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A brief survey of Genesis chapters 1 - 11
By Richard Gunther
Genesis is an enormous book. This statement may surprise some people, because in weight and volume as ink and paper, it is certainly no 'War and Peace'! At face value it takes only an hour or two to read, a mere booklet, comprising 50 very small chapters. Its first eleven chapters are so brief in their detail it is more like a list of events than a history. But God's Word is like a Everest sized mountain of soil condensed to a small bag of pure gold, or, as Psalm 12:6 says: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” By implication we could suppose that the Bible might have been seven times larger, but God has “purified” it down to one seventh its potential size. This would give us a Genesis of 350 chapters – still not an overly large book, but what a wealth of extra detail it would contain. However, for His own reasons, God has decided to pull out of His Book a huge amount of material, leaving us with the bare bones.
For this reason it is with great caution that any student of the Bible should approach Genesis, or ANY of the other 65 booklets. They are all condensed, and enormous amounts of detail, which God has deemed are not essential to our readership, have been left out. Some of that detail has been supplied, through the great scholarly work of many great men (and women) of the Scriptures, in the form of theological books, maps and so on, and none of this extra material, if reliable, is unimportant, but one can be fully supplied with all the truth one needs without a shred of extra material.
When we come to Genesis, at the turning of this century, we have a very different variety of tools at our disposal, compared to readers even 300 or 400 years ago. Science has made great inroads into understanding the physical qualities of creation. 'Modern' western people have certain advantages over quite recent forebears. Every artifact or specimen can be examined under any of a wide array of highly specialized tools and a great deal more can be known about our world than was ever knowable a few hundred years ago. But Genesis is not entirely about the natural and the physical. It also contains the miraculous.
To God there is nothing miraculous. It is just His way of doing things. It is we humans who miss God's “style”, or miracle methods. We try to exclude faith from the picture. Man is fallen, and his reasoning is faulty, so faith is an aspect which has diminished – compared to its place in the original mind of Man. For this reason Man seeks to explain things without including the miraculous.
It is like a child who cannot recognize his mother's touch in and around the house – the tidy clothes, the flowers in the vase, the weeded garden. The child cannot believe that his mother has done these things, and so some other explanation is sought. Perhaps it was the wind that brought the washing in? Perhaps an earthquake weeded the garden? To fallen Man God's miraculous work is not recognized for what is, and some other explanation is sought. The irony is, there is nothing physical which is not at the same time pure miracle, and only familiarity is to blame for our dullness in understanding this. For as long as matter consists of atoms, the whole universe will remain a constant miracle through and through.
Genesis is therefore a revelation, but only in the briefest summary form, of God's miracles, the supernatural style He used to produce what we call the material universe. It is also a glimpse of the supernatural style He has chosen to guide and control the path of human settlement on this planet. Science can only go so far to explain some of the effects of the miracles. It can never tell us where matter came from, or why the 'natural' laws of the universe operate. It is not Science's job to do this, but many scientists have overstepped their territory and invaded the foreign lands of theology in order to set up their alien outposts where they should not be. The teaching of evolution is one of these outposts, held into the soil of God's Word by fragile tent pegs. It perches on God's land like a collection of motley immigrants who have barricaded themselves into ramshackle tents, always on the brink of blowing away at the next gust of wind.
Behind evolution is Satan, whose trail can be found across many pulpits, and through the corridors of many secular educational institutions, and in the houses of Man's natural reasoning. State schools in general, by charter, are not allowed to promote Christianity, or foster faith in God's Word. By excluding God, they produce a sort of vacuum, into which rushes all manner of nonsense; false histories of the world, pagan superstitions, fanciful ideas based on wrong assumptions, and so on. The result of this 'educational' process is to instill into the hearts of children, from preschool level right through to university, the belief that God, if He even exists, is irrelevant. Secularized Man is like a fish swimming through the ocean, who does not believe in the relevance of water.
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28
It is therefore with great caution that I approach “explaining” Genesis, because in every verse of this book there are mysteries too great for me to understand, and hundreds of unanswered questions appear at every statement by God. All I have tried to do is apply a little candle of light to the great road of wisdom which God has set before us. Perhaps my suggestions and comments will be a help to readers, perhaps not. I urge you to take nothing from me as the final word, and to grasp anything which you may find useful and run with it yourself. Some modern science will be included in the “explaining” but we should know by now how fickle 'modern science' is, and some theology, which may be a little more reliable. In other cases I have tried to compare scripture with scripture, but even that may be subject to other interpretations. Travel with care.
Genesis 1:1 The Earth (erets) and the heavens (whole universe)
Perhaps the most famous, and well-known verse of the entire Bible, (although some would say John 3:16) this opening statement covers a wide range of subjects. It tells us there is a God and it reveals that the universe had a beginning. Implied in this is the thought that the Creator must be intelligent and aesthetically-minded, because creation shows intelligence and beauty. If matter had a beginning, it seems likely that time also began with matter, since Einstein has shown that time and matter and space are all bound together. It is also quite useful to find our definition of matter expressed in three aspects, which may relate to the Triune nature of God.
Built into the universe are many different aspects, which could be labelled as: Unified, Harmonious, Interdependent, full of variety, Beautiful, Exact, Accurate, Powerful, Orderly, and Mysterious. To this could be added Visible and Invisible, Heavenly and Earthly. All these qualities are subjective, because as far as we know, only Man can recognize them as such. This indicates that God designed the whole universe with Man in mind, because man alone can appreciate it in these terms, whereas all other living things are relatively ignorant of much more than their creaturely needs.
The 'gap' theory.
The incredibly well-researched 'Companion Bible' by Bullinger begins its massive and usually wonderfully helpful notes with the comment that Genesis 1:1 describes a perfect world, which subsequently perished. Bullinger says that this destroyed Earth is the origin of the fossils. In just this one tiny gap between two verses is supposed to be found the rise of Satan, his fall and judgement, and the destruction of some perfect world, followed by a restoration and then a new start, with Mankind's creation, etc. So many things hidden in so small a space of nothing! This interpretation, which is still circulating today, has been spread far and wide and it seems to be a way of conveniently assigning the millions of years claimed by evolutionists to the first verse of the Bible.
Because the 'gap' theory undermines a correct understanding of Genesis, we ought to examine it more carefully.
If someone had not told me about the 'gap' theory, I would never have come to it unaided, because for me, the most straightforward and obvious reading of Genesis chapter 1 is that Moses, under the guidance of the Spirit, intended to write a literal, historic account of what God did from day one. If God had intended us to understand a 'gap' at such a crucial point in His description of creation, surely He would have spent a little more time on it, but He has not, and there are no direct references to any 'gap' anywhere else in the Bible. Some of those who hold the 'gap' theory rip the odd verse from elsewhere in the Bible out of its context and stitch it together to make a case, but this is the sort of intellectual dishonesty we would expect from a cult, rather than a sincere student of the Bible.
Orthodox Jews and conservative Christians have always read Genesis chapter one as an uninterrupted flow of events, with no hidden catastrophe. Professor Davis Young, a geologist and an evolutionist admitted, “It cannot be denied, in spite of frequent interpretations of Genesis 1 that departed from the rigidly literal, that the almost universal view of the Christian world until the 18th century was that the Earth was only a few thousand years old. Not until the development of modern scientific investigation of the Earth itself would this view be called into question within the church.” In other words, when Man's false history of the world appeared, involving millions of years, some Christians deliberately twisted and reinterpreted the Bible to try and squeeze it into these theories and false views. Up until Darwin's theories became popular, Christians had no problem with Genesis 1 as it reads.
