teaches. Moses recorded these words and as Peter said we are to "know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation (I.E., GENESIS WAS NOT MOSES "INTERPRETATION"), for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but (CRITICAL TERM OF CONTRAST) men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2Pe 1:20-21+) In other words, these Words recorded by Moses in Genesis were (and are) inspired by the Spirit and did not come "about by the prophet's (Moses') own imagination." (2Pe 1:20NET) While there is no specific statement that Moses wrote Genesis there are several NT passages which imply that he was the author. For example

John 5:45-47 (JESUS WHO IS "THE TRUTH" - Jn 14:6 DECLARED) “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

COMMENT - Where did Moses write about Jesus. Genesis 3:15+, the so-called protoevangelium, is clearly a prophecy of Jesus and His defeat of Satan, God declaring " I will put enmity Between you (SATAN) and the woman, And between your seed and her seed (MESSIAH); He (MESSIAH) shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” 

Romans 10:5  For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

John 20:37 records "beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He (JESUS) explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."  (Jn 20:37)

Martin Manser on creation -The created order, established as a sovereign decision on the part of God. The creation is dependent upon and under the authority of its Creator. Scripture affirms the role of both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in the work of creation. The origin of creation reflects the free act of God based on his own wisdom and power, forming the whole natural order by his word.  (Dictionary of Bible Themes)

    You cannot put one little star in motion;
      You cannot shape one single forest leaf,
    Nor fling a mountain up, nor sink an ocean,
      Presumptuous pigmy, large with unbelief!
    You cannot bring one dawn of regal splendor,
      Nor bid the day to shadowy twilight fall,
    Nor send the pale moon forth with radiance tender;
      And dare you doubt the One who has done it all?
  Sherman A. Nagel, Sr.

The book of Romans gives us another reason that the truth about Creation is so critical. In Romans Paul describes the downward "devolution" of mankind, that has as one of it's main "starting points" the rejection of divine Creation. Paul records 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (ACTIVE SUPPRESSION - IMPLIES THEY KNOW THE TRUTH!), 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (HOW?) 20 For since the creation (ktisisof the world (1) His invisible attributes, (2) His eternal power and (3) divine nature, have been clearly seen (DON'T MISS THAT STATEMENT - THEY SEE GOD'S HANDIWORK EVERYWHERE!!!), being understood through what has been made (NOTICE NOT THROUGH WHAT HAS "EVOLVED"), so that (PURPOSE) they are without excuse (THEY CAN'T SAY DARWIN MISLED THEM!). 21 For even though they knew God (SO MUCH FOR "ATHEISTS"), they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations (EVOLUTION, INCLUDING "THEISTIC EVOLUTION", ETC), and their foolish heart was darkened (DON'T MISS THAT STATEMENT - THEIR REJECTION OF TRUTH BROUGHT JUDICIAL HARDENING OF THEIR HEARTS!) . 22 Professing to be wise , they became fools (MEN LIKE RICHARD DAWKINS, BRILLIANT NOW BUT UTTER FOOLS IN ETERNITY!) , 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.  24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them (NO GOD MEANS "NO JUDGE" AND LEADS TO IMMORALITY!). 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for (the) lie (GOES BACK TO THE GARDEN - YOU CAN BE LIKE GOD KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL!!!), and worshiped and served the creature (SELF-WORSHIP) rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (Ro 1:18-25+

"The Universe looks old because the Creator made it whole!"
-- Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler in a lecture at the Ligonier Conference addresses the question of "Why Does the Universe Look So Old" and ends his outstanding discourse (YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS LECTURE!) by saying

"I want to suggest to you that when it comes to the confrontation between evolutionary theory and the Christian Gospel, we have a head-on collision. In the confrontation between secular science and the Scripture, we have a head-on collision. I want to suggest to you that it is our responsibility to give an answer when we are asked the question, "Why Does the universe looks so old?" In the limitations of time, it is impossible that we walk through every alternative and answer every sub-question, but I want to suggest to you that the most natural understanding from the Scripture of how to answer that question comes to this. The Universe looks old because the Creator made it whole! When He made Adam, Adam was not a fetus. Adam was a man. He had the appearance of a man. By our understanding that would have required time for Adam to get old, but not by the sovereign, creative power of God! He put Adm in the garden. The Garden ws not merely seeds. It was fertile, fecund, mature garden. The Genesis account clearly claims that God creates and makes things whole. Secondly...if I'm asked why does the universe look so old, I have to say it looks so old because it bears testimony to the effects of sin and testimony to the judgment of God. It bears the effects of the catastrophe of the flood and catastrophes innumerable thereafter. I would suggest to you that the Scripture looks old because as Paul says in Romans chapter 8, it is groaning, and in its groaning, it dos look old. It gives us empirical evidence of the reality of sin. And even as this cosmos is the theater of God's glory, it is the the theater of God's glory for the drama of redemption that takes place here on this planet in telling the story of the redemptive love of God. Is this compatible with the claim that the universe is 4.5 billion years old in terms of earth, 13.5 billion years old in terms of the larger universe? Even though that might be the first and central question, it is an inescapable question, and I would suggest to you that in our effort to be most faithful to the Scriptures and most accountable to the grand narrative of the Gospel, an understanding of creation in terms of 24-hour calendar days and a young earth entails far fewer complications, far fewer theological problems and actually is the most straightforward and uncomplicated reading of the text, as we come to understand God telling us how the universe came to be and what it means and why it matters. At the end of the day, if I'm asked the question, why does the universe look so old I'm simply left with the reality the universe is telling the story of the glory of God. Why does it look so old? Well, that in terms of any more elaborate answer is known only to the Ancient of Days. And that is where we are left, and it is safe. Thanks be to God." (Why Does the Universe Look So Old? - 65' youtube video). 

How important is Genesis 1:1? Henry Morris explains that "this one verse refutes all of man’s false philosophies concerning the origin and meaning of the world:

  • It refutes atheism, because the universe was created by God.
  • It refutes pantheism, for God is transcendent to that which He created.
  • It refutes polytheism, for one God created all things.
  • It refutes materialism, for matter had a beginning.
  • It refutes dualism, because God was alone when He created.
  • It refutes humanism, because God, not man, is the ultimate reality.
  • It refutes evolutionism, because God created all things.

Actually all such false philosophies are merely different ways of expressing the same unbelief. Each one proposes that there is no personal, transcendent God; that ultimate reality is to be found in the eternal cosmos itself; and that the development of the universe into its present form is contingent solely on the innate properties of its own components. In essence, each of the above philosophies embraces all the others. (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

Spurgeon on the idea of ex nihilo - something out of nothing - Remember, in the first place, that the world was created from nothing. You have often said, “Mine is a very hard task, for I address myself to men in whom I see nothing hopeful. I batter against a granite conscience, but it is not moved; I thunder forth the law, but the dead and callous heart has not been stirred; I talk of the love of Christ, but the eye is not suffused with tears; I point to hell, but no terror follows; and to heaven, but no holy desire is kindled! there is nothing in man that encourages me in my work, and I am ready to give it over.” Brother, come thou back with me to the world’s creation. Of what did God make the world? Was there any substance ready to his hand out of which to mould this round globe? What saith the Scripture? Did he not make it of nothing? Thou hast never yet grasped the idea of nothing. The eye cannot see it; it might peer into space, but space itself is something. We look up, and yonder is the blue ether, though we know not what it is; but the eye could not look on nothing; it would be blinded. Nothing is a thing which the senses cannot grasp, and yet it is out of this awful nothing that God made the sun, and moon, and stars, and all things that be. Had he spoken before creation, there would have been no voice to answer him; had he cried, there would have been no echo to repeat his voice. Nought was there anywhere, and yet he spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast! The case of the sinner is a parallel one. You say there is nothing in the sinner. Ay, then, there is room here for a recreating work. Inasmuch as that heart is now empty and void, there is space for the Eternal God to come, and with his outstretched arm to create a new heart and a right spirit, and put his grace where there was none before. If you had to convert the sinner, then, indeed, your task were as hopeless as to create new orbs out of nothing; but, inasmuch as it is not you but your God who worketh all things, you may console yourselves with this thought, that he who hath created all this marvellous earth, and had nothing to begin with, can give life, and fear, and hope, and faith, and love, where there were no heavenly ingredients upon which he might work. Take that, then, for your joy.  (Creation - An Argument for Faith - Jeremiah 32:17)

John Piper writes that Creation is God's poiema His Work of Art --What does He do to make Himself evident? He made the world. He created - like a potter, or a sculptor or a poet, except He created out of nothing. In verse 20, when it says that God is "understood through what has been made," the words "what has been made" stand for one Greek word (which you will all recognize), the word poiema. It's the word from which we get "poem." The universe and everything in it is God's work of art. What's the point of this word? The point is that in a poem there is manifest design and intention and wisdom and power. The wind might create a letter in the sand, but not a poem. That's the point. God acted. God planned. God designed. God crafted. He created and made. And in doing that, Paul says in v19, God made himself evident to all mankind. The universe is a poem about God. (Reference)

Henry Morris - The existence of a transcendent Creator and the necessity of a primeval special creation of the universe is confirmed by the most basic principles of nature discovered by scientists:

  1. The law of causality, that no effect can be greater than its cause, is basic in all scientific investigation and human experience. A universe comprising an array of intelligible and complex effects, including living systems and conscious personalities, is itself proof of an intelligent, complex, living, conscious Person as its Cause;
  2. The laws of thermodynamics are the most universal and best-proved generalizations of science, applicable to every process and system of any kind, the First Law stating that no matter/energy is now being created or destroyed, and the Second Law stating that all existing matter/energy is proceeding irreversibly toward ultimate equilibrium and cessation of all processes. Since this eventual death of the universe has not yet occurred and since it will occur in time, if these processes continue, the Second Law proves that time (and, therefore, the space/matter/time universe) had a beginning. The universe must have been created, but the First Law precludes the possibility of its self-creation. The only resolution of the dilemma posed by the First and Second Laws is that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The so-called big bang theory of the origin of the cosmos, postulating a primeval explosion of the space/mass/time continuum at the start, beginning with a state of nothingness and then rapidly expanding into the present complex universe, contradicts both these basic laws as well as Scripture.

As an aside be wary of the teaching of a man named Hugh Ross, who says he does not believe in atheistic evolution and yet espouses a belief that creation is billions of years old! He may be a "scientist" of sorts but clearly he is not an honest theologian or a literalist in regard to interpreting the Word of Truth. His theory of so-called "progressive creationism" would seem to be nothing more than old fashioned evolutionary theory coated with a thin "shellac" of "Christianeeze," to give his postulate an air of authority and authenticity. It is absolutely at odds with a simple reading of Genesis 1 and should be summarily jettisoned by any Christian who is seeking the truth about Creation and desires to glorify the One Who miraculously brought about Creation, the Lord Jesus Christ. And if Genesis 1 does not convince you, perhaps Ross' view of the Garden of Eden before Genesis 3 might sway you. To that point, Ross does not believe the Garden of Eden was free of death but that death existed from the beginning! (Related Resource - Progressive Creationist Hugh Ross). 

Jon Courson has an interesting discussion of Genesis 1:1 and ends with an interesting conclusion/application - Lots of people get hung up on verse 1 of chapter 1. And this presents a problem, for if one doesn’t agree with the opening statement of the first sentence, it will be difficult for him to accept what follows.....“Wait a minute,” some say. “Genesis 1:1 may address spirituality and theology, but it can’t be taken literally—not in this day, when the theory of evolution has been accepted so completely.” Keep in mind that evolution at best is a theory—and a bankrupt one at that. Many men of science who are neither believers in Jesus Christ nor students of the Bible have turned away from the evolutionary hypothesis because it violates the most foundational, fundamental principles and laws of known science. For example, one of the most important laws of science is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It’s not a theory, not a hypothesis, but a basic principle which says everything goes from order to disorder.....One of the principles upon which science is predicated is the fact that everything goes from order to disorder. The theory of evolution completely violates this understanding, maintaining as it does, that things go from disorder to greater order, from simplicity to complexity. “But the great minds embrace the theory of evolution,” some insist. Do they?

The man Discover Magazine rated as the greatest scientific thinker in history is Sir Isaac Newton. Newton was mocked because his contemporaries couldn’t understand why he believed there really was a God who created the world in six days. One day, Sir Isaac made an elaborate model of the solar system, which took up the entire front room of his house. Impressed by its details, his colleagues asked him where he got the model.  “I didn’t get it,” Newton said. “Oh. You made it?” “No, I didn’t buy it. I didn’t make it. No one put it here. It just appeared.” And suddenly they got his point.

The grandeur of the universe undeniably points to the existence of a Creator (Ps 19:1) But men suppress this truth, not wanting to be accountable to this Creator (Romans 1). That is why you can defend the Genesis account on the basis of science until you’re blue in the face—and still fail to convince the skeptic. You can engage people intellectually, banter with people philosophically, appeal to people rationally only to have them oppose you adamantly. The bottom line isn’t biology or philosophy, academics or genetics, Darwin or doctrine. The bottom line is the same as it is for every controversy or concern, debate or dilemma. The bottom line is Jesus. “I and My Father are one,” He said. And the people listening to Him that day clearly understood the implication. So incensed were they by His claim to deity that they picked up rocks to stone Him on the spot (John 10:30, 31).  “Show us a sign,” they said, “to verify You are who You claim to be.” “One sign only will I give you,” He said. “Destroy this body and in three days, I will rise again” (John 2:18–21). Thus, the entire burden of proof for Jesus’ claim to deity lies in His empty tomb. And the door of faith to believe everything He ever said swings on the hinge of the Resurrection. His Resurrection, documented by over five-hundred eyewitnesses proves Jesus is God. As God, Jesus speaks with absolute authority. As God, Jesus fashioned the Garden of Eden creatively (John 1:3). As God, Jesus referred to Adam and Eve specifically (Mark 6:6). Therefore, when talking to a skeptic, take the argument away from all of the scientific debate, and back to the single issue that matters: Who is Jesus Christ? That’s the key. (Courson's Application Commentary)

Here is an example of the genre of writing comes from the cosmological scientists and it all sounds so erudite and reasonable until you get to the last sentence. As they say when they serve the main course "Enjoy!" 

In the modern cosmos, we know how big the visible universe is—about 1028 centimeters (cm)—a distance called the “cosmic horizon.” We know how long ago the universe started: about 14 billion years ago. We know that on large scales, the universe is homogeneous and isotropic (the same in all directions). It is made of atoms, dark matter, and radiation. Gravity is curvature of spacetime and can create horizons, and nondeterministic quantum mechanics and evolution are the key ideas. It is not clear whether there is a role for God. (Primack and Abrams - Cosmic Questions in the Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences)

Those who use evolution (in its various forms) as an attempt to explain the miracle of creation in Genesis 1-2 remind me of the story of the camera salesman in this story -

Willard S. Boyle, Nobel Prize winner in physics, was the co-inventor of the “electronic eye” behind the digital camera and the Hubble telescope. He was in the market for a new digital camera and visited a store in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The salesman tried to explain the complexity of the camera to Boyle, but stopped because he felt it was too complicated for him to understand. Boyle then bluntly said to the salesman: “No need to explain. I invented it.”

We need to remember that God Created the world! If we’re tempted to tell God how life should work, let’s remember He invented it! 

To understand God is impossible, 
but to worship Him is imperative.

NOTE: One thing that the evolutionists forget to tell you is that the accidents of mutation result in a net loss of information whereas evolution requires a gain in information

Beginning (07225reshith can have one of two meanings - (1) The beginning or the first step in a course of action (as in Ps 111:10, Pr 17:14, Mic 1:13) or (2) the chief thing as the principal aspect or component of something (Pr 4:7). The Amplified Bible combines these two in Pr 1:7 paraphrasing beginning as "its starting point and its essence." Reshith denotes the point in time or space at which something started, except when it specifies the point when time and space themselves were started (Isa 46:10, cp Pr 17:14; Jer. 26:1, 27:1; 28:1; 49:34; Mic 1:13-note; Ge 10:10. On other occasions, the term signifies the highest of anything, i.e., the best or most excellent, such as the choicest parts of offerings (1Sa 2:29); the best of the spoil (1Sa 15:21); or the finest in oils (Amos 6:6). Reshith designates the earliest or first products or results of something. Reshith can refer to the first products of harvest (Lev. 23:10; Dt. 18:4; Neh. 12:44) or even the firstborn (Ge 49:3; Dt. 21:17).

The Greek Septuagint translates beginning (reshith) with the Greek noun arche which BDAG says is "the commencement of something as an action, process, or state of being."  John uses arche in John 2:11 when Jesus created (yes CREATED!) wine out of water in a moment of time (WINE NEEDS TIME TO FERMENT BUT NOT WHEN JESUS IS THE WINEMAKER! cf THE FARCE OF EVOLUTION), just as he did in Genesis 1:1! 

This beginning (arche) of His signs (KJV = "miracles") Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (ED: AND IN GENESIS 1:1ff THE CREATION EVENT WAS A MANIFESTATION OF THE GLORY OF GOD!) 

John uses  arche in the Revelation speaking of Jesus the Creator...

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following: "This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Originator (arche)  of God's creation (ktisis): (Rev 3:14NET, cf arche in Rev 22:13) 

Matthew uses arche in his Gospel also affirming God as the Creator (not the "evolver") writing...

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created (ktizo - aorist tense = point in time in the past, He "called' them into being, cf similar use of ktizo in 1Ti 4:3) them from the beginning (arche) MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, (Mt 19:4 - quoting Ge 1:27, Ge 5:2 - cf similar uses of arche affirming the Creation in Mt 24:21, Mk 10:6+)

The writer of Hebrews also uses arche in the context of the Creation of the Universe writing 

And, “YOU, LORD (THE SON - Heb 1:8), IN THE BEGINNING (arche) LAID THE FOUNDATION ( themelioo - provide a base for some material object or structure) OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;  (Hebrews 1:10+

Created (01254bara' has the basic meaning "to create", to bring into existence (first use Ge 1:1) and God is the subject of the majority of the OT uses of bara' (exceptions - Josh 17:15, 18 = "clear away")! Only God can "create" out of nothing (See Genesis passages below - also Dt 4:32, Ps 89:12, 89:47, Isa 40:26, 43:1 Ezek 21:30; 28:13, 15)! In the context of cutting covenant with Israel, God says He will "perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth." (Ex 34:10). Bara describes the "entirely new thing" God brought about by opening the earth to swallow Korah and his family into Sheol (Nu 16:30). Ps 102:18 describes a "people yet to be created" who will praise the LORD, which anticipates the divine intervention in the future on behalf of Zion (cf Ps 102:13, 16-17, cf Isa 4:5). Ps 104:30 speaks of God creating life in nature by giving breath.

Thomas Mccomiskey  The word is used in the Qal only of God's activity and is thus a purely theological term. This distinctive use of the word is especially appropriate to the concept of creation by divine fiat. The root bārāʾ denotes the concept of "initiating something new" in a number of passages. In Isaiah 41:20 it is used of the changes that will take place in the Restoration when God effects that which is new and different. It is used of the creation of new things (ḥădāshôt) in Isaiah 48:6-7 and the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 65:17). Marvels never seen before are described by this word (Exodus 34:10), and Jeremiah uses the term of a fundamental change that will take place in the natural order (Jeremiah 31:22). The Psalmist prayed that God would create in him a clean heart (Psalm 51:10 [H 12]) and coupled this with the petition that God would put a new spirit within him (See also Numbers 16:30; Isaiah 4:5; Isaiah 65:18). The word also possesses the meaning of "bringing into existence" in several passages (Isaiah 43:1; Ezekiel 21:30 [H 35]; Ezekiel 28:13, 15). It is not surprising that this word with its distinctive emphases is used most frequently to describe the creation of the universe and the natural phenomena (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27; Genesis 2:3, etc.). The usages of the term in this sense present a clearly defined theology. The magnitude of God's power is exemplified in creation. This has implications for the weak (Isaiah 40:26; cf. Isaiah 40:27-31) and for the unfolding of God's purposes in history (Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12). Creation displays the majesty (Amos 4:13), orderliness (Isaiah 45:18), and sovereignty (Psalm 89:12 [H 13]) of God. Anthropologically, the common creation of man forms a plea for unity in Malachi 2:10. And man is seen as created for vanity in Psalm 89:47 [H 48]. The limitation of this word to divine activity indicates that the area of meaning delineated by the root falls outside the sphere of human ability. Since the word never occurs with the object of the material, and since the primary emphasis of the word is on the newness of the created object, the word lends itself well to the concept of creation ex nihilo, although that concept is not necessarily inherent within the meaning of the word.  (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Gilbrant - This verb is one of the more significant words in the Hebrew vocabulary. It is normally translated, "to create." Once, it means "to fatten oneself" (1 Sa 2:29) and in one context the verb means "to cut down" as in clearing timber (Josh. 17:15, 18). Many Semitic roots carry a word with the idea "to create." In the biblical Hebrew text, the majority of the occurrences are not in Genesis, as one might first guess, but in Isaiah, who often makes reference to God as "Creator" or "the one who created earth" (cf. Isa. 42:5; 43:15). God is the only subject of this verb which has the connotation of creating out of nothing. God created heaven and earth (Ge 1:1); humankind (Ge 1:27); Israel as a nation (Isa. 43:15) and the wind (Amos 4:13). It could be of new things such as salvation and righteousness (Isa. 45:8) or of transformations such as a new heart (Ps. 51:10). Theologically, bārāʿ is one of the most significant. The action involved with the word is the first activity of biblical history. It is used exclusively to refer to God's creative work; it refers to creating things ex nihilo, or out of nothing (Lint, 14f). Other Near Eastern languages use various words to convey "create" by a god. The Egyptians used shpr and msy which mean "to bring into being" and "to bring forth," respectively. "As a special theological term, bārāʿ is used to express the incomparability of the creative work of God in contrast to all secondary products and likenesses make from already existing material by man" (TDOT, 2:246). God's creative work is so profound that even this special term cannot totally express the true significance of it. Parts of Isaiah connect the theology of creation with that of election, causing the word to take on a soteriological character (ibid.).  (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

W E Vine - Though (bara is) a precisely correct technical term to suggest cosmic, material creation from nothing, bara is a rich theological vehicle for communicating the sovereign power of God, Who originates and regulates all things to His glory.

Bara - 45 verses - brings about(1), clear(2), create(6), created(32), creates(1), creating(3), Creator(4), cut them down(1), make(2), produced(1). Gen. 1:1; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:3; Gen. 2:4; Gen. 5:1; Gen. 5:2; Gen. 6:7; Exod. 34:10; Num. 16:30; Deut. 4:32; Jos. 17:15; Jos. 17:18; Ps. 51:10; Ps. 89:12; Ps. 89:47; Ps. 102:18; Ps. 104:30; Ps. 148:5; Eccl. 12:1; Isa. 4:5; Isa. 40:26; Isa. 40:28; Isa. 41:20; Isa. 42:5; Isa. 43:1; Isa. 43:7; Isa. 43:15; Isa. 45:7; Isa. 45:8; Isa. 45:12; Isa. 45:18; Isa. 48:7; Isa. 54:16; Isa. 57:19; Isa. 65:17; Isa. 65:18; Jer. 31:22; Ezek. 21:19; Ezek. 21:30; Ezek. 23:47; Ezek. 28:13; Ezek. 28:15; Amos 4:13; Mal. 2:10

Bara in Genesis - In every use of bara below the Septuagint uses the Greek verb poieo

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

Genesis 1:21  God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

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

COMMENT - Note that in this use of bara as with Ge 5:1 and Ge 6:7 does not mean created out of nothing since man was created out of dust (Ge 2:7). 

Genesis 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. 

Genesis 2:4  This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

Genesis 5:1   This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

Genesis 5:2  He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created

Genesis 6:7  The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”

These are all the uses of bara in the book of Genesis and God is the subject of this verb in every use. The conclusion is inescapable -- The Almighty God, Elohim, is the Creator of EVERYTHING. BELIEVE IT OR NOT! OR ONE DAY WHEN YOU DIE YOU WILL BELIEVE IT WITHOUT HESITATION (Php 2:10,11+), FOR THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE IS ALSO THE JUDGE OF THE UNIVERSE (Jn 5:22, 27, Rev 20:11-15+). IF YOU HAVE NEVER RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST (Acts 4:12+) AS YOUR PERSONAL REDEEMER AND LORD (Ro 10:9, 10+, Acts 16:31+), THEN TODAY IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO ENTER INTO ETERNITY AS YOU RECEIVE BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH HIS GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. 

Larry Richards - The apostle Paul expresses his confidence that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38, 39). That confidence is rooted in Genesis 1’s revelation of God as being supreme over all creation. He is the source and the sustainer of all. What power indeed could thwart the purposes of a God, who by merely speaking a word could and did bring all things into being? (Every Name Of God In The Bible)

Job 38:4-11 The God Of The Cosmos

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. —Hebrews 11:3

A group of distinguished scientists and theologians gathered in Washington, DC, to participate in the Cosmic Questions Conference. They discussed issues such as these: “Is there a God?” and “Can we believe that there is purpose and design in the universe?”

Some of the participants answered those questions emphatically, “No!” No God, no design, no purpose. But others, like John Polkinghorne, a British scholar and former president of Queens College at Cambridge, held staunchly to the opposite opinion. A noted physicist, Polkinghorne argued that the answers lie “beyond physics.”

Without the Bible, scientists are baffled. They can guess and they can speak dogmatically, but they have no authoritative answers to the cosmic questions. The Bible alone tells us where everything came from, why everything exists, and what lies ahead. As Job learned, it was God who “laid the foundations of the earth” (Job 38:4).

We don’t need to listen to the speculations of world-famous thinkers to find answers to the big questions of life. We just need to humbly and reverently study the Word of God. There we will find rest for our mind and peace for our soul.

When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your heart.

Job 38:1-15  Why Are We Here?
READ: Job 38:1-15

All things were created by Him and for Him. --Colossians 1:16

Why are we here? Listen to the opinion of Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist who is regarded as an eminent authority on how life began.

Gould says, "We [exist] because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer--but none exists."

Contrast that godless guesswork with the majestic affirmation of the opening verse of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).

Yes, that's the higher answer! We're here because the Lord Almighty has brought everything into existence by His will and power (Col. 1:16). We're here because a wise, loving Creator wanted us and fashioned us as beings who are able to obey Him, serve Him, trust Him, and love Him.

Which answer do you accept? The answer that we're here because of a series of mindless accidents--the answer that leads to despair? Or do you accept the biblical answer that brings the hope of everlasting love and life? - Vernon C. Grounds

I sing the mighty power of God
That made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad
And built the lofty skies.
-Isaac Watts

The design of creation points to the Master Designer.

Job 38:4-13 'Were You There?'
READ: Job 38:4-13

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth. --Job 38:4

What you do with the Bible depends on what you do with the first sentence of Genesis. The Bible opens with a simple statement, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). If you believe that, you can believe everything else that follows. If you reject that statement, you will also deny every other cardinal truth in the Scriptures.

Joe and Charlie were arguing about Genesis 1:1. Joe said he believed the record of creation just as it was written. Charlie was an unbeliever, and went to great lengths in giving his own theory of how the world began and then how life developed from a primordial cell through reptiles, monkeys, and up to man. When he was all through, Joe looked at him and said, "Were you there, Charlie?" It was a good question. "Of course I wasn't there," he replied. Joe said, "Well, God was. He was the only one there and I'll take the word of the Eyewitness rather than the guesses of those who rely on their own imagination."

In a court of law, eyewitness testimony carries the most weight. Hearsay testimony is thrown out. The same is true of creation. God asked Job the question, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (Job 38:4). God was there, and His Word can be trusted. - M. R. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I'll trust my all to God alone,
Whose Word is truth and light;
I'd rather walk by faith with Him
Than go alone by sight.

You will be able to trust the Bible when you have come to trust its Author.

W H Griffith Thomas on the value of Genesis - We may therefore describe the present Book of Genesis as consisting of an introduction, and ten books representing ten sections or stages of history, each complete in itself. It is worth while noticing once again, that in the course of bringing forward these successive genealogies the plan is to deal with collateral branches first, before dwelling upon the main line of descent in regard to the purpose of redemption. Thus the genealogy of Cain comes before that of Seth, those of Ham and Canaan before Shem, that of Terah before Abraham, those of Ishmael and Esau before Isaac and Jacob. All the apparent deviations are strictly according to the idea of the book as a book of6 beginnings. As it has been well said, 'Genesis is full of geneses.'[1] Cf. Green's Unity of the Book of Genesis.

Its Unity.—It is generally admitted, even by men of very different schools, that our present Book of Genesis is a unity, however that unity has been brought about. For this reason it should be studied as a whole, and allowed to make its own definite and deep impression upon the reader. As Dr Whitelaw (Pulpit Commentary, p. viii.) truly says, there is a chronological thread running through the entire book, and all its parts are so interdependent that if one were omitted it would create a gap, and entirely rob the book of its unity. There are few facts more certain than that of the literary unity of Genesis as it has come down to us, and no study of the book will arrive at right conclusions unless this fact is kept well in view.

Its Value.—As the title clearly indicates, it is essentially and pre-eminently a book of origins; it deals with a number of characteristic 'beginnings.' It records the beginning of creation, of man, of woman, of the Sabbath, of marriage, of home, of childhood, of sin, of murder, of sacrifice, of grace, of trade, of agriculture, of city life, of races, of languages, and of the chosen people.

In the light of its title and evident purpose it is worthy of notice that there are in particular seven important 'beginnings' recorded and dealt with in this book:—

1. The beginning of the material universe, or the Sphere of the Divine revelation of grace.7
2. The beginning of the human race, or the Subject of the Divine revelation of grace.
3. The beginning of human sin, or the Cause of the Divine revelation of grace.
4. The beginning of divine redemption, or the Character of the Divine revelation of grace.
5. The beginning of the nations of the earth, or the Scope of the Divine revelation of grace.
6. The beginning of the Hebrew nation, or the Channel of the Divine revelation of grace.
7. The beginning of the life of faith and consecration, or the Outcome of the Divine revelation of grace.

The first four words form the keynote of the book, which is struck again and again throughout the record—'In the beginning God.' It is essentially a book where God is prominent and predominant, notwithstanding human wilfulness, wandering, and wretchedness through sin.

God in Creation.—The outstanding impression derived from the story in Ge i. is that the universe is not self-originated, but is the result of the Creator's handiwork. 'God saw,' 'God said,' 'God made,' are the prominent teachings.

God in History.—In this book we have the dawn of history and the earliest years of the life and progress of the human race; and although the narrative of the first eleven chapters takes various literary forms, and is only brought before us in very summary fashion, there is no doubt of the essential historical character of the events underlying the record. And when we come to the fuller details of the patriarchal narratives we can readily appreciate the truth of Dr Driver's dictum with reference to the parts of 2 Samuel: 'The abundance and particularity of detail show that the narratives must date from a period very little later than that of the events related' (Intro. O.T., p. 173). No student of history can afford to overlook the instructive and fascinating record contained in the first book of the Bible.

God in Providence.—No book in the world shows so clearly the truth that 'There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.' From the time that man was created, God's providence is seen watching over him, warning him, checking him, overruling his mistakes, and, in spite of his wilfulness, carrying out the Divine purpose. In the record of the ages before the Flood and of the time of the Deluge, in the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, we see step by step the working of that 'never-failing providence that ordereth all things in heaven and earth.'

God in Redemption.—This is the most important, even though it is not the most prominent, feature on the surface of the book. Genesis has been well summed up in three words—generation, degeneration, regeneration. The great promise of redemption recorded in Ge iii. is taken up and gradually prepared for through a long line from Seth through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this connection, too, we must not overlook the typological value of Genesis, for it is a book of type as well as of prophecy, of picture as well as of promise. From the sacrifice of Abel straight onward to the sacrifice of Isaac, the vision of Jacob at Bethel, and the story of Joseph, we have picture after picture of redemption, which find their full meaning, vividness, and glory, in the New Testament revelation, until at length in Jacob's benediction we have a striking reference to the primeval fact of sin and the primeval promise of salvation (Ge 49:17,18). The red thread of redemption binds every chapter together, and gives the book one of its essential marks of unity.

God in Human Life.—Not the least interesting and valuable feature of this most remarkable book is its record of human life in relation to God. As we read the stories from Adam to Joseph, we see various aspects of the Divine revelation in regard to personal life, and the various attitudes of human response to that revelation. The book is of preeminent value, because it has to do with the essential and abiding elements of God's relation to man, and man's relation to God. As we study point after point in individual history and character, we see abundant proofs of spiritual guidance, warning, encouragement, and cheer, and we become more and more convinced of the truth of the Apostolic word, that 'Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning.'

QUESTION -  What is theistic evolution?

ANSWER - Theistic evolution is one of three major origin-of-life worldviews, the other two being atheistic evolution (also commonly known as Darwinian evolution and naturalistic evolution) and special creation. Versions of theistic evolution come somewhere between one of two extremes. One view is close to deism, which says God allows only natural processes to influence the development of life. The other assumes that God constantly used miraculous intervention to guide evolution.

The first boundary of theistic evolution states that there is a God, but He was not directly involved in the origin of life. According to this view, God created the building blocks and natural laws with the eventual emergence of life in mind. However, early on He stepped back and let His creation take over. He let it do what it was designed to do, and life eventually emerged from non-living material. This view is similar to atheistic evolution in that it presumes a naturalistic—albiet God-designed and ordained—origin of life. Atheistic evolution also assumes that life emerged naturally from preexisting, non-living building blocks under the influence of natural laws. However, according to atheistic evolution, there is no God, and the origin of those natural laws is not explained.

The opposite pole of theistic evolution is that God performed constant miracles to bring about the origin of life as we know it. According to this view, He led life step by step down a path from primeval simplicity to contemporary complexity. This view is similar to Darwin’s evolutionary tree of life, but with God’s intervention taking the place of mutation and natural selection. In this view, where life was not able to evolve naturally, God stepped in. This view is similar to special creation in that it presumes that God acted supernaturally in some way to bring about life as we know it. Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials.

There are numerous differences between the perspectives of special creation and theistic evolution. One significant difference concerns their respective views on death. Theistic evolutionists typically believe that the geologic column containing the fossil record represents long epochs of time. Since man does not appear until late in the fossil record, theistic evolutionists believe many creatures lived, died, and became extinct long before man’s belated arrival. This means that physical death, at least for animals, existed before Adam and his sin.

Special creationists believe that the earth is relatively young and that the fossil record was laid down during and after Noah’s flood. The stratification of the layers is thought to have occurred due to hydrologic sorting and liquefaction, both of which are observed phenomena. This puts the fossil record and the death and carnage it describes hundreds of years after Adam’s sin.

Another significant difference between theistic evolution and special creation is how the two systems interpret the age of the earth. Theistic evolutionists tend to subscribe to either the day-age theory or the framework theory, both of which are allegorical interpretations of the length of the “days” in Genesis 1. Young earth creationists subscribe to a literal, 24-hour day as they read Genesis 1. Theistic evolution is generally incompatible with a literal reading of the first two chapters of Genesis.

Theistic evolutionists imagine a Darwinian scenario in which stars evolved, then our solar system, then earth, then plants and animals, and eventually man. The two viewpoints within theistic evolution disagree as to the role God played in the unfolding of events, but they generally agree on the Darwinian timeline. That timeline is in conflict with a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account. For example, Genesis 1 says that the earth was created on day one, and the sun, moon, and stars were not created until day four. A common counter from theistic evolutionists is to note that the wording of Genesis suggests the sun, moon, and stars were actually created on day one but they could not be seen through earth’s atmosphere until day four, leading to their placement on day four. (ED: IF ONE WILL NOT ACCEPT THE LITERAL READING, HE WILL GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO RATIONALIZE THEISTIC EVOLUTION WITH THEISTIC CREATION.)

A literal reading of Genesis shows that birds were created with sea creatures on day five while land animals were not created until day six. This is in direct opposition to the Darwinian view that birds evolved from land animals. The literalist account says birds preceded land animals. The theistic evolutionist view says exactly the opposite.

Regardless of how a person chooses to interpret scientific evidence or the Bible, experience has shown the Bible to be reliable. Centuries of challenges have affirmed that not only is the Bible compatible with science, but also that not a single word in the Bible has ever been disproved by confirmed facts. Interpretations of Scripture may be found lacking, but the Word of God itself is never wrong. The Bible is God’s living Word, given to us by the Creator of the universe, and His description of how He created that universe is not threatened by atheistic versions of science. (

FOLLOWUP COMMENT - If you are a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ and you hold a view of "theistic evolution" then I would strongly recommend you set aside some time and listen to Dr John MacArthur's sermon entitled "Creation Believe if or Not, Part 1." If you are open and honest, you will ask God's Spirit of Truth to show you the truth about creation and whether or not evolution played any role in Genesis 1-2. If you are not willing to honestly ask God that request, than don't waste your time listening to the sermon. Here is the sermon and I would encourage you not just to read it but to listen to it as it is delivered with Spirit empowered passion and insight. 

