Genesis Chapter 1

Outline

God creates heaven and earth. (Verse 1,2.)

The creation of light. (Verse 3-5.)

God separates the earth from the waters, and makes it fruitful. (Verse 6-13.)

God forms the sun, moon, and stars. (Verse 14-19.)

Animals created. (Verse 20-25.)

Man created in the image of God. (Verse 26-28.)

Food appointed. (Verse 29,30.)

The work of creation ended and approved. (Verse 31.)


The book of Genesis was written by Moses.  This is known by looking at its title and by the many references that Christ makes to that which was “written by Moses.”  Note Luke 24:27 & 44.   The word “Genesis” means “beginnings.”

Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies “the book of generation or production;” it is properly so called, as containing an account of the origin of all things. There is no other history so old. There is nothing in the most ancient book which exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded by the oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of different nations, confirm what is related in the book of Genesis.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

[John 1:1, Heb 1:10 Job 38:4, Isa 44:24, Rom 1:20, Col 1:16, Heb 11:3, Rev 4:11]

The Bible has four important truths found in its first verse

Truth #1: Time had a beginning.

Genesis 1:1 begins with three simple words, “In the beginning”.

This statement immediately brings about two questions in the minds of the reader: what was there before there was a beginning, and how did it come into being? These questions have stumped many people but the answers are really very simple. If we can accept by faith the belief in an all-powerful Creator, we will have no problem understanding the depths of Genesis 1:1.

The solution to understanding verse one is found however outside of time and what I mean by this is that we live our lives based on the measurement known as time.

For example, there are sixty seconds in a minute; sixty minutes in an hour; and twenty-four hours in a day. Where did the first second of time come from? The answer of course is simple, God created the first second, in fact, God created what we call time. There literally was a time when there was no time. Theologians call it Eternity Past.

There is a day coming when God will do away with time and there shall be no more night, this does not mean however that mankind will cease to exists, it simply means we will exist outside the realm of time:

Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

When God does away with time, after the Millennium, we will enter into Eternity Future. A place of no more night, where we shall never grow old. How is this possible? Time is no more. Your body will never get a day older because it has put on immortality.

Truth #2: God doesn’t argue His existence.

The first four words of Genesis 1:1 say, “In the beginning God”, this is one of the most amazing statements made by Moses because, in the entire Bible, God never tries to prove His existence.

He just states that He exists, and then leaves it up to you to decide, by faith, whether you believe in Him or not. I would have suggested that God write a great essay on the evidences for His existence to shut up the Atheists, but the Bible says that those who come to Him must come to Him by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 Truth #3: God creates (Ex-Nilo) out of nothing:

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created”. No Big Bang. There are no billions and billions of years needed by an omnipotent God as are needed by the evolutionists to form the earth. There was just God speaking things into existence by the power of His word.

No true scientist can honestly be an evolutionist, because evolution is unscientific. It takes a far greater amount of faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe that an intelligent and loving God created us. Evolution is contrary to everything that science stands for. Science is based on observable events that can be reproduced again and again with the same results. Science is based on fact.

Evolution is based on faith and fear. The faith or belief that there is no God and the fear that if enough people deny God’s existence it might help to ease their guilty conscience. Only God can ease their conscience with the gift of Salvation through faith in His Son Jesus.

Only God can create something out of nothing. Mankind can invent and build things but he has to have materials that only an all powerful God can create. God doesn’t need anything to make everything.

Truth #4 God created two separate and distinct places:

God created both the Heaven and the earth. Moses could have just said God created the universe but he specifically separates the one from the other because they are different.

God created the Heaven as the place of his dwelling and the earth as the place for man to dwell. There is coming a day when God will dwell with man during the Millennial Kingdom. (Immanuel: God with us)

Since there are two separate and distinct places that God created he has two different programs that governs them. He has the Prophecy Program that will be introduced in the pages ahead that has to do with the creation and governing of the Earth through the nation of Israel.

This chapter forever settles any questions about evolution – God is the Creator of all things; those who take the middle of the road approach have invented something they call “theistic evolution.” The idea behind this is that God created the world by using evolution – this however will not work either as the verses plainly say that God did his creating in six days.  Each day is mentioned as having an evening and a morning – a 24 hour day if the passage is taken as it stands.  Only by changing God’s words can one make these days to mean great periods of time.

Study Questions:

Compare Gen 1:1 with John 1:1-3. What similarities do you see?

Why did God create everything according to Revelation 4:11?

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.

[Jer 4:23]

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

[Psa 74:16]

When God said, “Let there be light”, in verse three He was not referring to the Sun and the Stars, but to a supernatural creation, out of nothing (Ex-Nilo), of a life sustaining light.

When Moses wrote that God divided the light from the darkness in verse four, what he meant was that God the Son in his preincarnate form (The Light of the World), instantaneously began to illuminate the earth from His dwelling place in what is called the Third Heaven.

If you doubt this God has already established a precedent for it in quoting a future event that we read about a minute ago in Isaiah 60:19.