Genesis 1:31 tells us that “God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good.” Compare this statement by God with the sort of planet we would have if the 'gap' theory was correct. Before we reached Genesis 1:2 the Earth would be strewn with fossils – evidence of mass extinction, death, disease, decay, violence and degradation. “Gap' theories sometimes also include a race of humans, but these too would be dead, and when Adam and Eve walked on the 'renewed' Earth, they would have walked over the remains of a smashed and coruscated planet. “Very good?” Hardly. If God called a planet like this “very good” then we need to redefine the meaning of the word “good.”
The 'gap' theory tells us that in the silence between verse 1 and 2 there was a global flood, about which nothing at all is said, yet when we come to Genesis 6-9, God spends three whole chapters describing a flood which He tells us was global – yet according to the 'gap' theory, this second global flood left almost no trace! How amazing, that the first flood destroyed the planet, but the second was hardly noticeable, and that God would spend no words on the first, but three chapters on the second? Perhaps Noah's flood was only local, but if that was so we would have to ignore many of the statements about it, and besides this possibility we still have the problem of evidence. Where do the world's fossils come from – a flood about which nothing is said, or a flood about which much is said?
In Exodus 20:11 we read, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is . . .” Six days means six days, so there is no extended time available for an ancient earth before the creation days. This verse gives us the definitive time frame in which God worked. Everything was created within this six day period, which includes Satan, the angels and Man.
Romans 5:12 tells us, “. . . by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin . . .” What does God mean by the word “death”? We know from Genesis that from the moment of Adam's sin, he began to die, physically. From this we can deduce that there was no death before Adam sinned. This wipes out the 'gap' theory which requires enormous amounts of death before Adam sinned. How could God say (in Romans 5:12) that death entered the world after Adam, and then suggest that death had already entered the world millions of years prior to this? God never contradicts Himself.
The 'gap' theory makes some very dubious claims based on interpretation of a few words in Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void.” The 'gap' theory says “was” means “became” but all they really do by following this line is ignore the majority of grammarians, lexicographers and linguists. It also raises the question as to why God would spend so little time on such an enormously important stage in the Earth's history, and hide so much secretively in the questionable translation of a single word?
The 'gap' theory picks up the words “without form and void” or “tohu and bohu”, and says that the Earth became like this from some original state of perfection. Literally, these words mean “unformed” and “unfilled” The Earth, before land or life appeared, was deserted and empty. It was an undeveloped thing. It was a mass of water, with no land, and so no features to describe, and no inhabitants filling it. It did not become like this, but began like this.
The 'gap' theory jumps on the words in Genesis 1:28: “. . . and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. The 'gap theory claims that the Earth must have needed re-filling or re-plenishing, since it had been destroyed. The problem is resolved when we go back to the original meaning of the word 'replenish', which, in 1611 meant “fill”. As linguist Dr. Charles Taylor wrote: “As translated in 1611 'replenish' was merely a parallel to 'fill' and the prefix 're' didn't mean 'again' but 'completely'. The same Hebrew word is used in gen. 1:22 and is there translated “fill the seas”, so there is no need to translate it any differently in verse 28. If replenish does mean 'start all over again' we have a problem with 1:22 which would imply that despite a worldwide flood the fish in the oceans were also destroyed. Just how a large amount of additional water could kill all the life in the sea is another mystery the 'gap' cannot answer.
The 'gap' theory is a can of worms, which leads away from the Bible in many directions. As soon as one begins to follow the theory, all sorts of extraordinary interpretations have to be pulled in and added. Like a leaky boat, the 'gap' theory needs frantic repair in order to stay afloat.
Even good science, in the area of paleontology supports the conservative view. Many animal fossils match perfectly with living plants and animals, yet if one follows the 'gap' theory this would seem extremely peculiar. According to the theory, all the living things before Adam and Eve were destroyed, so why is there any correlation between the fossils and today’s organisms? Why would God allow for what is an obvious direct line of descent if He was starting things anew? What would be the point of such a mischievous deception?
Jesus himself said: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” - Mark 10:6 Notice that Jesus allowed for only one beginning, and that male and female began with this one beginning. This statement by Jesus makes things very difficult for the 'gap' theory which says that before Adam and Eve there was another world, populated by humans. Are we then to conclude that the race of Men before Adam were not really human? If so what were they? What kind of God would create humans and then destroy them like that? Only a fiendish God, with no love or mercy would do such things. The 'gap' theory is therefore an attack on the character of God – which is why I see it as yet another attempt by Satan to discredit Him and throw doubt on His Word.
Finally, with the help of good science, there is plenty of evidence to show that the Earth is not millions of years old. The evidence in the real world confirms the Genesis account. We would be worried if the real-world evidence contradicted the Bible. What holders of the 'gap' theory are trying to do is fit together their assumption that the world is very old with the Bible view that it is only a few thousands of years old. As the fit is not immediately obvious – well nigh impossible in fact – they have gone searching for some out of context verses to justify their lack of faith. As I mentioned at the beginning, because they lack faith, they try to explain things with human reasoning, which is faulty. As far as I can see, we either accept Genesis 1:1 and 2 at face value, or we totally reject them. To apply syncretism is a futile waste of time. It just cannot reconcile two so enormously disparate accounts.
“The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
In the first verse we have the name of God, in Hebrew, as “Elohim” which is a plural of El. In other words God presents Himself as more than one, and then in verse two the Spirit appears. In just the first two verses of the Bible we have the basis for the Trinity, or Tri-unity. As with all the doctrines of the Bible, no single area covers the whole topic, so one must search through the other books for all the pieces – like a collection of jigsaws which have all been mixed together, all the many different doctrines of the Bible have been broken up and mixed, leaving the scholar an incentive to search through all the books for the whole teaching. It is usually because people fail to read all the scriptures on a topic that they wind up with lopsided or erroneous teachings.
Æelohiym el-o-heem’; plural; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative. (Strong's)
Man was made in the likeness or image of Elohim, and there is no doubt that Elohim is the Creator. This leads us directly to Jesus: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”.Colossians 1:16 There are several other verses which confirm this teaching, but I leave that line of investigation to other books – as I also leave many other well-researched subjects of the Bible common to mainstream Bible studies. I see little use in working where many others have already worked, so I leave it to the reader to follow the other trails.
The whole creative act is a miracle, and it could have been accomplished in a split second, or seven minutes, but God chose to create everything in six days. Before we look at the subject of “days” there is one other false teaching which needs to be dealt with. It is called theistic evolution (or progressive creation).
This view holds that God used evolution to create everything, which sounds, when you say it out loud, like a mixture of two opposites stuck in the same place, because as the two views are usually defined, the first means instantaneous and the second means millions of years. This seeming contradiction makes nonsense of many scriptures, but some people seriously think that God would use a process of death, mutation, pain, bloodshed, disease, survival of the strongest and deadliest, extinction and gradual change, to produce something which He then calls “very good”! God, we are told, is good, so either He is a twisted liar and sadist, or we need to redefine the word “good”.
Romans 8 tells us that “bondage to decay” came in after Adam sinned, and not before. If Adam was not the cause of these things, who was? If it was God, and He really did design the world this way, then we ought to be terrified of Him. The next time we see a lion hunt and kill a gazelle on TV, let us imagine that God designed animals to do this.1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us “as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive”. God places the origin of death and the curse of death at Adam's feet, which makes sense of the crucifixion, in which Jesus paid the price for Adam's sin, but if sin and death began before Adam, the death of Jesus was not of much use.
