Genesis Part 1

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Genesis Part 1

  1. 1. A Study In Genesis 1Genesis – Part 1OverviewNOTE: A large majority of the documentation contained here came from Henry Morrison’s TheGenesis Record, written sometime in the 1970’s. Although he spent a lifetime studying Genesis, inparticular Creation and the Flood, his sources were limited to those available up to that time. Sincethen, scientific advancements have been made which may conflict with some of his observations,others have proven him correct.The remainder of the documentation was gleaned from a variety of different sources and Biblecommentaries, many of which have conflicting opinions regarding Creation, the Flood, the Gaptheory, and others, each point of view substantiating their interpretation with additional Biblescriptures. I have included all of these conflicting different opinions. One can make up one’s ownmind how they interpret the scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.Keep in mind, the Bible was not meant to be a scientific journal on the beginnings of man, but it is aguide as to how man is to interact with God and his purpose and role for being created in the firstplace. So, whatever one’s opinion is on the many various interpretations of scripture, it isimportant not to lose sight of the real theme of Genesis and the Bible as a whole.Genesis is the book of beginnings; it provides a dramatic account of the origins of mankind and hisuniverse, the intrusion of sin into the world, the catastrophic effects of its curse on the race, and thebeginnings of God’s plan to bless the nations through His seed.1The Hebrew title of the book is the initial word berē’šîṯ , translated “in the beginning.” The Englishtitle “Genesis” was derived from the Greek translation of ṯ ôleḏ ôṯ , the key word of the book. InGenesis 2:4a, the Septuagint translation is, “This is the book of the geneseōs of heaven and earth.”2Genesis 1–11 affirms that you and I live in a personal universe. The material and moral world weredesigned by a Person, who made mankind distinct from the rest of Creation. There is no hint here ofthe pagan notion that objects (like the sun or moon) are “gods.” There is no hint of the modernfiction that life was generated spontaneously from nonliving matter, to gradually evolve from single1Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). Vol. 1: The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of thescriptures (15). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.2Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). Vol. 1: The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of thescriptures (15). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. 2. 2 A Study in Genesis cells into the complex forms we know today. Genesis sets forth a personal God as the ultimate reality. He is the root and source of all that exists. Genesis 12–50 emphasizes another message. We live in a purposive universe. These chapters tell the story of God’s call of Abraham, and God’s unveiling in the Abrahamic Covenant of a divine plan and purpose to history. We can outline Genesis by these two themes: I. A Personal Universe (Gen. 1–11) II. A Purposive Universe (Gen. 12–50) Create. The Hebrew word bara˒is used only of God’s activity in initiating a thing or project. The Bible teaches that God initiated (created) the universe, humanity, forgiveness, and new life for sinners.3 Genesis gives the only true and reliable account of the origin of all the basic entities of the universe and of life. 1. Origin of the Universe An account of the ultimate origin of matter, space, and time. 2. Origin of order and complexity Order and complexity never arise spontaneously, they are always generated by a prior cause programmed to produce such order. 3. Origin of the solar system Brought into existence by the Creator; scientist have been unable to satisfactorily come up with an answer. 4. Origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere Our atmosphere is uniquely equipped to support life, this has never developed on any other planet. 5. Origin of life Infinite complexity programmed into the genetic systems of plants and animals are inexplicable except by special creation. NOTE: Read “The Case for Creation” by Lee Strobel for recent scientific proof and support of creation. 6. Origin of man 3 Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987).The teachers commentary (19). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
  3. 3. A Study In Genesis 3 Evolution cannot account for man’s ability to contemplate the abstract entities of beauty and love and worship, as well as the ability to philosophize about our own meaning of existence.7. Origin of marriage Genesis brought into being the institution of marriage, a monogamous, patriarchal social culture.8. Origin of evil The origin of physical and moral evils in the universe is explained in Genesis as a temporary intrusion into God’s perfect world, allowed by Him as a concession to the prinicple of human freedom and responsibility, and also to manifest Himself as Redeemer as well as Creator.9. Origin of language The difference between man’s ability to speak and animals chattering cannot be accounted for by evolution. Genesis accounts for man’s ability of language as well as multiple languages.10. Origin of government Development of organized systems of human government is described in Genesis.11. Origin of culture Describes the beginning of urbanization, metallurgy, music, agriculture, animal husbandry, writing, education, navigation, textiles, and ceramics.12. Origin of nations Describes how nations came to be.13. Origin of religion The origin of man’s pursuit for spirituality14. Origin of the chosen people The enigma of the IsraelitesThe Authorship of Genesis.So, who wrote Genesis? According to the New Testament, it was written under the inspiration ofthe Holy Spirit: II Peter 1:21 II Timothy 3:16Both Scripture and tradition attribute the Pentateuch to Moses. There was no one would have beenbetter qualified to write the book. Since “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians”(Acts 7:22), his literary skills would have enabled him to collect Israel’s traditions and records and
  4. 4. 4 A Study in Genesis to compose the work. His communion with God at Horeb and throughout his life would have given him direction for this task. Genesis provided the theological and historical foundation for the Exodus and the covenant at Sinai. Even Jesus seemed to share this view. Luke 24:27, 44. It is significant that the book of Genesis is quoted from or alluded to at least 200 times in the New Testament. None of these references ever state that Moses is the actual author, however, Moses is mentioned by name at least 85 times in the New Testament, approximately 35 of which refer to specific passages attributed to Moses in the other books of the Pentateuch. Critical scholars, however, deny the Mosaic authorship of both Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch. This is not a recent view; early in the Christian era theologians vacillated between Moses and Ezra as the author of the Pentateuch. But the modern view that the Pentateuch was compiled from various sources seems to be the product of rationalistic skepticism. Benedict Spinoza (a.d. 1632-1677) believed that the Pentateuch was written by Ezra, who utilized a mass of traditions (including some by Moses). There are several more popular criticisms against Moses being the author of the Bible. Some of the main ones include the following: 1. Documentary Hypothesis This hypothesis says the Genesis was written and compiled by different scholars over a long period of time based on myths and legends passed down orally from generation to generation. This is also known as the J.E. D.P. Hypothesis. The letters stand for the supposed writers of the respective portions: J - Jehovist Document 850 B.C. E - Elohist Document 750 B.C. D - Deuteronomist Document 620 B.C. P - Priestly Document 500 B.C. This theory is based on peculiarities of language and style, references to custom and culture, etc. Convinced that man did not evolve to the state of culture described in Genesis until much later than Moses, and that there was no writing at the time. The first attempt at a documentary theory of Pentateuchal origins was made in 1753 by Jean Astruc (1684-1766). He promoted the idea that Genesis was composed from two major and several minor documents. Over the next 124 years scholars debated and developed that idea until finally Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) restated the documentary approach forcefully and meticulously in 1877. Wellhausen divided the Pentateuch into four literary sources, represented by the letters, J, E, D, and P. The “J” material (named because of its preference for the name Yahweh [Jehovah]) was supposedly written in the Southern Kingdom about 850 b.c. It was personal, biographical, and anthropomorphic. It included prophetic-like ethics and theological reflection. “E” (named because of its preference for Elohim [God]) was written in the Northern Kingdom about 750 b.c.