  • Creation - Believe It or Not, Part 1 - Here is an excerpt of MacArthur's closing words in which he deals with the word CHANCE, so even if you don't listen to the sermon, you might want to read this excerpt - 

    Now for a few minutes I want to get a little philosophical. I think you’ll enjoy this. In the end the evolutionist, the naturalistic evolutionist says, and even the theistic evolutionist says, that things happen by chance, chance. “We get rid of the God of the Bible, we get rid of the God of Genesis, we get rid of the Creator, and then we’ve got chance.” Now this is a pretty interesting thing to think about. I have read this word “chance” over and over and over again in reading the writings of these people, and the myth that drives the whole evolutionary process, this entire unbiblical, irrational, immoral idea of evolution, the myth that drives it is the myth of chance, chance. Chance is the cause. In contemporary science, chance takes on new meaning. They don’t want God to be the cause; but something has to be the cause, so the cause is chance. Now when I say the word “chance” we take it back to its etymology, it once was largely restricted to describing mathematical probability, or we could say, “Well, if I go over there, there’s a chance I might see her, because she may be coming this way.” Or, “If I put this money in this account, there’s a chance this might happen, and I’ll make this amount of money.” “If I move into that community and begin to meet some people, there’s a chance there that I might develop some interest in my business.” There’s a mathematical probability; that’s what chance basically used to mean. And then it kind of got broadened a little bit and it took on broader application to include any unpredictable event, any sort of probability no matter how remote, or any coincidence no matter how seemingly impossible.

    But let me tell you about chance. Friends, chance doesn’t exist. It’s nothing. It’s nothing. Chance is a word used to explain something else. But chance isn’t anything. It’s not a force. Chance doesn’t make anything happen. Chance doesn’t exist. It’s only a way to explain something else. Chance didn’t make you meet that person; you were going there when she was going there, that’s why you met her. Chance didn’t have anything to do with it, because chance doesn’t exist. It’s nothing. But in modern evolution, it’s been transformed into a force of causal power. It’s been elevated from being nothing to being everything. Chance makes things happen. Chance is the myth that serves to undergird the chaos view of reality. I mean, this is so fraught with problems from a rational or philosophical viewpoint you hardly know where to begin. How do you get the initial matter upon which chance operates? Where does that come from? You would have to say, “Well, chance made it appear.” You know what? This sounds so ridiculous, and yet this is the undergirding philosophy behind evolution. It is completely incoherent and irrational. But the new evolutionary paradigm is chance. And it’s the opposite of logic.

    You see, when you abandon logic, and logic says, “Oh, there’s a universe. Hmm, somebody made it.” What else would logic say? “There’s a building; somebody made it. There’s a piano; somebody made it. There’s a universe, more complex than a building, infinitely more complex than a piano; somebody who is very, very powerful and very, very intelligent made it.” You say, “No, no, chance made it.” Listen, folks, that’s rational suicide, that’s not logical. Logic abandoned leaves you with myth. And the enemies of mythology, the enemies of mythology are empirical data and God-given reason. So in order to be an evolutionist and believe that chance makes things happen, you have to do two things: reject the empirical data, and be irrational. But if you love your sin enough, you’ll do it.

    You see, if you can just eliminate the empirical data, the evidence, and get rid of God-given logic – and those two things are the essence of pure science – if you can get rid of those things, then mythology runs wild. And as one writer said, “Chance is the new soft pillow for science to lie down on.” Arthur Koestler said, “As long as chance rules, God is an anachronism.” If chance rules, God can’t rule. Chance deposes God. The very existence of chance rips God from His sovereign throne. If chance as a force exists even in the frailest form, God is “ungoded,” if there’s such a word. The two are mutually exclusive. Either there is a God who created the universe, who sovereignly rules and sovereignly controls, or there’s not. If chance exists, it destroys God’s sovereignty. If God is not sovereign, then He’s not God. If He’s not God, then there is no God, and chance rules. That’s frightening. But chance is not a force. Chance can’t make anything happen. Chance isn’t anything, it doesn’t exist. It has no power to do anything, because it isn’t anything. It’s impotent because it’s nothing. It has no power because it doesn’t exist. Are you getting it? Since chance doesn’t exist, it can’t produce anything. It can’t be the cause of any effect.

    Yet modern evolutionists talk about chance all the time. It’s just nothing but hocus-pocus; it’s the oldest and most inviolable law of science, logic and reason. Any of you who ever took debate or studied any of the rational philosophers remember the statement, “ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes.” And chance is nothing. This is rational suicide. So when scientists attribute instrumental power to chance – listen carefully – they have left the domain of reason, they have left the domain of science; they have turned to pulling rabbits out of hats, they have turned to fantasy. And then all scientific investigation becomes chaotic and absurd, because it can’t really yield what it should yield, because they won’t allow it to. Today the absurdity of evolution goes largely unchallenged, and all these universities and colleges, they keep pounding on this stuff. Every time I pick up a Newsweek or a Time magazine, I get another one of these wild kind of evolutionary articles. Particularly because I read National Geographic, I’m exposed to that as well; and they keep trying to make us believe that chance exists as a force, and that everything by chance spontaneously generated.

    Nobel laureate George Wald, brilliant man, I quote him: “One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles. Given so much time the impossible becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable actually certain.” What in the world is that? That is just double-talk, that is absolutely meaningless. Self-creation is absurd no matter how much time, because chance does not exist. It doesn’t exist.

    There’s no explanation of the universe without God. I’ll give you one little scientific illustration. Have you ever heard of quantum theory? Well, you’ve heard about a quantum leap? People say, “Somebody made a quantum leap.” Let me tell you where that comes from. Quantum theory goes back to a scientist, Max Planck, who in 1900 presented the theory that energy comes in discreet units called quanta. I’m not going to take you too deep here, because I can’t go too deep myself. But energy can be broken down into units; and he said these units, these units, identifiable units, are called quanta. In 1927 Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist, found that when a photon strikes an atom it boosts an electron into a higher orbit. And when that occurs, the electron moves from the lower to the upper orbit – listen to this – simultaneously, without having traversed the intervening space. That’s a quantum leap. Let me say that again. When a photon hits an atom it boosts an electron to a higher orbit from the lower orbit simultaneously, but it never traverses the space in between. What happens is the electron ceases to exist at one point and simultaneously comes into existence at the other point. This is the famous quantum leap. It goes out of existence and comes into existence simultaneously. All the time, all the time, in all the atoms all the time through all of created history it keeps doing that. By chance? To say it’s a quantum leap doesn’t explain it. There’s only one thing that explains it, and that is the ongoing creative power of God. He sustains the universe and its creation by keeping up all the necessary creative acts, even down to the level of an electron in an atom. He upholds all things, Hebrews 1, by the Word of His power.

QUESTION -  What does creation ex nihilo mean?

ANSWEREx nihilo is Latin for “from nothing.” The term creation ex nihilo refers to God creating everything from nothing. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Prior to that moment, there was nothing. God didn’t make the universe from preexisting building blocks. He started from scratch.

The Bible never expressly states that God made everything from nothing, but it is implied. In Hebrews 11:3 we read, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Scholars take this to mean that the universe came into existence by divine command and was not assembled from preexisting matter or energy. Things that are visible do not owe their existence to anything visible.

Humans can be very creative, but we cannot create ex nihilo. Strictly speaking, we cannot create; we can only synthesize. We require materials from which to build something. God is not so constrained. This is difficult for us to comprehend because of a fundamental law of physics that we are all familiar with. The “first law of science” states that matter (the stuff the universe is made of) cannot be created or destroyed. Matter can be converted from solid to liquid to gas to plasma and back again; atoms can be combined into molecules and split into their component parts; but matter cannot be created from nothing or completely destroyed. And so this idea that God created everything from nothing is not natural to us. It’s not natural at all—it’s supernatural.

The term creation ex nihilo refers to the supernatural event that was the beginning of the universe. It was the moment that God created something (everything) from

Related Resource:

QUESTION - Why is biblical Creationism so important?

ANSWER - A clear view of origins is important for the same reason that a foundation is important to a building. Christianity is established in the book of Genesis chapter one, with “In the beginning God created . . . .” This one statement affirms creationism and opposes any view that embraces naturalism (the belief that the universe started without the intervention of God and/or proceeds without His involvement).

One’s views regarding creation reflect whether we believe the Word of God or call its truthfulness into question. As Christians, we must differentiate between creationism and naturalism; that is, how are they different? Which one is true? Is it possible to believe in both creationism and some form of evolution? These questions can be answered by defining what biblical creationism is and how it affects our fundamental belief system.

The importance of biblical creationism is that it answers the fundamental questions of human existence:

1. How did we get here? Where did we come from?

2. Why are we here? Do we have a purpose, and what is the cause of all or our problems? Are the issues of sin and salvation important?

3. What happens to us when we die? Is there life after death? A person’s stance on origins is important because Genesis is the foundation for the rest of Scripture, in which these questions are answered. Genesis has been likened to the root of a tree in that it anchors Scripture. If you cut the root from a tree, the tree dies. If you discredit Genesis, you remove the authoritative value of all Scripture.

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This gives us three great truths foundational to biblical creationism and the Christian faith. First, God is one. This stands in contrast to the polytheism of the pagans and the dualism of modern humanist philosophy. Second, God is personal and exists outside of creation. This is in contrast to pantheism, which sees God as immanent but not transcendent. Last, God is omnipotent and eternal. This is in contrast to the idols that people worship. God was before, is now, and always will be—He created all that is out of nothing by His spoken word.

This answers our creation question of beginnings, but what about our second question: why are we here?

Biblical creationism answers the question of the condition of the human race. Genesis 3 deals with the fall of man but also gives us the hope of redemption. It is important that we understand we are unified in one man, Adam—a literal, real-life person. If Adam is not a literal person, then we have no plausible explanation for how sin entered into the world. If mankind, in Adam, did not fall from grace, then mankind cannot be saved by grace through Jesus Christ. First Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (NJKV). This parallel—Adam is the head of the fallen race, and Christ is the head of a redeemed race—is important to our understanding of salvation. “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18–19, NKJV).

We must look to biblical creationism as the basis for our value system. The creation narrative must be factual and not just a myth, for, if it is fictional, then the values it imports are man-reasoned, subject to change as man “evolves,” and therefore invalid. The basis of the modern-day conflict between science and religion (especially Christianity) is the assumption that (atheistic) science is fact and religion is merely superstition and myth. If this were true, then our Christian values are just that—values for Christians with no relevance in the secular world.

The last basic question for mankind is what happens to us when we die? If man is merely part of an un-designed and accidental universe and simply changes from one kind of matter to another when he dies, it means we have no soul or spirit and this life is all there is. This belief leaves us with only one purpose in life: to follow the plan of evolution, which is survival of the fittest.

Christianity, on the other hand, presents us with a moral good established by a transcendent, supernatural Being. The moral nature of God sets an unchanging standard that not only promotes a better life for us personally but also teaches us how to love others and ultimately bring glory to our Creator. This standard is exemplified by Christ. It is through His life, death, and resurrection that we find purpose for this life and hope of a future life with God in heaven.

Biblical creationism is important because it is the only system that answers the basic questions of life and gives us significance greater than ourselves. It should be clear to all Christians that creationism and naturalism are mutually exclusive and stand in opposition to one

QUESTION -  What is old earth creationism?

ANSWER Please note, as a ministry, officially holds to young earth creationism. We truly and fully believe that young earth creationism best fits with the biblical account of creation. However, we recognize that old earth creationism is a valid viewpoint that a Christian can hold. In no sense is old earth creationism heresy and in no sense should old earth creationists be shunned as not being brothers and sisters in Christ. We thought it would be worthwhile to have an article that positively presents old earth creationism, as it is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound.

Old earth creationism (OEC) is an umbrella term used to describe biblical creationists who deny that the universe was created within the last 6,000 to 10,000 years over the course of six consecutive 24-hour days. Rather, old earth creationists believe that God created the universe and its inhabitants (including a literal Adam and Eve) over a much longer period of time than is allowed for by young earth creationists. The list of notable Christian leaders who are at least open to an old earth interpretation is a long one, and that list continues to grow. The list includes men such as Walter Kaiser, Norman Geisler, William Dembski, J.I. Packer, J.P. Moreland, Philip E. Johnson, and Chuck Colson, as well the late Francis Schaefer and Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer.

Old earth creationists usually agree with the mainstream scientific estimates of the age of the universe, humanity, and Earth itself while at the same time rejecting the claims of modern evolutionary theorists with respect to biological evolution. Old earth creationists and their young earth creationist brothers hold several important points in common, including:

1) The literal creation of the universe out of nothing a finite time ago (creation ex nihilo).

2) The literal creation of Adam out of the dust of the ground and Eve out of Adam’s side as well as the historicity of the Genesis account.

3) The rejection of the claim of Darwinists that random mutation and natural selection can adequately account for the complexity of life.

4) The rejection of the claim that God used the process of evolution to bring man to today (theistic evolution). Both old earth and new earth creationism categorically reject the theory of common ancestry.

However, old earth creationists differ with young earth creationists on the following:

1) The age of the universe. Young earth creationists believe that God created the universe 6,000-10,000 years ago. Old earth creationists place the creation event at approximately 13.7 billion years ago, thus being more in line with “mainstream” science, at least on this point.

2) The time of the creation of Adam and Eve. Young earth creationists place the creation of Adam no later than 10,000 years ago. Old earth creationists are varied on this point with estimates ranging somewhere between 30,000-70,000 thousand years ago.

The controversy between the two views of creationism hinges on the meaning of the Hebrew word yom, meaning “day.” Young earth creationists insist that the meaning of the word yom in the context of Genesis 1–2 is a 24-hour period of time. Old earth creationists disagree and believe that the word yom is being used to denote a much longer duration of time. Old earth creationists have used numerous biblical arguments to defend their view including the following:

1) Yom is used elsewhere in the Bible where it is referring to a long period of time, particularly Psalm 90:4, which is later cited by the apostle Peter: “A day (yom) is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8).

2) The seventh “day” is thousands of years long. Genesis 2:2-3 states that God rested on the seventh “day” (yom). Scripture teaches that we are certainly still in the seventh day; therefore, the word “day” could also be referring to a long period of time with reference to days one through six.

3) The word “day” in Genesis 1–2 is longer than 24 hours. Genesis 2:4 reads, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven” (NASB). In this verse, “day” is referring to the first six days as a whole and thus has a more flexible meaning than merely a 24-hour period.

4) The sixth “day” is probably longer than 24 hours. Genesis 2:19 tells us that Adam observed and then catalogued every living animal on the earth. At face value, it does not appear that Adam could have completed such a monumental task in a mere 24-hour period.

To be sure, the issues dividing young and old earth creationists are both complex and significant. However, this issue should not be made a test for orthodoxy. There are godly men and women on both sides of this debate. In the final analysis, biblical creationists—both young and old Earth varieties—have a great deal in common and should work together to defend the historical reliability of the Genesis

QUESTION -  What is young earth creationism?

ANSWER - Young earth creationism (YEC) is the belief that God directly created the universe in six literal days and that the earth is relatively young. Young earth creationists usually place the age of the earth at 6,000 years (10,000 years being an upper limit). Other points held by young earth creationists include the occurrence of a global flood during Noah’s day, God’s creation of the world with apparent age, and (often) the existence of a single continent before the flood. Young earth creationism is the official position of Got Questions Ministries.

Young earth creationism is the counterpart of old earth creationism (OEC), which says that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old, based on the geologic timescale, carbon dating, and other common dating methods. Variations of old earth creationism include progressive creationism, the day-age theory, the gap theory, and theistic evolution.

Skeptics, both secular and Christian, often portray young earth creationism as an unsophisticated, ignorant theory espoused only by a few religious (and therefore unscientific) zealots. Much of the bias comes from the fact that the old-earth perspective has held a monopoly in schools, major universities, and the media for generations; it’s no surprise that most scientists have an old-earth worldview. It is all they were ever taught. It is what most, if not all, of their colleagues profess.

Young earth creationists often call themselves biblical creationists because their position takes a direct, literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. Young earth creationism views Genesis as a historical record of what actually happened, not an allegory or metaphor. Young earth creationism interprets the words dayevening, and morning without symbolism, as plain terms meant to be understood literally. Young earth creationism keeps the creation of the plants, sun, and animals in the biblical sequence, whereas old earth creationism usually rearranges the order listed in Genesis. Young earth creationists believe that when Romans 5:12 says “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,” it is saying that death did not exist prior to Adam, while old earth creationists believe that Romans 5:12 only refers to human death and insist that a lot of dying happened (billions of years’ worth) before Adam appeared.

Young earth creationists see no need to be in harmony with uniformitarian models of the earth’s beginnings, especially when such models are usually rooted in a naturalistic (and atheistic) worldview. Science demands that evidence be examined, and young earth creationism does not shy away from geology, astronomy, biology, or any other field of study. It is the interpretation of the evidence that makes the difference. Proofs for young earth creationism are published by organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research and we have a brief article listing some of the evidences (What is young earth creationism and why is it important? - Podcast Episode 49 SEE ALSO How Young Is the Young Earth?)

QUESTION - Is there any evidence for young earth creationism?

ANSWER - Interpreting evidence is a somewhat subjective process because evidence can always be viewed from multiple vantage points. Police detectives examine crime scenes to determine the most likely perpetrators of the crimes. Sometimes the evidence seems to point in one direction only to later be proved to have been pointing in a different direction all along. Evidence rarely has only one possible explanation.

Old earth creationists examine the cosmological and geological data and conclude that the universe is billions of years old. Young earth creationists admit that the earth and the universe appear to be billions of years old but contend that the data is being misinterpreted.

Most young earth creationists believe that God created the earth and the universe with the appearance of age, much like Adam and Eve were created as adults. If a doctor had examined Adam and Eve on the second day of their existence, the doctor would have said they were decades old even though they were only created the previous day. Similarly, God created the universe and earth so that it could sustain life from the moment He created it. Therefore, it gives the appearance of having aged billions of years even though it is only thousands of years old. So, all the cosmology, geology, and other sciences that uncover evidence for billions of years are in fact pointing to the appearance of age that resulted from God creating a mature and stable universe capable of harboring life.

Most old earth creationists reject the “appearance of age” argument and see it as unnecessary, even deceptive. Why would God create something that appears to be old when it is in fact young? Further, there are many phenomena in the universe with origins seemingly unexplainable other than by allowing for billions of years, and they are unnecessary to harbor life. The old earth creationists say that, if everything in the universe seems to point to billions of years, it should be accepted that the universe is billions of years old.

Both sides examine and interpret the same data. Young earth creationists see anything that points to billions of years as evidence for God creating the universe with the appearance of age or as examples of the scientific community misinterpreting the data. Old earth creationists see everything that points to billions of years as evidence that the universe is actually billions of years old.

So, whether it is continental erosion, subterranean fluid pressure, global cooling, lunar recession, helium diffusion, radiometric dating, the geological column, the big bang theory, redshift, distant starlight, etc., both young earth and old earth creationists believe they can explain the evidence in such a way that supports their viewpoint and/or refutes the other side.

Is there evidence for young earth creationism? Possibly. Is there evidence for old earth creationism? Possibly. It all depends on which viewpoint is correct. In reality, all of the evidence points in the direction of the truth of how long ago God created the universe. It is a matter of us interpreting the data

QUESTION -  What is progressive creationism and is it biblical?

ANWER -Progressive creationism (also called “process creation”) is the belief that God created the heavens and the earth over a period of billions of years, not the six 24-hour days that is the basis for the traditional creationism view. Progressive creationists can be liberal or conservative in their theological belief system, but they generally agree on the following:

• The “Big Bang” was God’s way of producing stars and galaxies through billions of years of natural processes.
• The earth and universe are billions of years old, not merely thousands of years old.
• The days of creation were overlapping periods of millions and billions of years.
• Death and bloodshed have existed from the very beginning of creation and were not the result of Adam’s sin. Man was created after the vast majority of earth’s history of life and death had already taken place.
• The flood of Noah was local, not global, and it had little effect on the earth’s geology, which shows billions of years of history.

Progressive creationism is a belief that opposes both atheistic evolutionism and young earth creationism. The teachings of progressive creationism are not new, but in recent years they have received favorable publicity through Christian radio, television, magazines, and books.

n our view, the error of progressive creationism rests on the assumption that the biblical account of creation in Genesis 1–2 is not meant to be understood literally. According to progressive creationism, the “days” in Genesis 1 are not literal, 24-hour days but actually long periods of time, amounting to millions or even billions of years (see our article on the days of creation). Progressive creationists accept the evolutionary viewpoint of the age of the earth, which we feel is in error (see our article on age of the earth).

Another disagreement we have with progressive creationism is that it posits that death existed prior to the Fall, which undermines the teaching that all physical death is a result of sin (see Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21–22).

In some circumstances, progressive creationism is an attempt by some Christians to harmonize the teachings of modern science with the Bible. However, the theory actually precedes modern evolutionary thinking and was suggested by some of the earliest Christian writers. While we disagree with progressive creationism, it is a view held by a sizable proportion of the Christian community.

All that being said, the traditional interpretation of Genesis has mostly been that of young earth creationism, not progressive creationism. This is because the strongest evidences suggested for progressive creationism come mainly from the field of science, not directly from the words of the Bible.

Resources Related to Progressive Creationism - 

Related Resources:

Genesis 1:2  The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

KJV  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.

NET  Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.

BGT  Genesis 1:2 ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος καὶ σκότος ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐπεφέρετο ἐπάνω τοῦ ὕδατος

NLT  Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

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

NIV  Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

YLT  Genesis 1:2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,

LXE  Genesis 1:2 But the earth was unsightly and unfurnished, and darkness was over the deep, and the Spirit of God moved over the water.

CSB  Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

NKJ  Genesis 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.

NRS  Genesis 1:2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

NAB  Genesis 1:2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

NJB  Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters.

GWN  Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

BHT  Genesis 1:2 wühä´äºrec häytâ töºhû wäböºhû wüHöºšek `al-Pünê tühôm würûªH ´élöhîm müraHeºpet `al-Pünê hammäºyim

BBE  Genesis 1:2 And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters.

  • Formless: Job 26:7 Isa 45:18 Jer 4:23 Na 2:10 
  • Spirit: Job 26:14 Ps 33:6 104:30 Isa 40:12-14 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Note very carefully that there is absolutely not one word in this opening section which supports the idea that there was a gap of many years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Such an idea simply cannot be supported from the text. And to say it does comes very close to "adding to the Scripture" (cf Pr 30:6, Dt 4:2, 12:32 Rev 22:18,19)! Beloved, if the plain sense makes good sense in the context, seek to make no other sense out of it, lest you end up with utter nonsense. We must allow God's Spirit to say what He says and not let ourselves be influenced by the manifold theories of creation that have been propounded by men. This latter fact is why Genesis is so difficult for many to believe, because they have been influenced by men's ideas added to the simple writing of the Scripture. 

One technical note of importance is that in the Hebrew text every verse in the first chapter of Genesis (except Ge 1:1) begins with the conjunction “And” (Hebrew waw) which clearly links each statement sequentially and chronologically.  And so it is notable that the KJV accurately begins each verse with "And" (see Genesis 1 in KJV here), while many of the other versions do not (NAS, NET, NLT, NIV). Of the modern versions, the ESV begins many (but not all) verses with "and." As an aside this 

The earth was formless (tohuand void (bohu) (Hebrew transliterated = tohu wabohu) and darkness (choshek) was over the surface (face, presence) of the deep - On Day One there are three conditions - (1) formless (empty), (2) void (waste place), and (3) darkness.

Darkness is not figurative (e.g., spiritual darkness) but literal darkness. "The physical universe had come into existence, but everything was still and dark—no form, no motion, no light." (Henry Morris) Try to imagine no created light and everything in darkness and the earth was covered with water, a global ocean as it were.

The Psalmist writes 

He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.  6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.  (Ps 104:5-6)

Henry Morris  on foundations - The earth's "matter," the "dust of the earth" or its physical elements, was created on the first day of the creation week, evidently suspended in the pervasive waters. The earth's foundation, solid, continental blocks of material, were not laid until the third day  (Ge 1:9)

In context waters were standing above the mountains refers to the creation in Ge 1:9-10 and not to a global flood as some think.

Some say this verse cannot be taken literally because God is Light so it would be impossible for Him to create a world of darkness! Wrong! Isaiah

That (NET has "I do this so") men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun (stop and praise Him) That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,  7 The One forming light and creating (same verb bara' used in Genesis 1:1) darkness."(same word choshek as here in Ge 1:2)., Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. (Isaiah 45:6-7)

Henry Morris writes that "God did not create light, for He is light. It was the primeval darkness which He created in order to have a division between day and night."

Hebrew scholar Umberto Cassuto on tohu and bohu - As for the earth, it was tōhū and bōhū, that is to say, the unformed material from which the earth was to be fashioned was at the beginning of its creation in a state of tōhū and bōhū, to wit, water above and solid matter beneath, and the whole a chaotic mass, without order or life. (A Commentary on the Book of Genesis)

In Jeremiah 4:23 we find the identical Hebrew phrase (tohu wabohu) Jeremiah declaring "I looked on the earth, and behold, it was  formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light." The prophet is using Genesis 1:2 language to describe his beloved nation of Judah suffering devastation from the Gentile conqueror. The Judah is a wasted, devastated place that has lost its former beauty and is "without form." So while the use in Jeremiah helps give us some sense of what Genesis 1:2 is describing, the contexts of Jeremiah is the result of judgment, while in Genesis 1:2 the context is God's preparation for creation in Genesis 1:3ff. 

The context of formless (tohu) points to the "formlessness" of the earth in contrast to the creative order God will create in Ge 1:3-26. Some have incorrectly translated tohu as "chaos" or "confusion," but Yahweh is a God of order, not a God of confusion. The idea is that it was a waste place (of course not like waste in a garbage dump) and there was as yet no life. The English definition of waste is a place, region, or land that is uninhabited or uncultivated, which would be a good picture of the creation at this time for it was almost like a blank canvas as God the consummate Artist was about to begin "painting" His glorious, majestic masterpiece!

MacArthur puts it simply "the earth was unfinished as to its shape and unpopulated. The material was there. There was time and there was space and there was matter, but it was unformed and unpopulated. The original created elements mentioned in verse 1, time, in the beginning; the heavens, matter … or the heavens space; and the earth matter. God created them, God spoke them into existence but yet they were undifferentiated, unseparated, unorganized and uninhabited. God had not yet shaped them and God had not populated the cosmos. So you have the raw materials mentioned in verse 1 … time, space, matter. They are described, first of all, as unfinished as to shape and unpopulated as to inhabitant."

W. H. Griffith Thomas makes an interesting observation on formless and void noting that "the adjectives 'formless' and 'empty' seem to be the key to the literary structure of the chapter. The record of the first three days refers to the heaven and earth receiving their 'form, ' and the record of the last three days to the filling-up of their 'emptiness."' 

Spurgeon on darkness - “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” How dense that darkness was I cannot tell; that primeval darkness which had never been stirred by a single ray of light; that dense, thick seven-fold Egyptian darkness that had never known a sun or moon, and had never been pierced by light of star; and yet, primeval though it was—I was about to call it eternal darkness, but nothing can be eternal but the Most High—yet there was but a word—“Light be,” and light was. (Creation - An Argument for Faith - Jeremiah 32:17)

And the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters - Clearly the Spirit of God is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit  was superintending, exercising divine care and supervision. This was not chaos, but cosmos (orderly). 

NET NOTE on Spirit of God - The traditional rendering “Spirit of God” is preserved here, as opposed to a translation like “wind from/breath of God” (cf. NRSV) or “mighty wind” (cf. NEB), taking the word “God” to represent the superlative. Elsewhere in the OT the phrase refers consistently to the divine spirit that empowers and energizes individuals (see Gen 41:38; Exod 31:3; 35:31; Num 24:2; 1 Sam 10:10; 11:6; 19:20, 23; Ezek 11:24; 2 Chr 15:1; 24:20).

Henry Morris on Spirit of God - The word “Spirit” is the Hebrew ruach, which is also the word for “wind” and “breath.” The context determines which is the correct meaning in any given instance. In Genesis 1:2, there is no doubt that the creative activity requires not a wind but the person of God Himself. Since the universe was everywhere in need of activation, that person of the Godhead who is both omnipresent and energizing is appropriately mentioned as working in the creation at this point.

NET NOTE on moving over - The Hebrew verb has been translated “hovering” or “moving” (as a bird over her young, see Deut 32:11). The Syriac cognate term means “to brood over; to incubate.” How much of that sense might be attached here is hard to say, but the verb does depict the presence of the Spirit of God moving about mysteriously over the waters, presumably preparing for the acts of creation to follow. If one reads “mighty wind” (cf. NEB) then the verse describes how the powerful wind begins to blow in preparation for the creative act described in vv. 9–10. (God also used a wind to drive back the flood waters in Noah’s day. See Gen 8:1.)

 The Hebrew word for “was moving” is used elsewhere in the Old Testament only in Deuteronomy 32:11, where it describes God showing care for His people Israel "like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers (rachaph) over its young."  Apparently the Spirit hovered over and cared for the original as yet unfashioned earth. I was raised on a farm and "moving over" (or hovers) congers up the image of a mother hen brooding over her eggs). 

Cassuto has an interesting note on the picture of the Spirit brooding - The (PAGAN) myth tells of an egg that existed since the days of creation, and a power from on high came and brooded over it, and from it the world was hatched. But the expression used in the Bible is over the face of the waters, and the waters of the deep are not an egg or anything resembling one.  (A Commentary on the Book of Genesis)

MacArthur the imagery is "of the Holy Spirit hovering over this undeveloped, unformed, lifeless mass of matter in space, covered by water." (This) a major detail in the creation account and not a minor one. It demonstrates, for one thing, that the biblical world view of God is that He is directly involved in His creation. His hand is never lifted from the elements and the working of the material order. His presence is there superintending, hovering over that. This is the antithesis of this philosophical deism that says God is like the originator of the creation, He wound it up and then walked away from it. Or theological dualism which sees a gap between a good God and spirit and a bad world and matter. But rather you have the living God superintending, brooding over, hovering over the waters being directly in charge of the entire process of creation.

Henry Morris on moving - There is another “moving” of the Spirit of God mentioned in the Bible. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). Here the word “moved” is the Greek phero, which in fact is used in the Septuagint as the translation of “moved” in Genesis 1:2. As the Holy Spirit energized the primeval universe, to bring form and life to God’s creation, so He later empowered God’s prophets, to bring beauty and spiritual life to His new creation, through the energizing Word which they inscripturated.

NET NOTE on waters - The text deliberately changes now from the term for the watery deep to the general word for water. The arena is now the life-giving water and not the chaotic abyss-like deep. The change may be merely stylistic, but it may also carry some significance. The deep carries with it the sense of the abyss, chaos, darkness—in short, that which is not good for life.

Formless (08414)(tohu)  formlessness, emptiness, confusion. Tōhû refers to a desert "wasteland" in Deut. 32:10 and Job 6:18. Isaiah spoke of moral "emptiness" (Isa. 29:21; 44:9) and of unreality (40:17, 23). Idols are "empty" and "unreal" (1 Sam. 12:21). In Genesis 1:2 tohu is translated in the Septuagint with the Greek adjective aoratos which means unable to be seen, unseen, invisible, that which cannot be seen with the physical eyes

Tohu - 19v -  chaos(1), confusion(1), desolation(1), emptiness(1), empty space(1), formless(2), futile(2), futile things(1), meaningless(2), meaningless arguments(1), nothing(2), waste(3), waste place(2). Gen. 1:2; Deut. 32:10; 1 Sam. 12:21; Job 6:18; Job 12:24; Job 26:7; Ps. 107:40; Isa. 24:10; Isa. 29:21; Isa. 34:11; Isa. 40:17; Isa. 40:23; Isa. 41:29; Isa. 44:9; Isa. 45:18; Isa. 45:19; Isa. 49:4; Isa. 59:4; Jer. 4:23

Void (0922)(bohu) means void, empty or emptiness. As noted there are only 3 OT uses, the first in creation and the last two describing the state of the land after God's judgment! 

Gilbrant - This noun meaning "without form" or "empty," occurs three times in the OT, twice conjoined to tōhû (HED #8744) in Gen. 1:2 and Isa. 23:11). This word describes the initial stage of creation in Gen. 1:2, conveying the idea of "emptiness." Twice this noun indicates the result of sin and God's judgment upon it. In Jeremiah 4:23, this word describes the condition of the land after God judged the people of Judah and returned it to an unformed stage as in Genesis 1. In Isa. 34:11, the word describes God's judgment on Edom as a heap of stones. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Elmer Martens on bohu - Always occurring with tōhû "waste" (q.v.), bōhû describes the primordial condition of the earth, "void" at the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:2), or "made empty" by God's judgment (Isaiah 34:11; Jeremiah 4:23). It is probable that the descriptions in Isaiah of the desolations of Edom and those in Jeremiah of Israel borrow this phrase from the Genesis picture of a primordial chaos. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament )

Bohu is found only 3 times - 

Isaiah 34:11  But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness. 

Jeremiah 4:23   I looked on the earth, and behold, it was  formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light. 

Moving (07383)(rachaph) to move, to hover, to tremble. In Ge 1:2 the idea seems to be mainly that of a rapid back and forth motion Originally thought to mean "to be soft," the verb rāchaph refers to the moving of the emotion and the heart, "to be moved," "to be affected," "to cherish." It can mean to be moved with fear, thus "to tremor," "to tremble." Jeremiah trembled with emotion (Jer. 23:9). Because of the demands and standards of holiness, and because his own people, especially the so-called prophets, failed to even respect God and his holiness, Jeremiah was overcome with trembling emotion, shaken to the depths of his being. In the Piel, the meaning is "to brood over," "to hover over," "to cherish," as an eagle broods (hovers) over her chicks (Deut. 32:11). The term also described the Spirit of God hovering or brooding over the shapeless mass of the earth, cherishing it and molding it (Gen. 1:2). The Septuagint of rachaph in Genesis 1:2 uses the verb epiphero which in Acts 19:12 conveys the idea of to bring something over and put it on someone. To bring or put upon.

Rachaph is found only 3x in OT - Gen. 1:2; Deut. 32:11; Jer. 23:9

Darkness (2822choshek means darkness, an absence of light and figurative an absence of moral values. Choshek is first seen in Genesis 1:2 (cf Ge 1:4, 5, 18) describing "darkness… over the surface of the deep." The Lxx translates choshek with skotos which can describe physical darkness (eg, Jesus' crucifixion! = Mt 27:45, Mk 15:33, Lk 23:44) 

Deep (0922 08415)(tehom) means depth or deep place and so in Ge 1:2 is the deep, primeval ocean on earth as created by God (cf use referring to oceans in Ge 7:11, also in Ge 15:5) and is the opposite of the heavens (Ge 8:2). In Ps 71:20 it refers to the deepest parts of the earth in a figurative sense. Tehôm occurs in Ge 1:2 and Ps 104:6 in reference to the deep or primeval ocean. Elsewhere, tehôm is similarly connected with the created world as an element within it (Job 38:16; Pr. 8:27f). Tehôm refers to post-creation waters = Genesis 49:25 and Deut. 33:13 refer to subterranean springs as the deep from which God blesses the living. The prophetic occurrence of tehôm in Ezek. 26:19 refers to the ocean depths that overwhelm Tyre (cf. Ps. 42:7; Jonah. 2:5; Hab. 3:10). The great flood of Noah's time was accompanied by the release of waters from the great deep (Gen. 7:11; 8:2). The Psalms represent tehôm as a monsterous force conquered by God (Ps. 33:7). The psalmist spoke of tehôm as the depths from which God could rescue his downcast soul. Tehôm refers more specifically to the waters of oceans (Ps. 107:26). And the psalmist reflected on the depths of the Red Sea traversed safely by the Israelites (Ps 106:9).

Tehom - 35 verses - deep(22), deeps(8), depths(4), ocean depths(1), springs(1).  Gen. 1:2; Gen. 7:11; Gen. 8:2; Gen. 49:25; Exod. 15:5; Exod. 15:8; Deut. 8:7; Deut. 33:13; Job 28:14; Job 38:16; Job 38:30; Job 41:32; Ps. 33:7; Ps. 36:6; Ps. 42:7; Ps. 71:20; Ps. 77:16; Ps. 78:15; Ps. 104:6; Ps. 106:9; Ps. 107:26; Ps. 135:6; Ps. 148:7; Prov. 3:20; Prov. 8:24; Prov. 8:27; Prov. 8:28; Isa. 51:10; Isa. 63:13; Ezek. 26:19; Ezek. 31:4; Ezek. 31:15; Amos 7:4; Jon. 2:5; Hab. 3:10

John MacArthur relates the truth of physical creation to spiritual redemption in 2 Corinthians 4:6+. -- Paul says "is the One who has shone in our hearts” is the same God of creation who turned on the light physically (Genesis 1:2+) and here turns on the light spiritually. Redemption is as much a divine operation as was creation and it’s as much a creative operation. Spiritual darkness covers the minds of men until God shines in their hearts. John MacArthur explains the point Paul is "making is creation and redemption are each works of God. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness at the creation. And the light which shined in a creative way has now begun to shine in a redemptive way. The light of creation has become the light of salvation. The light placed in the heavens has now become a light placed in the heart. The light which was material has become moral. The physical light of the sun, s-u-n, has become the spiritual light of the Son, s-o-n. The universal light has become the personal light. A sovereign God shines the gospel light into the human heart when the truth is preached and God designs to save....What is the light? It is to know who Christ is, that He is God incarnate, that He is the clearest revelation of God. He is the illumination of the truth about God revealed in Christ. (Looking at the Face of Jesus, Part 5)

Tony Evans observes that "In revelation, God discloses His truth. Through inspiration, He sees that it is recorded for us. And by the illumination of His Spirit, He enables us to understand and apply it. When you get all of this working in your life, you’re going to grow as a follower of Christ! (1Pe 2:2+, 2Pe 3:18+) In Genesis 1:2 the Spirit hovered over “the surface of the waters.” In Genesis 1:3 God said, “Let there be light.” Light was not present until the Spirit of God hovered. Why is that important? When the Spirit of God hovers and the Word of God speaks, order comes out of chaos. That’s what happened in creation. The earth was “formless and void” before the Spirit and the light came (Ge 1:2). Does your life ever feel formless and void? Ever feel empty, chaotic in your life? Guess how you move from chaos to order? You do so when the holy Word is mixed with the hovering Spirit. That’s not just reading your Bible. That’s asking God to illumine what you read and submitting your heart to it. Then God's Spirit brings order out of chaos." (What Matters Most: Four Absolute Necessities in Following Christ)

Related Resource:


This verse is not describing a "gap" a concept first proposed by the theologian Thomas Chalmers in the 1800's and then popularized by C I Scofield and espoused by J Vernon Mcgee who wrote "Although this view has been discredited by many in the past few years, I believe that a great catastrophe took place between verses 1 and 2." McGee does not discuss how or why it had been discredited, but went on to support his theory by noting that Isaiah 45:18 uses the same word when God said He "did not create it a waste place (tohu), but formed it to be inhabited." McGee goes on to "suggest that there was some pre-Adamic creature that was on this earth. And it seems that all of this is connected with the fall of Lucifer, son of the morning, who became Satan, the devil, as we know him today. I think all of this is involved here, but God has not given us details." Beloved there is absolutely NO Scriptural support for a so-called "pre-Adamic creature" on earth, which is why God does not give us "details." 

