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Genesis 1 & 2: Creation

Original Publication Date
June 1, 2015
Updated
Jan 13, 2023 12:39 AM
Tags
CreationAdamEveScienceGarden of EdenGenesisChapter StudySabbath
Bible References
Genesis 1-2
Status
Done
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Table of Contents
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on June 1, 2015 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.

Timeline of Creation

Genesis 1 gives the timeline of events. Repetitive in structure, each set of verses tell us what God said, what was created by his command, His blessing and approval of the creation, and what day it was. Moses tells us that in the beginning there was nothing but God and waters, which His spirit moved over.

The Two Tales of Creation

Some people believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two different accounts of creation and assert that there are discrepancies in the accounts. This has not only lead to legends about a mysterious woman named Lilith, but also calls into question the ordering of the events of creation.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Lilith

The origin of the Lilith legend lies in the fact that Genesis 1:27, we are told God created male and female with no distinction of who was created first, but in Genesis 2 we are clearly told that God created Adam first and Eve second. From this people have asserted that there were two different women created, one named Lilith and one named Eve.

According to lore, Lilith refused to be submissive to Adam and ran away. These legends existed in ancient Judaism, and while Lilith is not mentioned in the English Bible, there are stories of her in the Babylonian Talmud. In one version of her story she is akin to a demon, perhaps having origins in Sumerian vampire myths where female vampires are called Lillu or Mesopotamian myths about lilin (female night demons).[10]

Evidence For

One website goes into massive details about the "evidence" for the existence of Lilith, claiming Lilith was the serpent in the garden, citing similarities between Lilith and the leviathan, and discrepancies in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2's description of creation.[6]

Evidence Against

While Lilith may be mentioned in the Talmud, she is not referred to as Adam's wife.[7] Furthermore, there isn't actually a discrepancy between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. Moses presents the story of creation similar to how someone would give an academic presentation (or talk) today; first he runs through a highly structured outline that gives an overview of what occurred (Genesis 1), then he goes back to add in details he thought were important.

Note that while Genesis 1:27 mentions male and female in the same sentence, it does not say that they were created simultaneously (see the section called God the Magician? ). Since God formed man, we can logically conclude that one was created and then the other, with both being created on the sixth day. In Genesis 2, Moses is no longer giving us a timeline, but telling us the specifics of what happened.

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

When it says God planted a garden, and the trees grew (Genesis 2:8-9), this isn't Him creating trees, this is Him planting specific trees in a specific location. If you read Genesis 2, you will notice there is no mentioning of the sun, the moon, the stars, or the heavens in terms of creation, this is because Moses isn't giving us a new and contradictory timeline. Nowhere in Genesis 2 does it say "and then He created" or anything similar; Genesis 2 merely notes the things we have already been told were created when providing more detail on them.

In Genesis 2:19, this is not saying God created Adam before he created the animals. Nowhere does it say first God created Adam, then the animals, then brought them to Adam. We already know Adam was created after from Genesis 1, Moses is simply reminding us that the animals were created by God (repetition was clearly the style of writing back then, and this also marks emphasis that God is the Creator) before informing us that God let Adam choose the names of each creature. Yes, Moses is speaking of Adam needing a mate in verse 19, but there is no indication that Moses is giving us a timeline or sequential events between the two verses. If the events were sequential, it would read "And then out of the ground..." or "So out of the ground..." However, there is nothing that concretely gives us the timing of this action in relation to the creation of man.

When looking at Genesis 2 as a whole, it is obvious that Moses is just detailing events that occurred and reiterating the fact that God created all things, not giving a precise timeline of said events.

