Genesis 1


  • Its Title.  Like the other four divisions of the Pentateuch, the First Book

            of Moses derives its title in the Hebrew Scriptures from its initial word,

            Bereshith; in the Septuagint, which is followed by the Authorized Version,

            it is designated by a term which defines its contents, Γένεσις  (Genesis).

            Γένεσις referring to it has been assigned as a descriptive appellation has been

            styled the Book of Origins or Beginnings (Ewald); but since the Septuagint

            employ Vedette as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Tol’doth, which

            signifies not the causes, but the effects, not the antecedents, but the

            consequents of either thing or person (ch. 2:4: Exposition), the writing might

            be more exactly characterized as the Book of Evolutions or Developments.


  • Its Contents. As a Book of Origins or Beginnings, it describes the

            creation or absolute origination of the universe, the formation or cosmic

            arrangement of this terrestrial sphere, the origin of man and the

            commencement of the human race, while it narrates the primeval histories

            of mankind in the three initial ages of the world the Antediluvian, the

            Postdiluvian, and the Patriarchal. Subsidiary to this, it depicts the pristine

            innocence of man in his first or Edenic state; recites the story of his fall

            through the temptation of an unseen adversary, with the revelation of

            Divine mercy which was made to him in the promise of the woman’s seed,

            and the consequent establishment on earth of a Church of believing sinners,

            looking forward to the consummation of that glorious promise; traces the

            onward course of the divided human family, in the deepening impiety of the

            wicked, and the decaying godliness of the righteous, till, ripe for

            destruction, the entire race, with the exception of one pious household, is

            wiped out or washed off from the face of the ground by the waters of a

            flood; then, resuming the thread of human history, after first sketching the

            principal features of that appalling catastrophe, pursues the fortunes of this

            family in its three sons, till it sees their descendants dividing off into

            nations, and spreading far and wide across the surface of the globe; when,

            returning once more to the original center of distribution, it takes up the

            story of one of these collateral branches into which the race has already

            separated, and carries it forward through successive stages till it connects

            itself with the later history of Israel. Or, regarding the work in the other

            mentioned aspect, as a Book of Evolutions or Developments, by which the

            standpoint of the writer is changed and brought round from the historical

            to the prophetic, from the a posteriori to the a priori, after sketching in a

            preliminary section the original creation of the universe and the

            arrangement of the present terrestrial cosmos, in ten successive sections it

            relates the Tol’doth or generations, i.e. the subsequent evolutions or

            onward developments of the cosmos which lead down to the point of

            departure for the history of Israel narrated in the ensuing books. The main

            divisions of the Book, according to the principle just stated, am indicated

            by the formula: “These are the generations of....” The following tabular

            view of these successive sections will afford an idea of the wide range of

            topics comprehended in the First Book of Moses:


  • Section 1. The beginning:  ch.1:1-2:3
  • Section 2. The generations of the heavens and the earth:  ch.2:4-4:26
  • Section 3. The generations of Adam:  ch.5:1-6:8
  • Section 4. The generations of Noah:  ch. 6:9-9:29
  • Section 5. The generations of the sons of Noah:  ch.10:1-11:9
  • Section 6. The generations of Shem:  ch.11:10-26
  • Section 7. The generations of Terah:  ch.11:27-5:11
  • Section 8. The generations of Ishmael:  ch. 25:12-18
  • Section 9. The generations of Isaac:  ch. 25:19-35:29
  • Section 10. The generations of Esau:  ch. 36:1-37:1
  • Section 11. The generations of Jacob: ch.37:2-50:26



                          THE PRIMEVAL AGE OF THE WORLD

                        FROM THE CREATION TO THE DELUGE.

                                                 (Chapters 1-9)



                                    THE BEGINNING (ch.1:1-2:3).


  • THAT this initial section is not history is apparent from the

            circumstance that the occurrences it describes belong to a period of time

            which antedates the dawn of history. That it is not science is evinced by the

            fact that, in some, at least, of its particulars, it refers to a condition of our

            globe concerning which even modern research has attained to no definite

            conclusions, while in all of them it claims to be regarded not as uttering the

            findings of reason, but as declaring the course of nature. That still less can

            it be myth must be obvious to any who will carefully contrast it with those

            heathen cosmogonies which it is said to resemble. Only the most absolute

            devotion to preconceived opinion can render one oblivious of its immense

            superiority, to them in respect of both simplicity of construction and

            sublimity of conception. The absurdities, puerilities, and monstrosities that

            abound in them are conspicuously absent from it. It alone ascends to the

            idea of a creation ex nihilo, and of a SUPREME INTELLIGENCE by whom

            that creation is effected. (And to think that in this 21st Century, the Information

            Age, men attempt to bar from public education Intelligent Design!  - CY – 2015)

            Unlike them, it is destitute of either local coloring or

            national peculiarity, being no more Jewish than it is Assyrian or Indian,

            Persian or Egyptian. The inspired original, of which heathen creation stories

            are the corrupted traditions, it may be; impartial reason and honest

            criticism alike forbid its relegation to a common category with them. Since,

            then, it is neither history, nor science, nor mythology, it must be

            REVELATION; unless ill-deed it be regarded as either “the recorded

            intuition of the first man, handed down by tradition,” a theory successfully

            demonstrated by Kurtz to be altogether inadequate, or the inductive

            speculation of some primitive cosmogonist, a solution of its genesis

            scarcely less satisfactory. To characterize it as a pious fraud, of post-

            Mosaic origin, written to uphold the Jewish week cycle and the institution

            of the Jewish sabbath, is not only to negate its inspiration, but to

            invalidate the Divine authority of the whole book, to which it serves as an

            introduction. Happily its inspiration is a much less violent supposition than

            its invention, and one which is susceptible of almost perfect demonstration.

            Rightly viewed, its inspiration is involved in the simpler question of its

            truthfulness. If the Mosaic cosmogony is true, it can only have been given

            by inspiration; and that it is true may be said to be, with rapidly augmenting

            emphasis, the verdict of science.  (Science and Truth will never conflict,

            except through PHILOSOPHY – What  man thinks! – CY – 2015)


  • As to the precise manner in which it was imparted to its author, THE

            VISION THEORY is perhaps, with certain modifications, the best., there is

            clearly nothing in the nature of the case to discredit the hypothesis that the far

            past may have been disclosed to the writer of this ancient document in the same

            fashion as we know the remote future was discovered to the later prophets.

            On the contrary, there is much in Scripture to warrant the assumption that,

            as Daniel heard the speaking between the banks of the Ulai,” and received

            dream-revelations of the four great world monarchies, and as John beheld

            visions and heard voices concerning the things which were shortly to come

            to pass, so the Jewish lawgiver, or the primitive Nabi to whom this

            revelation was imparted, may have beheld in sublime panorama the

            evolution of the light, the uplifting of the atmosphere, the parting of the

            waters, the placing of the orbs, the filling of the land, sea, and sky with life,

            while he listened with awestruck silence to the voices of Elohim, as they

            were uttered at the opening of each creative day. Something like this,

            Professor Lewis aptly remarks, appears necessary to explain the reception

            by the prophet’s mind of those ineffable ideas of which previously he had

            no types or conceptions.


  • Though not poetical in the sense of being composed in ornate and

            figurative language, the present section may be truthfully described as

            rhythmical in structure, possessing an artificial and orderly arrangement,

            much obscured by its division in the English version into chapters and

            verses, which almost justifies its designation as The Primeval Song, or

            Hymn of Creation, with which may be compared the lyric poem in Psalm

            104., and the post-Exilian ode in Psalm. 136., in both of which a Hebrew

            bard recites the story of creation.


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

In the beginning, Bereshith, is neither “from eternity,” as in John 1:1; nor “in wisdom”

(Chaldee paraphrase), as if parallel with Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 104:24; nor

“by Christ,” who, in Colossians 1:18, is denominated ἀρχὴ -  archae – beginning;

original -  but “at the commencement of time.” Without indicating when the

beginning was, the expression intimates that the beginning was.  Exodus 20:11 seems

to imply that this was the initiation of the first day’s work. The formula, “And God said,”

with which each day opens, rather points to v. 3 as its proper terminus a quo, which

the beginning absolute may have antedated by an indefinite period. God

Elohim (either the highest Being to be feared, from alah, to fear,  or, more probably,

the strong and mighty One, from aul, to be strong — is the most frequent designation

of the Supreme Being in the Old Testament, occurring upwards of 2000 times, and is

exclusively employed in the present section. Its plural form is to be explained neither

as a remnant of polytheism, nor as indicating a plurality of beings through whom the

Deity reveals Himself, nor as a plural of majesty, like the royal “we” of earthly

potentates, a usage which the best Hebraists affirm to have no existence in the

Scriptures, nor as a cumulative plural, answering the same purpose as a repetition

of the Divine name; but either:


  • as a pluralis intensitatis, expressive of the fullness of the Divine nature,

            and the multiplicity of the Divine powers, or,


  • a pluralis trinitatis, intended to foreshadow the threefold personality of

      the Godhead; or


  • both. The term may be a contraction for El-Elohim, the God of all superhuman

      powers, is inconsistent with neither of the above interpretations That the Divine

      name should adjust itself without difficulty to all subsequent discoveries of the

            fullness of the Divine personality and nature is only what we should expect

            in a God-given revelation. Unless where it refers to the angels (Psalm 8:5), or

            to heathen deities (ch. 31:32; Exodus 20:3; Jeremiah 16:20), or to earthly rulers

            (Exodus 22:8-9), Elohim is conjoined with verbs and adjectives in the singular,

            an anomaly in language which has been explained as suggesting the unity of the

            Godhead. Created.  Bara, one of three terms employed in this section, and in

            Scripture generally, to describe the Divine activity; the other two being yatzar,

            “formed,” and asah, “made” — both signifying to construct out of preexisting

            materials (compare for yatzar, ch.2:7; 8:19; Psalm 33:15; Isaiah 44:9; for asah,

            ch. 8:6; Exodus 5:16;  Deuteronomy 4:16), and predicable equally of God and

            man. Bara is used exclusively of God. Though not necessarily involved in its

            significance, the idea of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) is acknowledged by

            the best expositors to be here intended. Its employment in vs. 21, 26, though

            seem ugly against, is really in favor of a distinctively creative act; in both of

            these instances something that did not previously exist, i.e. animal life and

            the human spirit, having been called into being. In the sense of producing

            what is new it frequently occurs in Scripture (compare Psalm 51:12;

                        Jeremiah 31:12; Isaiah 65:18). Thus, according to the teaching of

            this venerable document, the visible universe neither existed from eternity,

            nor was fashioned out of pre-existing materials, nor proceeded forth as an

            emanation from the Absolute, but was summoned into being by an express

            CREATIVE FIAT!   The New Testament boldly claims this as a doctrine

            peculiar to revelation (Hebrews 11:3). Modern science explicitly disavows it as

            a discovery of reason. The continuity of force admits of neither creation

            nor annihilation, but demands an unseen universe, out of which the visible

            has been produced “by an intelligent agency residing in the unseen,” and

            into which it must eventually return (‘The Unseen Universe,’ pp. 167,

            170). Whether the language of the writer to the Hebrews homologates the

            dogma of an “unseen universe” (μὴ φαινομένονmae phainomenon

            not appear -  out of which τὸ βλεπόμενον γεγονέναιto blepomenon

            gegonenaithe being observed to have become - the last result of science,

            as expressed by the authors of the above-named work, is practically an

            admission of the Biblical doctrine of creation. The heavens and the earth

            (i.e. mundus universus. Compare ch. 2:1; 14:19, 22;  Psalm 115:15; Jeremiah

            23:24.  The earth and the heavens always mean the terrestrial globe with its

            aerial firmament. Compare ch. 2:4; Psalm 148:13; Zechariah 5:9). The earth

            here alluded to is manifestly not the dry land (v. 10), which was not separated

            from the waters till the third day, but the entire mass of which our planet is

            composed, including the superincumbent atmosphere, which was not

            uplifted from the chaotic deep until the second day. The heavens are the

            rest of the universe. The Hebrews were aware of other heavens than the

            “firmament” or gaseous expanse which over-arches the earth. “Tres

            regiones,” says Poole, “ubi ayes, ubi nubes, ubi sidera.” But, beyond these,

            the Shemitie mind conceived of the heaven where the angels dwell

            (I Kings 22:19; Matthew 18:10), and where God specially resides

            (Deuteronomy 26:15; I Kings 8:30; Psalm 2:4), if, indeed, this

            latter was not distinguished as a more exalted region than that occupied by

            any creature — as “the heaven of heavens,” the pre-eminently sacred abode

            of the Supreme (Deuteronomy 10:14; I Kings 8:27; Psalm 105:16). The

            fundamental idea associated with the term was that of height

            (shamayim, literally, “the heights”). To the Greek mind

            heaven meant “the boundary” (οὑρανος, - ouranosheaven from ὁρος

            orosraise; rear), or, “the raised up” (from ὀρor - to be prominent ).

            The Latin spoke of “the con cavity” (coelum, allied to κοῖλοςkoilos - hollow),

            or “the engraved” (from coelo, to engrave). The Saxon thought of “the

             heaved-up arch.” The Hebrew imagined great spaces rising tier upon tier

            above the earth (which, m contradistinction, was named “the flats”), just

            as with regard to time he spoke of olamim (Greek αἰῶνες - aioneseternal;

            everlasting.  Though not anticipating modern astronomical discovery, he had

            yet enlarged conceptions of the dimensions of the stellar world (ch.15:5;

                        Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 31:37; Amos 9:6); and, though unacquainted with our

            present geographical ideas of the earth’s configuration, he was able to

            represent it as a globe, and as suspended upon nothing (Isaiah 40:21;

                        Job 26:7-10; Proverbs 8:27). The connection of the present verse

            with those which follow has been much debated. The proposal of Aben

            Ezra, adopted by Calvin, to read, “In the beginning when God created the

            heavens and the earth, the earth was” is grammatically inadmissible.

            Equally objectionable on the ground of grammar is the suggestion of

            Bunsen and Ewald, to connect the first verse with the third, and make the

            second parenthetical; while it is opposed to that simplicity of construction

            which pervades the chapter. The device of Drs. Buckland and Chalmers, so

            favorably regarded by some harmonists of Scripture and geology, to read

            the first verse as a heading to the whole section, is exploded by the fact

            that no historical narration can begin with “and.” To this Exodus 1. It is no

            exception, the second book of Moses being in reality a continuation of the

            first. Honest exegesis requires that v. I shall be viewed as descriptive of

            the first of the series of Divine acts detailed in the chapter, and that v. 2,

            while admitting of an interval, shall be held as coming in immediate

            succession — an interpretation, it may be said, which is fatal to the theory

            which discovers the geologic ages between the creative beginning and

            primeval chaos.



                                                The Visible Universe ( v. 1)




Ø      One. In age, origin, and nature one, “the heavens and the earth” also

                        constitute one vast system. Cohering physically through the force of

                        gravitation, which, in its ultimate analysis, is simply an expression of the

                        Divine power, they are unified spiritually by Christ, who is the

                        impersonation of the Divine wisdom and love (John 1:3, 9;

                                                Colossians 1:15-17). Hence, as constituting one stupendous system,

                        they are not independent, but mutually influential — physically

                        according to science, spiritually according to Scripture (Ephesians 3:10;

                        I Peter 1:12).  Yet:


Ø      Not simple, but complex, consisting of two parts:


o       of this mundane sphere, with its diversified contents of men,

      animals, and plants; and –

o       of those shining heavens, with their starry hosts and angelic



Hence the histories of those two realms may be widely divergent — an inference

which astronomy warrants as to their physical developments, and revelation

endorses with regard to their spiritual experiences. Hence to argue from the one

to the other is to reason hypothetically; as, e.g., to conclude that the planets must be

inhabited because the earth is, or to affirm that the Divine treatment of the human and

angelic races must of necessity be alike.




Ø      Vast. Enlarged as were Shemitic notions of the dimensions of God’s

                        universe, modern astronomy, by the grandeur and sublimity of its

                        revelations, gives definite shape to what were then only vague and

                        shadowy conceptions. Imagination becomes bewildered in the attempt

                        to comprehend the circle of the universe. Commencing with the sun,

                        the central body of our planetary system, with a diameter about three

                        times our distance from the moon, and passing, on her outward journey,

                        no fewer than seven worlds in addition to our own, most of them

                        immensely larger, she only reaches the outskirts of the first department

                        of creation at a distance of 2,853,800,000 miles. Then, when to this is

                        added that the nearest fixed star is so remote that three years are required

                        for its light to reach the earth (traveling at 186,282 miles a second – CY –

                        2015); that from some of the more distant nebulae the light has

                        been traveling for millions of years; that the number of the stars is

                        practically infinite; and that each of them may be the center of a system

                        more resplendent than our own, — even then it is but a faint conception

                        which she reaches of the dimensions of the universe (Job 26:14).

                        (I recommend Fantastic Trip on You Tube – CY – 2015) Yet:


Ø      It is not infinite. Immeasurable by man, it has already been measured by

                        God (Isaiah 40:12). Undiscoverable by science, its limits are known to

                        its Creator (Acts 15:18). The stars which man is unable to compute

                        God calls by their names (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). That the

                        universe must have a boundary is involved in its creation. Two finites

                        cannot make an infinite. Hence the measured earth (Habakkuk 3:6) and

                        the bounded heavens (Job 22:14) cannot compose an illimitable

                        universe. Still less can there be two infinites, one filling all space, and

                        another outside of it. But ELOHIM is such an infinite (Isaiah 57:15;

                                                Jeremiah 23:24); hence the universe is not such another.




