has served as a battleground between conservative
Biblical scholars and skeptics for many decades.
There are secular evolutionists who mock what is
written here. And then there are theistic
evolutionists who do not take these chapters at
face value (though some claim they do). They
evidently prefer to call themselves evolutionary
creationists (an oxymoron, in my judgment). They
try to marry the theory of evolution with the
record of God’s creation as recorded in Genesis
But that is impossible, for, according to Gen.
God created light before the sun, and He created
the earth before the sun, moon, and stars. God
created plant life before the sun could enable
photosynthesis. All of these statements fly
directly in the face of evolutionary theory.
Furthermore, according to the Biblical record, God
created everything in the universe in six days,
each of which is designated with a sequential
number, and each tagged with an evening and a
morning, which explains why Jewish people still
begin their day at sundown (Gen.
further dispel any notion that the creation
account was to be taken only as a non-literal
metaphor, Moses implanted the seventh day of rest
in the Creation record into the foundation of the
Jewish Sabbath day (Ex.
not to be taken as a span of eons of time. There
Moses reaffirmed that everything in the cosmos was
created in six days as understood from the vantage
point of his writing in ca. 1400 B.C. Again, this
flies in the face of evolutionary dogma, which
must assume billions of years, an assumption which
lacks coherent proof. Some evolutionary
creationists label these early chapters as non
Others say that Gen.
is historical, but then they reinterpret
in such a way as to allow
Sadly, many Biblical scholars have allowed an
unproven and discredited secular theory of origins
to influence their interpretation of God’s sacred
takes the position that Gen.
is sober history (that is the way Moses presented
also takes the position that Genesis
combined with the genealogies
of Gen. 5:1-32;
accurately record a young earth created by God in
six literal days (that is the way Moses presented
also takes the position that authentic science
supports a recently created earth that was marred
by a universal flood, just as the Bible portrays
it. Let us now examine Genesis
comments on Genesis 1:1-2:3
Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the
Age of the Earth,
wrote chapter six, “The Genre of Genesis 1:1-2:3:
What Means This Text?” In concluding remarks at
the end of the chapter (p. 191), He stated the
implications arise from this study. First, it is
not statistically defensible to read Genesis
as poetry. Second, since Genesis
is narrative, it should be read as other Hebrew
narratives are intended to be read – as a concise
report of actual events in time-space history,
which also conveys an unmistakable theological
message. Third, when this text is read as
narrative, there is only one tenable view of its
plain sense: these were six literal days of
brief online summary of Boyd’s thesis, see The
Hebrew Creation Account: New Numbers Tell the
The Beginning of God’s Creation.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the
earth.” In this simple (ten words in English,
seven in Hebrew), yet incredibly profound opening
statement of the Bible, several foundational
truths appear. “In the beginning” refers to the
origin of time in regard to the
cosmos; “God” refers to the Powerful One, whose
existence is assumed and needs no proof, and who
is the sole agent; “created” means, in this
context, that He made out of nothing (ex
nihilo); “the heavens” refers to the fact
that God created space (the
framework of the universe in which all stars would
soon come to be); and “the earth” denotes that God
created the matter comprising
perhaps Kent Hovind, remarked in a speech once that
time here in the created order
exists in a triad of past, present, and future; that
space exists in a triad of length,
width, and height; and that matter
exists in a triad of solid, liquids, and gas.
to Thomas Constable, Dr.
Constable's Notes on Genesis,
some evangelical scholars who believe that “Verse
1 describes, in very general, introductory terms,
the same creation activity that God did on all
six days of creation (1:2-31). It is a topic
sentence that introduces the whole creation account
that follows. I
prefer this view.”
cites, in footnote 34 above, other scholars who
hold this view, namely George
way of stating this view is to assert that Genesis
is a merism, a figure of speech for totality (Constable).
This view is not preferable for the following
is merely a topic sentence, or an introductory
merism, then we are left with no specific
statement as to how or when the earth came into
existence, and this, in the beginning portion of
the beginning book of the Bible which purports to
do that very thing! That would be a bizarre and
unfortunate omission by the author of Genesis, in
are eleven unambiguous topical statements in the
Book of Genesis, and none of them
is worded this way. (These are the toledot
passages, found in Genesis
5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12,19; 36:1, 9; 37:2.
passages are typically translated, “these are the
records of the generations of _______________.”)
does not refer to God’s specific creation of the
earth, then we are left with a most peculiar
literary device. Suddenly in Genesis
the author begins to discuss the condition of the
earth that has no specific record of having been
created. That, in my view, is unthinkable.
in His commandment concerning the Sabbath Day,
clearly stated that He had made both the heavens
and the earth and everything in them in six days (Ex.
seems evident from this Divine commentary that Genesis
records God’s actual creation of two entities, the
heavens, and then the earth. So Genesis
is the opening statement of what occurred on Day
One, not merely a topical statement, or merism,
the details of which would appear subsequently.
“In the beginning” refers to the
beginning of the created cosmos. God, of course,
is eternal, and had no beginning. Some
evangelicals label the beginning of which John
as the “absolute beginning,” placing it before the
beginning of which Moses wrote. But I see no valid
exegetical reason why Moses and John cannot be
referring to the same beginning. After all, both Gen.
discuss the creation of the world and the entire
universe. So the initial beginning the Bible
discusses in those terms is here in Genesis
John’s beginning refers backwards to this event.
In any case, it is difficult to use the term absolute
beginning for either passage, since God and
the Word were already there before
the beginning (Gen. 1:1; John
is best to understand that the third heaven
abode of God, existed before the creation of the
cosmos, as did angels,
who apparently witnessed God’s creation of the
earth with great joy (Job
would imply, of course, that entities, both
created and uncreated, existed and continue to
exist outside the cosmos. That means that the
cosmos is not infinite in regard to time, space,
or matter. It also affirms the existence of a
spiritual universe existing outside of our present
material universe, albeit interacting with it.
“God” – Elohim
is the generic word for God. “Its basic meaning is
‘strong one, mighty leader, supreme Deity.’ The
form of the word is plural, indicating plentitude
(sic) of power and majesty and allowing for the NT
revelation of the triunity of the Godhead” (Ryrie
note). In Genesis
God, appears a startling 35 times in 34 verses!
Clearly, God is the featured subject of this
overwhelmingly theological historical narrative!
created” – The Hebrew word bara
here means that God created, out of nothing (Latin
ex nihilo), both the earth and the
framework in which he situated it. Moses used the
eight times in Genesis, and each time it refers to
the creative act of God (Gen.
21, 27; 2:3, 4; 5:1, 2; 6:7).
can also observe in these passages that Moses used
to create, and asah,
to make, as synonyms (Gen.
4; 5:1; 6:7).
biblical Hebrew, the verb bara
(create) always has God for its subject and never
mentions the material from which He created” (Boyd,
“the heavens and the earth” – Some
take this phrase as a merism, a figure of speech
for totality (Thomas
p. 11). In this view, Genesis
is merely an introductory or summary statement of
what God did in Genesis
which, it is assumed, are the actual days of
creation. But if that were the case, there is no specific statement in this chapter
of the actual creation of the earth. That would be
bizarre, considering that this chapter purports to
be an explanation of how the world and the entire
universe originated. To illustrate how
counterintuitive this view is, let me quote Constable’s
opening statement regarding Genesis
(p. 10, viewed on July 26, 2010): “Verse 2
probably describes what we now call the earth
before God created it.” What does that even mean?
Scripture is its own best commentary, and Moses
clearly stated that “in six days the LORD made the
heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in
it makes more sense to understand both Genesis
as the initial part of day one of creation, the
foundational state of that which God would
momentarily upgrade. So Genesis
is a statement of part of what God created on the
“the heavens” (hashamayim).
word heavens (shamayim)
always appears in the plural in the Hebrew Bible.
That is appropriate, not only because of the
vastness of the heavens, but because of their
plurality. There are three distinct heavens in the
Bible, the third being the abode of God (2
other two heavens are the heavens in which God
placed the sun, moon, and stars (Gen.
the heavens in which birds fly (Gen.
(more about this heaven later.) “The heavens” (hashamayim) of which Moses wrote in
are what we today would call “outer space”, for
God had as yet apparently created no atmosphere
around earth to support life and in which birds
could fly. What was the composition of the heavens
at the end of Genesis
Based on what is stated in the rest of Genesis
the initial condition of the heavens is that they
were the time-space framework in which God placed
an aqueous matrix of matter, the earth, and in
which He would later (on the fourth day) place the
sun, moon and stars (Gen.
the end of Genesis
the only matter that existed in the heavens was
the earth, as yet in its incomplete state (as Genesis
further details). Most of what we call “outer
space” today has nothing in it, at least nothing
visible to the eye. There are enormous voids
between stars, galaxies, and galaxy groups. Today,
outer space is cold because there is relatively
little light (energy) out there. So the fact that
one can measure temperature in deep space when
little that is tangible exists out there indicates
that something is there – a
framework of darkness and coldness. That would be
the condition of the heavens at the end of Genesis
– dark and cold – and empty – with the lone
exception of the earth, which God had just placed
there. Since there were no stars or planets or
light (energy) whatever – the initial condition of
the heavens was totally empty compared to outer
space today, which is actually teeming with light
waves both visible and invisible (including cosmic
from distant stars and galaxies. The only
exception to this emptiness would have been the
earth, the second item that God created on day
“the earth” (haarets).
refers either to the whole planet or to a portion
thereof. Consequently it is sometimes translated earth, sometimes land.