  5. 5. A Study In Genesis 5It was more objective, less concerned with ethical and theological reflection, and given more toconcrete particulars.According to this view as elaborated by subsequent scholars these two documents werecombined around 650 b.c. by an unknown redactor or editor. The result was “JE.”The composition was completed by “D” and “P” material. “D” was composed under Hilkiaharound 621 b.c. as part of Josiah’s reforms. This Deuteronomic school was also responsible forreworking the Books of Joshua through Kings. The “P” source (Ezra and the Holiness Codeknown as H), dated anywhere from 570 to 445 b.c., is said to be concerned with the origins andinstitutions of the theocracy, genealogies, rituals, and sacrifices.What brought about this approach was an analytical study of the text that observed apparentlyirreconcilable difficulties. The critical scholars observed changes in the divine names (Yahwehvs. Elohim). They could not reconcile parallel stories (e.g., the endangering of Sarah told in Gen.12:10-20 and chap. 20). Furthermore, linguistic differences showed up that seemed to coincidewith other peculiarities of different sources (e.g., J might use Sinai, and E Horeb). Finally,diverse theological ideas seemed to harmonize with the various emerging sources.This documentary theory, has deceptively captured the scholarly world for decades. For furtherinformation, see R.K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B.Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1966; Umberto Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis; and H. Wouk,This Is My God. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1959. pp. 312-20. J. Skinner’s book, Genesis(International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1910), is an example of how thistheory wrongly influences the exegesis of Genesis.Criticism of the documentary theory must certainly begin with its antisupernaturalist base.Proponents of the view subjected the Bible to criticism as if it were merely a human book andtherefore unreliable. The approach of the theory was anthropomorphic and evolutionary (i.e.,the monotheism seen in Gen. was of human origin and gradually evolved from primitive states).Hegelian dialecticism was employed to show how teaching evolved till it reached its final formof “truth.”Apart from its fundamental presuppositions that undermine revelation, the approach is fraughtwith problems. One is the lack of unanimity concerning the four sources (J, E, P, D) and whichpassages belong to each of them. Another problem is the subjectivity involved. Too oftencircular reasoning appears. For example, a passage would be assigned to J because it frequentlyused the Hebrew word yālaḏ (“to bear, to generate”); therefore, it was argued, yālaḏ is peculiarto J. Though the approach claimed to be analytical it too often evaded, emended, or deleted atext when it contradicted the system.Archeological discoveries have contributed material that not only calls into question the criteriaof the documentary hypothesis, but also lends coloring to the Pentateuchal literature in its earlysetting. In the land of Canaan, Ugaritic literature (ca. 1400 b.c.) shows widespread use of culticterms (attributed to P), poetic clichés, rare words originally considered late “Aramaisms,” avariety of divine names and compound names, as well as repetition in style. The recent
  6. 6. 6 A Study in Genesis discovery of the Ebla tablets in Syria also provides very early documentation of names, places, and ideas presented in the Pentateuch (cf. Giovanni Pettinato, The Archives of Ebla. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1981). Farther east the Nuzi tablets discovered in 1925 and the Mari tablets brought to light in 1933 record many customs and laws that are comparable to those reflected in the patriarchal narratives in Genesis. Though these and many other contributions from archeology do not “prove” the existence of the patriarchs or the early date of the narratives, they do fit rather well with the Pentateuchal material and the manner in which the narratives are presented in Genesis. With the ever- increasing archeological finds there is less and less reason for a later date for the material. 2. Form Criticism Form criticism, pioneered in Old Testament studies by Hermann Gunkel, recognized the antiquity of the traditions (e.g., that Genesis 1-11 must be compared with the Sumerian- Akkadian literature of the third and second millennia b.c. and that the patriarchs would be strangely out of place against an Assyrian background of the first half of the first millennium). Form criticism sought to determine the genre, structure, setting, and intention of each literary unit behind the extant material in order to reconstruct the original unit and to relate the texts to the people in ancient Israel. This method isolates the literary units, often following the arrangement of the JEDP sources. It then identifies the form (or genre) of the unit (e.g., blessings, oaths, hymns, legends, etc.) and compares common motifs, common vocabulary, and common structure. It then seeks to state the setting for the unit in the life of ancient Israel in order to determine its original intent. In order to do this the form critic must often seek to determine how the unit was transmitted. Gunkel listed six kinds of narratives in Genesis which reflected an early poetic, oral stage of the material (Hermann Gunkel, Genesis. Göettingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1922). They are: (a) etiological (e.g., a narrative explains why man is sinful), (b) ethnological (e.g., a narrative explains why Canaan was enslaved), (c) etymological (e.g., a narrative explains a well-known name such as Babel), (d) ceremonial (e.g., a narrative explains the Sabbath), (e) geological (e.g., a narrative explains salt near Sodom), and (f) a group of unclassified types. Form criticism has produced much that is valuable in Old Testament studies. In general, it takes a more cautious view of the text, often being concerned with the final, fixed form of the text as a part of the study. Its emphasis on literary types and ancient oral tradition point out Israel’s ancient literary development. However, form-critical scholarship is often plagued with the same weaknesses as the documentary approach. The presupposition that the literature developed naturally rather than supernaturally leads to false conclusions: that Israel’s monotheism developed out of polytheism, that miracles were later explanations of early events, and that the records may not tell the real history.
  7. 7. A Study In Genesis 7 The idea that sagas existed as distinct oral literary units before they were collected may be correct in some cases, but it would be difficult to prove. The idea that these oral traditions were edited and embellished as they reached their final form is problematic. Too often the critical interpretation considers this embellishing to be an extensive reshaping and reinterpreting of the tradition. Consequently much of form-critical exegesis is concerned with reconstructing the original tradition—a procedure that is often quite subjective and probably impossible. However, the emphasis in form criticism on the literary units, the types of literature, the structure, and the setting in the life of ancient Israel are important for exegesis. Exegesis is concerned with the final form of the biblical text, not with possibly preliterary stages of the traditions. (For further information, see Gene Tucker, Form Criticism of the Old Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.)3. Traditio-historical Criticism Out of form criticism a number of emphases in the study of the Pentateuch developed. Most notable has been traditio-historical criticism. Several scholars criticized the old literary analytical approach (JEDP) from various perspectives. They believed that a complete analytical approach was needed—one that took into account oral tradition, comparative mythology, and Hebrew psychology—for the purposes of discovering the formation and transmission of Israelite tradition in its preliminary stage. Though the subjectivity prompted by such an approach has led to a great diversity among the critics, the essential elements in the theory are as follows: The story was transmitted from memory at the preliterary stage; it was accompanied by an interpretation; it was reformulated in accordance with various forces (perhaps, e.g., a Canaanite etiology, or a redemptive motif in the period of the monarchy). The cycles of stories were next redacted into a literary unit by a creative editor. The collections of stories then became normative for faith in the postexilic period. The two long-developing, contemporaneous tradition collections that traditio-historical criticism posits are the P and the D collections. The former is largely Genesis through Numbers; it centers on the Passover in which the Feast is historicized. The D work is Deuteronomy through 2 Kings. So even though literary sources of the old documentary approach are rejected, a similar source analysis is maintained. Too often the history of the tradition is considered more important than the tradition itself. Traditio-historical criticism places too much emphasis on oral tradition. No doubt there was oral tradition, but it was usually accompanied by written documents (Kenneth A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, p. 136). Archeological evidence relevant to Palestine (E. Nielsen, e.g., draws also on Hindu and Old Icelandic materials [Oral Tradition. London: SCM Press, 1954]) emphasizes the great care taken in copying documents in the ancient world (see W.F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1957). The emphasis on comparative mythology presupposes that Israel’s religion was comparable to the pagan religions. Similarities exist, but essentially Yahwism (Israel’s worship of the true God,
  8. 8. 8 A Study in Genesis Yahweh) is distinct. Following this approach, one is left without an explanation of the origin of the Hebrew faith. Finally, concentration on the supposed reformation of traditions lacks scientific control, a fact evidenced by the lack of agreement over the reconstructions. Reconstructions indeed are often the products of critics’ predispositions. 4. Modified Structuralism or Rhetorical Criticism. Though many contributions to the study of the Old Testament have been made by these approaches, they all fail to place a proper emphasis on the final form of the text, the canonical shape of the biblical material. If one could trace these levels of development with certainty— which he cannot—and if one used sources to explain difficulties, he would still be left with the question as to why the material was recorded in the form in which it now exists. Consequently more emphasis is now being placed on the present shape of the text. Repetition, diversity of style, variation of vocabulary, and the like, are often considered proof of the unity of the text by scholars following a modified structuralism or rhetorical criticism. The traditional view that Genesis (and the Pentateuch) possesses unity and is the work of Moses has not been destroyed. On the contrary, the evidence points more and more to the antiquity and unity of the work. This is not to say that the present form of the book has not been edited by subsequent writers whose work was guided by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration; it does affirm that widespread reshaping of the accounts is unfounded and unnecessary. Any reshaping of the traditions of Genesis would have been done by Moses under divine inspiration, with the result that the book reports actual events and gives correct theological interpretations of them.4 But in spite of these criticisms, most Biblical scholars believe that Moses compiled and edited earlier written records handed down through Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah and others. Guided by the Holy Spirit, he put these together, added commentary guided by the Holy Spirit and current events of his time, into what Genesis is now. 4 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). Vol. 1: The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (15–18). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  9. 9. A Study In Genesis 9A scroll of the Pentateuch, or Torah (Genesis–Deuteronomy), being held in its wooden case at a celebration in Jerusalem. 5Principlesof InterpretationIs Genesis myth? Many writers describe the contents of Genesis as myth or attribute its origin to myth. Mythologicalliterature seeks to explain the origins of things in symbolic forms. Myth records so-called “sacredhistory” rather than actual history; it reports how reality came into existence through the deeds ofgods and supernatural creatures. It purports to establish reality, the nature of the universe, thefunction of the state, and the values of life (cf. J.W. Rogerson, Myth in Old Testament Interpretation.New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1974).5 Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. (1992).Holman Bible Handbook (119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  10. 