Ø      Old. How old God has not revealed and man has not discovered;

                        geology and astronomy both say millions of years; one hundred millions

                        at least, Sir W. Thomson alleges the sun to have been burning. Genesis

                        gives ample scope to physicists in their researches by saying they may go

                        as far back as “the beginning;” only that beginning they must find. For:


Ø      The universe is not eternal, though its antiquity be vast. The frequency

                        and certainty with which Scripture enunciates the non-eternity of the

                        material universe is one of its most distinguishing characteristics (Psalm

                        90:1; 102:25, 26; Hebrews 1:10). This may also now be regarded as

                        the last word of science: “We have thus reached the beginning as well as

                        the end of the present visible universe, and have come to the conclusion

                        that it began in time, and will in time come to an end” (‘The Unseen

                        Universe,’ p. 93).




Ø      Existent; i.e. standing out as an entity in the infinite realm of space;

                        standing out from eternity in the sphere of time; and also standing out

                        from God, as essentially distinct from His personality. Yet:


Ø      Not self-existent, not standing there in virtue of its own inherent energy,

                        being neither self-produced nor self-sustained; but standing solely and

                        always in obedience to the creative fiat of ELOHIM, THE ALMIGHTY

                        AND SELF-EXISTENT GOD!


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.”  And the earth. Clearly the earth referred to in the preceding

verse, the present terrestrial globe with its atmospheric firmament, and not

simply “the land” as opposed to “the skies”; certainly not “the heavens” of v. 1

as well as the earth. It is a sound principle of exegesis that a word shall retain

the meaning it at first possesses till either intimation is made by the writer of a

change in its significance, or such change is imperatively demanded by the necessities

of the context, neither of which is the case here. Was. Not “had become.”

Without form and void. Literally, wasteness and emptiness, tohu vabohu.

The words are employed in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23 to depict the desolation

and desertion of a ruined and depopulated land, and by many have been pressed into

service to support the idea of a preceding cosmos, of which the chaotic condition of

our planet was the wreck. Delitzsch argues, on the ground that

tohu vabohu implies the ruin of a previous cosmos, that v. 2 does not

state specifically that God created the earth in this desolate and waste

condition; and that death, which is inconceivable out of connection with

sin, was in the world prior to the fall; that v. 2 presupposes the fall of the

angels, and adduces in support of his view Job 38:4-7 (‘Bib.

Psychology,’ sect. 1, p. 76; Clark’s ‘For. Theol. Lib.’) — a notion which

Kalisch contemptuously classes among “the aberrations of profound

minds,” and “the endless reveries” of “far-sighted thinkers.” Bush is

confident that Isaiah 45:18, in which Jehovah declares that He created

not the earth roan, is conclusive against a primeval chaos. The parallel

clause, however, shows that not the original state, but the ultimate design

of the globe, was contemplated in Jehovah’s language: “He created it not

tohu, He formed it to be inhabited;” i.e. the Creator did not intend the earth

to be a desolate region, but an inhabited planet. There can scarcely be a

doubt, then, that the expression portrays the condition in which the newly

created earth was, not innumerable ages, but very shortly, after it was

summoned into existence. It was formless and lifeless; a huge, shapeless,

objectless, tenantless mass of matter, the gaseous and solid elements

commingled, in which neither organized structure, nor animated form, nor

even distinctly-traced outline of any kind appeared. And darkness (was)

upon the face of the deep. The “deep,” from a root signifying to disturb,

is frequently applied to the sea (Psalm 42:8), and here probably

intimates that the primordial matter of our globe existed in a fluid, or

liquid, or molten form. Dawson distinguishes between “the deep” and the

“waters,” making the latter refer to the liquid condition of the globe, and

the former apply to “the atmospheric waters,” i.e. the vaporous or aeriform

mass mantling the surface of our nascent planet, and containing the

materials out of which the atmosphere was afterwards elaborated (‘Origin

of the World,’ p. 105). As yet the whole was shrouded in the thick folds of

Cimmerian gloom, giving not the slightest promise of that fair world of

light, order, and life into which it was about to be transformed. Only one

spark of hope might have been detected in the circumstance that the Spirit

of God moved (literally, brooding) upon the face of the waters. That the

Ruach Elohim, or breath of God, was not “a great wind,” or “a wind of

God,” is determined by the non-existence of the air at this particular stage

in the earth’s development. In accordance with Biblical usage generally, it

must be regarded as a designation not simply “of the Divine power, which,

like the wind and the breath, cannot be perceived”, but of the

Holy Spirit, who is uniformly represented as the source or formative cause

of all life and order in the world, whether physical, intellectual, or spiritual

(compare Job 26:13; 27:3; Psalm 33:6; 104:29; 143:10; Isaiah 34:16;

61:1-3; 63:11). As it were, the mention of the Ruach Elohim is the first out-

blossoming of the latent fullness of the Divine personality, the initial

movement in that sublime revelation of the nature of the Godhead, which,

advancing slowly, and at the best but indistinctly, throughout Old

Testament times, culminated in the clear and ample disclosures of the

gospel The special form of this Divine agent’s activity is described as that

of” brooding’’ (merachepheth, from raehaph, to be tremulous, as with

love; hence, in Piel, to cherish young — Deuteronomy 32:11) or

fluttering over the liquid elements of the shapeless and tenantless globe,

communicating to them, doubtless, those formative powers of life and

order which were to burst forth into operation in answer to the six words

of the six ensuing days. As might have been anticipated, traces of this

primeval chaos are to be detected in various heathen cosmogonies, as the

following brief extracts will show:


1. The Chaldean legend, deciphered from the creation tablet discovered in

the palace of Assurbanipal, King of Assyria, 2. c. 885, depicts the desolate

and void condition of the earth thus:


            “When above were not raised the heavens,

            And below on the earth a plant had not grown up;

            The abyss also had not broken up their boundaries;


The chaos (or water) tiamat (the sea) was the producing-mother of the

whole of them,” &c. (‘Chaldean Genesis,’ p. 62.)


2. The Babylonian cosmogony, according to Berosus (B.C. 330-260),

commences with a time “in which there existed nothing but darkness” and

an abyss of waters, wherein resided most hideous beings, which were

produced of a twofold principle... The person who presided over them was

a woman named Omoroea, which in the Chaldean language is Thalatth, in

Greek Thalassa, the sea, but which might equally be interpreted the moon”

(‘Chaldean Genesis,’ pp. 40, 41).


3. The Egyptian account of the origin of the universe, as given by

Diodorus Siculus, represents the heaven and earth as blended together, till

afterwards the elements began to separate and the air to move. According

to another idea, there was a vast abyss enveloped in boundless darkness,

with a subtle spirit, intellectual in power, existing in the chaos (Macdonald,

‘Creation and the Fall,’ p. 49).


4. The Phoenician cosmogony says, “The first principle of the universe

was a dark windy air and an eternal dark chaos. Through the love of the

Spirit to its own principles a mixture arose, and a connection called desire,

the beginning of all things. From this connection of the Spirit was begotten

mot, which, according to some, signifies mud, according to others, a

corruption of a watery mixture, but is probably a feminine form of too,

water. From this were developed creatures in the shape of an egg, called

zophasemin (Macdonald, p. 50).


5. The Indian mythology is very striking in its resemblance to the Mosaic

narrative.” The institutes of Menu affirm’ that at first all was dark, the

world still resting in the purpose of the Eternal, whose first thought created

water, and in it the seed of life. This became an egg, from which issued

Brahma, the creative power, who divided his own substance and became

male and female. The waters were called nara, as being the production of

Nara, or the Spirit of God, who, on account of these being his first ayana,

or place of motion, is named Naray-na, or moving on the waters. A

remarkable hymn from the Rig Veda, translated by Dr. Max Muller, also

closely approximates to the Scriptural account:


            “Nor aught nor naught existed; yon bright sky

            Was not, nor heaven’s broad woof out-stretched above.

            The only one breathed breathless by itself;

            Other than it there nothing since hath been.

            Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled

            In gloom profound — an ocean without light.”

                        (Vid. Macdonald’s ‘Creation,’ &c., p. 51.)


6. The description of chaos given by Ovid is too appropriate to be



            “Ante mare et tellus, et, quod tegit omnia, caelum,

            Unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,

            Quem dixere chaos; rudis indigestaque moles quia corpere in uno

            Frigida pugnabant calidis, humentia siccis,

            Mollia cum duris, sine Pendere habentia pondus(Metamor.,’ lib, 1:1).


Yet not more remarkable are these indirect confirmations of the

truthfulness of the Biblical cosmogony than the direct corroborations it

derives from the discoveries of modern science.


  • The nebular hypothesis of Laplace, which, though only a hypothesis,

            must yet be admitted to possess a high degree of probability, strikingly

            attests its authenticity. That eminent astronomer demonstrated that a huge

            chaotic mass of nebulous matter, revolving in space on its own axis with a

            sufficient velocity, and gradually condensing from a high degree of heat,

            would eventually, by throwing off successive rings from the parent body,

            develop all the celestial orbs that presently compose our planetary system.

            Though for a long time regarded with suspicion by Biblical scholars, and at

            the first only tentatively thrown out by its author, Kant, yet so exactly does

            it account for the phenomena of our solar system as disclosed by the

            telescope, that it may now be said to have vindicated its claim to be

            accepted as the best solution science has to give of the formation of the

            universe; while further and more dispassionate reflection has convinced

            theologians generally, that so far from conflicting with the utterances of

            inspiration, it rather surprisingly endorses them.


  • The researches of physical philosophy in connection with

            hydrodynamics have successfully established that the present form of our

            earth, that of (the solid of revolution called) an oblate spheroid, is such as

            it must necessarily have assumed had its original condition been that of a

            liquid mass revolving round its own axis.


(3) Geological science likewise contributes its quota to the constantly

accumulating weight of evidence in support of the Mosaic narrative, by

announcing, as the result of its investigations in connection with the earth’s

crust, that below a certain point, called “the stratum of invariable

temperature,” the heat of the interior mass becomes greater in proportion

to the depth beneath the surface, thus leading not unnaturally to the inference that

“the earth has assumed its present state by cooling down from an intensely heated,

or gaseous, or fluid state” (Green’s ‘Geology,’ p. 487.).



                        Chaos an Emblem of the Unrenewed Soul (v. 2)


  • WITHOUT ORDER: existing in a state of spiritual ruin, and requiting a

            special process of rearrangement to create symmetry and beauty from its

            confusion (II Corinthians 5:16).


  • WITHOUT LIFE: being dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1);

      absolutely “void” in the sense of being untenanted by lofty thoughts,

            pure emotions, holy volitions, spiritual imaginations, such as are the

            inmates of sinless and, in great part also, of renewed souls.


  • WITHOUT LIGHT: shrouded in darkness (Ephesians 4:18);

            walking, perhaps, in the sparks that its own fire has kindled (Isaiah 50:11),

            but devoid of that true light which is from heaven (John 1:9).


  • YET NOT WITHOUT GOD. As the Spirit brooded over chaos, so

            does God’s Holy Spirit hover over fallen souls, waiting, as it were, for the

            forthcoming and sounding of the commanding word to introduce:


Ø      light,

Ø      order,

Ø      life.



                                                            Vs. 3-5


The evolution of the cosmos was accomplished by a series of Divine formative works

which extended over a period of six successive days. In the character of those cosmic

labors a progression is distinctly visible, though not continuous throughout Unless,

with Aristotle, the celestial luminaries are regarded as ζῶα λογικά, - zoa logika -  and

so classed in the category of organized and living beings, it is impossible to find in

their production an advance upon the preceding vegetation. Arbitrary

transpositions of the days, as of the third and fourth, in order to make the

first half of the creative week an inorganic, and the second half an organic,

era, are inadmissible. The arrangement of the days that accords most

exactly with the requirements of the case, and most successfully preserves

the order and connection of the record, is that which divides them into two

triads, as exhibited underneath:


1. Light.

2. Air, Water.

3. Dry Land and Plants.

4. Lights.

5. Fowl, Fish.

6. Animals and Man


each triad beginning with the making of light, and ending with a double

creation, and the works performed on the second having each a definite

relation to the labors executed on the first On the first creative day the

formative energy of the Divine word, operating through the agency of the

Ruach Elohim, eliminates the light from the dark chaotic mass of earth, on

the second uplifts the atmosphere above the waters, and on the third

distinguishes the dry land from the sea — at a later period in this same day

clothing the dry land with vegetation, as if to prophesy some

correspondingly higher advance in the creation work at the close of the

second series. At this stage, instead of pressing forward with its operations,

the demiurgic potency of the invisible Artificer appears to pause, and,

reverting to the point from which it started, enters on its second course of

labors. On the fourth day the light developed on the first is concentrated

and permanently fixed in the celestial luminaries; on the fifth the air and

waters, which were separated on the second, are filled with fowl and fish,

their respective inhabitants; and on the sixth the dry land of the third day is

occupied by animals, the mute prediction of the third day’s vegetation

being fulfilled by the creation of man.



                                                Day One.


3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”  And God said. This phrase,

which is ten times repeated in the narrative of the six days’ work, is commonly regarded

as an instance of anthropomorphism, a peculiarity of revelation, and of this

chapter in particular, at which rationalism affects to be offended. But any

other mode of representing the Deity would have failed to convey to finite

minds an intelligent idea of His nature. “Touching the Almighty, who can find Him

out?”   (Job 37:23)  The most that God Himself could do in communicating to

His creature man a conception of His ineffable and unapproachable Godhead

was to supply him with an anthropomorphic image of Himself — “the Word

made flesh.” Deeper insight, however, into this sublime statement discerns

that “anthropomorphism” does not exhaust its significance. God spoke; but

to whom? “This was an omnipotent word,” says Luther, “spoken in the

Divine essence. No one heard this word uttered but God Himself... The

Father spoke within.” It is observable too that every time the word goes

forth from Elohim it is followed by instantaneous movement in the chaos,

as if the word itself were inherently creative. Remembering, then, that the

doctrine of a personal Logos was not unknown to the later theology of the

Old Testament (compare Psalm 33:6; 148:5), and is clearly revealed in the

New (John 1:1; Hebrews 11:3), it is difficult to resist the inference

that here we have its roots, and that a correct exegesis should find in the

creative word of Elohim an adumbration of the Devar Jehovah of the

Hebrew Psalter, the Logos of John’s Gospel, and the Rema Theou of the

writer to the Hebrews. Let there be light: and there was light. The

sublimity of these words, which arrested the attention of the heathen,

Longinus (‘De Sublimitate,’ 9.), and which Milton (‘Paradise Lost,’ 7.) and

Du Bartas, an elder poet (viz. Kitto in loco), have tried to reproduce, is in

great measure lost in our English version. Γενηθήτω φῶς καὶ ἐγένετω φῶς

Genaethaeto phos kai egeneto phosLet there be light, and there was light -

(Septuagint) and sit lux et fuit lux (Vulg.) are superior translations of

יְהִי־אור וַיְהִי־אוד which might be rendered, Light be, and light was.”‘

With reference to their import, the least satisfactory explanation,

notwithstanding the eminent names that have lent it their support (Bush,

Kitto, Murphy, Wordsworth), is that which understands the sun to have

been created a perfectly finished luminous body from the first, though

hitherto its light had been intercepted by the earth’s vapors, which were

now dispersed by Divine command. But the language of Elohim is too

exalted to be applied to so familiar a phenomenon as the dissipation of

terrestrial mists, and, besides, expressly negatives the hypothesis in

question by affirming that the light was summoned into being, and not

simply into appearance. The historian, too, explicitly asserts that the light

was, i.e. began to be, and not merely to be visible. A modification of this

view, viz., that the sun and moon were now created, but did not become

visible until the fourth day (Inglis), must likewise be rejected, as according

neither with v. 1, which says that the heavenly bodies were created in the

beginning, nor with vs. 16-17, which declare that not until the fourth day

were they constituted sources of light for the earth. The exigencies of the

text, as well as the ascertained facts of physical science, require the first

day’s work to be the original production of light throughout the universe,

and in particular throughout our planetary system (For an idea of what came

to be I recommend Fantastic Trip – You TubeCY – 2015). Calvin, though much

more deeply concerned about the refutation of Servetus, who maintained that the

Word only began to be with the creation of light, was able to perceive that this light

was independent of the sun and moon; in this agreeing with Augustine, who,

however, conjectured it to be not material, but spiritual in its nature (‘De

Genesi ad Literam,’ lib. 1, 100. 3). Nor does it in the slightest conflict with

v. 1 to suppose that light was now for the first time produced, light being

a mode or condition of matter, and not a distinct element or substance, as

was at one time believed. Luminosity is simply the result of incandescence,

although what specific change is effected on the constitutions or

adjustments of the molecules of a body by the process of heating which

renders it luminous science is unable to explain. Any solid body can be

rendered incandescent by being heated up to between 700° and 800°

Fahrenheit. Any liquid that can absorb as great a quantity of heat likewise

emits light. Gases do not appear to be capable of incandescence, though

the phenomena attending their sudden condensation discover light-

producing properties in their composition. As to how the light of

incandescent bodies is transmitted to the eye, the Pythagorean and

Newtonian theory of small, impalpable particles of luminous matter being

constantly emitted from their surfaces towards the eye may be said to have

been successfully displaced by that of Descartes, Huygens, and Euler,

which accounts for the phenomena of vision by the existence throughout

space, and in the interstitial spaces of bodies, of an infinitely attenuated

ether, which is thrown into undulations by luminous bodies precisely as the

atmosphere is made to vibrate by bodies which are sonorous.  (Dear Reader,

remember that this was written over two centuries ago.  CY – 2015)   But

whichever theory be adopted to solve the mystery of its transmission, that

of emanation or of undulation, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that

the creation of light, which formed the opus operatum of the first day, was

in reality the evolution from the dark-robed, seething mass of our

condensing planet (and probably from the other bodies in our solar system)

of that luminous matter which supplies the light. It seems unnecessary to

add that it could not have been either the subterranean fire which produced

the igneous rocks of geology (Tayler) or caloric (Clarke); though, as aor is

used in Scripture for heat (Isaiah 44:16), fire (Isaiah 31:9; Ezekiel 5:2), the sun

(Job 31:26), lightning  Job 37:3), and there is every reason to believe that light,

heat, and electricity are only modifications of the same force, we may be

warranted in embracing all the three in its significance.