There are a few other problems. If we follow the theistic evolutionists for a while we have to reinterpret many other things. After all, according to them, we cannot trust the plain language of Genesis 1, so perhaps we need to reinterpret Genesis 2, and 3, and so on. The whole Bible therefore becomes suspect. Evolution has no purpose or goal, yet God constantly declares that He has a purpose and a goal. How can we reconcile these two contradictions? Genesis tells us that we live in a fallen world, and it is not the way God originally intended, but theistic evolutionists think the world is just continuing through a process which God started millions of years ago, so perhaps God is not really necessary. He might be just some human concept, with no real, direct involvement with Mankind, and the death of Jesus might have been just a futile but noble gesture of love as a sort of demonstration, rather than a vital offer of new life to a fallen race.
The “days” of Genesis.
There are many good reasons why we can trust that the “days” of Genesis were literal, 24 hour days. The first reason is the fact that Moses combined the word “day” with a number, calling them “the first day” and the “second day” etc. This made each day separate and distinct from all the others. Moses also qualified the “days” by giving them an “evening and morning”. If Moses had left the days unqualified we might have room for conjecture, but he sealed them all with familiar beginnings and endings.
The fact that God attached “day” to a number and qualified it with an evening and a morning shows that he intended to define it clearly for us, so we would not make any mistakes later on as we continued to read His Word. This is the Law of First Mention.
God could have used several other Hebrew words, if He had wanted to convey the idea that the days were much longer: qedem = ancient, olam = everlasting, or eternal, dor = a revolution of time, or an age, tamid = continually, or for ever, or orek with yom = length of days, or netsach = for ever. So if God had wanted us to think that the days of Genesis were much longer than 24 hours, He could have used different words. He also could have used combinations of some Hebrew words to convey the meaning of huge lengths of time, but He deliberately chose “yom” and qualified it carefully.
James Barr, professor of Hebrew at Oxford University says that the words used in Genesis “refer to a series of six days of 24 hours which we now experience”, and he adds that he “knows of no professor of Hebrew at any leading university who would say otherwise.”
So why, in the face of all the carefully chosen words given to us by God, would anyone think the Bible was wrong? Because Man is unwilling to have faith in what God says, and because there are theories floating about, so-called scientific theories, which say the Earth is millions of years old, many Christians have tried to squeeze these theories into the Bible. Rather than trust the perfect revelation of God, people prefer the fickle and changeable 'fashions' of science.
A further confirmation of the days as literal is the use of the same word “yom” in the Law. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11 The days of the week were determined by God, and they are all 24 hours. Interestingly, we get our year from the time it takes the Earth to go round the sun, our day from the time it takes for the Earth to turn once, and our month from the waxing and waning of the moon, but our week comes from the Bible. (Also see Ex.20:11)
What did the Earth look like before day two began?
From the description in Genesis 1:2 it seems that it was a ball of water. How totally unlike the theory of evolution this is, which models the Earth as originally a fireball, freshly formed from an enormous, spinning accretion disk of intense heat and molten elements. In the EV. (evolution theory model) the first sight we have of Earth is a slowly condensing mass of violent plasma. In the Bible we have a ball of water, possibly a perfect sphere, still and silent, extremely beautiful, pure and cold, made of liquid hydrogen and oxygen. It floats, or 'exists', in a stream of light, which issues from God, (who is the true light), because the sun, moon and starts have not yet been created. Spiritually, this means that we must never worship the sun, or look to it for sustenance, because God is the origin of the sun.
Some have asked how there could be light before the sun was created. There are at least four other times mentioned in the Bible where light appears without a natural light-source. The first is in Exodus 14:19,20. When the Israelites were fleeing from Egypt, a 'pillar of cloud' appeared, which gave darkness on one side, for the Egyptians, and “light by night”, for the Israelites, at the same time. There is also Luke 2:9 when an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds at night when “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” There is also Matthew 17:2 in which Jesus was transfigured - “His face shone as the sun, and his clothing was white as light”. And Revelation 21:3. Moses was brought up as an Egyptian, in a nation which worshipped the sun god Ra, yet he wrote that light appeared before the sun.
The 'big bang' theory.
A very popular theory today, nicknamed 'the big bang', was originally coined by Sir Fred Hoyle as a sort of joke, but many have taken it so seriously they really believe the entire universe is the result of an explosion. In his book 'A Brief History of Time' the well-known British physicist Stephen Hawking asks: “Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from.”(page 13) In the last chapter he writes: “We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and ask: what is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?”
Hawking's book is an examination of the universe, but he never attributes any of it to God. He stays within the equations, and leaves the reader with the impression that there is no God, and all that we see around us is the result of laws and rules.
Isaac Newton on the other hand (1643 – 1727), possible the greatest physicist of all time, and a predecessor of Hawking in the same chair at Cambridge University, firmly believed that the universe was created by God.
The idea that the universe emerged by accident, from a swirling mass of disorganized matter, was started by Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804). His ideas have been picked up and elaborated on by many modern cosmologists, keen to add “accident” and “chance” to the evolutionary story. A general view at present holds that about 10 to 20 thousand million years ago an inconceivably small volume of space, like a tiny dot, suddenly began to expand, and is still expanding today. One observation which seems to confirm this theory is the red shift of galaxies – they seem to have longer wavelengths the further from us they are. This is called the Doppler effect, which claims that as light and space between two diverging galaxies is 'stretched out' the red wavelengths will predominate – in the same way that a car makes a higher pitch as it travels towards us, and a lower pitch as it retreats from us.
One major problem with the 'big bang' theory is the fact that it contradicts the evidence. An explosion would tend to spread matter evenly in all directions, but the universe has a definite structure, similar to gigantic bubbles, with the galaxies forming the membranes, and incredible voids between the membranes. Distant galaxies are clustered like cosmic continents separated by vast stretches of nearly empty space. Astronomers found this very puzzling. Where was all the matter which should have been there, spread evenly in all directions? It wasn't detectable, and the reason it wasn't detectable was because it wasn't there. This ruined the theory of the big bang, so they reached into their magic hat and pulled out something called 'dark matter'. The problem they had to deal with was the missing matter, which should have been there to fill in all the gaps between galaxies. Another problem was the way galaxies stayed the shape they were. Calculations based on assumed ages showed that, given the time and mass and speed of spin of the galaxies, most of them should have disintegrated long ago, but they were still in good shape so there must be more mass in them, holding them in shape. That mass was not detectable, so dark matter was called to the rescue! Without any direct evidence for dark matter, dark matter is supposed to be about 10 times the amount of visibly observed mass.
When people believe the universe is the result of an explosion, what does this tell us about the people? Many observations over the last 30 years have contradicted the theory, yet the theory is still believed. Halton Arp, who worked at the Mount Wilson Observatory and elsewhere said: “Since antiquity, ideas of the universe have varied widely, depending on assumptions about factual observations. The current idea of a 'big bang' has been the standard model for about 60 years. But, in the mean time, the number of observations that negate the assumption that the red shift of the light of distant galaxies can be explained by recessive motions, is increasing.” “In my opinion the observations speak a different language; they call for a different view of the universe. I believe that the big bang theory should be replaced because it is no longer a valid theory.”
Dr. James Trefil, professor of physics at Mason University, Virginia wrote: “There shouldn't be galaxies out there at all, and even if there are galaxies, they shouldn't be grouped together the way they are . . . . the problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn't be there, yet there they are. Its hard to convey the frustration that this simple fact induces among scientists.”
Right from the very first verse of the Bible Christians are challenged as to whom they will believe. If we accept the Bible we start with a Creator God and a cool Earth made of water in a universe with no stars. If we accept faulty scientific theories we have to allow for billions of years, fire, explosions, gradual cooling, death, struggle and accidental evolution of life from random events. False science may dazzle us with a succession of ingenious cosmological ideas, like sparkling jewels waved in front of our eyes, but in the end we have to decide which view is the truth. In whom shall we put our faith?
