Genesis, Typically Considered. Chapter 1: Creation and Forming

Genesis 1  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
THE establishment of man as the image of God, and in dominion.
The first verse stands alone as an immense, simple, and unique revelation (verse 16 alone at the end connected).
The second verse, the state of the earth at a given time—tohu bohu (wasteness, emptiness) and in darkness.
Next there is the divine vivifying agency according to the divine will.
First, God, as regards this scene of power, willed there should be light; it is not said bara (created)—it did not spring however from the earth—it was no produce of it—it shone when God commanded it to shine, God saw it—no man or eye else was there to see it.
Note.—It was night, and day for the earth. The dividing was now, whether the fiat of God for its existence was, I cannot now say—it may have been so. If light was made to shine perfectly on the earth—not twilight—evening necessarily came first.
I hardly think that hay'thah (was) here is simple existence, but more " was become " (geworden war), yet so that it actually was in that state—was—but as a state into which it had passed—come to be—still was, but by beginning to be. I have no objection to " there was," but as a consequence.
In Ex. 3:1414And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14), we have " I am that I am," in the future or abstract tense, but that seems another thing—the English auxiliary answers to it; only the tohu bohu was not the effect of creation, so as to " evening and morning " it was an effect.
In verses 8-10 we have evidently a descent in the use of shamayim (heaven) and eretz (earth) from verse t, for the dried place is now fretz contrasted with the waters, not the globe contrasted with the hashshamayim (the heaven) and so shamayim is the expanse between the lower and upper waters, not what is contrasted with the eretz; so in verse 14 rakia (firmament) has a conventional visible sense, not as in verse 8—compare verse 15.
Verse 14 is remarkable in this, that God does not make the sun and moon, " and it was so," but, as with the light, " God said, let there be lights "; in whatever way, He made them appear as centers of light to the earth, He set them for the seasons, and signs of the earth, and it was so. And God made all these lights, and the stars, and set or gave them to light the earth and rule, etc.; and God saw that it was good.
He made them—when the solid bodies were made is not said—they became lights to the ordered earth now; all the ways of expressing the creating, or ordering, almost are different, and surely not without intention. In verses 11, 12, there is no making nor creation, nor for the light; in verses 3,4 He made the firmament " and it was so "—the atmospheric heavens, I apprehend; in the third day, verses 9-13, there is no making; I doubt that verse 17 applies to the stars, but it may be so.
In verse 21, life is in question, even animal life—God creates again. Man might have fancied the waters teemed with life from the sun or something; it was of moment to distinguish the animal body as coming to-tze (let bring forth) from the earth, yet, verse 25, God made.
In verse 26, bara (created) is again used as to man; before as to the races of animals, verse 21, in sea or air, and originally heaven and earth. Image represents, and presents likeness—does so fitly—the thing is like, because it corresponds to what the image presents. An image represented Jupiter—likeness was only ideal. A picture is " like "—it is the very image, when it presents himself to my mind; here it is " image," according to His likeness—as to the first he had God's place, a center of subject dependent creation, looking up to him—no angel had that; likeness was another thing.