4 “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light

from the darkness.”  And God saw the light, that it was good. The

anthropomorphism (attribution of human form or other characteristics to beings

other than humans, particularly deities and animals) of this verse is suggestive,

as teaching that from the first the absolute and all-sufficient Elohim was an intelligent

Spectator of the operation of His own laws and forces, and was profoundly interested

in the results which they achieved — an amount and degree of interference

with the vast machine of nature which would satisfy any rational theist of

today. God:


  • saw, i.e. examined and judged the newly-finished product,
  • investigated its nature and its properties,
  • contemplated its uses,
  • admired its excellences,
  • noted its correspondence with His own Divine idea; and


in all these respects He pronounced it GOOD!   Afterwards it is the particular

arrangement effected, or condition induced, by the creative word that

evokes the Divine commendation; here it is the creature itself — “perhaps

as the one object in nature which forms the fittest representation of the

Creator Himself, who is Light, and in whom is no darkness at all (I John 1:5),

and of the true Light, which lighteth every man (John 1:9)”  And God divided between

the light and the darkness.  The celestial, bodies not having been constituted light-

holders for the earth until the fourth day forbids the supposition that the luminous

matter, on being eliminated from the chaotic mass, was forthwith transported towards

and concentrated in the sun. The sun itself, it is now well known, is “a solid

mass of highly igneous matter engirt by a bed of dense clouds, on the top

of which there lies, encircling all, a floating phosphorescent or luminous

atmosphere, the lower part of it splendid, but the upper of luster altogether

dazzling, from which streams the flood of light that enlivens all

surrounding spheres” (Nichol’s ‘Cyclopedia,’ art. Sun). If, therefore, with

Laplace, we may assume that the physical history of the sun was the

archetype of that of the various planetary bodies that compose our system,

we must think of them also, in the process of condensation, developing

luminous atmospheres, which would continue encircling them, and in fact

making them suns, until, through their further condensation, those

phosphorescent bands were broken up, and, becoming disengaged from

their parent globes, were attracted towards, and subsequently centralized

in, the photosphere of the sun. So far as our earth is concerned, that

happened on the fourth day. On the first day the light would either

ensphere it in a radiant cloud, or exist apart from it, like a sun, though

always in the plane of its orbit. If the former, then manifestly,

though revolving on its axis, the earth would not experience the vicissitude

of day and night, which some conjecture was not at this time established; if

the latter, then the same succession of light and darkness would be begun

as was afterwards rendered permanent by the fourth day’s work. The chief

reasons for the latter alternative are the supposed necessity of

understanding the term day as a period of twenty-four hours, and the

apparent impossibility of explaining how the light could be divided from

the darkness otherwise than by the diurnal revolution of the earth. The

Hiphil of בָּדַל, however, means to disjoin what was previously mixed, and

may simply refer to the separation of the luminous particles from the

opaque mass. By that very act the light was divided from the darkness. It

was henceforth to be no more commingled. The light denotes all that is

simply illuminating in its efficacy, all the luminous element; the darkness

denotes all that is untransparent, dark, shadow-casting; both together

denote the polarity of the created world as it exists between the light

formations and the night-formations — the constitution of the day and




                                    The Value of Light (v. 4)




Ø      Mysteriously fashioned. Philosophers can:

o       analyze light,

o       unfold the seven prismatic hues that lie concealed in its pure


o       theorize with much exactitude concerning its transmission,

o       calculate its incredible velocity,

o       elucidate the laws of its dispersion,

o       utilize the wondrous potencies that are treasured up in its mystic


                        but they can:

o       neither make light

o       nor explain its production.

                        Notwithstanding all the restless activity of modern scientific discovery,

                        Jehovah’s two interrogations (Job 38:19, 24) remain unanswered:

o       “Where is the way where light dwelleth?” and,

o       “By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind

       upon the earth?”


Ø      Exquisitely beautiful. The first made of God’s creatures, it is likewise

                        one of the most radiantly fair. Streaming forth direct from the golden sun,

                        or reflected in silver beams from the pale moon, painting the orient dawn

                        with roseate hues, or bathing the western hills in a sea of glory,

                        shimmering in whiteness through the summer air, or lying across the rain-

                        cloud in its many-colored bow, it fascinates the eye of every intelligent

                        beholder  with its incomparable splendor.


Ø      Essentially immaculate. Hail, holy light, offspring of Heaven, first

                        born!” sings the immortal bard. “Bright effluence of bright essence,” it

                        could scarce be other than stainless in its purity. It is the one of all God’s

                        mundane creatures that has carried with it none of the chaotic darkness.

                        Effectually divided from the darkness at the first, it now descends upon

                        this lower earth from celestial realms. And being pure in itself, wherever it

                        appears it communicates its own bright nature; it refines, beautifies, and



Ø      Absolutely incorruptible. As it brings no contamination in its beams, so

                        it can receive none. The atmosphere may be polluted, the land may be

                        defiled, the waters of the ocean may be rendered impure, it can in no

                        degree be tainted. Excluded from our presence, admitted to the darkest

                        and the foulest abodes, captivated and compelled to be our servant,

                        absorbed by the dull sod, stored away in coal-fields — all these it may

                        be, but not touched by earth’s impurity.




Ø      A universal gift. It belongs to no one nation, country, class, or

                        condition, being equally the heritage of all — the wise and the unwise,

                        the unthankful and the grateful, the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45).

                        It was God’s first gift to the race.


Ø      A free gift. It costs nothing. The poorest beggar as well as the grandest

                        monarch enjoys it on the same terms — “without money and without

                        price.” (Isaiah 55:1)  So free was it to the first man that it anticipated his

                        arrival on the earth; and to this day the seeing eye is ever preceded by

                        the light wherewith to see. And, like the light, all God’s gifts are free.

                        “He simply gives unto all men;” and, anticipative of man’s wants,

                        “He prevents us with His goodness.”


Ø      A useful gift. Many of man’s gifts are worthless; not so this of God’s.

                        Directly or indirectly, all the earth’s glory is dependent on the light.

                        Without light, neither would the loveliness of form be discerned, nor the

                        beauty of color exist. Light is indispensable for the production,

                        preservation, and enjoyment of life. In almost every department of human

                        industry its aid is sought. It is serviceable to the man of science, to the

                        agriculturist, to the mechanic, to the sailor, to the Traveler. “Upon whom

                        does not His light arise?” inquires Bildad (Job 25:3). We may ask, “Unto

                        whom is not His light useful?”


Ø      A silent gift. It is ever gentle and noiseless in its coming; with incredible

                        velocity rushing through the depths of space, yet with no appearance of

                        hurry or confusion. Almost instantaneous in its swiftness, as if, having

                        been the first to come in contact with the living word of the Creator, it

                        had caught the Divine property of annihilating space.


Ø      A welcome gift. “Truly the light is sweet,” &c. (Ecclesiastes 11:7).

                        Welcome by all, it is specially so by them that “wait for the morning”

                        (Psalm 130:6).




Ø      Of God (I John 1:5), in respect of its glorious appearance, pure

                        essence, diffusive character, quickening influence.


Ø      Of Christ (John 8:12), as enlightening, healing, purifying, directing.


Ø      Of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3), m respect of its celestial origin,

                        mysterious nature, sudden and unexpected movements.



                                    Light an Emblem of the Gospel



            gospel resemble one another in respect of:


Ø      Their source — God.

Ø      Their purity.

Ø      Their influence.

Ø      Their gentleness.




Ø      That the world should be filled with gospel light.

Ø      That every man should have the light.

Ø      That Christians should be the light.


·         APPLICATION.


Ø      Have you this light:

o       in your hearts,

o       in your families,

o       in your neighborhoods?

Ø      Are you doing what you can to diffuse THE LIGHT?



5 “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

And God called (literally, called to) the light Day, and

(literally, to) the darkness He called Night. None but superficial

thinkers, can take offence at the idea of created things

receiving names from God. The name of a thing is the expression of its

nature. If the name be given by man, it fixes in a word the impression

which it makes upon the human mind; but, when given by God, it expresses

the reality, what the thing is in God’s creation, and the place assigned it

there by the side of other things.  The things named were the light and the

darkness; not the durations, but the phenomena. The names called were

day, yore, and night, layela, which, again, were not time-measures, but

character-descriptions. Ainsworth suggests that yore was intended to

express “the tumult, stir, and business of the day,” in all probability

connecting it with yam, which depicts the foaming or the boiling of the sea;

and that layela, in which he seems to detect the Latin ululare, is indicative

of “the yelling or the howling of wild beasts at night.” Gesenius derives the

former from the unused root yore, which signifies to glow with heat, while

the latter he associates with lul, also unused, to roll up, the idea being that

the night wraps all things in obscurity. Macdonald sees in the naming of the

creatures an expression of sovereignty and lordship, as when Adam named

the beasts of the field. And the evening and the morning were the first

day. Literally, And evening was and morning was, day one. Considerable

diversity of sentiment prevails with regard to the exact interpretation of

these words. On the one hand, it is assumed that the first creative period is

here described as an ordinary astronomical or sidereal day of twenty-four

hours’ duration, its constituent parts being characterized in the usual way,

as an evening and a morning. In the judgment of Kalisch and others the

peculiar phrase, “Evening was, and morning was,” is simply equivalent to

the later Hebrew compound “evening-morning” (Daniel 8:14), and the

Greek νηχθήμερονnaechthaemerona night and a day - (II Corinthians 11:25),

both of which denote a natural or civil day, though this is challenged, in the case

of the Hebrew compound, by Macdonald. The language of the fourth

commandment (Exodus 20:11) is also appealed to as removing, it beyond the

sphere of doubt that the evening and the morning referred to are-the component

sections of an earthly day. As to the proper terminus a quo of this initial

day, however, the advocates of this interpretation are at variance among

themselves; Delitzsch taking the terms ereb (literally, “the setting,” from



(1) to mix;

(2) to set, to depart, like the sun)


and boker (literally, “the breaking forth,” from bakar, to cleave, to open) in

an active sense, and applying the former to the first fading of the light, and

the latter to the breaking of the dawn after the first interval of darkness has

passed, thus reckoning the creative days from daybreak to daybreak; while

Murphy and Kalisch, who agree with him in regarding the days as ordinary

solar days, declare they must be reckoned, Hebraico more, from sunset to

sunset. But if the first day commenced with an evening or obscure period

(Has ereb no connection with arab, to mix? May it not describe the

condition of things when light and darkness were commingled?), that can

be discovered only in the chaotic darkness out of which the light sprang.

Hence, on the other hand, as it seems improbable that this was of no more

than twelve hours’ duration, and as the presumption is that the light-period

would be commensurate in length, it has been argued that day one was not

a sun-measured day, but a period of indefinite extent. Of course the length

of day one practically determines the length of all the six. If it was a solar

day, then they must be considered such. But as the present sidereal

arrangements for the measurement of time were not then established, it is

clearly gratuitous to proceed on the assumption that it was hence, neither

is it to be accepted without-demonstration that they were not likewise

periods of prolonged duration. It is obvious they were if it was; and that it

was appears to be suggested by the terms in which it is described. This

conclusion, that the creation days were long periods, and not simply solar

days, is confirmed by a variety of considerations.


  • In the creation record itself (ch. 2:4) the term is employed with

            an obvious latitude of meaning; standing for light as opposed to darkness

            (v. 5); day as distinguished from night; and for a period of twenty-four

            hours, as in the phrase “for days and years” (v. 14); and again for the

            whole creation period of six days, or, as is more probable, for the second

            and third days (ch.2:4).


  • General Scripture usage sanctions this interpretation of the word day as a

            period of indefinite duration; g. g. Zechariah 14:6-7, which speaks of

            the time of our Lord s coming, and-indeed of the entire gospel

            dispensation, as יום אֶחָד unus dies, i.e. a day together unique, the only

            day of its kind (Delitzsch); and characterizes it as one of God’s days,

            “known to the Lord,” as if to distinguish it from one of man’s ordinary civil

            days (compare Deuteronomy 9:1; Psalm 90:4; 95:8; Isaiah 49:8;

                        John 9:4; Hebrews 13:8; II Peter 3:8).


  • The works ascribed to the different days can with difficulty be

            compressed within the limits of a solar day. Taking the third day, e.g., if

            the events assigned to it belong exclusively to the region of the

            supernatural, nothing need prevent the belief that twenty-four hours were

            sufficient for their accomplishment; but if the Divine modus operandi

            during the first half of the creative week was through “existing causes”

            (even vastly accelerated), as geology affirms that it was during the second

            half, and as we know that it has been ever since its termination, then a

            considerably larger space of time than twice twelve hours must have been

            consumed in their execution. And the same conclusion forces itself upon

            the judgment from a consideration of the works allotted to the sixth day, in

            which not only were the animals produced and Adam made, but the

            former, being collected in Eden, were passed in review before the latter to

            be named, after which he was cast into a sleep by Jehovah Elohim, a rib

            extracted from his side and fashioned into a woman, and the woman

            presented to him as a partner.


  • The duration of the seventh day of necessity determines the length of the

            other six. Without anticipating the exposition of ch.2:1-4 (q.v.), it

            may be said that God’s sabbatic rest is understood by the best interpreters

            of Scripture to have continued from creation’s close until the present hour;

            so that consistency demands the previous six days to be considered as not

            of short, but of indefinite, duration.


  • The language of the fourth commandment, when interpreted in

            accordance with the present theory, confirms the probability of its truth, If

            the six days in Exodus 20:11 are simply natural days, then the seventh

            day, in which God is represented as having rested from his creative labors,

            must likewise be a natural or solar day; and if so, it is proper to observe

            what follows. It follows:


Ø      that the events recorded in the first five verses of Genesis must be

                        compressed into a single day of twenty-four hours, so that no gap will

                        remain into which the short-day advocates may thrust the geologic ages,

                        which is for them an imperative necessity;


Ø      that the world is only 144 hours older than man, which is contrary to

                        both science and revelation


Ø      that the statement is incorrect that God finished all His work at the close

                        of the sixth day; and


Ø      that the fossiliferous remains which have been discovered in the earth’s

                        crust have either been deposited there since man’s creation, or were

                        created there at the first, both of which suppositions are untenable. But

                        now, if, on the contrary, the language signifies that God labored in the

                        fashioning of His cosmos through six successive periods of indefinite

                        duration (olamim, aeons), and entered on the seventh day into a

                        correspondingly long period of sabbatic rest, we can hold the opposite of

                        every one of these conclusions, and find a convincing argument besides

                        for the observance of the sabbath in the beautiful analogy which subsists

                        between God s great week of olamim and man’s little week of sun-

                        measured days,


  • Geology declares that the earth must have been brought to its present

            condition through a series of labors extending over indefinitely long

            epochs; and, notwithstanding the confident assertion of Kalisch and others

            that it is hopeless to harmonize science and revelation, the correspondence

            between the contents of these geologic ages and those of the Mosaic days

            is so surprising as to induce the belief that the latter were, like the former,

            extended periods. First, according to geology, traveling backward, comes

            the Cainozoic era, with the remains of animals, but not of man next is the

            Mezozoic era, with the remains of fish and fowl, but not of animals; and

            underneath that is the Palaeozoic era, with its carboniferous formations,

            but still with traces of aquatic life at its beginning and its end. Now,

            whether the vegetation of the third day is to be sought for in the

            carboniferous formations of the Palaeozoic age, or, as is more probable,

            in the age which saw the formation of the metamorphic rocks, the order

            disclosed is precisely that which the Mosaic narrative affirms was observed

            first plants, then fish and fowl, and finally animals and man; so that if the

            testimony of the rocks be admissible at all upon the subject, it is unmistakably

            in favor of the long-period day.


  • The opinion of neither Jewish nor Christian antiquity was entirely on the

            side of the natural-day theory. Josephus and Philo lent their sanction to the

            other view. Origen perceived the difficulty of having a first, second, and

            third day, each with an evening and a morning, without the sun, moon, and

            stars, and resolved it by saying that these celestial luminaries were

            appointed "οὔκετι εἴς ἄρχας τῆς ἠμέρας καὶ τὴς νυκτὸς ἀλλ εἴς τὴν ἄρχην

            τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τῆς νυκτός (‘Com. in Genesin,’ 1:16).  Augustine similarly

            writes, “Qui dies cujusmodi sint, ant perdifficile nobis,

            ant etiam impossibile est cogitare, quanto magis dicere Illorum autem

            priores tres sine sole peracti sunt, qui quarto die factus refertur” (‘De

            Civitate Dei,’ lib. 11:6, 7). Bode likewise remarks, “Fortassis hic diet

            nomen totius temporis nomen est, et omnia volumina seculorum hoc

            vocabulo includit.”