The context controls the particular meaning. For
example, the term erets
refers to the whole planet and is translated earth.
we are given additional details about the earth
just after God created it – it was formless, void,
dark, and aqueous. Here again, erets
refers to the whole planet, and it is translated earth. On the third day, God
commanded the dry land (yabbashah)
to appear (Gen.
named the dry land (yabbashah)
here only a portion of the planet is designated as
earth – the dry land. That narrower terminology is
used elsewhere. Reference is made in Gen.
to the land (erets)
of Havilah. The gold of that land (erets)
is good (Gen.
reference is made to the land (erets)
of Cush (Gen.
to the English reader, Yahweh commanded Abram to
depart from his country (lit. “your earth” – erets)
“to the land (lit. “earth” – erets)
which I will show you” (Gen.
are Jewish people today who speak of Eretz Israel
– the land or “earth” which belongs to Israel.
(See, for example, the reference to the “Eretz
Israel lobby” in the summary immediately below the
title of the linked article
is appropriate to note here that while the
creation account (Gen.
is very much Theo-centric (God-centered) in
relation to the Cause of
creation, it is very much Geo-centric
(earth-centered) in relation to the products
of creation. This can be deduced from the
following frequencies of occurrence in Genesis
The noun light (‘owr)
appears six times (Gen.
4, 5, 18).
verb to give light (‘owr)
occurs twice (Gen.
word light(s) (better, light-bearer(s)
(lit., “from light”) appears five times (Gen.
word expanse (raqiya’)
(KJV firmament) appears nine
7, 8, 14, 15, 17, 20).
(usually translated heavens, but
three times as sky) appears
eleven times (Gen.
8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28, 30; 2:1).
the word earth (erets)
is the runaway winner, appearing 21 times (Gen.
2, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29,
far as God is concerned, Earth is very much the
center of the universe!
The Preliminary Condition of the Earth
When First God Created It.
One of creation just after God had created the
framework of the cosmos and had created the earth
in that framework, what was the condition of the
earth? Moses described it this way: “The earth
was formless and void, and darkness was over
the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God
was moving over the surface of the waters.”
clause of verse 2 begins in Hebrew with a waw
disjunctive, not a waw consecutive (Constable,
p. 12). It should be translated, “Now the earth
was…” In other words Gen.
describes in a more detailed way the initial
condition of the earth when God created it in Gen.
Unfortunately, a number of commentators have
suggested that an indefinite time gap exists
This is called the Gap
pp. 11-13). This theory was held by some early
church fathers and some early Jewish writers.
Thomas Chalmers promoted the gap
in 1814 before Darwin wrote his Origin of Species
in 1859 (Constable,
p. 12). The first
of the Scofield Reference Bible
espoused this theory. Many who support evolution
have welcomed the gap
but Hebrew grammar does not permit it.
was formless and void”
– tohu wa bohu is the Hebrew
phrase translated “formless and void” used to
describe the earth God had just created. (See Representative
of Tohu and Bohu;
see the author’s Word
of Tohu wa Bohu in .html format;
see the author’s Word
of Tohu wa Bohu in .pdf format.)
some conservative commentators have characterized
the condition of the earth as described in Gen.
as if it were chaotic and even evil. I call this
of Origins. For example, Allen
Vol. 1, p. 28) stated the following concerning the
entire creation account:
account reveals that God is a redeeming
God. It records how He brought the cosmos out of chaos, turned darkness into light,
made divisions between them, transformed cursing
into blessing, and moved from what was evil
and darkness to what was holy. This parallels the
work of God in Exodus, which records His redeeming
Israel by destroying the Egyptian forces of chaos.
The prophets and the apostles saw here a paradigm
of God’s redemptive activities.
Ultimately He who caused light to shine out of
darkness made His light shine in the hearts of
so that they become new creations (2
later, Ross states his interpretation of Genesis
in Gen. 1:2 are apparently circumstantial to Gen.
1:3, telling the world’s condition when God began
to renovate it. It was a chaos of
wasteness, emptiness, and darkness. Such
conditions would not result from God’s creative
in the Bible they are symptomatic of sin
and are coordinate with judgment.
Moreover, God’s Creation by decree begins in Gen.
1:3, and the elements found in Gen. 1:2 are
corrected in Creation, beginning with light to
dispel the darkness (emphasis mine).
in his discussion of the “No-Gap Theory” (Notes
pp. 13-15), offers three versions of this theory.
But in every one of them he uses the term “chaos,”
which implies something defective. To his credit,
however, Constable specifically and correctly
rejects the notion that "chaos" (tohu wa bohu)
describes an evil condition in Gen.
Genesis, "Arguments and Responses," #3 on p.
12, viewed June 11, 2011).
to me that Ross, and to a lesser extent Constable,
who relies on Ross, have imported ideas from
elsewhere in Scripture into a context in which
they do not exist, namely, this Creation account.
There is no need to use the words “redeeming,”
“chaos,” “cursing,” “sin,” “evil,” or “judgment”
with reference to Genesis
They are simply out of context here. Why does
Allen employ these terms? The answer can be found
several paragraphs later:
more likely that verse 1 refers to a relative
beginning rather than the absolute beginning
(Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s
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 the beginning
of everything, and Gen. 1:1-2 would provide the
introduction to it. The fall of Satan
and entrance of sin into God’s original Creation
would precede this
apparently believes that God created planet earth
at some undated, unspecified, and unrevealed time
in eternity past. Satan
then fell and brought sin into God’s original
describes the chaotic, ruined state of the world
as it existed because of Satan’s
describes God’s reclamation of a world ruined by Satan.
What this amounts to is a variation on the Gap
theme (which see for a brief description and
refutation). (At least Ross holds to the days of
creation as being literal 24-hour days of Divine
sadly, I suspect his whole exegetical approach is
driven by his assumption that Hebrew scholars must
bow before the uniformitarian geological bias of
an ancient earth, not a recent earth.)
appears to be driving his exegesis rather than his
exegesis driving his theory. There is no need to
describe the earth in Genesis
as being in any way defective. Words like “chaos”
and “evil” and “symptomatic of sin” and
“coordinate with judgment” are foreign concepts he
has imported into Genesis
from elsewhere in Scripture. The Earth of Genesis
was not flawed; rather it was merely preliminary
and incomplete, and it was the way God intended to
create it at that stage during Day One. The
Theory of Origins simply does not fit the
evidence of the Hebrew text.
is the best translation of tohu wa
and English Lexicon
lists the following meanings of the noun, tohu:
“formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness”.
Then it adds, (“primary meaning difficult to
seize” …). This is certainly true, as is evidenced
by the chart, Representative
of the Hebrew Word Tohu.
Most Bible versions employ a variation of the word
“form,” translating tohu
either “formless” or “without form.” The
translations “formless” and “without form” tend to
leave the impression that the earth in Genesis
was shapeless. I do not believe that is what Moses
meant. Instead, I have chosen the word “unformed”
and I have added four qualifying statements as to
what “unformed” does not mean and
what it does mean.
does not mean that the earth on
Day One had no shape (contra NIRV,
“The earth didn’t have any shape”). Think it
through. Why are the vast majority of entities in
our universe, whether they are stars or planets or
moons, spherical? It is because they all have
gravity. If something were both aqueous (Gen.
and shapeless, it must also mean that it was not
spherical. If it were not spherical, it must mean
that it had insufficient gravity to keep it
together. So to say that the earth was shapeless
is also to say that it had no gravity or
insufficient gravity. What then would have
prevented the earth from beginning to disperse
throughout the universe? Prov.
which personifies wisdom (see author’s Analysis
p. 1), provides additional Biblical evidence that
the earth on Day One had shape, even spherical
describes the antiquity of wisdom, for it
pre-dated even God’s creation of the world! In
fact, we learn that wisdom was there “when there
were no depths (tehom)
is, before Creation! Wisdom was already there when
God “inscribed a circle on the face of the deep (tehom)”
“when the springs of the deep (tehom)
became fixed” (Prov.
the Hebrew word Tehom, “The
the context of Proverbs
this happened at creation. Day One is the most
likely candidate for the day in which God formed
the earth into a sphere (“…and the Spirit of God
was moving over the surface of the waters” [Gen.
Third Day is the most likely candidate for the day
in which “the springs of the deep became fixed,” (Prov.
for it was on the Third Day that God “gathered
into one place” “the waters below the heavens” (Gen.
