Are the first two verses in Genesis a summary of creation?

Author: BibleAsk Team

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Speaker 1

So Wesley is asking what are the first two verses of Genesis? Are they a summary? If a summary, then it doesn’t mention life before the first day. Note that each day begins with morning and with and God said, thank you, Wesley.

Speaker 2

I love this question because the first chapter of Genesis is one of my favorite chapters in the entire book. I’ve tried translated it myself, which has really been very eye opening for me. Of course, read what other people think and there is debate on this, but I’ll explain what I think about it and why I’ve reached the conclusion that Genesis eleven is in fact a summary. So let’s go ahead and read that genesis One One. It reads, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. Now, when we see heavens there and Earth, we might first think, oh, heavens, like maybe where God is. Or are we talking about outer space? Are we talking about the sky? And when we say Earth, are we talking about the planet Earth that we think of today? And it’s important to remember this was written by someone thousands of years ago. They didn’t have satellites, they didn’t have the giant telescopes that we have. So to them and their language, it was very different than our very scientific approach that we modernly bring to the table when we read the Bible. So probably the best translation to get us into the proper state of mind of what they’re talking about is in the beginning, God created the land and the skies.

Speaker 2

So the land and the skies. And when we say skies, that will include everything. When you look up in the sky, what do you see? Well, you also see the planets, you see the stars, you see the sun and moon. So that’s kind of how these ancients would have approached it too. And when I say ancients, I mean Moses. I believe Moses wrote this. And notice what’s not said in Genesis one one. We’re told it was the Earth and the skies. The land and the skies. What’s missing? It’s water. It’s not saying God made the waters, which is important because when we go to the next verse in Genesis one two, it says the Earth was without form. Or we could say the land was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. What’s that? Deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. So there is water. When did God make this water? Where didn’t that come about? So Genesis one two starts off with there being water. And if you back up to Genesis one one, it says in the beginning, god created the land and the skies.

Speaker 2

So Genesis one one is telling us, we’re going to tell you about when the skies were made and when the land was made. We’re not talking about when the water is made. Then we go to Genesis two we’re talking about, okay, so here’s the water and God is over the water. And then now we go into god said, Let there be light. So God creates light. God then separates, I should say he separates darkness and light. Then we go to day two. What does God do? He separates waters from waters and from waters. We get the atmosphere, we get the vault that we know as the sky. Then we go to day three. What do we see? God creating the dry land. So day two, God created the sky. Day three, God created the land. That’s where they are. So I see genesis one one is talking about a summary of that. Now you mentioned now I don’t see life anywhere. That’s a good observation. So where do we see this coming to play? How could Genesis one one still be a summary? Well, it’s interesting. So we talk about the light, the sky and then the land.

Speaker 2

Well, day four of creation is God creating the sun, moon and stars. So these are things that are of light. Then we go to day two, and then we see God creating the birds and the fish. So God is filling the skies, the waters above and the waters below. And then day six is God creating creatures that go on the land. God is filling the land. And it’s really interesting if you look at day six, the language there is kind of like the land sprouted up life because the creation on the land was made from the land. And think about how did God make Adam? He says he shaped him out of the dirt, out of the clay. So when we’re talking about the creation of the heavens and the earth or the skies and the land, we’re also talking about the things that are filling them, that are made of them. So that’s what’s going on there. So I really see Genesis eleven as the summary of what’s going on in the rest of Genesis one. And say Genesis one and two.

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