Answersingenesis - For a lucid, well reasoned refutation of the so-called "Gap Theory" see the article aptly titled "A Gap Too Wide to be Crossed." He mentions the "thorny problem" of the fact that thorns have been found in fossils said to be billions of years before Adam! This directly counters God's word in Genesis 3:18 that part of God's curse for Adam's sin was that "thorns and thistles it shall grow for you!" 

Henry Morris says "The main purpose of the gap theory has been to try to harmonize the Biblical chronology with the accepted system of geological ages which was becoming prominent in the days of Chalmers. Many fundamentalists have felt they could ignore the whole troublesome system of evolutionary geological ages by simply pigeonholing them in this “gap” and “letting the geologists have all the aeons they want. Unfortunately this attitude has allowed the evolutionary establishment to take over the nation’s school systems, news media, and most other important institutions of our society. Although very few such “gap theorists” also believe in evolution, the tendency of Bible expositors simply to ignore the whole problem, on the basis of a false sense of security stemming from the gap theory, has had this effect. The geological age system is essentially synonymous with the evolutionary system. Each geological age is identified and dated by the same fossil record which constitutes the main evidence for organic evolution. Historically, as well as logically, acceptance of the geological age system is inevitably followed, sooner or later, by acceptance of the evolutionary system.” Any theory of Biblical interpretation which accommodates the geological age system must be scrutinized very critically on this account, to ascertain whether or not it is based on sound exegesis. Not only is its motivation suspect, but also its scientific premise is fallacious. The gap theory does not accommodate the geological ages as it purports to do, since the system of geological ages is based completely on the assumption of uniformitarianism (the belief that physical processes have always functioned in the past essentially as they do at present), which of course precludes any worldwide cataclysm such as is required by the gap theory. As a result, no geologist accepts the gap theory, or any other theory requiring a global cataclysm, if he also accepts the geological ages. The gap theory is thus self-defeating scientifically. It attempts to accommodate the geological ages by postulating a worldwide cataclysm, but a worldwide cataclysm denies the premise on which the geological age system is based, and would indeed obliterate all the so-called evidence of the geological ages.  The gap theory is not only impossible scientifically but also destructive theologically. By accepting the geological age system, the Bible scholar is thereby accepting the fossil record which identifies these “ages.” Fossils, however, are dead things! They speak clearly of a world in which suffering, disease, and death—often violent, widespread death—were universal realities. They speak of a world much like our own world, a world containing sharks and jellyfish, dragonflies and cockroaches, turtles and crocodiles, bats and beavers—as well as dinosaurs and gliptodons and other animals now extinct. But that world—the “world that then was”—perished (2 Peter 3:6). If that world existed prior to the supposed pre-Adamic cataclysm, then it existed before the sin of Satan which brought on the cataclysm. That is, suffering and death existed for a billion years before the sin of Satan and the subsequent sin of Adam. The Bible says, however, that death came into the world only when Adam brought sin into the world (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21). This fact directly contradicts the assumption in the gap theory that death prevailed for ages before Adam. Furthermore, this primeval prevalence of suffering and death even before Satan’s rebellion leaves only God Himself as responsible for such a state. But the very idea that the God of order and love would directly create and use a universal system based on randomness and cruelty seems almost blasphemous. These, however, are the implications of the gap theory. (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

David Basset of the Creation Evidence Museum sums it up well -  "The Gap Theory is a desperate attempt to harmonize the first chapter of Genesis with the time scale of uniformitarian geology and evolutionary biology by "pigeon-holing' the geologic ages in an imaginary time-gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This time-gap is forced upon the text and context of Genesis 1 by an unwarranted manipulation of the Hebrew grammar of its second verse in order to accommodate the evolutionary interpretation of the fossils within the rock record." He adds "In short, the Gap Theory is bad geology and worse theology!"

Gotquestions sums up the Gap Theory (full article below)- However, many of those who hold to the gap theory do so in order to reconcile old-earth, evolutionary theories with the book of Genesis. But it seems to be a strained reconciliation. The plain reading of Genesis 1 does not at all intimate a length of time between the first two verses. Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 informs us that, when He first created the earth, it was formless, empty, and dark; it was unfinished and uninhabited. The rest of Genesis 1 relates how God completed the formless, empty, and dark earth by filling it with life, beauty, and goodness.

QUESTION -   What does it mean that the earth was without form and void (Genesis 1:2)?

ANSWER - Genesis 1:1 tells us, unsurprisingly, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. There is nothing especially shocking in that statement. However, the statement that follows has raised some eyebrows: the earth was without form and void (Genesis 1:2). The Hebrew tohu is typically translated as “without form” or “formless,” and tohu is rendered “void” or “empty.” Genesis 1:2 could be translated as “it came about that the earth was without form and empty.”

Some have suggested that perhaps God created the heavens and the earth, and then something happened that caused the earth to go from fully created and beautiful to “without form and void.” Such an order of events attempts to explain the perceived old age of the earth. In this view, often called the gap theory, there was a long period of time (a gap) between what happened in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Thomas Chalmers (ED: GAP CREATIONISM), who is credited with popularizing the gap theory, stated his opinion in 1814 that “it [Genesis 1:1] forms no part of the first day—but refers to a period of indefinite antiquity when God created the worlds out of nothing. The commencement of the first day’s work I hold to be the moving of God’s Spirit upon the face of the waters. We can allow geology the amplest time...without infringing even on the literalities of the Mosaic record” (Russell R. Bixler, Earth, Fire, and Sea: The Untold Drama of Creation, Baldwin Press, 1986, p. 86–87). The gap theory interprets the words the earth was without form and void as an aftereffect of something that took place in between the two verses. While Chalmers’ view was impactful, later theologians such as C. I. Scofield advocated for the view and influenced many in favor of the gap theory.

The challenge for the biblical interpreter is to understand whether or not the author of Genesis intended to communicate that something might have taken place in a possible gap. The simplest and most historically held position prior to Chalmers and other gap advocates was that the representation of the earth as without form and void was simply an expression of stages of progress during the first day and not a statement of condition prior to the creation week.

In that non-gap understanding, there is no attempt to explain the appearance of age and no special consideration for any theological implications. Advocates of the non-gap interpretation might simply assert that everything created had the appearance of age. For example, Adam was created as a man, capable of speech and critical thought. He obviously wasn’t created as an infant, hence the appearance of age. The same could be said of trees, mountains, etc. Proponents of the non-gap understanding generally don’t sense a theological need or exegetical reason to insert a gap of time between the two verses and conclude that to do so would be an argument from silence and not based on sound interpretive principles. | (ED: THE WRITER OF THESE NOTES ON GENESIS IS A STAUNCH NON-GAP PROPONENT). 

QUESTION -  What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

ANSWER - Genesis 1:1–2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The gap theory is the view that God created a fully functional earth with all animals, including the dinosaurs and other creatures we know only from the fossil record. Then, the theory goes, something happened to destroy the earth completely—most likely the fall of Satan to earth—so that the planet became without form and void. At this point, God started all over again, recreating the earth in its paradise form as further described in Genesis. The gap theory, which is distinct from theistic evolution and the day-age theory, is also called old-earth creationism, gap creationism, and the ruin-reconstruction theory.

In young-earth creationism, Genesis 1:1 is seen as a summary of the complete chapter 1 in the Hebrew storytelling form. God created the heavens and the earth. Then verse 2 begins a detailed breakdown of the step-by-step process that verse 1 summarizes. However, the statement that “the earth was formless and empty, [and] darkness was over the surface of the deep” (Genesis 1:2) can be puzzling. The idea that God created a useless and shapeless earth is an uncomfortable position for some conservative theologians, and this leads them to the gap theory, or an old-earth perspective.

According to conservative proponents of the gap theory, Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation of God—perfect in every way. Then, between verses 1 and 2, Satan rebelled in heaven and was cast out. Satan’s sin “ruined” the original creation; that is, his rebellion brought about its destruction and eventual death, and the earth was reduced to its “formless and empty” state, ready for the “re-construction.” The length of time involved—the size of the “gap”—is not specified but could have lasted millions of years.

Of course, Satan must have fallen before Adam did; otherwise, there would have been no temptation in the garden. Young-earth creationists say that Satan fell sometime after Genesis 1:31. Gap creationists say that Satan fell between Genesis 1:1 and 2.

One difficulty of the gap theory is that it requires that creation suffer death and destruction before Adam’s fall. Romans 5:12 says, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” The gap theory counters by positing two worlds. Satan’s sin brought death to the original creation, whatever that was like; and Adam’s sin brought death to the re-creation, the realm of mankind. Through Adam’s sin, evil entered our world and the realm of man was cursed. But rebellion already existed outside the realm of mankind (in the spiritual realm), since Satan and his angels had already fallen (Isaiah 14:12–14; Ezekiel 28:12–18). Sin could not enter the realm of man until man chose it. And Satan, via the serpent, successfully tempted man to make that choice.

Objections to the gap theory include the idea that, if something important had occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 2, God would have told us so, rather than leave us to speculate in ignorance. Also, Genesis 1:31 says God declared His creation to be “very good”—a statement difficult to square with the theory that evil already existed because of Satan’s fall in the “gap.”

It is possible to hold to a literal, six-day creation week and still hold to the gap theory—the gap theory does not require evolution to be true, since the gap falls before the events of Day One in Genesis 1:3. And that’s why some conservative scholars do believe the gap theory, although its acceptance has waned since the days of proponents C. I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee.

However, many of those who hold to the gap theory do so in order to reconcile old-earth, evolutionary theories with the book of Genesis. But it seems to be a strained reconciliation. The plain reading of Genesis 1 does not at all intimate a length of time between the first two verses. Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 informs us that, when He first created the earth, it was formless, empty, and dark; it was unfinished and uninhabited. The rest of Genesis 1 relates how God completed the formless, empty, and dark earth by filling it with life, beauty, and

A Few Quotes from
Evolutionists and Creationists


The diagram above illustrates the "Unexpected Variety—At the lower fossil layers, known as the Cambrian, is an incredible variety of sea creatures without any ancestors below them. This sudden appearance of variety is a mystery to evolution, which would expect species to arise in small steps over long periods of time." (From Answers in Genesis)

Creationist Kurt Wise on the Cambrian explosion - Even 150 years ago geologists saw that the oldest fossils in the world sat atop thousands of feet of rock containing no fossils at all. The lowest fossil-bearing rocks were at that time beginning to be called “Cambrian” rocks, and the rocks beneath them “Precambrian.” The Cambrian rocks contained abundant fossils, so passing from the Precambrian into the Cambrian looked like an “explosion” of fossils—something which came to be known as the “Cambrian Explosion.” When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, he considered the Cambrian Explosion one of the most significant challenges to his entire position.

Dr Stephen Meyer - Watch his excellent 90 minute video which talks about Darwin's doubt - click here to see as Dr Meyer begins to explain the "Cambrian Explosion" using a variety of excellent illustrations") (Meyer is the author of the NY Times bestselling "Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design"). 

Joshua Youngkin - "Phillip E. Johnson’s Darwin on Trial (click for online pdf) may be rightly hailed as the revolutionary work of a revolutionary soul, and a standard in American protest literature. Originally published in 1991, the book has sold more than 250,000 copies and has been translated into French, Polish, Chinese, and Korean. Although Johnson wrote for the benefit of a lay readership, his arguments proved captivating for many young scientists and other scholars who gathered around Johnson and developed the theory of intelligent design. (read the full review with links to multiple critical and positive reviews - e.g., here is on from Dr Stephen Meyer)

Paul Ackerman "It's a Young World After All" "Let me be blunt on this matter. Evolutionists around the world have had to learn the hard way that evolution cannot stand up against creationism in any fair and impartial debate situation where the stakes are the hearts and minds of intelligent, undecided but nevertheless objective and open-minded audiences. Experience will prove that the same is true for the age issue as well. Evolutionist's beliefs regarding the origin and development of life cannot withstand the scrutiny of an informed opposition and neither can evolutionists claim to the effect that the universe has existed for ten to twenty billion years and the earth for 4.5 billion years. To delay the collapse of widespread public acceptance of such claims, it will be necessary for evolutionist scientists to carefully avoid debate". (John MacArthur sermon Creation Day 3)

Gregg Easterbrook "The entire universe popped out of a point with no content and no dimensions, essentially expanding instantaneously to cosmological size." This is now being taught at Stanford, MIT, and other top science schools. This explanation of the beginning of the universe bears haunting similarity to the traditional theological idea of creation ex nihilo, out of nothing." Mr. Easterbrook quotes one of the world's top astronomers, Allan Sandage of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution, as saying that the Big Bang can only be understood as "a miracle." (from Science and Religion in World Magazine)

John MacArthur comments - Day two was a big bang by a big God who instantaneously created the universe. Now we have an unformed earth. We have light. And we have a vast universe.

George Wald, Scientific American Journal say "The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation. The only alternative was to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position."  (John MacArthur sermon Creation Day 3)

Richard Dawkins avowed atheist and evolutionist, alludes to a major problem for the evolutionists - "Very big gaps, too. For example the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists." (ED: AMEN DR. DAWKINS! IT IS A DELIGHT TO SEE THE FOSSIL FINDINGS GIVE STRONG SUPPORT TO CREATIONISM) (Richard Dawkins "The Blind Watchmaker" 1986 Pg. 229) (See a related article from 2021 which discusses an attempt by evolutionists to explain what is referred to as the Cambrian explosion! )

Dawkins adds a caustic remark that "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that.)" (NY Times, April 9, 1999). 

In a Bill Moyers interview with Dawkins listen to his amazing (il)logic! - "Evolution has been observed. It's just that it hasn't been observed while it's happening." (SAY WHAT???)

Louis T More, evolutionist who wrote "The Dogma of Evolution (Princeton: University Press 1925, Pg. 160) said  "The more one studies paleontology [the fossil record] the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone."


Sir Julian Huxley, evolutionist "I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores."


Sir Arthur Keith, British evolutionist - "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable". 

William Provine (prof. Cornell University)  "Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear...There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind." (Origins Research, Vol.16 1/2 ,1994)

COMMENT - Paul would say "Professing to be wise, they became fools!" (Ro 1:22)

Robert E. Smith, a member of the western Missouri affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union whom you would know to be no friend of Scripture, says “For the past five years I have closely followed creationist literature and have attended lectures and debates on related issues. Based solely on the scientific arguments pro and con, I have been forced to conclude that scientific creationism is not only a viable theory but that it has achieved parody, if not superiority over the normative theory of biological evolution. That this should now be the case is somewhat surprising, particularly in view of what most of us were taught in primary ad secondary school.” He goes on, “In practical terms, the past decade of intense activity by scientific creationists has left most evolutionist professors unwilling to debate the creationist professors. Too many of the evolutionists have been publicly humiliated in such debates by their own lack of erudition and by the weakness of their theory." (John MacArthur Creation Day 3 - Grace to You)

Dr. Ralph Girard, professor of biology and dean of the graduate division at the University of California at Davis is reported by the press to have made the comment that the “theory of creation” makes about as much sense as teaching about the stork. He asked if a scientific course on reproduction should also mention the stork theory. The very interesting thing is that the stork theory is not mentioned in the Bible at all, but the creation story is mentioned. His comparison is not quite warranted, because the Bible deals literally with this matter of procreation, and if you read your Bible carefully, you never could have the viewpoint of the stork theory! So what this man says is certainly beside the point but reveals a very antagonistic attitude toward the Bible.  (J Vernon McGee - Genesis 1)

This problem of origin provokes more violent controversy, wild theories, and wide disagreement than any other....There are a great many theories as to how the world began, but all of them can be boiled down to fit into a twofold classification: one is creation, and the other is speculation. All theories fall into one of these two divisions.....The biologist Edwin Conklin, speaking of evolution, stated that the probability of life originating by accident is “comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary originating from an explosion in a print shop.” That sounds very unscientific, coming from a scientist, but it’s true.....Dr. Lawrence S. Dillon, associate professor of biology at Texas A and M College, says that man is not an animal but a plant which evolved from brown seaweed. Now maybe you have been looking in the wrong place for your grandpa and grandma.....I reject evolution because it rejects God and it rejects revelation. It denies the fall of man and the fact of sin, and it opposes the virgin birth of Christ. Therefore, I reject it with all my being. I do not believe that it is the answer to the origin of this universe.  (J Vernon McGee - Genesis 1)

QUESTION -  How does the Cambrian Explosion fit within the framework of young-earth creationism?

ANSWER - The earth’s crust consists of many layers of fossil-bearing rock. It was once believed that the lowest layer of fossil-bearing rock was the Cambrian and that Precambrian rock was totally devoid of any fossil remains. It is now known that there are actually some, though very few, primitive fossils in the Precambrian. But it is not until the Cambrian layer that we find a sudden burst of life.

The “Cambrian Explosion” refers to the sudden appearance of most of the world’s known animal phyla, all within a very brief period of geological time (by the conventional standard). The sudden appearance of so many of the major innovations to the basic structures of known animal forms has always been somewhat problematic for Darwin’s theory of gradual innovation. But how does the Cambrian Explosion fit with the framework of young-earth creationism?

The old-earth position is that the vast majority of earth’s strata represent long epochs of time, typically millions of years, and that the fossils found in the lower layers evolved before those found in the upper layers. The young-earth position is that nearly all of the strata from the Cambrian period on up were deposited in relatively quick succession as the result of a catastrophic global deluge and subsequent natural disasters, and that the order in which fossils are found is a result of hydrological mechanics (hydrologic sorting for example, the phenomenon whereby dirt spontaneously settles into layers after being kicked up in water).

The conspicuous presence of so many of the world’s known animal phyla in the bottom layer does not prove or disprove one position or the other. So young-earth proponents rely on other physical evidences to make their case, including poly-strata fossils (that is, fossils that pass through multiple strata), misplaced and missing fossils and strata, the lack of erosion between strata, the deficiency of bioturbation, undisturbed bedding planes, the limited extent of unconformities, soft-sediment deformation, and well-preserved surface features between layers, etc.

There are, for example, plenty of out-of-place fossils. Sometimes rock layers containing what are thought to be older fossils are found above rock layers that contain what are thought to be younger fossils (the younger fossils should be on top). The solution for Darwinian geologists is to argue that the strata containing the misplaced fossils were shuffled out of order by some natural geological process. They then reorganize the discrepant fossils and rock layers logically using the assumed order in which the creatures were supposed to have evolved; i.e., this organism was supposed to have evolved before this one, so it goes here on bottom, while this organism was supposed to have evolved after this one so it goes here on top, etc. Darwinian biologists then turn around and use the evolutionary progression organized by the geologists as evidence for the evolutionary progression that the geologists used to organize the strata. This is, of course, circular reasoning.

To summarize, each viewpoint, whether young-earth creationism, old-earth creationism, or Darwinian evolution, struggles somewhat with explaining the Cambrian Explosion. In no sense, though, is the Cambrian Explosion contradictory with young-earth creationism. In fact, young-earth creationism perhaps has the clearest explanation for the Cambrian Explosion, that of the global deluge. Whatever the case, the evidence for the Cambrian Explosion is no reason to doubt the veracity of Genesis’ account of creation (Genesis chapters 1-2, 6-8).

QUESTION -  Did God use the “Big Bang” to create the universe?

ANSWER - Prior to the twentieth century, before the Big Bang theory had been developed, philosophers and scientists debated whether the universe had a beginning. Some argued it had always existed: that it was “infinitely old.” This agreed with the worldview of ancient philosophers and then-current atheism. On the other hand, there were logical reasons to think the universe could not be “infinitely old,” such as causality. For most of history, there was no empirical evidence proving the universe had an objective “beginning.” Atheism particularly held to the idea of an “infinitely old” universe as a reason to dismiss God as unnecessary.

This situation changed drastically in the first half of the twentieth century, as several discoveries were made leading to the formation of the Big Bang theory. Over several decades, those who preferred the idea of an eternal universe made many attempts to explain away hard evidence, but to no avail. The result was secular science lending tremendous support to the creation account of the Bible.

Einstein’s theory of general relativity, published in 1916, suggested the universe either had to be constantly expanding or constantly contracting. So, Einstein added a “cosmological constant” to his equations, for no other reason than to maintain the possibility of a static, eternal universe. Einstein later called this the “biggest blunder” of his career.

The work of Edwin Hubble in the 1920s proved the universe is expanding. This finding contradicted Einstein’s cosmological constant and left non-believing astrophysicists unhappy. Their discomfort was made even worse with the contributions of Georges Lemaître, a Roman Catholic priest and astronomer. Lemaître noted that the combination of general relativity theory and Hubble’s discoveries implies a beginning. If the universe is currently expanding, then at some time in the past, the entire universe would have been contained in some infinitesimally small point. This idea is foundational to the Big Bang theory.

Over the next several decades, physicists tried to salvage the eternality of the universe by proposing everything from the Milne model (1935) to the steady state theory (1948). In many (if not most) cases, these models were proposed explicitly because the implications of a non-eternal universe were “too religious.”

The year 1964 brought about the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation—something predicted by the earliest Big Bang theorists in the 1940s. For all intents and purposes, that discovery made the “beginning” of the universe an inescapable fact of modern science. The question was no longer “did the universe have a beginning?” but “how did the universe begin?”

Apparent evidence for the Big Bang, regardless of how one interprets it, is a stunning example of science and theology intersecting. According to objective, empirical science, all space, time, and energy came into existence together in a single moment: a “beginning.” Before this event, whatever it was, there was no time. There was no space. Then, suddenly, an exceedingly dense, incredibly hot, infinitesimal ball of something—everything—appeared somewhere, somehow for reasons unknown and began to expand rapidly with our whole universe inside of it. If true, the Big Bang theory all but confirms the view espoused by Judeo-Christianity for thousands of years.

Astrophysicist Dr. Robert Jastrow phrased it this way in his book God and the Astronomers (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978, p. 116):

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Why? Because, as Jastrow explained in a subsequent interview,

“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. . . . That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact” (“A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths: Interview with Robert Jastrow,” Christianity Today, August 6, 1982, pp. 15, 18).

It is important to note that, prior to the development of the Big Bang theory, disbelief in God was tied closely to the idea of an eternal, un-caused, and un-created universe. Afterwards, however, non-believers began to claim that these advances in science actually disproved God. What had always been interpreted as clear support for a Creator—and resisted for that very reason—almost overnight turned into the claim that atheists had been right all along.

This attitude, unfortunately, led to a corresponding reaction from the creationist community. Just as many astrophysicists felt that the expanding universe theory was a ploy to inject religion into science, many Christians have come to feel that the Big Bang theory is an effort to undermine the biblical account of creation. Other Christians, however, feel that the Big Bang theory is consistent with the Bible’s account and welcome such compelling evidence for the universe having a beginning.

With that said, it is important to understand that the Big Bang theory is just that—a theory. The exact nature or cause of that “beginning” has not been explicitly proved by empirical science, nor can it be.

Did God use the “Big Bang” to create the universe? The idea itself—that the universe came into existence in an instantaneous expansion—is compatible with biblical creationism, as long as there is recognition that the ingredients and forces of the big bang were created by God “out of nothing” (see Hebrews 11:3). Scripture only says that God created the heavens and earth (Genesis 1:1), speaking the universe into existence (Psalm 33:6Hebrews 11:3). Could some of the evidence that appears to point to a “big bang” actually be pointing to God’s initial creative act? Possibly.

At the same time, the Big Bang theory, as it is commonly presented by the scientific community, contains atheistic presuppositions and contradicts the biblical creation account. In that sense, no, God did not use the “Big Bang” to create the

QUESTION -  What is the Intelligent Design Theory?

ANSWER - The Intelligent Design Theory says that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable. Certain biological features defy the standard Darwinian random-chance explanation, because they appear to have been designed. Since design logically necessitates an intelligent designer, the appearance of design is cited as evidence for a designer. There are three primary arguments in the Intelligent Design Theory: 1) irreducible complexity, 2) specified complexity, and 3) the anthropic principle.

One of the arguments for Intelligent Design, irreducible complexity, is defined as “a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” Simply put, life is comprised of intertwined parts that rely on each other in order to be useful. Random mutation may account for the development of a new part, but it cannot account for the concurrent development of multiple parts necessary for a functioning system. For example, the human eye is obviously a very useful system. Without the eyeball, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex, a randomly mutated incomplete eye would actually be counterproductive to the survival of a species and would therefore be eliminated through the process of natural selection. An eye is not a useful system unless all its parts are present and functioning properly at the same time.

Another argument for Intelligent Design, specified complexity, is the concept that, since specified complex patterns can be found in organisms, some form of guidance must have accounted for their origin. The specified complexity argument states that it is impossible for complex patterns to be developed through random processes. For example, a room filled with 100 monkeys and 100 computers may eventually produce a few words, or maybe even a sentence, but it would never produce a Shakespearean play. And how much more complex is biological life than a Shakespearean play?

The anthropic principle of Intelligent Design states that the world and universe are “fine-tuned” to allow for life on Earth. If the ratio of elements in the atmosphere of the earth was altered slightly, many species would quickly cease to exist. If the earth were significantly closer to or further away from the sun, many species would cease to exist. The existence and development of life on Earth requires so many variables to be perfectly in tune that it would be impossible for all the variables to come into being through random, uncoordinated events.

While the Intelligent Design Theory does not presume to identify the source of intelligence (whether it be God or UFOs or something else), the vast majority of Intelligent Design theorists are theists. They see the appearance of design which pervades the biological world as evidence for the existence of God. There are, however, a few atheists who cannot deny the strong evidence for design but are not willing to acknowledge a Creator God. They tend to interpret the data as evidence that earth was seeded by some sort of master race of extraterrestrial creatures (aliens). Of course, their interpretation does not address the origin of the aliens, either, so they are back to the original argument with no credible answer.

Intelligent Design Theory is not always exactly the same as biblical creationism. There are various interpretations of what Intelligent Design refers to. Biblical creationists conclude that the Genesis account of creation is reliable and correct, and so life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent: God. They see the facets of Intelligent Design as evidence from the natural realm that supports this conclusion. Other Intelligent Design theorists begin with the natural realm and reach the conclusion that life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent, without specifying who that agent might be.

In and of itself, Intelligent Design does not specify who the Designer or designers actually are. As such, Intelligent Design is compatible with biblical creationism, but it is not an inherently religious

QUESTION -  What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design?

ANSWER - Modern scientific insight has revealed startling evidence for intelligent design from various disciplines, from biology to astronomy, from physics to cosmology. The purpose of this article is to summarize some of the major arguments.

What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design? – From Biology

In recent years, William Dembski has pioneered a methodology which has become known as the “explanatory filter,” a means by which design can be inferred from the phenomena of nature in particular living organisms. The filter consists of a sequence of three yes/no questions that guide the decision process of determining whether a given phenomenon can be attributed to an intelligent causal agency. Based upon this filter, if an event, system or object is the product of intelligence, then it will:

1. Be contingent
2. Be complex
3. Display an independently specified pattern

Thus, in order to be confident that a given phenomenon is the product of intelligent design, it cannot be a regularity that necessarily stems from the laws of nature, nor can it be the result of chance. According to Dembski, the explanatory filter highlights the most important quality of intelligently designed systems, namely, specified complexity. In other words, complexity alone is not enough to indicate the work of an intelligent agent; it must also conform to an independently specified pattern.

Among the most compelling evidence for design in the realm of biology is the discovery of the digital information inherent in living cells. As it turns out, biological information comprises a complex, non-repeating sequence which is highly specified relative to the functional or communication requirements that they perform. Such similarity explains, in part, Dawkins’ observation that, “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.” What are we to make of this similarity between informational software—the undisputed product of conscious intelligence—and the informational sequences found in DNA and other important biomolecules?

What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design? – From Physics

In physics, the concept of cosmic fine tuning gives further support to the design inference. The concept of cosmic fine tuning relates to a unique property of our universe whereby the physical constants and laws are observed to be balanced on a “razor’s edge” for permitting the emergence of complex life. The degree to which the constants of physics must match precise criteria is such that a number of agnostic scientists have concluded that, indeed, there is some sort of transcendent purpose behind the cosmic arena. British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle wrote, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

One example of fine tuning is the rate at which the universe expands. This value must be delicately balanced to a precision of one part in 1055. If the universe expanded too quickly, matter would expand too quickly for the formation of stars, planets, and galaxies. If the universe expanded too slowly, the universe would quickly collapse before the formation of stars.

Besides that, the ratio of the electromagnetic force to gravity must be finely balanced to a degree of one part in 1040. If this value were to be increased slightly, all stars would be at least 40% more massive than our sun. This would mean that stellar burning would be too brief and too uneven to support complex life. If this value were to be decreased slightly, all stars would be at least 20% less massive than the sun. This would render them incapable of producing heavy elements necessary to sustain life.

What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design? – From Cosmology

With modern discoveries in the field of cosmology, the concept of a definitive beginning of the cosmos has been demonstrated almost beyond question. The Kalam argument states that:

1. Everything which begins to exist has a cause apart from itself
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause apart from itself

It thus appears from the data that an uncaused first cause exists outside the four dimensions of space and time, which possesses eternal, personal, and intelligent qualities in order to possess the capability of intentionally bringing space, matter—and indeed even time itself—into being.

What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design? – Conclusion

This article is but a brief overview of some of the key elements involved in the design inference. The purpose is to demonstrate the wide body of support for intelligent design from a large range of disciplines, including biology, physics and

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

  • God: Ps 33:6,9 Ps 148:5 Mt 8:3  Joh 11:43 
  • Let: Job 36:30 Job 38:19 Ps 97:11 Ps 104:2 Ps 118:27 Isa 45:7 60:19 Joh 1:5,9 Joh 3:19 2Co 4:6 Eph 5:8,14 1Ti 6:16 1Jn 1:5 2:8
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Hebrews 11:3+ By faith (pistis) we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word (rhema - that which was said, the audible spoken word) of God (cf GOD SAID - Ge 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14), so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

COMMENT - Understand is noeo which means to grasp or comprehend something on the basis of careful thought. When you consider the truth of God's Word in Genesis 1, you must believe it (by faith) and then you comprehend that what God commanded, God carried out. Believing precedes understanding! Note also that prepared is katartizo (thoroughly prepared or equipped, made fully adequate and ready for use, ready to fulfill its purpose = no need to "evolve") in the perfect tense, indicating creation was a past completed act (creation in six 24 hour days) with continuing effect (creation continues to exist), absolutely negating the need for evolution. God's Word says it was finished. Our choice is to believe it or not. 

Henry Morris - Note also, that the special creation of the universe is the very first object of this living, saving faith. Faith in redemption without faith in creation is impossible in any meaningful sense. Only the Creator can save. things  The physical universe, therefore, was not somehow made out of pre-existing materials of any kind. Thus, theistic evolution is an oxymoron. Only special creation of the worlds, accomplished merely by the Omnipotent "Let there be" of God, can account for the things that are seen. His processes of creating and making all things ex nihilo--"out of nothing" but His own omnipotence--were all completed and stopped at the end of the six days of creation week (Genesis 2:1-3). His present works consist of conserving and redeeming what He has created, as confirmed by the two most basic and universal of all known scientific principles, the so-called First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. The First Law (mass/energy conservation) assures us that the universe did not create itself, as many modern physicists and New Agers imagine. The Second Law (mass/energy deterioration) assures us that the universe must have been created in the beginning and is not of infinite age, otherwise it already would have completely deteriorated into uniform stillness and death. Therefore, it could only have been spoken into being by the omnipotent Word of God. Those who believe otherwise are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20).  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

John 1:3 (SEE COMMENT) All (HOW MUCH?) things came into being (aorist tense = past COMPLETED action) through Him (JESUS CHRIST), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Colossians 1:16+  For by Him (THE WORD OF GOD, THE DIVINE WORD, JESUS) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Psalm 33:6-9 (GOD SPOKE CREATION INTO EXISTENCE) By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.  7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.  8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.  9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast

COMMENT - Beloved, do you see any hint of evolution in the preceding passage? Look at the repeated words - word...breath...spoke. How did God create? By evolution or simply by speaking? Let the Word of Truth speak for itself. 

Psalm 148:4-5 (GOD SPOKE CREATION INTO EXISTENCE)  Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!  5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created

COMMENT - Again do you see the clear pattern? Commanded and...created. God SPOKE Evolution is not even remotely suggested in this passage!  Commanded picks up on the repeated phrase: "Then God said" in Genesis 1 (Ge 1:3, 6 , 8, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29). Note that in the Septuagint the Greek verbs for commanded (entellomai)  and created (ktizo) are both in the aorist tense indicating a definite event occurring at a point of time in the past! This negates beliefs such as progressive creationism and  theistic evolution. God spoke the Word and the act of creation took place with no suggestion of a delay and certainly no suggestion of evolution! The truth of verse 5 is affirmed by the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 11:3+. It is not simply that Elohim created; it is the fact that He required no intermediary means to create. What God’s mind conceived, God simply spoke into existence. God’s power in the Genesis 1 record of creation is total and absolute. When we accept Elohim as the all powerful Creator of everything (needing no help from anyone including evolution, etc), it will stir in a spirit of praise in our hearts and put a joyful song on our lips (and a tap in our feet!)  Play this Maranatha Singers song based on Psalm 148 and worship (and see if you can keep from tapping your foot!)

Henry Morris has an interesting comment - God did not create light, for He is light. It was the primeval darkness which He created in order to have a division between day and night.  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

Isaiah 45:7-8  The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. 8 “Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it. 

2 Corinthians 4:6 (see in depth commentary) For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

COMMENT - John 1:4+ "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." John MacArthur writes that "In 2 Corinthians 4:6 the Apostle Paul draws a parallel between the original separation of light from darkness and the conversion of a sinner." (MacDonald) Paul says "is the One who has shone in our hearts” is the same God of creation Who "turned on" the light physically and in this passage turns on the light spiritually. Redemption is as much a divine operation as was creation and it’s as much a creative operation. To have doubts about God's power in creation at least has the potential to engender doubts about God's power in redemption! Creation in Genesis 1 is very important! Spiritual darkness covers the minds of men until God shines in their hearts. John MacArthur explains the point Paul is "making is creation and redemption are each works of God. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness at the creation. And the light which shined in a creative way has now begun to shine in a redemptive way. The light of creation has become the light of salvation. The light placed in the heavens has now become a light placed in the heart. The light which was material has become moral. The physical light of the sun, s-u-n, has become the spiritual light of the Son, s-o-n. The universal light has become the personal light. A sovereign God shines the gospel light into the human heart when the truth is preached and God designs to save....What is the light? It is to know who Christ is, that He is God incarnate, that He is the clearest revelation of God. He is the illumination of the truth about God revealed in Christ. (Looking at the Face of Jesus, Part 5)

"LIGHT" - Electromagnetic radiation includes waves that are bigger than the largest buildings and waves
that are smaller than the tiniest particles known. Visible light makes up only a tiny slice of this range.


Wiersbe points out that "There’s a pattern to God’s activities during the Creation week: first He formed and then He filled. He made three spheres of activity: the heavens, the landmasses, and the waters; and then He filled them with appropriate forms of life." (Be Basic Genesis 1-11)

Henry Morris - Though no doubt oversimplified, this tremendous creative act of the Godhead might be summarized by saying that the nuclear forces maintaining the integrity of matter were activated by the Father when He created the elements of the space-mass-time continuum, the gravitational forces were activated by the Spirit when He brought form and motion to the initially static and formless matter, and the electromagnetic forces were activated by the Word when He called light into existence out of the darkness. Of course, God is One, and all three persons of the Godhead actually participated in all parts of the creation and continue to function in the maintenance of the universe so created.

Then - Then marks progression or sequence. The Creation was carried out by God in a specific sequence or order over 6 days. This fact should encourage every believer for our God is a God of order and not a God of confusion. 

Then uses in Genesis 1 = 9x in 9v - Gen 1:3 Gen 1:6 Gen 1:9 Gen 1:11 Gen 1:14 Gen 1:20 Gen 1:24 Gen 1:26 Gen 1:29

The psalmist picks up the repeated phrase "God said" in his glorious song of praise in Psalm 148:1-5 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!  2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!  3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!  4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!  5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created

THOUGHT - The truth is not simply that Elohim created; it is the fact that He required no intermediary means to create. What God’s mind conceived, God simply commanded into existence. God’s power in the Genesis 1 is utter and absolute. When we accept Elohim as the all powerful Creator of everything (needing no help from anyone including evolution!), it will stir in our hearts a spirit of praise and put a joyful song in our mouth (and a tap in our feet!). If you don't believe me play this Maranatha Singers song based on Psalm 148 and worship (and see if you can keep from tapping your foot!)