“When He made firm the skies above,” evidently
describes God’s activity on the Second Day of
creation. It was on the Second Day that God “made
the expanse, and separated the waters which were
below the expanse from the waters which were above
the expanse,” calling it “heaven.” (Gen.
of this digression into Prov.
is that the word tohu
(unformed) does not mean that the
earth on Day One had no shape. To the contrary, it
does not mean that the earth on
Day One was chaotic (contra Allen
P. Ross, Genesis, The
OT Vol., p. 28; contra Thomas Constable, Notes
2010 Edition, pp. 13-14; contra Bruce K. Waltke, Creation
contra Waltke, An
p. 181, quoted by Constable,
p. 10, text denoted by footnote 28; contra Warren
Vol. 1, p. 15). God does not create chaos because
He is not chaotic. The world God created on Day
One was preliminary, not chaotic. It was “a waste”
(see the NASB marginal reading for formless
in the sense that it was not yet a suitable
environment for man or animals to live in, but it
was not a chaos.
does not mean that the earth as
God originally created it had been disrupted
some sin, whether by man or by fallen angel
(contra Allen P. Ross, The
p. 28. Ross apparently believes that the fall of Satan
ruined the earth, causing sin to enter the earth,
making it a chaos which had to be transformed and
redeemed by God in the six days of creation). The
Scriptures are clear that sin entered the earth after the creation week, not before
that it was by one man that sin
entered the earth, not by one fallen
does mean that the
earth was not yet in its final form. The
best Biblical commentary on tohu
is to be found in Isaiah
which tells us that God did not create the earth to be tohu,
but rather He created it to be
inhabited. So when Moses wrote in Genesis
that the earth was tohu,
he merely meant that it was not yet a suitable
environment in which humans and animals might
live. It was unsuitable because it was dark and
there was no atmosphere (Gen.
there was no dry land (Gen.
was no vegetation (Gen.
there were no celestial bodies up in the heavens (Gen.
there is a sense in which it can be said that the
words “unsuitable” or “pre-functional” are
appropriate translations of tohu
By way of illustration, it could be said that
today’s moon is tohu,
although not nearly to the degree that the earth
was in Genesis
Today’s moon is tohu
in the sense that it is not formed to be suitable
for human or animal habitation or for the growth
of vegetation. This is true because it has no
atmosphere and no water, and because of the extreme
the word bohu?
The term bohu
occurs only three times in Scripture, Gen.
Isa. 34:11; Jer. 4:23.
Each time it does so, it is in tandem with tohu.
The Jeremiah passage harkens back to the language
of creation in Genesis
and English Lexicon
lists a one-word definition for bohu
– “emptiness,” and gives no etymology. C. F. Keil
his commentary on Genesis
states that the etymology for both tohu
has been lost. Four representative translations (http://wordexplain.com/Translations_of_tohu_and_bohu.html)
as “void” six times, and as some variation of
“empty” or “emptiness” five times.
English language today, “empty” is a synonym for
“void.” Since “void” with the meaning of
“emptiness” is not a commonly used word, I will
use the noun “emptiness” to translate the noun bohu.
regard to the dual use of tohu
already noted that tohu
always appear in the same connection. In two of
those instances, Genesis
are to be paired off. In Genesis
Moses declared that the earth was “formless and
stated that, as he looked at the earth, it had
primeval conditions – the earth was “formless and
void,” and the heavens “had no light” (Jer.
connected by “and,” as a hendiadys,
“the expression of an idea by the use of usually
two independent words connected
by and (as nice and warm) instead
of the usual combination of independent word and
its modifier (as nicely warm).” Constable,
in his discussion of Genesis
2010 edition, p. 11) states, “Here we learn that
the earth was ‘formless and empty’ (a hendiadys
meaning unorganized, unproductive, and
uninhabited) before God graciously prepared it for
human habitation (cf. Jer.
form a hendiadys, Constable has accurately
captured their combined meaning as it relates
especially to Genesis
The earth at this stage of Day One of the Creation
week was unorganized and unproductive (tohu)
and it was uninhabited (bohu).
are saying that the earth, at the time God first
placed it in the heavens He had just made
consisted, literally, of “unformedness and
emptiness.” Or we could say it was “unformed and
unfilled.” Or we could say it was “unorganized and
a landscape on a canvas. First he paints a swirly
background on the upper half of the canvas using
blues and grays. Then he takes his brush and
spreads splotchy greens and browns on the lower
half of the canvas. To the untrained eye it may appear to be nonsensical, even
chaotic. But the artist knows exactly what he is
doing. There is nothing chaotic whatever in his
actions. He is merely painting the sky background
and the land foreground on the canvas. At a later
time appropriate to his choice, he will begin to
fashion trees and grass, animals, and perhaps
birds and humans in his landscape. It would be
completely erroneous to describe the early stage
of his painting as being chaotic, evil, or
symptomatic of sin. Rather his blue-gray upper
canvas and his green-brown lower canvas provide
the perfect foundation for the details to be added
later. But at this stage, it would be appropriate
to describe his picture as being “unformed and
was with the earth God had created and placed in
the heavens on the first part of Day One. The
earth was unformed and unfilled. There was nothing
chaotic, nothing evil, nothing connected with sin,
and nothing connected with judgment. God’s
just-created Earth was merely unformed and
unfilled at this stage. He would soon begin His
artful task of forming the earth, and then of
the surface of the deep”
is the absence of light. Those who espouse the Gap
or some variation thereof seize upon darkness as
proof of something evil and sinful that must have
happened after Genesis
to corrupt the earth (see, for example, Ross,
p. 28). 1
states that “God is Light, and in Him there is no
darkness at all.” But to import a later concept of
darkness into the second verse in the Bible
constitutes a deficient hermeneutic.
An appropriate response to the notion that
darkness symbolizes evil is, as Constable
(2010 edition, p. 12, Item 5, viewed July 22,
2010) has stated, “This is true in some cases in
Scripture, but not always (Psa.
was part of the days God declared good.” The truth
of the matter is that the word darkness (choshek)
is used only four times in Genesis, and only in
chapter 1 (Gen.
4, 5, 18).
is no trace of moral evil in any one of these
uses. The light that God created (in Gen.
and separated from the darkness was good (tob).
the darkness was never called evil. Rather, God
named it. He called the light Day and the darkness
Night. Together, the evening and the morning
comprised “Day One” (Gen.
God would create two great lights, one to govern
the day, and the second to govern the night. These
along with the stars, would “give light on the
earth,” govern the day and the night,” and
“separate the light from the darkness” (Gen.
from being evil, this darkness, balanced by light,
became part of that which God saw was good (Gen.
much for darkness being evil in Gen. 1! So the
earth that God created on Day One existed in a
state of darkness. That darkness was not evil. Nor
yet could it be labeled good. Rather it was a
characteristic that, on Day One, contributed
toward the earth’s being tohu,
unsuitable for human, animal, or even plant
habitation. Darkness would be the first unsuitable
characteristic that God would rectify. He would do
so, not by eliminating it, but by adding light.
Ultimately light-bearers (sun, moon and stars)
would balance off that characteristic of darkness
which makes it unsuitable for viewing anything,
but which makes it a wonderful condition in which
animals and man could refresh themselves in rest.
The data in the text, not some imported theory,
must drive exegesis.
darkness was over the surface of the
deep” – On Day One of creation, it was said
that “darkness was over the surface of the deep” (Gen.
word surface translates the
Hebrew word for faces (panim,
plural of paneh).
is an excellent translation, even though panim
occurs in the plural. Nothing in particular should
be made of that fact, for paneh
always appears in the plural (panim)
in the OT, even when one person’s face is in view
is translated as a reference to Cain’s
countenance).The word deep (tehom)
refers to the waters which evidently covered the
entire surface of the earth when first God created
it. Unfortunately, some conservative commentators
give the word deep (tehom)
a sinister connotation in this passage. For
(2010 Notes, p. 10) states, “In the Old Testament
tahom refers to the ocean, which the
ancient world regarded as symbolic of chaos and
evil that needed overcoming and which Yahweh
overcame.” Generally speaking, that is an
inaccurate characterization of tehom
in the Old Testament, and it is driven, I believe,
by the misguided Chaos
There are, for example, four uses of tehom
in the book of Genesis: Gen. 1:2;
8:2; and 49:25.
there is no inherent evil whatever associated with
“the deep.” Quite to the contrary, in fact, “the
Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the
waters.” In Genesis
“the fountains of the great deep burst open,” not
was evil, but because the people of the world were
evil, and God was compelled to destroy all but
eight of them. Here tehom
is an instrument of God for judgment. The same can
be said for Genesis
where “the fountains of the deep and the
floodgates of the sky were closed…” The fact that
God had used tehom
to judge evil people does not make tehom,
in and of itself, evil. In Genesis
the last occurrence in Genesis, “the deep” is part
of a blessing from God bestowed by Jacob upon his
son Joseph: “…blessings of heaven above, blessings
of the deep that lies beneath.” We conclude that tehom
is morally neutral, and God uses tehom
for judgment and for blessing. What was the makeup
the deep? The text does not tell us. We know that
consists of water. We are told that in Genesis
On the third day, God commanded the waters to be
gathered together into one place, and for the dry
land to appear (Gen.
that which became “dry land” a solid land mass
underneath the surface of the water prior to that?
Or were water and soil all mixed together? We
cannot know for certain, for this text does not
say. All we can know from this text is that prior
there was soil underneath that was not dry, and
there was water on the surface. I believe it is
safe to say that tehom,
the deep, as it existed by the end of the third
day of creation (Gen.
significantly different from what it is today.
Prior to the Flood of Noah’s day, an enormous
portion of tehom
existed beneath the surface of the earth, and
possibly under great pressure. In Genesis
“the fountains of the great deep (tehom)
burst open”; simultaneously, “the floodgates of
the sky were opened.” The greatest contributors to
the Flood that engulfed the entire globe were “the
fountains of the great deep.” Once the “fountains
of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were
after a period of 150 days (Gen.
water began to recede from the earth (Gen.
the next 221 days God apparently used the same
process for uplifting the land masses from the
ocean that He had done in one day at Creation (Ps.
cf. Gen. 1:9-10).
speaks of Creation, there is no reason to suppose
that God did not use the same process to uplift
the land masses to end Noah’s Flood that He had
used to form dry land at Creation, only at a much
slower rate in order to protect the inhabitants of
the ark. God raised the land masses and mountains
upward, and He sank the ocean floors and valleys
downward. After Noah’s Flood, “the fountains of
the deep” no longer held the enormous volume of
water that they once had. That volume had been
largely emptied into the global sea of today’s
Earth. Today we have aquifers underneath the
surface of the earth, but they evidently contain
only a fraction of the volume of water that they
once did prior to Noah’s Flood. Massive caves such
as the Carlsbad
give fragmentary, but powerful testimony to
possible former reservoirs of tehom.
