Light Firmament Dry Land Luminaries Sea & Air Creatures Animals & Man
  Creation Day by Day with Analysis
This study is focused on the verses found in Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:1. The text concerns the Creation of the cosmos and man. There are some things worth noting before we launch into the Biblical text.

In the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), the first five books are named Mose 1 through Mose 5. Genesis in Christian Bibles is equal to Mose 1.

Traditionally, Moses wrote (or dictated) the book about 1440 BC. My Quest NIV Study Bible says he may have received his information from divine revelation and/or earlier oral and written sources. It is easy to see how he could have received divine revelation during the forty days he spent on Mount Sinai in the presence of the Almighty.

It is also easy to see that all could have been revealed to Adam when God walked with him in the Garden of Eden. The long lived generations from Adam to Moses overlapped so an oral transmission is credible.

Narrative Form
It is written in the third person rather than the first. Everything in the range of verses is presented as 'God said' or 'God did', etc. It is an account given by a witness, as if a witness was present, to testify to the content. There was no witness present.

Time Frame
The Creation occurs over a period of six days; God days, not earth days. The earth day does not become reality until verse 1:14 when God places the greater light (sun) and the lesser light (moon) in the sky to rule over day and night. Man has been to the moon. There is no light from the moon other than what it reflects from the sun.

This alone should enable you to understand that the narrative is figurative in part. I had a co-worker who was a devout believer of the Literalist Fundamentalist school of thought. He is the only person I recall whose face actually turned purple with rage during a "discussion" of scripture.

The particular argument had to do with the age of earth. For him, it is approximately 6,000 years. His explanation of archaeological discoveries, carbon dating, Grand Canyon silt layers, and so forth was that God arranged false clues to make men believe they found answers in the earth.

In other words, God is a joker who delights in deceiving mankind about his origins and scope of creation. His position is laughable. God has no need to deceive or confuse ... quite the opposite. God gives life and light to mankind.

Assuming that what scientists have discovered is actuality; that earth is between 4.5 and 6 billion years old, and the cosmos 15 billion or so, why would God have allowed us to pursue such knowledge if He wanted ti kept from us?

This is a lot like the Tower of Babel incident. God did not permit construction of the tower to go forward. To forestall it, He simply confounded the language so men could not communicate with each other and therefore were unable to cooperate in the project. (I find this whole story implausible as written. God subsequently permitted us to translate among languages which enables us to cooperate in research of every kind. I believe the motive behind confounding languages was to cause men to spread out and fill the earth as God first commanded Adam and Eve to do).

I do not take the position that Creation could not have been accomplished in 144 earth hours because I know God is omnipotent. HE could have done it all simultaneously, in a nano-second. There is a reason for drawing it out over six "days". The reason has to do with the fundamentals of the cosmos ... the creation of the "God PArticle" for which science has erected the CERN accelerator in hopes of identifying.

The belief in the existence of a "God PArticle" arises from acquired knowledge that everything in the cosmos is made of mon material, infinitesimally tine, particles of some form of energy. Given what we have discovered so far, it is evident that God chose to form the cosmos over time after He established the existence of time and space.

The discovery of the atom has led to ever deeper findings about the foundations of our cosmos. It is made up of single electrons, protons, and neutrons (high school physics and chemistry) which have been arranged by the Divine Architect to manifest to us as current reality.

In my view, God designed the cosmos to become what it is over time within the boundaries of the natural laws HE put in place. I do not present an argument for evolution of species. What I do suggest is that DNA for every species is part of God's plan.

Do you doubt that dinosaurs once ruled te planet before man arrived? If so, all the dinosaurs were placed on the planet on day six of Creation. Later that same day He made man. Either men and dinosaurs occupied earth at the same time, or God somehow got rid of all the dinosaurs when He made man because all evidence of the existence of dinosaurs is found in fossils predating the emergence of man.

The appearance on earth of various species which no longer live does not mean that they became some different species over time. They may have changed through adaptation but no snake became a bird. Birds were here before snakes and lizards and everything that lives on the land. Birds appeared on day five; creeping things on day six.