Day by Day Creations

💡The First Day: Light

The first thing God creates is light—from the context of the entire chapter, we can see that this light is not the sun, but some other light (the sun is not created until the fourth day). There are two interesting links to science stemming from the fact that God created a non-solar light first:

  1. Is this light related to The Big Bang that science theorizes about—how would someone who knew nothing about science come to the conclusion that light was the first thing created on their own?
  2. Sonoluminescence is the ability for sound waves to transform underwater bubbles into light. We know that God speaks (sound waves) over water when He creates the light.
  3. I know the general consensus is that Messiah is not a created being, but hear me out. According to John 8:12, Jesus is the Light. John 1:1 says Jesus was there at the beginning, but if light was the first thing created, wouldn’t he still be there at the beginning? This still leaves room for Colossians 1:16, which says all things were created through Christ. At least one theologian thought perhaps this light was a physical manifestation of Christ.[11]

🌊The Second Day: Heaven

In verses 6-8, we are told that God creates, then separates a "firmament" from the waters. According to the concordance in my KJV Study Bible, "firmament" is mentioned 3 other times in the bible:

Each time it is a translation of the Hebrew word raki'a meaning "expansion." It is defined as denoting "the space or expanse like an arch appearing immediately above us."[1] God calls the firmament Heaven. Note that Genesis 1:1 speaks of "heaven and earth" where heaven is not capitalized as it is in Genesis 1:8 with reference to the firmament. There are four different Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are translated into "heaven": rakia (firmament), shamayim (heaven and earth or upper and lower regions), marom (mountain), shechakim (expanses).[8]

And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above..
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Ezekiel speaks of the firmament in reference to a vision he has of "the glory of God," while Psalms uses is to speak of God's handiwork and Daniel 12 is discussing the end of the world. Using these passages and the facet Heaven is capitalized in Genesis 1:8 indicating a proper noun, we know that this is reference His home, Heaven—thus on the second day He created Heaven.

🌍 The Third Day: Earth

Genesis 1:9-13 details God creating Earth (the land). He separates land from water and creates plant life. The phrase "yielding fruit after its own kind" implies the fruit trees were fully mature. This not only contradicts evolutionists' theory that the seed came first, but also contradicts the idea that animals (specifically marine life) came before plants. A question posed by Presents of God Ministries is "why do we have wasps that rely on certain plants to lay their eggs within them to procreate. And if this is true, how do those plants survive without the wasp pollinating them? If the plants and the wasps were created thousands of years apart, how does the plant pollinate without the wasp, and how does the wasp procreate without the plant?"

☀️The Fourth Day: Sun, Moon, and Stars

Next, God creates the Sun, moon, and stars, which he tells us are to be for signs, seasons, years, and days. Here, we come to some of the questions I find most interesting. This is the first day that Earth has a Sun and moon, up until this point day and night appear to refer to the first light, created. This mean the “days” referenced are not calculated based on the rising and setting of our Sun.

More than the order of things, the most attacked points between evolutionists and creationists is the timeline. Was it really 6 days? Now, as a believer, I believe that God does not lie to us, so when He says 1 day He means 1 day. Some Creationists use 2 Peter 3:8 to argue that 1 day = 1,000 years... I don't necessary think this is the case (I think the point of that verse was to illustrate that when you are immortal time becomes irrelevant), but I do recognize that time is highly influenced by man. Take daylight savings time for instance—it’s not real, just something man implemented for our benefit (at the time, at least). Similarly we have the Julian and Gregorian Calendars, along with the Mayan. Muslims mark their calendars based on Mohammed, where as we based ours after Jesus. Since we are all alive today and able to speak to each other, it is easy to figure out why our calendars differ and match them up, but what of the beginning of the world? How do we know the Earth rotated at the same speed, that the days were 24 hour days?

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

🐟The Fifth Day: Life in the Seas & Life in the Sky

God created creatures of the sea and creatures of the sky. Again, people often use this as "evidence" that creation is wrong, as both sea life and birds are created "simultaneously." However, being created on the same day does not imply simultaneousness—God still may have created the sea life first and the life in the air second, we aren't told. It's still odd that mankind would have guessed life to begin in the ocean or in the sky. Wouldn't people assume animal life started on land (or in the sky only)? Why wouldn't they think God lived on Earth and created things with mankind watching? Again how did they get so close to what science claims without the benefits of modern science? Plus, we know science isn't perfect, I mean ten years ago Pluto was a planet... Einstein corrected Netwon's laws...