Day one is rounded off with the expression “and the evening and the morning were the first day.” From this we may assume that the Earth was already turning, which implies that the light shining on it came from a single source. The words 'evening and morning' show that in God's reckoning, a day begins in our Western time evening. Thus Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday, and rose three days and three nights later, on Sunday morning, before the sun came up. He had been alive for several hours before the first visitors arrived at the tomb. (See my essay 'Three days and Three nights”) The Jews in Jesus time began their day at our Western 6p.m. So their evening would have been the beginning of a new day, but for a Westerner almost the end of an old one.
The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. rachaph primitive root; to brood; by implication, to be relaxed:—flutter, move, shake. (or perhaps “brooded”) This does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a bird. The expression is here to tell us something deeper. We find a similar interplay in symbols when Jesus was baptized, where the Spirit descended from heaven like a dove (John 1:32) and Jesus came up out of the water – what powerful imagery, like the land rising up out of the Earth's water, life out of non-life, the beginning of a new creative act by God. It is God's intention to convey something other than what we see at face value by using the 'form of a dove' symbol. It was a dove which brought hope in the form of a single olive leaf to Noah – more symbols, and in the Song of Solomon the lover speaks of his “dove” in terms of beauty and purity, the “two young”doves are part of the sacrifices for sin – one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering, and Christians are expected to be as “harmless as doves” so in symbol there is found the Holy Spirit playing His part in God's work.
We might take the symbols a little further, and pick up on the word “fluttered” or “brooded” and look for references to God in terms of bird behaviour. In the O.T. God likens Himself to an eagle: “As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him (Israel).” Deuteronomy 32:11
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!” Matthew 23:37
Perhaps the activity of the Spirit moving over the “face of the deep” is expressed in terms of love, foresight, planning and a goal. Just as a sinner is raised from a state of barrenness and emptiness and furnished with every blessing, so the Earth began empty and barren, and after it was bathed in God's light, began to grow increasingly beautiful and complete. A hen waits for 21 days (3x7) before an egg filled with almost clear fluid becomes a living chick. Noah waited about a year for a world laid waste became green and habitable. Israel waited many centuries before Jesus appeared at the Jordan. ( or Yardane, which incidentally comes from the root yarad, meaning to come down, or descend.)
“And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.”
“firmament” means something spread out, and refers to the visible arch of the sky.
On this day God divided the waters, creating a sort of shell around the planet, with a space between the upper waters and the main ball of water below. (The topic of 'water' in the Bible is large and full of interest but it is not the scope of this essay to pursue every line of inquiry) So what we have in effect is an ocean orbiting another ocean. The gap between the two oceans God called Heaven. The word 'heaven' is a verb as well as a noun. In older English 'heaven' was used in the sense of something being heave-en, or lifted, or raised, up. In the first verse, in Hebrew, the word is plural, so Genesis 1:1 should read “the heavens and the earth”, or the 'heaved up things' and the earth. Gen.1:1 is a grand summary, while the rest of the chapter is a more detailed account.
I imagine that below the surface of the water a space of air appeared, like a luminous shell of luminous. This gradually widened until the outer shell of water was lifted up and away from the ball below. Now the embryonic planet had an atmosphere, which I presume was perfect for the life to come. It is quite possible that when the great flood struck, this suspended, orbiting ocean collapsed downwards – the 'windows of heaven'. There are some who believe the suspended water became solid ice in the subzero temperatures of space, and some who think the water became ice crystals. These things are unknowable. What we do know is that the evolutionists are wrong when they suggest that primitive Earth was hot, with volcanoes and warm seas, and 'prebiotic' chemicals forming in heated pools.
“Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” Verse nine has at least two interpretations. One interpretation holds that all the land was one block, covering about half the planet, (Pangaea) while the other half was water. This would make the land an island surrounded by water, covering roughly the northern hemisphere, or, from another point of view, the water comprised a lake, or enormrous sea, surrounded by land. But the Bible does not say “half” the world was land, so we have another possibility: the land comprised almost all the planet, with a network of lakes and pools, connected by streams and rivers, in which case, all the verse describes is the separation of land from water.
The first interpretation seems to give credence to the idea that at some time in the past all the continents were connected together into a single land mass. The theory of Continental Drift has some support because if the continents are cut out and shifted towards each other, they fit quite well together. There is a major problem with this theory: Continental Drift requires millions of years, whereas the Bible puts the age of the Earth at about 6000 years. If the continents did come from a single land mass, they would have had to travel very rapidly and this raises many new problems. How could a mass as large as Africa travel rapidly across thousands of miles of the planet without creating enormous evidence of scraping and gouging? If this happened under the water, during the great Flood, would there not be a displacement wave half a miles high – or at least an enormous 'hill' of water, over which Noah's Ark might have had to sail several times as the planet's surface rocked?
The theory of continental drift was first proposed in 1915, by the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener. He thought that about 200 million years ago the Earth consisted of a single continent (Pangaea), which broke apart and has moved to today's positions. In 1965 a Canadian geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson discovered 'plate tectonics' which seemed to supply the necessary mechanism by which continents could move – but again, the time factor was always measured in millions of years.
There are several points which must be raised here. From the Biblical point of view there is no need to object to the idea of continents moving, but the speed has to be much faster than a few inches a year. We also need to remember that the world was a very different place before the great flood, as there were no deep sea trenches, and no mountain ranges, so the presence of continents may be the result of the great flood, and not the break up of an original single land mass. We also have the theory that the great flood may have created the continents, since they are about 80% sedimentary rock, and the shape they are may simply be the result of deliberate design, not their origin. It is true that the earth's crust is divided by seams or cracks through which new rock is coming, and some movement of plates has been detected, but there may be completely different reasons for these things, besides the theory of continental drift. There are many unanswered questions. It just might be that God created the continents the way they are for reasons which we are just beginning to understand – for example, the shape of the land deflects wind and water currents, forcing oxygen into some regions and warmer waters into others. The dispersion of the land has forced humans to also disperse and develop individualized civilizations and cultures. As with all of Man's theories and 'science' great caution must be shown, because 'science' is constantly being revised and altered to fit with new data and theories come and go like the seasons.
God created “grass” and “herbs yielding seed” and “fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind” and another kind of tree “the tree yielding seed, whose seed was in itself”. The Hebrew means “seeding seed”.
Grass - deh’-sheh; a sprout; by analogy, grass:—(tender) grass, green, (tender) herb.
herb - eh’seb; from an unused root meaning to glisten (or be green); grass (or any tender shoot):—grass, herb.
One could say that the first colour mentioned in the Bible, in the Hebrew at least, is green, but the presence of chlorophyll is of no use if there is no sunlight. If the days of genesis were even six months long almost all plant life would have died before the sun appeared – unless God's light was sufficient. Also, at this point in creation, there are no insects, or birds available to pollinate plants, so the time between days would need to be short or life would have died out. Hummingbirds, for example, need nectar every morning or they die. Some insects have a symbiotic relationship with plants (i.e. The yucca moth) – they too would need to appear in quick time for the plant's, and their own survival.
The expression “after his kind” is fundamental to genetics. By pronouncing these words, God set in motion an absolute law, which limits absolutely all Darwinian evolution. A species cannot become a new or different species. If two different species do happen to interbreed their offspring is sterile. Despite the great variety possible within the gene pool, which is essential to help living things adapt to changing environments, no new genetic information ever appears which allows a species to change beyond the limits set by the Creator. If this simple fact was acknowledged by evolutionists, they would have to totally abandon their theory.