Today, of course, the great bulk of tehom
resides in the ocean depths. Today, water covers
seventy per cent of the earth’s surface. Tehom
continues to provide a massive influence upon life
and climate upon earth.
Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the
We are told that the Spirit of God was moving or
hovering over the surface of the waters (Gen.
word Spirit translates ruach,
which can be translated either spirit or wind or
breath, depending on the context. In Genesis
of God is said to have been active in creating the
earth on Day One of creation. In Psalm
it is “By the word of the LORD” that “the heavens
were made, and by the breath (ruach)
of His mouth” that “all their host” (were
created). In Psalm
it is said of Yahweh regarding births of animal
life, “You send forth Your Spirit (ruach),
are created; and You renew the face of the
ground.” In Isaiah
the Spirit (ruach)
of Yahweh will call specific animals to haunt the
ruins of Bozrah and Edom. So we can definitely
observe the ruach
of God active in nature. What role did God’s ruach
exercise in creation on Day One? It is lexically
possible that Moses here (Gen.
meant that a wind from God was blowing, but then
he would have used a word for blowing, such as nashaph
Instead, he used the word rachaph,
to move (Gen.
Moses meant that a wind from God was moving or
hovering or trembling; but in any case the Holy
Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, cannot be
excluded from this passage. So what was He doing?
“We could never believe that this hovering of the
Spirit over the face of the waters was idle and
purposeless. From all other activities that are
elsewhere ascribed to the Holy Spirit we conclude
that His work in this case must have been
anticipatory of the creative work that followed, a
kind of impregnation with divine potentialities.”
(H. C. Leupold, Exposition
Genesis, Vol. I,
p. 50). Leupold goes on to say that Eduard Koenig,
in his Kommentar on Genesis,
“feels impelled to interpret this ‘hovering’ as
‘an intensified and vitalized type of vibration.’
We should not be averse to holding that the
foundation for all physical laws operative in the
world now was laid by the preparatory activity”
Morris, in his commentary, The
p. 52, agrees. He believes that the Hebrew word rachaph
carries the idea “of a rapid back and forth
motion.” He goes on to state the following:
scientific terminology, the best translation would
probably be “vibrated.” If the universe is to be
energized, there must be an Energizer. If it is to
be set in motion, there must be a Prime Mover.
significant that the transmission of energy in the
operations of the cosmos is in the form of waves –
light waves, heat waves, sound waves, and so
forth. In fact (except for the nuclear forces
which are involved in the structure of matter
itself), there are only two fundamental types of
forces that operate on matter – the gravitational
forces and the forces of the electromagnetic
spectrum. All are
associated with “fields of activity and with
transmission by wave motion.
typically rapid back and forth movements and they
are normally produced by the vibratory motion of a
wave generator of some kind. Energy cannot create
itself. It is most appropriate that the first
impartation of energy to the universe is described
as the “vibrating” movement of the Spirit of God
know for certain what God’s Spirit was doing when
He was moving over the surface of the waters (Gen.
perhaps we are given a clue in Psalm
Perhaps it was then that “He established the earth
upon its foundations, so that it will not totter
forever and ever” (Ps.
it was then that He was forming mountain peaks,
broad plains, and canyons beneath the surface of
the waters (Ps.
that on the Third Day, God could lift up the land
masses and peaks, and sink down the ocean canyons
would have formed the pre-Deluge continent(s) and
global sea. Peter accurately recorded “that by the
word of God the heavens existed long ago and the
earth was formed out of water and
by water” (2
“Then God said,” Gen.
exception of Day One (in my view), these words
mark the beginning of each of the six days of
6, 9, 14, 20, 24).
this reason, many evangelical writers have
insisted that Genesis
rather than Genesis
marks the beginning of Day One of creation (e.g.
Allen P. Ross, Genesis, (see his comments on Gen.
(viewed Aug. 31, 2010); Thomas Constable, Dr.
Notes on Genesis,
p. 15 (viewed Aug. 22, 2010). (Constable has
as “The six days of creation,” and he has labeled
as “The first day.” In fairness, he does state
that “Gen. 1:1 may be part of the first day of
creation,” but he has not labeled it that way.)
positioning of the phrases, “Then God said” (vayomer
is mildly problematic for the exegete defending
the view that Genesis
as well as Gen.
describes what happened on Day One of creation. A
closer examination of the actual text, however,
reveals that the phraseology used is far from
formulaic in Genesis
In fact, as we shall see, it is easy to defend the
notion that there is not a
uniform formula. The following table illustrates
the variety of uses of the Hebrew words God
and said (amar)
In the table below, green
represents as formulaic (column 4) the Hebrew
phrase “then said God” using the proper words in
the proper order (column 2) at the start
of a given day (column 3), and as expressing a
command of creation (column 5). Similarly, yellow
represents as non-formulaic (column 4) words out
of order or using a different verb tense or
omitting a word (column 2) and as expressing
something other than a command of creation (column
5). Finally, magenta
represents as non-formulaic the placement
(column 4) of phrases after the
start of a given day (column 3).
the start of day one
of the second day
of the third day
of Waters and Dry Land
the start of the third day
of the fourth day
of the fifth day
of Fish and Fowl
them – God – saying
the start of the fifth day
Blessing issuing in a Divine Command
of Productivity to Fish and Fowl
of the sixth day
of Land Animals
the start of the sixth day
of Man (followed by Creation)
them - God – and said to them - God
the start of the sixth day
Blessing issuing in a Divine Command
of Human Productivity and Rule
the start of the sixth day
of Provision and Instruction
with reference to the seventh day
Divine Blessing of
table above, we give the reference in Genesis (column 1),
duplicate the Hebrew word order (column
2), indicate the location in each day when
something (column 3), and
categorize the nature of that conversation (column
5). In column 4 we have
attempted to identify if there is a repeated
in what God says and (b)
in the placement of His communication in regard
to the start of the day. What we observe is that
the text is not nearly as formulaic as some have
made it out to be. Let us note the specifics.
to column 2,
we find eleven uses of Elohim
in close proximity. Nine of them are identical
with regard to vocabulary and word order. The
two that break the pattern both have to do with
God’s blessing. In Gen.
God blessed the fish and fowl He had created at
the beginning of the Fifth Day, instructing them
to be fruitful and multiply; in Gen.
He blessed the humans whom He had created
after the start of the Sixth Day, instructing
them to be fruitful and multiply. In Gen.
on the Seventh Day, the pattern breaks down
altogether. Though the word God (Elohim)
the word for speaking (amar)
is not used at all. However, just as in the
two previous instances of disjuncture, God
does indeed bless, but what He says is not
quoted. This time He does not bless physical
entities He has created, but He blesses a
unit of measurement of time He has
instituted, the Seventh Day.
to column 3,
which is really the main point of this table, a
startling departure from
formula exists with regard to the words Elohim
There are five instances of uniformity
as regarding maintaining the formula of God
speaking as inaugurating a new day. Thus, God (Elohim)
inaugurate the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and
Sixth Days. (I believe I am justified in
excluding Day One from this category (a) on the
basis of a proper understanding in context of
the vocabulary used on Day One (Gen.
and (b) on the basis of Yahweh’s having
explicitly stated that He had created the
heavens and the earth and the sea and everything
that exists in them in the space of six days [Ex.
being the case, Gen.
must necessarily describe that which occurred on
Day One. There is no other feasible option.) But
though there are five instances of uniformity,
we find that there are at least six instances of
non-uniformity! Let me list
into existence after
the start of Day One (Gen.
the start of the Third Day (Gen.
blessing upon fish and fowl after
the start of the Fifth Day (Gen.
precise words are as follows: “And blessed them,
God, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…’” The
verbal form saying is lemor,
a Qal infinitive construct of amar.
Heretofore, the pattern has been, “Then said
is a Qal waw conversive imperfect, third
masculine singular. (The initial letter waw
is translated “and” or “then.”) Some might
object that this instance in Gen.
does not fit the pattern because amar
is an infinitive (with the initial letter lamedh),
should therefore be excluded from evidence. I
agree that it does not fit the pattern, but I
argue that evidence should not be
“cherry-picked.” This evidence should be
included in the discussion since it is an
occurrence of God (Elohim)
and speaking (amar).
point is that a neatly-packaged uniformity does
not exist, and that the evidence shows it
is not abnormal for God to
speak after the start of a
His imminent creation of man after
the start of the Sixth Day (Gen.
to the newly created couple in the format of a
the start of the Sixth Day, commanding their
performance (“be fruitful and multiply and fill
the earth”), and empowering their limited
sovereignty (“and subdue it and rule over” [the
to the newly created couple after
the start of the Sixth Day, informing them He
had provided both them and the animal kingdom
with every kind of vegetarian provision they
needed for their sustenance (Gen.
we have already learned, the pattern breaks down
altogether on the Seventh Day, for though the
text states that God (Elohim)
Seventh Day, it nowhere records that He spoke.
Every form of amar
is absent. Therefore the data on the Seventh Day
As such, the Seventh Day, along with Day One,
represents a departure from the formula
introducing days two through six.
The evidence is conclusive that there is not a
consistent pattern in the uses of God (Elohim)
and said (amar).
is true that God says something to inaugurate
the Second to the Sixth Days, but it is equally
true that, just as often, He says something after the start of certain days.
