Is there a better way to explain the first 2 verses of Genesis?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

Jj, I’m just going to go with that for the name. Why do we not explain the first two verses of Genesis with point pause? First, he made everything point. Next, the Earth was a mess point, but his spirit moved above the face of the waters. Now in the third verse is when, according to every translation, God started to organize the world. He then rested after six days. Do you want to clarify this question? There’s a lot written there. Can you give us a short summary of what that’s really the essence of what this is asking.

Speaker 2

First, it is a deep there’s a lot of layers. And JJ, you’re very observant. And I’m glad you asked this because I wouldn’t know what you’re asking if it wasn’t for the fact that I personally have been trying to translate Genesis One for myself from Hebrew to English. And I’m not some genius. I don’t have special training, but I’m just using the resources available on Blue Letter Bible. And you could do that, too. And it really transformed my understanding even of these verses. So I know what you’re talking about. So let’s take it from the beginning. How does this verse start? In Genesis One, it says, in the beginning, God created the heavens on the Earth. Is this telling us about one particular creation? And then when we go forward, are we hearing about a different creation or is this a summary, a recap of what’s about to come? I think that’s going to be a part of answering what JJ is asking. So maybe if you’re watching right now, what do you think in the beginning got created? Is that a summary and intro, or is that telling us about one creation and then we learn about additional creations going on?

Speaker 1

This is so far over my head, I don’t even know where to start.

Speaker 2

Tina.

Speaker 3

Oh, no. All I was going to say was just when I remember when I took an anthropology class in College and they were suggesting that the Bible has multiple creation stories, and I remember their explanation of it, and I was just like, no, I don’t think so. But I’m anxious to hear what you have to share about this because I definitely heard different sides of this story.

Speaker 2

Yeah, and you’re right. This is something that is debated. But let’s go into history first. We understand Moses was the one that wrote this and was everybody able to read back in those days? He probably knew how to read and write because he was trained by the Egyptians who had the hieroglyphics, and he was probably one of the first Hebrews to ever know how to write. There’s some fascinating archeology discussions about that. But what we have here is probably something that’s going to be passed on orally. So when you start the story, just think of like, how Star Wars starts long, long ago in a country or in a Galaxy far, far away. That’s sort of setting the stage. I think it’s the same thing here, too. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. And that word for heaven is Shamayim. It can mean heaven singular or it can mean heaven plural. And when we think heaven, what do we tend to think of nowadays, where God lives? Yeah, we tend to think of where God lives and where the Saints will be taken, that sort of place. But heaven, most of the time in the New Testament or Old Testament is actually referring to the skies and also probably what we call outer space.

Speaker 2

And the Hebrews also had a third heaven, which that’s where God’s domain was. So they sort of had three levels of heaven, sky, outer space, and then God’s domain. So we’re going to look at the context of Shamayim, even in Genesis one, and it will answer that. So heavens and the Earth, that’s the Earth. And that usually is going to mean not what we think. When we think Earth, what do we think.

Speaker 1

Round? We think the planet, the planet.

Speaker 2

We think planet Earth. In the minds of these people back in the day, maybe they understood the Earth was round, but nobody really circumnavigated it. They have never launched a satellite and got an imagery of it. So their perspective of what Earth is going to be different than what we think it is. So in the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. If we look at the next verse, Genesis Two, maybe we could put that up and the Earth so that’s the Hebrew word Aris was void and without form and darkness was over the face of the deep. So now the questioner JJ was saying, hey, we’re told got created, and now God’s showing up and there’s something there, right. It’s talking about the Earth. It was without form of void, but it was there, right. So it’s true that God created before even we get to Genesis, verse two. So there was a creation, something was existing. But elsewhere, we’re told God created things that weren’t there. And if you flash ahead, actually to Exodus 20.

Speaker 1

If we could pull that up.