  • Heathen cosmogonies may also be appealed to as an indirect

            confirmation of the preceding evidence. Egyptian, Persian, Indian, and

            Etruscan legends represent the elaboration of the world as having been

            accomplished in a series of ages of prolonged duration. “God created in the

            first thousand years heaven and earth; in the second the vault of heaven; in

            the third the sea and the other waters of the earth; in the fourth the sun,

            moon, and stars; in the fifth the inhabitants of the air, of the water, and of

            the land; and in the sixth man,” is the creation story of Etruria; and

            although in itself it has no validity, yet, as a traditional reflection of the

            Mosaic narrative it is not entirely destitute of weight.



                                                            Day Two


6 “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,

and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  The work of this day consisted

in the formation of that immense gaseous ocean, called the atmosphere, by which

the earth is encircled. And God said, Let there be a firmament (rakiya, an expand,

from rakah, to beat out; Septuagint, στερέωμα stereoma; Vulgate, firmamentum)

in the midst of the waters.  The Hebrews supposed the atmospheric heavens to be a

metallic substance (Exodus 24:10), a vault fixed on the water-flood which surrounds

the earth (Proverbs 8:27), firm as a molten looking-glass (Job 37:18), borne by the

highest mountains, which are therefore called the pillars and foundations of heaven

(II Samuel 22:8), and having doors and windows (ch. 7:11; 28:17; Psalm 78:23),

is to confound poetical metaphor with literal prose, optical and phenomenal language

with strict scientific statement. The Vulgate and English translations of rakiya may

convey the idea of solidity, though it is doubtful if στερέωμα (Septuagint) does

not signify that which makes firm as well as that which is made firm, thus referring

to the well-known scientific fact that the atmosphere by its weight upon the waters

of the sea keeps them down, and by its pressure against our bodies keeps them up;

but it is certain that not solidity, but expansiveness, is the idea represented

by rakiya (cf. Scottish, tax, to stretch; Job 37:18; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22).


“The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,

Transparent, elemental air, diffused

In circuit to the uttermost convex Of this great round.”

(Milton, ‘Par. Lost,’ Bk. 7.)


And let it divide the waters from the waters. What these waters were,

which were designed to be parted by the atmospheric firmament, is

explained in the verse which follows.


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.” And God made the firmament. How the present atmosphere

was evolved from the chaotic mass of waters the Mosaic narrative does not

reveal. The primary intention of that record being not to teach science, but

to discover religious truth, the thing of paramount importance to be

communicated was that the firmament was of God’s construction. This, of

course, does not prevent us from believing that the elimination of those

gases (twenty-one parts of oxygen and seventy-nine of nitrogen, with a

small proportion of carbonic acid gas and aqueous vapor) which compose

our atmosphere was not effected by natural means; and how far it may

have been assisted by the action of the light upon the condensing mass of

the globe is a problem in the solution of which science may legitimately

take an interest. And divided the waters which were under the

firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. The

upper waters are not the material of the stars, although Jupiter is of the same

density as water, and Saturn only half its density; but the waters floating

about in the higher spaces of the air. The under waters are not the lower

atmospheric vapors, but the oceanic and terrestrial waters. How the waters

are collected in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, Scripture, no less than

science, explains to be by means of evaporation (ch. 2:6; Job 36:27; 37:16).

These latter passages suggest that the clouds are balanced, suspended, upheld

by the buoyancy of the air in exact accordance with scientific principles.

And it was so. Six times these words occur in the creation record. Sublimely

suggestive of the resistless energy of the Divine word, which speaks, and it

is done, commands, and it standeth fast (Psalm 33:9), they likewise remind

us of the sweet submissiveness of the creature to the all-wise Creator’s will,

and, perhaps, are designed as well to intimate the fixed and permanent

character of those arrangements to which they are attached.



                                    The Atmospheric Firmament (v. 7)




Ø      From God it received its being (v. 7). Not here alone, but in other

                        parts, Scripture declares the firmament to be the Divine handiwork

                        (Psalm 19:1; 104:2). Whence we may note:


o       That not it, the creature, should receive our worship, but He,

                                    its Maker, who is God over all, blessed forever.


o       That since the firmament was made by God, it must belong to

      Him. If at the present moment it is the special abode of the prince

      of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), it must be a usurped

      dominion. The air with all its beams and showers, quite as much

      as the earth with all its trees and flowers, is God’s property

      (ch.14:22; Psalm 24:1).


o       That in all its movements it only carries out the will of its Creator.

                                    The air does nothing of itself. Under the reign of law as all created

                                    things are, the law that reigns is itself beneath the rule of God. The

                                    Hebrew mind never mistook things for persons, or creatures for the

                                    Creator (Psalm 148:8); it is only modern science (philosophy

                                    CY – 2015) that degrades the Creator from His throne, and puts

                                    the creature in His seat.  (a la – Mother Nature – CY – 2015)


Ø      From God it received its function (v. 6), — to divide between the

                        upper and the lower waters, which was:


o       Simple, i.e. in the sense of not being complex. Though its

                                    uses are manifold, they are all contained in this, that it

                                    floats up and sustains the vapors rising from the earth

                                    at a sufficient distance from the terrestrial waters.


o       Necessary. Without a clear body of atmospheric air between

                                    the waters, human life could not have existed.  And equally

                                    without the watery clouds swimming in the atmosphere, both

                                    vegetable and animal life would perish.  “Were it absolutely

                                    dry, it would cause the water implants to evaporate from their

                                    leaves more rapidly than it could be supplied to them

                                    by the soil and the roots. Thus they would speedily become

                                    flaccid, and the whole plant would droop, wither, and die.”

                                    Similarly, “were the air which man draws into his lungs entirely

                                    free from watery fluid, he would soon breathe out the fluids

                                    which fill up his tissues, and would dry up into a withered and

                                    ghastly mummy” (‘Chemistry of Common Life,’ vol. 1. p.13).


o       Beneficent. Collecting the vapors of the earth in the form of

                                    clouds, it is thus enabled to throw them down again in the

                                    form of rain, snow, or dew, according as it is required.


Ø      From God it received its name.


o       Suitable. “Heights,” significant of the reality.

o       Suggestive.The love, the power, the majesty of God, His

                                    thoughts, His ways, His purposes when compared with man’s,

                                    are set forth to us by the height of the heaven above the earth.”




Ø      Indispensable. Without the air, man could not live. His physical being

                        would perish without its oxygen.  Without its pressure his bodily

                        structure would fall to pieces.


Ø      Valuable. The uses of the atmosphere to man as a resident on earth are

                        manifold. It supports animal and vegetable life around him. It conveys,

                        refracts, and decomposes light. It transmits sound. It draws up noxious

                        vapors from the soil, and disperses them by its winds. It assists him in a

                        variety of his mechanical, chemical, commercial, and scientific



Ø      Willing. Great as are its powers of service and its capacities of rebellion

                        when excited with tempest, for the most part it is meek and docile, ever

                        ready to acknowledge man as its master, and to execute his slightest wish.


Ø      Unwearied. Ever since it received its appointment from God to minister

                        to the happiness of man is has unrestingly performed that task, and

                        betrays no more signs of weariness to-day than it did at the first.


Ø      Gratuitous. It gives its services, as its great Creator gives his blessings,

                        without money and without price.


Let us learn:


1. To be thankful for the air we breathe.

2. To admire God’s wisdom in the wonderful adjustments of the air.

3. To make the best use we can of that life which the air supports and subserves.



8  “And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the

morning were the second day.”  And God called the firmament heaven.

Literally, the heights, shamayim, as in v. 1. This may be regarded

as an intimation that no definite barrier separates our film of atmosphere

from the boundless abyss of heaven without;  and how appropriate the

designation “heights” is, as applied to the atmosphere, we are reminded by

science, which informs us that, after rising to the height of forty-five miles

above the earth, it becomes imperceptible, and loses itself in the universal

ether with which it is surrounded. And the evening and the morning

were the second day. For the literal rendering of this clause see on v. 5,

It is observable that in connection with the second day’s work the usual

formula, “And God saw that it was good,” is omitted. The καὶ εἰδενθεος

ὅτι καλόν  -  kai eiden ho Theos hoti kalon  - And God saw that it was good

of the Septuagint is unsupported  by any ancient version. The conceit of the

Rabbis, that an expression of the Divine approbation was omitted because

on this day the angels fell, requires no refutation.  Aben Ezra accounts for

its omission by making the second day’s work terminate with v. 10. Lange asks,

“Had the prophetic author some anticipation that the blue vault was merely an

appearance, whilst the sarans of the Septuagint had no such anticipation, and

therefore proceeded to doctor the passage?” The explanation of Calvin, Delitzsch,

Macdonald, and Alford, though declared by Kalisch to be of no weight, is

probably the correct one, that the work begun on the second day was not properly

terminated till the middle of the third, at which place, accordingly, the

expression of Divine approbation is introduced (see v. 10).



                                                            Day Three


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.”

The distribution of land and water and the production of vegetation on this day

engaged the formative energy of the word of Elohim. And God said, Let the

waters under heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land

appear. To explain the second part of this phenomenon as a consequence of the first,

the disclosure of the solid ground by the retirement of the waters from its

surface, and not rather vice versa, is to reverse the ordinary processes of

nature. Modern analogy suggests that the breaking up of the hitherto

universal ocean into seas, lakes, and rivers was effected by the upheaval of

the land through the action of subterranean fires, or the subsidence of the

earth’s crust in consequence of the cooling and shrinking of the interior

mass. Psalm 104:7 hints at electric agency in connection with the

elevation of the mountains and the sinking of the ocean beds. At thy

rebuke they (the waters) fled: at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away

(were scattered). The mountains rose, the valleys sank (ἀναβαίνουσιν ὄρη

καὶ καταβαίνουσι πεδία anabainousin orae kai katabainousi pedia - Septuagint;

ascendunt montes, et descendunt campi — Jerome) to the place which thou

hadst established for them” (Perowne). The gathering of the waters into one

place implies no more than that they were, from this day forward, to be collected

into one vast body, and restrained within bounds in a place by themselves, so as

to admit of the exposure of the earth’s soil. The “place founded for them”

was, of course, the depths and hollows in the earth’s crust, into which they

were immediately withdrawn, not through direct supernatural agency, but

by their own natural gravitation. The configuration of the dry land is not

described; but there is reason to believe that the original distribution of

land and water was the same, or nearly the same, as it is at present.

Physical geographers have observed that the coast lines of the great

continents and the mountain ranges generally run from north-east to southwest,

and that these lines are in reality parts of great circles, tangent to the

polar circle, and at right angles to a line drawn from the suns center to the

moon’s, when these bodies are either in conjunction or in opposition.

These circles, it has further been remarked, are “the lines on which the thin

crust of a cooling globe would be most likely to be ruptured by its internal

tidal wave.” Hence, though considerably modified by the mighty

revolutions through which at successive periods the earth has passed,

“these, with certain subordinate lines of fracture, have determined the

forms of continents from the beginning” (Dawson, ‘O.W.,’ p. 184; of.

‘Green’s Geology,’ p. 512). And it was so. Though the separation of the

dry land from the waters and the distribution of both were effected by

Divine agency, nothing in the Mosaic narrative obliges us to think that

these works were instantaneously completed. There is truly no difficulty in

supposing that the formation of the hills kept on through the succeeding

creative days. Generally the works of the single creative days

consist only in laying foundations; the birth process that is introduced in

each extends its efficacy beyond it.   “Not how long, but how

many times, God created is the thing intended to be set forth” by the

creative days (Hoffman). Scripture habitually represents the world in an

aspect at once natural and supernatural, speaking of it as natura and

creatura, φύσις phusis -  natural and κτίσις ktisiscreated  and

although the latter is the view exhibited with greatest prominence, indeed

exclusively, in the Mosaic cosmogony, yet the former is not thereby

denied, Not immediateness, but certainty of execution, is implied in the “it

was so” appended to the creative fiat.


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.”

And God called the dry land Earth. In opposition to the

firmament, which was named” the heights” (shamayim), the dry land was

styled “the flats,” “Aretz” (of. Sansc., dhara; Pehlev., arta; Latin, terra;

Gothic, airtha; Scottish, yird; English, earth; rid. Gesenius). Originally

applied to the dry ground as distinguished from the seas, as soon as it was

understood that the solid earth was continuous beneath the water masses,

by an easy extension of meaning it came to signify the whole surface of the

globe. And the gathering together of the waters called he Seas. Yamim,

from yom, to boil or foam, is applied in Scripture to any large collection of

water (compare ch.14:3; Numbers 34:11; Deuteronomy 4:49; Joel 2:20).

The plural form seas shows that the one place consists of

several basins. And God saw that it was good. The waters

having been permanently withdrawn to the place founded for them by the

upheaval of the great mountain ranges, and the elevation of the continental

areas, the work thus accomplished is sealed by the Divine approval. The

separation of the land and water was good, as a decided advance towards

the completion of the cosmos, as the proper termination of the work

commenced upon the previous day, as the production of two elements in

themselves beautiful, and in separation useful as abodes of life, with which

they were in due course to be replenished. To our view that primeval dry land

would scarcely have seemed good. It was a world of bare, rocky peaks and

verdureless valleys — here active volcanoes, with their heaps of scoriae, and

scarcely cooled lava currents — there vast mudflats, recently upheaved from

the bottom of the waters — nowhere even a blade of grass or a clinging lichen.

Yet it was good in the view of its Maker, who could see it in relation to the uses

for which he had made it, and as a fit preparatory step to the new wonders He was

soon to introduce.  Besides, the first dry land may have presented crags, and peaks,

and ravines, and volcanic cones in a more marvelous and perfect manner than

any succeeding continents, even as the dry and barren moon now, in this

respect, far surpasses the earth.


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.” Three terms are employed

to describe the vegetation here summoned into existence. Kalisch regards

the first as a generic term, including the second and the third; but they are

better understood as distinct classes:


(1) grass, deshe, first sprouts of the earth, tender herb, in which the seed is

not noticed, as not being obvious to the eye; “tenera herha sine semine

saltem conspicuo” (Rosenmüller); probably the various kinds of grasses

that supply food for the lower animals (compare Psalm 23:2);


(2) “the herb (eseb) yielding seed,” the more mature herbage, in which the

seed is the most striking characteristic; the larger description of plants and

vegetables (compare ch.9:3); and


(3) “the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon

(or above) the earth.” The first clause describes its specific nature —

fruit-bearing;” the second, its peculiar characteristic — enclosing the

seed in its fruit; the third, its external appearance — rising above the

ground. This division is simple and natural. It proceeds upon two

concurrent marks, the structure and the seed. In the first the green blade is

prominent; in the second, the stalk; in the third, the woody texture. In the

first the seed is not conspicuous; in the second it is conspicuous; in the

third it is enclosed in a fruit which is conspicuous. The phrase

after his kind”, appended to the second and third, seems to indicate that the

different species of plants were already fixed. The modern dogma of the

origin of species by development would thus be declared to be un-biblical,

as it has not yet been proved to be scientific. The utmost that can be

claimed as established is that “species,” qua species, have the power of

variation along the line of certain characteristics belonging to themselves,

but not that any absolutely new species has ever been developed with

power indefinitely to multiply its 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.”  It is noticeable that the vegetation of the

third day sprang from the soil in the same natural manner in which all subsequent

vegetation has done, viz., by growth, which seems to resolve the well-known

problem of whether the tree was before the seed, or the seed before the tree, in

favor of the latter alternative, although in the order of nature the parent is

always before the offspring. In all probability the seed forms were in the

soil from the first, only waiting to be vitalized by the Ruach ElohimThe

Spirit of God; or they may have been then created. Certainly they were not

evolved from the dead matter of the dry land. Scripture, no more than

science, is acquainted with Abiogenesis. Believing that “if it were given to

her to- look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time, she might

“witness the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter,” science

yet honestly affirms “that she sees no reason for believing that the feat (of

vitalizing dead matter) has been performed yet” (Huxley’s ‘Brit.

Association Address, 1871); and Scripture is emphatic that, if it is

protoplasm which makes organized beings, the power which manufactures

protoplasm is the Ruach Elohim, acting in obedience to the Divine Logos.

The time when the earth put forth its verdure, viz., towards the close of the

third day, after light, air, earth, and water had been prepared and so

adjusted as to minister to the life of plants, was a signal proof of the

wisdom of the Creator and of the naturalness of His working.



            Sea, Land, and Vegetation, Contrasted and Compared.  (vs. 9-12)


  • CONTRASTED, in respect of:


Ø      Their constitutions; sea being matter liquid and mobile, land matter

                        solid and dry, vegetation matter organized and living. All God’s creatures

                        have their own peculiar natures and characteristic structures. Each one’s

                        nature is that which makes it what it is. A change of constitutional

                        characteristics would be equivalent to an alteration of being. The nature

                        and structure of each are assigned it by God. Whence may be gathered:


o       that if all creatures are not the same, it is because God has so

                                    willed it;

o       that God has so willed it, for this among other reasons, that He

                                    delights in variety;

o       that no separate creature can be other than its individual nature

                                    will allow;

o       that to wish to be different from what God has made us is to be

                                    guilty of a foolish as well as sinful discontent; and

o       that a creature’s highest function is to act in accordance with its

                                    God assigned nature.