God said - This is the first record of God speaking in Scripture. In this context this phrase clearly describes the power of divine communication. Here we see the  supernatural power of the Word spoken by God. What is to be our response? We did not see this event. We can only respond by faith, by believing God's testimony of what transpired in the beginning. We can either believe it or reject it. We can also "tamper" with it trying to make it say something it does not -- e.g., saying it refers in some way to evolution (which it does not!). Hebrews 11:3 (see note above on this verse) puts it this way "By faith we understand (noeo) that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."

George Bush has an interesting comment on God said - It is not to be supposed that there was any vocal utterance. Indeed, throughout the narrative the phrase, 'He said,' is' simply equivalent to 'He willed." God's speaking is his willing, and His willing is His doing.' Bp. HalL

As McCue says “The conception of God pre-existent to matter and by His fiat calling it into being is beyond the domain of reason or demonstration. It is simply accepted by an act of faith.”  A common saying is "Seeing is believing" but in the case of  Creation by fiat (decree) the reverse is true "Believing is seeing" the "seeing" of course being seeing with eyes of faith (cf 2Cor 5:7+, 2Cor 4:18+, Heb 11:27+)

Derek Kidner has an interesting comment on And God said - The simple phrase And God said precludes some far-reaching errors and stores up a wealth of meaning. These eight specific commands (ED: ACTUALLY 9X - Gen. 1:3; Gen. 1:6; Gen. 1:9; Gen. 1:11; Gen. 1:14; Gen. 1:20; Gen. 1:24; Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:28; Gen. 1:29), calling all things into being, leave no room for notions of a universe that is self-existent, or struggled for, or random, or a divine emanation; and the absence of any intermediary implies an extremely rich content for the word ‘said’. This may not be at once apparent, for we ourselves know what it is to order things to happen. But our commands, even at their most precise, are mere outlines: they rely on existing materials and agencies to embody them, and the craftsman himself works with what he finds, to produce what he only knows in part. The Creator, on the other hand, in willing an end willed every smallest means to it, his thought shaping itself exactly to the least cell and atom, and his creative word wholly meaningful. (Genesis Tyndale Old Testament Commentary - 2008)

As William MacDonald says "In spiritual matters faith precedes understanding."

THOUGHT - Notice the first two words in Hebrews 11:3 are "by faith" -- does that describe your approach to Genesis 1? Would you agree with the statement that God said it, that settles it, whether I fully understand it or not? And remember the only One present at these opening events in Genesis 1 was God. We either believe it or not. There is absolutely no middle ground. 

Henry Morris argues that "Light was not created, since God Himself dwells in light." In his first letter John affirms this writing 

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

Jewish writer Cassuto on let there be light  - ‘It is like the case of a king who wishes to build a palace, but the site was in darkness. What did he do? He kindled lamps and torches to see where to lay the foundations’ (Bereshith Rabba iii 1; for the variant readings consult Theodor’s edition). Adapting the parable to our interpretation of v. 2, we might say: It is like the case of a man who came to arrange various articles that were lying in confusion in a dark room, What does he do first of all? He kindles lamps in the room and so illumines the chamber and everything in it." (A Commentary on the Book of Genesis)

As noted this is the first of 10 uses of the phrase God said in Genesis 1 out of a total of 46 uses in the entire Bible. Clearly the emphasis in Genesis 1 is on the spoken Word of God!  


Genesis 1 - Gen. 1:3; Gen. 1:6; Gen. 1:9; Gen. 1:11; Gen. 1:14; Gen. 1:20; Gen. 1:24; Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:28; Gen. 1:29;

Other occurrences of the phrase "God said" - Gen. 2:18; Gen. 3:1; Gen. 3:13; Gen. 3:14; Gen. 3:22; Gen. 6:13; Gen. 9:12; Gen. 9:17; Gen. 15:13; Gen. 17:9; Gen. 17:15; Gen. 17:19; Gen. 20:6; Gen. 21:12; Gen. 31:11; Gen. 35:1; Gen. 35:10; Exod. 3:14; Exod. 13:17; Exod. 34:10; Num. 22:12; Jdg. 6:20; 1 Ki. 3:5; 1 Ki. 3:11; 1 Ki. 13:8; 2 Ki. 4:27; 2 Ki. 6:6; 1 Chr. 11:2; 1 Chr. 14:14; 1 Chr. 28:3; 2 Chr. 1:11; Jon. 4:9; Matt. 15:4; Lk. 11:49; Lk. 12:20; 2 Co. 6:16

NET NOTE has an interesting comment that "The ten decrees of God in this chapter anticipate the ten words in the Decalogue (Exod 20:2–17)."

Let there be light (or) - Latin Vulgate has  ‘Fiat lux’ expressing ‘creation by fiat’. Let there be is in the jussive signifying a command. This is visible light since it contrasts with darkness, but undoubtedly included the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Based on His attribute of Omnipotence God said let it be (like the old Beatles' song "Let it Be") which in the Septuagint is a  divine command in the aorist imperative calling for immediate obedience! In short, God commanded and light "obeyed" and was created! You can either believe it or not! God did not say let light evolve but let it be! A simple, natural, literal reading of this declaration leaves no doubt about this event.

Jesus the living Word of God (cf Col 1:16+) called forth light! In John 1:5+ Jesus is referred to as "The Light (Who) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." Psalm 104:2 describes God as "Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain." (cf Christ at His Second Coming in Hab 3:3-4+).

Paul alludes to this verse in the context of redemption (2Cor 4:6 see above), in which God brings about a new creation in believing soul (2Cor 5:17+).

Note that  some commentaries "believe that God’s work on the fourth day was not to create the luminaries but to assign them their tasks. However, the description in Genesis 1:14–19 parallels that of the other five days and gives every evidence of explaining the creative act of God." (Wiersbe) In other words God created light before He created the luminaries that would display light. 

MacArthur points out that "When in the very beginning God said “Let there be light,” it doesn’t say “and it was so,” because that light when it was originally created was just light and it wasn’t yet attached to the stellar bodies, the luminaries, the moon, the sun and the stars. When God first created the earth it was just a mass of elements completely engulfed in water. God doesn’t say “it was so” because that wasn’t its permanent shape" (See note below)

Some wonder how could God have commanded light when there were no luminaries, no sun or moon (Ge 1:14-19)? Remember Who God is! Colossians 1:16 says "by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible." Light being visible was created by Christ! He had no need for light bearing bodies. That should settle all speculation and argument.

As Morris says "The Father is the Source of all things (verse 1), the Spirit is the Energizer of all things (verse 2), the Word is the Revealer of all things (verse 3)."  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

NET NOTE - “Let there be” is the short jussive form (command) of the verb “to be”; the following expression “and there was” is the short preterite form (events that took place or were completed in the past;) of the same verb. As such, יְהִי (yéhi) and וַיְהִי (vayéhi) form a profound wordplay to express both the calling into existence and the complete fulfillment of the divine word. (NOTICE HOW EVEN A SIMPLE OBSERVATION SUCH AS THIS OF THE HEBREW WORD FORMS STRONGLY REFUTES ONGOING, CONTINUING PROCESSES, I.E., EVOLUTION). 

Jewish writer Cassuto adds that "In the present verse, this formal repetition assumes its tersest form (fiat: ‘Let there be light’; execution: and there was light) to show the precision and celerity with which the injunction was carried out: as He commanded, and as soon as He commanded." (A Commentary on the Book of Genesis) (ED: AGAIN ARGUING AGAINST THE FOOLISH IDEA OF AN EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS!)

HCSB Note - A foundational teaching of the Bible is that God speaks and does so with universe-changing authority. The command in this verse is just two words in Hebrew.

Let precedes God's fiat 15x in 10v (including each of the 6 days of creation) - Gen 1:3 Gen 1:6 Gen 1:9 Gen 1:11 Gen 1:14 Gen 1:15 Gen 1:20 Gen 1:22 Gen 1:24 Gen 1:26. All of these verbs are in the jussive mood signifying they are commands. 

Douglas Kelly says, “The speaking into existence of the created light is the first of a series of three separations accomplished by the creator which were essential to making the chaos into a cosmos. On day one light separates day and night. On day two the firmament separates the upper waters from the earth constituting an atmosphere or breathing space. On day three the waters below the heavens are collected into seas and thus separated from the dry land. These three separations show the mighty hand of God shaping and organizing the dark watery mass in the direction of a beautiful garden, a fit and lovely dwelling place for plants, animals and mankind.”

NIV Study Note - In the OT it (LIGHT) is also symbolic of life and blessing (2 Sa 22:29; Job 3:20; 30:26; 33:30; Ps 49:19; 56:13; 97:11; 112:4; Isa 53:11; 58:8, 10; 59:9; 60:1, 3). Paul uses this word to illustrate God’s re-creating work in sin-darkened hearts (2 Co 4:6).

And there was light (or) - God commanded! Light came! Case closed! Paul affirms this account writing “God Who said "Light shall shine out of darkness." (2Cor 4:6+). This is the first visible (i.e., visible to a human eye if one had been there) thing God created. God's creation of light was not so that He might see things which are visible, because "Even the darkness is not dark to (God), and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to (God)." (Ps 139:12). Thus light and dark are the same to the Omniscient, All Seeing God (Pr 15:3, cf 2 Chr 16:9). Note that light in this passage is to be distinguished from God's creation of the two great lights in Genesis 1:16+. If you are influenced by the widespread teaching of evolution, pray tell, how do you explain light evolving? You cannot because it did not. God created it! 

Light (or) appears in Gen. 1:3; Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:5; Gen. 1:15; Gen. 1:16; Gen. 1:17; Gen. 1:18

It would seem to be a fair conclusion that God created light so that His creation could be seen and would give Him the glory He alone deserves. Psalm 19:1 says 

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (ALL CREATION IS GOD'S HANDIWORK!)  (See Spurgeon's lengthy comment)

God called forth light so that mankind could see His Creation and thereby perceive there was a Creator, Paul explaining "For since the creation (ktisis) of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen (BECAUSE HE MADE LIGHT TO ENABLE ALL MANKIND TO SEE HIS CREATION), being understood through what has been made (CREATION), so that they are without excuse." (Ro 1:20+). Do not miss this critically important principle - Creation is clear evidence of the Creator. One can obfuscate it (as does the lie of evolution, including "theistic evolution"), disbelieve it or deny it, but the one who does so, inevitably begins an downward spiral in their moral/ethical character, the pathogenesis (and consequences) of which Paul describes in Romans 1:20-28+. The only hope for such a person is to be rescued from destruction by the Gospel! 

NET NOTE on LIGHT - The Hebrew word simply means “light,” but it is used often in scripture to convey the ideas of salvation, joy, knowledge, righteousness, and life. In this context one cannot ignore those connotations, for it is the antithesis of the darkness. The first thing God does is correct the darkness; without the light there is only chaos.

That light was the called forth in the first book on the first day is fascinating because in the last book, Revelation, we read that the Lord God is forever the "Light" and that all traces of darkness are obliterate...

And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 22:5+)

Isaiah makes a similar prophetic declaration

“Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.  (Isaiah 60:20)

Related Resource


Henry Morris on creation of the angels - Although not mentioned in Genesis 1, it is probable that another act of creation took place on this first day. Sometime prior to the third day of creation, a multitude of angels had been created, since they were present when the “foundations of the earth” were laid—probably a reference to the establishment of solid land surfaces on the earth (Job 38:4–7). It is impossible that they could have existed before the creation of the physical universe itself, since their sphere of operation is in this universe and their very purpose is to minister to the “heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are called the “host of heaven,” and so could not have been created before the existence of heaven. Psalm 104:2–5 says that angels were made as spirits after the materialization of God’s light-arrayed presence in the stretched-out heavens, but prior to the laying of the solid foundations of the land. Therefore, although angels are not mentioned as such at this point in Genesis, their spiritual presence as fascinated observers at the remaining acts of creation and formation may certainly be inferred.

John MacArthur addresses this question in his sermon Creation Day 3 -  The question always comes up, at what point were angels created?  They're not mentioned in Genesis 1, so how do we know when angels are created?  Well, neither Genesis, nor for that matter any other text of Scripture, states specifically when angelic beings were created.  What is definite is that they are creatures, and they were created, and they did have a beginning.  They are immortal in that once created they live forever, but only the triune God is eternal, without beginning and without ending.  Angels are created beings. Now, some have suggested that they had to be created on the 6th day, because it was on the 6th day that God created man, and angels, according to Hebrews 1:14, were created to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who will be the heirs of salvation.  And since they were created to serve those who were human, and who receive salvation, therefore they would have been created along with them on the 6th day.  I find that a pretty weak argument, frankly, because that’s not all angels do.  They don't just minister to the saints.  In fact, if you go into heaven in Revelation 4 and 5, you find them doing what?  Worshiping God. Primarily, and throughout all eternity, they will be worshipers of God.  So it would be fair to the purpose of angels, which is primarily to worship God, to associate them in the created order with some point at which they would begin to praise and worship God. They are definitely seen in the book of Revelation, worshiping God at the consummation of history, and it seems to me likely that they could well have started worshiping God at the beginning of history. In fact, there is one passage of Scripture to which we can turn.  Job 38:4-7.  And it tells us that the angels were present when the foundations of the earth were laid, and were rejoicing over it. So it could well have been that that was day one, if the foundations of the earth means that original formless, void earth that had not yet been shaped and refined into its final form.  If it means the foundations in the sense of elements and the components that were there, but as of yet not shaped into their final form, then the angels would have been created at that time.  Psalm 104:2-5 speaks of the shining of God’s light during the original creative process and mentions the angels just before referring to laying the foundations of the earth. Now, if the shining of God’s light refers to Ge 1:3 “Let there be light” which occurred on day one, and it was followed by the foundations of the earth, and it means therefore the shaping of the earth that occurs actually on day three, it could well be that the angels were created after that shining light and before the foundations of the earth, meaning the shaping of the earth rather than its unformed character; the shaping which took place on day three. So you can take your choice; but I believe that the angels would have been created by God either prior to the full creation of the earth that is described on the first day of creation, so that they could worship God for doing that, or they were certainly created before the shaping of that earth on day three, when the land was separated from the waters, as we read. Now, the question of when they were created obviously is not important enough for God to include it.  What is important is to know that they are created by God. (Creation Day 3

Did Angels Exist Before the Creation Week? (Excerpt from ICR article Time and Creation):

Some people imagine angels watching God create everything, starting on Day 1. In order for the angels to watch that moment, they would have had to exist beforehand. Either God made them before the beginning or they have always existed. They could not have eternal existence, for then they would not differ from God Himself, who is the only uncreated, eternal being. Since angels are created, finite beings like you and me, they can only exist in time. And the Bible nowhere says angels existed before Day 1.

Could angels have existed in a heavenly time that was ticking before earthly time began? I doubt it. If “the heavens” in Genesis 1:1 include God’s dwelling place as well as the stars’ realm (Genesis 1:15), then it appears angels would have had no place to exist before creation.

The Bible does not specify exactly when God made angels, but it gives clues that narrow the options. God asked Job, “Who laid its [Earth’s] cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:6-7). The sons of God are angels. God must have made them during the creation week after He made the time that allowed them to change into a state of shouting for joy but before He made the earth over which they rejoiced.

David Jeremiah - - When did God create angels?

The Lord told Job that angels were already on the scene to celebrate when the earth was created. He asks Job in 38:4, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” Job, of course, wasn’t around, so for his benefit God adds a few details of what that ground-breaking was like: It was “while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (38:7). Job wasn’t there when the earth was formed, but the angels were, and having a good time of it too.

Therefore angels were made apparently before the third day of the creation week, the day when God gathered waters into seas and the dry land appeared (Genesis 1:9–10).

Psalm 104 seems to reflect the same timing for the angels’ appearance. It’s a psalm praising God’s greatness for how he made and sustains all creation. In richly poetic imagery, the opening lines give a broad overview of what God created. The psalm seems to follow the same sequence as in Genesis 1: first of all light, then the heavens and the gathering of heavenly waters, then the land, seas, animals, and man.

Coming along naturally in this procession is verse four which reads, “He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.” These lines often are taken as referring to angels. That’s the way the New Testament writer quotes them in Hebrews 1:7. And in Psalm 104, this reference to angels comes immediately before the first mention of the earth in verse five: “He set the earth on its foundations.”

Creation scientist Dr. Henry Morris is my good friend and a member of our church, and he believes angels were formed on the second day of creation. He points to Psalm 104 and its implication that angels came as “the next act after the creation of the space-time cosmos and the establishment of God’s light-arrayed throne therein.” Very likely the angels are older than anything in the world as we see it.

Has God created any more angels since then? I have no biblical reason to believe he has. And apparently there’s been no reduction in their number either (except for the dismissal of the fallen angels, which we’ll take up later). Nor has there been any increase, since angels don’t reproduce — according to Jesus’ statement that angels don’t marry (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:34–36). We have as many angels today as we’ve ever had. (Excerpt from What the Bible Says about Angels )

Related Resources:

Light (0216)(or) is a noun occuring 121 times in the OT most frequently in Job (32x), Isaiah (26x) and Psalms (18x). 1) light 1a) light of day 1b) light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars) 1c) day-break, dawn, morning light 1d) daylight 1e) lightning 1f) light of lamp 1g) light of life 1h) light of prosperity 1i) light of instruction 1j) light of face (fig.) 1k) Jehovah as Israel's light

Gilbrant - As with the cognate verb, the noun ʾôr is employed both literally and metaphorically in the OT. Focusing on the literal, God created light on the first day (Gen. 1:3-5; Ps. 104:2), prior to the creation of the heavenly luminaries, which were given to separate light from darkness (1:18). Both the OT and the NT are clear that the celestial bodies are not necessary to supply light in the eternal kingdom, because the Lord will provide light directly (Isa. 60:19, 20; Zech. 14:6, 7; Rev. 22:5). Frequently ʾôr signified the dawn, when light first appeared in the day (Judges 16:2; 19:26; 1 Sam. 14:36; 25:22, 34, 36; 2 Sam. 17:22; etc.). Also, the OT writers noted that God created the sun, giving light to all (Job 25:3; 31:26; Ps. 136:7). The stars are likewise said to give light (Ps. 148:3). Altogether, the sun, moon and stars give light under the direction of God (Jer. 31:35). In times of judgment, however, the celestial luminaries would cease to give their light (Isa. 13:10; Jer. 4:23; Ezek. 32:7, 8; Amos 8:9). On the other hand, once the Lord's favor returns, the light from these heavenly bodies will be brighter than ever (Isa. 30:26). In the preacher's famous allegory of aging, all sources of light grow dim (Ecc. 12:2).

Another light, ultimately attributed to the Lord, shone from the pillar of fire during the wilderness wanderings (Exo. 10:23; Ps. 78:14). Also, the Lord was said to have scattered his lightning around him (Job 36:30; 37:3, 11, 15). In a colorful passage, the song of Habakkuk, in chapter 3, paints the picture of God's glory appearing as the light of dawn (3:4), and lightning shone from his flashing spear (3:11).

Two additional literal meanings merit attention. First, light may originate from an oil lamp (Jer 25:10). Next, Job 41:18 states that the leviathan snorted out flashes of light.

The noun ʾôr was also employed metaphorically. Like the verb, the noun may refer to the "light of life." Job wished that he would have been like the stillborn infant who never saw the light of day (Job 3:16). Bildad, Job's "comforter," noted that the lamp of the wicked is soon snuffed out (Job 18:5, 6, 18). Elihu, the young counselor in Job, pointed out that God allowed calamity to come upon people ultimately so that the light of life may shine upon them (Job 33:28-30). The psalmist observes that the godless wealthy man, when he dies, will never see the light, possibly a reference to resurrection (49:19). Turning to Isa. 53:11, the Dead Sea scrolls and the Septuagint announce that the servant, after having suffered [death], would once again see the light [of life]. This important OT passage then can be interpreted as prophecying the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The word "light" may be a metaphor for divine favor, well-being, or blessedness. Eliphaz, erroneously charging Job with sin (Job 42:7, 8), noted that once people confess their sins, light shines upon their ways (Job 22:28). Job himself longed for past days when God's light shown on him as he walked through the darkness (29:3, 24). David also asked for the light of the Lord's face to shine upon him (Ps. 4:6). Later, David noted that the Lord was his light and his salvation (Ps. 27:1). In 36:9, the psalmist notes that in the Lord's light (i.e., favor) we see light (i.e., life). Psalm 44:3 credits military victory to the light of God's face. Light, as favor from God, may be parallel to joy (Ps. 97:11). Proverbs notes that the path of the righteous knows the light (of God), whereas all the wicked know is deep darkness (Prov. 4:18-19; see 13:9).

Isaiah looked forward to the day when the Lord's favor would return, bringing healing, righteousness and glory (Isa 58:8, 10; see 60:1-3). Amos explains the day of the Lord would bring darkness, not light (Amos 5:18, 20). Micah warns the nations not to gloat over the darkness of Zion, because the Lord would once again bring the light (Mic. 7:8, 9). In Proverbs 16:15, the light of the king's face brings life, a common ancient Near Eastern royal attribute.

As with the verb, the noun may refer to an individual's strength or physical well-being. Racked with sin and sickness, David remarks that the light has gone from his eyes (Ps. 38:10).

"Light" may be a figure for the right, proper, or correct way. Job admits that he knows of those who rebel against the light (Job 24:13) and want nothing to do with it (Job 24:16).

The prophet urged Jacob to walk in the light of the Lord (Isa. 2:5), and pronounced woe on those who exchanged light for darkness (Job 5:20). In the restoration of Israel, God promised that his justice would become a light to the nations (Isa. 51:4). Until that day, however, the people looked for the light of justice, but were not able to find it (Isa. 59:9).

Occasionally, the word may contrast that which at one time was unknown, hidden, or secret, but now is made light. Job realizes that God brings the deep things of darkness into the light (Job 12:22; 28:11).

Related to that which was once unknown, the prophet Isaiah noted that at one time the people were in darkness, but now a light has dawned (Isa. 9:2). This light would be the Servant, the Light to the Gentiles (Isa. 42:6; 49:6). God is called the Light of Israel (Isa. 10:17).

The word may refer to reason or wisdom. Job observed that wicked men grope in darkness with no light (Job 12:25).

The psalmist asked for the light and truth from God for guidance (Ps. 43:3). The word of God was a lamp to one's feet, and a light to one's path (Ps. 119:105; see also Prov. 6:23).

The preacher notes that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness (Ecc. 2:13). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Or - 108 verses - broad(1), dawn(1), dawn*(1), daylight(1), daylight*(1), early morning(1), light(105), lightning(5), lights(2), sun(1), sunlight(1), sunshine(1).  Gen. 1:3; Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:5; Gen. 1:18; Exod. 10:23; Jdg. 16:2; Jdg. 19:26; 1 Sam. 14:36; 1 Sam. 25:34; 1 Sam. 25:36; 2 Sam. 17:22; 2 Sam. 23:4; 2 Ki. 7:9; Neh. 8:3; Job 3:9; Job 3:16; Job 3:20; Job 12:22; Job 12:25; Job 17:12; Job 18:5; Job 18:6; Job 18:18; Job 22:28; Job 24:13; Job 24:14; Job 24:16; Job 25:3; Job 26:10; Job 28:11; Job 29:3; Job 29:24; Job 30:26; Job 31:26; Job 33:28; Job 33:30; Job 36:30; Job 36:32; Job 37:3; Job 37:11; Job 37:15; Job 37:21; Job 38:15; Job 38:19; Job 38:24; Job 41:18; Ps. 4:6; Ps. 27:1; Ps. 36:9; Ps. 37:6; Ps. 38:10; Ps. 43:3; Ps. 44:3; Ps. 49:19; Ps. 56:13; Ps. 78:14; Ps. 89:15; Ps. 97:11; Ps. 104:2; Ps. 112:4; Ps. 119:105; Ps. 136:7; Ps. 139:11; Ps. 148:3; Prov. 4:18; Prov. 6:23; Prov. 13:9; Prov. 16:15; Eccl. 2:13; Eccl. 11:7; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 2:5; Isa. 5:20; Isa. 5:30; Isa. 9:2; Isa. 10:17; Isa. 13:10; Isa. 18:4; Isa. 30:26; Isa. 42:6; Isa. 42:16; Isa. 45:7; Isa. 49:6; Isa. 51:4; Isa. 58:8; Isa. 58:10; Isa. 59:9; Isa. 60:1; Isa. 60:3; Isa. 60:19; Isa. 60:20; Jer. 4:23; Jer. 13:16; Jer. 25:10; Jer. 31:35; Lam. 3:2; Ezek. 32:7; Ezek. 32:8; Hos. 6:5; Amos 5:18; Amos 5:20; Amos 8:9; Mic. 7:8; Mic. 7:9; Hab. 3:4; Hab. 3:11; Zeph. 3:5; Zech. 14:6; Zech. 14:7

QUESTION -  How could there be light on the first day of Creation if the sun was not created until the fourth day?

ANSWER - Play the accompanying video. The question of how there could be light on the first day of Creation when the sun was not created until the fourth day is a common one. Genesis 1:3-5 declares, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness He called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day." A few verses later we are informed, "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.' And it was so. God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the fourth day" (Genesis 1:14-19). How can this be? How could there be light, mornings and evenings on the first, second, and third days if the sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day? 

This is only a problem if we fail to take into account an infinite and omnipotent God. God does not need the sun, moon, and stars to provide light. God is light! 1John 1:5 declares, "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all." God Himself was the light for the first three days of Creation, just as He will be in the new heavens and new earth, “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). Until He created the sun, moon, and stars, God miraculously provided light during the “day” and may have done so during the “night” as well (Genesis 1:14).

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Much more important than the light of day and night is the Light who provides eternal life to all who believe in Him. Those who do not believe in Him will be doomed to “outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12)

Genesis 1:4  God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

  • that: Ge 1:10,12,18,25,31 Ec 2:13 Eccl 11:7 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Ecclesiastes 2:13  And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

Ecclesiastes 11:7  The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.


Note how in the first 3 days, God shaped the creation - Day 1 - light, Day 2 - water, atmosphere, Day 3 - earth, vegetation. Then in the second 3 days God populated His creation - Day 4 - sun, moon, stars; Day 5 - sea creatures, birds; Day 6 - Animals and climaxed with Man. 

God saw that the light (or) was good (tob)- Good is God's stamp of approval on what He had created which crescendos so to speak to "very good" when He had completed creation! The English Version paraphrases it "God was pleased" which emphasizes His reaction to the light.

The Greek word used in the Septuagint for good is kalos which describes that which is inherently excellent or intrinsically good, providing some special or superior benefit. Kalos is good with emphasis (as discussed below) on that which is beautiful, handsome, excellent, surpassing, precious, commendable, admirable. 

The phrase God saw...good is used 7x (Gen 1:4 Gen 1:10 Gen 1:12 Gen 1:18 Gen 1:21 Gen 1:25 Gen 1:31)

Notice God saw the light as good, but did not see the darkness as good! Interesting! And notable that in the New Heaven and New Earth there is apparently no darkness John writing "there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever." (Rev 22:5+)

Reyburn - "The thought here is not that the light had a quality of goodness in itself, but that in God’s mind the light was judged by him to be good." (A Handbook on Genesis

In the NT light and darkness are used figuratively as when Paul writes "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14)

NET NOTE on saw - The verb “saw” in this passage carries the meaning “reflected on,” “surveyed,” “concluded,” “noted.” It is a description of reflection of the mind—it is God’s opinion. Good is the Hebrew word טוֹב (tov) in this context signifies whatever enhances, promotes, produces, or is conducive for life. It is the light that God considers “good,” not the darkness. Whatever is conducive to life in God’s creation is good, for God himself is good, and that goodness is reflected in all of his works.

And God separated (badalthe light (or) from the darkness (choshek) - God separated light from darkness but did not remove the darkness. This same verb (badal) is used in three other "separations" in Genesis 1 --  (1) separation of the waters (Ge 1:6, 7), (2) separation of the day from the night (Ge 1:14), (3) separation of light from darkness (Ge 1:18). 

It is interesting that separation of physical elements would later be used figuratively to describe the important principle of spiritual separation of God's people from the pagans. This pattern/principle will exist eternally as God's people will be eternally with Him in light in Heaven (Rev 22:5) and those who are not His children will be separated eternally in the darkness of Hell! 

Wiersbe - From the very first day of Creation, God established the principle of separation. Not only did He separate the light from the darkness (Gen. 1:4) and the day from the night (Ge 1:14), but later He also separated the waters above from the waters beneath (Ge 1:6–8), and the land from the waters (Ge 19–10). Through Moses, God commanded the people of Israel to remain separated from the nations around them (Ex. 34:10–17; Deut. 7:1–11); and when they violated this commandment, they suffered. God’s people today need to be careful in their walk (Ps. 1:1+) and not be defiled by the world (Rom. 12:1–2+; James 1:7+; James 4:4+; 1 John 2:15–17+). (Be Basic Genesis 1-11)


Separated (0914)(badal) carries the fundamental meaning of "to separate" or "to be divided." 1) to divide, separate 1a) (Hiphil) 1a1) to divide, separate, sever 1a2) to separate, set apart 1a3) to make a distinction, difference 1a4) to divide into parts 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to separate oneself from (reflexive of 1a2) 1b2) to withdraw from 1b3) to separate oneself unto 1b4) to be separated 1b5) to be excluded 1b6) to be set apart 

NET NOTE - The idea of separation is critical to Genesis 1. God separated light from darkness, upper water from lower water, day from night, etc. The verb is important to the Law in general. In Leviticus God separates between clean and unclean, holy and profane (Lev 10:10, 11:47 and 20:24); in Exodus God separates the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Ex 26:33). There is a preference for the light over the darkness, just as there will be a preference for the upper waters, the rain water which is conducive to life, over the sea water.

Gilbrant on badal - Its use in the OT is limited to two stems, the Niphal (passive) and the Hiphil (causitive). In most cases, it expresses intentions which come from sacred contexts and which speak of consecration or holiness, either regarding the community, its priests, its service, or activities. The term thus arises from and is used by priestly people whose domain connects with temple regulations. Bādhal occurs with God as the subject, and means "God selects/chooses" (Num. 16:6-9). Similarly, God is the subject of Deut. 10:8; 29:21. There, God set apart the tribe of Levi as ministers (cf. also Num. 8:14). When examining the particular occurrences, special features emerge. Most of the occurrences of the Niphal are in the post-exilic literature. The reflections brought about by the Exile and the return to the homeland manifest themselves this word. Here, ethnic and socio-religious meanings emerge forcefully. It is significant that the noun form of this root does not occur in this late literature. These writers, then, emphasize the activity of separation. This verb enforces the boundary lines of the post-exilic community and clearly manifests its identity. The verb discerns between undefiled Israelites and defiled peoples, either Israelites who have not "separated themselves" from these other people, or Gentiles themselves. Another significant element regarding the Niphal stem emerges. Usually the Niphal is passive. In most instances, however, the Niphal of this word is emphatic and reflexive. Thus, the people are commanded to "separate themselves" (cf. Ezra 6:21; Neh. 10:28; in Ezra 10:8 the third person, personal pronoun is used to emphasize "expel"). The Niphal is used another way. It can distinguish within the community. For instance, in 1 Chr. 23:13 Aaron is "set apart" as priest. The Niphal here clearly has a passive meaning. This is different from the emphatic and reflexive occurrences in Ezra and Nehemiah and is similar to the Hiphil used in Num. 16:9. Thus, the writer of 1 Chronicles used the word in a way more similar to the earlier writers than to Ezra and Nehemiah (cf. Ezra 8:24, though). Most of the Hiphil stem uses are in the Pentateuch and clearly manifest a sacred concern. Bādhal occurs five times in Genesis 1 to distinguish among pairs of created elements: light/darkness, day/night, and water/water.

In Leviticus, the verb furnishes one of the regulations for preparing a bird for offering. The bird is not to be torn apart (1:17; 5:8).

It also denotes the criteria of holiness, which is required to maintain Yahweh's community. Further, Yahweh has set apart the people and they are to remain so (i.e., undefiled 10:10; 11:47). In 20:24-26, Yahweh himself has "set apart" his people and established dietary preferences which identify them as his. In response, his people are to obey.

The term is also used to distinguish objects in space. In Deuteronomy, the verb involves the setting aside of three cities of refuge (4:41; 19:2, 7). In Exo. 26:33, the curtain "separates" the holy place from the holy of holies.

Elsewhere the verb "separates" the sacred from the profane, and betrays a priestly influence. First Chronicles 25:1 "sets apart" some for the charismatic activity of singing and playing musical instruments, in the temple. In 2 Chr. 25:10, Amazziah, the general, "separated" the troops from Ephraim and sent them home. He had been warned that God would not bless the battle efforts with these men present. After sending them home, Amazziah had success. At any rate, the idea of holiness is still present.

Often, as other references have implied, this verb carries with it the idea of election. In 1 Ki. 8:53, this idea is clearly expressed. There, from among all people of the earth, Yahweh has singled out Israel.

In Ezekiel and Isaiah the concept of holiness dominates. In Ezek. 22:26, the priests are corrupt. They do not distinguish between sacred and profane things. Later in 39:14, Yahweh sends righteous men throughout the land to find what is unclean and to dispose of it appropriately. The verb thus means "to separate from the unclean." In 42:20, in the temple vision, the prophet measures a wall which "separates" the common from the sacred. The division of the world into sacred and profane is both a common and rigid practice among most world religions. Sacred space is contaminated by context with the profane. Separation and elaborate purification rituals are the means by which the sacred remains sacred, different, from the ordinary or profane.

Isaiah uses the verb three times with the sense of holiness. In 59:2, the sins of Israel separated the people from God. In 56:3 the nuance of holiness dominates as the idea of ethnicity drops away. The foreigner can still be part of God's people, providing he keeps justice and the sabbath. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Badal - 40v in the OT - came over(1), dismissed(1), divide(1), excluded(2), made a separation(1), made...distinction(1), make a distinction(3), partition(1), selected(1), separate(6), separated(10), serve(1), set you apart(1), set apart(6), set aside(2), sever(2), single(1), surely separate(1).  Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:6; Gen. 1:7; Gen. 1:14; Gen. 1:18; Exod. 26:33; Lev. 1:17; Lev. 5:8; Lev. 10:10; Lev. 11:47; Lev. 20:24; Lev. 20:25; Lev. 20:26; Num. 8:14; Num. 16:9; Num. 16:21; Deut. 4:41; Deut. 10:8; Deut. 19:2; Deut. 19:7; Deut. 29:21; 1 Ki. 8:53; 1 Chr. 12:8; 1 Chr. 23:13; 1 Chr. 25:1; 2 Chr. 25:10; Ezr. 6:21; Ezr. 8:24; Ezr. 9:1; Ezr. 10:8; Ezr. 10:11; Ezr. 10:16; Neh. 9:2; Neh. 10:28; Neh. 13:3; Isa. 56:3; Isa. 59:2; Ezek. 22:26; Ezek. 39:14; Ezek. 42:20

Genesis 1:5  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

  • God called: Ge 8:22 Ps 19:2 74:16 104:20 Isa 45:7 Jer 33:20 1Co 3:13 Eph 5:13 1Th 5:5 
  • One day Ge 1:8,13,19,23,31 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Exodus 20:8-11+  (THE 24 HOUR DAY PATTERN OF CREATION IS REPEATED IN GOD'S INSTRUCTIONS TO ISRAEL) “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days (yom) you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day (yom) is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days (yom) the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day (yom); therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day (yom) and made it holy. 


God called (named) the light day (yom), and the darkness (choshek) He called night - Note that the first use of the Hebrew word day was used of the light. This is the first of three names God gives in this chapter - day (Ge 1:5), heaven (Ge 1:8) and earth (Ge 1:10)

NET NOTE has an interesting comment that "Seven times in this chapter naming or blessing follows some act of creation. There is clearly a point being made beyond the obvious idea of naming. In the Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish, naming is equal to creating. In the Bible the act of naming, like creating, can be an indication of sovereignty (see 2 Kgs 23:34). In this verse God is sovereign even over the darkness."

And there was evening and there was morning, one day (yom) - A simple reading teaches that day is structured just as we structure them today - a day having a morning and an evening. Notice here there are two descriptions of day, one referring to the light and the second referring to the evening and morning which would reflect a 24 hour period. Note that the NET, ESV, NIV translate it "first day" but it more literally "one day" and in the Septuagint is "hemera mia" meaning "day one."

Evening and morning are the repeated summary formula (six times for 6 days) defined as a numerical day.  (Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

Wiersbe has an interesting note that "When speaking of a twenty-four hour day, the Jewish people said “evening and morning” (ED: LIKE THE PATTERN IN THIS VERSE) rather than “morning and evening,” because their days started with sunset, not sunrise. Thus, sunset on Thursday evening ushered in Friday, and sunset on Friday ushered in the Sabbath Day."  (Be Basic Genesis 1-11)

It is interesting that an evangelical like J Vernon McGee who holds to the gap theory also says "He was not referring to long periods of time but to actual twenty-four hour days."