When God first created vegetation, He intended it to be part of a perfect recycling system. As most people vaguely understand it, the 'web of life' is a planet-wide system in which all things contribute to the welfare of all other things. The biosphere is where life exists – the sea, the land and a lower fraction of the atmosphere. Plants produce air and take in carbon dioxide, animals breath out carbon dioxide and take in air. Plants need bees for pollination, bees need plants for food. In millions of interactions the whole planet is a mutually dependent system, in which everything is recycled, cleaned, nourished and renewed, and here is the great dilemma for evolutionists. In millions of cases, this mutual interdependence had to arise instantaneously, otherwise it would not have lasted a year. Just as all the parts for a mouse trap have to appear together, all the right size and strength for the job, so all the systems which work around the planet would have had to appear together. There would be no point, for example, in an orchid which can only be pollinated by one kind of insect, waiting a million years for that insect to evolve. The insect had to arrive before the orchid died.
The original Earth was a perfect place. The water canopy, (assuming it was in the form of water) was set up ready to protect the land from harmful cosmic rays, and ultraviolet. All the genetic information in all vegetation was perfect too, and notice that God created first the herb then the seed, first the tree then the fruit. Millions of trees began to grow, while at the base of these beautiful green things was lush and perfect grass, and in due process the flowers appeared and after that the first seeds.
It was only after Adam sinned that the genetic makeup of living things began to deteriorate. An article in New Scientist, 12th June 2004 has this to say: “What then is the total mutational burden on the average human being? The length of time that a given mutation will be passed down from one generation to the next depends on the severity of its effects. If we suppose that an average mutation has only a mildly negative effect upon reproductive success and so persists for a hundred generations, an estimate of three new mutations per generation leads to the depressing conclusion that the average newly conceived human bears 300 mutations that impair its health in some fashion. No one escapes this mutational storm. But we are not all equally subject to its force. Some of us, by chance, are born with an unusually large number of mild mutations, while others are born with rather few.”
Given the evolution theory that humans have been around for millions of years, this adds up to a colossal number of mutations, but given the Biblical time scale we have accumulated a manageable number. At 3 generations per one hundred years, we have reached our 180th generation.
“After his kind” is another way of describing genetic information replication within cells. On the surface, that is, without thinking too deeply, many people have decided that DNA, the molecular code which carries all the information for life, is sufficient to explain how life could have arisen. Chance and accident, over millions of years, say materialists, could have produced the first life, but what they overlook is the fact that DNA by itself is not enough. A sheet of paper carrying a written message is nothing more than ink and paper, but ink and paper unaided do not write messages, and even if they could, the message would be useless unless it was able to be read. What we need, with any intelligent information, is a sender and a receiver – an intelligent mind. Life is far more than just physics and chemistry.
Again, the alphabetical letters in a game of Scrabble do not constitute information until someone puts them into a special arrangement – an intelligent mind is needed, otherwise all you get is nonsense and non-words. How is the information for life carried? It is carried in a molecule called DNA, which is like a rope, or string of beads, which is tightly coiled within the nucleus of every cell. But DNA is not alive – it is dead. It is merely the information carrier, the medium on which the instructions are written, and in the case of humans it consists of two strings of 23 chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father.
To read the DNA message there must be a pre-existing language code, or convention. DNA would be no use to any living creature if it had no 'translator' built in, which 'reads' the chain of instructions and sets up all the complex machinery they are coded for. Imagine hearing a Morse code message. If you did not know that each group of tones stood for a letter, you would not be able to decode the message. In the same way, every cell also contains an instruction manual, which translates the DNA instructions and implements them. For all this to have arisen by chance is utterly impossible. It requires a great Intelligent Mind, or code-writer, for life to exist.
If we were to look in detail at the DNA of humans over a stretch of time, say a few thousand years, we would see a gradual increase in the amount of information. Projected back millions of years and we would have an impossibly huge amount of DNA, so in this one aspect alone evolution falls. The fact that information is gradually being lost or corrupted also indicates a time in the not too distant past when humans must have had a 'full quota' or complete and perfect supply. From this we can safely conclude that the programs, or DNA instructions built into all living things, must have had an original, and complete beginning, designed by some intelligent designer, and that since that time the supply has been depleted and corrupted.
On this day God created “lights”, which were designed to do four things.
division between day and night,
days and years.
Included among these many lights, or stars, God also made a “greater” and a “lesser” light, which gave light to the Earth and marked the days and nights. At this point it may be relevant to ask just what these lights were like, qualitatively, if they had to pass through a large body of water (or ice crystals)? The waters which were above the Earth may have acted like a screen, catching and transferring the light right round the planet – in much the same way that light from a torch can be transferred down a column of water squirting from a hose. Earth may have been bathed in a constant light, which grew slightly more intense and less intense as the sun and moon passed. The shielding from harmful rays would have preserved all living things within a perfect environment, and at that time the 'weather' was also perfect, with no great extremes of heat or cold, and perfect humidity. Trees and grass grew in a cloudless, mild, warm environment, utterly vibrant with health.
Some of the other lights were probably planets, because the Greek word for “moving star” is “planet”. It may be that before Adam sinned, those planets were different too, because their surfaces are, at present, scarred and pitted from the effects of a huge bombardment. The moon especially, although designed to reflect light (its surface has a lot of silica) has been ravaged by missiles.
Stars however are very useful. With them Man can tell directions – north, south, east and west. Stars can help us tell the time – for example the Southern Cross constellation points to 12 pm midnight on April 1st every year. The appearance of certain stars marks the middle of winter and summer – the two solstices. It was a “star” which God predicted would rise “out of Jacob” to mark the birth of a King (Numbers 24:17) and this star's appearance alerted some stargazing “wise men” to come from the east and find the King. When they reached Jerusalem it led them north to Nazareth and “stood over where the young child was” Mat.2:3-10. (Incidentally “young child” in Greek is not the same as “baby”, so this event occurred about 2 years after Jesus was born.)
The stars were also used by God to foretell the whole plan which lay before the human race, from creation to the coming of Jesus and the final days when Jesus returned as King of kings. (See my essay 'Astronomy and Astrology') The devil corrupted this original star-story and reduced it to a garbled mockery, which we know in the West as the signs of the Zodiac, and astrology, but for early Mankind the stars predicted many coming events and told the story of redemption for all to read, no matter where in the world they lived. This is why Psalms 19:3 says of the stars: “There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” After the Flood many people returned to astrology and tried to build a tower with the corrupted Zodiac at its top , or so it seems to say from the account, resulting in yet another judgement by God. Everywhere Man has set up civilizations there has been astrology, so fallen is his mind.
Stars and starlight.
One of the great paradoxes which evolutionists put forward is the one about star formation. On the one hand they maintain that stars must be continually forming, yet there is no evidence that this is so. When telescopes are turned to search the trillions and trillions of stars, all that is ever seen is already formed stars, and very occasionally a star in its death throes – interstellar dust, super novae, debris left over from the destruction of a star, but no new stars in the process of being born. This is a peculiar situation. The impression we get, from direct observation, is that all the stars in the universe were formed before we saw them, yet no new stars have formed since that time. There they are, burning up their fuel, like the embers in a fire, and all evolutionists have is a theory to explain where replacements come from.
One of the best theories they have is that, given the right conditions, a cloud of hydrogen might be compressed to the point where gravity takes over, and more hydrogen is attracted inwards, forming a large mass. The resulting pressure begins the thermonuclear fusion process thought to power stars, and the star begins to burn. But the problem is, the conditions needed to compress the gas require shock waves which would most likely come from the explosion of a dying star. Here is the paradox – a mechanism which needs exploding stars to power the formation of stars must have had a star or two at the beginning in order to start the process, but that still begs the question as to the origin of the first star!
Far better to simply believe God created all the stars.