So What ?
What happens if your eyes are opened and you see what God has really done because He revealed it Himself to man? What if God allowed the equivalent of 15 billion earth years, or 100 billion years, for the cosmos and us to reach our present situation? Are you terrified of questioning a single word of scripture as to meaning? If so, you are doomed unless you have eaten the flesh and drunk the blood of Jesus who left earth 2,000+ years ago. That is what a literal understanding tells you. Unleavened wafers and grape wine prayed over by a man in a chasuble do not substitute for what Jesus said. Men say it does. Men have proved themselves to be in error since the first bite of forbidden fruit.
Interlinear Scripture Analyzer


Genesis 1:1 - Sets a beginning point of Creation in eternity. In eternity there is no beginning nor any end. Eternity is not a linear time manifestation. The beginning here is in geocentric time and space. Our cosmos has a beginning and an end because it is so ordained by the Creator.
Genesis 1:2 tells us plainly that the earth referenced in verse 1:1 has no form and is void. Or, it is chaos and vacancy and darkness.

It does not yet exist. God creates it after He creates the heavens. The darkness said to be on the face of the deep is very mystical to me. In coming verses we will learn more about this.

In contemporary English we see the Spirit of God moving over "waters". As yet, no waters of the kind we know exist. The Hebrew-English uses the word "vibrating" rather than moving. Is this difference meaningful? It may be. Vibration is a fundamental factor of atomic structure. Everything in our cosmos vibrates at some frequency.

Some vibration cycles come within the ranges of our senses. Ordinary sound that we hear is usually in the range 20 to 15,000 hertz (occurrences pr second) those some can hear below 20 and above 20,000 cycles. It is known that dogs hear well beyond human range.

Visible light vibrates at very high rates within the total range of the electromagnetic spectrum. [You can view a rendering of the EM spectrum on wikipedia at spectrum.]
Day 1 - Light
Genesis 1:3 tells us that God caused light to be. We have no understanding of what it was like prior to light. We can't even say prior because this occurred in eternity.

In the Hebrew-English tells a very different story from the usual English translations. The original transliteral has Elohim (God) stating that He is becoming light. Note that the Hebrew word translated as 'light' is 'aur'. This word is not the word used for light as we progress through the creation sequence. The word for ordinary light is 'marth'

To understand 'aur' it is necessary to use a search engine for "hebrew aur". The word is the subject of many kabbalistic web pages. It is too involved to reproduce here.

In the verse Elohim says both that He 'shall' become light and He 'is' becoming light. This is both future and present, neither of which exist in eternity. It is only the inability of the human mind to articulate in a manner consistent with infinity that gives us statements involving tense.
You can see for yourself what God is recorded as saying. The light, still using 'aur' is separated from the darkness. I am trying to impress upon you that what we know as darkness and light are not the same as what is stated in Genesis 1:4. Our light is yet to be created.
In verse 1:5 you can see the disparity between the English and the transliterated Hebrew. In either case, here is the assertion of evening and morning being the first day.

Earth does not yet exist as other than vacant and formless.

The sun which causes day and night on earth does not yet exist.

The word 'aur' is still being used for 'light'. This is the original light God caused to be.
Riddle: Following each day (stage) of Creation we read "the evening and the morning were the (number) day". Our day is midnight to midnight. The ancient Hebrew day was sunset to sunset. The modern Hebrew Sabbath begins at local sunset or an arbitrary fixed time of 6:00PM and ends 24 hours later.

Evening and morning denote the passage of the dark hours, not daylight hours. If the earth and sun had been in place to provide days and nights, would a day not have been logically expressed as the 'morning and evening', or 'morning to morning'? It sounds like Creation occurred during the night phases.

Day 2 - The Firmament
Genesis 1:6 is entirely beyond my comprehension. God says He is becoming atmosphere, or firmament, and using it to separate waters. The waters are 'mim'.