Gregory Lint - The reference to the evening and morning shows the creative acts were distinct and separate from each other and were not part of a gradual evolutionary process. “Evening” indicated God was through with that creative act. “Morning” indicated God was ready to begin the next one.((Complete Biblical Library)

Allen Ross - Regarding the word day (yom) several interpretations have been suggested. (1) The days of Creation refer to extended geological ages prior to man’s presence on earth. (2) The days are 24-hour periods in which God revealed His creative acts. (3) They are literal 24-hour days of divine activity. In favor of the third view is the fact that the term yom with an ordinal (first, second, etc.) adjective means 24-hour days wherever this construction occurs in the Old Testament. Also the normal understanding of the 4th commandment (Ex 20:11) would suggest this interpretation." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary )

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown comments that this describes "a natural day, as the mention of its two parts clearly determines; and Moses reckons, according to Oriental usage, from sunset to sunset, saying not day and night as we do, but evening and morning."

Yom (see below) in this context refers to the 24 hour period which basically refers to a full rotation of the earth on its axis, called evening and morning. This cannot mean an age, but only a day, reckoned by the Jews from sunset to sunset (Ge 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31). Such a cycle of light and dark means that the earth was rotating on its axis, so that there was a source of light on one side of the earth, though the sun was not yet created (Ge 1:16).

NET NOTE on "one day" or "the first day" - The exegetical evidence suggests the word “day” in this chapter refers to a literal twenty-four hour day. It is true that the word can refer to a longer period of time (see Isa 61:2, or the idiom in 2:4, “in the day,” that is, “when”). But this chapter uses “day,” “night,” “morning,” “evening,” “years,” and “seasons.” Consistency would require sorting out how all these terms could be used to express ages. Also, when the Hebrew word יוֹם (yom) is used with a numerical adjective, it refers to a literal day. Furthermore, the commandment to keep the sabbath clearly favors this interpretation. One is to work for six days and then rest on the seventh, just as God did when he worked at creation (ED: SEE PASSAGE ABOVE).

Henry Morris - Such a cyclical light-dark arrangement clearly means that the earth was now rotating on its axis and that there was a source of light on one side of the earth corresponding to the sun, even though the sun was not yet made (Genesis 1:16). It is equally clear that the length of such days could only have been that of a normal solar day.  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

Day (03117)(yom) depending on the context yom can refer to day, time, year. It is basic concept of time in the OT. A point in time and a sphere of time are both expressed by yom. It is the period of light which is not darkness. It can be a period of 24 hours, time in general, a specific point in time, or a year. When used in construction with other Hebrew parts of speech, it can mean “when,” “on some particular day,” “in the time of,” ‘as long as,” or ‘continually.”

Morris - It should be noted that in the Hebrew Old Testament yom without exception never means “period.” It normally means either a day (in the twenty-four-hour sense), or else the daylight portion of the twenty-four hours (“day” as distinct from “night”). It may occasionally be used in the sense of indefinite time (e.g., “in the time of the judges”), but never as a definite period of time with a specific beginning and ending. Furthermore, it is not used even in this indefinite sense except when the context clearly indicates that the literal meaning is not intended.

In the first chapter of Genesis, the termination of each day’s work is noted by the formula: “And the evening and the morning were the first [or ‘second,’ etc.] day.” Thus each “day” had distinct boundaries and was one in a series of days, both of which criteria are never present in the Old Testament writings unless literal days are intended. The writer of Genesis was trying to guard in every way possible against any of his readers deriving the notion of nonliteral days from his record.

In fact, it was necessary for him to be completely explicit on this point, since all the pagan nations of antiquity believed in some form of evolutionary cosmogony which entailed vast aeons of time before man and other living creatures developed from the primeval chaos. The writer not only defined the term “day,” but emphasized that it was terminated by a literal evening and morning and that it was like every other day in the normal sequence of days. In no way can the term be legitimately applied here to anything corresponding to a geological period or any other such concept.  (Genesis Record - copy can be "checked out" free of charge)

Day as opposed to night, as defined by morning and evening as in Genesis 1. Yom can refer to (1) period of "daylight" as contrasted with nighttime:Ge 8:22,  the light portion of a 24 hour period (Ge1:5,14), (2) an extended period of time (Ge 2:4), (3) period of 24 hours (Ge 39:10) In the plural, yôm is used of periods of time - "in those days" (Ge. 6:4) Ge 29:21 "“Give me my wife, for my time (yom - days) is completed." Yom can refer to seasons as in Nu 13:20. In the phrase "time year (yom) to year (yom) (Ex 13:10). Reference to life span ("days of your life" = Ge 3:14, "how many years [yom] have you lived?" = Ge 47:8) The time period when someone was living (Ge 26:15 - literally "from the end fo days") In the plural referring to an indefinite time (Ge 4:3). Some 170+ times yom is used with Hebrew "kol" (all, whole) and rendered "all the days" or "always." (Ex 28:38, Dt 5:29, etc).  Yom is used as in prophetic phrases such as last days, days to come, latter days (Ge 49:1 Nu 24:14 Dt 4:30 Dt 31:29 Isa 2:2 Jer 23:20 Jer 30:24 Jer 48:47 Jer 49:39 Ezek 38:16 Da 2:28 Da 10:14 Hos 3:5 Mic 4:1)

Gilbrant - The singular of yôm, "day," is used of "when" an event occurred or will occur, e.g., "in the day that you eat it," (Gen. 2:17). "At that time" in Judg. 20:15 ("at once" in NIV) is literally "in that day." The phrase "to this day" (Gen. 19:37) means "until now" or "up to this time." "The day of trouble" (2 Ki. 19:3) or "the day of small things" (Zech. 4:10) refers to the period of time when the events are occurring. Psalm 37:13 has another use, saying that the wicked's "day is coming." There is a time coming when the wicked will receive their just punishment. It could be viewed as an appointment with God the judge. An unspecified day of an event translated in NIV as "one day" is literally "the day happened that" (2 Ki. 4:8). Finally, Gen. 2:4 refers to "the day that" God made the earth and the heavens, which must refer to the six creation days of ch. 1. Thus, "day" here is a period of time. So also must be the various references to "the day of the Lord" which predict the end-time events of judgment on God's enemies, and salvation for his faithful people (Joel 2:31; Amos 5:18; Zeph. 1:7). In this light, Ps. 118:24, "This is the day that the Lord has made," can be understood to refer to any time when God's people are experiencing his amazing salvation through repentance and a faith response to his grace. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Vine - Usage Notes: "daylight; day; time; moment; year." This word also appears in Ugaritic, extrabiblical Hebrew or Canaanite (e.g., the Siloam inscription), Akkadian, Phoenician, and Arabic. It also appears in post-biblical Hebrew. Attested at every era of biblical Hebrew, yôm occurs about 2,304 times.

Yôm has several meanings. The word represents the period of "daylight" as contrasted with nighttime: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Gen. 8:22). The word denotes a period of twenty-four hours: "And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day …" (Gen. 39:10). Yôm can also signify a period of time of unspecified duration: "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Gen. 2:3). In this verse, "day" refers to the entire period of God's resting from creating this universe. This "day" began after He completed the creative acts of the seventh day and extends at least to the return of Christ. Compare Gen. 2:4: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day [beyôm] that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens…" Here "day" refers to the entire period envisioned in the first six days of creation. Another nuance appears in Gen. 2:17, where the word represents a "point of time" or "a moment": "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day [beyôm] that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Finally, when used in the plural, the word may represent "year": "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year [yāmîm]" (Exod. 13:10).

There are several other special nuances of yôm when it is used with various prepositions. First, when used with ke ("as," "like"), it can connote "first": "And Jacob said, Sell me this day [first] thy birthright" (Gen. 25:31). It may also mean "one day," or "about this day": "And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business…" (Gen. 39:11). On Joseph's lips, the phrase connotes "this present result" (literally, "as it is this day"): "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Gen. 50:20). Adonijah used this same phrase to represent "today": "Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant…" (1 Kings 1:51). Yet another nuance appears in 1 Sam. 9:13: "Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him." When used with the definite article ha, the noun may mean "today" (as it does in Gen. 4:14) or refer to some particular "day" (1 Sam. 1:4) and the "daytime" (Neh. 4:16).

The first biblical occurrence of yôm is found in Gen. 1:5: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." The second use introduces one of the most debated occurrences of the world, which is the duration of the days of creation. Perhaps the most frequently heard explanations are that these "days" are 24 hours long, indefinitely long (i.e., eras of time), or logical rather than temporal categories (i.e., they depict theological categories rather than periods of time). The "day of the Lord" is used to denote both the end of the age (eschatologically) or some occurrence during the present age (non-eschatologically). It may be a day of either judgment or blessing, or both (cf. Isa. 2).

It is noteworthy that Hebrew people did not divide the period of daylight into regular hourly periods, whereas nighttime was divided into three watches (Exod. 14:24; Judg. 7:19). The beginning of a "day" is sometimes said to be dusk (Esther 4:16) and sometimes dawn (Deut. 28:66-67). (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

Over 2000 uses of yom in the OTClick here to see the uses of yom in each OT book. 

Night (03915)(laylah) is almost always used for the literal "night," the daily period of darkness.

Vine - Usage Notes: "night." Cognates of this noun appear in Ugaritic, Moabite, Akkadian, Aramaic, Syrian, Arabic, and Ethiopic. The word appears about 227 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods. Laylâ means "night," the period of time during which it is dark: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night" (Gen. 1:5, the first biblical appearance). In Exod. 13:21 and similar passages the word means "by night," or "during the night": "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud… and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night." This word is used figuratively of protection: "Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; [betray] not him that wandereth" (Isa. 16:3). Laylâ also figures deep calamity without the comforting presence and guidance of God, and/or other kinds of distress: "Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night…?" (Job 35:10). During Old Testament times the "night" was divided into three watches: (1) from sunset to 10 P.M. (Lam. 2:19), (2) from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. (Judg. 7:19), and (3) from 2 A.M. to sunrise (Exod. 14:24). (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

Gilbrant - The OT presents the night as a phenomenon created by God (Gen. 1:5). This divinely ordained rhythm of light and darkness is a feature of the creation which He termed "good." In contrast, many ancient cultures saw the night as a time of evil and terror. The Egyptian Hymn to Aton says that the night was feared because the sun god Aton had gone home to the underworld at that time. But Ps. 74:16 declares that the night belongs to God. The unending alternation between day and night is used as a simile to God's covenant with Noah (Gen. 8:22), and it is used in Jer. 33:20-26 to illustrate the unchangeable nature of God's covenant with Israel.

God cares for his people even at night (cf. Ps. 121:6), so that it need not be a time of fear for them (Ps. 91:5). To God, the night is as bright as the day (Ps. 139:11f); there is no hiding from his scrutiny, and no corner unreached by his care. A celebrated night in OT history was the night God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt (Exo. 11:4; 12:12, 29) by parting the Red Sea. Throughout subsequent history, the Jews have commemorated this miracle at the Passover festival.

Although the daytime hours were the primary time for work and worship, the OT does describe activities taking place at night. It could be a time for sacred festivals (Isa. 30:29), and priests and Levites still served at the Temple during evening hours (Ps. 134:1). It was, however, more often a time for thought, prayer and worship, a time for contemplation. The psalmist speaks of singing in the night (Ps. 42:8; 77:6); even Job affirms the fact that God gives songs in the night (Job 35:10). Night is a time to remember God's name with gratitude (Ps. 119:55) and declare faithfulness (Ps. 92:2). In times of trouble, the soul trembles through the seemingly endless nights (Job 7:3f), the bed becomes wet with tears (Ps. 6:6) and the hands are stretched out to God in a cry for help (Ps. 22:2; 77:2; 88:1). Isaiah 26:9 speaks of the soul which longs for God. The evening hours are also a time for meditation (Ps. 1:2), a time when God visits his child (Ps. 17:3) and gives divine counsel (Ps. 16:7).

Several passages speak of the night as a time of attack or destruction. Isaiah 15:1 predicts the destruction of two cities of Moab in a single night. Jeremiah 6:5 describes an attack on Jerusalem that begins at noon, and is renewed at night. Night is the time when robbers strike (Obad. 5). Job spoke of the tempest that wipes out the wicked during the night (Job 27:20), and the overthrow and sudden death of the wicked in the middle of the night (Job 34:20, 25). In Job 36:20, he warns the evildoers not to look forward to the night; that is when people vanish! Each of these passages stresses the abruptness of disaster; a person seems prosperous one day and is gone by the next morning. The judgment seems more mysterious and frightening because it takes place under cover of darkness. The night was also a time for dreams (Gen. 20:3; 31:24; 1 Kings 3:5) and visions (Gen. 46:2; Job 4:3, 13; 20:8; 33:15; Isa. 29:7).

The word is used in a wide variety of adverbial phrases. The most frequent is "by night," (e.g., Num. 22:20; Josh. 8:3; Deut. 16:1; Num. 9:16, 21). In many of these uses, it is combined with yôm (HED #3219) in the phrase "day and night," as a way to show that something happens continually.

Other combinations include "night and day" (1 Kings 8:29; Isa. 27:3; Est. 4:16); "from day to night," i.e., in the space of a single day (Isa. 38:13); "until night," i.e., until the end of the day at sundown (2 Chr. 35:14); "overnight" (Jon. 4:10); "at midnight" (Exo. 12:29); "on this night," the night of which one is speaking (Exo. 12:8, 12); "on that night" (Gen. 19:33, 35; 30:16); "tonight" (Gen. 19:5, 34; 30:15; Num. 22:8, 19; Josh. 2:2; 4:3); "last night," the night just past (1 Sam. 15:16; Zech. 1:8); "all night" (Exo. 14:20f; Num. 11:32; Josh. 10:9; Judg. 16:2; 19:25; Hos. 7:6); "every night" (Ps. 6:6).

Sometimes the night was divided into three watches: (1) from sunset to ca. 10:00 p.m. (Lam. 2:19); (2) from ca. 10:00 p.m. to ca. 2:00 a.m. (Judg. 7:19) and (3) from ca. 2:00 a.m. to sunrise (Exo. 14:24; see also Ps. 90:4).

When "night" is listed with numbers, it shows duration of an action. The OT mentions forty days and nights in Gen. 7:4, 12; Exo. 24:18; 34:28; Deut. 9:9, 11, 18, 25; 10:10. Job 2:13 speaks of seven days and nights. And there are two appearances of "three days and nights." Jonah 2:1 gives the duration of the prophet's stay in the great fish, and 1 Sam. 30:12 mentions that David found an Egyptian servant abandoned by the raiders who sacked Ziklag, and that the servant had been without food for three days and nights. First Samuel 30:13 shows that the man was found during the third day, so the phrase is not limited to a time period of precisely seventy-two hours. It was evidently a phrase referring to any portion of three days and nights. This may have implications for discussions of the three days and three nights when Jesus was in the tomb. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

QUESTION -  What did God create on the first day of creation?

ANSWER - God created the heavens and earth, the waters, and light on the first day of creation (Genesis 1:1–5). In our opinion, the first day covered a literal 24-hour period in which God created ex nihilo, or “from nothing” (see Hebrews 11:3). The Hebrew word for “created” is bara, which is only ever used in Scripture with God as the subject. Forming the universe and earth was an act of the Lord.

Heavens and the Earth: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). As part of day one, God created the “heavens,” implying the entire universe, and the earth (cf. Psalm 102:25). When first created, the earth “was formless and empty” and covered in water (Genesis 1:2). In the following days, God would build upon this foundation with an atmosphere, dry ground, vegetation, and animal life (Genesis 1:6–12).

Water: “Darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2ESV). This verse indicates that on the first day God created water when He created the formless earth. Here, the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, partakes in creation. Life-giving water was created by the Lord to give viability to Earth, the only planet known to hold water.

Light: “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3NLT). In contrast to the created darkness/nothingness mentioned in verse 2, the Lord speaks light into existence. He then divided the light from the darkness, ending the first day of creation (Genesis 1:4–5). All subsequent days of creation are described the same way: “And there was evening, and there was morning” (verse 5).

Students of the Bible have questioned what light was created in Genesis 1:3, since the sun was not made until the fourth day of creation (verses 14–19). Of course, an infinite, all-powerful God does not need the sun to create light. Some commentators have asserted that the light created on day one was another form of natural illumination. Scripture doesn’t specifically state what this light was, but science has demonstrated that other forms of light do exist in the universe, outside of the sun and stars (“The Photon Underproduction Crisis,” J. Kollmeier, et al., The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 789, No. 2, pub. 6/25/2014). Regardless of the nature of the light that God created on the first day, verse 4 states, “The light was good,” and it illuminated God’s creation during the first three days of the creation week.

The first day of creation reminds believers that all things find their source in the Lord, who has been in existence forever (Psalm 90:2). Each Person of the Trinity took part in creation (Nehemiah 9:6; Job 38:4; Psalm 89:11; John 1:3; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 1:10). Christians should be moved to worship the Lord for His wondrous work of creating the heavens, the earth, water, and light in one day. ( )

QUESTION -  Why is a day measured from evening to morning in Genesis 1?

ANSWER - The most natural explanation for a day being measured from evening to morning in Genesis 1 is that the beginning of time was marked by darkness. Genesis 1:2 notes, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.”

Then, in Genesis 1:3-5, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Light came after darkness, indicating the markers of a full day. In the Jewish tradition, days follow this pattern of night first, then day. Still today, practicing Jews observe the Sabbath beginning on sunset of Friday until sunset on Saturday.

Eventually, there was a change to today’s practice where a day starts at midnight. The modern calendar is based on the Gregorian calendar, a revision of the Julian calendar implemented in 45 B.C. by Julius Caesar. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the Julian calendar became the standard adopted by other nations. The revision into the Gregorian calendar came in 1582.

Genesis 1 reveals that the days of the week were originally measured “evening” then “morning.” Each description of the seven days of creation uses this format, clearly indicating a day that began at sunset.

The Jews in the time of Jesus continued to recognize this pattern. One example in the Gospels involves the burial of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus in a nearby tomb just before sunset (John 19:42). Luke 23:54 reads, “It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin” (NASB). The fact that the Sabbath began at sundown also explains why the two thieves’ deaths were hastened (John 19:31).

Genesis 1 marks days from evening to morning as a natural extension of God turning darkness into light. This tradition continued through the New Testament period and is practiced today by many observant Jews. Christians are not bound to divide days the same way, but an understanding of the Jewish way of reckoning time is basic to understanding some of the cultural practices in the

QUESTION -  Does Genesis chapter 1 mean literal 24-hour days?

ANSWER - In our opinion, examination of the Hebrew word for “day” and the context in which it appears in Genesis will lead to the conclusion that “day” means a literal, 24-hour period of time.

The Hebrew word yom translated into the English “day” can mean more than one thing. It can refer to the 24-hour period of time that it takes for the earth to rotate on its axis (e.g., “there are 24 hours in a day”). It can refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk (e.g., “it gets pretty hot during the day but it cools down a bit at night”). And it can refer to an unspecified period of time (e.g., “back in my grandfather’s day . . .”). It is used to refer to a 24-hour period in Genesis 7:11. It is used to refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk in Genesis 1:16. And it is used to refer to an unspecified period of time in Genesis 2:4. So, what does yom mean in Genesis 1:5–2:2 when used in conjunction with ordinal numbers (i.e., the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the fifth day, the sixth day, and the seventh day)? Are these 24-hour periods or something else? Could yom as it is used here mean an unspecified period of time?

We can determine how yom should be interpreted in Genesis 1:5–2:2 by comparing that context to the word’s usage elsewhere in Scripture. The Hebrew word yom is used 2,301 times in the Old Testament. Outside of Genesis 1, yom plus a number (used 410 times) almost always indicates an ordinary day, i.e., a 24-hour period. There are a few instances where yom and a number do not imply a literal, 24-hour day. The words evening and morning together (38 times) most often indicate an ordinary day. The exact construction of evening, then morning, along with yom is only seen outside of Genesis 1 in one verse. This is Daniel 8:26, which clearly implies a long period of time.

All in all, the context in which the word yom is used in Genesis 1:5–2:2, describing each day as “the evening and the morning,” seems to suggest that the author of Genesis meant 24-hour periods. This was the standard interpretation of the days of Genesis 1:5–2:2 for most of Christian history. At the same time, there were early church fathers, such as Augustine, who noted that the vague nature of the “days” of Genesis could well suggest a non-literal interpretation.

Then, in the 1800s, a paradigm shift occurred within the scientific community. This was mostly driven by hostility to religion and an effort to re-interpret observations in ways contrary to the Bible. This caused a rift in the scientific community. One side claimed that only atheism, as well as specific ideas such as an old earth and naturalistic evolution, was compatible with science. The other side, in response, attempted to denounce atheism and any possible old-earth interpretations.

The truth is that both young-earth and old-earth interpretations rely upon certain assumptions. Sincere believers debate the meaning of yom in the creation account because a case can be made on both sides. This does not diminish the importance of what Genesis teaches, regardless of whether or not a person accepts young-earth creationism.

For instance, according to Exodus 20:9–11, God used the six creation days of Genesis as a model for man’s workweek: work six days, rest one. Apparently, He had us in mind even before He made us (on the sixth day) and wanted to provide an example for us to follow. Certainly God could have used six discrete 24-hour days. And He could have created everything using a process of long time periods. Our view, based on our interpretation of the Bible, is that six literal days is the most likely interpretation of the Genesis

Related Resource:

Genesis 1:6  Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

KJV  Genesis 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.

ESV  Genesis 1:6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

NET  Genesis 1:6 God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water.

LXE (Eng of BGT)  Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it be a division between water and water, and it was so.

BGT  Genesis 1:6 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός γενηθήτω στερέωμα ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ ὕδατος καὶ ἔστω διαχωρίζον ἀνὰ μέσον ὕδατος καὶ ὕδατος καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως

NIV  Genesis 1:6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."

NLT  Genesis 1:6 Then God said, "Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth."

YLT  Genesis 1:6 And God saith, 'Let an expanse be in the midst of the waters, and let it be separating between waters and waters.'

CSB  Genesis 1:6 Then God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water."

NKJ  Genesis 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."

NRS  Genesis 1:6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

  • Let there: Ge 1:14,20 7:11,12 Job 26:7,8,13 37:11,18 38:22-26 Ps 19:1 33:6,9 Ps 104:2 136:5,6 148:4 150:1 Ec 11:3 Jer 10:10,12,13 51:15 Zec 12:1 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then God said (see note on this phrase 10x/10v) -  God gives two commands in this passage. At this time the earth was still dominated by H20 (water), even though other matter was present. God's word/will brought about a separation, in effect "lifting" up some of the waters above the earth with a space in between the upper and lower waters.

Genesis 1:6 has given rise to the so-called CANOPY THEORY which seeks to explain the upper layer or expanse of water, but recent studies suggest this theory is less likely (See articles below - further discussion is beyond the scope of this commentary which seeks to focus primarily on what the Word and not on theories). . 

Let there be (jussive) an expanse (NRSV = "dome," KJV = "firmament" - raqia) in the midst of the waters, and let it separate (badalthe waters from the waters - Let there be and let it are both in the jussive signifying they are commands.  Expanse is a key word in Genesis 1 where it is found 9x (out of a total of 15 uses - see uses). 

ESV Study Bible (borrow) - Water plays a crucial role in ancient Near Eastern creation literature. In Egypt, for example, the creator-god Ptah uses the preexistent waters (personified as the god Nun) to create the universe. The same is true in Mesopotamian belief: it is out of the gods of watery chaos—Apsu, Tiamat, and Mummu—that creation comes. The biblical creation account sits in stark contrast to such dark mythological polytheism. In the biblical account, water at creation is no deity; it is simply something God created, and it serves as material in the hands of the sole sovereign Creator. As light was separated from darkness, so waters are separated to form an expanse

Explanse "refers to an expanse of air pressure between the surface of the sea and the clouds, separating water below from water above." (NET NOTE)

God’s work involves making divisions and distinctions.
-- Allen Ross

Expanse (07549)(raqia from raqa = to beat, stamp, beat or hammer out, spread out)  and literally refers to a great expanse and, in particular, to God's heavenly expanse, the vault of the heavens above the earth, the sky that stretches from horizon to horizon. In Ge 1:20 raqia is the sky in which the birds fly. Rāqîaʿ is something that is created by being spread out either by stretching (e.g., a tent) or by hammering (e.g., a metal; cf. Deut. 28:23, in which the sky in a time of drought is likened to bronze; cf. also the use of rāqaʿ in Exod. 39:3, where the meaning is clearly “to hammer out”).Strong's - (1) extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament 1a) expanse (flat as base, support) 1b) firmament (of vault of heaven supporting waters above) 1b1) considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting 'waters' above. Raqia refers refers to "the gigantic heavenly dome which was the source of the light that brooded over the heavenly ocean and of which the dome arched above the earthly globe" TWOT says "In pre-Christian Egypt confusion was introduced into biblical cosmology when the LXX, perhaps under the influence of Alexandrian theories of a "stone vault" of heaven, rendered rāqîaʿ by stereōma, suggesting some firm, solid structure. This Greek concept was then reflected by the Latin firmamentum, hence KJV "firmament."

Raqia - 15x in the OT - expanse(16), expanse of heaven(1). Gen. 1:6; Gen. 1:7; Gen. 1:8; Gen. 1:14; Gen. 1:15; Gen. 1:17; Gen. 1:20; Ps. 19:1; Ps. 150:1; Ezek. 1:22; Ezek. 1:23; Ezek. 1:25; Ezek. 1:26; Ezek. 10:1; Dan. 12:3

QUESTION -  What is the canopy theory?

ANSWER - The canopy theory seeks to explain the reference in Genesis 1:6 to “the waters above the firmament,” assuming that “firmament,” or “expanse,” as the Hebrew word is alternatively translated, refers to our atmosphere. According to the canopy theory, there was a canopy of water above the atmosphere until the cataclysm of Noah’s day, at which point it disappeared either by collapsing upon the earth or dissipating into space. It is presumed to have consisted of water vapor because a canopy of ice could not have survived the constant bombardment of celestial objects like meteoroids which perpetually barrage the earth’s atmosphere.

While Genesis 1:20KJV does say that birds fly in the firmament, suggesting the earth’s atmosphere, it also says that the sun, moon and stars reside there (Genesis 1:14-17), suggesting the entire sky from the earth’s surface outward, where birds fly and celestial objects reside. The Hebrew word alternatively translated “firmament” in some translations and “expanse” in others is raqia. It appears nine times throughout the first chapter of Genesis (in verses 6-8, 14-18 and 20) and eight more times throughout the rest of the Old Testament (in Psalms, Ezekiel and Daniel).

According to Genesis, before there was air or land or any form of life, the earth was a formless mass of primordial water. On the second day of creation, God created the raqia, placing it in the midst of the water, thereby separating it into two parts: “the waters above the firmament [raqia]” and the waters below it. The waters below the raqia He named “sea” (yam in Hebrew) and the raqia itself He named “heaven,” “air” or “sky,” depending on your translation of the Hebrew word shamayim. But Genesis does not provide a name for the waters above the raqia, nor is there any water above our atmosphere today, assuming that raqia does mean “atmosphere.”

Advocates of the canopy theory once speculated that the collapse of such a vapor canopy might have provided the water for the heavy rains which inundated the earth during Noah’s flood. One problem with the canopy theory, however, is, the latent heat of water and the sheer quantities of water involved. If such a vapor canopy were to collapse into rain, it would literally cook the entire planet. This is because when water converts from vapor to liquid, energy or latent heat is released in the process, causing the surrounding area to heat up; this is known as an exothermic result. Conversely, when water converts from solid form—ice—to liquid or from liquid to vapor, energy is absorbed and the surrounding area is cooled—an endothermic result.

The Genesis (FLOOD) account calls for five-and-a-half weeks of constant rain. If a canopy consisting of enough water vapor to provide that amount of rain were to collapse, it would cook the entire planet. This is not to say that there was no vapor canopy or that it did not collapse, only that, if it did, it could not have provided the amount of rain in question (the less water, the less heat).

It is interesting to note that, if a frozen canopy were able to exist in the atmosphere despite cosmic bombardment, its collapse into liquid rain would have an extreme cooling effect and might be an explanation for the commencement of the Ice Age. Despite the fact that we know that it happened, the complex factors involved in getting an Ice Age started makes it seem impossible and baffles modern science to this day. Advocates of the canopy theory also cite the existence of a canopy as a possible cause for a variety of pre-flood anomalies, including human longevity and the apparent lack of rain or rainbows. They claim that such a canopy would filter out much of the cosmic radiation that is harmful to humans and cause the lack of rain or rainbows. However, opponents dispute such a canopy’s ability to produce these results.

In defense of the view that raqiya means “atmosphere,” the reference in Genesis 1:14-17 to the sun, moon and stars residing there may have simply been a phenomenological statement, just as our modern terms “sunset” and “sunrise” are phenomenological descriptions. That is, we know full well that the sun is stationary and doesn’t really “rise” or “set,” despite our usage of terms implying its movement from our earth-bound vantage point.

Whatever the case may be, there is no canopy up there today and any suggestion that there was one in the past is speculation because there simply isn’t enough evidence one way or the other, except for the one enigmatic reference to waters above the firmament in Genesis 1:6, and no one claims to know for sure what that

Related Resources:

Genesis 1:7  God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.

  • separated (badal) : Pr 8:28,29 
  • above: Job 26:8 Ps 104:10 148:4 Ec 11:3 
  • And it was so Ge 1:9,11,15,24 Mt 8:27 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


God made the expanse  (raqia), and separated (badalthe waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse - See discussion of so-called "Canopy Theory." 

And it was so (repeated in Ge 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30) - Don't miss this small phrase. It is a technical phrase that means it was made permanent. NET Note adds "This statement (it was so) indicates that it happened the way God designed it, underscoring the connection between word and event." This speaks against the theory of evolution.

MacArthur adds it was so served like "punctuation statement that indicates this was the permanent established pattern. When God first created the earth it was just a mass of elements completely engulfed in water. God doesn’t say “it was so” because that wasn’t its permanent shape." He adds that in "in verse 9 when God began to separate the waters above and the waters below and then the dry land appeared and the earth took its shape with land and water, that was the way it would permanently be … the statement is “it was so.” And so it was in verse 11 when vegetation was created on the earth, that was to be permanent and fixed and it still exists today. In verse 15 the moon, the sun, the stars were placed in the sky and it was so, it was fixed in that way. And here in verse 24 the animals were created and they’re still that way … they’re still that way. It was so, fixed, firm, permanent and has remained that way even till today. And they remain within the framework of their kind, their variation being restricted. There are some variations… some change, we know that. Genetics can do that, special breeding, but they still remain essentially the same kind of creature." (Creation Day 6, Part 1) MacArthur adds a comment alluding to Hebrew writer Umberto Cassuto (A Commentary on the Book of Genesis) that Cassuto "says repeatedly this little phrase (and it was so) indicates that it was so and remained so through all the life of the universe. It’s a way of saying something was fixed. And it militates against the idea of What is progressive creationism, that God made something that started some evolutionary process. He made it, He fixed it, it was firm, it was established (Creation Day 4)

Genesis 1:8  God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

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

ESV  Genesis 1:8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

NET  Genesis 1:8 God called the expanse "sky." There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

BGT  Genesis 1:8 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ στερέωμα οὐρανόν καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς ὅτι καλόν καὶ ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωί ἡμέρα δευτέρα

NIV  Genesis 1:8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day.

NLT  Genesis 1:8 God called the space "sky." And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.

YLT  Genesis 1:8 And God calleth to the expanse 'Heavens;' and there is an evening, and there is a morning -- day second.

LXE  Genesis 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven, and God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

CSB  Genesis 1:8 God called the expanse "sky." Evening came and then morning: the second day.

  • God: Ge 1:5,10 5:2 
  • evening: Ge 1:5,13,19,23,31 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

2 Peter 3:5+  For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,


God called the expanse (raqiaheaven (NET, NLT, CSB = sky) - The second of three passages using God called - day (Ge 1:5), heaven (Ge 1:8) and earth (Ge 1:10)

And there was evening and there was morning, a second day (yom) - Evening and morning are the repeated summary formula (six times for 6 days) defined as a numerical day.  (Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

NET NOTE on heaven - Though the Hebrew word can mean “heaven,” it refers in this context to “the sky.”

QUESTION -  What did God create on the second day of creation?

ANSWER - On the second day of creation (Genesis 1:7–8), God created the sky, which is described in the Bible as an “expanse” (ESV), “vault” (NIV), or “firmament” (KJV). The Lord had already created water on the first day of creation, but then He separates “water from water” with the vault on the second day. Displaying His power, God spoke the sky into being: “And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters’” (Genesis 1:6, ESV).

The Hebrew word for “expanse” is raqia, which can refer to an “extended surface” or the “(apparently) visible arch of the sky” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). In Genesis 1:6, the expanse that God created serves the purpose of dividing the water “under” the vault from the water “above” it. This seems to be an allusion to the water cycle: terrestrial (and subterranean) water exists below the sky, while water vapor and water in the form of clouds rise “above,” separated from the surface water by an expanse of air. Later, on the fourth day of creation, God places “lights in the vault of the sky” (Genesis 1:14). This is a simple description of how the sun, moon, and stars appear in the sky.

The canopy theory holds that the Bible’s reference to waters “above” the vault indicates that at one time there existed a canopy of water enveloping the earth above the atmosphere. This water, whether in solid, liquid, or gaseous form, remained in place until the cataclysm of Noah’s day, at which point “the floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7:11), and the canopy collapsed upon the earth. According to the canopy theory, the layer of water above the firmament provided warmth to the earth’s inhabitants, filtered out harmful radiation, and contributed to the longevity of humans before Noah’s flood.

Regardless of one’s view of the waters above the expanse of sky, God’s power was on full display on the second day of creation. As on the other days of creation, the Lord commands things into existence, stating, “Let there be.” Every time we look up at the sky, we have a reminder of God’s vast wisdom and

Related Resources:

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

  • Job 26:7,10 38:8-11 Ps 24:1,2 33:7 95:5 104:3,5-9 136:5,6 Pr 8:28,29 Ec 1:7 Jer 5:22 Jon 1:9 2Pe 3:5 Rev 10:6 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Then God said  see note on this phrase 10x/10v

"Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear" - Let be...gathered is in the jussive signifying a command.

NET NOTE on let the gathered - In the beginning the water covered the whole earth; now the water was to be restricted to an area to form the ocean. The picture is one of the dry land as an island with the sea surrounding it. Again the sovereignty of God is revealed. Whereas the pagans saw the sea as a force to be reckoned with, God controls the boundaries of the sea. And in the judgment at the flood he will blur the boundaries so that chaos returns. tn When the waters are collected to one place, dry land emerges above the surface of the receding water.

And it was so - See note on this short but significant phrase. 

Genesis 1:10  God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.

Related Passages: 

Psalm 95:5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land

Proverbs 8:29 When He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command (NOTE AGAIN GOD'S WORD IS IN CONTROL OF CREATION!), When He marked out the foundations of the earth; 

Job 38:8-11 Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;  9 When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,  10 And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors,  11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?

COMMENT - As an aside the false teaching that the polar ice caps will melt and flood the land is absolutely a lie because God say He would never cover the earth with a flood (Ge 9:11). 

God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas - The third of three passages using God called - day (Ge 1:5), heaven (Ge 1:8) and earth (Ge 1:10)

And God saw that it was good - Was good - Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:10; Gen. 1:12; Gen. 1:18; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:25; (cf the sad use of "good" in Gen. 3:6)

Genesis 1:11  Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so.

  • Let the: Ge 2:5 Job 28:5 Ps 104:14-17 147:8 Mt 6:30 Heb 6:7 
  • fruit: Ge 1:29 2:9,16 Ps 1:3 Jer 17:8 Mt 3:10 7:16-20 Mk 4:28 Lu 6:43,44 Jas 3:12 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Then - Remember that "then" marks progression in a narrative. 

God said  (see note on this phrase 10x/10v) - God spoke creation into existence! Believe it or not! 

"Let the earth sprout vegetation "Let...sprout is in the jussive signifying a command.

Henry Morris - In verse 11 occurs the first mention of both “seed” and “kind.” Implanted in each created organism was a “seed,” programmed to enable the continuing replication of that type of organism. The modern understanding of the extreme complexities of the so-called DNA molecule and the genetic code contained in it has reinforced the Biblical teaching of the stability of kinds. Each type of organism has its own unique structure of the DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that same kind. There is a tremendous amount of variational potential within each kind, facilitating the generation of distinct individuals and even of many varieties within the kind, but nevertheless precluding the evolution of new kinds! A great deal of “horizontal” variation is easily possible, but no “vertical” changes. (The Genesis Record)

NET NOTE on produce vegetation - The Hebrew construction employs a cognate accusative, where the nominal object (“vegetation”) derives from the verbal root employed. It stresses the abundant productivity that God created. Vegetation. The Hebrew word translated “vegetation” (דֶּשֶׁא, deshe’) normally means “grass,” but here it probably refers more generally to vegetation that includes many of the plants and trees. In the verse the plants and the trees are qualified as self-perpetuating with seeds, but not the word “vegetation,” indicating it is the general term and the other two terms are sub-categories of it. Moreover, in vv. 29 and 30 the word vegetation/grass does not appear. The Samaritan Pentateuch adds an “and” before the fruit trees, indicating it saw the arrangement as bipartite (The Samaritan Pentateuch tends to eliminate asyndetic constructions).

Plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them - Note that After their kind  is clearly a key word (phrase) in Genesis 1 repeated 10 times in 5 verses in Genesis 1 (Ge 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25, cf use in Ge 6:20 and Ge 7:14 before the global flood). Key words should always be carefully observed and analyzed. In in this passage it is mentioned 3 times so that we cannot miss it (unless you simply don't want to see it!)