If Day One appears to be an anomaly, then the
Seventh Day is an even greater anomaly, for
though the word God (Elohim)
is used, the word said (amar)
never is! My whole point is that it is a fallacy
to argue that, just because the words God
and said (amar)
inaugurate the Second through Sixth Days, they
must necessarily inaugurate Day One. The
evidence does not fit that arbitrary conclusion.
to column 4,
which is really a summary column, we can see
visually that the instances of disjuncture, or
non-formulaic uses of Elohim
actually outnumber the formulaic instances.
Instances in which the words,
in their proper order, and their placement
at the beginning of a day are
five in number, and are thus formulaic. These
9, 14, 20, 24.
Instances in which the words
are formulaic, but their placement
after the start of a given day
are non-formulaic, are four in number. These
11, 26, 29.
Instances in which the words
are out of order (or words
are missing) and, in addition, their placement
is after the start of a given
day are three in number. These include Genesis
Thus, with respect to word selection and
placement in a given day, there are five
formulaic occurrences, but there are a total of
seven non-formulaic occurrences. The conclusion
is that there is no statistical or linguistic
evidence that Genesis
must necessarily mark the start
of Day One of creation.
to column 5,
we are able to visualize the content of the
words associated in the context of God (Elohim)
can observe that there are some qualitative
differences in the content of God’s speech.
all, there are six instances in which God’s
speaking amounted to a “Command
Creation.” These include Genesis
6, 11, 14, 20, 24.
By “Command of Creation,” I refer to the
instances in which God spoke, commanding some
new entity or entities into existence. These new
entities include light (Gen. 1:3),
“expanse” (atmosphere) (Gen.
bodies (sun, moon, stars) (Gen.
and fowl (Gen.
1:20), and land animals (Gen.
six instances reveal a certain formula
used in Genesis 1:1-2:3 describing God’s speech.
is that God
commanding something into existence that has
not been there before, and that entity is
created by God’s speech.
are another six instances in which God’s speaking
amounted to something
than a “Command of Creation.” These
represent a departure
formula. (1) At the start of the Third
Day, God’s speech amounted to an arrangement or
rearrangement of existing entities, not an actual
creation. Nothing new was formed, but existing
entities were rearranged (Gen.
and soil already existed, but all of the soil was
submerged, and most likely a significant portion
of the soil was in suspension. God’s creative
speech rearranged the water and soil so that a
certain quantity of soil was elevated above water
level. This elevated soil is identified as “dry
called it “earth” (erets).
of Arrangement” is a departure from the
formula since nothing new was created, but only
rearranged. (2) After the start of the Fifth Day,
God’s speech consisted of a blessing upon His
newly created fish and fowl (Gen.
blessing, He commanded them to “be fruitful and
multiply” in their respective environments. This Verbalization
Blessing, followed by a Command
Productivity represents a departure from
formula, since nothing was created. (3) After the
start of the Sixth Day there was a Divine
discussion about creating man (Gen.
us make man in Our image according to Our
likeness.” So God discussed creating man, but that
discussion is different than a “Command of
Creation,” “Let there be man!” In fact, no
“Command of Creation” was stated to be used in the
creation of man. The text merely states, “God
created man in His own image, in the image of God
He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen.
is present in the text, but amar
is missing. This Divine
of Creation represents a departure from
formula. (4) After God had already created man,
the text states that God blessed man, and that
this blessing issued in a “Command
Productivity” followed by a “Command
Rule.” Literally, the text reads, “Then
blessed them – God – and said (amar)
to them – God (Elohim),
fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth [Command
Productivity], and subdue it; and
exercise dominion over the fish of the sea and
over the birds of the heavens, and over every
living thing, the one moving about on the earth” [Command
author’s literal translation). Again, since there
is no “Command of Creation,” there is a departure
from formula. (5) After God has completed His work
of creation on the Sixth Day, God said something
(using the formulaic words), but what He said was
spoke to the couple, instructing them that He had
given to them every plant which had seed and every
tree bearing fruit with seed as a source of food
both for humans and for animals. Since what God
said amount to a Divine
of Provision and Instruction, and did not
create a new entity, it was a departure from the
formula. (6) On the
Seventh Day, there was a profound departure from
formula. God created nothing, and He rearranged
nothing. Of greatest significance to our present
discussion is this: though Moses used the word God (Elohim),
did not use the word said (amar)
at all in discussing the Seventh Day. God had
completed His work of creating the heavens and the
earth and everything in them. Consequently, He
rested from all the work He had done. Because He
had completed His work, God “blessed (barak)
the seventh day and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:1-3).
Since God rested and did not create, and because
the word said (amar)
is not even used, the Description
Blessing on the Seventh Day constitutes a
remarkable departure from formula. If it be
argued, “We cannot count the Seventh Day in our
discussion of formula and non-formula because God
had finished creating,” I would respond, “Ah, but
the Creation Week consisted of seven days, not
six.” Further, I would argue, “If the Seventh Day
is fundamentally different, why can there not be a
less remarkable difference on Day One?” At least
God said (amar)
something on Day One. The fact
that God said something after the
start of Day One is not so remarkable when
one examines all the other departures from formula
in the Creation Week.
might demand, “Give me one good reason why, stylistically, I should believe
that Day One begins at Genesis
and not at Gen.
– because each of the subsequent days, Second
through Sixth, all begin with the formula “Then
God said.” Let me attempt to answer that
is impossible to answer that demand with
certainty. Some day, perhaps, I will broach that
subject with God and Moses. The best answer I
can give is this, that apparently the Divine and
human authors of Genesis believed it was
important to communicate to the readers what God
created initially on Day One,
and the conditions of the
terrestrial part of that creation, and the activity
of the Spirit of God upon that creation before
they communicated what God said.
records what God did on Day
One, but the earth at that point was completely
uninhabitable by design. God’s
speaking light into existence on Day One (Gen.
was the first step in making the fledgling earth
habitable. And, to be straightforward, that is
what each of God’s speeches and activities on
each of the succeeding days accomplished. As it
stands, the first verse of the Bible,
stylistically, is a supreme perfection of
simplicity and profundity: “In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth.”
Stylistically, how can we possibly improve upon
that? If Genesis
had begun, “In the beginning, God said, ‘Let
there be the heavens and the earth’”, we would
have missed that marvelous word bara,
created. And we would feel that there was an
opening prologue that was missing. And we still
would have been faced with the following: “Now
(NIV) the earth was formless and void, and
darkness was over the surface of the deep, and
the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of
the deep” (Gen.
influenced by the dogma of evolution would still
be wanting to insert vast eons of time in there
somewhere. Gap theorists would still
hold onto their Gap
would still insist that the
days of creation cannot be taken literally, and
represent instead, vast reaches of time. Theistic
would still insist that Gen.
is poetry, not historical narrative, and they
would stretch the Biblical days into millions of
years in order to accommodate evolution. And
those who hold to the Chaos
would still say the original
earth had been created in the dateless past.
Stylistically, the opening statements of Genesis
would suffer. Stylistically, what God said and
the way He said it are magnificent. Let it stand
as it is!
have already mentioned that it is imprecise
exegesis to exclude the Seventh Day from the
discussion. The Seventh Day is just as much a
part of the Creation Week as are the preceding
six days. God is not reported to have “said” (amar)
anything at all on the Seventh Day. The word
is used, but not the word said (amar).
there is already a difference in the Seventh Day
of Creation. Why not also on Day One?
believe that the most formidable answer to that
objection lies within the larger structure of
the book of Genesis as a whole. Every reader of
Genesis in Hebrew is familiar with the
importance of the word toledoth
in the structural, or stylistic format of
appears in Genesis thirteen times: Gen.
5:1; 6:9; 10:1, 32; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 13, 19;
36:1, 9; 37:2.
(a plural noun) most often is translated as generations (KJV, NASB). In
Genesis it generally means “the account of” or
“what became of”. Thomas Constable uses this
word as a basis for outlining Genesis (Notes
pp. 5-6, viewed on September 9, 2010). His
outline goes as follows: I.
Primeval events (Gen.
The story of creation (Gen.
What became of the creation (Gen. 2:4-4:26);
What became of Adam (Gen.
What became of Noah (Gen.
What became of Noah’s sons (Gen.
What became of Shem (Gen. 11:10-26);
II. Patriarchal narratives (Gen.
11:27-50:26); A. What became of Terah (Gen.
What became of Ishmael (Gen.
What became of Isaac (Gen.
What became of Esau (Gen. 36:1-37:1);
became of Jacob (Gen.
is particularly germane to the discussion at
hand is this: notice that the outline indicators
do not start at the beginning of the book! Toledoth
does not occur until Genesis
cannot be excluded from what happened in Genesis
any more than Genesis
can be excluded from the Creation Week recorded
tells how God sequentially upgraded the heavens
and earth that God began creating on Day One in
Had God left the earth in the condition He first
created it (Gen.
would have been uninhabitable. But He did not
create the earth to be “a waste place, but
formed it to be inhabited” (Isa.
Conclusion: The story of the
Creation Week begins at Genesis
Day One begins at Genesis
Just because God is not recorded as saying
something until Genesis 1:3 does not preclude
His creative activity from beginning on Day One
said, “Let there be light”; and there was
Here, part way through Day One, God took a
significant step in making the as yet
uninhabitable earth habitable. He created light.