10. 10 A Study in Genesis Pagan literature that records supernatural activities such as Creation, the Flood, and other divine interventions in man’s world are often compared with Genesis. Some scholars envision a wholesale borrowing of such mythologies by Israel, with a subsequent demythologizing (removal of pagan elements) to make them satisfactory for Yahwism. But when Semitic mythology is correctly understood, it is clear that this was not possible. Myths were not merely symbolic language or reflections of primitive mentality. They were ancient man’s expression of his view of reality. At the center of a myth is its doctrine of correspondence (e.g., the god dies; therefore vegetation dies). Consequently ritual based on sympathetic magic was enacted to ensure the vital forces of life and fertility. The Old Testament makes a radical break with this philosophy of the ancient world. One does not do justice to the Old Testament by saying that Israel borrowed myth, or used mythological language to describe its faith. To the Hebrew, an absolutely sovereign God brought them into existence as a nation. Their concept of time was not cyclical but eschatological; their ritual at the temple was not cosmic and magical but an enactment of their redemption; and their concept of space was not limited to the primeval world but was actualized in history. In a word, reality to Israel was within her concept of history (Brevard S. Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament. Naperville, Ill.: Alec R. Allenson, 1960, p. 13). Therefore Genesis is not myth. The Hebrew faith was a radical departure from the characteristic mythical thought of the pagans. James Barr says, “The main battle of the Hebrew faith is fought against the confusion of human and divine, of God and nature” so prevalent in pagan myth (“The Meaning of ­Mythology‘ in Relation to the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 9. 1959:3). If the Old Testament preserves any vestiges of myth, it is to show that such were done away with in Yahwism. Gerhard Hasel says that Genesis employs certain terms and motifs, partly taken from theologically incompatible predecessors and partly chosen in deliberate contrast with comparable ancient Near Eastern concepts, and uses them with a meaning that is consonant with and expressive of faith in Yahweh. It represents a parting of the spiritual ways brought about by a deliberate antimythical polemic which undermined the prevailing mythological views (“The Polemic Nature of the Genesis Cosmology,” Evangelical Quarterly 46. 1974: 81-102). Thus the Old Testament in general and Genesis in particular are a cemetery for lifeless myths and gods. Is Genesis etiology? The narratives of Genesis have also been classified as etiologies, stories that explain some given phenomenon, a topographical, ethnological, cultic, or customary reality (see S. Mowinckel, Tetrateuch-Pentateuch-Hexateuch. Berlin: Verlag Alfred Töppelmann, 1964, p. 81; and Brevard S. Childs, “The Etiological Tale Re-examined,” Vetus Testamentum 24. 1974:387-97). If the etiological narrative is the tradition and not simply a motif, that is, if it is a primary etiology, then doubt is cast over the historicity of the event. John Bright correctly observes that it is impossible to prove that an etiology is the creative force of the tradition (Early Israel in Recent History Writing. London: SCM Press, 1956, p. 90). The narratives no doubt record actual events. If there is an etiological element added in the use made of the tradition, it is usually responsible for a
  11. 11. A Study In Genesis 11single detail or application of the story. To say a story explains why something exists is one thing;but to say a story employs some mythical episode to form the tradition is quite another.Etiological motifs do occur in general in the Bible, especially in Genesis which explains thebeginnings of many things. But these narratives cannot be referred to as etiological tales that cameinto being to answer certain questions.Is Genesis history?All this raises the question of the historicity of the accounts. Scholars have been unwilling to use theterm “history” unless it is adequately qualified as distinct from modern philosophies of history.Norman Porteous explains, “The fact that Israel’s religious traditions made frequent reference tosupernatural interventions is usually enough to make the historian look askance at them andassume that the actual course of events must have been very different” (“The Old Testament andHistory,” Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute 8. 1972:22).For many, the evidence of events from Genesis is not reliable as history. Without outside sources toverify the events, historians must depend on the biblical records themselves. Even the manyfindings of archeology, though confirming the cultural setting of the events, do not actually provethe existence of an Abraham or a Joseph. So critical scholars hesitate to designate Genesis as factualhistory.However, one must remember that the Bible is a unique Book. Genesis was not intended to be amere chronicle of events, a history for history’s sake, or even a complete biography of the nation. Itis a theological interpretation of selected records of the ancestors of Israel. As with all histories,Genesis explains the causes behind the events—but its causes are divine as well as human. Becauseit is part of the revealed Word of God, and not merely human history comparable to ancient paganmythologies, both the events and the explanations are true.For the Israelites some of the basic questions about life were answered within this theologicalinterpretation of the events of their history. These events were recognized as integral parts of theGod-planned and God-directed course of history, extending from Creation to the last days. Inbetween this starting point and finishing point is biblical history. Thus faith was an essential part ofunderstanding national and international events.At the heart of this biblical history was God’s covenant. It began with election—God chose Israelthrough Abram. God’s people could look back and see what God had done, and on the basis of thatthey could look forward to the fulfillment of the promises. Even though promise and fulfillmentwere predominant motifs of the biblical history, obedience to the covenant was uppermost in theminds of the narrators. So the events of the past were recounted for apologetic, polemic, anddidactic reasons.The fact that Genesis is a theological interpretation of ancient events does not destroy itshistoricity. As Porteous says, “It would seem reasonable to suppose that interpretation is aresponse to something that demands interpretation” (“The Old Testament and History,” p. 107).E.A. Speiser says that while the material may not be history in the conventional sense of the term,
  12. 12. 12 A Study in Genesis “it cannot be set down as fancy. The author retells the events in his own inimitable way; he does not invent them. What is thus committed to writing is tradition, in the reverent care of literary genius. Where the tradition can be independently checked, it proves to be authentic. This much has been evident for some time in respect to a number of incidental details. It now turns out that the main framework of the patriarchal account has been accurately presented” (“The Biblical Idea of History in the Common Near Eastern Setting,” Israel Exploration Journal 7. 1957:202). For evangelicals, of course, it comes as no surprise that the biblical narratives prove to be authentic. Is Genesis tradition? Many biblical scholars prefer to describe the Genesis narratives as “traditions” or “sagas” (which should have been used instead of “legends” in translating Gunkel’s book The Legends of Genesis). By these terms they mean the people’s recollections of historical events. In this view historicity is not endangered; it is just not assured. Gerhard von Rad says that saga is more than history because God, not man, is the subject (Genesis. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961, p. 31). Conservative scholars do not share this hesitancy to regard the narratives as true. Certainly the primeval accounts and genealogies could have been brought from Mesopotamia by the ancestors. To these would have been added the family records of the patriarchs. All the traditions—oral and written—could have been preserved in Egypt by Joseph along with his own records. Moses could then have compiled the work in essentially the form in which it exists today, being preserved from error and guided in truth by the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Kenneth A. Kitchen, “The Old Testament in Its Context: 1,” Theological Students Fellowship Bulletin 59. 1971:1-9). So whether the narratives are called traditions or history, they record God’s true revelation and therefore correspond with what actually happened. Genesis is the first book of the Torah, the five Books of the Law. It may be best to classify the work as “Torah literature.” It may not be legal literature specifically, that is, laws and commandments, but it lays the foundation for the Law. It is a theological interpretation of the historical traditions behind the formation of the covenant with Israel at Sinai. Throughout Genesis one may discern that Moses was preparing his readers for the revelation of the Law. It is in this that Genesis conveys its didactic nature. But the material in Genesis is closely related to wisdom literature as well, especially in the Joseph narratives. The emphasis in the book on God’s blessing for those who walk in faithful obedience suggests many parallels with the Books of Wisdom, as will be observed. Genesis, then, is a unique book but it is also a book that is like the rest of the Bible in many ways. It is here that theology and history begin.6 One must realize that Moses did not write Genesis with the intention of giving a scientific account. In II Timothy 3:16-17, Paul tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, 6 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). Vol. 1: The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (18–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  13. 13. A Study In Genesis 13and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...”It was not written to teach us geology or biology, it is written to show man’s relationship toGod and God’s requirements for man and what man must do to be saved.
  14. 14. 14 A Study in Genesis Outline of Genesis OUTLINE I. The Primeval Events (1:1-11:26) A. The Creation (1:1-2:3) B. The succession from the creation of the heavens and earth (2:4-4:26) 1. The creation of the man and the woman (2:4-25) 2. The temptation and the Fall (chap. 3) 3. The advance of sin in Cain’s murder of Abel (4:1-16) 4. The spread of godless civilization (4:17-26) C. The succession from Adam (5:1-6:8) 1. The genealogy from Adam to Noah (chap. 5) 2. The corruption of the race (6:1-8) D. The succession from Noah (6:9-9:29) 1. The judgment by the Flood (6:9-8:22) 2. The covenant with Noah (9:1-17) 3. The curse of Canaan (9:18-29) E. The succession from the sons of Noah (10:1-11:9) 1. The table of nations (chap. 10) 2. The dispersion at Babel (11:1-9) F. The succession from Shem (11:10-26) II. The Patriarchal Narratives (11:27-50:26) A. The succession from Terah (11:27-25:11) 1. The making of the covenant with Abram (11:27-15:21) 2. The provision of the promised seed for Abraham whose faith was developed by testing (16:1- 22:19) 3. The transition of the promises to Isaac by faithful Abraham (22:20-25:11) B. The succession from Ishmael (25:12-18) C. The succession from Isaac (25:19-35:29) 1. The transfer of the promised blessing to Jacob instead of to Esau (25:19-28:22) 2. The blessing of Jacob in his sojourn (chaps. 29-32) 3. The return of Jacob and the danger of corruption in the land (chaps. 33-35) D. The succession from Esau (36:1-8) E. The succession from Esau, father of the Edomites (36:9-37:1) F. The succession from Jacob (37:2-50:26) 1. The selling of Joseph into Egypt (37:2-36) 2. The corruption of Judah’s family and confirmation of God’s choice (chap. 38) 3. The rise of Joseph to power in Egypt (chaps. 39-41) 4. The move to Egypt (42:1-47:27) 5. The provision for the continuation of the promised blessing (47:28-50:26)7 7 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). Vol. 1: The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (27). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  15. 15. A Study In Genesis 15Map of the area where the events in Genesis took place.