NET NOTE on after their kind -  The Hebrew word translated “kind” (מִין, min) indicates again that God was concerned with defining and dividing time, space, and species. The point is that creation was with order, as opposed to chaos. And what God created and distinguished with boundaries was not to be confused (see Lev 19:19 and Deut 22:9–11).

MacArthur- Vegetation is divided into two parts … plants and trees. Down to verse 29, God said, “Behold, I have given you … speaking to man … every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed it shall be food for you and for every beast.” So God divides the vegetation into two parts … plants and trees. And what is the difference? The difference is the plant has the seed in it, and the tree has the seed in its fruit. That is clearly indicated in verse 11. Plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit with seed in them. That’s the distinction. All the vegetation which itself contains the seed would come under the plants, all the vegetation which in its fruit contains the seed would come under the trees. As soon as the inanimate material was ready to sustain life, without delay life in its simplest form was created and intended to be the food for all of the higher life yet to be made. Now I want you to notice that first of all in describing the plants He says of them in verse 11, “Plants yielding seed.” He says it again in verse 12, “Plants yielding seed.” And again in verse 29, “Plants yielding seed.” He continues to repeat that feature to let us know, and this is so important, that the vegetation was capable of … what?… what?… reproduction. That’s the whole point. He made full-grown, fully-mature vegetation with seed in it that could be dispersed. One of the great, great wonders of the world is the science of seed dispersal. I watched an entire video on that just absolutely astonishing to see how God designed seed dispersal, not the least of which is accomplished by birds in your own yard, sometimes even attempted on your car and on your head. Pre-fertilized seed dispersal is very efficient. There are a number of other ways. One of the wonderful works of the wind is seed dispersal. The whole science of seed dispersal is just absolutely phenomenal. Plants were made then by God not as seeds, but as full-grown plants containing seeds that could then multiply. That’s the way the whole of creation was made, and I remind you of that again. It was made mature. When man was created he wasn’t created as an infant, had to grow. He was created as a full-grown man. Everything was created full-grown. (Creation Day 3) (Video on seed dispersal)

Henry Morris on after their kind - It is significant that the phrase “after his kind” occurs ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. Whatever precisely is meant by the term “kind” (Hebrew min), it does indicate the limitations of variation. Each organism was to reproduce after its own kind, not after some other kind. (Genesis Record)

MacArthur on after their kind - “After their kind.” Verse 12, “After their kind.” Once in the middle of the verse, toward the end of the verse, “After their kind.” May I encourage you a little bit? That phrase is repeated ten times in the first chapter of Genesis … ten times. The Hebrew word for “kind” is min, m-i-n. What it does is indicate the limitations of variation. A plant can only bring forth something of its own kind. A tree can only bring forth something of its own kind. It only has the capacity to function on the basis of the genetic code that is in it. Now whether in the Hebrew “kind” corresponds to our word “genus” or our word “species” or our word “family” or our word “fila,” or whatever you want to use. And I’m remembering words from my college class and have no idea what they mean. But whatever the Hebrew word min means, whatever it corresponds to in English, the one thing it does do is eliminate any possibility of an evolutionary process because whatever the plant is and whatever the tree is, it can only reproduce after its own kind. To say that all living things come from a common ancestry is refuted by the ten-times repeated phrase “after its kind … after its kind.” I used to illustrate this with college students by talking about amino acids. I mean, it gets so individual that you’re made up of amino acids and your body, no matter what you put in it will only reproduce more of you. In fact, if you put too much in it, it will reproduce more of you than you care to see. But amino acids are called the building blocks of life. Now you could decide that you were going to eat fried chicken the rest of your life. Twenty years from now you would not cluck. No combination of chicken amino acids and human amino acids will produce Big Bird. All you will ever produce is more of you no matter what goes in. That’s after their kind.  (Creation Day 3)

And it was so - See note on this short but significant phrase. 

MacArthur on it was so -  it’s a technical phrase and it means it was made permanent. It means at creation there was a firm and fixed and established condition (See note)

Genesis 1:12  The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.

  • earth: Isa 61:11 Mk 4:28 
  • herb: Isa 55:10,11 Mt 13:24-26 Lu 6:44 2Co 9:10 Ga 6:7 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Isaiah 61:11   For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations. (When? This is almost certainly a prophecy to be fulfilled first in the Millennium.)

Mark 4:28+  “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.


The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them - God commanded and the earth responded. O, that we as His new creations in Christ should behave likewise, for we too are enabled by the creative power of His Spirit Who gives us the desire and the power to obey (Php 2:13NLT+). And yet we are not puppets or robots, we have to make a choice to "work out our salvation in fear and trembling." (Php 2:12+). See the "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100)

Henry Morris -  It should be noted that plant life, in all its forms, was created before animal life, thus contradicting the order postulated by evolutionists. There are over twenty such contradictions between the order of creation in Genesis and that in evolutionary paleontology.

After their kind - "God set in motion a providential process whereby the vegetable kingdom could reproduce through seeds which would maintain each one's unique characteristics. The same phrase is used to describe the perpetuating reproduction of animals within their created species (vv. 21, 24, 25), and indicates that evolution, which proposes reproduction across species lines, is a false explanation of origins. (The MacArthur Study Bible)

and God saw that it was good. Was good used in Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:10; Gen. 1:12; Gen. 1:18; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:25; (cf the sad use of "good" in Gen. 3:6)

Genesis 1:13  There was evening and there was morning, a third day.


There was evening and there was morning, a third day (yom) - Another 24 hour day? Do you believe it? And what about the miracle on another third day? (Mt 27:22-23, Mt 20:19 both spoken by the same God Who spoke Creation into existence! Hebrews 11:3+). 

THOUGHT - You can disbelieve Creation by Jesus the Creator and still be saved, but you cannot disbelieve Resurrection of the Creator on the third day and expect to be made by God's Spirit into a new creation in Christ! If you disbelieve the resurrection, you are destined for eternal hell, believe it or not! You might want to read the words of a skeptic who had a change of heart (so to speak) - Frank Morison's Who Moved the Stone

QUESTION -  What did God create on the third day of creation?

ANSWER - On the third day of creation, God created the dry ground, seas, plants, and trees (Genesis 1:9–13). Using the foundation He created on the first day of creation, the Lord began to form the earth into a place suitable for life. On days three through six, the Lord was filling the earth, which had been “formless and empty” on day one (Genesis 1:2).

Dry Ground: “Then God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:9, CSB). Telling the waters to move to one place, the Lord made the dry ground appear, and He called this “land” (NLT) or “earth” (verses 9–10, ESV). By creating land first on day three, God was preparing for the creation of vegetation of all kinds. The Lord was intimately involved in creating the earth; “His hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:5).

The Seas: “The gathered waters he called ‘seas’” (Genesis 1:10). He separated the waters that were created on day one from the dry ground, and He called these waters “the seas.” By creating the ocean and seas, God was preparing for the aquatic animals He would make on day five (Genesis 1:21). God separated the ocean from the dry ground and set boundaries for the waters not to cross (Proverbs 8:29). Some commentators hold that the sea originally surrounded one large continent because the Bible says the waters were drawn to one place (Genesis 1:9). According to this view, not until the flood or shortly thereafter did the seven continents break away and spread apart as we see them today.

Plants: “Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed” (Genesis 1:11, NASB). The Lord spoke vegetation into being upon the dry land, bringing forth seed-bearing plants of “various kinds”—grass, bushes, vines, flowers, vegetables, etc. These abundant plants would fill the land with food for the animals created on days five and six (Genesis 1:20–24), as well as for mankind, also created on day six (Genesis 1:26, 29).

Trees: “Trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:12). All types of trees were created on the third day of creation. The Lord spoke trees into being, including fruit trees, nut trees, conifers, and ornamentals. All trees testify to God’s power of creation, from the smallest to the largest (Psalm 148:9, 13).

Beginning on day three, God began preparing the earth for the future creation of animals and humans on days five and six. In His divine creative power, God spoke the land, seas, plants, and trees into existence. People today can see evidence of God’s design in a delicate flower or in a majestic tree, as all vegetation displays the truth of God as the Creator of all things (Romans 1:20)

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

  • Let there be: De 4:19 Job 25:3,5 Job 38:12-14 Ps 8:3,4 Ps 19:1-6 Ps 74:16,17 Ps 104:19,20 Ps 119:91 Ps 136:7-9 Ps 148:3,6 Isa 40:26 Jer 31:35 Jer 33:20,25 
  • lights: Or, rather, luminaries or light-bearers; being a different world from that rendered light, in ver. 3, the day from the night., between the day and between the night
  • and let: Ge 8:22 9:13 Job 3:9 38:31,32 Ps 81:3 Eze 32:7,8 46:1,6 Joe 2:10,30,31 3:15 Am 5:8 8:9 Mt 2:2 16:2,3 24:29 Mk 13:24 Lu 21:25,26 23:45 Ac 2:19,20 Rev 6:12 8:12 9:2 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then God said  (see note on this phrase 10x/10v)

"Let there be lights -  This is in the jussive signifying a command.

NET NOTE on Let there be lights  - Light itself was created before the light-bearers. The order would not seem strange to the ancient Hebrew mind that did not automatically link daylight with the sun (note that dawn and dusk appear to have light without the sun).

in the expanse  (raqiaof the heavens to separate (badalthe day (yomfrom the night Beloved, this gift from God of separating the day from the night gives "order" to our world. Have you ever had a job in which you had to work all night and sleep during the day. I have and it was do-able, but was still difficult. I don't think I ever felt truly rested and was glad when that shift was finally finished. The fact that God gives us the gift of this day-night pattern facilitates a healthy work-rest pattern for our bodies. This wonderful pattern did not "evolve" but was created by the One Who created each of us for He Alone knew what our body and mind would need to function normally. 

NET NOTE on expanse of the heavens (sky) - The language describing the cosmos, which reflects a prescientific view of the world, must be interpreted as phenomenal, describing what appears to be the case. The sun and the moon are not in the sky (below the clouds), but from the viewpoint of a person standing on the earth, they appear that way. Even today we use similar phenomenological expressions, such as “the sun is rising” or “the stars in the sky.”

If one does not believe God created the lights, they can end up making them "gods" and worshipping them instead of the One Who created them. Belief or disbelief in Creation has significant consequences that can radically affect one's behavior. 

And let them be for signs and for seasons and for days (yomand years - God's creation was orderly and purposeful. Note here that not only to the lights in the expanse of the heavens demarcate the orderly day-night pattern.

NET NOTE on for signs...  - The text has “for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” It seems likely from the meanings of the words involved that “signs” is the main idea, followed by two categories, “seasons” and “days and years.” This is the simplest explanation, and one that matches Ge 1:11–13. It could even be rendered “signs for the fixed seasons, that is [explicative vav (ו)] days and years.” Let them be for signs. The point is that the sun and the moon were important to fix the days for the seasonal celebrations for the worshiping community.

Lights (03974)(maor from or = to be light) is a masculine singular noun which means luminary which is a light giving body (e.g. sun, moon, stars or the lamp in the Tabernacle Ex. 35:14; Lev 24:2; Nu 4:16). 

Gilbrant -  Māʾôr is a cognate of the more frequently used term for "light," ʾôr. Its meaning, however, does not parallel that of ʾôr; it refers instead to the objects which cause illumination, i.e., the source of the light. This same usage is attested in Middle Hebrew. For example, in Gen. 1, God said, "Let there be light [ʾôr]" (Ge 1:3). God also said, "Let there be lights [māʾôr] in the firmament of the heavens" (v. 14). The reference is to the sun, moon and stars. (In Ezekiel 32:8, "the light" is used to refer to "stars.") In each of its occurrences in the Pentateuch, māʾôr with the article clearly refers to the lampstand which was in the holy Place of the Tabernacle. In Psalm 74, māʾôr refers to the "moon" (v. 16). Again, the source of illumination is in view. Several other occurrences are figurative, yet they still point to the source of light. Psalm 90:8 says, "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance." This verse reflects the theme, "God is light," found in both Testaments. As "light," He is infinitely pure and glorious and possesses all wisdom, excellency and knowledge. The parallelism of v. 8 clearly links God with "the light," i.e., "the true light that gives light to every man" (John 1:9). This same light of glory that exposes sin will also replace the sun and the moon when his kingdom is set up in the new Jerusalem: "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light" (Rev. 21:23, NIV). Proverbs 15:30 says, "The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart." The NIV translates it, "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart." (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Maor - 19x  - bright(1), light(12), lighting(2), lights(3), shining(1). Gen. 1:14; Gen. 1:15; Gen. 1:16; Exod. 25:6; Exod. 27:20; Exod. 35:8; Exod. 35:14; Exod. 35:28; Exod. 39:37; Lev. 24:2; Num. 4:9; Num. 4:16; Ps. 74:16; Ps. 90:8; Prov. 15:30; Ezek. 32:8

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


and let them be for lights (maor) in the expanse  (raqiaof the heavens to give light on the earth Let them be is in the jussive signifying a command.

and it was so - See note on this short but significant phrase which means firm and fixed. 

Genesis 1:16  God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

  • to govern. De 4:19 Jos 10:12-14 Job 31:26 Job 38:7 Ps 8:3 19:6 74:16 Ps 136:7,8,9 148:3,5 Isa 13:10 24:23 45:7 Hab 3:11 Mt 24:29 Mt 27:45 1Co 15:41 Rev 16:8,9 21:23 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth (ED: AND STARS UNCOUNTABLE!), So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 

Deuteronomy 4:19+ “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve (NOTE STEP WISE DECLENSION BEGINNING WITH A LOOK!) them (ED: HOROSCOPES AND CHRISTIANS, ETC) those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Psalms 8:3-4 (SPURGEON) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 

Source: How Many Stars Are in the Universe?


God made the two great lights (maor luminaries), the greater light (maor - luminary) to govern (literally - for the dominion of) the day (yom), and the lesser light (maor - luminary) to govern (for the dominion of) the night;

NET NOTE - Two great lights. The text goes to great length to discuss the creation of these lights, suggesting that the subject was very important to the ancients. Since these "lights" were considered deities in the ancient world, the section serves as a strong polemic (see G. Hasel, "The Polemical Nature of the Genesis Cosmology," EvQ 46 [1974]: 81-102). The Book of Genesis is affirming they are created entities, not deities. To underscore this the text does not even give them names. If used here, the usual names for the sun and moon [Shemesh and Yarih, respectively] might have carried pagan connotations, so they are simply described as greater and lesser lights. Moreover, they serve in the capacity that God gives them, which would not be the normal function the pagans ascribed to them. They merely divide, govern, and give light in God's creation.

Henry Morris - These stars were scattered in tremendous numbers throughout the infinite recesses of the heavens (Isaiah 55:9). The light energy emanating from them would henceforth traverse space to "give light upon the earth," providing patterns and movements which would also enable man to keep records of time and history. In order to serve these purposes, however, light energy trails would need to be established already in space between each star and earth. Thus, men would have been able to see stars billions of light-years away at the very moment of their formation, in accordance with the principle of mature creation, or creation of apparent age.

He made the stars also - This is almost like an "afterthought!" But O what an incredible afterthought! How great is our God the Creator of the Stars which are beyond number! The following is like a "scientific commentary" on Romans 1:20+ where Paul writes "since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen (kathorao), being understood (noieo) through what has been made, so that they are without excuse (anapologetos)." 

Deep-field images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest there are 10 times more galaxies in the universe than scientists previously thought, with about 2 trillion galaxies in total, according to a study published in October 2016 in the journal Science by Christopher Conselice, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham in the U.K., and his colleagues. [Video: Our Universe Has Trillions of Galaxies]

About 100 million (or 10 to the eighth power) stars inhabit the average galaxy, according to one of the best estimates, Conselice wrote in an email to Live Science.

But getting to that number was not just a matter of aiming a telescope at the sky and counting up all the twinkly bits. Only the most luminous stars in a galaxy shine brightly enough to be detected by a telescope. In 2008, for instance, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (which maps all observable celestial objectsin one third of the sky), detected about 48 million stars, or just half of the number estimated to exist, according to a 2008 study in the Astrophysical Journal. A star as bright as our own sun in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy would not even be detected by traditional telescopes such as those used by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, reported.

Instead, most people estimate the number of stars in a galaxy based on galactic mass. Because the universe is expanding and galaxies are moving farther apart, the light from other galaxies is, on average, slightly "red-shifted," meaning its wavelength is stretched. But because galaxies are rotating, some parts of the galaxies are actually moving closer to Earth, which means some of the light is "blue-shifted," according to By using these light-based measurements, astronomers can make a rough estimate of how fast the galaxy is rotating, which in turn reveals its mass.

From there, scientists have to filter out all the dark matter, or matter that exerts a gravitational pull but reflects no light.

"In a typical galaxy, if you measure its mass by looking at the rotation curve, about 90 percent of that is dark matter," David Kornreich, an assistant professor at Ithaca College in New York, previously told

Multiplying the number of galaxies — which is about 2 trillion — by the 100 million stars in the galaxy suggests there could be about 10 raised to the 20th power stars in the universe, Conselice said.

"But this could easily be a factor of 10 higher," Conselice said. (How Many Stars Are in the Universe?)

"You placed the stars in the sky"
A lyric from Indescribable!

Genesis 1:17  God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

  • Ge 9:13 Job 38:12 Ps 8:1,3 Ac 13:47 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


God placed them in the expanse  (raqiaof the heavens to give light on the earth - How did stars "evolve" in the heavens? They did not evolve. God placed them there! The Septuagint for placed (tithemi) is in the aorist tense which describes a past COMPLETED ACTION! Them in context of course refers to the great lights and the stars. The purpose is clearly stated which was to give light on the earth.  

Genesis 1:18  and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

Related Passages:

Psalm 19:6 (Spurgeon)  Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat. 

Jeremiah 31:35+  Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: 


And to govern the day (yomand the night, and to separate (badalthe light (or) from the darkness (choshek) ;

And God saw that it was good  Was good used in Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:10; Gen. 1:12; Gen. 1:18; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:25; (cf the sad use of "good" in Gen. 3:6)

NET NOTEIn days one to three there is a naming by God; in days five and six there is a blessing by God. But on day four there is neither. It could be a mere stylistic variation. But it could also be a deliberate design to avoid naming “sun” and “moon” or promoting them beyond what they are, things that God made to serve in his creation.

Govern (4910)(mashal) means to reign, or to have dominion over. Baker writes that "Although its general tone communicates leadership and authority, its specific nuance and connotation are derived from the context in which it appears. In the creation narratives on the fourth day, God created the great luminaries. The greater luminary was to rule the day, and the lesser was to rule the night (Gen. 1:18). It is also applied to people who rule: a servant over his master’s household (Gen. 24:2); a king over his country (Josh. 12:5); or his people (Judg. 8:22, 23); a people over another people (Judg. 14:4). God is also said to rule over His people (Judg. 8:23); not over His adversaries (Isa. 63:19); over the nations (2 Chr. 20:6; Ps. 22:28[29]); over Jacob (Ps. 59:13[14]); over all things (1 Chr. 29:12)."

QUESTION -  What does it mean that God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:18)?

ANSWER - Seven times in Genesis 1, God observes His creation to be good. In Genesis 1:4, after He had spoken light into existence, He declared it to be good. In Genesis 1:10, after separating the water from the land, He called that good. After creating plant life, in Genesis 1:12 He saw that it was good, also. In Genesis 1:18, after putting in place a system for lighting the earth and for separating night from day, He calls that good. In Genesis 1:21, after creating animals to populate the water and the air, He observes that to be good. In Genesis 1:25, after populating the land with animals and insects, He calls that good, too. Finally, after creating humanity as the capstone of His creation (Genesis 1:26–30), He observed all He had made and declared it to be not just good but very good.

The Hebrew word translated as “good” in the English is tov. The term rendered “very good” is hennah tov, which could be translated as “certainly good” or “surely good.” It is noteworthy that the word good is never actually defined in the Bible—the concept is simply assumed. It does seem, though, that the kind of good referenced in Genesis 1 is a good in the qualitative sense of functionality. Because of the success in design and execution of all that was created, it could be that God was calling things good because they were effective for fulfilling the function for which He designed them. If so, this would reflect a kind of instrumental good.

It is also worth noting that in each of these instances it is said that God “saw” that it was good. That God was observing that these things were good implies that He had a design and purpose in mind and that the created products met His approval—He judged them to be effective for serving His purpose. As the Creator, God has the right to define and judge. He assessed that which He had created and determined it was good. This is a good reminder for us that, because He has the authority that only a sovereign Creator can have, we ought to look to Him to learn of His judgments and assessments. If He judges something to be good (or not good), then it is that.

It is encouraging to know we can trust God to inform us truthfully and accurately. If He is making determinations like this—assessing the quality of all things created—and if we can trust Him with that, then there is a precedent clearly presented that we can trust Him with anything. He is the determiner of what is good and what is not. This is one reason that Satan’s statement in Genesis 3:4 (that God was either wrong or lying and that Eve would not die if she ate the fruit that God had prohibited) was so evidently wrong. God had determined what was good and what was not, and He communicated that to Adam (Genesis 2:17). Unfortunately, Adam and Eve failed to acknowledge that, as the Creator, God had the right to define, assess, and judge. It is easy for us to make the same mistake, but God has graciously allowed us access to His creation account so we can learn that He is the Definer, and we can trust Him—we should trust Him, in fact. If we don’t, we are falling into the same trap Satan set for Eve: trusting someone else’s judgment when God has defined, determined, and communicated. Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned from our mistakes and didn’t repeat them?

Genesis 1:19  There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Related Passage:

Psalms 19:1 (Spurgeon)  For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 

Jeremiah 32:17+  ‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, 

COMMENT - Do you see how believe in a literal 6 day creation can undergird your faith and truth in God that nothing in your life is too difficult for Him to deal with and/or give you the grace to endure (1Cor 10:13+)?


There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day (yom) - Another 24 hour day! Believe it or not! To not believe it, is to not believe God's Word of truth inspired by the Spirit of Truth! 

QUESTION -  What did God create on the fourth day of creation?

ANSWER - On the fourth day of creation, God created the sun, moon, stars, and the other heavenly bodies (Genesis 1:14–19). The number of things God created on the fourth day is staggering. Scientists currently estimate there to be 2 trillion galaxies in the universe, with about 100 million stars in each galaxy. That would mean the number stars is somewhere around 10 to the 20th power (“How Many Stars Are in the Universe?” by Tia Ghose, Live Science online, updated 5/24/18, accessed 10/28/20).

Sun and moon: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night.’ . . . God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night” (Genesis 1:14, 16). Among the other “lights” God commanded into being on day four of creation, He set the sun and moon in the “vault of the sky” as the two prominent sources of light for Earth. During the day, the sun provides light and heat to the earth, while the moon reflects light from the sun to illuminate the darkness of night. Like the stars, the sun and moon also serve as “signs to mark sacred times, and days and years” (verse 14).

Stars: “He also made the stars” (Genesis 1:16). Such a simple statement, but such a vast creation. There are trillions of stars in the universe, and God has personally named them all (Isaiah 40:26; Psalm 147:4). Importantly, stars indicate seasons and time (Genesis 1:14) and provide guidance for navigation. The stars also display God’s glory: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, ESV).

Heavenly bodies: Although Genesis 1 does not refer to other heavenly bodies specifically, the fourth day of creation also includes the many planets, nebulae, galaxies, and other things present in the universe. From a human standpoint, the sheer number of the many planets and galaxies is breathtaking, but creating it all was an easy task for the Lord God (Jeremiah 32:17).

On day four of creation, God continued His creative work. The creation of the sun, moon, stars, and other heavenly bodies distinguished day from night and separated light from darkness (Genesis 1:18). God declared the sun, moon, and stars as “good” as sources of light and as ways to mark the passage of time, and He divinely set them in place for His glory (Genesis 1:18–19; Psalm 74:16)

Genesis 1:20  Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

  • Let the waters: Ge 1:22 2:19 8:17 Ps 104:24,25 148:10 Ac 17:25 
  • moving: or, creeping, 1Ki 4:33 
  • life: Heb. a living soul, Ge 1:30 Ec 2:21 
  • fowl that may fly: Heb. let fowl fly, This marginal reading is more conformable to the original, and reconciles this passage with ch. 2:19.  The word fowl, from the Saxon {fleon,} to fly, exactly corresponds to the original, which denotes every thing that flies, whether bird or insect.
  • open firmament: Heb. face of the firmament, Ge 1:7,14 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then - Note this conjunction marks progression, in this case moving on the 5th day. This is the first mention of any living things. It was as if the planet was first prepared for its occupants, that they might live and flourish when they were created. 

God said  (see note on this phrase 10x/10v)

let the waters teem - God commands (see jussive = command) “swarm with swarms”

With swarms of living creatures

NET NOTEThe Hebrew text again uses a cognate construction (“swarm with swarms”) to emphasize the abundant fertility. The idea of the verb is one of swift movement back and forth, literally swarming. This verb is used in Exod 1:7 to describe the rapid growth of the Israelite population in bondage.

And let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse  (raqiaof the heavens is jussive = God commands. 

NET NOTE on - The Hebrew text uses the Polel (ED: This function like the Piel which expresses an intensive action) form of the verb instead of the simple Qal; it stresses a swarming flight again to underscore the abundant fruitfulness.

Teem (08317) - teem, swarm, multiply

Gilbrant - A primary root, the verb shārats occurs fourteen times in the OT, always in the Qal stem. It serves as a description of a large number of creatures densely populating a location. Most passages use the animals themselves as the subject of the verb, but some verses speak of land or water swarming with creatures. Shārats emphasizes their immense numbers and prolific reproduction. A frequent synonym, rāmas (HED #7718), can describe the same animals, but focuses on the type of motion: the creeping, wriggling movement of small creatures, especially reptiles.

A clear sample of the meaning is the Egyptian plague which resulted in rivers, land and even bedrooms teeming with frogs (Exo. 8:3; Ps. 105:30). The same word was used by the Egyptians to describe the high growth rate of the Jewish population (Exo. 1:7). The Israelites were evidently seen as a sort of plague.

The phrase "teeming multitudes" does not always refer to a plague, however. The creation account specifies that God commanded the waters to teem with marine life (Gen. 1:20f), and the Lord instructed the survivors of the Flood to populate the earth abundantly so that it would once again teem with life (9:7). God expressed the same purpose with regard to the animals who would once again swarm across the post-flood surface of the earth (8:17), replacing the vast numbers that had perished in the cataclysm (7:21).

Ezekiel used similar language to describe the fish which would teem in the Dead Sea when it was purified by the river flowing from the Temple in the millennial Israel (Ezek. 47:9). The remaining passages occur in the dietary regulations listed in the Book of Leviticus, primarily in regard to reptiles and other small animals which appeared in large numbers (Lev. 11:29, 41ff, 46). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Sharats - 14v - breed abundantly(1), increased greatly(1), populate the abundantly(1), swarm(3), swarmed(2), swarms(5), teem(1). Gen. 1:20; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 7:21; Gen. 8:17; Gen. 9:7; Exod. 1:7; Exod. 8:3; Lev. 11:29; Lev. 11:41; Lev. 11:42; Lev. 11:43; Lev. 11:46; Ps. 105:30; Ezek. 47:9

Swarms (08318) sherets -  swarmers, swarming things. a creature that crawls or swarms; insects or small animals.

Gilbrant - All fifteen occurrences of the collective masculine noun sherets are in the Pentateuch. All but three of these are in Leviticus. The root is variously attested in the Semitic languages. The Syriac (northeast Aramaic) verb means "to crawl" or "to creep." A cognate also appears in the Samaritan Pentateuch and Ethiopic.

Sherets is denominated from shārats (HED #8650), which means "to swarm" or "to teem innumerable multitudes." In Exo. 1:7, shārats refers to Israel's rapid population growth: "And the children of Israel... increased abundantly." On four occasions, sherets is found in combination with shārats (Gen. 1:20; 7:21; Lev. 11:29, 41). In Gen. 7:21, it stands parallel to rāmas (HED #7718), "to move," "to crawl," "to wiggle." In Lev. 11:44, rāmas is substituted for shārats. Four times (Gen. 1:20; 7:21; Lev. 5:2; 11:10) sherets is qualified with the adjective chay (HED #2508), "living" or "animated."

Sherets seems to indicate "small creatures" (birds, fish, small mammals, reptiles and insects) which are observed in vast numbers and seen to be moving about in haphazard fashion. These are found in the water (Gen. 1:20; Lev. 11:10), in the air (Gen. 1:20; 7:21; Lev. 11:20f, 23; Deut. 14:19) and on land. Twelve of the fifteen references (excepting Gen. 1:20; Lev. 11:10; Deut. 14:19) include land-dwelling animals.

Some reject a size limitation, stressing the nuance of large numbers or masses. While small creatures are cited ("the weasel, and the mouse," Lev. 11:29), the substantive also occurs alone without such identifications (v. 31). When the three broad categories of animals are mentioned, the third, after land animals in general and those which fly, is differentiated with rāmas (Gen. 1:20). In several cases, the word sherets is labeled "unclean" (Lev. 5:2; 11:29, 31; 22:5; Deut. 14:19). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Sherets - 15v - insects(3), swarming thing(3), swarming things(5), swarms(1), teeming life(2), teeming things(1).  Gen. 1:20; Gen. 7:21; Lev. 5:2; Lev. 11:10; Lev. 11:20; Lev. 11:21; Lev. 11:23; Lev. 11:29; Lev. 11:31; Lev. 11:41; Lev. 11:42; Lev. 11:43; Lev. 11:44; Lev. 22:5; Deut. 14:19

Genesis 1:21  God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

  • great: Ge 6:20 7:14 8:19 Job 7:12 26:5 Ps 104:24-26 Eze 32:2 Jon 1:17 Jon 2:10 Mt 12:40 
  • swarmed after their kind: Ge 8:17 9:7 Ex 1:7 8:3 
  • God saw that it was good. Ge 1:18,25,31 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Source: National Ocean Service


God created (bara'; Lxx - poieo)In the Septuagint the verb poieo is aorist tense indicating past completed action, so that even this tense refutes the specious species speculation (aka evolution)! God created at a point in time in the past and it was a finished, fully functioning creation! Believe it or not! 

The great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind - Note how this passage literally obliterates the lie of evolution. Why? Because the fish in the sea were created simultaneously with the birds in the air. There was no evolution from sea to sky! This Spirit inspired Word of Truth even defies simple logic and necessitates a fabricated facade of "scientific sounding" speech in a vain attempt to explain how such evolution could possibly have occurred! 

If you want to be amazed at the incredible creativity of our Great God the article How Many Species Live in the Ocean? is notable and (unknowingly) exalts our Creator exceedingly ...

"Scientists estimate that 91 percent of ocean species have yet to be classified, and that more than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored.. While these statistics may sound daunting, they have not stopped the global scientific community from striving to amass as much knowledge as possible about ocean life. One recent effort—the Census of Marine Life—was an international project spanning 10 years that recorded the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the ocean. More than 2,700 scientists from 80 nations contributed to the Census. The results of their research, which included 540 marine expeditions, were reported at The Royal Society of London in October 2010." 

THOUGHT - If you are a skeptic or a believer buying the lie of evolution, ponder the preceding fact! God created all of these and we don't even know what most of them are yet! Amazing! Here is the point that "that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Ro 1:19-20+

Play Chris Tomlin's classic song with great pictures -

Henry Morris notes that "It is significant that the word "create" (Hebrew bara is applied to the introduction of animal life, but not to plant life. Plants are highly complex replicating chemical systems, as are animals, with reproductive programs based in the remarkable DNA molecule in both cases. However, animals possess another entity--that of consciousness--which plants do not possess, and this required a second act of true creation (the first was in Genesis 1:1, the creation of the basic space/mass/time universe). Such consciousness is the essential meaning of the Hebrew word nephesh, commonly translated "soul," but here in its first occurrence translated "life," and then in the next verse "living creature." In Genesis 2:7, referring to man, it is rendered "living soul." Thus, both men and animals possess the specially-created nephesh. (Defenders Study Bible )

Believer's Study Bible - "Sea creatures" were greatly feared and revered by the pagans as monsters. God created (bara^, Heb.) these creatures; they are part of His obedient creation and are not threatening powers. The imagery of the sea creature is used to describe Israel's enemies (cf. Isa. 27:1; 51:9; Jer. 51:34). (The Believer's Study Bible)

NET NOTEFor the first time in the narrative proper the verb “create” (בָּרָא, bara’) appears. (It is used in the summary statement of Ge 1:1+.) The author wishes to underscore that these creatures—even the great ones—are part of God’s perfect creation. The Hebrew term תַנִּינִם (tanninim) is used for snakes (Exod 7:9), crocodiles (Ezek 29:3), or other powerful animals (Jer 51:34). In Isa 27:1 the word is used to describe a mythological sea creature that symbolizes God’s enemies.

And God saw that it was good - The very thing naturalists desire today was in fact the reality when God spoke and created these natural creatures in perfect balance and harmony, until sin swept in to ruin that perfect balance. 

Was good - Gen. 1:4; Gen. 1:10; Gen. 1:12; Gen. 1:18; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:25; (cf the sad use of "good" in Gen. 3:6)

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

  • Ge 1:28 8:17 9:1 30:27,30 35:11 Lev 26:9 Job 40:15 42:12 Ps 107:31,38 Ps 128:3 144:13,14 Pr 10:22 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


God blessed them,

NET NOTE - While the translation “blessed” has been retained here for the sake of simplicity, it would be most helpful to paraphrase it as “God endowed them with fruitfulness” or something similar, for here it refers to God’s giving the animals the capacity to reproduce. The expression “blessed” needs clarification in its different contexts, for it is one of the unifying themes of the Book of Genesis. The divine blessing occurs after works of creation and is intended to continue that work—the word of blessing guarantees success. The word means “to enrich; to endow,” and the most visible evidence of that enrichment is productivity or fruitfulness.

Saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth - God speaks their "language" and they obey their Creator, even though we cannot fully grasp this interaction. We know from studying animals, God has placed within them the instinct to procreate and reproduce their kind. 

NET NOTE - The instruction God gives to creation is properly a fuller expression of the statement just made (“God blessed them”), that he enriched them with the ability to reproduce. It is not saying that these were rational creatures who heard and obeyed the word (ED: TO BE SURE THEY WERE NOT "RATIONAL" LIKE HUMANS BUT GOD WAS ABLE TO MAKE THEM OBEY SO IN SOME WAY WE CANNOT GRASP HE SPOKE AND THEY OBEYED! WHETHER WE UNDERSTAND IT OR NOT!) It stresses that fruitfulness in the animal world is a result of the divine decree and not of some pagan cultic ritual for fruitfulness. The repeated emphasis of “be fruitful—multiply—fill” adds to this abundance God has given to life. The meaning is underscored by the similar sounds: בָּרָךְ (barakh) with בָּרָא (bara’), and פָּרָה (parah) with רָבָה (ravah).

Genesis 1:23  There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.


There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day (yom)

QUESTION -  What did God create on the fifth day of creation?

ANSWER - On the fifth day of creation, God created aquatic animals and flying creatures (Genesis 1:20–23). These animals were created to live in the spaces God had prepared for them on days two and three. On day two, the Lord had created the sky (Genesis 1:8), and on day three, He had grouped the waters together to form the seas (Genesis 1:10). Everything was prepared for what He had planned for day five.

Aquatic animals. God created all things that live in water on day five. Scripture states, “So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:21). Note, in this 24-hour period, God created various aquatic animals “according to their kinds,” including the large whales, varying types of fish, sharks, mollusks, and even the smallest of organisms, such as plankton. He intended for these animals to be abundant and fruitful (verses 22–23). The Lord’s command for the waters to “teem” (NIV) or “swarm” (ESV) with aquatic animal life (verse 20) caused the creatures in the sea to “multiply” and “abound” (Strong’s Concordance, 8317).

Numerous creatures were created by the Lord to inhabit the ocean. New species of sea creatures are still being found today, there are many sea animals that remain undiscovered as yet. In fact, according to the National Ocean Service, “scientists estimate that 91 percent of ocean species have yet to be classified, and that more than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored” (, accessed 11/2/20).

Flying creatures. In addition to the aquatic animals, God created the flying creatures on the fifth day of creation (Genesis 1:20). Most versions of the Bible consistently translate the word for these animals as “birds,” but the Hebrew word also includes other flying creatures. Not only were winged birds created on the fifth day, but also other flying creatures, including bats and flying dinosaurs.

Demonstrating great power, skill, and creativity, God made all the creatures that live in the sea and fly in the air. He blessed these creatures, commanding them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the flying creatures multiply on the earth” (Genesis 1:22, NHEB). Aquatic and flying animals in all their diversity glorify the Lord and give continual testimony of God as the Creator, the One who deserves our praise (Psalm 148:7, 10)

Genesis 1:24  Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so.

  • Let: Ge 6:20 7:14 8:19 Job 38:39,40 39:1,5,9,19 40:15 Ps 50:9,10 Ps 104:18,23 148:10 Cattle, denotes domestic animals living on vegetables;--Beasts of the earth, wild animals; especially such as live on flesh; and--Creeping things, reptiles; or all the different genera of serpents, worms, and such animals as have no feet.
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Then God said  (see note on this phrase 10x/10v)

"Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind Let...bring forth is in the jussive signifying a command.

NET NOTE - There are three groups of land animals here: the cattle or livestock (mostly domesticated), things that creep or move close to the ground (such as reptiles or rodents), and the wild animals (all animals of the field). The three terms are general classifications without specific details.

cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind

And it was so - See note on this short but significant phrase which means firm and fixed. 