Another problem, which evolutionists like to trot out, is the fact that light has reached Earth from the most distant reaches of space, yet that journey would take, at the present speed of light, many hundreds or thousands of millions of years, so how is it that we can see it? The first point is the speed of light has by no means been proved constant, and there is some evidence to show that even in the last few hundred years it has slowed. Another point to remember is that God created light. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that He is able to make it do whatever He wants. Thirdly, there are some scriptures which have some bearing on this:
“Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; Isaiah 42:5 The Hebrew is 'natah' a primitive root; to stretch or spread out; by implication, to bend away;
“I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Isaiah 45:12
“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” Jeremiah 10:12
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.” Jeremiah 51:15
“And God saw that it was good.” When God pronounces these words about a creation which contains only water, land, planets, stars and vegetation, we ought to take note. The evolutionist would have a different view. In his timescale, the Earth would now be cool enough for 'simple' forms of life to emerge, slimes and moulds perhaps, and the odd basic weed. Stars, to the evolutionist, are of no significance at all. They are just meaningless blobs in an accidental universe, flung out by a cosmic explosion. To materialistic Man, the only meaning we can make of stars is that which we ourselves invent. To the Creationist all the stars and planets have purpose, and were designed for the benefit of Man and Earth.
Some interesting notes on the Earth-Sun arrangement.
Earth's distance from the sun is exactly right for temperature. Too close and Earth would boil, too far away and Earth would freeze. Earth needs liquid water to sustain life. Conditions are right for metabolism. If the temperature was only 2 degrees higher all the ice sheets and glaciers would melt – London and New York would be about 200 feet underwater.
The size of the Earth is critical. If it was only 10% larger or smaller, conditions would be almost too difficult for most life. For example, if gravity (which increases with increased mass) was greater, waves would not break on beaches. This would cause oxygen depletion and most life in the Sea would die. The atmosphere would also be compressed, reducing the range for life to extend. Flying creatures especially, not to mention all others, would have great difficulty in moving about. With increased weight, everything would be heavier, causing even small things like pollen to drop rather than fly to the nearest stamen. On the other hand, less gravity would allow the atmosphere to leak into space, and water would wash over the land.
The 23 and a half degree tilt to the Earth's axis allows for change in seasons. If the Earth had no tilt, the sun would stay over the equator and scorch about half the planet permanently. The seasons help to power the great engines of heat and cold which transfer energy over the whole planet, without which huge areas of the planet would become uninhabitable.
The ozone layer, which is a specific kind of oxygen molecule, protects us from the sun's dangerous rays. If God had not added this layer, much of life would have perished long ago. Without ozone as a filter, plants would be scorched and die, and many creatures would be burned, or develop skin cancers.
The Earth, as we know, is suspended in space. Job 26:7: “He hangs the Earth upon nothing.” Ancient astronomers did not know this before 300 BC, but God had already revealed it to Job about a thousand years before that.
Jeremiah 33:22: “The host of heaven (the stars) cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured.” When Jeremiah wrote this, and also today, when the night sky is viewed without any optical aid, some 5000 to 6000 stars can be counted. This is the upper limit for someone with very good eye sight, so how did Jeremiah know the stars were uncountable? It was about 2000 years later that Galileo with his telescope saw the vast numbers of stars, and even he saw only a small fraction of them. In 1930 Sir James Jean wrote, “The total number of stars is roughly equal to the total number of grains of sand on all the sea-shores of all the world.”
God created life in the water and air fish and birds. He details some of the categories of this life for us and describes its appearance.
Of the seas God tells them to “bring forth abundantly” which means in Hebrew to “swarm with swarms of living creatures”. Breeding began, and God intended it to increase. This raises the question as to what happens when the seas are full? Was there killing and eating before sin? My opinion is that God intended to fill the waters and then stop the increase once the maximum limit had been reached, but I am not fully persuaded on this.
Evolutionists tell us that the first life on Earth was very small – an amoeba or single-cell organism. Here, in Genesis, God created the BIGGEST creatures first. For example, whales. The largest whales today weigh about 150 tons – far more than any known dinosaur. But God's creation was not only on a grand scale, it was also full of enormous variety. Today some rough estimates have come up with these totals: species of living mollusk (shell fish) about 100,000, species of now extinct mollusk 100,000. As well as this we have the crustaceans (crabs, lobsters) about 30,000 individual and separate species, and vertebrate (backboned) fish some 21,000. Within this huge fecundity there are variations, from the 500 pound Australian clam, to the pea crab which lives inside mussels, or the Japanese spider crab which is about as wide as a man is tall. Not to mention colours, habitats and special behaviours.
God mentions “the moving creature”. sherets = a swarm, i.e. active mass of minute animals:—creep(-ing thing), move(-ing creature). Here we have a reference to the very small life, the microscopic forms of life which we find all over the planet – including bacteria and viruses (though some would argue that viruses are more like machines than living creatures). While many of these living things have become lethal pathogens, when they were first created they were harmless and beneficial. It is only since Adam sinned that some forms of life have become dangerous to Man.
“God created great whales” tanniym. A marine or land monster, i.e. Sea-serpent, or dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale. A more modern description of some of these creatures is “aquatic dinosaurs”. Some of the technical names for these creatures, based on fossils, are protocetus, plesiosaur, pliosaur, ichthyosaur, chasmatosaurus and so on. Interesting that here, in the very first chapter of the Bible, we find the dinosaurs mentioned, yet evolutionists tell us that these amazing creatures came about by some slow process involving millions of years, and had the planet more or less all to themselves before mammals arrived. Another thing to notice is that on one day God created sea creatures and birds. Evolutionists insist that sea creatures came first, followed by land creatures, and then birds. God skips the land creatures altogether.
No undisputed transitional fossils have ever been found for fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects or trees. As far as trees are concerned, they always appear in the fossil record as distinct species, and all lineage assumptions are just that – assumptions. But fossils of some plants have shown that in the past many things grew much larger, and today's examples are but pygmy copies. This shows that since creation a certain amount of degeneration has occurred, possibly due to global climate change, harmful sunlight, a decrease in oxygen in the atmosphere, and accumulation of mutations.
“every living creature that hath life” These words are a key to understanding several important things about life and what it means to be alive. The words “living creature” in Hebrew are “chay nephesh” which means “alive soul”. What this shows us is that God did not put a 'soul' into living things, but actually made things called living souls. Man is a living soul too. I don't know about insects, because they do not have “nostrils” (see Gen.7:22) but for all 'higher' creatures life means being a living soul. When the breath passes from living souls they become dead souls. (See my essay “A Matter of Life and Death” for more details)
The question as to which came first, the chicken or the egg, is answered in Genesis. It also tells us where male and female came from, and why so many plants and animals are interdependent.
Evolutionists have never been able to explain how a sea creature with scales was able to turn into a bird with feathers. Just the change from scale to feather is impossible to describe, but with it there are other problems, such as changing from cold-blooded to warm-blooded, or going from no legs to four legs, and then to two legs. How did reptiles learn to fly – did they continually jump off cliffs until they evolved wings? The best explanation is intelligent design right from the first creature.
Archaeopteryx has been touted by evolutionists as a transitional form – a missing link, between retiles and birds, but the archaeopteryx has true wings and feathers. It has small wing claws and teeth, but this proves nothing. The South American bird the Hoatzin also has wing claws – they help it hold on to twigs and branches when it is in the trees. To say that because a bird has teeth means it came from reptiles is foolish because some reptiles do not have teeth. Based on the logic that because an animal shares some attribute with another it must be related would mean that anteaters come from woodpeckers because they both have a long tongue.