👫The Sixth Day: Life on Land & Man

On the sixth day, God created the animals that live on land, creating man last. An important thing to note about the creation of man is that for everything else, God says let the water or let the Earth bring forth, but for man, He says "Let us make man in our image." This signifies that we are different—special—from the other animals. It is here that we meet Adam and Eve for the first time (though not by name). We are also told that everyone was vegetarian at that point.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Genesis two adds more detail to the picture that man was formed from the dust of the ground and woman was formed from man's rib.

💤 The Seventh Day: Rest

God sanctifies the seventh day, which we now call the Sabbath. The seven days represent our modern week, the first day being Sunday and the seventh, Saturday. An interesting thought that comes from concluding the timeline of creation: one year represents the time it takes the earth to make a complete revolution around the Sun, the original 30 day month represents the lunar cycle, a day represents one revolution of the Earth, hours represent the cycle of the Sun traveling in the sky… So what does a 7 day week represent? Other nations have used a different number of weeks, but evidence supports the 7 day week dates as far back at least as far as the Babylonian empire. Even in the ancient days there was the concept of a "week," but what prompted them to create a week? What (other than God) would prompt the Jews to choose 7 days? Why not assume God created the world in one day? Or eight days? Or aligning with the season? The 7 day week cycle has never been broken since Moses’ day and perhaps even before Moses' day according to modern sources.[9]

Points of Interest

God Says "Us"

When we learn that God created man, God refers to "us" before creating man. There are many possibilities in who the mysterious "us" is. The most logical (and probably common) guess is that "us" refers to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:2, it is commonly believed that the "spirit of God" moving is the Holy Spirit, which strengths the hypothesis that this is who He was talking to. Another identity for "us" could include the angels. The Bible focuses on man's history, particularly the lineage of Jesus, so we are left in the dark about the timeline for the creation of the angels and events that transpired in Heaven. Were the angels created before or after man? We are told that everything ("all the host of them" in Genesis 2:1) was finished by the seventh day, so we know that the angels must have been created between the first and sixth day. He may have created the angels in heaven right after He created Heaven on the second day, or He may have made the angels on the sixth day like man—it's impossible to say for sure. Which means it is possible that the angels were also part of the "us" God refers too.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Taking into consideration the fact that God again uses "us" when discussing the fall of mankind in Genesis 3, we know that "us" is knows both good and evil. This would definitely include Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but what about the angels? A lot of things are speculated about angels, and using these speculations we could make an assumption about whether angels knew of both good and evil, but let's wait until we find Biblical evidence to prove or disprove this.

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Marriage and the Sabbath

Two traditions were established in the Garden of Eden while the world was still perfect: the Sabbath and marriage.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Tilling the Ground

Genesis 2:5 tells us that when God created the plants of the Earth, there was no man to till the ground. While its impossible to tell if Moses was saying before God created man, there was no one to till the ground so God created man, or if he was telling us that originally plants survived without man tilling the ground, it is interesting to note that this becomes man's punishment in Genesis 3.

.

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

The Garden of Eden

Moses not only describes the beauty of the Garden of Eden, he also tells us the general location of Eden.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

Verse 8 of Genesis 2 tells us that Eden was located east of something (assumably the location of where God created man). We are given further insight to its location in verses 10 through 14, where we are told the names and locations of the four rivers that flow from Eden.

  • Pison is the first river. We are told that it surrounds a land called Havilah, and that Havilah is rich with gold, bdellium, and onyx.
  • Gihon is the second river and it surrounds Ethiopia.
  • Hiddekel is the third river and it flows toward Assyria.
  • Euphrates is the fourth river.
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There are several places mentioned of which we have record and know the location: Ethiopia, Assyria, and Euphrates. With research, we find that Hiddekel is the ancient name for the Tigris River.[5][3] Havilah is thought to be the Grecian Colchis near the Caspian Sea by some sources. [2]

Many people speculate as to the locations of Eden, and the locations of these rivers but there are two thing that are definite from the description given:

  1. Eden was likely in the middle east, near Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, and
  2. this is East of Africa.