  16. 16. 16 A Study in Genesis Genesis 1 – In The Beginning… Genesis 1:1-2 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 8 The first verse of the Bible is the foundational verse. The first 11 chapters deal with the whole world and all of its nations, the rest of Genesis deals with the beginnings of the nation Israel. The book of Genesis makes no attempt to prove that God exists. It simply takes for granted that He does as though it was so obvious that only a fool could say, “There is no God”. 1:1 “In the beginning”Bereshith is the Hebrew title of the book. We get Genesis from the Septuagint translation. This is the beginning of history but not of God’s activity (cf. Matt. 25:34; John 17:5, 25; Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:2; II Tim. 1:9; I Pet. 1:19–20; Rev. 13:8). R. K. Harrison says it should be translated “by way of beginning” (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 542 footnote 3).“In the beginning” – speaks of the creation of space and matter, and also notes the beginning of time. The universe is a continuum of space, matter, and time – all three must exist for the other 2 to exist. Verse 1 contains the first occurrence of the name God – ĕlôhîym. Here it is the Hebrew word Elohim, which stresses His majesty and omnipotence. This is the name used throughout the first chapter of Genesis. “im” is plural meaning gods, however, in this case it is used in the singular. It is a plural name with a singular meaning – the Trinity When referring to the God of Israel the verb is usually (6 exceptions) SINGULAR. Iit speaks of God as creator, provider and sustainer of all life on planet earth (cf. Ps. 19:1–6; 104). Notice how often this word is used in chapter 1.9 “Created” or bara˒ /baw·raw/ in Hebrew, used only in reference to God, means to call into existence that which had no existence. It is used only for God’s creative activity. God willed into being everything but Himself. Psalm 33:6, 9; Heb. 11:3 and II Pet. 3:5 reflect creation (cosmology) 8 The Holy Bible : English standard version.2001 (Ge 1:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 9 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (20–21). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.
  17. 17. A Study In Genesis 17by God’s spoken word (fiat) from nothing (ex nihilo). Greek (gnostic) and Mesopotamianphilosophies emphasize an eternal dualism between “spirit” and “matter.”10Although it is impossible for us to comprehend fully this concept of an eternal, transcendent God,the only alternative is the concept of an eternal, self-existing universe, and this concept is alsoincomprehensible. Eternal God or Eternal matter – that is the choice. The latter is an impossibilityif the present scientific law of cause and effect is valid since random particles of matter could not,by themselves, generate a complex, orderly, intelligle universe, not to mention living personscapable of applying intelligence to the understanding of the complex order of the universe. Apersonal God is the only adqueate cause to produce such effects.“theHeavens”, the Hebrew word shamayin [shamayim, shameh /shaw·mah·yim/], refers to thecomponent of space in the basic space-mass-time-universe.It may be used in several senses: (1) itrefers to the atmosphere of the earth as in vv. 8 and 20; (2) it may refer to the entire cosmos (i.e. allmaterial existence); or (3) it may refer to the creation of all things visible (material) and invisible(angels, heaven as God’s throne). If option three is true then a parallel would be Col. 1:16. If not,then Genesis 1 focuses only on the creation of earth. The Bible emphasizes a geocentric perspective(i.e. creation seen as a spectator on this planet would have observed it). Some would assert thatGen. 1 is addressing the creation of the universe (i.e. sun, moon, stars, and galaxies, while Gen. 2–3focuses on this planet and the creation of mankind. This is surely possible because chapters 2–4form a literary unit. In both (i.e. Gen. 1 and 2–4) creation is geocentristic (i.e. earth focused).“Earth”, component of matter in the universe. Since planets, stars, and other material bodies werenot created until the 4th day, it is believed that this verse speaks essentially of the creation of thebasic elements of matter, which were then to be structured into earth and other material bodies.Genesis 1 is geocentric (cf. v. 15). This fits the theological purpose of the chapter, not science.Remember that the Bible is written in the language of description for theological purposes. It is notanti-scientific, but pre-scientific. “darkness” This does not represent evil, but chaos. God names the darkness in v. 5 as He does thelight. These two terms, though often used to denote spiritual realities, are representing physicalrealities here.11“the deep” The Hebrew term is Tehom. A similar, but different, Hebrew root is personified asTiamat in the Sumerian and Babylonian creation myths as the monster of chaos and the mother ofthe gods, wife of Apsu. She tried to kill all lesser gods that came forth from her. Marduk killed her.Out of her body Marduk fashioned heaven and earth in the Babylonian Genesis called Enuma Elish.The Hebrews believed that water was the beginning element of creation (cf. Ps. 24:1; 104:6; II Pet.10 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (21). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.11 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (22). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.
  18. 18. 18 A Study in Genesis 3:5). It is never said to have been created. However, the Hebrew term is masculine, not feminine and it is unrelated etymologically to Tiamat. There are passages in the NT which describe YHWH in conflict with personified watery chaos (cf. Ps. 74:13–14; 89:9–10; 104:6–7; Isa. 51:9–10). However, these are always in poetical, metaphorical passages. Water is a crucial aspect of creation (cf. 1:2b, 6–7).12 Genesis 1:1 can be paraphrased as follows: The transcendent, omnipotent Godhead called into existence the space-mass-time universe. The Date of Creation 1:1-2.These verses have traditionally been understood as referring to the actual beginning of matter, a Creation out of nothing and therefore part of day one. But the vocabulary and grammar of this section require a closer look. The motifs and the structure of the Creation account are introduced in the first two verses. That the universe is God’s creative work is perfectly expressed by the statement God created the heavens and the earth. The word bārā’ (“created”) may express creation out of nothing, but it certainly cannot be limited to that (cf. 2:7). Rather, it stresses that what was formed was new and perfect. The word is used throughout the Bible only with God as its subject. But 1:2 describes a chaos: there was waste and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. The clauses in verse 2 are apparently circumstantial to verse 3, telling the world’s condition when God began to renovate it. It was a chaos of waste, emptiness, and darkness. Such conditions would not result from God’s creative work (bārā’); rather, in the Bible they are symptomatic of sin and are coordinate with judgment. Moreover, God’s Creation by decree begins in verse 3, and the elements found in verse 2 are corrected in Creation, beginning with light to dispel the darkness. The expression formless and empty (ṯ ōhû wāḇ ōhû) seems also to provide an outline for chapter 1, which describes God’s bringing shape and then fullness to the formless and empty earth. Some have seen a middle stage of Creation here, that is, an unfinished work of Creation (v. 2) that was later developed (vv. 3-25) into the present form. But this cannot be sustained by the syntax or the vocabulary. Others have seen a “gap” between the first two verses (see additional notes on Gap theory), allowing for the fall of Satan and entrance of sin into the world that caused the chaos. It is more likely that verse 1 refers to a relative beginning rather than the absolute beginning (Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament. 2 vols. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981, 1:5). The chapter would then be accounting for the Creation of the universe as man knows it, not 12 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (22). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.