On this day God created all the land animals and then the final, crowning glory, the first humans. The fact that Man came last as a separate creation sets him apart from all other creatures. The fact that Man is composed of the same materials, and lives within the same physical environment as all the other creatures places him within the same category as all the other creatures. It is this 'otherness' and 'sameness' which sets Man on a different level from all that came before. Logically, this was the best possible position for Man. He shares many things with all other creatures – eating, sleeping, reproducing, breathing, moving, sensing the environment and so on, but Man is aware of a lot more than his creaturely needs. He does not share with them, for example, his ability to use language, to be creative – with music or paint, his ability to understand concepts, to philosophize, and so on. Man is also very self-aware, and his life is saturated with a moral awareness. Only chimpanzees (as far a we know) share the ability with Man of being able to recognize themselves in a mirror.
“And God (Elohim) made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind . . .”
“beast” = bahemah: from an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly, a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collective):—beast, cattle. In this verse we find the word “beast” (or in Hebrew pronounced bay-hee-ma) which means a mute animal, or an animal which cannot speak. This is interesting because snakes are part of the land-animal collection too – this puts down the belief that a literal snake spoke to Eve. The word “beast” also includes the great creatures, which were later known as 'dragons' and then 'dinosaurs' – herrerasaurus, tyrannosaurus, compognathus, dromiceiomimus, veloceraptor and so on.
The Hebrew word for “beast” or bahemah, takes us to Job chapters 40 and 41. Job 40:15 describes the “behemoth”, which Bullinger and Strongs say was the water-ox, or hippopotamus, or Nile horse, but when we look at the description we cannot reconcile the two. The behemoth “moves his tail like a cedar”, his “bones are like bars of iron”, he is the 'chief of the ways of God”, and so on. He is a huge creature, impervious to spears and striking fear into man. It is most likely that behemoth was a dinosaur.
Dinosaurs in the Bible.
Dinosaurs were land animals, created on day six, just before but along with the first humans. Because the word “dinosaur” was not available to the writers of the Old Testament, another word was used:'tannim' which is translated “dragon”. This word appears in the OT about 21 times. For example, “the dragons of the wilderness” (Mal.1:3) and “they snuffed up the wind like dragons” (Jer.14:6). “Thou breakest the heads of the dragons in the waters” (Ps.74:13) and “he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea” (Is.27:1) Even though the word dinosaur belongs technically to animals that lived on the land, many people group the sea reptiles and flying reptiles with dinosaurs. Job 41 describes a dragon, translated leviathan' that breathed fire – which is not so unbelievable, considering that the bombardier beetle can scold its assailants with burning hot liquid. If a dinosaur could eject two different explosive chemicals from its head it might conceivable create fire with the chemical reaction. Leviathan might have been a Kronosaurus queenslandicus but there is not certainty on this one, however the description is awesome – powerful, massive, covered in impregnable scales, fiery, strong neck, unassailable with spear or arrow. Skeletons of the kronosaurus reveal a body length of 42 feet. Its head was nearly ten feet long. It was larger and stronger than the T.rex.
A flying dinosaur is possibly referred to in Is.30:6 “the fiery flying serpent” perhaps a pteranodon or rhamphorhynchus (ram-for-rink-us)
Along with these large grass, river-weed and tree-eating beasts were the others, such as the first bovines (cattle) the equine (horses) and so on. In those first creatures however there were no hybrids, no selectively bred varieties. It is a common mistake in illustrations of the Garden of Eden to see domesticated breeds of today wandering about – they were not there. The gene pool for these miserable hybrids of today was still complete and full when it was first created – today's poodles, for example, represent the end of the line as far as canine genes are concerned. The supply of possible variations has been selectively depleted to its limit, and it is now impossible to breed back to the original wolf-type creature because so much has now been lost. (This is why some very concerned scientists are trying to find and preserve specimens of 'wild' plants and animals because they still contain a good supply of undeleted gene pools.)
“Let us make man in our image” (Gen.1:26.
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them.” Gen.1:27
In this simple statement, which is a summary of chapter 2, we have the origin of Mankind. It was instantaneous, not gradual, and it had purpose. There are many aspects of this historical event to consider.
First of all it seems that when God decided to make Man, He was speaking to someone else - “let us make” - as John Calvin says “This is the language of one apparently deliberating . . . he enters into consultation. Many other commentators also refer to this verse as a consultation, but why? And with whom is God speaking? From other scriptures we know that “The Lord thy God is one Lord” (Ex.20, Mat.22, Mark 12 etc). The Lord needs no other counsellor (Is.40:13, Rom.11:34) so any consultation must have taken place within the Godhead – between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and by incredible grace God has allowed us to overhear this conversation in heaven. Hebrews 1:11 tells us that when God made the worlds (meaning the world's ages), He did so by His Son.” God could easily have commanded the creation of Man by His Word, as He had done in the case of the animals, but He chose not to. Man is not a close cousin to the animals, he is something great, wonderful, and different, the most excellent of all God's works, and a special expression of the divine nature, created by God's PERSONAL activity. God introduces Man with solemnity, dignity, and the honour of an intimate deliberation on the part of the Godhead.
Although Man was formed from the dust of the ground, God PERSONALLY “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” Gen.2:7 Man's life is thus not the result of evolution, or a development from primates. Luke, who knew the Greek version of evolution, flatly contradicts it when he gives the genealogy of Adam as being “the son of God” (Luke 3:38)
What was there for the Godhead to discuss? If one may be permitted a guess here, it might have had something to do with redemption. Revelation 13:8 tells us that the Lamb of God “was slain from the foundation of the world”. From the sixth creation day the foundations were well and truly fixed in place, but with the creation of Man God was about to set in motion a chain of events which would lead inexorably to the crucifixion. Before Adam was created, did Jesus 'officially' give his consent to death on a cross?
God created humans “male and female”. By doing this, God showed the full expression of something true to Himself – a character which is best expressed as both male and female. Although this image or expression has been marred since sin entered the world, the world still operates mainly on the basis of male and female. (For more on this, see my essay “Male and Female) We can learn a lot about God by appreciating the two different gender aspects of Man.
“In the image of God” does not refer to attributes, but to outward form. God is Spirit (John 4:24) so He does not have a body, yet God has appeared to humans visibly and in a human form (gen.18:1-2, 32:24,28,30) Dr. Henry Morris wrote: “There is something about the human body therefore, which is uniquely appropriate to God's manifestation of Himself, and . . . He must have designed man's body with this in mind. Accordingly He designed it, not like the animals, but with an erect posture, with an upward gazing countenance, capable of facial expressions corresponding with emotional feelings, and with a brain and tongue capable of articulate, symbolic speech.” Furthermore, the human body was the form in which God the Son would be incarnated or “made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7) Thus God made Man in that bodily form which He Himself would one day assume.
Man has a mental or intellectual likeness to God. No animal comes close. Man can hear and understand God's Word, and respond in love and devotion. Man also has a will, and lives above instinct most of the time. Man can govern the planet, if he so chooses, unlike animals, which have no such ability or aspirations. Man can design things, or create. He can compose glorious music, paint beautiful pictures, write his thoughts, project himself into the future, imagine, count large numbers, control and use energy of many kinds, make decisions which go against his own best interests, be self-aware and then be aware that he is aware. Man is also God-conscious, which is why all of Man's societies have had a spiritual aspect (usually called religion). Man was created innocent and holy, and it is the pursuit of these two things which occupies many people's lives.
The fact that the whole planet is one enormous machine, built to regulate itself, regulate itself, and renew itself, is a very strong argument for creation. It would be impossible for all the interdependent parts to appear gradually over millions of years, and at different times. Everything needs everything else. All the parts had to come into existence in a very short time, otherwise the entire biosphere would have disintegrated. Add to this the fact that the whole planet was created by God to give Man the best possible environment to live in, and we can see how important Man really is. It is a bit like a billionaire father having a one-off car designed for his only child. The car is fantastic, but it is only a gift for a son, whose value is far greater than the car.
