Observations in Genesis, Part 1

[See next passage, Genesis 2:4-24Genesis 2:4-24
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens. 5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” 18 Yahweh God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

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]Observations in Genesis Part 1A brief un-exhaustive summary of observations made through personal study of the book of Genesis.

PASSAGE: Genesis 1:1-2:4Genesis 1:1-2:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

Genesis 1 1 In the beginning God After “God,” the Hebrew has the two letters “Aleph Tav” as a grammatical marker. created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. There was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. 8 God called the expanse sky. There was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good. 11 God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with its seed in it, on the earth,” and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth,” and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky.” 21 God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind,” and it was so. 25 God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good. 26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. 30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 2 1 The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their guardians. 2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which he had created and made. 4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens.

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CONTEXT

Literary Context: Genesis is the first of sixty-six books in the Bible. This is the first passage in the book of Genesis which means it is the first passage in the entire Bible. The genre is an Old Testament narrative.

Cultural and Historical Context: Genesis was probably written around 1400 B.C. around the time that the Israelites were wandering in the Wilderness. They just left Egypt where polytheism was present, and where people worshipped gods like Ra (the sun good) and Thoth (the moon god). “In Egypt, for example, the creator- god Ptah uses the preexistent waters (personified as the god Nun) to create the universe. The same is true in Mesopotamian belief: it is out of the gods of watery chaos—Apsu, Tiamat, and Mummu—that creation comes. The biblical creation account sits in stark contrast to such dark mythological polytheism. In the biblical account, water at creation is no deity; it is simply something God created, and it serves as material in the hands of the sole sovereign Creator” (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament).

The Israelites were headed to the Promised Land where the Canaanites dwelled. The Canaanites were also polytheists who had their own creation stories and gods. It is important to understand the world views and beliefs that the original audience of this text had. It helps us understand what the text meant to them, and then we can learn how to apply it to ourselves today.


OBSERVATIONS

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Key Words and Phrases: “God said”, “Let there be” or “Let”, “created”, “separated”, “and it was so”, “according to its kind”, “it was good”, “be fruitful and multiply”

Characters: God, Holy Spirit, Christ (implied), angels (implied in Job 38:4Job 38:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.

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–7 ), man (Adam and Eve)

Plot: God forms locations during the first three days of Creation, then proceeds to fill them in the last three days. His creating leads up to the creation of man and woman in His image. After which he declares all that he created was “very good” and finished creating the heavens in the earth. He makes the 7th day holy, and rests from all of his work.

Structure/Outline:Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 1.11.18 AM


What do we learn about God?: God is Elohim, the Creator of everything, including morality, a provider, and a communicator. He is self-existent, eternal, triune, omnipotent (all-powerful), sovereign, creative, authoritative, orderly, righteous, holy, and purposeful.

What do we learn about man?: Man is a created being, finite, intentionally created, and made in God’s image. Man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply, subdue earth, rule over all living things, and eat plants for food.

Themes or Emphasis: The triune, eternal God is all-powerful and Creator of everything, including man who was made in His image, and everything He created was good.

Author’s Aim: To teach people that there is only one, eternal, self-existent, orderly, omnipotent God and that is Elohim, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and He deserves all the worship and glory! Man, the pinnacle of God’s creating, is a finite being created in the likeness of God for the glory of God!


Where is Christ or the gospel in the text?: Here in the first chapter of Genesis, we see everything in it’s original created state which was “good”. God is creating man not to enjoy man, but to receive glory from man. God commands man to fill the earth with the image of God in order to bring more glory to Himself. God has provided a way for us today to return to a reconciled state with our holy and perfect God and that is only through Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death.

Also, in John 1:1-5John 1:1-5
English: World English Bible - WEB

The Gospel According to John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome The word translated “overcome” can also be translated “comprehended.” It refers to getting a grip on an enemy to defeat him. it.

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and in Colossians 1:15-17Colossians 1:15-17
English: World English Bible - WEB

15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him were all things created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.

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we know that it was through Christ that God made everything. Christ was active and present in the Creation of the heavens and earth (and us!). We know that Christ is God, which means He also is eternal, self-existent, self-sustaining, needing nothing.

Application: Do we understood who God is? How is man like and not like God? How does knowing that God is our Creator and Owner impact us? Does it change how we respond to His directives and commands? Do we believe that Genesis is an account of our origins? Why or why not? This greatly shapes our doctrine, theology/view of God, and how we views ourselves.


Discussion Questions (share your thoughts in the comments): How did God create? Why did God create the earth if he is self-existent? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Were man and woman created on the same day or different days? Why did God want man to be fruitful and multiply? Are we still commanded to be fruitful and multiply? Does this still apply to us today? What attributes/characteristics of God stand out to you?

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