Mem (also spelled Meem or Mim) is the thirteenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic mim. In the Sefer Yetzirah, the letter Mem is King over Water, Formed Earth in the Universe, Cold in the Year, and the Belly in the Soul. Sefer Yetzirah "Book of Formation," or "Book of Creation," is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism, although some early commentators treated it as a treatise on mathematical and linguistic theory as opposed to Kabbalah. "Yetzirah" is more literally translated as "Formation"; the word "Briah" is used for "Creation"

Make what you will of the verse but the 'waters' in it are not earthly H2O.
On the web page, the verse reads: "and Mightiest Merging One, he is shaping YOU, the hammered out sheet; and he is differentiating spacing between the waters whom are from under to hammered out sheet, and spacing between the water whom are from ascended upon to hammered out sheet; and he is being revealed affixed upright;"

'Mightiest Merging One' most certainly refers to God. 'Hammered out sheet' is used in place of firmament or atmosphere. We still can not be certain what the separated waters are or represent.

This hammered out sheet sounds a lot like one modern scientific theory that the cosmos is a flat grid with bulges where celestial objects occur; that our three dimensional space is in reality a database which manifests to us as the cosmos we see.

Now in Genesis 1:8 Elohim is becoming evening and morning, the second day. Plainly, this use of the word 'day' is not a period of twenty four hours rotation of earth on its axis. Earth does not yet appear nor does the sun which gives us night and day and by which we count hours.
Day 3 - Dry Land & Vegetation

Earth appears below the firmament (heavens). Dry land appears. He causes the waters below the firmament to gather together and the dry land is seen for the first time.

God saw the planet and approved it. He called it Earth. The phrasing 'he-is-becoming' seems to me to indicate that is these stages of creation God is making these things out of Himself..

There exists nothing other than Elohim until He becomes light and follows this with subsequent steps of creation resulting in our cosmos.
Vegetation appears on the earth. We now hear the pronoun 'she' instead of 'He'. Can this mean that God did not create vegetation on the planet but rather told the planet to produce vegetation?

The AV English says, "Let the earth bring forth grass" etc. The word 'let' has a variety of meanings . We think of it primarily as "allow" in 'let bygones be bygones' or 'let him wear a nose ring if he wants to'.

Another common use of 'let' is the command form. 'Let your word be your bond' means both allow it to be so but also make it so. It is the way it was used in verse 1:3 when God said 'let there be light'. He did not mean simply 'allow light to be'. He meant 'Light, be'.

Genesis 1:12 - God saw and was satisfied.

Genesis 1:13 - The third day passes. If you are a literalist you envision the blue water and dry land planet suddenly sprouting fields of grass and wildflowers along with thousands of varieties of trees having a single age ring but mature in spite of no passage of time.

This study is not focused on debating or doubting whether or not Almighty God could have created the entire cosmos in one hundred forty four earth hours. It is rather about what God did and how He manifested it.

Scientific inquiry suggests the cosmos is 15 billion (15,000,000,000) years old since the inception whether or not from a sudden big bang. Earth's age is pegged at about six billion years of earth time. A blink to God. Being eternal, it can not matter to God whether His creation occurred in 144 hours or billions and billions of years as we measure time. He is timeless and is not defined by the parameters of the creation. The reverse is true.
Day 4 - Luminaries

I have grouped verses 14 - 19 because they all relate to the same event ... the placement of lights/luminaries in the heavens.

Firstly, they are placed to be signs and for seasons, and days and years, none of which occurred until the lights were placed. A greater light (sun) and a lesser light (moon) were placed to give light upon earth and to separate day and night.

The mention in Hebrew of their being for appointments is what supports what is pooh-pooed as astrology ... reading events in the planets, stars and constellations. Astrologers followed a star to find the baby Jesus. They read some heavenly configuration as telling the appointed time for the incarnation of God the Son.

If you step back one verse you see that vegetation was brought forth without the greater light. It must have been primordial vegetation which can live in darkness, never seeing the light of day. Maybe the earth was covered with mushrooms and algae? (Sarcasm).