Genesis 1:25  God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground

After their kind - There are fixed boundaries beyond which reproductive variations cannot go, but it is impossible to know whether "kind" is to be equated with families, genera, or some other category of biological classification. (Ryrie)

Henry Morris -  "after his kind." This phrase, repeated nine more times in Genesis 1...obviously precludes transmutation of one kind into another. The "seed" (Ge 1:11) was programmed for stable reproduction of each kind through a remarkable system known today as the "genetic code," the complex information program in the DNA molecule (ED: SIMILAR TO ANIMAL DNA). This system allows wide "horizontal" variation within the kind, but no "vertical" evolution from one kind into a more complex kind. It is significant that, despite widespread belief in evolution, no scientist has yet documented a single instance of true vertical evolution occurring today. The modern taxonomic equivalent of "kind" is probably broader than "species" in many cases, since the latter term is an arbitrary man-made category. That is, the many varieties of dogs are all part of the created "dog kind," just as all tribes and nations of men constitute one "mankind" (Acts 17:25,26).

And God saw that it was good - Interesting God did not say (speak) it was "good" but saw (envisioned) it was "good" six times (Ge 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25) and then "very good" in Ge 1:31. 

MacArthur - God saw that it was good. God has been saying this, by the way, all along. Verse 4 tells us that God saw the light was good. In verse 10 God saw that the dry land and the sea was good. Verse 12, the plants were good. Verse 18 the stellar bodies, that was good too. Verse 21, the creatures of the sea and the air, that was good. Verse 25 the land animals, that was good. And finally verse 31, after He made man, it was very good. Everything God made was good. (Creation Day 6, Part 1)

Genesis 1:26  Then 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 sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

  • Let us: Ge 3:22 11:7 Job 35:10 Ps 100:3 149:2 Isa 64:8 Joh 5:17 14:23 1Jn 5:7 
  • in our: Ge 5:1 9:6 Ec 7:29 Ac 17:26,28,29 1Co 11:7 2Co 3:18 4:4 Eph 4:24 Col 1:15 3:10 Jas 3:9 
  • have dominion: Ge 9:2-4 Job 5:23 Ps 8:4-8 104:20-24 Ec 7:29 Jer 27:6 Ac 17:20,28,29 1Co 11:7 2Co 3:18 Eph 4:24 Col 3:10 Heb 2:6-9 Jas 3:7,9 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Genesis 5:1  This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

Genesis 9:2-4  “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Psalm 8:6-8  You make him to rule (mashal) over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,  7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field,  8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 


Then God said, "Let Us make man (adam) in Our image (tselemsee note), according to Our likeness (demutLet Us make is in the jussive signifying a command. Many take the us to be God speaking of Himself (and speaks of plurality within unity) and thus hinting at the Trinity (cf Ge 3:22+, Ge 11:7), but should not be used as dogmatic proof of the Trinity. A better passage would be 2Cor 13:14+ where Paul describes "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  Man the crown of creation is the Hebrew word adam; probably so called either from the red earth of which he was formed, or from the blush or flesh-tint of the human countenance:  the name is intended to designate the species. The idea of "in" the image of God means "in essence as." Man refers not just to Adam but to mankind in general and this is substantiated by the fact that in Hebrew man is in the plural form and in Ge 1:27 God identifies both male and female as man.

Bruce Waltke on man in God's image - "Most theologians have recognized that that [sic] we cannot interpret it [i.e., the phrase 'the image of God'] literally-that is, that man's physical being is in the image of God. Such an interpretation should be rejected for at least four reasons. In the first place, we are told elsewhere that God is a spirit (John 4:24+; Isa. 31:3) and that he is ubiquitous (1 Kgs. 8:27). In the second place, a literal interpretation would leave us with all sorts of bizarre questions. If man's physical being is in the image of God we would immediately wonder what, if any organs, God possesses. Does he have sexual organs, and if so, which? Does he have the form of a man, or of a woman, or both? The very absurdity that God is a sexual being renders this interpretation highly unlikely. Thirdly, it seems unlikely that man's dignity above the rest of the animals (Gen. 9:5 f.; Jas. 3:7-9) is due to his slight physiological differences from them. Is it credible that animals may be killed but that man may not be killed because his stature is slightly different? Finally, a literal interpretation seems not only contradictory to the rest of Scripture, and unlikely, but also inappropriate, Gardener aptly observed: 'But our anatomy and physiology is demanded by our terrestrial habitat, and quite inappropriate to the one who inhabits eternity.' For these reasons, theologians have concluded that the statement in Genesis 1:26-28 must be metaphorical of man's spiritual or immaterial nature." (from page 6 of "Reflections from the Old Testament on Abortion," JETS 19:1, 1978)

Matthew Henry - 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, Ecclesiastes 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! 

MacArthur Our image. This defined man's unique relation to God. Man is a living being capable of embodying God's communicable attributes (cf. Ge 9:6; Ro 8:29; Col 3:10; Jas 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. (See context in MacArthur Study Bible)

Henry Lazenby on image - "The image is found in the type of relationship that was designed to exist between male and female human beings, a relationship where the characteristics of each sex are valued and used to form a oneness in their identity and purpose. When God created human beings as male and female he formed them to exhibit a oneness in their relationship that would resemble the relationship of God and his heavenly court. "By ruling as one, male and female fulfill the purpose of God for which they were created. United as one humanity, male and female are one with God and his heavenly court. And it is this unity between male and female, and between humanity and God, that is destroyed in the Fall described in Genesis 3." (The Image of God: Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter?" JETS 30:1, 1987)

Henry Morris on let us  - God is, as it were, taking counsel here with Himself, not with angels, since man was to be made in the image of God, not of angels. "Our image," therefore, implies human likeness to the triune Godhead. Plants possess a body and animals possess a body and consciousness; man was not only to have a body (of the created "earth") and a consciousness (of the created "soul"), but man was also to possess a third created entity, the image of God, an eternal spirit capable of communion and fellowship with his Creator. (Borrow the The defender's study Bible)

Thomas Constable - "Image" and "likeness" are essentially synonymous terms. Both indicate personality, moral, and spiritual qualities that God and man share (i.e., self-consciousness, God-consciousness, freedom, responsibility, speech, moral discernment, etc.) These distinguish humans from the animals. Some writers have called the image of God man's "spiritual personality." (Genesis 1)

Believer's Study Bible - "Image" and "likeness" are synonyms (cf. Ge 5:1; 9:6), the former perhaps stressing representation, and the latter, similarity. This says nothing about man's physical nature, but it points solely to the spiritual and moral nature of mankind, i.e., mind, emotion, and will. The body is designed for giving expression to this spiritual and moral selfhood. God created mankind so that it would be capable of fellowship with Him. Human life, even after the Fall, is specially endowed and, therefore, is precious in the eyes of God and protected by the ordained institutions of society (Ge 9:6). (The Believer's Study Bible)

And let them rule (radah - Ge 1:28) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth - Man is given complete dominion over the earth, thus distinguishing him from the rest of creation (to think man evolved to rule over those he evolved from is utter folly!) Note man's rule was to be over both "the earth" (Ps 8:6 You have put all things under his feet) and all the living creatures on the earth. This was God's gift to man who was to be His steward not an autonomous sovereign. Man was to care for the earth and its creatures, developing and utilizing the earth's resources, not despoiling or depleting them for selfish ends. 

Matthew Henry applies the progression of life forms from lesser to more advanced - The work of creation not only proceeded gradually from one thing to another, but rose and advanced gradually from that which was less excellent to that which was more so, teaching us to press towards perfection and endeavour that our last works may be our best works. 

NET NOTE on man - The Hebrew word is אָדָם (’adam), which can sometimes refer to man, as opposed to woman. The term refers here to humankind, comprised of male and female. The singular is clearly collective (see the plural verb, “[that] they may rule” in v. 26b) and the referent is defined specifically as “male and female” in v. 27. Usage elsewhere in Gen 1–11 supports this as well. In Ge 5:2 we read: “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and called their name ‘humankind’ (אָדָם).” The noun also refers to humankind in Ge 6:1, 5–7 and in Ge 9:5–6. In Our image...according to our likeness - The two prepositions translated “in” and “according to” have overlapping fields of meaning and in this context seem to be virtually equivalent. In 5:3 they are reversed with the two words. The word צֶלֶם (tselem, “image”) is used frequently of statues, models, and images—replicas (see D. J. A. Clines, “The Etymology of Hebrew selem,” JNSL 3 [1974]: 19–25). The word דְּמוּת (démut, “likeness”) is an abstract noun; its verbal root means “to be like; to resemble.” In the Book of Genesis the two terms describe human beings who in some way reflect the form and the function of the creator. The form is more likely stressing the spiritual rather than the physical. The “image of God” would be the God-given mental and spiritual capacities that enable people to relate to God and to serve him by ruling over the created order as his earthly vice-regents.

NET NOTE on and let them rule - Following the cohortative (“let us make”), the prefixed verb form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result (see Gen 19:20; 34:23; 2 Sam 3:21). God’s purpose in giving humankind his image is that they might rule the created order on behalf of the heavenly king and his royal court. So the divine image, however it is defined, gives humankind the capacity and/or authority to rule over creation.

Man (0120adam means man (as opposed to woman - Ge 2:18, Eccl 7:28), mankind, generically the human race (Ge 1:27; Nu 8:17; Ps. 144:3; Isa. 2:17), son of man in Ezekiel (cf Ezek 2:1,3, et al).

Adam uses in Genesis - Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:5; Gen. 2:7; Gen. 2:8; Gen. 2:15; Gen. 2:16; Gen. 2:18; Gen. 2:19; Gen. 2:20; Gen. 2:21; Gen. 2:22; Gen. 2:23; Gen. 2:25; Gen. 3:8; Gen. 3:9; Gen. 3:12; Gen. 3:20; Gen. 3:22; Gen. 3:24; Gen. 4:1; Gen. 5:1; Gen. 5:2; Gen. 6:1; Gen. 6:2; Gen. 6:3; Gen. 6:4; Gen. 6:5; Gen. 6:6; Gen. 6:7; Gen. 7:21; Gen. 7:23; Gen. 8:21; Gen. 9:5; Gen. 9:6; Gen. 11:5; Gen. 16:12

Image (06754)(tselem) means an image, a form, a likeness, a model, a drawing, a shadow, a statue (images of false gods - 2Ki 11:18, Amos 5:26, Ezek. 7:20; 16:17, Israel was to destroy - Nu 33:52). Man in God's image (Ge 1:26, 27; 5:3). Man continued to be in God's image after the fall, although it was marred (Ge 9:6). This truth still serves as the basis of the prohibition not to kill human beings. Figuratively tselem depicts men as shadows, phantoms, or unknowing, senseless, fleeting beings carrying out the motions of life (Ps. 39:6) unless they have hope in God (see Ps. 39:7). In a similar vein, the wicked before the Lord are considered as mere dreams or fantasies (Ps. 73:20). Of images of Babylonians on the wall! (Ezek 23:14).

Gilbrant - Meaning "model" or "image," the noun tselem occurs seventeen times in the OT. In most of its contexts, tselem refers to the image of a pagan idol. (Other synonyms for idol include gillûl [HED #1585], which characterizes the idol's shape, and ʿatsav [HED #6322]). The noun emphasizes the idol's physical representation of a pagan deity (Num. 33:52; Ezek. 7:20; Amos 5:26). Fashioning a likeness of any god was prohibited, even if it would be of Yahweh. Since God is unseen and no man has the capacity to comprehend his likeness, we should not dishonor the Creator by any such attempt. The creation of man in the likeness or image of God is another use of tselem. Mankind exerts authority over the rest of creation because of this image (Gen. 1:26f). Murder is therefore a violation of God's creation because the killer displays contempt for God as well as his neighbor (9:6). Similarly, children bear the image of their earthly parents (5:3). On one occasion, tselem describes the golden models of rats and tumors which terrorized the Philistines because they stole the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam. 6:5, 11). (Complete Biblical Library)

Tselem - 16x in14v -  form(1), image(5), images(6), likenesses(3), phantom(1).Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:27; Gen. 5:3; Gen. 9:6; 1 Sam. 6:5; 1 Sam. 6:11; 2 Ki. 11:18; 2 Chr. 23:17; Ps. 39:6; Ps. 73:20; Ezek. 7:20; Ezek. 16:17; Ezek. 23:14; Amos 5:26

Likeness (01823)(demut from damah - to be like, to resemble) means likeness, shape, form, figure, pattern. Demut is a simile comparing two unlike things - wickedness of people and the venom of a snake (Ps. 58:4), sound of God's gathering warriors and of many people (Isa 13:4), an angelic messenger and a human being (Da 10:16). Describes the likeness of Seth to Adam (Ge 5:3).  Ezekiel uses demut to describe his visions by comparing what he saw to something similar on earth (Ezek. 1:5, 16; 10:1).

W E Vine on demuth - First, the word means "pattern," in the sense of the specifications from which an actual item is made (2Ki 16:10, nasb). Second, demût means "shape" or "form," the thing(s) made after a given pattern. In 2Chr 4:3 the word represents the "shape" of a bronze statue. In such passages demût means more than just "shape" in general; it indicates the "shape" in particular. In Ezek. 1:10, for example, the word represents the "form" or "likeness" of the faces of the living creatures Ezekiel describes. In Ezek. 1:26 the word refers to what something seemed to be rather than what it was. Third, demût signifies the original after which a thing is patterned: "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" (Isa. 40:18). This significance is in its first biblical appearance: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…" (Gen. 1:26). Fourth, in Ps. 58:4 the word appears to function merely to extend the form but not the meaning of the preposition ke: "Their poison is like the poison of a serpent…" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

Victor Hamilton -  Although this substantive is used only twenty-six times in the OT, it is a very important word. It appears in the theophanic section of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:5, 10, 13, 16, 22, 26, 28; Ezekiel 10:1, 10, 21, 22), and quite often in juxtaposition with kemarê like the appearance of." Ezekiel is very careful never to say that he saw God, ʾĕlōhîm (as did Isaiah in his prophecy, Isaiah 6:1, the object or content of Isaiah's vision is ʾădōnāy) but only that he saw the likeness of God or the likeness of the entourage that surrounds God. In such practice he is comparable to Daniel (Daniel 10:16) and John in the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:13), and perhaps Hebrews 7:3 (the introduction of Melchizedek). All of the above references in Ezekiel refer to visual similarities, but Isaiah 13:4 shows that demût can be used also for audible similarities, and structural similarities in the sense of being a pattern or model (2 Kings 16:10, parallel with tabnît).

Finally we note two important passages in which man is said to be created in "(the image and) likeness of God" (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 5:1), and one passage where Adam fathered a son, Seth, "in his likeness" (Genesis 5:3).

Our purpose here is not to examine per se the doctrine of imago Dei. The studies on this have been legion. Specifically, we shall attempt to ascertain the relationship between ṣelem ("image," q.v.) and demût ("likeness") in Genesis. Nowhere else in the OT do these two nouns appear in parallelism or in connection with each other. The following suggestions have been made. (1) Roman Catholic theology has maintained that "image" refers to man's structural likeness to God, a natural image, which survived the Fall and "likeness" refers to man's moral image with which he is supernaturally endowed; and it is this likeness that was destroyed in the Fall. (2) The more important word of the two is "image" but to avoid the implication that man is a precise copy of God, albeit in miniature, the less specific and more abstract demût was added. demût then defines and limits the meaning of ṣelem (Humbert, Barr). (3) No distinction is to be sought between these two words. They are totally interchangeable. In Genesis 1:26, which is God's resolution to create, both words are used. But in Genesis 1:27, the actual act of creation, only ṣelem is used, not demût. The two words are so intertwined that nothing is lost in the meaning by the omission of demût. Also, the LXX translates demût in Genesis 5:1 not by the usual homoiosis but by eikon, the Greek counterpart for Hebrew ṣelem (Schmidt). (4) It is not ṣelem which is defined and limited by demût but the other way around. Two things are important here: (a) the similarity between dem ut and the Hebrew word for "blood" dām; (b) in Mesopotamian tradition the gods in fact created man from divine blood. Genesis then represents a conscious rejection of and polemic against pagan teaching by asserting that ṣelem specifies the divine similarity to which demût refers, viz., man's corporeal appearance and has nothing to do with the blood that flows in his veins (Miller). (5) The word "likeness" rather than diminishing the word "image" actually amplifies it and specifies its meaning. Man is not just an image but a likeness-image. He is not simply representative but representational. Man is the visible, corporeal representative of the invisible, bodiless God. demût guarantees that man is an adequate and faithful representative of God on earth (Clines). (See TWOT

Demut - 24x in 21v - figure(1), figures like(1), figures resembling(1), form(4), like(4), likeness(8), pattern(1), resembling(1), something resembling(1), which resembled(1), who resembled(1). Gen. 1:26; Gen. 5:1; Gen. 5:3; 2 Ki. 16:10; 2 Chr. 4:3; Ps. 58:4; Isa. 13:4; Isa. 40:18; Ezek. 1:5; Ezek. 1:10; Ezek. 1:16; Ezek. 1:22; Ezek. 1:26; Ezek. 1:28; Ezek. 8:2; Ezek. 10:1; Ezek. 10:10; Ezek. 10:21; Ezek. 10:22; Ezek. 23:15; Dan. 10:16

Rule (07288)(radah) means to have dominion, to rule, to dominate, to subjugate, to tread down (Joel 3:13), prevail against. The idea is to exercise dominion, control, authority over another whether legitimate or not. Authority of priests (Jer 5:31), of slave owners (Lev 25:43), supervisors (1Ki 9:23), king over his kingdom (1Ki 4:24). Man over the creation (Ge 1:26, 28).  Generally rādâh is limited to human rather than divine dominion (Psalm 110:2, et al.) The root is used of the rule of Israel over its enemies (Isaiah 14:2) and of the Gentile nations' rule over subject peoples (Isaiah 14:6).

Gilbrantrādāh occurs in a variety of contexts meaning "to rule." Genesis 1:28 contains the command to "have dominion over the fish of the sea." This passage describes a manner in which humans reflect the image of God. Other occurrences of rādhāh with human subjects include the dominion of Israel over their subjects (Isa. 14:6) and the command for the psalmist to rule his enemies (Ps. 110:2). Israel is repeatedly warned against conquering countrymen (Lev. 25:43, 46, 53; Ezek. 34:4). Isaiah 41:2 speaks of the rule of the king-messiah: "and made him rule over kings." Lamentations 1:13 should read, "He sent fire in my bones and it ruled over them." Rādhāh also occurs meaning "to take out." Judges 14:9 refers to Samson's "taking out" honey: "He told not them his parents that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion." Since the honey had been touching a carcass, it was ceremonially unclean, and Samson should not have touched or eaten it—particularly since he was dedicated to the Nazirite vows (cf. Lev. 2:11; 11:39f). (Complete Biblical Library)

Radah - 23x in 23v - dominated(1), had dominion(1), have dominion(1), prevailed(1), rule(12), ruled(4), ruling(1), subdued(1), subdues(1). Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:28; Lev. 25:43; Lev. 25:46; Lev. 25:53; Lev. 26:17; Num. 24:19; 1 Ki. 4:24; 1 Ki. 5:16; 1 Ki. 9:23; 2 Chr. 8:10; Neh. 9:28; Ps. 49:14; Ps. 68:27; Ps. 72:8; Ps. 110:2; Isa. 14:2; Isa. 14:6; Isa. 41:2; Jer. 5:31; Lam. 1:13; Ezek. 29:15; Ezek. 34:4

Larry Richards - This verse introduces several important themes. First, it introduces a peculiar feature of the term, Elohim. For in Hebrew Elohim is plural, not singular.

Hebrew scholars typically describe this as a “plural of majesty” rather than a true plural. That is, this plural does not suggest that there are several gods, but rather that the one God so indicated is to be exalted above all. In fact, the Hebrew noun Elohim is consistently used with singular verb forms, singular adjectives, and singular pronouns.

However, here in the very first chapter of Genesis, God speaks and says, “Let Us make man in Our own image” (v. 26; emphasis mine). And what is special about the plural Elohim is that in this word we have a term capable of communicating the unity of the one God while also allowing for a plurality of persons. While the nature of Scripture’s one God as a trinity of persons was unveiled later in Scripture, here in the first chapter of Genesis God is identified by a plural name found in no other Semitic language!

No single name of God reveals all that may be known about Him. But the name Elohim identifies God as the Creator, and in its uniqueness sets the stage for future revelations of His nature and character. (Every Name Of God In The Bible)

QUESTION -  What does it mean when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26)?

ANSWER - Genesis 1 details the creation account of the all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign God. When God reaches His crowning creative act—the formation of human life—His wording changes from the impersonal “let there be” to the deliberate and intimate expression, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God’s plan for humans included giving them responsibilities on the earth: “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26ESV).

Human beings—both men and women—are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1–3; 9:6; James 3:9). “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us,” says Genesis 1:26 in the NLT. We did not evolve from other lower forms of life. We were created directly by God to represent Him on the earth and have dominion over every other creation in His name (Genesis 1:26–28).

Having God’s image means we are fashioned to resemble and represent God on the earth. Some Christians like to say we are “imagers of God.” Our likeness with God is not a physical resemblance. Instead, God’s likeness denotes our capacity to rule over creation and be in relationship with God and other humans and to exercise reason, intelligence, speech, moral consciousness, creativity, rationality, and choice. Since the beginning of time, God has desired to bless us and enjoy close fellowship with us, and for this reason He made us like Himself.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the preeminent and perfect image of God: “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God” (Hebrews 1:3, NLT; see also 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15). To see Jesus is to see the Father (John 14:9). To know Christ is to know God. Jesus Christ shows us what God meant when He said, “Let Us make man in Our image.”

The original Hebrew word for “God” in Genesis 1 is the plural masculine noun Elohim. God, our Creator, chose to introduce Himself to us with a plural title. In Genesis 1:26—the first time in the Bible that God speaks about Himself—He uses the plural pronouns Us and Our. This passage is not the only instance in which God refers to Himself in plural terms (see Genesis 3:22; 11:7; and Isaiah 6:8). We find the plural Elohim more than 2,550 times in the Bible.

We know from Scripture that there is only one God, there is no other God, and He is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5, 6, 18; Mark 12:32; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5). So how can we understand the plurality of His name Elohim together with His statement, “Let Us make man in Our image?”

Bible scholars present several possible explanations:

Some believe that in Genesis 1:26 God refers to Himself and includes the heavenly assembly of angels, as in Job 1:6; 1 Kings 22:19–20; and Psalm 89:5. However, this theory falls apart because nowhere in Scripture does God say that the angels are made in His image or likeness. Another hypothesis suggests that the plural form is used to convey dignity and splendor, a language device called “plural of majesty.” Others chalk up the plural language to a technique known as “plural of deliberation,” used when a speaker consults with himself as the Lord does in Isaiah 6:8: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’”

The conviction of the early church fathers was that Elohim's statement, “Let Us make man in Our image,” communicates a complex and unified expression of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is One in three Persons: God the Father; God the Son, Jesus Christ our Savior; and God the Holy Spirit. Here in Genesis 1:26, the “Us” and “Our” indicate God the Father speaking in the fullness of His divine creative power to the Son and the Holy Spirit. A similar conversation among the Godhead is seen in Genesis 3:22: “And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’”

Only humans are uniquely created in the image and likeness of God, distinguishing them from all other earthly beings. We were made like Him so that we could be in relationship with Him—the one and only triune God.

Excerpt (click for full article) - Gerhard F. Hasel,The Meaning of ‘Let Us’ in Genesis 1:26,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 13 (1975):58–66.

The plural "let us" in the phrase "let us make man" in Gn 1:26 has a long history of interpretation, reaching into pre-Christian times. What does the plural "us" in this enigmatic phrase indicate? Should it be changed to the singular or does it indeed have a plural meaning? If it has a plural meaning, is its intention to express an address between gods, or between God and heavenly beings, or between God and earth or earthly elements? Is it a plural of majesty, a plural of deliberation, or a plural of fullness? These suggestions and their supporting arguments will receive critical consideration with an attempt to evaluate their cogency.

Jewish scholars produced for King Ptolemy the "corrected version of the sacred Scriptures with the rendering "let me" in the singular.' Christian exegetes have left a rich history of interpretation. Justin Martyr found in the plural a reference to Christ. Later Irenaeus includes in the plural the Son and the Holy Spirit and a similar trinitarian explanation of the expression is found in Theophilus of Antioch. Tertullian includes in the plural the activity of the incarnate Word, i.e. Christ. In short, in the Early Church the predominant interpretation understood the plural as expressing the trinity or triunity of God.

The First Council of Sirmium (AD. 351 )affirmed that Ge 1 :26 was addressed by the Father to the Son as a distinct Person and threatened excommunication for all those who denied it.7 This trinitarian interpretation has become the traditional view but is widely questioned today even among Roman Catholic scholar^.^ This introduction provides the background for a consideration of current views.....

Hasel goes on in the remainder of the article to discuss the following 6 interpretations of "Us"... (click for full article)

1. The Mythological interpretation

2. Address to Earthly Elements

3. Address to Heavenly Court

4. Plural of Majesty

5. Plural of Deliberation

6. Plural of Fullness

QUESTIONWhat is the majestic plural (PLURAL OF MAJESTY), and how is it used in the Bible?

ANSWER - The majestic plural, also called the royal plural, is the use of a plural word (such as the pronoun we or us) to refer to a single person. As a type of nosism, the majestic plural emphasizes something or honors someone in a stylistic way. Basically, when a member of royalty, referring to himself, says, “We” instead of “I,” he is using the majestic plural. For example, Queen Victoria, upon hearing a tasteless joke, is said to have replied, “We are not amused.”

The ancient Hebrews used the majestic plural, and some examples are found in the Old Testament. But the construction is not unique to Hebrew. The Latin language also had what the Romans called pluralis maiestatis (“the plural of majesty”), and, as has been noted, English sometimes uses it as well. Other modern languages using the royal plural include Punjabi, Hindustani, Telugu, and Egyptian Arabic (in which the President of Egypt is referred to as “Your Excellencies”).

The effect of the majestic plural is to indicate greatness, power, and prestige. It is normally reserved for use by nobles, kings, popes, and other persons of high rank when speaking in an official capacity or by those of lower rank when speaking of or to their betters.

In the Bible, we find four verses in which God refers to Himself using plural pronouns. The most well-known passage is Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.’” See also Genesis 3:22; Genesis 11:7; and Isaiah 6:8. The One God is speaking of Himself in plural form: us and our. This is a perfect example of the majestic plural. God’s divine greatness and transcendence are emphasized through the simple use of pronouns.

The majestic plural is also found in one of God’s most common names in the Old Testament, Elohim. The word itself is plural (the singular is Eloah), and it is sometimes translated as “gods” (when referring to a plurality of false gods). When it refers to the One True God, Elohim (plural) is correctly translated as “God” (singular).

Deuteronomy 4:35 says, “The LORD is God”—literally, “Yahweh is Elohim.” And the famous Shema says, “The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Again, we have the singular Lord coupled with the plural Elohim, and this time in a verse that is crystal clear that there is only one God. His name’s plural form indicates His sovereign supremacy, His matchless might, and His exceeding eminence.

We carefully note that the majestic plural in the Old Testament was not meant to teach the doctrine of the Trinity. It is simply a linguistic tool that God employed to accentuate His greatness. However, the use of plural constructions to refer to God leaves open the possibility of God’s triune nature. Later, when the doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the New Testament, the use of the majestic plural fits right in.

QUESTION - Why does God refer to Himself in the plural in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?      SEE RELATED VIDEO

ANSWER - Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” Genesis 3:22 states, “And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us.’” There are other passages in the Old Testament in which God refers to Himself using plural constructions. It is also interesting to note that Elohim, one of the primary titles of God in the Old Testament (occurring over 2,500 times), is in the plural form. 

Some people have used these verses to hypothesize that there are more than one God. However, we can rule out polytheism (belief in multiple gods), because that would contradict countless other Scriptures that tell us that God is one and that there is only one God. Three times in Isaiah 45 alone, God states, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 45:5, 6, 18).

A second possible explanation for God’s referring to Himself in the plural is that God was including the angels in His statement. In saying “us” and “our,” God was speaking of all the heavenly host, Himself included. However, the Bible nowhere states that angels have the same “image” or “likeness” as God (see Genesis 1:26). That description is given to humanity alone.

The Old Testament hints at the plurality of God,
and the New Testament clarifies this plurality with the doctrine of the Trinity.

Since the Bible, and the New Testament especially, presents God as a Trinity (three Persons but only one God), Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:22 can only represent a conversation within the Trinity. God the Father is having a “conversation” with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament hints at the plurality of God, and the New Testament clarifies this plurality with the doctrine of the Trinity. Obviously, there is no way we can fully understand how this works, but God has given us enough information to know that He does exist in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Related Resource:

QUESTION -  What does it mean that God gave humanity dominion over the animals?

ANSWER - The word dominion means “rule or power over.” God has sovereign power over His creation and has delegated the authority to mankind to have dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26). David reinforces this truth: “You made [mankind] rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet” (Psalm 8:6). Humanity was to "subdue" the earth (Genesis 1:28)—we were to hold a position of command over it; we were placed in a superior role and were to exercise control over the earth and its flora and fauna. Mankind was set up as the ruler of this world. All else was subjugated to him.

God’s command to subdue the earth and the animal life in it is a command to have the mastery over all of it. A true mastery (of anything) cannot be accomplished without an understanding of the thing mastered. In order for a musician to master the violin, he or she must truly understand the instrument. In order for mankind to attain mastery over the animal kingdom, we must understand the animals.

With the authority to rule comes the responsibility to rule well. There is an inherent accountability in the command to subdue the earth. Man has a duty to exercise his dominion under the authority of the One who delegated it. All authority is of God (Romans 13:1-5), and He delegates it to whomever He will (Daniel 4:17). The word subdue doesn’t have to imply violence or mistreatment. It can mean “to bring under cultivation.”

Man is to be the steward of the earth; he is to bring the material world and all of its varied elements into the service of God and the good of mankind. The command to subdue the earth is actually part of God’s blessing on mankind. Created in the image of God, Adam and Eve were to use the earth’s vast resources in the service of both God and themselves. It would only make sense for God to decree this, since only humans were created in God’s image.

When God gave humanity dominion over the animals, it was in order to care for, tend to, and use those animals to their fullest potential in a just manner. At the time that God gave mankind dominion over the animals, humans did not eat meat (Genesis 1:29). Eating meat did not begin until after the Flood (Genesis 9:1–3), and it was at that time that animals started to fear humans. However, although God changed the way we interact with animals, in that they are now “meat,” we still bear a responsibility to treat animals humanely. Human rule over animals does not mean we have the right to mistreat or misuse those animals.

Having dominion over the animals should entail a humane management of them as the resource God has ordained them to be. We should consider that mankind was given the task (and blessing) of representing God in this world. We are the caretakers. We hold sway over all the earth, and we (bearing God’s image) bear a responsibility to act as God would. Does God misuse His creation? No. Is God unwise in His management of resources? No. Is God ever cruel or selfish or wasteful? No. Then neither should we be. Any misuse or mistreatment of God’s creation is the result of sin, not the result of following God’s original command. We must fulfill our duty to manage the earth wisely until that time when the wolf shall lie down with the lamb in the kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 11:6).

Related Resources all from

Related Resource:

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

  • Ge 1:26 
  • in His own image: Ps 139:14 Isa 43:7 Eph 2:10 4:24 Col 1:15 
  • male and female He created them: Ge 2:21-25 5:2 Mal 2:15 Mt 19:4 Mk 10:6 1Co 11:8,9 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Imago Dei is Latin for the Image of God. Imago simiae is Latin for the image of ape (simiae). Do you not see how even the suggestion of evolution from apes is an absolute affront and insult to the glory of our great and awesome God! Play and ponder the song Imago Dei.

God created (bara'; Lxx - poieo) man (adam) - In the Septuagint the verb poieo is aorist tense indicating past completed action, so that even this tense refutes the foolishness of evolution! Man was created fully formed, not progressively evolved! A literal (normative) reading of the text refutes the lie of evolution! As noted above man is used generically of mankind, of men and women as the last clause of this verse substantiates.

Guzik - The mathematician D.S. Ulam argues it was highly improbable for the eye to evolve by the accumulation of small mutations, because the number of mutations must be so large and the time available was not nearly long enough for them to appear.  Evolutionist Ernst Mayr commented: “Somehow or other by adjusting these figures we will come out all right. We are comforted by the fact that evolution has occurred.” Johnson observes: “Darwinism to them was not a theory open to refutation but a fact to be accounted for.” (Johnson) iii. Darwin wrote: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Professor Richard Goldschmidt, a geneticist at the University of California at Berkley, listed a series of complex structures (from the hair of mammals to hemoglobin) he thought could not have been produced by thousands of years of small mutations. “The Darwinists met this fantastic suggestion with savage ridicule. As Goldschmidt put it, ‘This time I was not only crazy but almost a criminal.’…To suppose that such a random event could reconstruct even a single complex organ like a liver or kidney is about as reasonable as to suppose that an improved watch can be designed by throwing an old one against the wall.” (Johnson)  (Genesis 1)

In His own image, in the image (tselemsee noteof God He created him - See note on in His image (tselemsee note) - God is not teaching that mankind is divine or that we are "little gods," because Genesis 3 clearly teaches that we are all sinners in need of a Savior (Ro 3:23+, cf Ro 5:12+), a Savior Who was divine and Who did not sin (Heb 4:15+). The wonderful truth about this creation in His image is that in spite of our fall into sin which brought death on all mankind, when a man or woman places their faith in the Savior, their Creator, Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God "hovers" over them and makes them a new creation in Christ, Paul explaining that "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new (kainos = brand new; never existed before, analogous to the "creation" in Genesis 1 for it never existed before!) creature (or "creation" = ktisis cf "creation of the world" = Ro 1:20+); the old things passed away; behold, new (kainos) things have come." (2Cor 5:17+ this was the passage I quoted just before the pastor dunked me beneath the water in my third baptism when I finally understood its significance! See A Testimony to God's Grace; cf similar description of our "new creation [ktisis]" Gal 6:15+).

In effect, every genuine believer in Jesus Christ, the Creator, is now being daily restored into His image as they take in the same powerful Word used to speak the original creation into existence. Then as the Spirit "hovers" over our "darkness" (so to speak) and brings forth "light" progressively transforming us into the image of Jesus (aka progressive sanctification, growth in Christ-likeness). Paul explains that "we all (ALL TRUE BELIEVERS IN JESUS), with unveiled face, beholding (present tense = continually- THIS BEGS A QUESTION - ARE YOU IN THE WORD DAILY SO SPIRIT CAN USE IT TO TRANSFORM YOU?) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord (BEHOLDING THE WORD OF TRUTH), are being transformed (metamorphoo in present tense = continually being changed inwardly which is visible outwardly - Suggestion - watch the first 15' of MacArthur's video to see the effect of one man's "outward" transformed life on another man over 50 years!) into the same image ("IMAGO DEI" ~ JESUS CHRIST) from (ONE DEGREE OF) glory to (A GREATER DEGREE OF) glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (THE SPIRIT "HOVERING" OVER US)." (2Cor 3:18+, cf this transformation to "partakers of the divine nature" - 2Pe 1:4+). So now every "re-created" (born again) man and woman in Christ is gradually becoming more like Him (depending on how much of His Word they take in and live out [obey]), one day this "creation" will be consummated, John explaining "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." (1 John 3:2+) Paul explains this event called glorification (which is a one time "creative" event) as follows - 

"Behold, I tell you a mystery (musterion); we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed (allasso), 52 in a moment (atomos), in the twinkling (rhipe) of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable (aphthartos), and we will be changed (allasso). 53 For this perishable (phthartos) must (dei) put on (enduo) the imperishable (aphtharsia), and this mortal must put on immortality (athanasia). 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory (nikos)." (1 Cor 15:51-54+)

From the foregoing discussion, can you begin to see why belief in a literal Creation event in Genesis is important? If God did not create in the beginning by His Word, it calls into question His power to create us as new creatures in redemption and finally creating us into men and woman fully and forever in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Belief in a literal Creation in 6 days, undergirds and substantiates our faith, our belief that God is able to complete our "re-creation" in glorification. Belief in the power of God as Creator strengthens our faith. As Paul wrote "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ," (Ro 10:17+) and it was that same Word of Christ which brought all things in the universe into existence (Hebrews 11:3+) and that same Word of Christ is the Word by which the created universe holds together. As the writer of Hebrews stated Jesus Christ "is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds (present tense = continually) all things (HOW MANY?) by the Word of His (SUPERNATURAL) power (dunamis). When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Heb 1:3+) Paul affirms this same truth writing that Christ "is before all things, and in Him all things (HOW MANY?) hold together (sunistao in the perfect tense = the continued state)."(Colossians 1:17+)

Male and female He created them - Moses is not saying Adam was androgynous, both male and female. Man as noted in previous comments is not the individual Adam, but mankind in general. Here we see another divine "separation" a theme that is common in Genesis 1. All human beings are one or the other, either male or female, and all are such by the creative power of God. In the creation the sexes are distinct and separate according to a literal, natural reading to the inspired Word of God, which is the Word of Truth. 

Guzik - In our day, many say there is no real difference between men and women. This makes sense if we are the result of mindless evolution, but not it is true that male and female He created them. To God, the differences between men and women are not accidents. Since He created them, the differences are good and meaningful.. Men are not women, and women are not men. One of the saddest signs of our culture’s depravity is the amount and the degree of gender confusion today.i. It is vain to wonder if men or women are superior to the other. A man is absolutely superior at being a man. A woman is absolutely superior at being a woman. But when a man tries to be a woman or a woman tries to be a man, you have something inferior. (Genesis 1)

NET NOTE on male and female - There is no possibility that the verse is teaching that humans were first androgynous (having both male and female physical characteristics) and afterward were separated. The mention of male and female prepares for the blessing to follow.

