A study of the book of Genesis – part of chapter one

Chapter 1

The descendents of Israel had spent 500 years in Egypt, inundated with myths of how different gods created the physical world and the human race. They had to be told the truth. No primordial mound or “Island of Creation” arose from a primeval ocean with the favorite god of the different areas being the creater god. Humans were not created to do any god’s dirty work – weren’t the slave of any lazy god. The sun, moon, and stars are not gods. The universe didn’t originate from a cosmic struggle of the gods and mankind was not created from the blood of a god for the purpose of serving the gods.2

There was no concerpt of a “natural world” in the thinking process of the ancient East.3 Everyone believed that everything that happened in life was the result of a diety’s activity – favorable or not.4

Moses’ job was to tell his people who really created the universe and what he was like – as much as they were able to understand. He had to introduce Yahweh to a people who had pre-concieved ideas and deep rooted concepts of god/human relationships. He had to, at the direction of the Holy Spirit of God, communicate to the people from their point of understanding. Yahweh always stoops down to our level – we are incapable of reaching up to his level of understanding, even through the blood of Mashiach – and the children of Israel didn’t have the blood of Christ yet.

The word”create” (Hebrew bārā) concerns fuction.5

1.In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth.

2.And the earth was unproductive6There is nothing functional7.and darknes was upon the face of the deep.  Light and darkness are thought of as functions in the ancient Near East.8 And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

  1. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Yehwah made light fuctional. “Let there be light” would read “Let there be a period of light.” Verse one is all that is said about the actual creation, as we understand it today, of the universe.

4.God saw the light, that is was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

A king named objects and people in ancient times to show ownership or sovereignty.9 Yahweh did not name light and darkness in verse 5, but a period of light and a period of darkness. This is a metonymy, a figure of speach in which the name of one thing is used in place of another.10  Time is created, a function not a material substencce.

Yahweh separated cosmic space. John Walton11 says that on the second day Yahweh established cosmic order and set up a system that serves as the basis for weather.

Yahweh exersiced his preogative as sovereign to name the sky and instruct it to control precipitation.

Yahweh separated terrestrial space. Yahweh named the dry land and the pooled water. Egyptian cosmology was common knowledge to the Israelites; the primeval mound reflecting the yearly reality of the fertile soil emerging after the flooding of the Nile.12  Yahweh demonstrated his right as Sovereign to assign function and name to the utilities for the basis of food.13

In days14 1-3 Yahweh tells the ancient desendents of Israel– and us – that it is he15 who establisehd the functions controling time, weather, and food.

Here Yahweh is assuring the ancient Israelites and us that he established the functionaries as well as their functions.

The to great lights link to day one in that thay are to direct time. Yahweh is the maker of those two great lights and the establisher of their functions. Their use is people orianted. They were not gods, as the people in tha ancient world precieved them to be, they were Yahweh’s servers given the function of regulating day, night, times of sowing and harvest, etc.17

It was and is Yahweh that was and is responsible for the water, air and land abounding with life. Our God put them there. He contradicks the ancients’ belief that the land and sea contained creatures that are threats to human beings18. I assume that would include the Loch ness monster, Sasquatch, and Cupacabra. All living creatures are part of the blessings of Yahweh.

Notes

1 John 1:1-3

  1. The Archological Study Bible, Zondervan. 2005,pages 5, 1139, 888.
  2. The Lost World of Genesis One, IVA Acdemic,Dawners Grove, IL, 2009, John H. Walton, page 20

4.Evolutionary Creation, Wipf and Stock, 2008, Denis Lamoureux, pages 105 – 47

  1. The Lost World of Genesis One, IVA Acdemic,Dawners Grove, IL, 2009, John H. Walton, page 38
  2. The Lost World of Genesis One, IVA Acdemic,Dawners Grove, IL, 2009, John H. Walton, pages 48,49
  3. Creation and Destruction, Winona Lake, Indianna.: Eisenbrauns, 2005, David Tsumura, page 35

8.ibid, page 54

  1. The Archaeological Study Bible, page 4, note on verse 5.

10.The Lost world of Genesis One, page55

11.ibid, pages 56,57, 58

  1. ibid, page 58

13.ibid, page 62, Technical support

  1. Periods of time
  2. He is a term of being here, not gender
  3. These seven periods of time, in my opinion, are not days of the week, or eras of time. they are established for the purpose of the seven th day –seven represents completion or perfection.

17.The Lost World of Genesis One, page 64

  1. ibid, pages66, 67
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