Ø      Their situations; which were all different, yet all adapted to their

                        respective natures and uses, and all wisely appointed. The waters were

                        gathered into the earth’s hollows, the lands raised above the ocean’s

                        surface, the plants spread upon the ground. It is the nature of water 

                        to seek the lowest levels; and, collected into ocean, lake, and riverbeds,

                        it is of infinitely greater value than it would have been had it continued

                        to overspread the globe. Similarly, Submerged beneath the waters,

                        neither could the land have been arrayed in verdure, or made a habitation

                        for the beasts, much less a home for man; nor could the plant, have grown

                        withouta dry soil to root in, while their beauty would have been concealed

                        and their utility destroyed. And then each one has the place assigned it by

                        God, out of which it cannot move, and against which it need not fret. The

                        place founded for the waters has received them, and God has set a bound

                        to them that they cannot pass. The dry land still maintains its elevation

                        above the sea; and, as if in obedience to the Divine Creator’s will, the

                        waves are continually building up terraces and raised beaches in

                        compensation for those they are taking down, Nor does it seem possible

                        to shake off the vegetation from the soil. Scarcely has a square inch of

                        ground been recovered from the waters, than it begins to deck itself in

                        green. Let us learn here:


o       that every creature of God, man included, has its own place;

                                    which is best suited to its nature, functions, and uses on the earth;

                                    and assigned it by God. Also

o       that to vacate that place would be to run counter to God’s

                                    ordinance and to God’s wisdom, as well as to its own nature

                                    and usefulness; and

o       that it becomes every one to abide in that sphere of life in which

                                    he has been placed by God contentedly, cheerfully and diligently

                                    seeking to glorify his Creator.


Ø      Their operations; which are as diversified as are their natures and places.

                        The sea moves, the land rests, the plant grows. The sea fertilizes and

                        beautifies the soil, the soil sustains and nourishes the plant, the plant

                        decorates the land and gives food to man and beast. The sea fills

                        the clouds, the clouds fill the rivers and the streams, the rivers and the

                        streams slake the thirst of the valleys, the valleys, yield their substance to

                        the corn and the wine and the oil, and these again deliver up their treasures

                        to their master — man. The sea divides the land into continents, which, in

                        turn, are broken up into countries by rivers; and thus nationalities are

                        formed, and peace promoted by division. As the great highway of the

                        nations, too, the sea helps to diffuse abroad the blessings of civilization,

                        and to teach men their interdependence. So, likewise, the land has its

                        specific functions in the economy of nature, being assigned to support,

                        sustain, enrich, instruct, and comfort man. And different from both are

                        the uses of the plants. All which is fitted to suggest wisdom:


o       That each separate creature has its own separate work to do,

                                    for which it has been fitted with appropriate powers —

                                    a lesson of diligence.

o       That there are many different ways of serving God in this

                                    worlda lesson of charity.

o       That God does not wish all His creatures either to be or to

                                    serve alike-a lesson of contentment.

o       That the best way to serve God is to be ourselves and use the

                                    powers we possess, without condescending to imitate our

                                    neighbors-a lesson of individuality.

o       That though each separate creature has its own nature, place,

                                    And power, yet each is subservient to the other, and all to the

                                    whole-a lesson of cooperation.


  • COMPARED, in respect of:


Ø      Their natures, as being God’s creatures. Land, sea, and vegetation all

                        owe their existence to His Almighty fiat, and all equally proclaim

                        themselves to be His handiwork. Hence they are all God’s property —

                        the earth with its fullness, the sea with its treasures, the plants with

                        their virtues. Consequently man should


o       reverently worship him who made the sea and formed the dry

                                    land, and caused the grass to grow;

o       thankfully receive those highly serviceable creatures at God’s

                                    hand; and,

o       remembering whose they are and that himself is but a steward,

                                    faithfully employ them for their Creator’s glory.


Ø      Their characters, as being obedient to the Divine word. “Gathered be

                        the seas,” said the word, and the seas were gathered. “Let the dry land

                        appear,” and it appeared. “Let the grass grow.” And the grass grew. Let

                        the land, sea, and plants be our teachers. Obedience the first duty of a

                        creature. Nothing can compensate for its lack (I Samuel 15:22). And

                        this obedience must be prompt, complete, and continual, like that of sea,

                        land, and vegetation.


Ø      Their varieties. The seas were divided into oceans, lakes, rivers; the land

                        into mountains, hills, and valleys the plants into grasses, herbs, and trees.

                        God loves diversity in unity. As in a great house there are vessels of small

                        quantity and vessels of large quantity (Isaiah 22:24), so in the world are

                        the creatures divided into more important and less. In society men are

                        distributed into ranks and classes according to their greatness and ability;

                        in the Church there are “babes” and there are “perfect men” in Christ;

                        there are those possessed of many talents and much grace, and those

                        whose endowments and acquirements are of smaller dimensions.


Ø      Their qualities, as being all good in their Creator’s estimation. The

                        highest excellence of a creature is to be approved by its Maker, rot

                        simply commended by its fellow-creature; to be good in the judgment

                        of God, and not merely in the sight of men.


13 “And the evening and the morning were the third day.”  For

exposition vid. v. 5. Has modern geological research any trace of this

third day s vegetation? The late Hugh Miller identified the long-continued

epoch of profuse vegetation, since then unparalleled in rapidity and

luxuriance, which deposited the coal-measures of the carboniferous system,

with the latter half of this Mosaic day. Dana, Dawson, and others, rejecting

this conclusion of the eminent geologist on the ground that the underlying

Devonian, Silurian, and Cambrian systems yield abundant fossiliferous

remains of aquatic life, infer that the third day’s vegetation is to be sought

for among the “unresolved schists” of the Azoic period. The metamorphic

rocks, it is true, have not as yet yielded any absolutely certain traces of

vegetable life; and. indeed, it is an open question, among geologists

whether any of the earliest formed metamorphic rocks now remain (cf.

Green’s ‘Geology,’ p. 308); but still it is susceptible of almost perfect

demonstration that plants preceded animals upon the earth.


  • Among the hypozoic strata of this early period limestone rocks and

            graphite have been discovered, both of these being of organic origin.


  • In the process of cooling the earth must have been fitted for vegetable

            life a long time before animals could have existed.


  • As the luxuriant vegetation of the coal period prepared the way for the

            subsequent introduction of animal life by ridding the atmosphere of

            carbonic acid, so by the presence of plants must the ocean have been fitted

            to be the abode of aquatic life.


  • Vegetation, being directly, or mediately, the food of animals, must have

            had a previous existence. On these grounds Professor Dana concludes that

            the latter part of the Azoic age of geology corresponds with the latter half

            of the third creative day. In the Creation Series of Chaldean tablets are two

            fragments, which George Smith conjectures have a reference to the first

            part of the third day’s work. The one is:


Ø      When the foundation of the ground of rock (thou didst make)

Ø      The foundation of the ground thou didst call…

Ø      Thou didst beautify the heaven…

Ø      To the face of the heaven…

Ø      Thou didst give…

Ø      The other, which is much more mutilated and obscure, describes the god

                        Sat (or Assur) as saying —

Ø      Above the sea which is the sea of…

Ø      In front of the esara (firmament) which I have made.

Ø      Below the place I strengthen it

Ø      Let there be made also e-lu (earth?) for the dwelling of [man?]

                                                                        (‘Chaldean Genesis,’ p. 68. )



                                                Day Four


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: 15 And let them be for lights in the

firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.”

With this day begins the second half of the creative week, whose works have a

striking correspondence with the labors of the first. Having perfected the main

structural arrangements of the globe by the elimination from primeval chaos of the

four fundamental elements of light, air, water, and land, the formative energy of

the Divine word reverts to its initial point of departure, and, in a second series of

operations, carries each of these forward to completion — the light by

permanently settling it in the sun, the air and water by filling therewith fowl

and fish, and the land by making animals and man. The first of these

engaged the Divine Artificer’s attention on the fourth creative day. And

God said, Let there be lights (literally, places where light is, light-holders,

φωστῆρες phostaeres - Septuagint; luminaria, Vulgate; spoken of

lamps and candlesticks, Exodus 25:6: Numbers 4:9, 16) in the

firmament (literally the expanse) of the heaven. יִהִי in the singular with מְאֹרֹת in

the plural is explained by Gesenius on the ground that the predicate precedes the

subject (vid. ‘Gram.,’ §147). The scientific accuracy of the language here used to

describe the celestial luminaries relieves the Mosaic cosmogony of at least one

supposed irreconcilable contradiction, that of representing light as having an

existence independent of the sun.  Equally does it dispense exegesis from the

necessity of accounting for what appears a threefold creation of the heavenly bodies —

 in the beginning (v. 1), on the first day (v. 3), and again on the fourth (v. 14). The

reference in the last of these verses is not to the original creation of the

matter of the supra mundane spheres (Gerlach), which was performed in

the beginning, nor to the first production of light, which was the specific

work of day one; but to the permanent appointment of the former to be the

place, or center of radiation, for the latter. The purpose for which this

arrangement was designed, so far, at least, as the earth was concerned, was



  • To divide the day from the night. Literally, between the day and the

            night; or, as in v. 18, to divide the light from the darkness to continue

            and render permanent the separation and distinction which was effected on

            the first day.


  • And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

            The celestial lights were to serve:


Ø      For signs. Othoth, from oth, anything engraved, hence a mark

                        (ch. 4:15; II Kings 20:8), is employed to designate a portent,

                        or sign of wanting or instruction (Psalm 61:8; Isaiah 8:18; 20.

                        Septuagint, σημεῖονsaemeionsign -  compare Luke 21:25;

                        Acts 2:19), and here probably refers to the subsequent employment

                        of the heavenly bodies as marks or signs of important changes and

                        occurrences in the kingdom of Providence.  They may have been

                        designed also to subserve important purposes in the -various economy

                        of human life, as in affording signs to the mariner and husbandman,

                        is not improbable, though this is not so strictly the import of the original.

                        Still less, of course, does the word refer to mediaeval astrology or to

                        modern meteorology.


Ø      For seasons. Moradhim, set times, from yaad, to indicate, define, fix,

                        is used of yearly returning periods (ch.17:21; 18:14) — the time

                        of the migration of birds (Jeremiah 8:7), the time of festivals (Psalm

                        104:19; Zechariah 8:19).


Ø      For days and years, i.e. for the calculation of time, the simplest, and,

      most probably, the correct interpretation.


  • And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give

            light upon the earth. Not to introduce light for the first time to this lower

            world, but to serve as a new and permanent arrangement for the

            distribution of the light already called into existence. And it was so. Like

            every other command which Elohim issued, this was in due time followed



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.

And God made two great lights. Perhaps no part of the material universe more

irresistibly demands a Supreme Intelligence as its only proper origin and cause.

Elegantissima haecce solis, planetarum et cometarum compages non nisi consilio

et domino entis intelligentis et potentis oriri potuit” (Newton, ‘Principia,’ lib. 3.

sub fin. Ed. of Le Seur and Jacquier, vol. 2. p. 199). The greater light to rule (literally,

to make like; hence to judge; then to rule. Mashal; the day, and the lesser light to rule

the night. The greater light is obviously the sun, which is sometimes denominated

chammah, the warm”(Psalm 19:6; Isaiah 30:26); sometimes there, “the glistering”

(Job 9:7); but usually shemesh, “the minister (Deuteronomy 4:19;

33:14). Here it is described by its bulk or magnitude, which is larger than

that of the moon, the second of the two luminaries, which is also spoken of

as great relatively to the stars, which, though in reality immensely

exceeding it in size, yet appear like little bails of light (kokhavim)

bestudding the blue canopy of night, and are so depicted — the Biblical

narrative being geocentric and phenomenal, not heliocentric or scientific.

How the work of this day was effected does not fall within the writer’s

scope to declare, the precise object of revelation being to teach not

astronomy, or any other merely human gnosis, but religion. Accepting,

however, the guidance of physical astronomy, we may imagine that the

cosmical light of day one, which had up to this point continued either

encompassing our globe like a luminous atmosphere, or existing at a

distance from it, but in the plane of the earth’s orbit, was now, if in the first

of these positions, gradually broken up, doubtless through the shrinking of

the earth’s mass and the consequent lessening of its power Of attraction,

and slowly drawn off towards, and finally concentrated, as a photosphere

round the sun, which was thereby constituted chief luminary or “light-holder”

the system, the moon and planets becoming, as a necessary

consequence, “light-holders” in the secondary sense of “light-reflectors.” It

is interesting to note that some such explanation as this appears to have

suggested itself to Willet, who wrote before the birth of Newton, and at a

time when solar physics and spectrum analysis were things of the remote

future. It is not unlike, says he, “but that this light (of the first day), after

the creation of the celestial bodies, might be drawn upward and have his

reflection upon the beame of the sunne and of other starres” And again,

“Whereas the light created the first day is called or, but the starres

(meaning the heavenly bodies) are called meoroth, as of the light, hence it

may appear that these lightsome (i.e. luminous) bodies were made the

receptacles of that light thou created, which was now increased and united

to these lights” (‘Hexapla,’ vers. 3, 14, London, 1632); an explanation

which, though certainly hypothetical, must be regarded as much more in

accordance with the requirements of the sacred text than that which

discovers in the making of the lights only a further dissipation of terrestrial

mists so as to admit not the light-bringing beams of the celestial bodies

alone, but the forms of those shining orbs themselves (‘Speaker’s

Commentary’). He made the stars also. Though the stars are introduced

solely because of their relation to the earth as dispensers of light, and no

account is taken of their constitution as suns and planets, it is admissible to

entertain the opinion that, in their case, as in that of the chief luminary of

our tellurian heavens, the process of “sun” making reached its culmination

on the fourth day. Perhaps the chief reason for their parenthetical

introduction in this place was to guard against the notion that there were

any luminaries which were not the work of Elohim, and in particular to

prevent the Hebrews, for whom the work was written, from yielding to the

heathen practices of star-gazing and star-worship. “The superstition of

reading the destiny of man in the stars never took root among the

Israelites; astrology is excluded by the first principle of Mosaism — the

belief in one all-ruling God, who is subject to no necessity, no fate, no

other will. Jeremiah warns the Hebrews not to be afraid of the ‘signs of

heaven,’ before which the heathen tremble in vain terror (Jeremiah 10:2);

and Isaiah speaks with taunting irony against the astrologers, stargazers,

and monthly prognosticators, in whose counsel it is folly and

wickedness to rely (Isaiah 47:13). But the Israelites had not moral

strength enough to resist the example of star-worship in general; they could

not keep aloof from an aberration which formed the very focus of the

principal Eastern religions; they yielded to that tempting influence, and

ignominious incense rose profusely in honor of the sun and the hosts of

heaven — Jeremiah 19:13; Ezekiel 8:16; Zephaniah 1:5; Wisdom of

Solomon 13:2.



                                    The Celestial Luminaries (v. 16)


  • Display the DIVINE WISDOM. “The heavens declare the glory of God”

            (Psalm 19:1). M. Comte believed they declared no other glory than that

            of Hipparchus, Kepler, Newton, and their successors. Newton agreed with

            the Hebrew poet (vid. Expos. on v. 16). The astronomical argument in

            behalf of theism has always been impressive, if not absolutely conclusive.

            Certainly, granting the Divine existence, nowhere does God’s glory shine

            out more conspicuously; and perhaps the attribute which most imperiously

            arrests attention is that of wisdom. This would seem to be the aspect of the

            Divine glory which a contemplation of the midnight heavens discovered to

            the writer of Psalm 104:24, which is introduced after a poetic

            version of the fourth day’s work) and of Psalm 136:7 in the same

            connection; compare Proverbs 3:19; 8:27; Jeremiah 51:15). Many things

            about the orbs of heaven evince their Creator’s wisdom: these specially:


Ø      Their formation, as explained by the highly credible teachings of

                        physical astronomy.

Ø      Their varieties — consisting of sun, moon, planets, comets, nebulas.

Ø      Their motions: in elliptical and parabolic orbits.

Ø      Their dispositions: the suns, moons, and planets in systems; the stars in                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        constellations, clusters, galaxies.


  • Attest the DIVINE GOODNESS. Displayed chiefly by the threefold

            purpose the celestial orbs were designed to serve:


Ø      To give light upon the earth. Even the stars could scarcely be

                        dispensed with without a sense of loss. Feeble as their light is,

                        owing to their immense distance from the earth, they are yet

                        invaluable to voyagers and travelers (Acts 27:20). (See again

                        Fantastic Trip You Tube – CY – 2015)   Still less could the

                        moons light, so pale and silvery in its whiteness, be spared.

                        The night without its chaste beams would be shrouded in thick

                        gloom, while with them an air of cheerfulness is imparted to the

                        darkened earth. And, of course, least of all could the sun

                        be wanted!


Ø      To distinguish day and night. The beneficence of this arrangement

                        appears by reflecting on the inconvenience of either of the other two

                        alternatives, perpetual day and perpetual night. The disadvantages

                        of the latter have been indicated; those of the former are scarcely

                        less numerous.The alternation of darkness:


o       Introduces variety in nature, which is always pleasing.