“In our image” or, “in the image of Elohim”.
tselem. from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, —image, “shadow”.
“likeness” damuwth. resemblance, model, shape; adverbially, manner, similitude.
The first humans were given dominion over every living thing on Earth. The Hebrew for this word “dominion” isradah which is a primitive root, meaning “to tread down”, i.e. subjugate; specifically, to crumble off” It means “to have dominion, to prevail against, to reign, to rule, and to take.” This counters some people's opinion that humans are 'just animals' and should see themselves as equals of all other animals. God intended Man to take control of the planet, to use its resources, to rule it's natural energies. This was not a license to exploit or destroy, but to manage, as regents or kings.
Before Adam sinned the world was a lush, green place, full of food – leaves, fruit, pollen, honey and nuts and probably other things - for all. God commanded that all living things should eat only vegetation, and not each other, which raises many questions. Skeptics ask such things as what did spiders eat, and why do they spin webs, but as we have no idea how different conditions were in pre-Fall days, we can only guess at the answers. It has been discovered that spiders can live on pollen, trapped in their webs, so there is no need for them to eat other insects, but the category of insects is different to all other creatures. We cannot be dogmatic about this.
Again, dinosaurs appear to be equipped for hunting and eating large prey, but they may have changed radically after the Fall. Many assumptions have been made about living things based on present morphology, but we cannot be sure how the world operated before God cursed it. As Ken Ham has pointed out, a camel's skull looks dangerous and deadly, yet it eats only vegetation. Tyrranosaurus looks like a hunter -killer, but his rows of small, sharp teeth could have worked equally well dragging leaves off branches. Many of the so-called weapons found in nature, may have been used originally for breaking vegetation to make it more accessible. Poisons and toxins in living things may have originally been harmless, but a changed environment has brought out different, and once buried, genetic expressions of these chemicals, which are now dangerous. God may have caused this change as part of the Curse. Thorns and thistles may not have originally had sharp spikes, but God may have built this capability into them, knowing that Man would sin. (I once visited a boysenberry farm where a grower had produced, by selective breeding, a boysenberry with no barbs. Normally these plants bristle with hundreds of needle-like points.)
“And God saw everything He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” There is no room in this statement, emphasized by “very” to allow for evolution's struggle through ages of death and decay.
Genesis chapter 2.
This chapter picks up some of chapter 1 and elaborates on it in more detail. We are told several new things. First we are told that the heavens and the Earth are finished. From this we assume that God did not intend to create any new matter or energy (the two are interchangeable) which corresponds with a statement made by science, that the amount of matter and energy in the universe remains the same. No new matter or energy is ever produced – all we ever see is one changing into the other.
Before the Fall God may have miraculously energized the whole universe, causing it to remain constant. This state of affairs may have lasted only until the Fall. God foresaw the sin of Adam and had already made provision for it.
The amount of fuel within all the stars was fixed and finished, and from the moment of creation they began to convert that fuel into heat and light. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics possibly began after Adam sinned. It tells us that everything is 'running down', and that is exactly what we observe. Given enough time, all available energy will be changed into heat, and the entire universe will reach a state of entropy, or 'heat death'. But Jesus counteracted this Law when he rose from the grave, and God promises a similar miraculous energy for all believers. The problem is, we live at present in the space between the two Ages. The first was perfection, and governing it were Laws which do not operate the same way right now. We cannot be sure about the world BEFORE Adam because all the instruments we have to measure things are part of this present world AFTER Adam. Likewise, we cannot measure the world AFTER Jesus has restored everything.
God “rested” on the seventh day. This does not mean He was tired.
“Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary?” Isaiah 40:28. The word “rested” in Hebrew simply means “ceased”. God “sanctified” or dedicated the seventh day, and set it apart as a special day. Later He included it in the Ten Commandments, and commanded that Israel should rest from work one day in six. (For further notes on this, see my essay on “The Sabbath”)
The seventh day comes from God, and although some governments have tried to change things, they have always come back to God's arrangement. French Revolutionaries tried to abolish the sabbath, and so did the Russian Revolutionaries, and so did the Sri Lankan government (Ceylon) in the 1960s, but it came back. One day in eight is too long, one day in six is too short. One day is seven is just right.
Gen.2:4 begins the more detailed account of how Man came to be. We are told that there was no rain, and that a mist used to come up every morning, to wet “the whole face of the ground.” Trees in those days could have been much taller, because the regular mist would have wet their highest leaves. John Mackay, a Creationist and scientist, noted this, when he wrote:
reported in Nature, vol 428, p807 & 851, 22 Apr 2004. George
Koch of Northern Arizona University and come colleagues from California
have studied the world's biggest trees, the giant redwoods of
California, to see how tall trees can grow, and what are the limitations
on tree growth. They found the most difficult problem for tall
trees was maintaining the supply of water to the leaves at the
top. As trees grow taller it becomes harder for them to keep water
flowing against gravity. The flow of water is maintained by water
evaporating from the leaves by a process known as transpiration.
The leaves at the top were also denser, making it harder for carbon
dioxide to diffuse into the leaf cells. (Plant cells use carbon
dioxide as a raw material to make sugars by
photosynthesis.) As trees grow taller they are also more easily damaged by storms, so the local climate is a limiting factor as well. The fact that lack of water is such a strong limiting factor led Ian Woodward of the University of Sheffield to ponder why the tallest trees in the world grow in a region where it may not rain for 3 - 4 months of the year. The answer seems to be fog. During the dry season in California fog comes in from the sea and may linger for two weeks at a time. In foggy conditions the trees do not need to pump out as much water by transpiration and they also capture water from the fog for the rest of the environment.
ED. COM. This study of present day tall trees shows there would have been no problems for very large trees to grow in the very good world that God originally created. Genesis tells us the world was watered by a mist rising each day. The tops of the trees would have been well watered, like the trees growing in foggy California today. Also, the original world would not have had storms that damage tall trees, and increasing numbers of scientists believe the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would have been
higher in the past. This means Noah would have had no problem finding large enough timbers to build the ark, which should help Skeptics who have claimed that Noah's ark could not have survived the forces of ocean waves if it was made of short planks joined together. Creation Research has observed fossil tree trunks up to 400 ft (130 m) long, indicating the whole tree would have been large enough to make the sides of the arks without needing to be joined together.”
The actual moment when God created Man is described in Gen. 2:8.
“And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
“formed” yatsar. This word suggests 'squeezing into shape'); to mould into a form; especially as a potter.
“dust” This word means dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud.
God named Adam Adam. The name comes from the Hebrew account of his creation. “eth ha-adham” = “this same man Adam”, and again in verse 8 “there he put “eth ha-adham” whom He had formed. (The Hebrew for man is “ish” and for woman “ishi”).
What does the name “Adam” mean?. It comes from a word which means “red” or “ruddy”, “able to blush”. This shows that, even in the name there is the suggestion that Man has a conscience, that he is able to show shame by blushing.
Æadam = ruddy i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind.
Æadam aw-dam’; to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy:—be (dyed, made) red (ruddy).
To create Adam, God used non-living, inorganic materials to make a living soul. Evolutionists claim that Man came from 'living' creatures. While it is popular and deceptive propaganda to compare the similarities between primates and Man, it is also important to notice the many great differences too. For example apes are quadrupeds, with a spine which enters the at the back of the skull. Man is a biped with a spine which enters at the base of the skull. Man has a foot with five toes bound together with one muscle, apes have an independent large toe. Apes grow thick hair all over their bodies, humans have very little hair. Apes have a comparatively small brain compared to Man. Apes have no speech organ in their brain, while Man is born 'pre-wired' for language. And there are many other differences.
Continued - Part Two
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