God’s Light functions just as the Sun or light does today, with the side of an object (i.e., the Earth) that faces the Light (or light) receiving illumination, and the opposite side of the Earth receiving less illumination; thus, creating darkness or what we call Night.

The way that God provided for light and darkness was by allowing the Earth to rotate on its axis; thus providing a night and a day to opposites sides of the earth.

Had God not done this the Earth would be scorched on one side and mostly frozen on the other, with life surviving only around the outer edges of the planet that are farthest from the Sun. It is important also to notice that God says that the Day begins with the evening (Around 6:30 PM) and ends after the day (or after the daylight has ceased).

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

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

Notice the poor little word “day” in Genesis 1:5. That word “day” never hurt anyone, so why do all the Liberals constantly pick on this one three letter word found in Genesis 1:5?

Why don’t they pick on the word “day” found in all the other places in the Bible? I’ll tell you why, because as a student of the Bible one of the hermeneutical laws to understanding doctrine is called “the law of first mention”.

The reason why is the word “day” is so important to the Liberals is because it is the first time that the word “day” is mentioned in the Scriptures and it is the foundational verse that proves that there were six literal 24 hour days of Creation for the Earth.

Psalms 11:33 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

If the Devil and his crowd can cause you to doubt the six literal days of Creation, he can cause you to doubt anything the Bible says.

“the evening and the morning were the first day” –   a reference to the Jewish way of keeping time.  By Jewish time, a 24 hour day begins at one sunset and ends at the next sunset;  note how this same wording is found in verses 8, 13, 19, 23 & 31.

Study Question

What does Lev. 23:32 say about the sabbath day?

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

[firmanment –  great expanse, heavens]

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

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

[Job 37:18, Psa 33:6, Psa 136:5, Jer 10:12 Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 34:4; 51:6; II Peter 3:10-12; and Revelation 21:1]

The firmament, which God spoke to Moses about, was the sky where the fowls of the air fly. The air itself is part water. Our atmosphere is the first of three Heavens. The other two being outer space and thirdly Heaven itself where God dwells.

there are several things in these verses that bear close scrutiny.  On this day of creation God begins dividing the waters.  There are “waters” divided from one another and placed above and below the “firmament” called heaven.  It is this firmament of heaven where the sun, moon, stars, etc. are according to verses 14-15.  This means that out beyond the stars is an immense body of water.  As we begin to put some verses together, a picture of our universe emerges from the scriptures that will help to explain many difficult passages in the future. The Bible term “the deep” sometimes refers to the oceans and sometimes refers to this body of water out beyond the solar system.  This water as mentioned in Job 38:30 is frozen; it is like a “molten lookinglass” (Job 37:18) and is the “sea of glass like unto crystal” (Rev. 4:6) upon which God’s throne sits.  Various references are found in the Bible about heaven enduring forever while other references can be found that refer to the destruction of the heavens – what will obviously happen is that God will destroy the first and second heavens (and remake them) while the third heaven continues on forever

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

[Job 26:10, Psa 33:7, Psa 95:5]

“waters under the heaven” – all of the water on earth.

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

At this point, there were not the seven continents that we have today. The Bible doesn’t say if there was more than one continent at that time. Logic would lead us to believe there was only one continent or at least one large continent and possibly one smaller continent, perhaps Antarctica, but that’s just conjecture.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

[Luke 6:44, Heb 6:7]

“after his kind” – this denies evolution that rests upon the premise that one “kind” brings forth a different “kind” (ie. man from monkey).  God created every living thing to produce only after its own kind.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

James Dobson (Focus on the Family) doesn’t believe in the six literal twenty-four hour days of Creation and accepts the Big Bang Theory as fact. To accept the Big Bang Theory as fact, you must reject the Biblical account of Creation because the Big Bang THEORY says that the Sun came before the Earth, but the Bible says the Sun doesn’t appear until the fourth day.

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

[Deut 4:19, Psa 74:16, Psa 136:7]

Study Question

what are the five purposes of these “lights in the firmament” according to this verse?

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

“two great lights” – the sun and the moon

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

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

[Jer 31:35]

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Here we have the creation of the sun, planets, and the moon and stars out of nothing. Angels were not created on this day as some believe because the book of Job says otherwise: Job 38:4-7

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

[Psa 104:25]

note how the “first heaven” is specifically called the “open firmament of heaven.”

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

[Gen 8:17]

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

God created animals to reproduce after their own kind (Species), they could not interbreed. They do not evolve into new animals.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

[Gen 6:20, Gen 7:14, Gen 8:19]

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

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

[Gen 11:7 Psa 100:3 Psa 8:6]

And God said, Let us…our…our…” – there is only one God, but when he spoke he referred to himself in the plural because, “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I John 5:7).

Study Question

What similarity can you find between this verse (Gen. 1:26) and Genesis 3:22; 11:7; and Isaiah 6:8?