                                    continuous day would be in danger of becoming monotonous,

                                    at least in this mundane world, if not in the celestial (Isaiah

                                    60:20; Revelation 22:5).


o       Meets the necessities of creature life, by supplying constantly-

                                    recurring periods of repose, which are eminently beneficial

                                    for the growth of plants, animals, and man. “Vegetable sleep

                                    is that relaxation of the vital processes which is indicated by

                                    the folding together and drooping of the leaves as night

                                    approaches” (Leo Grindon, ‘Life: its Nature,’ &c., p. 306). The

                                    animal tribes generally, with the exception of the wild beasts

                                    (Psalm104:20), seek repose with the shades of evening. And man,

                                    without the recuperative slumber which darkness brings, would

                                    speedily exhaust his energies.


o       Solemnizes the mind of man, by suggesting thoughts of his frailty,

                                    of his end in the sleep of death, but also of his resurrection to the

                                    light of a better morning.


Ø      To mark times and seasons. That the different seasons of the year are

                        somehow connected with the celestial bodies is perhaps all that the

                        Mosaic narrative can be made to teach. But we know them to be

                        dependent on the earth’s revolution round the sun. And the fact that

                        God has so arranged the earth’s relation to the sun as to produce these

                        seasons is a signal proof of the Divine goodness. Another is that God

                        has so fixed and determined their movements as to enable man to

                        measure time by their means. Without the help of sun, moon, and

                        stars chronology would be impossible.


  • Proclaim the DIVINE POWER. More than any other science,

            astronomy enables us to realize the physical omnipotence of the Deity.

            Imagination becomes bewildered by the effort to represent the quantity of

            force required to propel a globe like our earth through the depths of splice

            at the immense velocity of 65,000 miles an hour. What, then, must be the

            strength of that arm which, in addition, hurls Jupiter, equal in weight to

            1400 earths, along his orbit with a velocity of 29,000 miles an hour? And

            not Jupiter alone, but suns immensely greater, at rates of motion that

            transcend conception. Well said Job (Job 26:14). Yet, perhaps, the

            Divine power is as much evinced by the perpetuation of these celestial

            masses and movements as by their first production. Not only has God made

            the sidereal firmament, with its stupendous globes and amazing velocities,

            but he has so established them that since the beginning they have kept on

            their mystic paths without rebellion and without confusion (Psalm 147:5).


  • Reflect the DIVINE BEAUTY. Perhaps GLORY is the better word. The

            counterpart of glory in the Creator is beauty in the creature. The celestial

            luminaries were approved as good, doubtless, for their uses, but likewise

            for themselves, as being of incomparable splendor. “God hath made

            everything beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Nothing that God

            does make can be otherwise than beautiful; and by their splendor, their

            order, their unity, they seem to mirror forth the majesty and purity, and

            oneness of Him to whom they owe their being.


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.”  And God set (literally, gave)

them (i.e. sun, moon, and stars) in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the

earth, and to rule over the day and ever the night, and to divide the light from

the darkness. An intimation that on this day the astronomical

arrangements for the illumination of the globe and the measurement of time

were PERMANENTLY SETTLED   And God saw that it was good. Laplace was

inclined to question (???? – CY - 2015) the Divine verdict with regard at least to the

moon, which he thought might have been so placed as to be always full, whereas,

at its present distance from the earth, we are sometimes deprived of both

its light and the sun’s together. But not to dwell upon the fact that to

remove the moon four times its present distance from the earth, which it

would require to be in order to be always full, would necessitate important

changes in the other members of the solar system which might not be for

the earth’s advantage, the immediate effect of such a disposition of the

lunar orb would be to give us a moon of only one sixteenth the size of that

which now dispenses its silver beams upon our darkened globe (Job 11:12).


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

The Scripture references to this day’s work are both numerous and

instructive (compare Job 9:9; 37:21; Psalms 8; 19; 104; 147). The Hebrew

writers supply no information as to the astronomical theories which were

prevalent in their time; yet “from other sources we have facts leading to the

belief that even in the time of Moses there was not a little practical

astronomy in the East, and some good theory. The Chaldeans at a very

early period had ascertained the principal circles of the sphere, the position

of the poles, and the nature of the apparent motions of the heavens as the

results of revolution on an inclined axis. The Egyptian astronomers, whom

we know through Thales, 640 B.C., taught the true nature of the moon’s

light, the sphericity of the earth, and the position of its five zones.

Pythagoras, 580 B.C., knew, in addition, the obliquity of the ecliptic, the

identity of the evening and morning star, and the earth’s revolution round

the sun” (Dawson, ‘O.W.,’ p. 207). Modern astronomy, though possessed

of highly probable theories as to the formation of the universe, is still

unable to speak with absolute precision with regard to this fourth day’s

work. Yet them are not wanting indirect corroborations of the truth of the

Mosaic narrative from both it and geology. According to the sacred writer,

the presently existing atmosphere, the distribution of land and water, the

succession of day and night, and the regular alternation of the seasons,

were established prior to the introduction of animal life upon the earth; and

Sir Charles Lyell has demonstrated nothing more successfully than the

dominion of “existing causes” from the Eozoic era downwards, and the

sufficiency of these causes to account for all the changes which have taken

place in the earth’s crust. Again, geology attests the prevalence on our

globe in prehistoric times of a much more uniform and high temperature

than it now possesses, so late as the Miocene era a genial tropical climate

having extended up beyond the Arctic circle, and in the earliest eras of the

history of the globe, in all probability, the entire sphere bring so favored

with excessive heat. Different causes have been suggested for this

phenomenon; as, e.g., the greater heat of the cooling globe (the earliest

geologists), a different distribution of land and water (Lyell), variations in

the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit (Herschell and. Croll), changes in the

earth’s axis (Evans, Drayson, Bell), and the greater intensity of the sun’s

heat; Sir W Thomson, ‘Trans. Geolog. Soc.,’ Glasgow, 1877). The Biblical

narrative, by distinctly teaching that the sun was perfected on the fourth

day, renders it intelligible that it’s influence on the surface of the earth was

then at its greatest, causing tropical climates to prevail and tropical

vegetation to abound, both of which have gradually disappeared from the

polar regions in consequence of the sun’s diminished heat. It remains only

to note that the Chaldean Genesis preserves a striking reminiscence of this

day’s work; the obverse of the fifth creation tablet reading:


1. It was delightful, all that was fixed by the great gods,

2. Stars, their appearance (in figures) of animals he arranged.

3. To fix the year through the observation .of their constellations.

4. Twelve months (or signs) of stars in three rows he arranged.

5. From the day when the year commences unto the close.

6. He marked the positions of the wandering stars (planets) to shine in their


.           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .

12. The god Uru (the moon) he caused to rise out, the night he


.           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .

13. To fix it also for the light of the night, until the shining of the day.

19. When the god Shamas (the sun) in the horizon of heaven in the east.

20.       .           .           .    formed beautifully and . .

21.       .           .           .    to the orbit Shamas was perfected.


 It appears that the Chaldean record con talus the review and expression of

satisfaction at the head of each tablet, while the Hebrew has it at the close of

each act” (‘Chaldean Genesis,’ pp. 69-73).



The Fourth Day (vs. 14-19)





for the vegetable world. But when the higher life is introduced, then there

is an order which implies intelligence and active rational existence. The

signs are for those that can observe the signs. The seasons, days, and years

for the being who consciously divides his life.



The concentration of light is the appointed method of its diffusion, and

adaptation to the purposes of man’s existence. So in the moral world and

in the spiritual world. There must be rule, system, diversities of gifts,

diversities of operations. Distinctions of glory — of the sun, moon, stars.

As the light, so is the rule. Those possessed of much power to enlighten

others ought to be rulers by their Divinely-appointed place and work. But

all the light which flows from heavenly bodies has first been communicated

to them. We give out to others what we receive.


·         This setting out of time reminds us that THE EARTHLY

EXISTENCE IS NOT SUPREME, but ruled over until it is itself lifted up

into the higher state where day and night and diurnal changes are no more.

The life of man is governed here largely by the order of the material

universe. But as he grows into the true child of God he rises to a dominion

over sun, moon, and stars.  (Psalm 8)


Ø      Intellectual. By becoming master of many of the secrets of nature.

Ø      Moral. The consciousness of fellowship with God is a sense of moral

superiority to material things. The sanctified will and affections have a

sphere of rule wider than the physical universe, outlasting the

perishable earth and sky.

Ø      Spiritual. Man is earthly first, and then heavenly. Human nature is

developed under the rule of sun, moon, and stars. In the world where

there shall be no more night the consciousness of man will be that of a

spirit, not unwitting of the material, but ruling it with angelic freedom

and power.



                                                Day Five


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.” The waters and the air, separated on the second day, are on this filled with

their respective inhabitants. And God said. Nature never makes an onward

movement, in the sense of an absolutely new departure, unless under the

impulse of the word of Elohim. These words distinctly claim that the

creatures of the sea and of the air, even if evolved from material elements,

were produced in obedience to Divine command, and not spontaneously

generated by the potentia vitae of either land, sea, or sky. Let the waters

bring forth abundantly the moving creature. Literally, swarm with

swarmers, or crawl with crawlers. The fundamental signification of sharatz

is to creep or swarm, and hence to multiply (Gesenius); or, vice versa, to

multiply in masses, and hence to swarm or abound (Furst; compare ch. 8:17;

Exodus 1:7; 8:3). The sheretzim, though including small aquatic

creatures that have short or no legs, are obviously “all kinds of living

creatures inhabiting either land or water which are oviparous and

remarkable for fecundity” (Bush). We may, therefore, understand the

creative fiat of the fifth day as summoning first into existence the insect

creation (in Leviticus 11:20-23 defined as flying sheretzim), the fishes

of the sea (sheretzim of the waters, Ibid. vs. 9-10), and the reptiles

and saurians of sea and land (sheretzim of the land, Ibid. vs. 41-42).

Dawson concludes that “the prolific animals of the fifth day’s creation

belonged to the three Cuvierian sub-kingdoms of the radiata articulata,

mollusca, and to the classes of fish and reptiles among the vertebrata. That

hath life. Nephesh chayyah; literally, a living breath. Here the creatures of

the sea are distinguished from all previous creations, and in particular from

vegetation, as being possessed of a vital principle. This does not, of course,

contradict the well-known truth that plants are living organisms. Only the

life principle of the animal creation is different from that of the vegetable

kingdom. It may be impossible by the most acute microscopic analysis to

differentiate the protoplasmic cell of vegetable matter from that of animal

organisms, and plants may appear to be possessed of functions that

resemble those of animals, yet the two are generically different —

vegetable protoplasm never weaving animal texture, and plant fiber never

issuing from the loom of animal protoplasm. That which constitutes an

animal is the possession of respiratory organs, to which, doubtless. there is

a reference in the term nephesh from naphash, to breathe. And fowl that

may fly. Literally, let “winged creatures” fly. The fowls include all tribes

covered with feathers that can raise themselves into the air. The English

version produces the impression that they were made from the waters,

which is contrary to ch. 2:19. The correct rendering disposes of

the difficulty. Above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Not

above the firmament like the clouds but in the concave vault, or before

the surface of the expanse.


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.”  And God created (bara, is in v. 1, to indicate the

introduction of an absolutely new thing, viz., the principle of animal life)

great whales. Tanninim, from tanan; Greek, τείνω  - teino - tan, to stretch.

These were the first of the two classes into which the sheretzim of the

previous verse were divided. The word is used of serpents

(Exodus 7:9; Deuteronomy 32:33; Psalm 91:13; Jeremiah 51:34), of the

crocodile (Ezekiel 29:3; 32:2), and may therefore here describe “great sea

monsters” in general: τὰ κ´τη τὰ μεγάλα ta k’tae ta megalathe large

sea creatures (Septuagint); “monstrous crawlers that wriggle through the water or

scud along the banks; whales, crocodiles, and other sea monsters; gigantic aquatic

and  amphibious reptiles, are various interpretations. And every

living creature (nephesh chayyah) which moveth. Literally, the moving,

from ramas, to move or creep. This is the second class of sheretzim. The

term remes is specially descriptive. of creeping animals (ch. 9:2),

either on land (ch.7:14) or in water (Psalm 69:34), though

here it clearly signifies aquatic tribes. Which the waters brought forth

abundantly after their kind. The generic terms are thus seen to include

many distinct orders and species, created each after its kind. And every

winged fowl after his kind. Why fowls and fish were created on the same

day is rot to be explained by any supposed similarity between the air and

the water or any fancied resemblance between the bodily organisms of

birds and fishes, but by the circumstance that the firmament and the waters

were separated on the second day, to which it was designed that this day

should have a correspondence. And God saw that it was good. As in every

other instance, the productions of this day approve themselves to the Divine

Creator’s judgment; but on this day He marks His complacency by a step

which He takes for the first time, viz., that of pronouncing a benediction on

the newly-created tribes. Nothing could more evince the importance which,

in the Creator’s judgment, attached to this day’s work.


22 “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill

the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”

And God blessed them. To bless is to wish well to (ch.27:4; Numbers 6:23).

In the case of God blessing inanimate things, it signifies to make them to prosper

and be abundant (Exodus 23:25; Job 1:10; Psalm 65:11). The nature of the

blessing pronounced upon the animal creation had reference to their

propagation and increase. Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters

in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. The paronomastic

combination, be fruitful and multiply, became a regular formula of blessing

(compare ch.24:60; 35:11; 48:4; Psalm 128:3-4). The Divine benediction was

not simply a wish; but, by the bare intimation of His purpose He effects what

men seek by entreaty.  Nor was it meaningless that the words of benediction

were addressed to the creatures; it was designed to teach that the force of the

Divine word was not meant to be transient, but, being infused into their natures,

to take root and constantly bear fruit” (Calvin).



                                    The Mystery of Life (vs. 20-22)




Ø      Not dead matter. Scripture, equally with science, represents life as

                        having a physical basis; but, unlike modern evolutionists, never

                        confounds vital force with the material mechanism in which it

                        resides, and through which it operates. Advanced biologists account

                        for life by molecular arrangement, chemical combination, spontaneous

                        generation, or some such equally insufficient hypothesis. The rigorous

                        necessities of truth and logic, however, compel them to admit that

                        neither the action of material forces nor the ingenuity of man has been

                        able to produce a bioplasmic cell. “The chasm between the not living

                        and the living the present state of knowledge cannot bridge” (Huxley).

                        “Most naturalists of our time have given up the attempt to account for

                        the origin of life by natural causes “(Haeckel). But:


Ø      The Living God. All existing life has proceeded from some antecedent

                        life, is the latest verdict of biological science. Every bioplast has been

                        produced by a previous bioplast: omnis cellula e cellula. Essentially

                        that is the teaching of revelation. The Maker of the first bioplast was

                        GOD!  If the present narrative appears to recognize the doctrine of

                        mediate creation by saying, “Let the waters bring forth,” “Let the earth

                        bring forth,” it is careful to affirm that, in so far as material forces

                        contributed to the production of life, they were directly impelled thereto,

                        and energized therefore, by the creative word. The hypothesis that matter

                        was originally possessed of, or endowed with, “the potency of life”

                        (Tyndall) is expressly negated by v.21, which represents life as

                        the immediate creation of ELOHIM!


  • ITS NATURE. Scripture vouchsafes no information as to what constitutes

      the vis viva (living force) of organized beings. Beyond characterizing the

            beings themselves as “living creatures.” it leaves the subject wrapped in

            profoundest mystery. And the veil of that mystery science has not been able

            to penetrate. The microscope has indeed conclusively shown that living

            matter, or bioplasm, is that which weaves the endlessly varied structures of

            animal forms; but as to what that is which imparts to the transparent,

            structureless, albuminous fluid, called bioplasm, the power of self-

            multiplication and organization it is silent. “We fail to detect any

            organization in the bioplasmic mass, but there are movements in it and life”

            (Huxley). The utmost that science can give as its definition of life is, “that

            which originates and directs the movements of bioplasm” (cf. ‘Beale on

            Protoplasm;’ Cook’s ‘Lectures on Biology’). Scripture advances a step

            beyond science, and affirms that life in its last analysis is THE POWER

            OF GOD!  (Psalm 104:30; Isaiah 38:16).




Ø      Abundant. The creatures of the sea were produced in swarms, and

                        probably the birds appeared in flocks. This was:


o       Predictive of their natures as gregarious animals. Though

      afterwards prolific, they might have been created in small

      numbers; but, as if to maintain a correspondence between

      the characteristic properties of the creatures and their first

      production, they were made, the fish in shoals, the

                                    fowl in broods.


o       Expressive of the Creator’s joy. God finds a part of His

      happiness in surrounding Himself with living creatures.

      Had there been no other end to serve by the fish and fowl

      of the fifth day, this would have been cause

                                    sufficient for their creation.


o       Anticipative of man’s arrival on the scene. Not only was it a step

      in advance on the work of the previous day, and as such

      preliminary to the advent of man, but the aquatic and aerial

      creatures were designed to be subservient to man’s needs

      and uses.


Ø      Varied.


o       In its form. The living creatures of the fifth day were diverse in

      their physical structures. Though in the initial stages of their

      embryonic condition fish and fowl may not be widely dissimilar,

      yet their completed organisms are not the same. Each class, too,

      consists of an endlessly diversified array of species, and the

      variations among individual members of the same species are

      practically limitless.  (And to think down the road would be

      man, each person distinct in every way, DNA, fingerprints, etc.

      not to mention every leaf on a tree is different and every snow-

      flake its own different symmetry.  All glory to God may we

      give and recognize Him for His uniqueness and power! CY –



o       In its functions. Although all living creatures have certain

      essential characteristics in common, resembling one another

      in their chemical constituents, in their living by respiration,

      in their growth by intersusception of nutriment, in their capability

      of reproduction, yet the ordinary functions they are meant to

      perform through their respective organs are different in different

      kinds of animals. The fowls, e.g. were designed to fly through the

      atmosphere; the fish to swim in water.


o       In its sphere. The different living creatures are differently located,

      the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, — each one’s sphere being

      adapted to its nature.