What is light? At its most basic level, light is
energy (see The
offsite). Light is a means of transferring
energy through space. We can also say that light
is electromagnetic radiation. Typically, when we
use the word light, we think only of optical
light. But optical light is only the portion of
the complete spectrum of electromagnetic
radiation that is visible to the human eye. In
addition to optical light, for example, there
exist gamma-rays, X-rays, ultraviolet, infrared,
and radio waves. To illustrate the notion that
light is energy, it is helpful to understand
that light travels in waves of particles. Each
particle is called a photon. Different kinds of
photons carry different amounts of energy. An
X-ray photon, for example, carries much more
energy than an optical or radio photon. These
photons travel in waves, or measurable speeds of
vibration. In the optical realm, “blue
has a higher frequency of vibration (or a
shorter wavelength) than … red light.”
like most entities in the created order, is a
lot more complicated that it appears to be.
significant to note that God created light on
Day One before He created the sun or moon or any
stars. That did not take place until the fourth
day. There are some who object to the idea that
God would be recorded as creating light before
the existence of the sun. But that is a specious
objection. Let me illustrate by asking a couple
of simple questions: Has man been able to create
artificial light independent of the sun? The
answer is, “Of course!” We burned wood or
anything flammable as an artificial light source
for millennia. More recently we burned coal oil
or kerosene as a light source in our lamps. Then
we created the incandescent light bulb. We have
invented fluorescent lights and neon lights. If
man can create artificial light sources that
operate without the sun (when it is nighttime),
why could God not create light on Day One that
existed independently of the yet-to-be-created
sun or stars? That is a trifling matter for God.
What would be the source of the light that God
created on Day One? That source would be God
Himself. Let me illustrate this way. The
ultimate capital city of New Earth will be New
Jerusalem, described in significant detail in Revelation
We are told, “And the city has no need of the
sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory
of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the
Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and
the kings of the earth will bring their glory
into it. In the daytime (for there will be no
night there) its gates will never be closed;” (Rev.
is light” (1
in a physical and a metaphysical sense. The
light that God spoke into existence consisted,
at least, of a visible (optical) and probably an
invisible display of His own glory. And this
transference of energy from God to the physical
universe would have taken place irrespective of
the sun or any stars. There was an independent
light source created on Day One in relationship
to which the planet earth rotated to complete
the first cycle of Day One (Gen.
light source, I submit, was a visible
manifestation of the glory of God.
that the light was good
almost amounts to a Divine pun. When the light
appeared, God could see (raah)
that it was good (insert smiley face). The
light, of course, did not enable God to see. He
sees equally well in darkness or light (Psa.
demonstrated by Psa.
man cannot see at all in total darkness, and God
was incrementally molding the earth and the
universe into conditions that were optimal for
man to thrive and enjoy. (See The
means that God perceived the light as being
good, pleasant, or agreeable. If there were no
(optical) light, think of the incredible joys we
would be denied! A blind person can experience a
great deal of life. He still possesses
intelligence and can communicate. But think of
all the incredible vistas he would never
experience! We could also add that light, as
being good (tob),
beneficial. Light, for example, provides warmth
for the planet, absolutely necessary for
survival in the frigid realms of space, and it
provides a necessary engine for photosynthesis.
is the ability God has given plants to produce
complex organic materials, especially
carbohydrates, from water, carbon dioxide, and
inorganic salts, using light as a source of
energy along with the aid of chlorophyll and
associated pigments. So light is beneficial to
plants, and since plants would be the food
source for both animals and man (Gen.
would also be good, in the sense of beneficial,
to man and animals on that account.
pp.56-57) speculates in a remarkable way on the
action of the Godhead in creation to this point:
types of force and energy which interact in the
universe involve only electromagnetic,
gravitational, and nuclear forces; and all of
these had now been activated. Though no doubt
oversimplified, this tremendous creative act of
the godhead might be summarized by saying that
the nuclear forces maintaining the integrity of
matter were activated by the Father when He
created the elements of the space-mass-time
continuum, the gravitational forces were
activated by the Spirit when He brought form and
motion to the initially static and formless
matter, and the electromagnetic forces were
activated by the Word when He called light into
existence out of the darkness. Of course, God is
One, and all three persons of the Godhead
actually participated in all parts of the
creation and continue to function in the
maintenance of the universe so created.
separated the light from the darkness
Moses wrote these words, he could not possibly
have known about the portions of electromagnetic
radiation that are invisible to the human eye.
His concern (and God’s concern also) was
differentiating between optical light and
darkness. Some observations about light are in
First, when God initially created light, it
appears that light may have been pervasive. What
do I mean by pervasive? Let me illustrate. In
the distant future, God will create New
– plural in Isa.
66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13,
singular in Rev.
66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1)
because the existing heaven (universe) and earth
have been irremediably contaminated by sin. From
an exceedingly high mountain, John was
privileged to see the Holy
in the process of descending (Rev.
from the Heaven
where God presently dwells. This New
John saw was continually manifesting the glory
of God in terms of an optical brilliance (Rev.
glory of God and the Lamb (Jesus) illuminating
the city was so intense that there was no need
of either sun or moon to shine on it (Rev.
brilliant glory John saw was not confined only
to the city. He predicted that when these
conditions manifest themselves in the future,
the nations of New
will be able to function by means of the city’s
great light, and the kings of New
will be able to transport their glory
(presumably produce and manufactured goods) into
the city twenty four hours a day. This will be
true because there will never be any night there
and the gates of the city will never be closed (Rev.
the optically unveiled glory of God and the Lamb
will be so great that there will be a visible
brilliance both within the city and an external
brilliance from the city casting light on huge
portions of New
(It is likely, in view of the present participle
used in both Rev.
that the enormous city never actually rests upon
but rather is suspended as a satellite city,
perhaps in geosynchronous orbit above the land
of Israel on New
only will there be an external brilliance from
the glory of God and of the Lamb emanating from
but there will be an internal brilliance.
Apparently there will be no need of artificial
lighting within the buildings and homes of the
city. John affirms that there will be no need,
not only of illumination from the sun, but for
any illumination from any lamp (Rev.
the glory of God and of Jesus will not only
illumine the city and radiate outward from the
city, but it will illuminate the interiors of
buildings and rooms in the city! This light from
the glory of God will be pervasive indeed. I say
all that to say this: Evidently when God said,
“Let there be light!” on Day One (Gen.
light was pervasive. At the same time, God knew
that the finite creatures He would create would
need periodic, regular rest. For that, there
must be a regular period of darkness. So part of
God’s creative act with reference to light on
Day One was not to obliterate darkness entirely,
but to allow for alternating periods of light
and darkness as the Earth rotated on its axis in
reference to that light. So God centralized or
focused the light reflecting his own innate
glory to allow for nocturnal rest and
rejuvenation. It is in that sense, I believe,
that God separated the light from the darkness.
Second, some, unfortunately, have portrayed
light upon the newly created earth as being good
not only in an esthetic and functional sense,
but in a moral, ethical sense. And the darkness,
they opine, signifies an unethical, unholy, evil
aura (Ross, TBKC,
I, pp. 28-29, viewed 9/20/10). In that sense,
they hypothesize, the initial earth must have
become contaminated. And by whom? By Satan,
of course. Now it is true, of course, that later
on in time and in Scripture, light and darkness
are portrayed as polar opposites in the moral,
ethical spectrum (see e.g. Isa.
9:2; Matt. 6:23; John 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:46; Rom.
13:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:5; 1
Pet. 2:9; 1 John 1:5; 2:9).
that is the point. The negative ethical and
moral connotation of darkness was a later
development. The difficulty with the “darkness
is evil” hypothesis in Genesis
is that there is NO RECORD in the text of Gen.
was present on Earth any time before his mention
In fact, there WAS NO SIN in connection with
the Earth God created. So the darkness that
needed to be rectified by light was not an
ethical or moral darkness, but a functional
and esthetic deficiency. If it is dark,
neither man, nor animal can see, and plants,
the source of food for both, cannot grow. So
created life could not survive without light.
To insist that the darkness of Genesis
signified an ethical or moral deficiency is to
import later ideas from later passages of
Scripture into a beginning text in which they
do not exist. Quite to the contrary, periodic
darkness was necessary to provide nightly rest
for the creatures God would soon create. And
the darkness would never be total, for God
would create a lesser light, the moon, to
govern the nighttime (Gen.
God would later pronounce the developments
upon earth, which included alternating periods
of light and darkness as
being good (tob)
the light day, and the darkness He called
is the first of five times that God
“called” in this Creation passage (Gen.
time (in this context) the verb called
means that God named or labeled an entity. (1)
God called the light day (Gen.
God called the darkness night (Gen.
God called the expanse heaven (Gen.
God called the dry land earth (Gen.
God called the gathered waters seas (Gen.
thought, the idea of naming something is not
merely attaching a random label to it. It
carries the idea of identifying the essence of
that thing (see H. C. Leupold, Exposition
I, p. 55, viewed Sept. 21, 2010). The idea of
naming something or labeling it also shows a
certain mastery of that entity. (See Constable,
p. 15, viewed Sept. 21, 2010. See Genesis
2 Kings 24:17; Daniel 1:7.)
name or identify or classify something is part
of the very nature of God. Since God later
created man in His own image and likeness (Gen.
would bring animals to man and see what man
would call (qara)
them. And whatever man called (qara)
a living creature, that was its name (shem)
records, literally, that the man “called (qara)
all the cattle, birds and beasts. That
naming/labeling/classifying process revealed to
man experientially that he had no suitable
helper, as did the animals. After God created a
female counterpart to man and brought her to
him, the man called (qara)
her woman (Gen.
point is this: to call something is to name it,
or accurately classify it and, to a certain
degree, to exercise mastery over it. By way of
illustration, we have all gone to the doctor
with certain symptoms that we cannot identify.