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

[1st Cor 11:7, Eph 4:24, Col 3:10, Jas 3:9 Matt 19:4, Mark 10:6]

Pope John Paul II came out with another infallible teaching that says “a Catholic can believe in Evolution as long as they believe that after Apes evolved to a certain point God gave them a soul which made them human.” That is blasphemy folks!

Jesus Christ is the express image of God. (see 2 Cor 4:4; Heb 1:3) When talking to Philip, Jesus said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9

man was made in God’s image, hence the reason why God expects more from man and places a higher value upon man than the animals and plants.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

[Psa 127:3 Gen 9:1, Gen 9:7, Lev 26:9, Psa 128:3]

The Hebrew word Elohim is used in verse 26 for God, this is a plural form for the word God. This is the second time God alludes to the doctrine of the Godhead or Trinity. El stands for God and “im” at the end of any Hebrew word means plural. So the God who is one, is also more than one. Use this when explaining the Trinity to a Jewish Person.

In verse twenty-eight God tells Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

This has caused much speculation as to whether there were people or angels here before us, or whether God simply meant that He created Adam and Eve (the earth’s first generation) Now its up to them to replenish the next generation and each generation thereafter to replenish the following generation. I can assure you the scriptures teach nothing about humans existing prior to Adam and Eve.

“replenish” means to fill again something that was once full (compare with Genesis 9:1).  More than likely, Gen. 1:1 speaks of God’s original creation of the earth; many think that something happened between the first and second verses of Genesis chapter one that turned God’s original creation into the formless void of Gen. 1:2. Whatever was originally on the earth was wiped out and Adam is therefore commanded to replenish the earth.  If this scenario indeed happened, the event that probably caused it was the rebellion of the devil and his exile to the earth – this is about the only thing that could have happened that would have introduced “darkness” (vs. 2) into God’s universe – see I John 1:5.   Note how the word “replenish” is used in 9:1

We know from the Scriptures that Adam and Eve had two sons and that they had to have married their sisters because Genesis 3:20 says that, “Eve was the mother of all living.”

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

[Psa 104:14, Psa 146:7, Acts 14:17]

[meat – food of any kind]

This is a portion of Scripture which steak lovers have a hard time dealing with because it says that Adam and Eve didn’t have a T-bone steak or Brontosaurus Burger every night. They argue very convincingly to us fellow beefeaters that Adam and Eve could not have been in a Garden of Eden without eating a juicy steak at least once a week.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

[Psa 147:9]

[meat – food of any kind]

Not only did cows chew the cud but the lion did as well. There were no ferocious animals to fear for Adam and Eve because all animals were vegetarians, even the dinosaurs which walked the earth at this time, yes, even T-Rex.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

[Psa 104:24]

If you have been paying attention throughout chapter one, you will have noticed that I have been highlighting the statements like the one found in verse thirty-one where Moses says that God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

If Satan is a created being (angel) and he is, then his fall had to be after the sixth day of creation for God to say, “Everything that he made was good.” When were Lucifer and the angels created? All angels were created on or before Day 1 for the Bible declares:

Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God (angels) shouted for joy?

You will see the importance of these subjects as you read along and as you deal with evolutionist. Too many pastors and layman are stumped at the simplest of questions.


Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710:

Verse 1-3 – The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying and useful account of the origin of the earth and the heavens. The faith of humble Christians understands this better than the fancy of the most learned men. From what we see of heaven and earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our make and place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always to keep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. The Son of God, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world; nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and nothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts should there be in our minds, of that great God whom we worship, and of that great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at the beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit, whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in other parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void; it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of grace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul, one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition by nature, till Almighty grace works a change in us.

Verse 3-5 – God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in the new creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections by enlightening the understanding. Those who by sin were darkness, by grace become light in the Lord. Darkness would have been always upon fallen man, if the Son of God had not come and given us understanding, 1st John 5:20. The light which God willed, he approved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for what fellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfect light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord’s; let us use both to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting in him every night, meditating in his law both day and night.

Verse 6-13 – The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became full of God’s riches, and his they are still. Though the use of them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.

Verse 14-19 – In the fourth day’s work, the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is accounted for. All these are the works of God. The stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints. The lights of heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully, and shine in their season without fail. We are set as lights in this world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the end of our creation? We do not: our light does not shine before God, as his lights shine before us. We burn our Master’s candles, but do not mind our Master’s work.

Verse 20-25 – God commanded the fish and fowl to be produced. This command he himself executed. Insects, which are more numerous than the birds and beasts, and as curious, seem to have been part of this day’s work. The Creator’s wisdom and power are to be admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power of God’s providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the effect of his blessing.

Verse 26-28 – Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an honour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day that the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth with theirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same earth with them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and the desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that perish! Man was to be a creature different from all that had been hitherto made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must be put together in him. God said, “Let us make man.” Man, when he was made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe our being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God’s image. Man was made upright, 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!

Verse 29,30 – Herbs and fruits must be man’s food, including corn, and all the products of the earth. Let God’s people cast their care upon him, and not be troubled about what they shall eat, and what they shall drink. He that feeds his birds will not starve his babes.

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