  19. 19. A Study In Genesis 19thebeginning of everything, and verses 1-2 would provide the introduction to it. The fall of Satanand entrance of sin into God’s original Creation would precede this.It was by the Spirit that the Lord God sovereignly created everything that exists (v. 2b). In thedarkness of the chaos the Spirit of God moved to prepare for the effectual creative word of God.13So what would be the exact date of creation? Based on technology and written records, it is notpossible to come up with an exact date, although many have tried.There are some serious hindrances which prevent the pinpointing of an exact date: Uncertainty of accurate copying and transmission of the numbers originally recorded: the Masoretic, Septuagint, and Samarian texts all disagree. Uncertainty of whether the ancient calendar year was the same length as it is now. Possibility of missing generations. Lists of durations of the administrations of various judges and kings don’t always agree. Secular chronologies of Egypt and Babylonia. Radio carbon and other methods of dating are inconsistent.Based on Biblical framework, the best-known chronological system is that of Archbishop JamesUssher (1581 – 1650) who computed the date of creation as 4004 BC. This was before anyscientific advancements were made and was based on all available records from various cultures.The oldest known written list of Egyptian Kings goes back a little over 3000 BC.Evolution and the BibleHaving made mention of the truthfulness of this account, let us say a brief word about evolution.Note that the evolutionary hypothesis is simply that—a hypothesis, not scientific fact. Because of thetime that has elapsed between the beginning of time and today, no hypothesis of the origins of theworld can ever be properly tested, much less proven. So, though many around us are enamored ofthe evolutionary hypothesis, let us not get carried away by accusations claiming the Biblecontradicts proven science. For not only can the evolutionary hypothesis not be scientifically testedor proven, it also cannot, by any reasonable means, be partnered with the biblical creation account.Notice three reasons why:• First, we are given no reason to believe that the six days of creation were not six literal days. Yes, “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8). But Genesis 1 says again and again that on each day “there was evening and there was morning.” That doesn’t describe a millennium, but the normal sequence of one twenty-four-hour day!13 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge1:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  20. 20. 20 A Study in Genesis • Second, notice that the Bible makes it clear that the plants (1:11–12), the sea creatures (1:21), the birds (1:21), the mammals (1:24), and the reptiles (1:24) were all created “after their kind.” So what we are being told is this: God did not create an amoeba that turned into a fish. Nor did he create a monkey that evolved into a modern man. Each creature was created as a distinct “kind”! • Third, notice that man was created in the image of God. Anyone, then, who says that we came from the apes must also be prepared to say that God, in whose image we are made, must be like an ape—or, at least, that God must have been ape-like when he created Adam (maybe he’s evolving too?)! Do you see? Evolution is, at best, silliness; and, at worst, blasphemy! From the very beginning we see the first man, Adam, with God-like characteristics such as speech, reason, creativity, and moral consciousness. Man was made, from the beginning, in the image of God!14 The Gap Theory There is great debate about the Gap theory. It basically states that between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, there was a large gap in time. There was a great cataclysm which left the earth in darkness and covered with water. It is thought that it was caused by a judgments against Satan in rebelling against God. Those who don’t agree with this theory believe it undermines the creation by God and supports evolutionism. For more information on the Gap theory, see article insert below. There are also a lot of additional information on this and other theories on the internet. There are verses inthe Bible that seem to support both views. Either way, God did not include this in the Bible because that is not the purpose of the Bible: it is not a lesson in geology or biology, but rather to show man’s relationship to God and reveals the plan of salvation for us. In Genesis 1:2, the physical universe had come into existence, but everything was still and dark – no form, no motion, no light. “The face of the waters” (or the face of the deep). “Face” means presence. The formless waters, like the formless earth were essentially a presence rather than a cohesive body. The universe had not yet been imbued with energy and set in motion. It was awaiting the energizing action of the Spirit of God and the activating power of the Word of God. “The Spirit of God moved”. Moved in Hebrew is recap, this roughly translates to vibrate or shake. The Holy Spirit provided the energy to activate heat waves, light waves, sound waves, gravitational pull, etc. 14 Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (21–23). Leominster: Day One Publications.
  21. 21. A Study In Genesis 21As God’s spirit began to flow outward and to permeate the cosmos, gravitational forces wereactivated and water and earth particles come together to form a great sphere moving throughspace. Other particles would soon be brought together to form the sun, moon, and stars. There wasnow a “compass” on the face of the deep, and the formless earth was now ready for light, heat, andother forms of enlivening energy.
  22. 22. 22 A Study in Genesis The Gap Theory http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/442 - it was originally published in Reason & Revelation, 14[7]:49-56 AP Content :: Reason & Revelation Popular Compromises of Creation—The Gap Theory by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. It is rare in the creation/evolution controversy to find issues on which both creationists and evolutionists agree. Generally speaking, the two world views are light-years apart. But there is one thing on which both sides agree: evolution is impossible if the Earth/Universe-system is young— with an age measured in thousands, not billions, of years. R.L. Wysong has commented: Both evolutionists and creationists believe evolution is impossibility if the universe is only a few thousand years old. There probably is no statement that could be made on the topic of origins which would meet with so much agreement from both sides. Setting aside the question of whether vast time is competent to propel evolution, we must query if vast time is indeed available (1976, p. 144). It is interesting to observe how something on which both sides agree has caused so much disagreement. Aside from the basic issue of whether creation or evolution is correct, the most serious area of conflict between the biblical and the evolutionary scenarios is the chronological framework of history—in other words, the age of the Earth. This matter is of importance not only to evolutionists, but to theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, and other “old-Earth creationists.” While a young Earth presents no problem whatsoever for a creationist, it is the death knell to each and every variety of the evolutionary scenario. A simple, straightforward reading of the biblical record indicates that the Cosmos was created in six days only a few thousand years ago. Opposed to that view is the idea of evolutionists that the Universe is 15-20 billion years old, and that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Further complicating matters is the fact that the biblical record indicates living things were placed on the newly created Earth even before the end of the six-day creative process (e.g., plant life came on day three). The evolutionary scenario, however, postulates that primitive life evolved from nonliving chemicals roughly 3.5-4.0 billion years ago, and that all other life forms developed during the so-called geologic ages, with man arriving on the scene in one form or another 1-2 million years ago. Even to a casual observer, it is apparent that this is no small problem. Much of the controversy today centers on the age of the Earth. The magnitude of the controversy is multiplied by two factors. First, theistic evolution and progressive creation are impossible if the Earth is young. Thus, if the proponents of these views wish to retain their belief systems, it is imperative that they find a way to place the time for an ancient Earth in the biblical record. Second, there is no middle ground
  23. 23. A Study In Genesis 23that will permit the old-Earth/young-Earth scenarios to coexist; the gulf separating the biblical andevolutionary views on the topic of the age of the Earth is just too large. As Henry Morris hasobserved:Thus the Biblical chronology is about a million times shorter than the evolutionary chronology. Amillion-fold mistake is no small matter, and Biblical scholars surely need to give primary attentionto resolving this tremendous discrepancy right at the very foundation of our entire Biblicalcosmology. This is not a peripheral issue that can be dismissed with some exegetical twist, but iscentral to the very integrity of scriptural theology (1984, p. 115).If the Earth is ancient, where in the Bible can the time be inserted to ensure that antiquity? The timeneeded to guarantee an old Earth might be placed: (a) before the creation week; (b) during thecreation week; or (c) after the creation week.The attempt to insert geological time into the biblical text during the creation week is known as theDay-Age Theory—a concept that has fallen on hard times in recent years because it is completelywithout lexical or exegetical support from the biblical record (see Thompson, 1982, 1994). As aresult, it has been rejected by numerous old-Earth creationists, theistic evolutionists, andprogressive creationists.Rarely do those desiring to insert geologic time into the biblical record attempt to place the timeafter the creation week, for two reasons. First, placing time after the creation has occurred does nothelp the case of the theistic evolutionist or progressive creationist. Time “after the fact” is a mootissue. Second, the biblical genealogies (e.g., Genesis 5, Genesis 11, Luke 3, etc.) have the text so wellprotected that it is manifestly impossible to insert the billions of years of time needed to allow foran ancient Earth (see Thompson, 1989).Thus, the Bible believer intent on accommodating his theology to the uniformitarian dogma of anancient Earth must find another way to force vast time spans into Genesis 1. The only optionremaining is to insert the time before the creation week—a concept known as the Gap Theory.THE GAP THEORYPopularity of the Gap Theory (also referred to by such synonyms as the Ruin-and-ReconstructionTheory, the Pre-Adamic Cataclysm Theory, and the Restitution Theory) is generally attributed tothe writings of Thomas Chalmers, a nineteenth century Scottish theologian. In recent years, the GapTheory has undergone an “evolution” of its own, and for that reason is not easily defined. There areseveral variations, and its defenders do not agree among themselves on strict interpretations.However, a brief summation of its main tenets might be as follows.The widely held view among gap theorists today is that the original creation of the world by God, asrecorded in Genesis 1:1, took place billions of years ago. The creation was despoiled because ofSatan’s rebellion against God, resulting in his being cast from heaven with his followers. Acataclysm occurred at the time of Satan’s overthrow, and is said to have left the Earth in darkness
  24. 24. 24 A Study in Genesis (the “waste and void” of Genesis 1:2). [NOTE: It is alleged by some Gap theorists that the cataclysm occurring at Satan’s overthrow terminated the geologic ages, after which God “re-created.” It is alleged by others that the cataclysm occurred first, and then was followed by the geologic ages, after which God “re-created.”] The world as God had created it, with all its inhabitants, was destroyed, which, it is claimed, accounts for the myriad fossils present in the Earth. Many holding to this theory place the fossils of dinosaurs, so-called “ape-men,” and other extinct forms of life in this gap. Then, God “re-created” the Earth in six literal days. By way of summary, then, the “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 contains the story of an original creation, a judgment, and ruination, while the verses in Genesis 1:3 through the remainder of the chapter record the story of the Earth’s re-creation. Is the Gap Theory Popular? The Gap Theory has had, and continues to have, numerous supporters. George H. Pember, in Earth’s Earliest Ages (1876), advocated the Gap Theory. Harry Rimmer, in Modern Science and the Genesis Record (1937), helped popularize the theory. The renowned Canadian anthropologist, Arthur C. Custance, produced Without Form and Void (1970), which many consider the ablest defense of the Gap Theory ever put into print. George DeHoff advocated the theory in Why We Believe the Bible (1944). J.D. Thomas, former chairman of the Bible Department at Abilene Christian University, has stated that “no man can prove that it is not true, at least in part” (1961, p. 54). The popular Scofield Reference Bible was first published in 1909; by 1917, it contained a reference to the Gap Theory in the footnotes accompanying Genesis 1. In more recent editions, references to the theory may be found as a footnote to Isaiah 45. John Clayton has accepted major portions of the Gap Theory, but has added to and deleted from the theory to produce what has come to be known as the Modified Gap Theory (see Clayton, 1976, pp. 147-148; Thompson, 1977, pp. 192-194; McIver, 1988, 8[3]:1- 23; Jackson and Thompson, 1992, pp. 114-130). Arguments Presented in Support of the Gap Theory Advocates of the Gap Theory base their beliefs on several arguments, a summary of which is given here; comments and refutation follow. Gap theorists suggest that the word bara (used in Genesis 1:1, 21, 27) must mean “to create” (i.e.: ex nihilo creation), while the word asah cannot mean “to create,” but rather means “to make.” Therefore, the original creation was “created”; the creation of the six days was “made” (i.e., “made over”). Gap theorists suggest that the Hebrew verb hayetha (translated “was” in Genesis 1:2) should be rendered “became” or “had become”—a translation required in order to suggest a change of state from the original perfect creation to the chaotic conditions implied in verse 2.