Seriously. We know that photosynthesis is necessary for the birth and life of the vegetation described in verse 1:12. A literal view would say the placement of sun versus plants on different days is in reverse order. With God all things are possible.

But God is the one who defined the natural laws governing our universe and we know we can't grow crops without sunlight or an alternative source of illumination.

If you can't see that these are stages rather than literal days, you are failing to understand God's power and purposes. Remember that all the references to time are geocentric. They depend upon an established earth rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun. A day on earth is not indicative of what earth time God allowed to pass as He completed creation.

In fact, it isn't finished yet. Stars are born and stars die, over billions of years. Eventually the entire creation will come to an end and a new creation take its place.

Now we have completed the fourth day of creation and there actually are days and nights; earth time, not God time.
Day 5 - Sea and Air Creatures

Genesis 1:20-23 all have to do with marine and avian life forms. Evolutionists who postulate fowl evolved from reptiles have taken a stand which contradicts scripture. In this stage, day 5, the fowl already populate the skies prior to the creation of land dwelling creatures.

In 1:20 Elohim says 'let the waters bring forth'. Then in 1:21 it says 'God created'. This may be a fine distinction but I envision God commanding the waters to bring forth the living creatures rather than God making each species one by one and placing them in the seas.

Biology informs us as to the basics of physical carbon based life except for that spirit which animates them. Science accepts that they live and has explored to mechanisms of the bodies to a great extent, but can not identify why they have life. We know they have life because God ordered the planet to produce the creatures from whatever primordial single cell animals He placed or ordered into existence.
Day 6 - Animals and Man

Now we have reached the all important sixth day of Creation. God commanded the earth to bring forth the creatures which live on the land. God made them all and said it was good.

Among the creatures which creepeth on the land are serpents. According to verse 1:25 this was good. If we pursued this study beyond the days of Creation we would see that the serpent turned out to be not so good for mankind. Was God mistaken in calling all good?

Being omniscient God had to know what was coming. This reminds me of the story of Abraham planning to sacrifice Isaac at God's command. God foreknew He would prevent it from happening but Abraham did not know this. Abraham, no doubt filled with grief and emotional pain, chose to obey God. God also knew this would happen, so why test the man? He tested Abraham so Abraham would know within himself his commitment to God through faith. Adam had a similar choice but it was his own death in the making. Adam failed the test.

Now picture this sixth day of creation if you will. In the morning of the sixth day there are birds flying about over grasslands, shrubs, flowers, trees, and all the vegetation God called forth. Except for the sounds of the birds and a breeze rustling leaves, all is quiet and serene.

Suddenly, the earth erupts in sounds. A cacophony of roars, growls, barks, whinnies, grunts, trumpets, and all manner of sounds of the voices of lions, tigers, bears, dogs, wolves, horses, goats, sheep, cows, elephants, and thousands of other species suddenly appear on the planet. Magically, they just rose up from the earth, or dropped from the sky. And the day is only partly over.

God has another idea to implement.

God decided to create human beings to rule over the creatures of the sea, the sky, and the land. The earth's vegetation is not listed as being under man's dominion but may be included in the phrase "all the earth"

And so God did what He said and made humans, male and female.

(In Genesis chapter 2 you will find the details of man's creation, not part of this study.)
Day six of Creation must have been very busy for the Lord. In earth time, according to the fossil record, it took about 450 million years. A lot happened. Simple arithmetic reveals that each minute of the sith day equals 312,000 years. If you prefer to use only daylight hours, then each minute equals about 624,000 years. There is no time to lose so let's get started.

The dry land (pangea) was set and covered with vegetation on day three; the sun. moon, and stars appeared on day 4; the sea and sky were filled with life on day 5. Just after midnight of the fifth day, the next phase began.

During the first few minutes of day six about 60% of all marine life became extinct. By 2:00 AM 50% of all life became extinct. Why or how God allowed or caused this to happen we don't have a clue. But God didn't sit on His hands. By 3:00 AM HE started repopulating with creatures such as beetles. Imagine this; the plain soil of earth erupts with living beetles popping out of the ground. Puts me in mind of the seventeen years locusts who periodically emerge from the earth.