Science claims man originated in Africa, the Bible claims man was created then moved eastward to Eden. When Adam and Eve left Eden where did they go? Did they head South or West, further East or North? The bible doesn't tell us, but again, Moses tells us something eerily close to what science claims. Sources also have found that it is possible life originated in the Middle East,[4] where the Garden of Eden is located. Another interesting point is that Moses gives us tons of information of the first two rivers, just enough information of the third river to identify it as the Tigris, and no information of Euphrates, which is unchanged in name. I highly doubt this is coincidental.

Jesus in the Creation Account

Listening to a pastor more recently (2022), it was brought to my attention that the days of creation point to other themes in the Bible.

Day of Creation
Creation Focus
Messiah
1
Light
“I am the Light” (John 8:12)
2
Separating waters
Christ is the living water
3
Plants
“I am the true vine” (John 15:1)
4
Sun, Moon, Stars
“I am the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16)
5
Life in the sea and sky
“I will make you fishers of men”
6
Land animals and man
Christ is the man in the image of God
7
Rest
Christ gives us rest

God the Magician?

Many in today's society think of God as a magician—they imagine him waving His arms and then *poof* something happens, but verses such as Genesis 2:7, clearly state that God formed man. This implies that He shaped and molded His creation the way a sculptor shapes and molds a statue, or a potter molds clay (Jeremiah 18). I prefer to think of God as an artist, a title more befitting for the Creator.

So, let's talk about artists for a second…

Think of your favorite artist or an artist you learned about once. Does one of their paintings come to mind? Can you recognize the writing of your favorite author without seeing his or her name on the text? When you hear a song for the first time, can you guess the artist before the radio host tells you who it is? Branding, before it was a buzzword, is something all successful artists have in common. As far back as as man can trace, created works have been subjected to authentication processes. These processes are made possible because each artist has a brand, a signature that identifies him or herself.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God is not much different from an artist—there are signs of His signature all over the universe which link His creations.

Creation vs. Evolution

Evolution is a scientific theory that concludes animals evolved from single cell organisms into the creatures we have now. According to evolution humans evolved from apes over. Many believers do not believe in evolution as they it conflicts with the story of creation in Genesis. There are two major discrepancies between these views: God created man vs. man evolving from some primate that has since gone extinct, and the timing of the events.

One thing I don't understand about my fellow believers is the overwhelming attempts to "prove" creation. By nature, some things—many things—concerning belief in God require a leap of faith. If there is a tree in a field, when you point to the tree and declare, "There is a tree in the field!", only a blind person will contest your observation, and knowing that they are blind, even they will probably believe whatever the majority says. God doesn't want mindless slaves who have been forced to worship Him, He wants us to choose to worship Him. So, as we walk in faith, every once in a while God brings us to a cliff to see if we will make the leap of faith because we truly believe and trust Him or if we will stay behind because we do not trust Him. I'm not going to try to prove one or the other true, it's up to you to decide what you believe. Instead I'm have simply pointed out some interesting things people on both sides tend to assume, assert incorrectly, or overlook all together. If you are curious to some arguments however, check out this video: Problems with Evolution

References and Footnotes

  1. BibleStudyTools.com: Firmament
  2. BibleStudyTools.com: Havilah
  3. BibleStudyTools.com: Hiddekel
  4. Deem, Rich. "Humans Out of Africa". God and Science. April 4, 2014
  5. Dictionary.com. "Hiddekel". Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
  6. "Lilith in the Bible". BitterWaters.com
  7. "Lilith in the Torah, Talmud, and Midrash". About.com
  8. Smith, William. "Entry for Heaven". Smith's Bible Dictionary. 1901.
  9. "What Is the Origin of the 7-Day Week?". Calendar Through the Ages. 2008
  10. "Where Does the Legend of Lilith Come From?". About.com
  11. Troy Lacey and Bodie Hodge. “Light Before Sun”. Answers in Genesis. August 2019

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