  25. 25. A Study In Genesis 25Gap theorists believe that the “without form and void” of Genesis 1:2 (tohu wabohu) can refer onlyto something once in a state of repair, but now ruined. Pember accepted these words as expressing“an outpouring of the wrath of God.” Gap theorists believe that the cataclysm that occurred was onthe Earth, and was the direct result of Satan’s rebellion against God. The cataclysm, of course, isabsolutely essential to the Gap Theory. Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-17 are used as proof-texts to bolster the theory.Gap theorists believe that Isaiah 45:18 (“God created the earth not in vain”—tohu; same wordtranslated “without form” in Genesis 1:2) indicates that the Earth was not tohu at the initialcreation. Therefore, they suggest, Genesis 1:2 can refer only to a judgment brought upon the Earthby God.Gap theorists generally believe that there was a pre-Adamic creation of both non-human andhuman forms—a position adopted to account for the fossils present in the geologic strata.The Gap Theory—A RefutationI would like to suggest the following reasons why the Gap Theory should be rejected.1. The Gap Theory is false because of the mental gymnastics necessary to force its strainedargumentation to agree with the actual biblical text.Bernard Ramm, a progressive creationist, has admitted as much:It gives one of the grandest passages in the Bible a most peculiar interpretation. From the earliestBible interpretation this passage has been interpreted by Jews, Catholics, and Protestants as theoriginal creation of the universe. In six majestic days the universe and all of life is brought intobeing. But according to Rimmer’s view the great first chapter of Genesis, save for the first verse, isnot about original creation at all, but about reconstruction. The primary origin of the universe isstated in but one verse. This is not the most telling blow against the theory but it certainly indicatesthat something has been lost to make the six days of creation anti-climactic. So entrenched has thistheory become in hyper-orthodox circles that they feel as if the foundations are removed if thistheory is criticized, whereas the majority of commentators feel that the entire theory has apeculiarity to it in that it makes the great creation chapter the second time round! (1954, p. 138,emp. in orig.).2. The Gap Theory is false because it is based on an incorrect distinction between God’screating (bara) and making (asah).According to the standard rendition of the Gap Theory, the word baramust refer to “creating” (i.e.,an “original” creation), while asah can refer only to “making” (i.e., not an original creation, butsomething either “made over” or made from preexisting materials). A survey of these two words inthe Old Testament, however, clearly indicates that they are used interchangeably. Morris hasobserved:
  26. 26. 26 A Study in Genesis The Hebrew words for “create” (bara) and for “make” (asah) are very often used quite interchangeably in Scripture, at least when God is the one referred to as creating or making. Therefore, the fact that bara is used only three times in Genesis 1 (vv. 1, 21, and 27) certainly does not imply that the other creative acts, in which “made” or some similar expression is used, were really only acts of restoration. For example, in Genesis 1:21, God “created” the fishes and birds; in 1:25, He “made” the animals and creeping things. In verse 26, God speaks of “making” man in His own image. The next verse states that God “created” man in His own image. No scientific or exegetical ground exists for distinction between the two processes, except perhaps a matter of grammatical emphasis... (1966, p. 32). The insistence by Gap theorists, and those sympathetic with them, that the word baraalways must mean “to create something from nothing,” simply is incorrect. In his commentary, The Pentateuch, Old Testament scholar C.F. Keil concluded that when bara appears in its basic form, as it does in Genesis 1, ...it always means to create, and is only applied to a divine creation, the production of that which had no existence before. It is never joined with an accusative of the material, although it does not exclude a pre-existent material unconditionally, but is used for the creation of man (ver. 27, ch. v. 1,2), and of everything new that God creates, whether in the kingdom of nature (Num. xvi.30) or of that of grace (Ex. xxxiv.10; Ps. li.10, etc.) (1980, 1:47, first emp. in orig.; last emp. added). There are numerous examples where bara and asah are used interchangeably. In Psalm 148:1-5, the writer spoke of the “creation” (bara) of the angels. Yet when Nehemiah addressed the creation of angels (9:6), he employed the word asah to describe it. In Genesis 1:1, the text speaks of God “creating” (bara) the Earth. But when Nehemiah spoke of that same event (9:6), he employed the word asah. When Moses wrote of man’s “creation,” he used bara (Genesis 1:27). But one verse before that (1:26), he spoke of the “making” (asah) of man. Moses also employed the two words in the same verse when he said: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created [bara], in the day that Jehovah made [asah] earth and heaven” (Genesis 2:4). Gap theorists teach that the Earth was created (bara) from nothing in Genesis 1:1. However, Moses stated in Genesis 2:4 that the Earth was made (asah). Gap theorists are on record as advocating the view that asah can refer only to that which is made from something already in existence. Do they believe that when Moses spoke of the Earth being “made,” it was formed from something already in existence? One verse with which proponents of the Gap Theory have never dealt adequately is Nehemiah 9:6. Thou art Jehovah, even thou alone; thou hast made [asah] heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas, and all that is in them, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. The following quotation from Fields explains why this verse is so extremely critical in a refutation of the Gap Theory.