Oops! At about 10:40 AM a massive extinction occurs. Some 57% of all families and 83% of all genera became extinct. About noon ice covers the planet and thunder lizards (dinosaurs) appear along with mammalian varieties. Then, around noon, God split pangea into continents and they drifted away from one another. This perhaps explains why some species exist only on certain continents and not others. He wanted greater diversity.

Just about sunset, say 6:00 PM. bees, ants, snakes, and triceratops appear. During the next five hours, primates, many modern mammal groups begin to appear: first glyptodonts, ground sloths, dogs, peccaries, giraffes, hyenas, bears and giant anteaters, increase in bird diversity. First members of the genus Homo appear in the fossil record. Diversification of conifers in high latitudes

Between sunset and midnight there are three massive ice ages. Time is running out.
At 11:59 PM, Adam is formed and given life.

Now God speaks directly to humans, blessing them and telling them to multiply and "replenish the earth". This naturally raises a question about what was on earth heretofore that needs "replenishing"?

You can see that the Hebrew has no hint of replenishment. God tells them to be fruitful and increase; subdue the earth; take dominion over the creatures.

I have not found an explanation of what is meant by "subdue" the earth. Was man to have control over volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, tidal waves, etc.? Was he given the ability to subdue the natural behaviors of our planet until he sinned and lost control ?

Still speaking to man, God tells him he and all the living creatures on earth will eat vegetation. Every creature is to eat vegetation. There is no eating of animals by other animals. Not even a provision for anteaters to eat ants.

At the closing of the sixth day God is satisfied with what He has made.

He includes the heavens, the earth, and "all the host of them". Angels were not mentioned in the preceding verses but they are created "sons of God". They may be included in the host.

If we continued this study into additional chapters of Genesis we would see how God made Adam from the soil, placed him in the garden, gave him instructions, made Eve from his rib, and so on, up through the fall and expulsion.

My interests include everything God has said and done but the present exploration concerns only the Creation.

In Judeo-Christian culture the cosmos was created as described in Genesis. In other cultures there are different stories of origin. Collectively, including ours, they are called "Creation Myths". The label implies that none of them are true ... only myths. But surely something is true.

Within the scope of the Genesis record, there is this to consider: God made light, then waited an entire 'day' before making the firmament. What did He do all day? Light became light the instant He commanded it.

God spent the second 'day' making the firmament amidst the waters which somehow happened to be there already. The firmament apparently took Him all day.

On the third 'day' He made the earth; that is, the dry land appeared and vegetation sprang forth. This could not be vegetation as we know it because our vegetation depends on seed being borne by prior generations of the same kind. In Genesis He simply told the earth to bring forth plants bearing seed. We don't know if the chicken or the egg came first but we do now know the plant came before the seed.

He must have decided that the vegetation needed sunlight to survive so on the fourth 'day' He put the sun, moon and planets in the sky.

On the fifth 'day' He called forth the creatures of the sea and sky ... all of them ... millions of species all at once, including those who eat one another in our time but ate only vegetation in the time they were created.

On 'day' six the land burst forth with all the animals that ever existed. Man was made the same day after the animals, but differently. The animals were called forth from the earth. Man was not. Man was separately "formed" from the dust of the earth [Genesis 2:7].

The open question is WHY? Why is the Creation story told in terms of 'days' rather than stages, or minutes, or years?

You will decide for yourself. If you want to believe the cosmos was made in 144 hours, you are free to do so. If you want to believe you must do the impossible, consume the physical flesh and blood of Jesus, you are free to believe that too. If you can't figure out what in scripture is literal and what is figurative, that doesn't affect your salvation.

Nothing, except you, can separate you from the Love of God. Even you can only do it by rejecting Him up and through your own death. HE never lets go of you until you cut yourself off from Him in the final moment of life.

Written by © Wayne Hepburn, December 2012

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