When he diagnoses our illness, we are somehow
comforted. We don’t feel any better physically,
but we feel better emotionally and
psychologically, because both the doctor and we
ourselves now have a degree of mastery over the
inexplicable symptoms. We have the flu, or the
ankle is badly sprained but not broken. Even if
we are diagnosed with some kind of cancer, there
is a certain amount of relief in knowing what
kind of cancer we have and what the alternative
methods of treatment are and what our prognosis
might be. Similarly, those who favor abortion
seek to control others’ perception of them by
naming themselves as “pro-life” rather than
“those who seek to kill unborn babies.” God
exercised mastery over the conditions of light
and darkness by classifying the light as day and
the darkness as night.
labels are very geocentric and anthropocentric.
By geocentric I mean that day
and night have significance with respect to our
earth. The existence of day and night
demonstrates that the light that was initially
pervasive was now localized, and that the earth
was now regularly rotating in respect to the
light source God had just created. Out in the
middle of deep space, the terms day and night
have no significance. Their significance is
related to the earth. By anthropocentric,
I mean that the terms day and night have primary significance
for man, as opposed to animals. Obviously
animals can differentiate between light and
darkness, but they don’t call the darkness night
nor do they call the light day. Those are human
terms, understood by man. God labeled the
darkness and the light for man’s benefit, not
for the benefit of animals.
the meaning of the word day (yom)?
it clearly means the illuminated portion of a
24-hour period of time. So also night
refers to the non-illuminated portion of a
24-hour day. So in the very first occurrence of
the word day in the Bible, it is self limiting.
It is unequivocally linked to a 24-hour period
of time, not a vast span of time (as theistic
would have us believe).
was evening and there was morning, one day
some who have attempted to infer that this
repeated phrase marks the genesis of the Semitic
day beginning at evening. That is unlikely, for
the reason that the phrase marks the completion,
not the commencement of the activities on day
one of creation.
27) translates this phrase, “Then came
evening, then came morning – the first day.”
What is clearly indicated here is a sequence of
events following the illuminated portion of that
first 24-hour day. God had created light, and
then localized it. The earth was rotating on its
axis in relation to that light. As the day wore
on, sunset finally arrived. So evening came,
and, after a period of time, morning came. That
completed the cycle of Divine activity on Day
One of creation.
out that some have attempted to make Gen. 1 the
origin of the Semitic notion that a new day begins
in the evening. But he does not believe that can
be deduced from this passage. Here, he notes, the
arrival of evening followed by morning came at the
end of the first day’s activities, not its
beginning. For the Jewish people, the concept of a
day beginning at sunset is more likely related to
the Divinely-specified protocol for the observance
of the Jewish Sabbath (see Lev. 23:32).
In his comments
Gen. 1:5, C. F. Keil (Keil and Delitzsch)
wrote, "It follows from this, that the days of
creation are not reckoned from evening to evening,
but from morning to morning. The first day does
not fully terminate till the light returns after
the darkness of night; it is not till the break of
the new morning that the first interchange of
light and darkness is completed ...."
Here then, is the sequence on the first day of
creation: (1) God created the heavens. (2) God
created the earth. (3) God created by command
light. (4) As the earth rotated in relation to the
fixed light source, evening came, and with it
darkness. (5) The first 24-hour day was terminated
by the arrival ot the dawn, or morning.
Two questions are at stake here: (1) What is the
nature of the word day (yom)?
(2) What is the significance of the word one
appearing in the cardinal, rather than the ordinal
(1) What is the
nature of the word day (yom)? The word day is used
in two different senses in Genesis 1:5. It is
first used by God to denote the illuminated
portion of existence upon earth as opposed to the
darkened portion of existence. As the earth
rotates on its axis, a given spot on the globe is
alternately exposed to light and then to darkness.
In English, it is appropriate to call the
illuminated portion "day" or "daytime." In Hebrew
it is yom.
In the second part of Gen. 1:5, day is used to
denote a complete cycle
of daytime followed by nighttime. We now speak of
a solar day, or a 24-hour day, but on Day One
there was no sun in respect to which the earth
rotated on its axis, but rather some other light
source. We are not told what that light source
was, but presumably, as suggested above, it was a
visible display of the glory of God. In any event,
the amount of time for a day-night cycle was
essentially the same then as it is today, granting
the entropy (decay) associated with six thousand
years plus of the earth's existence.
According to Francis
Humphrey, a third
of day (yom) is
to be found in Genesis 2:4:
Genesis 2:4, yôm
is part of an anarthrous 1
meaning not ‘in the day’
but simply ’when’."
There can be no doubt that, in the latter part of
Genesis 1:5, by writing, "And there was evening
and there was morning, one day," Moses was
delineating a 24-hour day or what in three days
could accurately be termed a solar day. The terms
evening and morning must doubtless refer to a
24-hour day. This limiting context is stated first
in Genesis 1:5, then repeated in Gen.
1:8, 13, 19, 23, and 31. As Humphrey concludes,
"…it is clearly preferable to read Gen.
1:5b as defining a yôm
for the following sequence of ordinals-namely
one cycle of evening and morning, signifying a
complete 24-hour day embracing both the period
of darkness and the period of light.”
It should be noted that the day-night cycle
of the first day was, by necessity,
different than the succeeding days. Whereas
each succeeding day began with daybreak or
dawn, the first day began in utter darkness.
In other words, when God created the heavens
and the earth (Gen. 1:1), it was pitch black
(Gen. 1:2). How long it was dark we are not
told. How long the Spirit of God was moving
over the surface of the waters before God
created light (Gen. 1:3), we are not told.
What we are told by God as recorded by Moses
is that God created everything that came
into existence in six days (Ex. 20:11). And
God nowhere in Scripture indicated a
chronological disparity between the first
day and the succeeding days. We humans would
be unwise unilaterally to impose a
difference where none is stated to exist.
For millennia, few questioned Moses' account
of the origin of the universe, the earth,
and life. Indeed, through the first roughly
1800 years of the church's existence, it was
assumed that God created the cosmos and that
he did it in six days. There were some
allegorists, such as "Clement, Origen, and
Augustine, [who] did not consider the days
of creation as 24-hour days, but, even as
old-earth advocate Davis Young states,
neither did they see non-literal days
conflicting with their young-earth view"
(Davis A. Young, Christianity and the Age of
the Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,
1982), p. 19 and 22, as quoted by James R.
Mook, "The Church Fathers on Genesis, the
Flood, and the Age of the Earth", p. 26 in Coming
Grips with Genesis). It was understood
that a day meant a day. But with the advent
of the theory of evolution,
with its emphasis on geological uniformitarianism,
a number of theologians and Hebrew scholars
attempted to find new ways to interpret the
account. Many tried to reconcile the
Biblical account with the vast amounts of
time demanded by the doctrine of evolution.
Instead of allowing the clear teaching of
Scripture to stand in judgment on on the
anti-supernatural biases and presuppositions
of the scientific community, the Christian
community, led by Christian scholars,
capitulated to the dogmas foisted upon them.
But those who took the Bible seriously had
to deal with the text of Gen. 1. So they
resorted to non-literal methods of exegesis
or ingenious manipulations of the Hebrew
syntax to accommodate the scientific views.
One way to do that was to assign vast
periods of time to the account of the "days"
of creation. Here is a brief list of the
theories regarding the days of creation that
have been concocted to satisfy the time
parameters mandated by evolution:
Theory. The days of creation
are not literal days, as a straight-forward
reading of Gen. 1 would lead one to believe.
Instead they represent vast periods of time.
This theory, unsupported by an exegesis of
Gen. 1, was concocted to create the amount
of time required by the uniformitarian
presuppositions of the dogma of evolution.
Specifically, for example, uniformitarian
geology holds that the geologic strata found
around the earth were laid down by natural
processes over millions upon millions of
years. But this is untrue. The geologic
strata were not laid down gradually over
millions of years by natural processes, but
over a short period of time during the
global, catastrophic geological devastation
caused by the Flood of Noah (Gen. 6-8).
Another term for this non-literal approach
to the days of creation is Progressive
Creationism. Astrophysicist Hugh
Believe, holds to Progressive
Creationism. He also believes the Genesis
stratagem to avoid the clear meaning of
in Genesis 1:1-2:3 in a failed attempt to
harmonize the Biblical teaching of Creation
with the Old-Earth
implications of the theory of Evolution.
In the Framework Hypothesis, God was not
meaning to convey literal or scientific
truth. Rather He sought to convey a theology
of creation through a literary or symbolic
framework of six days. Proponents of
the Framework Hypothesis include Arie
Noordtzij, Meredith Kline, Mark D. Futato, Lee
Irons, Henri Blocher, Bruce Waltke, Gordon
Wenham, Mark Throntveit, Ronald F. Youngblood,
and W. Robert Godfrey (all referenced with
their publications by Todd
S. Beall, "Contemporary Hermeneutical
Approaches to Gen. 1-11", footnote 11,
pp. 151-152, Coming
Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and
the Age of the Earth and Beall, op.
Theory. This theory holds
that there were vast quantities of time
between the days of creation. No
straightforward reading of the account in
Gen. 1 would lead one to support this
theory. It was concocted by Biblical
scholars who have been cowed into believing
that science demands an Old
Earth. The evolutionary
theory demands vast quantities of time.