  27. 27. A Study In Genesis 27While the passages in Genesis cited by one of the lexicons...mention only the making of thefirmament, sun, moon, stars, and animals, it must be carefully marked by the reader that inNehemiah 9:6 the objects of God’s making (asa) include the heavens, the host of heavens, and theearth, and everything contained in and on it, and the seas and everything they contain, as wellas the hosts of heaven (probably angels).Now this is a very singular circumstance, for those who argue for the distinctive usage of asathroughout Scripture must, in order to maintain any semblance of consistency, never admit that thesame creative acts can be referred to by both the verb bara and the verb asa. Thus, since Genesis1:1 says that God created (bara) the heavens and the earth, and Exodus 20:11 and Nehemiah 9:6contend that he made (asa) them, there must be two distinct events in view here....So that, while asa is quite happily applied to the firmament, sun, moon, stars, and the beasts, itsfurther application to everything else contained in the universe, and, indeed, the universe itself(which the language in both Exodus 20:11 and Nehemiah 9:6 is intended to convey) creates amonstrosity of interpretation which should serve as a reminder to those who try to fit Hebrewwords into English molds, that to strait-jacket these words is to destroy the possibility of coherentinterpretation completely! (1976, pp. 61-62, emp. in orig.).3. The Gap Theory is false because, in the context of Genesis 1:2, there is no justification fortranslating the verb “was” (hayetha) as “became.”Gap theorists insist that the Earth became “waste and void” after Satan’s rebellion. Yet usage of theverb hayah argues against the translation, “The earth became waste and void” (Genesis 1:2). Rammhas noted:The effort to make was mean became is just as abortive. The Hebrews did not have a word forbecame but the verb to be did service for to be and become. The form of the verb was in Genesis1:2 is the Qal, perfect, third person singular, feminine. A Hebrew concordance will give all theoccurrences of that form of the verb. A check in the concordance with reference to the usage of thisform of the verb in Genesis reveals that in almost every case the meaning of the verb is simply was.Granted in a case or two was means became but if in the preponderance of instances the word istranslated was, any effort to make one instance mean became, especially if that instance is highlydebatable, is very insecure exegesis (1954, p. 139, emp. in orig.).The verb hayetha of Genesis 1:2 is translated “was” in all the standard translations because that isits meaning. Surely it is significant that none of the Old Testament linguists felt compelled totranslate hayetha to suggest that the Earth became waste and void, as gap theorists propose.4. We reject the Gap Theory because tohu wabohudoes not mean only “something once in astate of repair, but now ruined.”Gap theorists believe that God’s “initial” creation was perfect, but became “waste and void” as aresult of Satan’s rebellion. Whitcomb has responded:
  28. 28. 28 A Study in Genesis “Without form and void” translate the Hebrew expression tohu wabohu, which literally means “empty and formless.” In other words, the Earth was not chaotic, not under a curse of judgment. It was simply empty of living things and without the features that it later possessed, such as oceans and continents, hills and valleys—features that would be essential for man’s well-being. In other words, it was not an appropriate home for man.... [W]hen God created the Earth, this was only the first state of a series of stages leading to its completion (1973, 2:69-70). 5. The Gap Theory is erroneous because there is no evidence for the claim that Satan’s rebellion was on the Earth, or responsible for any great “cataclysm.” The idea of a cataclysm that destroyed the initial perfect Earth is not supported by an appeal to Scripture, as Morris has explained. There is, in fact, not a word in Scripture to connect Satan with the earth prior to his rebellion. On the other hand, when he sinned, he was expelled from heaven to the earth.... There is, therefore, no scriptural reason to connect Satan’s fall in heaven with a cataclysm on earth.... That Satan was not on earth, at least not as a wicked rebel against God, prior to Adam’s creation, is quite definite from Genesis 1:31. “And God saw everything that He had made, and...it was very good.” ...Therefore, Satan’s sin must have occurred after man’s creation (1974, pp. 233-234, emp. in orig.). 6. We reject the Gap Theory because its proof-text (Isaiah 45:18) is premised on a removal of the verse from its proper context. Isaiah 45:18 reads: For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain [the phrase “in vain” is tohu, the same as “without form” in Genesis 1:2—BT], He formed it to be inhabited. Gap theorists suggest since Isaiah stated that God did not create the Earth tohu, and since the Earth of Genesis 1:2 wastohu, therefore the latter could not have been the Earth as it was created in Genesis 1:1. The implication is that the Earth becametohu as a result of the cataclysm precipitated by Satan’s rebellion. The immediate context, however, has to do with Israel and God’s promises to His people. Isaiah reminded his listeners that just as God had a purpose in creating the Earth, so He had a purpose for Israel. Isaiah spoke of God’s immense power and special purpose in creation, noting that God created the Earth “to be inhabited”—something accomplished when the Lord created people in His image. In Isaiah 45, the prophet’s message is that God, through His power, likewise will accomplish His purpose for His chosen people, Israel. Morris has remarked: There is no conflict between Isaiah 45:18 and the statement of an initial formless aspect to the created earth in Genesis 1:2. The former can properly be understood as follows: “God created it not (to be forever) without form; He formed it to be inhabited.” As described in Genesis 1, He proceeded to bring beauty and structure to the formless elements and then inhabitants to the
  29. 29. A Study In Genesis 29waiting lands. It should be remembered that Isaiah 45:18 was written many hundreds of years afterGenesis 1:2 and that its context deals with Israel, not a pre-Adamic cataclysm (1974, p. 241).7. The Gap Theory is false because it implies death of humankind on the Earth prior to Adam.Pember believed that the fossils (which he felt the Gap Theory explained) revealed death, disease,and ferocity—all tokens of sin. He suggested:Since, then, the fossil remains are those of creatures anterior to Adam, and yet show evident tokenof disease, death, and mutual destruction, they must have belonged to another world, and have asin-stained history of their own (1876, p. 35, emp. added).The idea that the death of humankind occurred prior to Adam’s sin contradicts New Testamentteaching which indicates that the death of humankind entered this world as a result of Adam’s sin(1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 8:20-22; Romans 5:12). Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 that Adamwas “the first man.” Yet long before Adam—if the Gap Theory is correct—there existed a pre-Adamic race of men with (to quote Pember) “a sin-stained history of their own.” The Gap Theoryand Paul cannot both be correct.CONCLUSIONIn 1948, M. Henkel, a graduate student at the Winona Lake School of Theology, wrote a master’sthesis on “Fundamental Christianity and Evolution.” During the course of his research, he polled 20leading Hebrew scholars in the United States, and asked each of them if there were any exegeticalevidence that would allow for a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. They unanimouslyreplied—No! (Henkel, 1950, p. 49, n. 30). We are unable to see that anything in this regard haschanged in over four-and-a-half decades.REFERENCESClayton, John N. (1976), The Source (South Bend, IN: privately published by author).Custance, Arthur (1970), Without Form and Void (Brockville, Canada: Doorway Papers).DeHoff, George W. (1944), Why We Believe the Bible (Murfreesboro, TN: DeHoff).Fields, Weston W. (1976), Unformed and Unfilled (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).Henkel, M. (1950), “Fundamental Christianity and Evolution,” Modern Science and the Christian Faith, ed. F. Alton Everest (Wheaton, IL:Van Kampen Press).Jackson, Wayne and Bert Thompson (1992), In the Shadow of Darwin: A Review of the Teachings of John N. Clayton (Montgomery, AL:Apologetics Press).Keil, C.F. and Franz Delitzsch (1980), Biblical Commentaries on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).McIver, Tom (1988), “Formless and Void: Gap Theory Creationism,” Creation/Evolution, 8[3]:1-24, Fall.Morris, Henry M. (1966) Studies in the Bble and Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).Morris, Henry M. (1974), Scientific Creationism (San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers).Morris, Henry M. (1984), The Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
  30. 30. 30 A Study in Genesis Pember, George H. (1876), Earth’s Earliest Ages (New York: Revell). Ramm, Bernard (1954), The Christian View of Science and Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans). Rimmer, Harry (1937), Modern Science and the Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans). Thomas, J.D. (1961), Evolution and Antiquity (Abilene, TX: Biblical Research Press). Thompson, Bert (1977), Theistic Evolution (Shreveport, LA: Lambert). Thompson, Bert (1982), “The Day-Age Theory: Another False Compromise of the Genesis Account of Creation,” Reason & Revelation, 2:29- 32, July. Thompson, Bert (1989), “Questions and Answers,” Reason & Revelation, 9:17-18, May. Thompson, Bert (1994), “Popular Compromises of Creation—The Day-Age Theory,” Reason & Revelation, 14:41-44,46-47, June. Whitcomb, John C. (1973), “The Gap Theory,” And God Created, ed. Kelly L. Segraves (San Diego, CA: Creation-Science Research Center), 2:67-71. Wysong, R.L. (1976), The Creation-Evolution Controversy (East Lansing, MI: Inquiry Press). Copyright © 1994 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. A Study In Genesis 31Genesis 1:3-5 - Day 1 Light3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. AndGod separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he calledNight. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 15Verse 3 is the first records of God speaking in the Bible. The Word of God brought forth light. TheFather is the source of all things (v.1), the Spirit is the energizer of all things (v.2), the Word is therevealer of all things (v.3).The tremendous creative act of the Godhead can be summarized as:The Father activated the nuclear forces maintaining the integrity of matter.The Spirit activate the gravitational forces.The Word activated the electromagnetic forces.All 3 persons of the Godhead participated in creation.The Hebrew term ruach and the Greek term pneuma can mean “spirit,” “breath” or “wind” (cf. John3:5, 8). The Spirit is often associated with creation (cf. Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; Ps. 104:29–30; 147:14–18). The OT does not clearly define the relationship between God and the Spirit. In Job 28:26–28;Ps. 104:24 and Prov. 3:19; 8:22–23 God used wisdom (a feminine noun) to create all things. In theNT Jesus is said to be God’s agent in creation (cf. John 1:1–3; I Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15–17; Heb. 1:2–3). Asin redemption, so too, in creation, all three persons of the Godhead are involved. Genesis 1 itselfdoes not emphasize any secondary cause.16“God said” This is the theological concept of creation by the spoken word, using the Latin word fiat(cf. 9, 14, 20, 24, 29; Ps. 33:6; 148:5; II Cor. 4:6; Heb. 11:3). Also notice that out of nothing mattercame into being using the Latin phrase ex nihilo (cf. II Macc. 7:28), by God’s command. This powerof the spoken word can also be seen in (1) the patriarchal blessings, (2) Isa. 55:11, (3) Jesus as theWord in John 1:1 and (4) Jesus as returning with a two-edged sword in His mouth (cf. II Thess. 2:8;Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:6; 2:12, 16; 19:15, 21). This is an idiomatic way of creation by God’s will bythought. What God wants, occurs!1715 The Holy Bible : English standard version.2001 (Ge 1:3–5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.16 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (22). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.17 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (23). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.