Speaker 2

Yeah, exodus 20, verse eleven, it says in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the Earth and the sea and all that was with them. And the 7th day, God rested. So Earth, sea and heavens, all three were made within seven days for six days. We can feel pretty comfortable then that Genesis One does sort of encapsulate that there was a creation before we got to Genesis one, verse two, there was water, so that God passed over it. But technically, the Earth was still unformed. It was void. Think of it like Plato that a kid just takes out of the Plato holder. And if you go up the kid and ask, what is this? You’ll say, it’s nothing, right? I mean, it’s Plato, but it’s nothing. It hasn’t been formed. It hasn’t been shaped. Same concept here. The Earth was just covered. Earth, as we call it, was covered in water. You know, the presence of God pass over the deep. Same word as abyss in the New Testament when it talks about the bottomless pit, that’s the same terminology there that it’s talked about. So the Earth in its unbuilt, uncreative form, in a sense, is just this big ball of water.

Speaker 2

And then if we go on to the next verse in Genesis three, what do we see? Maybe you could put that up. Sorry, Genesis one, verse three, God said, Let there be light. So it was darkness. Now he’s bringing light. The person who asked the question talked about in the sense that the Earth was chaotic, and that’s true. It was maximum entropy, what we would call today, right. Maximum chaos, because nothing was formed, nothing was shaped. It’s just you let something just fizzle down. If you empty a cup of water and just spills over, that’s sort of your maximum entropy. And light and energy is kind of opposite of entropy. Now God’s bringing order into it, and this order is going to keep going. The next thing God creates is going to be he separates the waters. So there was ready a lot of water. But now God puts water up in the heaven and God puts water down at the bottom. And when he calls sky. But that verse that says sky, that word actually is Shamayim that we talked about earlier that we use for heaven. So he’s calling the sky heaven, and then the lower part or the firmament, he calls it, there’s a vault, something holding it up.

Speaker 2

They actually believe that there was lots of water above them and they thought more like an aquarium. Imagine having a giant aquarium above your head. And the word, that thing sprung a leak, how disastrous that would be. And so when the flood comes around, oh, no, this is terrible. That aquarium over our heads now is sprung a leak. They probably panicked on a level that we can’t even comprehend.

Speaker 1

Just spring one leak. It spring a million leak.

Speaker 2

Yes, all at once. And then just pouring down, we get to know the third day of creation, and that’s when God separates the waters from the Earth, the dry land. That’s what I was really talking about. So when we go back to Genesis One and it says, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth, what it’s really talking about is, in the beginning, God. During that time, God created the sky outer space, and he created the dry land. It’s not specifying when God actually created the waters, but as I mentioned, Exodus 20, verse one does say, in six days, God created the heavens and the Earth and the waters and the sea. And if you go to Revelation 14, seven, similarly, it talks about how God created the heavens, the Earth, the sea, the fountains of water. So when exactly was the water created? The fair guess is within those seven days of creation but we’re not given those words, we’re not told about how that came about. We start off with the ball of water existed, that ball of potential that was in darkness and then God brought it into light, God formed it, he shaped it, made it what it is and it’s that sort of parallel to then how God takes dirt forms out and makes him what he is or how he takes us, how we’re broken, we’re in darkness and he brings us into light and shapes us.

Speaker 3

Yeah, if I could just add just to kind of go along with what you’re saying, that kind of reminds me what I’m understanding is some people think that was the beginning of everything. Heaven where God lives and the Earth where we live. Like that was the beginning of everything. And I think based on what you’re saying is no, there was already something in existence. It was just at the beginning of our world or our Earth is kind of what Genesis chapter one is talking about. And if you look at like Proverbs chapter eight, it’s talking about Jesus and it says in verse 22 it says the Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way before his works of old so before the Earth Jesus was in existence with the father and in verse 23 it says I was set up from everlasting from the beginning wherever the Earth was when there were no depths I was brought forth when there were no fountains abounding with water before the mountains were set, before the Hills were brought forth.

Speaker 2

Oh, let’s pause it right there. See that’s great right there where it says before they are even depth right there that’s talk about the waters that existed, that abyss, that chaotic mess of waves and everything and that right there is showing yeah there was a time when that didn’t exist brought it into existence that’s great.

Speaker 3

We’re two or three witnesses and I see that the director is pointing out when so there’s a time that these things happen and there’s succession of time and before all these things God existed and God had works of old that we don’t even know about so definitely there’s more to the universe than God’s creation that we can’t even imagine and I can’t wait till we get to heaven and get to see a lot of things God says I have not seen nor ear heard what the Lord has prepared for them that love him and I can’t wait to see it Amen and.

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