Ø      Progressive. Science, no less than Scripture, attests that in the

                        introduction of life to our globe there has been a regular and continuous

                        gradation from lower to higher forms of organization, and has ventured

                        to propose, as its solution of the problem of vital progression, external

                        conditions, embryonic phases, use and disuse of organs, natural selection,

                        etc. These theories, however, are declared by competent authorities to be

                        insufficient. The solution of Scripture SPECIAL CREATION

                        has at least the merit of being sufficient, and has not yet been disproved

                        or displaced by modern research.


  • ITS EXCELLENCE. God saw that it was good.


Ø      As the handiwork of God. Nothing that God makes can be otherwise

                        than beautiful and good (Ecclesiastes 3:11; I Timothy 4:4).


Ø      As an ornament to nature. Without the vegetation of the third day the

                        world would present an extremely uninteresting and uninviting

                        appearance.  Much more would it be devoid of attraction and

                        cheerfulness if the myriads of sentient beings with which it is

                        peopled were absent.  (You and I like to landscape our properties;

                        SO DID GOD!  CY – 2015)


Ø      As the servant of man. From the first it was prepared with the express

                        intention of being subjected to man’s dominion, and doubtless the

                        Creator’s approbation had regard to this beneficent design.


  • ITS PERPETUATION. “Of the causes which have led to the

            origination of living matter,” says Huxley, “we know absolutely nothing;

            but, postulating the existence of living matter endowed with that power of

            hereditary transmission and with that tendency to vary which is found in all

            matter, Mr. Darwin has shown good reason for believing that the

            interaction between living matter and surrounding conditions, which results

            in the survival of the fittest, is sufficient to account for the gradual

            evolution of plants and animals from their simplest to their most complex

            forms” (‘Ency. Brit.,’ art. Biology). Moses accounts for the origination of

            living creatures by a Divine creation, and for their continuance by the

            Divine benediction which made it the law of their being to propagate their

            kind and to multiply in masses. The remarkable fecundity which by the

            blessing of Elohim was conferred upon both fish and fowl is graphically

            portrayed by Milton (‘Par. Lost,’ 7:387). That from neither the aquatic nor

            aerial creatures has this power of kind-multiplication departed naturalists

            attest. “All organized beings have enormous powers of multiplication.

            Even man, who increases slower than all other animals, could, under the

            most favorable circumstances, double his numbers every fifteen years, or a

            hundred-fold in a century. Many animals and plants could increase their

            numbers from ten to a thousand-fold every year” (Wallace ‘on Natural

            Selection,’ p. 265).




Ø      Adore Him who is the Author and Preserver of all life in the creatures.

Ø      Respect the mystery of life; and what we cannot give let us be careful

                        not to destroy.

Ø      Appreciate the value of the living creatures.


23 “And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”  If of

the previous creative days geological science has only doubtful traces, of

this it bears irrefragable witness. When the first animal life was introduced

upon our globe may be said to be as yet sub judice. Principal Dawson

inclines to claim for the gigantic foraminifer, eozoon canadense, of the

Laurentian rocks, the honor of being one of the first aquatic creatures that

swarmed in terrestrial waters, though Professor Huxley believes that the

earliest life is not represented by the oldest known fossils (‘Critiques and

Addresses,’ 9:1873); but, whether then or at some point of time anterior

introduced, geology can trace it upwards through the Paleozoic and

Mesozoic eras with the result that is here so exactly defined. Throughout

the long ages that fill the interval between the Azoic period of our earth’s

history and that which witnessed the appearance of the higher animals she

is able to detect an unbroken succession of aquatic life, rising gradually

from lower to higher forms — from the trilobites and mollusks of the

Cambrian and Silurian systems, up through the ganoid fishes of the

Devonian and the amphibians of the Carboniferous to the saurian reptiles

of the Permian periods. At this point certain ornithic tracks in the

superincumbent Triassic strata reveal the introduction upon the scene of

winged creatures, and with this accession to its strength and Volume the

stream of life flows on till the higher animals appear. Thus geology

confirms the Scripture record by attesting:


(1) the priority of marine animals and birds to land animals;

(2) the existence of a period when the great sea monsters, with the smaller

aquatic tribes and winged fowls of the air, were the sole living creatures on

the globe; and

(3) that, precisely as Elohim designed life has continued in unbroken

succession since the time of its first introduction. It may also be noted that

the Palaeontological history of the earth’s crust suggests a number of

considerations that enable us to form a conception of the fifth day’s work,

which, though not contravened by the Mosaic narrative, is yet by it not

explicitly disclosed. For example, whereas it might seem to be the teaching

of the inspired writer that the tanninim, the tomes, and the birds were

created simultaneously, and so were synchronous in their appearance, the

testimony of the rocks rather points to a series of creative acts in which

successive species of living creatures were summoned into being, as the

necessary conditions of existence were prepared for their reception, and

indeed with emphasis asserts that the order of creation was not, as in v.21,

first the great sea monsters, and then the creepers, and then the birds;

but first the smaller aquatic tribes, and then the monsters of the deep, and

finally the winged creatures of the air. This, however, is not to contradict,

but to elucidate, the word of God.



                                    The Fifth Day (vs. 20-23)




Ø      Abundance. Swarming waters, swarming air? preparing for the

                        swarming earth. “Be fruitful, and multiply.” The absence of all

                        restraint because as yet the absence of sin. God’s law is liberty.

                        The law of life is the primary law. If there be in man’s world a

                        contradiction between the multiplication of life and the happiness

                        of life, it is a sign of departure from the original order.

                        (THUS THE GREAT GUILT OF ABORTION! – CY – 2015)


Ø      Growth, improvement, advancement towards perfection. The fish,

      fowl, beast, man exist in a scheme of things; the type of animal life

      is carried up higher. The multiplication is not for its own sake, BUT

      FOR THE FUTURE!  Generations pass away, yet there is an abiding

      blessing. Death is not real, though seeming, destruction. There is a

      higher nature which is being matured.


Ø      Service of the lower for the higher. God blesses the animal races for the

                        sake of man, the interpreter of creation, the voice of its praise. He

                        blesses the lower part of human life for the sake of the soul.



            productiveness of nature would become a curse, not a blessing, unless

            restrained by its own laws. The swarming seas and air represent at once

            unbounded activity and universal control by mutual dependence and

            interaction. So in the moral world. It is not life, existence, alone that

            betokens the blessing of God, but the disposition of life to fulfill its highest

            end. We should not desire abundance without the grace which orders its

            use and controls its enjoyment.   (This is the great mistake of a spoiled

            nation like the United States of America!  CY – 2015)




                                                Day Six


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.”  Like day three, this is distinguished by a double

creative act, the production of the higher or land animals and the creation

of man, of the latter of which it is perhaps permissible to see a mute

prediction in the vegetation which closed the first half of the creative week.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his

kind. In these words the land animals are generically characterized as

nephesh chayyah, or animated beings; in the terms which follow they are

subdivided into three well-defined species or classes. Cattle. Behemah;

literally, the dumb animal, i.e. the larger grass-eating quadrupeds. And

creeping thing. Remes; the moving animal, i.e. the smaller animals that

move either without feet or with feet that are scarcely perceptible, such as

worms, insects, reptiles. Here it is land-creepers that are meant, the remes

of the sea having been created on the previous day. And beast of the

earth (chayyah of the earth) after his kind. i.e. wild, roving, carnivorous

beasts of the forest. In these three comprehensive orders was the earth

commanded to produce its occupants; which, however, no more implied

that the animals were to be developed from the soil than were the finny

tribes generated by the sea. Simply in obedience to the Divine call, and as

the product of creative energy, they were to spring from the plastic dust as

being essentially earth-born creatures. And it was so. Modern evolutionists

believe they can conceive — they have never yet been able to demonstrate

— the modus operandi of the supreme Artificer in the execution of this

part of the sixth day’s work. Revelation has not deemed it needful to do

more than simply state that they were — not, by an evolutionary process

carried on through inconceivably long periods of time, developed from the

creatures of the fifth day, but — produced directly from the soil by the fiat

of Elohim.


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.” And God made (asah, not beta, the principle

of life being not now introduced for the first time, as in v. 21) the beast of the

earth (the chayyah) after his kind, and cattle (behemah) after their kind, and

every thing that creepeth on the earth (literally, every reraes of the

ground) after his kind. The order of creation here differs from that in

which they were summoned into existence (v. 24). The latter may be the

order of time, the former the order of rank; or there may have been two

divisions of the work, in the former of which the herbivora took the lead,

and in the latter the carnivora. According to the witness of geology, “the

quadrupeds did not all come forth together. Large and powerful herbivore

first take the field, with only a few carnivora. These pass away. Other

herbivora, with a larger proportion of carnivora, next appear. These also

are exterminated, and so with others. Then the carnivora appear in vast

numbers and power, and the herbivore also abound. Moreover, these races

attain a magnitude and number far surpassing all that now exist. As the

mammalian age draws to a close, the ancient carnivora and herbivora of

that era all pass away, excepting, it is believed, a few that are useful to

man. New creations of smaller size people the groves” (Dana. Quoted by

Dawson, ‘O.W.’ p. 224). And God saw that it was good. As in the third

day’s work each branch is sealed by the Divine approbation, so in this. The

creation of the higher animals completed the earth’s preparation for the

ADVENT OF MAN; to which, doubtless, the Creator’s commendation of His

finished work had a special reference. Everything was in readiness for the

magnum opus which was to close His creative labor and crown his

completed cosmos.  (To this I would like to add, just for thought, on the

specialty of man, to add the comment on Psalm 119:73, taken from

The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon – CY – 2015):


Psalm 119:73  “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:”  It is profitable to

remember our creation, it is pleasant to see that the divine hand has had

much to do with us, for it never moves apart from the divine thought. It

excites reverence, gratitude, and affection towards God when we view him

as our Maker, putting forth the careful skill and power of His hands in our

forming and fashioning. He took a personal interest in us, making us with

His own hands; He was doubly thoughtful, for He is represented both as

making and molding us. In both giving existence and arranging existence

He manifested love and wisdom; and therefore we find reasons for praise,

confidence, and expectation in our being and well being  - “give me

understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” As thou hast

made me, teach me. Here is the vessel which thou hast fashioned; Lord, fill

it. Thou hast given me both soul and body; grant me now thy grace that my

soul may know thy will, and my body may join in the performance of it.

The plea is very forcible; it is an enlargement of the cry, "Forsake not the

work of thine own hands" (ch. 138:8).  Without understanding the divine law

and rendering obedience to it we are imperfect and useless; but we may

reasonably hope that the great Potter will complete His work and give the

finishing touch to it by imparting to it sacred knowledge and holy practice.

If God had roughly made us, and had not also elaborately fashioned us, this

argument would lose much of its force; but surely from the delicate art and

marvelous skill which the Lord has shown in the formation of the human

body, we may infer that He is prepared to take equal pains with the soul till

it shall perfectly bear His image.  (An interesting but unsubstantial note

here:  Thy hands. Hilary and Ambrose think that by the plural "hands" is intimated

that there is a more exact and perfect workmanship in man, and as if it were with

greater labor and skill he had been formed by God, because after the image and

likeness to God: and that it is not written that any other thing but man was made by

God with both hands, for he saith in Isaiah, "Mine hand also hath laid the

foundation of the earth": Isaiah 48:13. — John Lorinus, 1569-1634.

This, however, is an error, as Augustine notes; for it is written, "The

heavens are the work of thine hands." (ch.102:25. — C.H.S.)

A man without a mind is an idiot, the mere mockery of a man; and a mind

without grace is wicked, the sad perversion of a mind. We pray that we

may not be left without a spiritual judgment: for this the Psalmist prayed in

v.66, and he here pleads for it again; there is no true knowing and

keeping of the commandments without it. Fools can sin; but only those

who are taught of God can be holy. We often speak of gifted men; but he

has the best gifts to whom God has given a sanctified understanding

wherewith to know and prize the ways of the Lord. Note well that David's

prayer for understanding is not for the sake of speculative knowledge, and

the gratification of his curiosity: he desires an enlightened judgment that he

may learn God's commandments, and so become obedient and holy. This is

the best of learning. A man may abide in the College where this science is

taught all his days, and yet cry out for ability to learn more. The

commandment of God is exceeding broad (v. 96), and so it affords scope for

the most vigorous and instructed mind: in fact, no man has by nature an

understanding capable of compassing so wide a field, and hence the prayer,

"give me understanding"; — as much as to say— I can learn other things

with the mind I have, but thy law is so pure, so perfect, spiritual and

sublime, that I need to have my mind enlarged before I can become

proficient in it. He appeals to his Maker to do this, as if he felt that no

power short of that which made him could make him wise unto holiness.

We need a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17), and who can grant us that

but the Creator Himself? He who made us to live must make us to learn; He

who gave us power to stand must give us grace to understand. Let us each

one breathe to heaven the prayer of this verse ere we advance a step further,

for we shall be lost even in these petitions unless we pray our way through them,

and cry to God for understanding.


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.”

The importance assigned in the Biblical record to the creation

of man is indicated by the manner in which it is introduced. And God said,

Let us make man. Having already explained the significance of the term

Elohim, as suggesting the fullness of the Divine personality, and

foreshadowing the doctrine of the Trinity (v. 1), other interpretations,

such as that God takes counsel with the angels, or with the earth, or with

Himself, must be set aside in favor of that which detects in the peculiar

phraseology an allusion to a sublime concilium among the persons of the

Godhead. The object which this concilium (a convocation of three or more experts

to confer and give advice) contemplated was the construction

of a new creature to be named Adam; descriptive of either his color, from adam,

to be red, (Josephus, Gesenius, Tuch, Hupfeld); or his appearance, from a root in

Arabic which signifies “to shine,” thus making Adam “the brilliant one;” or his

compactness, both as an individual and as a race, from another Arabic root which

means “to bring or hold together”; or his nature as God’s image, from

dam, likeness; or, and most probably, his origin, from adamah, the ground.

In our image, after our likeness. The precise relationship in which the nature of the

Adam about to be produced should stand to Elohim was to be that of a tselem

(shadow — vid. Psalm 39:7; Greek, σκιά σκίασμαskia skiasma) and a damuth

(likeness, from damah, to bring together, to compare Isaiah 40:8.

As nearly as possible the terms are synonymous. If any distinction does

exist between them, perhaps tselem (image) denotes the shadow outline of

a figure, and damuth (likeness) the correspondence or resemblance of that

shadow to the figure. The early Fathers were of opinion that the words

were expressive of separate ideas: image, of the body, which by reason of

its beauty, intelligent aspect, and erect stature was an adumbration of God;

likeness, of the soul, or the intellectual and moral nature. According to

Augustine image had reference to the cognitio veritatis; likeness to amor

virtutis. Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen saw in the first man nature as

originally created, and in the second what that nature might become

through personal ethical conflict, or through the influence of grace.

Bellarmine thought “imaginem in natura, similitudinem in probitate et

justitia sitam esse,” and conceived that “Adamum peccando non imaginem

Dei, sed similitudinero perdidisse.” Havernick suggests that image is the

concrete, and likeness the abstract designation of the idea. Modern

expositors generally discover no distinction whatever between the words;

in this respect following Luther, who renders an image that is like, and

Calvin, who denies that any difference exists between the two. As to what

in man constituted the imago Dei, the reformed theologians commonly

held it to have consisted:


(1) in the spirituality of his being, as an intelligent and free agent;

(2) in the moral integrity and holiness of his nature; and

(3) in his dominion over the creatures.


In this connection the profound thought of Maimonides, elaborated by

Tayler Lewis (vial. Lunge, in loco), should not be overlooked, that tselem

is the specific, as opposed to the architectural, form of a thing; that which

inwardly makes a thing what it is, as opposed to that external configuration

which it actually possesses. It corresponds to the rain, or kind, which

determines species among animals. It is that which constitutes the genus

homo. And let them have dominion. The relationship of man to the rest

of creation is now defined to be one of rule and supremacy. The

employment of the plural is the first indication that not simply an individual

was about to be called into existence, but a race, comprising many

individuals The range of man’s authority is farther specified, and the sphere

of his lordship traced by an enumeration in ascending order, from the

lowest to the highest, of the subjects placed beneath his sway. His

dominion should extend over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the

air (literally, the heavens), and over the cattle (the behemah), and over

all the earth, and over every creeping thing (romeo) that creepeth

upon the earth.


27 “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created

He him; male and female created He them.”  So (or and) God created (bars,

as in vs. 1, 21, q.v.) man (literally; the Adam referred to in v. 26) in His own image,

in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. The

threefold repetition of the term “created” should be observed as a

significant negation of modern evolution theories as to the descent of man,


threefold parallelism of the members of this verse is likewise suggestive, of the

jubilation with which the writer contemplates the crowning work of Elohim’s

creative word. Murphy notices two stages in man s creation, the general fact being

stated in the first clause of this triumphal song, and the two particulars — first his

relation to his Maker, and second his sexual distinction (very meaningful in this

day of trans-gender and homosexual audacity – CY – 2015)  in its other

members. In the third clause Luther sees an intimation “that the woman

also was created by God, and made a partaker of the Divine image, and of

dominion over all.”



                                                The Creation of Man (vs. 26-27)


Take it:


Ø      As a revelation of God in His relation to man.