  32. 32. 32 A Study in Genesis “God saw that the light was good” (vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31) All creation was good (cf. 1:31). Evil was not part of God’s original creation, but a perversion of the good. “Good” here probably means “fits its purpose” (cf. Isa. 41:7) or “intrinsically without flaw.” “light” Remember that there is no sun yet. Be careful not to be dogmatic about the time sequence (i.e. 24 hours for the earth to rotate). Light is a biblical symbol of life, purity, and truth (cf. Job 33:30; Ps. 56:13; 112:4; Isa. 58:8, 10; 59:9; 60:1–3; John 1:5–9; II Cor. 4:6). In Rev. 22:5 there is light with no sun. Also notice that darkness is created and named by God (cf. v. 5) which shows His control (cf. Ps. 74:16; 104:20–23; 139:12).18 “God called” (vv. 8, 10) This naming shows God’s ownership and control. “There was evening and there was morning” The rabbis interpreted this as the day as a unit of time beginning in the evening. There was dark and then there was light. This is reflected in Jesus’ day also where the new day began at twilight, in the evening. “day” The Hebrew term yom can refer to a period of time (cf. 2:4; 5:2; Ruth 1:1; Ps. 50:15; 90:4; Eccl. 7:14; Isa. 4:2; Zech. 4:10) but usually it refers to a 24-hour day.19 YOM Theories of the meaning of yom (day) taken and adapted from Dr. John Harris’ (Dean of the School of Christian Studies and Professor of NT at East Texas Baptist University) OT Survey I Notebook: The Literal Twenty-Four Hour Period Theory This is the straightforward approach (cf. Exod. 20:9–11). Questions arising from this approach: How was there light on day one when the sun was not created until day four? How were all the animals (especially those original to other parts of the world) named in less than one day? (cf. Gen. 2:19–20)? The Day-Age Theory This theory attempts to harmonize science (particularly geology) with scripture. This theory states that the “days” were “geological ages” in length. Their length is unequal, and they approximate the various layers described in uniformitarian geology. Scientists tend to agree with the general development of Gen. 1: vapor and a watery mass preceded the separation of land and sea prior to the appearance of life. Vegetable life came before animal life, and mankind represented the latest and most complex form of life. Questions arising from this approach: a. How did plants survive for “ages” without the sun? b. How did pollination take place in plants if insects and birds were not made until “ages” later? 18 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (23). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International. 19 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (23). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.
  33. 33. A Study In Genesis 33The Alternate Age-Day TheoryThe days are in fact twenty-four hour periods, but each day is separated by ages in which what wascreated developed. Questions arising from this approach.a. The same problems arise as in the Day-Age Theory.b. Does the text indicate “day” to be used both as twenty-four hours and as an era?The Progressive Creation-Catastrophe TheoryThis theory goes as follows: between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2, there was an indefinite period of time in whichthe geological ages took place; during this period, the pre-historic creatures in the order suggested bythe fossils were created; around 200,000 years ago, a supernatural disaster occurred and destroyedmuch of the life on this planet and made many animals extinct; then the days of Genesis 1 occurred.These days refer to a re-creation, rather than to an original creation.The Eden-Only TheoryThe creation account refers only to the creation and physical aspects of the Garden of Eden.The Gap TheoryBased on Gen. 1:1, God created a perfect world. Based on Gen. 1:2, Lucifer (Satan) was placed in chargeof the world and rebelled. God then judged Lucifer and the world by utter destruction. For millions ofyears, the world was left alone and the geological ages passed. Based on Gen. 1:3–2:3, in 4004 b.c.e.,the six literal twenty-four hour days of re-creation occurred. Bishop Ussher (a.d. 1654) used thegenealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 to calculate and date the creation of humanity ca. 4004 b.c.e. However,genealogies do not represent complete chronological schemes.The Sacred Week TheoryThe writer of the book of Genesis used the concept of days and a week as a literary device to put acrossthe divine message of the activity of God in creation. Such a structure illustrates the beauty andsymmetry of God’s creative work.20According to Henry M. Morris, angels were also created on this first day although Genesis makes nomention of it. Angels were present when the “foundations of the earth” were laid (Job 38:4-7). It isbelieved that they could not have been created sooner because their sphere of operation is in thisuniverse and their very purpose is to minister to the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Angels arecalled the “host of heaven” and so could not have been created before the existence of heaven. SeePsalms 104:2-5. If this is the case, then Satan was not created until this time also as he was anangel. So his fall would have had to take place after Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden.However, not all share this view. Others believe the existence of the angels and the fall of Satanantedated the Creation, for the angels (“sons of God”) sang at Creation (Job 38:7). Lucifer was thehighest of God’s created beings in this original Creation (see Ezek. 28:11–19) and wanted to take20 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (23–24). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.
  34. 34. 34 A Study in Genesis the place of God (Isa. 14:12–17). We find Satan already on the scene in Gen. 3, so that his fall must have taken place earlier.21 Genesis 1:6-8 – Day 2 Air Spaces ESV 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 22 NKJV 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 23 God divided the waters perpendicularly.After the 1st day the earth was still mostly water. God divided these waters and places some of it high above the rotating globe, with a great space separating them from the waters below. The lower waters would provide the water base for living flesh and for earth processes; the upper waters would provide a sort of protective canopy for earth’s inhabitants, and the space between would provide an atmospheric reservoir to maintain the breath of life. FIRMAMENT — from the Vulgate firmamentum, which is used as the translation of the Hebrew raki˒a This word means simply “expansion.” It denotes the space or expanse like an arch . appearing immediately above us. They who rendered raki˒aby firmamentum regarded it as a solid body. The language of Scripture is not scientific but popular, and hence we read of the sun rising and setting, and also here the use of this particular word. It is plain that it was used to denote solidity as well as expansion. It formed a division between the waters above and the waters below (Gen. 1:7). The raki˒asupported the upper reservoir (Ps. 148:4). It was the support also of the heavenly bodies (Gen. 1:14), and is spoken of as having “windows” and “doors” (Gen. 7:11; Isa. 24:18; Mal. 3:10) through which the rain and snow might descend. 24 21 Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbes expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 1:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. 22 The Holy Bible : English standard version.2001 (Ge 1:6–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 23 The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2009 (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version.) (Ge 1:6–8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 24 Easton, M. (1996).Eastons Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  35. 35. A Study In Genesis 35an expanse” This could mean “to hammer out.” This refers to the earth’s atmosphere depictedmetaphorically as an air vault or inverted bowl above the surface of the earth (cf. Isa. 40:22). Itcould also mean “to stretch out,” as in Isa. 42:5.25“waters” Fresh water and salt water are important elements in extra-biblical creation accounts, butin the Bible they are controlled by God. There is no distinction in Gen. 1 made between salt waterand fresh water. The water in the atmosphere is divided from the water on the earth. Analysis ofGen. 1 shows that God separates several things as a process to an inhabited earth (light from dark,water above from water below, water below from dry land, sun time from moon time).26“separated the waters” God is in control of watery chaos. He sets their boundaries (cf. Job 38:8–11; Ps. 33:6–7; Isa. 40:12).27and it was so” Whatever God willed occurred and occurs (cf. 1:9, 11, 15, 24, 30).28There are 3 heavens mentioned in scripture:1. The atmospheric heaven (Jeremiah 4:25)2. The stars of heaven, or 2nd heaven (Isaiah 13:10)3. The heaven where God dwells (Hebrews 9:24)There are many theories regarding what shape and form this canopy was, but the most likelyscenario is that it was a vapor canapoy. A vapor canopy would have the following functionality: Serve as a global greenhouse, maintaining an essentially uniformly pleasant warm temperature all over the world. It would inhibit great air movements, no windstorms. No rain Stable and not precipitate itself Uniform humidity Conclusive to worldwide lush vegetation Filter out ultraviolet radiations, etc. This would contribute to health and lengevity. Atmospheric pressure – also promotes health and longevity (hyperbaric) Upper waters would provide water for the flood.25 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (24). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.26 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (24). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.27 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (25). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.28 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (25). Marshall, Texas: Bible LessonsInternational.
  36. 36. 36 A Study in Genesis This atmospheric canopy will be restored in the millenial earth and the new earth which God will create. Psalms 148: 4,6 says the waters that be above the heavens will be established “forever and ever”. Genesis 1:9-13 Day 3, Dry Land and Plant Life 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 29 let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place— Does this imply one continent (i.e. Pangaea)? The earth is changing form (i.e. tectonic plates) continually. The question again is the age of the earth.30This was brought about by a volcanic convulsion on its surface, the up-heaving of some parts, the sinking of others, and the formation of vast hollows, into which the waters impetuously rushed, as is graphically described (Ps 104:6–9). Thus a large part of the earth was left “dry land,” and thus were formed oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers which, though each having its own bed, or channel, are all connected with the sea (Job 38:10; Ec 1:7).31 These are not the same as our present seas, since the antediluvian arrangement of continental and marine areas was completely changed at the time of the Flood. let the earth bring forth—The bare soil was clothed with verdure, and it is noticeable that the trees, plants, and grasses—the three great divisions of the vegetable kingdom here mentioned— were not called into existence in the same way as the light and the air; they were made to grow, and they grew as they do still out of the ground—not, however, by the slow process of vegetation, but through the divine power, without rain, dew, or any process of labor—sprouting up and flourishing in a single day.32 29 The Holy Bible : English standard version.2001 (Ge 1:9–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 30 Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Vol. 1A: How it All Began: Genesis 1-11. Study Guide Commentary Series (25). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International. 31 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997).A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Ge 1:9). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 32 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997).A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Ge 1:11). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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