Henry Morris on male and female -  Both possess equally an eternal spirit capable of personal fellowship with their Creator. Shared equally by men and women are all those spiritual attributes not shared by animals--moral conscience, abstract thought, appreciation of beauty, emotional feelings, and, especially, the capacity for worshipping and loving God. (Borrow The Defender's Study Bible)

Believer's Study Bible - This verse establishes the equality of the man and the woman as image-bearers of God, who together have a meaningful purpose in the planning of the Creator-God. However, the text is very specific in defining this equality, which resides in their spiritual being, for that is what it means to be "in the image of God." This image-bearing most emphatically does not mean that the function of God's creation is to officiate and act as God. The N.T. counterpart of this verse is Gal. 3:28, in which the apostle Paul is clearly addressing the family of believers and setting forth in this context the spiritual equality of all who are one "in" Christ Jesus. On the other hand, beginning here with the creative act itself, distinctive roles for man and woman are indicated. Therefore, the pattern is equality in essential being and distinctive difference in role or function (2:15-18; cf. Eph. 5:22, note). This equality in personhood and difference in function is beautifully illustrated by the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equal (John 10:30; 14:9), and yet in function the Son submits to the Father (John 5:19, 20; 6:38; 8:28, 29, 54; 1 Cor. 15:28; Phil. 2:5-11), and the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father to testify of and glorify the Son (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13, 14). Thus, the divinely defined relationship between husband and wife is analogous to the relationship within the Godhead, and the relationship within the Godhead is a pattern of instruction for the family unit. (The Believer's Study Bible)

William Lane Craig: “I think that the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib is almost undeniably figurative language, rather than describing an actual surgery that took place with this rib floating in the air and then being formed into a woman.”

COMMENT - Craig is undeniably in error! God's creation of Eve requires simple, childlike faith not erudite, elite reasoning! As a medical doctor I would suggest the Almighty God did not need to perform "surgery" to remove a rib! And who said the rib was floating in air? God could have grasped it or in His infinite omnipotence, He could have simply thought it or spoke it and Adam's rib was supernaturally transformed into Eve. When a man who calls himself an apologist questions the literalicity of the Bible, there is reason to question his authenticity (at least regarding some of his suppositions or conclusions). God said it, that settles it, whether our finite minds can grasp it or not! As an aside Craig is quoted as referring to Genesis as "mytho-history!" Really? He also states "we do share an evolutionary origin with human beings and that God used a preexisting hominin who was non-human and merely animal, not in the image of God (ED: ARE YOU SERIOUS? DIRECT REFUTATION OF THE WORD OF GOD! WOE!), as the stuff as it were out of which then he created the first human beings." (Source) Thus you have a number of reasons to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) when listening to or reading Craig, who is more of a philosopher than a theologian!  

O Give Thanks to Him Who Made
O give thanks to Him who made
Morning light and evening shade;
Source and Giver of all good,
Nightly sleep and daily food;
Quickener of our wearied powers,
Guard of our unconscious hours.

O give thanks to nature’s king,
Who made every breathing thing;
His, our warm and sentient frame,
His, the mind’s immortal flame.
O how close the ties that bind
Spirits to the Eternal Mind!

O give thanks with heart and lip,
For we are His workmanship;
And all creatures are His care:
Not a bird that cleaves the air
Falls unnoticed; but who can
Speak the Father’s love to man?

O give thanks to Him who came
In a mortal, suffering frame—
Temple of the Deity—
Came for rebel man to die;
In the path Himself hath trod
Leading back His saints to God.

QUESTION -  What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God (imago dei)? (See the related video answering this question)

ANSWER - On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Thus, He finished His work with a “personal touch.” God formed Adam from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Accordingly, humanity is unique among all God’s creations, having both a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit.

Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means, in the simplest terms, that we were made to resemble God. Adam did not resemble God in the sense of God’s having flesh and blood. Scripture says that “God is spirit” (John 4:24) and therefore exists without a body. However, Adam’s body did mirror the life of God insofar as it was created in perfect health and was not subject to death.

The image of God (Latin: imago dei) refers to the immaterial part of humanity. It sets human beings apart from the animal world, fits them for the dominion God intended them to have over the earth (Genesis 1:28), and enables them to commune with their Maker. It is a likeness mentally, morally, and socially.

Mentally, humanity was created as a rational, volitional agent. In other words, human beings can reason and choose. This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom. Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image.

Morally, humanity was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. God saw all He had made (humanity included) and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Our conscience or “moral compass” is a vestige of that original state. Whenever someone writes a law, recoils from evil, praises good behavior, or feels guilty, he or she is confirming the fact that we are made in God’s own image.

Socially, humanity was created for fellowship. This reflects God’s triune nature and His love. In Eden, humanity’s primary relationship was with God (Genesis 3:8 implies fellowship with God), and God made the first woman because “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he or she is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.

Part of being made in God’s image is that Adam had the capacity to make free choices. Although they were given a righteous nature, Adam and Eve made an evil choice to rebel against their Creator. In so doing, they marred the image of God within themselves, and passed that damaged likeness on to all of their descendants (Romans 5:12). Today, we still bear the image of God (James 3:9), but we also bear the scars of sin. Mentally, morally, socially, and physically, we show the effects of sin.

The good news is that when God redeems an individual, He begins to restore the original image of God, creating a “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). That redemption is only available by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior from the sin that separates us from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Through Christ, we are made new creations in the likeness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)

(Source: The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind)

Summary of several of these supposed "evidences" of evolution of man by John MacArthur (Creation Day 6, Part 2) - Now that does bring up the issue of fossils and I have to address this, I did a little bit last time, but I know many of you are students and even in elementary school in the later grades, certainly in junior high and high school and on into college you’re faced with the supposed fossil record that proves that man evolved from some kind of a four-legged apelike creature. How do we deal with the supposed fossil testimony that is used to prove evolution? Don’t scientists actually have missing links? It seems like every few years or every few months some scientist claims to have found some transitional ape-man form. Do they have missing links? The answer … absolutely not-absolutely not.

A most interesting scientific book called In The Beginning, written by Walter Brown a Ph.D from MIT. For 21 years Walt Brown was the chief of science and technology studies at the Air War College and professor at the Air Force Academy, a very fine scientist. He has exposed, as have many others, the lies of evolutionists trying to make their case. He writes that stories claiming that fossils of primitive ape-like men have been found are grossly over stated. For example, it is now universally acknowledged that Piltdown man was a total hoax and yet it exists and has existed in text books for more than 40 years. Prior to 1978 the evidence for Ramapithicus consisted of a mere handful of teeth and jaw fragments. And as I told you last week, Ramapithicus was one of the largest categories of transitional ape-man. We now know that it came simply out of some teeth and jaw fragments. It is now known that ramapithicus was just an ape. The dethroning of ramapithicus supposedly the first human, the dethroning has been a serious blow. We now believe, scientists believe, that ramapithicus was probably the extinct relative of an orangutan, nothing more.

You find some interesting information about that in a book by Roger Lewin called Bones of Contention. One of the other supposed transitional forms is called Nebraska man. The only evidence, by the way, for Nebraska man turns out to be a pig’s tooth … quite a leap. The skulls of the famous Peking man are considered by many experts to be the remains of apes that were systematically decapitated and exploited for food by man. The classification Homo-erectus is considered by most experts to be a category that should never have been created … with regard to them.

The first confirmed limb bones of Homo hibilis have recently been discovered. They show that this animal clearly had ape-like proportions and should never have been classified as homo or manlike.

And then australopithecines, as I mentioned last time, which were made famous by Lewis and Mary Leaky, found most in South Africa, are quite distinct from humans. Several detailed computer studies of the australopithecines have shown that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between man and living apes at all. Further study of their inner ear bones that were used to maintain balance show a striking similarity with those of chimpanzees and gorillas but a complete difference with those of humans. One of the fossils, a three and a half-foot tall long-armed 60-pound adult called Lucy … you remember the discovery of Lucy … was initially presented as evidence that the australopithecines walked upright in a human manner, however studies of Lucy’s entire anatomy, not just a knee joint, now show this is not true. Lucy, I hate to tell you, swung from trees.

For about a hundred years the world was led to believe that Neanderthal man was stooped and apelike. Recent studies show that this erroneous belief was based upon some Neanderthals who were crippled with bone disease such as arthritis and rickets. Neanderthal man, Heidelberg man and Cro-Magnon man were completely human, artists depiction of them, especially of their fleshy portions, are quite imaginative and not at all supported by the evidence. And so it goes.

And furthermore as we have been saying all along, the dating methods of evolutionists are grossly in error as well. So bottom line, they don’t have any transitional forms. They don’t have any proof for the evolution of anything, certainly no proof for the evolution of man. And the reason they’re having a hard time proving it is because it didn’t happen and therefore it can’t be proven.

Related Resources:

From Mars?

Microbes from Mars fell on the very early Earth . . . , and the offspring of those microbes are still here-and they are us.” That’s how one astronomer speculated about how life originated on Mars and then came to Earth.

Some men and women of science are looking to outer space for the origins of life on earth, not believing the Bible’s explanation that God placed mankind, animals, and plant life on earth through special creation. But how did that supposed microbial life start on a hostile planet? The bigger question is this: Why is it so difficult to accept that the earth, uniquely and singularly fitted for life to exist, is where God created and placed living creatures?

As humans struggle to accept a miraculous beginning of life from the breath of God (Gen. 2:7), they choose to trust a miracle of a far different sort-the miracle of life originating from no first cause at all. Perhaps they could follow the advice Job received: “Listen to this, O Job; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). And maybe they should try to answer God’s question: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4).

Praise God for creating such a wonderful place for us to live! We stand in awe of His marvelous creation. - by Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Dear Heavenly Father, what an awesome and powerful God You are! You created life by Your very breath. We praise You and stand in awe of You. Thank You for Your creation.

Only God could create the cosmos out of nothing

Questions for Evolutionists by Dr. Kent Hovind

The test of any theory is whether or not it provides answers to basic questions. Some well meaning but misguided people think evolution is a reasonable theory to explain man’s questions about the universe. Evolution is not a good theory—it is just a pagan religion masquerading as science.

1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
2. Where did matter come from?
3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
6. When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?
7.  When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
13.When, where, why, and how did:
     a) Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two- and three-celled intermediates?)
     b) Single-celled animals evolve?
     c) Fish change to amphibians?
     d) Amphibians change to reptiles?
     e) Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!) How did the intermediate forms live?
14.  When, where, why, how, and from what did:
     a) Whales evolve?
     b) Sea horses evolve?
     c) Bats evolve?
     d) Eyes evolve?
     e) Ears evolve?
     f) Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?
15.  Which evolved first (how, and how long, did it work without the others)?
     a) The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
     b) The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
     c) The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
     d) DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
     e) The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
     f) The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
     g) The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
     h) The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
     i) The immune system or the need for it? (Ray Comfort The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind)

Imago Dei
Matthew Gawronski
(Playing this haunting song as you ponder your origin)

Tell me, tell me what I am
Chemicals interlaced
Just particles lost in space
Oh, tell me

Tell me, tell me who I am
A product of consequence
A meaningless consciousness
Oh, tell me

Tell me, tell me what Truth is
An absolute fact as long as we choose it
Tell me, tell me who I am
A product of consequence
A meaningless consciousness

Imago Dei, Imago Dei
Emblems of grace beyond the surface
Imago Dei, Imago Dei
More than stardust from the darkness

Tell me, tell me what Truth is
An absolute fact as long as we choose it
More than stardust from the darkness
Tell me, tell me what Truth is
Imago Dei, Imago Dei

There must be more than
There must be more than
There must be more than the visible
Imago Dei, Imago Dei
Emblems of grace beyond the surface
Imago Dei, Imago Dei
More than stardust from the darkest depths

Tell me, tell me what Love is
Just chemical reactions of nothing?
Tell me, tell me Who Love is
Just a good word, good man
Oh, what's in His scarlet hands?
Oh, tell me,
Imago Dei, Imago Dei
Emblems of grace beyond the surface
Imago Dei, Imago Dei
More than stardust from the darkness

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

  • God blessed them Ge 1:22 8:17 9:1,7 17:16,20 22:17,18 24:60 26:3,4,24 33:5 49:25 Lev 26:9 1Ch 4:10 26:5 Job 42:12 Ps 107:38 127:1-5 128:3,4 Isa 45:18 1Ti 4:3 
  • moves, Ps 69:34
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Hebrews 2:5-8+  For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. 6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?  7 “YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;  8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him (REFERS TO MAN, NOT JESUS AS SOME ERRONEOUSLY TEACH). But now (BECAUSE OF SIN ENTERING WORLD IN GENESIS 3) we do not yet see all things subjected to him. 

Hebrews 2:9+ But (THIS SECOND CONTRAST INTRODUCES THE Kinsman-Redeemer, THE SECOND ADAM 1Co 15:47+, WHO WILL RECOVER THE LAND [planet earth] ADAM LOST RULE OVER WHEN HE SINNED!) we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. 


God blessed them - In the Septuagint the verb is eulogeo which means literally to speak well (good) and which when used of God means He confers favor (grace) or benefit. One is reminded of believers today who are now the "new creation" in Christ (2Cor 5:17+), for God the Creator "has blessed us with every (HOW MANY? cf the blessings in and 2Pe 1:4+) spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3+

Guzik on God blessed them -- the first thing God did for man was to bless him. Without the goodness of God’s blessing, human life would be not only unbearable, but also impossible (Genesis 1)

In truth His divine power granted (TO ADAM AND EVE) "everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." (2Pe 1:3+)

NET NOTE on blessed them - As in Ge 1:22 the verb “bless” here means “to endow with the capacity to reproduce and be fruitful,” as the following context indicates. As in v. 22, the statement directly precedes the command “be fruitful and multiply.” The verb carries this same nuance in Gen 17:16 (where God’s blessing of Sarai imparts to her the capacity to bear a child); Gen 48:16 (where God’s blessing of Joseph’s sons is closely associated with their having numerous descendants); and Deut 7:13 (where God’s blessing is associated with fertility in general, including numerous descendants). See also Gen 49:25 (where Jacob uses the noun derivative in referring to “blessings of the breast and womb,” an obvious reference to fertility) and Gen 27:27 (where the verb is used of a field to which God has given the capacity to produce vegetation).

And God said  (see note on this phrase 10x/10v)  to them - This has been called the "dominion mandate" and has never been revoked, but renewed and after the Flood when  "God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (Ge 9:1, cf Genesis 9:1-7).

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth - God gave man 5 commands. Before the Fall, Adam gave perfect obedience. God created humans to take an unfinished and untamed creation and direct and subdue it as God would.

Note the divine logic. If they were to fill the earth they would have to be fruitful, to procreate prodigiously. When they were of sufficient numbers of human beings, then they could proceed to subdue and rule.The earth implies not just the Garden of Eden but the entire earth. Because of sin they never even got out of the Garden and fell woefully short of fulfilling the commands in this passage.

THOUGHT - Sin (even little ones, because they do not remain little, by become dominating and destructive) will blunt your effectiveness beloved and keep you from carrying out their purpose explained by Paul "we are His workmanship (MASTERPIECE poiema), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (EVEN BEFORE GENESIS 1:1!) so that we would walk in them."  (Eph 2:10+

Henry Morris has an interesting note that "no instruction was given to exercise dominion over other men but only over the earth and the animals. Had man not rebelled against God's Word, all would have remained in perfect fellowship with God and, therefore, with one another. There was no initial need for the so-called social sciences and technologies, but only the natural sciences and their implementation. This situation was radically changed at the Fall, and God's commandment accordingly expanded officially after the Flood."  (Defenders Study Bible )

Allen Ross - God's purpose in creating human life in His image was functional: man is to rule or have dominion (1:26, 28). God's dominion was presented by a "representative." (Egyptian kings later, in idolatry, did a similar kind of thing: they represented their rule or dominion by making representative statues of themselves.) However, because of sin all things are not under man's dominion (Heb. 2:8). But Jesus Christ will establish dominion over all the earth (Heb. 2:5-8) at His second coming.

NET NOTE on subdue it - Elsewhere the Hebrew verb translated “subdue” means “to enslave” (2 Chr 28:10; Neh 5:5; Jer 34:11, 16), “to conquer,” (Num 32:22, 29; Josh 18:1; 2 Sam 8:11; 1 Chr 22:18; Zech 9:13; and probably Mic 7:19), and “to assault sexually” (Esth 7:8). None of these nuances adequately meets the demands of this context, for humankind is not viewed as having an adversarial relationship with the world. The general meaning of the verb appears to be “to bring under one’s control for one’s advantage.” In Gen 1:28 one might paraphrase it as follows: “harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit.” In an ancient Israelite context this would suggest cultivating its fields, mining its mineral riches, using its trees for construction, and domesticating its animals. The several imperatives addressed to both males and females together (plural imperative forms) actually form two commands: reproduce and rule. God’s word is not merely a form of blessing, but is now addressed to them personally; this is a distinct emphasis with the creation of human beings. But with the blessing comes the ability to be fruitful and to rule. In procreation they will share in the divine work of creating human life and passing on the divine image (see 5:1–3); in ruling they will serve as God’s vice-regents on earth. They together, the human race collectively, have the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of that which is put under them and the privilege of using it for their benefit.

Genesis 1:29  Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

  • I have given you every plant yielding seed Ps 24:1 115:16 Ho 2:8 Ac 17:24,25,28 1Ti 6:17 
  • for you;: Ge 2:16 9:3 Job 36:31 Ps 104:14,15,27,28 111:5 136:25 145:15,16 Ps 146:7 147:9 Isa 33:16 Mt 6:11,25,26 Ac 14:17 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Then God said, (see note on this phrase 10x/10v)

"Behold (hinneh), I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you

NET NOTE on behold - The text uses הִנֵּה (hinneh), often archaically translated “behold.” It is often used to express the dramatic present, the immediacy of an event—“Look, this is what I am doing!”

G. J. Wenham points out that there is nothing in the passage that prohibits the man and the woman from eating meat. He suggests that eating meat came after the fall. Gen 9:3 may then ratify the post-fall practice of eating meat rather than inaugurate the practice, as is often understood. (Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 1: Genesis 1-15)

Behold (02009hinneh is an interjection meaning behold, look, now; if. "It is used often and expresses strong feelings, surprise, hope, expectation, certainty, thus giving vividness depending on its surrounding context." (Baker) Hinneh generally directs our mind to the text, imploring the reader to give it special attention. In short, the Spirit is trying to arrest our attention! And so hinneh is used as an exclamation of vivid immediacy (e.g., read Ge 6:13)! Hinneh is a marker used to enliven a narrative, to express a change a scene, to emphasize an idea, to call attention to a detail or an important fact or action that follows (Isa 65:17, Ge 17:20, 41:17). The first use of hinneh in Ge 1:29 and second in Ge 1:31 - "And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." 

Spurgeon reminds us that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"

Genesis 1:30  and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

  • Ge 9:3 Job 38:39-41 39:4,8,30 40:15,20 Ps 104:14 145:15,16 147:9 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life (Heb. a living soul), I have given every green plant for food 

And it was so - See note on this short but significant phrase which means firm and fixed. It reminds me of the great word  tetelestai (erfect tense of teleo) from Jesus in John 19:30 - "It is finished!"

Genesis 1:31  God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

  • very good: Job 38:7 Ps 19:1,2 104:24,31 La 3:38 1Ti 4:4 
  • and the: Ge 1:5,8,13,19,23 2:2 Ex 20:11 
  • Genesis 1 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


God saw all that He had made, and behold (hinneh) it was very good - Here is another behold (hinneh) to focus attention on this final day of creation and the completeness of the Creator's work. 

George Bush - Behold it was very good. This is the divine testimony respecting the works of the creation when all was finished. God saw that everything was good, because it perfectly answered the end for which it was made. The reason of these words (good) being so frequently repeated throughout the preceding narrative is to direct attention to the contrast between the original state of things and the present, and to intimate that whatever disorders or evils now exist to mar the works of God, they did not originally belong to them, but have been introduced in consequence of man's transgression.— If it be asked why the space of six days was employed in the work of creation when omnipotence could have effected every thing in a moment, it may be answered, that one reason probably was, that all to whom the record should come might be able more leisurely and distinctly to contemplate the Creator's works as they proceeded successively from His hand. Another reason perhaps was that He might lay the foundation of the weekly division of time, and of the institution of the holy Sabbath, an ordinance to be perpetually observed to the end of the world. (Genesis Commentary)

And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (yom) - This literally is the 6th twenty-four hour day, a truth which is supported by the description in Exodus where Moses writes "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." (Ex 20:11) Ponder that description, especially the sabbath day. How could the myth of evolution in any way be descriptive of this day? Not only that but it referred to a literal day that the nation of Israel was to observe every week! If the seventh day was literal, the previous six were also literal. To argue against the plain reading of the text is not to argue with men but with God! 

QUESTION -  How do beliefs about creation impact the rest of theology?

ANSWER - The creation/evolution debate has been raging for years. To many, it seems like two opponents yelling at each other with no one really listening. The vitriol has increased to the point where each side reflexively dismisses the other—evolutionists dismiss creationists as completely ignoring science, and creationists accuse evolutionists of engaging in all sorts of Machiavellian conspiracies to silence their side. This is not to dismiss the arguments of either side as being hyperbolic but simply to point out that there is precious little honest dialogue going on in this verbal war.

Because of the difficulty of sorting out the truth, many Christians relegate the creation/evolution debate to the status of a secondary issue that does not relate to how one becomes right with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the most part, this line of thinking is correct. We can get so caught up in this debate that we lose our focus from the main issue: the spread of the gospel. However, as with many other “secondary” issues, what one believes regarding creation plays a role in how one views theology in general and the gospel in particular. More to the point, how one views creation has a major impact on the rest of their theological views.

Regarding the doctrine of creation, there are several views within Christianity:

1. Literal 24x6 creation – God created all there is in six 24-hour days.

2. Day-Age view – The creation events occurred as depicted in Genesis 1, but instead of six 24-hour days, the “days” of creation represent indeterminate, finite periods of time.

3. The Framework view – The days of Genesis 1 represent a theological framework within which to narrate the creation of all things.

Throughout most of church history, up until the last 150 years, the 24x6 view of creation was the most commonly held view within the church. Not all Christians held to this view, and not all who did were committed to it. However, there is no question that this has been the dominant interpretation of Genesis for most of Christian history. We don’t want to believe something simply because it’s traditional and historical, including the 24x6 view of creation; rather, we want to believe a doctrine because it’s supported by the text of Scripture.

In this particular case, many conservative theologians believe that the 24x6 view also has the strongest exegetical support from the text. First and foremost, it’s the natural view one gets from simply reading the text. Additionally, there are other points, such as the way the seven-day pattern set forth during creation week is the pattern for our calendar week (Exodus 20:8–11).

Since the advent of modern science, the 24x6 view of creation has been increasingly abandoned by Christians. The primary reason for this rejection is the fact that the 24x6 view of creation necessitates a “young earth” age of the universe (anywhere from 6,000 to 30,000 years), and the prevailing scientific view is that the universe is billions of years old. The Day-Age view (sometimes called progressive creationism) is an attempt to reconcile the Genesis creation account with an “old earth” view of the age of the universe.

Please note that the Day-Age view still posits that God created all things and it still rejects atheistic (naturalistic) evolution. Nor should the Day-Age view be confused with “theistic evolution,” the view that macroevolution is true but, instead of being guided by blind chance, was guided by the hand of God. Day-Age proponents see themselves as reconciling the biblical account with science. Its opponents see this view as a slippery slope to rejecting the veracity of God’s Word.

Because many Christians view the creation/evolution debate as of secondary importance, there is usually little or no concern over the theological implications of how one interprets the Bible’s view of creation. In truth, however, what one believes regarding creation is crucial because it goes to the issue of the inerrancy, trustworthiness, and authority of Scripture. Of primary importance is why a person chooses a particular view, in light of the Word of God. Believing that the Bible is inspired and inerrant but not literal in the first two chapters of Genesis is one thing. Believing that the Bible is simply wrong or cannot be trusted is another. In other words, the key issue when it comes to one’s view of creation is how that view relates to the authority and reliability of the Bible.

If the Bible can’t be trusted in the first two chapters, what makes it trustworthy throughout the rest of the book? Typically, critics of the Bible focus their attacks on the first eleven chapters of Genesis, in particular the creation account. The question is, why do they target this part of Scripture? The first eleven chapters of Genesis set the stage for the rest of the biblical story. You can’t understand the unfolding narrative of Scripture without Genesis 1–11. There is so much foundational material in these chapters for the rest of the Bible—e.g., creation, the fall, sin, the certainty of judgment, the necessity of a Savior, and the introduction of the gospel. To ignore these foundational doctrines would render the rest of the Bible as unintelligible and irrelevant.

Yet critics of the Bible want to treat these opening chapters of Genesis as ancient Hebrew myth rather than primeval history. The truth of the matter is that, compared to the creation stories of other cultures, the Genesis account—even in its most literal interpretation—reads more like history than myth. In most ancient literature, creation is seen as a struggle between the gods. Most creation myths portray the culture in question as the center of the religious universe. The Genesis account, while sharing many similarities with other creation stories, differs in that it portrays God as the sole Sovereign over creation (not one among many gods) and mankind as the pinnacle of His creation, serving as His stewards over creation.

To be sure, there are unanswered questions with the Genesis account, such as the exact date of creation. Nor are there many details about the specific means or methods God might have used. This, of course, is why there are debates about the different biblically compatible creation accounts. The purpose of the Genesis account isn’t to give a complete historical account that would pass muster with modern-day historians. The Genesis account was a pre-history of the Jewish people as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land; they needed to know who they were and from where they came.

Another thing to note is that much of Christian theology is based on the historical accuracy of the Genesis account. The concept of marriage comes right out of the creation account (Genesis 2:24) and is referenced by Jesus in all three Synoptic Gospels. Our Lord Himself acknowledges that man was created male and female “from the beginning of creation” (Matthew 19:4). These statements, to be comprehendible, rely on the historical accuracy of the Genesis creation account. Most importantly, the doctrine of salvation depends on the existence of a literal person named Adam. Twice in the Pauline Epistles (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15), Paul links our salvation in Christ with our identification in Adam. In 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, we read, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” The entire human race is in a fallen state by virtue of being “in Adam” through natural birth. In similar manner, those whom God has chosen for salvation are saved by virtue of being “in Christ” through spiritual birth. The in Adam/in Christ distinction is crucial to a proper understanding of Christian soteriology, and this distinction makes no sense if there were no literal Adam from whom all humanity descended.

Paul argues in a similar vein in Romans 5:12–21. But what makes this passage unique is that it explicitly says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). This verse is the linchpin in the argument for total depravity (the “first plank” in the Calvinist platform), and, like the 1 Corinthians passage, it depends on a literal Adam for it to make any kind of sense. Without a literal Adam, there is no literal sin and no need for a literal Savior.

Despite what position one takes on the doctrine of creation, at least one point is clear and not open to debate within Christianity: God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). While we at Got Questions believe the 24x6 view possesses the strongest biblical argument, there are other views offering valid interpretations within the sphere of Christian orthodoxy.

We need to stress that the Bible does not (either explicitly or implicitly) teach an atheistic or “Darwinian” view of our origins. Therefore, to state that the creation/evolution debate is not important is to have a low view of Scripture. It does matter, particularly because how we approach the Bible with respect to origins speaks to how we will approach it everywhere else. If we cannot trust the Bible when it speaks on the matter of creation, why should we trust it to speak on salvation? Logically, what we believe regarding creation is important to the rest of our

Related Resource:

QUESTION -  What did God create on the sixth day of creation?

ANSWER - On the sixth day of creation, God created the land animals and the pinnacle of His creative work, humans (Genesis 1:24–31). God’s handiwork was complete at the end of the sixth day. Moses, the author of Genesis, summed up the week of creation with these words: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” (Genesis 2:1).

Land animals. God commanded land animals into being: “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind” (Genesis 1:24). Every animal not created on the previous days was now in existence. The land animals were created according to their “kinds,” which Moses groups into three broad categories: livestock, such as sheep, goats, and cattle; creeping things, such as insects, worms, and reptiles; and the wild animals, such as lions, foxes, and kangaroos. All creatures that live on the earth, including elephants, giraffes, dogs, cats, tortoises, and other land animals were created on the sixth day. “God made them all, and he was pleased with what he saw” (verse 25, GNT).

Mankind. When creating man, God took counsel with Himself: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This is not an explicit revelation of the Trinity, but it provides a foundation for it, as God reveals an “us” within the Godhead. God made man in the image of God (men and women both bear this image) and special above all other creatures. God formed the first man “from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). With the rest of creation, God had simply spoken things into existence (e.g., Genesis 1:3, 14, 20), but God does things differently when He creates mankind. Man is a unique combination of earthly, natural material (dust) and life-giving power from God Himself (the breath of life).

God then placed the first man in a garden to care for it (Genesis 2:15), and then He says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (verse 18). So God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and He took a rib from the man’s side from which He made a woman (verses 21–22). God places mankind in authority over the earth and over all the other creatures (Genesis 1:26). God blesses man and woman and commands them to reproduce, fill the earth, and “subdue” it—that is, bring the earth under the rightful stewardship of man as authorized by God (verse 28). God announced that man and all other creatures were to eat plants alone (verses 29–30). God did not rescind this dietary restriction until after the flood (Genesis 9:3–4.)

Scripture indicates that humans are set apart from all other creatures:

• Humans are made in the image of God. Unlike the plants, trees, aquatic animals, birds, and land animals, God set mankind apart as unique by creating humans “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Being made in God’s likeness does not mean that humans physically look like God, since He is spirit (John 4:24). Rather, men and women reflect God in their ability to love (1 John 4:19), reason (Isaiah 1:18), and make intelligent decisions (Deuteronomy 30:19).

• Mankind was uniquely and intimately formed by God (Genesis 2:7; Isaiah 45:12). After forming man, the Lord personally breathed life into Adam to give him life. Significantly, God also personally formed Eve, using a part of Adam (Genesis 2:21–22).

• Man was given dominion over the earth. After creating the first man and woman, God blessed them, gave them dominion over all the animals, and instructed them to multiply (Genesis 1:28). Everything in creation was originally perfect and “good” as God intended (verse 31).

• The first humans were commanded by the Lord not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16–17). This command demonstrated Adam and Eve’s moral responsibility. They had a free will and the capacity to make moral decisions, in contrast to the other creatures.

According to His perfect design, God created land animals and humans on the sixth day of creation. As the apex of creation, humans were made to reflect the Lord’s character and attributes in this world. Although everything in creation reflects God’s glory to some extent, mankind is unique in being distinctly made in the image of God.


  1. What does the Bible say about Creation versus evolution?
  2. What does it mean that God is the Creator?
  3. What is young earth creationism?
  4. What is old earth creationism?
  5. Old earth vs. young earth—what are the core issues in the debate?
  6. What does the Bible say about dinosaurs? Are there dinosaurs in the Bible?
  7. Do faith in God and science contradict?
  8. What is the age of the earth? How old is the earth?
  9. Why are there two different Creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1-2?
  10. Who was Cain’s wife?
  11. Who was Cain afraid of after he killed Abel?
  12. What does the Bible say about cavemen?
  13. Does Genesis chapter 1 literally mean 24 hour days?
  14. What is theistic evolution?
  15. What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?
  16. Was Noah’s flood global?
  17. When was Noah’s flood?
  18. What is the origin of the different races?
  19. Who was Lillith? Did Adam have another wife before Eve?
  20. Did God use the "big bang" to create the universe?
  21. Why did God create such a vast universe and other planets if there is only life on earth?
  22. How can the light of stars billions of light years away from the earth have reached us if the earth is only thousands of years old?
  23. What was the Garden of Eden like?
  24. What is the location of the Garden of Eden?
  25. What does the Bible say about dragons?
  26. What happened at the Tower of Babel?
  27. In what way was the earth divided in Peleg’s time?
  28. Did God create other people in addition to Adam and Eve?
  29. Had it ever rained before the Flood in Noah’s day?
  30. Did the Bible copy the Flood account from other myths and legends?
  31. What is the Intelligent Design Theory?
  32. What was God doing before He created the universe?
  33. What does Creation "ex nihilo" mean?
  34. How did Noah fit all the animals on the ark?
  35. Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?
  36. How could there be light on the first day of Creation if the sun was not created until the fourth day?
  37. What does the Bible say about the ice age?
  38. How long did it take Noah to build the ark? How long was Noah on the ark?
  39. Questions about Adam and Eve
  40. How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
  41. Does the Bible say anything about a pre-Adamic race?
  42. What is Progressive Creationism and is it biblical?
  43. How does the geologic timescale fit with the view of a young earth?
  44. How does radiometric dating fit with the view of a young earth?
  45. Is there any evidence for young earth creationism?
  46. What is Irreducible Complexity?
  47. Is the theory of Pangea possible? Does the Bible say that there was once a Pangea / Pangaea?
  48. What is the Anthropic Principle?
  49. Did the Bible copy some of its stories from other religious myths and legends?
  50. What is Serpent Seed doctrine?
  51. What is the Table of Nations?
  52. Is creationism scientific? Is creationism compatible with the scientific method?
  53. How does creationism vs. evolution impact how a person views the world?
  54. Why is the science community so opposed to creationism?
  55. What caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?
  56. Why is biblical Creationism so important?
  57. What is the theory of directed panspermia?
  58. What are Y-Chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve?
  59. What is the difference between Microevolution and Macroevolution?
  60. How is Intelligent Design any different from belief in a Flying Spaghetti Monster?
  61. What is the theory of abiogenesis? What is the definition of abiogenesis?
  62. What is biogenesis?
  63. What is the theory of punctuated equilibrium?
  64. Does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?
  65. What is the God particle?
  66. What is the God of the gaps argument?
  67. What are some flaws in the theory of evolution?
  68. Is the universe eternal?
  69. Is the universe expanding?
  70. Why didn’t Adam and Eve find it strange that a serpent was talking to them?
  71. The Missing Link - has it been found?
  72. What is the canopy theory?
  73. Is the similarity in human/chimp DNA evidence for evolution?
  74. What is the best evidence/argument for intelligent design?
  75. What does the Bible say about uniformitarianism vs. catastrophism?
  76. What happened on each of the days of Creation?
  77. What is the biblical Creation story?
  78. What is the definition of antediluvian?
  79. Would the discovery of Noah’s Ark be important?
  80. How do beliefs about creation impact the rest of theology?
  81. Is the concept of Lucifer’s Flood biblical?
  82. What was the leviathan?
  83. What is the behemoth?
  84. What is the multiverse theory?
  85. Did God create the universe?
  86. Does the Bible teach geocentrism?
  87. How does the Cambrian Explosion fit within the framework of young-earth creationism?
  88. What do creationists believe about natural selection?
  89. What is the breath of life?
  90. Was Adam and Eve’s sin really about eating a piece of forbidden fruit?
  91. What is the meaning of the tree of life?
  92. How does DNA point to the existence of a Creator?
  93. What similarities are there between the Gilgamesh flood account and biblical flood account?
  94. What is the Day-Age Theory?
  95. How does young earth creationism handle the evidence for millions of years in the fossil record?
  96. Does the string theory have any connection with belief in God?
  97. What/where was the land of Nod in the Bible?
  98. What is the meaning of Pishon in the Bible?
  99. If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned, introducing death into creation, wouldn’t the world have gotten overpopulated?
  100. What was the firmament in the Bible?
  101. What are the laws of thermodynamics and how do they provide evidence for creationism?
  102. What is the age of the universe?
  103. Is Jesus the Creator?
  104. What was the purpose of the flood in the time of Noah?
  105. What is the definition of Darwinism?
  106. How was the flood in the time of Noah just?
  107. How can God be good if He drowned babies in Noah’s flood?
  108. Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?
  109. Is belief in God compatible with quantum physics?
  110. What is laminin? Is there any significance to laminin being in the shape of a cross?
  111. What similarities are there between the Enuma Elish and the Genesis creation account?
  112. What is the first earth age? Is the concept of a first earth age biblical?
  113. Is the Adam and Eve story to be understood literally?
  114. How does creationism explain vestigial organs?
  115. Why do men have nipples?
  116. What is BioLogos?
  117. Why does the Bible describe the moon as a light?
  118. What is palingenesis?
  119. Why did God say, "Let there be light," during creation?
  120. What does it mean that the heavens declare the glory of God?
  121. How does the fact that human beings possess some Neanderthal DNA impact creationism?
  122. Does the Bible say anything about the existence of black holes?
  123. Can the flood mentioned in Genesis be proven?
  124. Was the forbidden fruit an apple?
  125. What is historical creationism?
  126. What is the myth of Pandora’s Box, and how does it relate to the biblical creation account?
  127. Is Göbekli Tepe where the Garden of Eden was located?
  128. What was the Scopes Monkey Trial?
  129. When was before the foundation of the world?
  130. Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s ark?
  131. What does the Bible mean when it refers to the corners of the earth?
  132. Why did God create the world / earth?
  133. What is evolutionary creationism?
  134. What impact does red shift have on creationism?
  135. What are the pillars of the earth mentioned in the Bible?
  136. What language did Adam and Eve speak?
  137. What did God create on the first day of creation?
  138. What did God create on the second day of creation?
  139. What did God create on the third day of creation?
  140. What did God create on the fourth day of creation?
  141. What did God create on the fifth day of creation?
  142. What did God create on the sixth day of creation?
  143. What did God do on the seventh day of creation?
  144. What is Answers in Genesis?