Ø      As a revelation of man to himself.




Ø      As the Father as well as Creator. As to the rest of creation, it is said,

                        “Let be,” and “it was.” As to many “Let us make in our image.”

                        Closely kin by original nature, man is invited to interact with the



Ø      The spirituality of God’s highest creature is the bond of union and

                        fellowship. The languages “Let us make,” suggests the conception of

                        a heavenly council or conference preparatory to the creation of man;

                        and the new description of the being to be created points to the

                        introduction of a new order of life the spiritual life, as above the

                        vegetable and animal.


Ø      God entrusts dominion and authority to man in the earth. Man holds

                        from the first the position of a vicegerent for God. There is trust,

                        obedience, responsibility, recognition of Divine supremacy, therefore

                        all the essential elements of religion, in the original constitution and

                        appointment of our nature and position among the creatures.


Ø      The ultimate destiny of man is included in the account of his beginning.

                        He who made him in His image, one of us,” will call him upward to be

                        among the super-earthly beings surrounding the throne of the Highest.

                        The possession of a Divine image is the pledge of eternal approximation

                        to the Divine presence. The Father calls the children about Himself.


  • MAN REVEALED TO HIMSELF. “The image and likeness of God.”

            What does that contain? There is the ideal humanity.


Ø      There is an affinity in the intellectual nature between the human and the

                        Divine. In every rational being, though feeble in amount of mental

                        capacity, there is a sense of eternal necessary truth. On some lines the

                        creature and the Creator think under the same laws of thought, though

                        the distance be immeasurable.  (“For as the heavens are higher than

                        the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts

                        than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:9)


Ø      Man is by original creation absolutely free from moral taint. He is

                        therefore a fallen being in so far as he is a morally imperfect being.

                        He was made like God in purity, innocence, goodness.


Ø      The resemblance must be in spirit as well as in intellect and moral

                        nature. Man was made to be the companion of God and angels,

                        therefore there is in his earthly existence a super-earthly, spiritual

                        nature which must be ultimately revealed.


Ø      Place and vocation are assigned to man on earth, and that in immediate

                        connection with his likeness to God. He is ruler here that he may be

                        prepared for higher rule elsewhere. He is put in his rank among God’s

                        creatures that he may see himself on the ascent to God. Man belongs to

                        two worlds. He is like God, and yet he is male and female, like the lower

                        animals, he is blessed as other creatures with productive power to fill the

                        earth, but he is blessed for the sake of his special vocation, to subdue the

                        earth, not for himself, but for God.


Ø      Here is the end of all our endeavor and desire — to be perfect men by

                        being like God. Let us be thankful that there is a God-man (Jesus Christ)

                        in whom we are able to find our ideal realized. We grow up into Him

                        who is our Head. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. When all

                        things are put under Him, man will see the original perfection of his

                        creation restored.


Ø      Man is taught that he need not leave the earthly sphere to be like God.

                        There has been a grand preparation of his habitation. From a mere

                        chaotic mass the earth has by progressive stages reached a state when

                        it can become the scene of a great moral experiment for man’s

                        instruction. The god-like is to rule over all other creatures, that he may

                        learn the superiority of the spiritual. Heavenly life, communion, society,

                        and all that is included in the fellowship of man with God, may be

                        developed in the condition of earth. Grievous error in early Church

                        and Eastern philosophy — confusion of the material and evil. Purity

                        does not require an immaterial mode of existence. Perfection of man

                        is perfection of his dominion over earthly conditions, matter in

                        subjection to spirit. Abnormal methods, asceticism, self-crucifixion,

                        are mere violence to original constitution of man. The “second

                        Adam” overcame the world not by forsaking it, but by being in it,

                        and yet not of it.


Ø      God’s commandments to man are commandments of Fatherly love.

                        Behold, I have given you,” &c. He not only appoints the service,

                        but He provides the sustenance. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,”

                        (Matthew 6:33)  Here is the union of creative power and providential

                        goodness. We are blessed in an earthly life just as we take it from the

                        hand of God as a trust to be fulfilled for Him. And in that obedience

                        and dependence we shall best be able to reach the ideal humanity. The

                        fallen world has been degrading man, physically, morally, spiritually;

                        he has been less and less what God made him to be. But He who has

                        come to restore the kingdom of God has come to uplift man and fill

                        the earth with blessedness.



                                    The Greatness of Man (v. 27)


  • THE TIME OF HIS APPEARANCE. The latest of God s works, he

            was produced towards the close of the era that witnessed the introduction

            upon our globe of the higher animals. Taking either view of the length of

            the creative day, it may be supposed that in the evening the animals went

            forth “to roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God,” and that in

            the morning man arose upon the variegated scene, “going forth to his work

            and to his labor until the evening” (Psalm 104:20-23). In this there was

            a special fitness, each being created at the time most appropriate to its

            nature. Man’s works are often mistimed; God’s never. Likewise in man’s

            being ushered last upon the scene there was peculiar significance; it was a

            virtual proclamation of his greatness.


  • THE SOLEMNITY OF HIS MAKING, which was preceded by a

            Divine consultation: “Let us make man,” (v. 26). The language of:


Ø      Resolution. As if, in the production of the other creatures, the all-wise

                        Artificer had been scarcely conscious of an effort, but must now bestir

                        Himself to the performance of His last and greatest work.


Ø      Forethought. As if His previous makings had been, in comparison with

                        this, of so subordinate importance that they might be executed

                        instantaneously and, as it were, without premeditation, whereas this

                        required intelligent arrangement and wise consideration beforehand.


Ø      Solicitude. As if the insignificance of these other labors made no special

                        call upon His personal, care and attention, whereas the vastness of the

                        present undertaking demanded the utmost possible watchfulness and



Ø      Delight. As if the fashioning and beautifying of the globe and its

                        replenishing with sentient beings, unspeakably glorious as these

                        achievements were afforded Him no satisfaction in comparison with

                        this which He contemplated, the creating of man in His own image

                        (compare Proverbs 8:31).


  • THE DIGNITY OF HIS NATURE. “Created after God’s image and

            likeness,” suggesting ideas of:


Ø      Affinity, or kinship. The resplendent universe, with its suns and systems,

                        its aerial canopy and green-mantled ground, its Alps and Himalayas, its

                        oceans, rivers, streams, was only as plastic clay in the hands of a skilful

                        potter. Even the innumerable tribes of living creatures that had been let

                        loose to swarm the deep, to cleave the sky, to roam the earth, were

                        animated by a principle of being that had no closer connection with the

                        Deity than that which effect has with cause; but the life which inspired

                        man was a veritable outcome from the personality of God (ch. 2:7).

                        Hence man was something higher than a creature. As imago Dei he was

                        God’s son (Malachi 2:10; Acts 17:28).


Ø      Resemblance. A distinct advance upon the previous thought, although

                        implied in it. This likeness or similitude consisted in:


o       Personality. Light, air, land, sea, sun, moon, stars were “things.”

      Plants, fishes, fowls, animals were “lives,” although the first

      are never so characterized in Scripture. Man was a “person.”


o       Purity. The image of absolute holiness must itself be immaculate.

      In this sense Christ was “the express image of God’s person”

      (Hebrews 1:3); and though man is not now a complete likeness

      of his Maker in the moral purity of his nature, when he came

      from the Creator’s hand he was. It is the object of Christ’s work

      to renew in man THE IMAGE OF HIS MAKER! 

      (Ephesians 4:24).


o       Power. That man’s Creator was a God of power was implied

      in His name, ELOHIM, and demonstrated by His works.

      Even fallen man we can perceive to be possessed of many

      elements of power that are the shadows of that which resided

      in Elohim — the power of self-government, and of lordship

      over the creatures, of language and of thought, of volition and

      of action, of originating, at least in a secondary sense, and of

      combining and arranging. In the first man they resided in



Ø      Representation. Man was created in God’s image that he might be a

                        visible embodiment of the Supreme to surrounding creatures. “The

                        material world, with its objects sublimely great or meanly little, as we

                        judge them; its atoms of dust, its orbs of fire; the rock that stands by

                        the seashore, the water that wears it away; the worm, a birth of

                        yesterday, which we trample underfoot; the sheets of the constellations

                        that gleam perennial overhead; the aspiring palm tree fixed to one spot,

                        and the lions that are sent out free — these incarnate and make visible

                        all of God their natures will admit.”  Man in his nature was intended as

                        the highest representation of God that was possible short of

                        THE INCARNATION OF THE WORD HIMSELF!


  • THE GRANDEUR OF HIS DOMINION. Man was designed to be

            God’s image in respect of royalty and lordship; and as no one can play the

            monarch without a kingdom and without subjects, God gave him both an

            empire and a people.


Ø      An empire.


o       Of wide extent. In the regal charter reaching to the utmost

      bounds of this terrestrial sphere (v. 26).

o       Of available character. Not a region that was practically

      unconquerable, but every square inch of it capable of

      subjugation and occupation.

o       Of vast resources. Everything in heaven, earth and sea was

      placed at his command.  (Psalm 8)

o       Of incalculable value. Nothing was absolutely useless, and

      many things were precious beyond compare.

o       Of perfect security. God had given’ it to him. The grant was

                                    absolute, the gift was sure.


Ø      A people.


o       Numerous. Every living thing was subjected to his sway.

o       Varied. The fishes, fowls, and beasts were his servants

o       Submissive. As yet they had not broken loose against their master.

o       Given. They were not acquired by the sword, but donated by

                                    their Maker.


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.”

And God blessed them. Not him, as the Septuagint. As on the

introduction of animal life the Divine Creator conferred on the creatures His

blessing, so when the first pair of human beings are formed they are

likewise enriched by their Creator’s benediction. And God said unto

them, Be fruitful, and multiply. As in the case of the lower creatures the

Divine blessing had respect in the first instance to the propagation and

perpetuation of the species, “which blessing,” says Calvin, “may be

regarded as the source from which the human race has flowed,” a thought

in full accord with Scripture teaching generally (compare Psalm 127:3); yet

by making one man and one woman an important distinction was drawn

between men and beasts as regards the development of their races and the

multiplication of their kind. “Carte fraenum viris et

mulieribus non laxavit, at in vagus libidines ruerent, absque delectu et

pudore; seda sancto castoque conjugio incipiens, descendit ad

generationem” (Calvin). And replenish the earth. The new-created race

was intended to occupy the earth. (Isaiah 45:18)  How far during the first age

of the world this Divine purpose was realized continues matter of debate

(Genesis 10 – I highly recommend a study of this chapter in Henry Morris’

The Genesis Record – CY – 2015).  After the Flood the confusion of tongues

effected a dispersion of the nations over the three great continents of the old world.

At the present day man has wandered to the ends of the earth. Yet vast realms lie

unexplored, waiting his arrival. This clause may be described as the colonists charter.

And subdue it.  (“find out its secrets” – Marion Duncan – 1969)  The commission

thus received was to utilize for his necessities the vast resources of the earth, by

agricultural and mining operations, by geographical research, scientific discovery, and

mechanical invention. And have dominion over the fish of the sea, &c. i.e. over the

inhabitants of all the elements. The Divine intention with regard to His

creation was thus minutely fulfilled by His investiture with supremacy over

all the other works of the Divine hand. Psalm 8. is the “lyric echo” of this

original sovereignty bestowed on man.


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.”

Provision for the sustenance of the newly-appointed monarch

and his subjects is next made. 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. Of the three classes into which the vegetable creation

was divided, grass, herbs, and trees (v. 12), the two last were assigned to

man for food. Macdonald thinks that without this express conveyance man

would have been warranted to partake of them for nourishment, warranted

by the necessities of his nature. The same reasoning, however, would have

entitled him to kill the lower animals if he judged them useful for his

support. Murphy with more truth remarks, “Of two things proceeding from

the same creative hand, neither has any original or inherent right to

interfere in any way with the other. The absolute right to each lies in the

Creator alone. The one, it is true, may need the other to support its life, as

fruit is needful to man; and, therefore, the just Creator cannot make one

creature dependent for subsistence on another without granting to it the

use of that other. But this is a matter between Creator and creature, and

not by any means between creature and creature.” The primitive charter of

man’s common property in the earth, and all that it contains, is the present

section of this ancient document. Among other reasons for the formal

conveyance to man of the herbs and trees may be noted a desire to keep

him mindful of his dependent condition. Though lord of the creation, he

was yet to draw the means of his subsistence from the creature which he

ruled. Whether man was a vegetarian prior to the fall is debated. On the

one hand it is contended that the original grant does not formally exclude

the animals, and, in fact, says nothing about man’s relation to the animals;

that we cannot positively affirm that man’s dominion over

the animals did not involve the use of them for food; and that as

men offered sacrifices from their flocks, it .is probable they ate the flesh of

the victims.  On the other hand it is argued that the Divine

language cannot be held as importing more than it really says, and that

ch.9:3 distinctly teaches that man’s right to the animal creation

dates from the time of Noah. Almost all nations have traditions of a golden age

of innocence, when men abstained from killing animals (cf. Ovid, ‘Met.,’ 1:103-106).

Scripture alone anticipates a. time when such shall again be a characteristic of earth’s

inhabitants (Isaiah 11:7; 65:25).


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.” The first of the three classes

of plants, grass, was assigned to the animals for food. From this Delitzsch

infers that prior to the introduction of sin the animals were not predaceous.

The geological evidence of the existence of death in prehistoric times is,

however, too powerful to be resisted; and the Biblical record itself

enumerates among the pre-adamic animals the chayyah of the field, which

clearly belonged to the carnivora. Perhaps the most that can be safely

concluded from the language is “that it indicates merely the general fact

that the support of the whole animal kingdom is based on vegetation”



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.”

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold,

it was very good. Literally, lo! good very! Not simply good, but good

exceedingly. It is not man alone that God surveys, but the completed

cosmos, with man as its crown and glory, decu, set tutamen. “It is not

merely a benediction which He utters, but an expression of admiration, as

we may say without any fear of the anthropomorphism — Euge, bone

proclare!” (T. Lewis). And the evening and the morning were the sixth

day. It seems unnecessary to add that this day corresponds to the

Cainozoic or tertiary era of geology, the Palaeontological remains of which

sufficiently attest the truth of the Divine record in asserting that animals

were anterior to man in their appearance on the earth, and that man is of

comparatively recent origin. The alleged evidence of prehistoric man is too

fragmentary and hypothetical to be accepted as conclusive; and yet, so far

as the cosmogony of the present chapter is concerned, there is nothing to

prevent the belief that man is of a much more remote antiquity than 6000

years. As of the other days, so of this the Chaldean tablets preserve an

interesting monument. The seventh in the creation series, of which a

fragment was discovered in one of the trenches at Konyunjik, runs:


1. When the gods in their assembly had created....

2. Were delightful the strong monsters…

3. They caused to be living creatures...

4. Cattle of the field, beasts of the field, and creeping things of the field ....

5. They fixed for the living creatures…

6. Cattle and creeping thing of the city they fixed....

And the god Nin-si-ku (the lord of noble face) caused to be two… in

which it is not difficult to trace an account of the creation of the animal

kingdom, and of the first pair of human beings.



                                    The Sixth Day (vs. 24-31)


We pass from the sea and air to the earth. We are being led to man. Notice:


  • THE PREPARATION IS COMPLETE. Before the earth receives the

            human being, it brings forth all the other creatures, and God sees that they

            are good — good in His sight, good for man.



            thing, beast of the earth. So man would see them distinguished — the wild

            from the domestic, the creeping from the roaming, the clean from the

            unclean. The division itself suggests THE IMMENSE VARIETY OF THE

            DIVINE PROVISION for man’s wants.


  • The incompleteness of the earth when filled with the lower creatures is


            NATURE; for in comparison with the animal races he is in many respects

            inferior — in strength, swiftness, and generally in the powers which we call

            instinct. Yet his appearance is the climax of the earth’s creation. “Man is

            one world, and hath another to attend him.” Vegetable, marine, animal life

            generally, the whole earth filled with what God “saw to be good,” waits for

            the rational and spiritual creature who shall be able to recognize their order

            and wield dominion over them. Steps and stages in creation lead up to the

            climax, the “paragon of animals,” the god-like creature, made to be king on

            the earth.



                                                Perfection (v. 31)


The first chapter closes with a review of the whole work of the six days.

God saw it. Behold, it was very good!


  • THE SATISFACTION was in the completion of the earthly order in man,

            the highest earthly being. For God’s “good  is not, like man’s good a

            compromise, too often, between the really good and the really evil, but the

            attainment of the highest — the fulfillment of His Divine idea, the top-stone

            placed upon the temple with shoutings: “Grace, grace unto it.” 

            (Zechariah 4:7)


  • “The evening and the morning were the sixth day.” OUT OF THE



            saw that, then He said, It is very good. So let us let our faces towards that light

            (One time I was driving to Lexington and getting on the Bluegrass Parkway,

            I saw, planted in the median, a great number of sunflowers.  Every one of them

            had their head turned toward the sun.  That should be the practice of every

            human being that is made in the image of God!  Each individual looking to Jesus!

            I like to take pictures.  Why I did not stop I have never figured out but

            wished I had many times!  It would make a great pictorial illustration to include

            here!  CY – 2015) of heaven on earth, the day of Divine revelation, Divine

            intercourse with man, the pure and perfect bliss of an everlasting paradise, in

            which God and man shall find unbroken rest and joy in one another.







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(I highly recommend The Genesis Record by Henry Morris – CY – 2015)