Old-Earth creationists, attempting to
accommodate the Biblical account with Evolution,
keep searching for ways to insert more time
into Genesis. Inevitably, they violate a
normal reading of the passage.
that Insert Time into the Genesis Record
In addition to theories regarding the days
of creation, other theories have been
created to insert more time into the
Creation Account of Genesis:
Theory. There is an enormous
gap of time between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2.
According to some who hold this theory, God
created an initial pristine universe as
described in Genesis 1:1. But something
ruined it. What or who ruined it? Why it was
Satan and his angels, who fell. So God had
to judge the world with a global cataclysm.
This accounts for the trillions of fossils
scattered throughout the geological ages.
Genesis 1:2 then, according to these
theorists, describes the condition of the
earth after God judged it. It was utterly
dark, without form, void, and covered with
water. Genesis 1:3-31 accounts for God's recreation
of the cosmos. The Gap Theory is also known
as the "Ruin
and Reconstruction" Theory. By
whatever name, this theory is untenable
theologically, because it makes God say that
everything He had created was "good" (Gen.
1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25) and "very good"
(Gen. 1:31) even though the re-created world
was littered with the fossils of animals
that had died and lay buried in the geologic
strata that everywhere around the globe
testify of a cataclysmic judgment.
Furthermore, it diametrically opposes the
clear statement that it was by one man,
Adam, that sin entered the world, and death
through sin (Romans 5:12-14). Though it
never used the words "gap theory", the Scofield
Bible popularized this unbiblical
concept and helped spread it through scores
of otherwise conservative Bible colleges and
seminaries. Here are the words of the 1917
edition commenting on the phrase "without
and void" in Genesis 1:2:
4:23-27 ; Isaiah 24:1; 45:18 clearly
indicate that the earth had undergone a
cataclysmic change as the result of divine
judgment. The face of the earth bears
everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe.
There are not wanting imitations which
connect it with a previous testing and fall
See Ezekiel 28:12-15 ; Isaiah 14:9-14 which
certainly go beyond the kings of Tyre and
The 1917 edition stated the concept of the
Gap Theory in its note on the phrase "without
and void" as found in Jeremiah 4:23:
1:2 . "Without form and void" describes the
condition of the earth as the result of
judgment ; Jeremiah 4:24-26 ; Isaiah 24:1
which overthrew the primal order of Genesis
edition gave three
for defining the word "day" in Genesis
The word "day"
is used in Scripture in three ways:
(1) that part of the solar day of
twenty-four hours which is light Genesis
1:5; Genesis 1:14 ; John 9:4; 11:9.
(2) such a day, set apart for some
distinctive purpose, as, "day of atonement"
( Leviticus 23:27 ); "day of judgment"
Matthew 10:15 .
(3) a period of time, long or short, during
which certain revealed purposes of God are
to be accomplished, as "day of the Lord."
The 1917 edition also revealed its bias
toward the Day-Age Theory in its notes on
the word "evening"
in Genesis 1:6:
The use of
"evening" and "morning" may be held to limit
"day" to the solar day; but the frequent
parabolic use of natural phenomena may
warrant the conclusion that each creative
"day" was a period of time marked off by a
beginning and ending.
Some who hold to the Gap Theory even posit a
race of pre-Adamic men, of which the Bible
never speaks. To the contrary it affirms
that God made every nation of men from
one (my translation, emphasis mine.
17:26). All truly human (and other)
fossils found are descendants of Adam. If
they are buried in strata, they probably
died during Noah's flood. There is no fossil
record of pre-Adamic men, for there are
of Origins. This is
the interpretation that the earth as described
1:2 was chaotic, cursed, under God's
judgment, and even evil. As such it needed to
be redeemed. It is my view that otherwise
conservative scholars who hold to this
view have felt compelled to adjust their
exegesis of Scripture to accommodate the
prounouncements of evolutionists and their
view of an ancient
Creationists have withstood this
pressure. Allen P. Ross and Bruce Waltke hold
to some version of this view.
Allen Ross, (The
Genesis, p. 28) for example, holds that
Satan ruined the original heavens
and earth, which God had created at
some point in the dateless past. What this
amounts to is a more sophisticated version
of the Gap
. People who hold to this view
import from elsewhere in Scripture elements
of sin and cursing and judgment into Genesis
1:2 that are not found in the text of Gen.
1. The earth as described in Genesis 1:2 was
neither chaotic, nor sinful, nor evil, nor
under judgment. It was simply unorganized
and unproductive, uninhabited, aqueous, and
dark. It was all that God intended it to be
at this stage of God's creation on Day 1.
(See my word
, particularly the conclusion
at the end of tohu
and the conclusion
at the end of bohu
end this discussion of the nature of the
word day (yom)
with the following statement by Francis
The fact that
for the bulk of the passage [Genesis
1:1-2:4], the word yôm
is accompanied by sequential numerical
denotation and the language of ‘evening and
morning’ gives a prima facie
that regular 24-hour days are in view.
(2) What is the
significance of the word one (echad) appearing in
the cardinal, rather than the ordinal
form? The careful Hebrew scholar
notes that Moses used the cardinal one
in reference to the initial day of creation
(Gen. 1:5), but thereafter used the ordinals
in the succeeding days (Gen. 1:8, 13, 19,
23, 31; 2:2-3).
Steinmann has written a definitive
on the use of echad in Genesis 1:5.
Here is a list of the topics Steinmann
as an ordinal number in numbering units of
time" (p. 577). His conclusion (p. 580): "Echad
may be used in place of the ordinal rishon
when enumerating time periods, but only in
two special idioms. One of these
designates the day of a month, the other
the year of a reign of a king. In all
other cases of periods of time (days,
months or years) the ordinal number is
2. "Countables" (p. 581). The cardinal
can serve as an ordinal number to
count the first of a small number of
things. Examples include:
Gen 2:11: “the first [river]” (of four
Gen 4:19: “the name of the first [wife]
was Adah” (of two wives)
Exod 26:4, 5; 36:11: “the first curtain”
(of two curtains)
Exod 28:17; 39:10: “the first row” (of
Exod 29:40; Num 28:7: “for the first
lamb” (of two lambs)
1 Kgs 6:24: “the first cherub” (of two
Job 42:14: “the name of the first [he
called] Jemimah (of three daughters)
Ezek 10:14: “the face of the first
[creature] was the face of a cherub (of
in Genesis 1:5" (p. 582). In this regard Steinmann
If this means, as most translators and
commentators understand it, “There was
an evening and a morning, the first
day,” we can find no precedent for the
use of echad
here. It cannot be the use of a cardinal
number as an ordinal to enumerate a time
period, since this only applies to days
of a month or the years of a king’s
reign. Neither of these is the case
here, despite the references to the use
as an ordinal to denote a first day by
Moreover, this cannot
be the typical use of echad
to begin a list of countables. First,
the lack of an article on both echad
is unattested elsewhere in the OT for a
list of countables. Secondly, none of
the following ordinal numbers for the
second through fifth days has an
article, nor is there an article with yom
(Gen 1:8, 13, 19, 23). This, again, is
unattested elsewhere in the OT.
What is Steinmann's
It would appear as if the text is very
carefully crafted so that an alert
reader cannot read it as “the first
day.” Instead, by omission of the
article it must be read as “one day,”
thereby defining a day as something akin
to a twenty-four hour solar period with
light and darkness and transitions
between day and night, even though there
is no sun until the fourth day. This
would then explain the lack of articles
on the second through fifth days (p.
like the English word “day,” can take on
a variety of meanings. It does not in
and of itself mean a twenty-four hour
day. This alone has made the length of
the days in Gen. 1 a perennially
controversial subject. However, the use
in Gen 1:5 and the following unique uses
of the ordinal numbers on the other days
demonstrates that the text itself
indicates that these are regular solar
days (p. 584).
of the preceding, it is clearly
preferable to read Gen. 1:5b as defining
for the following sequence of ordinals -
namely one cycle of evening and morning,
signifying a complete 24-hour day
embracing both the period of darkness
and the period of light. Having used the
to establish that definition of yôm, the
chapter then goes on in the expected
It is clear that both Humphrey
concur that echad,
in Genesis 1:5, is not being used as an
ordinal, but as a cardinal number in order
to define what a day is in the context of
Genesis 1:1-2:3: A day is a 24-hour period
equivalent to a solar day. Day (yom)
cannot be stretched into a lengthy period
I agree with their conclusions.
ends his entire
article with the following
observation, with which I concur:
It has been
my experience that those who question the
normal historical narrative reading of
Genesis 1:1–2:4 tend to be my fellow
evangelicals. Theological liberals
recognize the text as saying that God
created the universe in six 24-hour days.
They see evangelicals who adopt
alternative readings of the text as
engaged in a form of suspect apologetics.
I believe the liberal critique to be
accurate. Where I differ from them,
however, is that I believe the text is
correct in what it is teaching. A more
effective apologetic therefore lies in
simply admitting what the text proclaims
and showing that it has far more
explanatory power than many people think.
In that light, I am excited by the kind of
research being conducted by CMI
and likeminded creation science
organizations. God means what He says and
He did it just as Genesis says he did!
lacking the definite article. If the
definite article were present (represented
by the vowel marking pathach under
the beth) then it would signify
‘in the day’. Its lack signifies an
idiomatic use meaning ‘when’ as in the NIV
Editor. This completes Day One of Creation.
of Creation and subsequent days of
creation articles are in process.