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Genesis is the first book of the Bible and also the first of the five books in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Pentateuch). The word "Genesis" means "the origin, source, creation or coming into being of something(1)." A detailed study of the early chapters of this first book will yield gems of Scriptural knowledge and foundational truths for the serious student of God's Word. Let us now together delve into the Scriptures and with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit seek a fresh and in-depth revelation of God's Word.



 Gen 1:1

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


In the first verse of the Bible, there is the unfolding of the drama of the creation of TIME, SPACE AND MATTER by a supreme being, God. Time began "in the beginning" (for it was eternity before that); space began "when the heavens were created" and matter came into existence "when the earth was created." The Bible does not attempt to explain God's eternal existence except for the fact that He was there "before the beginning" so as to be able to create the heavens and the earth in "The beginning". God is 'elohiym in hebrew and this word is used here in the plural sense implying plurality of the Godhead. The word "created" is bara' in hebrew which means to "to bring into being (from nothing)." Creation is a supernatural act of God. The theory of evolution blasphemes the creative work of God. Heavens is shamayim in hebrew and it is in the plural tense implying more than one "heaven". The apostle Paul speaks of a third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2,4 and calls it "paradise." This is presumably the abode of God. Since there is a third heaven, it follows that there must also be a first and a second heaven.The first heaven is generally accepted as the atmospheric "heaven" mentioned in Genesis 1:6,8 (KJV). That leaves the second heaven which is generally believed to be the celestial heaven mentioned in Genesis 1:14 (KJV). The celestial heaven is believed to be the abode of Satan and his fallen angels. This can be deduced from the statement by our Lord that He (Jesus) saw him (Satan) fall like lightning from heaven (God's abode)-Luke 10:18 and the Scriptures in Revelation 12:12,13 which speak of Satan being hurled down to earth in the future. These two Scriptures suggest that Satan must at present be in between the third heaven (God's abode) and earth (man's abode) i.e. the celestial heaven. Derek Prince, the well known bible teacher and author mentions that Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2)- 'air' here (greek aer), according to Prince, refers to the rarefied 'air' of the higher atmosphere as opposed to air near the earth's surface(2).


Gen 1:2

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.


"Without form and void" is tohuw and bohuw in hebrew meaning "to lie waste (desolate) and empty". The phrases "Darkness was over the surface of the deep" and "hovering over the waters" point to the absence of light and the presence of water covering the earth in its entirety, respectively;- a sign of some form of judgement in the past. Verse 2 lends support to the Gap Theory which states that there was a period of time between verse 1 and 2 of Genesis Chapter 1 (wherein Satan was judged.) This is however only a theory and should not become a doctrinal issue. Here, there is also the first mention of the Spirit of God. The King James version uses the word "moved" upon the face of the waters- in hebrew it is rachaph which means "to brood"- as though to bring into being something.


Gen 1:3

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.


Here God speaks for the first time. Romans Chapter 4 verse 17 says He "......calls things that are not as though they were." The spoken WORD (*Rhema), "Let there be light" never returned to Him void but accomplished what He had purposed. See also Isaiah 55:11.

*Rhema-"that which is spoken." Used in Romans 10:17 as the WORD on which faith is based. Biblical Faith is an act of obedience upon the spoken Word, Rhema; not Logos, which is the general Word of God as contained in the Scriptures. Logos also refers to Christ Himself (John 1:1). "The significance of rhema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," (Ephesians 6:17); here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need..........." italics from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Gen 1:4

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


First time God saw something was "good". In Genesis Chapter 1, the word "good" was mentioned six times and "very good" once (verse 31). The latter was after man was created in His (God's) image. The fact that God saw the light meant that this light was in a physical form. The presence of light always removes darkness.

Gen 1:5

5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day.


Here is further proof that the light was a physical light as God called it "day". As the earth is a globe which rotates around its own axis, a uni-directional light source produces light on any one location for only half of the time it takes to turn one complete round (12 hours in our present context.) Jewish reckoning starts from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day- in line with the above text "there was evening, and there was morning". Time began in verse 1 but our calender began only in verse 5 when God distinguished night from day hence the phrase "the first day."

 Gen 1:6

6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."


The King James Version uses the word "firmament" instead of expanse. Firmament or expanse refers to a space. The hebrew "let there be a firmament" signifies "like a sheet spread or a curtain drawn out (3)."

 Gen 1:7

7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.


Notice from verses 6 and 7, that the whole of earth's atmosphere was covered with a thick layer of water and God separated the water into two portions by an expanse. This expanse was called "sky" (verse 8 below) with a layer of water above it (which theologians believe was some kind of water canopy until the time of Noah's flood.) No human being, animal or bird could live on earth until this water layer has been separated by a space and the seas gathered together in one place (so that dry land can appear.)

Gen 1:8

8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning-- the second day.


The King James version uses the word "heaven" instead of "sky". It refers to the realm where birds fly (see also Deut 4:17 where the same hebrew word is used)- which could quite appropriately be called the "atmospheric heaven."

Gen 1:9

9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so.


According to verse 9, there was originally only one large sea or ocean (and only one land mass). In the time of Peleg, the earth was divided (Gen 10:25). A cursory look at the genealogy of Peleg and Nimrod (click for chart) showed that he must have lived at about or just after the time of the tower of Babel. Josephus, the jewish historian, confirms this when he mentioned that "he was called Phaleg, because he was born at the dispersion of the nations to their several countries; for Phaleg among the Hebrews signifies division (4)" It was after the Tower of Babel, that God divided one land mass into many continents and one large sea or ocean into many smaller ones (presumably as part of the judgment to scatter the peoples.)

Gen 1:10

10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.


The stage is now set for living creatures to appear. The second time God saw that "it was good."

Gen 1:11

11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.


The order of creation appears to be lower plant life to higher ones, fishes and birds, animals and then the climax of everything, MAN. Notice that there are three kinds of plant life-the King James Version calls them "grass, the herb yielding seed and the fruit tree yielding fruit." Plants producing SEEDS and trees that bear fruits WITH SEEDS in them are commandments of God. It was God's will for everything to be fruitful and to reproduce themselves from the very beginning. Unfruitfulness is a curse! Here we are also introduced to the Law of Sowing and Reaping for the first time, whereby living things reproduce after their kinds. An apple tree cannot bear oranges!

Gen 1:12

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.


This was the first time "life" was created, though of a lower form. Vegetation, plants and trees were created from the ground. This is the third time God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:13

13 And there was evening, and there was morning-- the third day.


Plant life was created on the third day after the creation (or re-creation) of light. Light is necessary for photosynthesis in order for plant life to be sustained.

Gen 1:14

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,


The hebrew for "lights" is ma'owr which refers to luminous bodies (5). Light has already been created (or re-created) in verse 2 and here in verses 14 to 16, God shaped or made the light into the form of the sun, moon and stars (granted that the moon was only a reflected source of light.) The New King James Version says, "........and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years." Some of the constellation of stars serve as navigational signs (guides) for seafarers. The position of the earth as it orbited around the sun gave rise to "seasons". "Days" and "years" depended on the rotation of the earth around its own axis and its orbit around the sun, respectively.

Gen 1:15

15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so.


God's purposes for the sun, moon and stars are clearly enunciated above- as signs, seasons, days and years (for those dwelling on planet earth) and to give light UPON THE EARTH. The centre of the universe is planet earth and the centre of God's creative and redemptive plan (after the fall) is still planet earth. There is not even a slightest hint of life outside planet earth! Billions of dollars have been spent on space projects to detect extra-terresterial life, all of which have been and will be in vain. Reported sightings of unidentified flying objects could easily be explained by the "great signs from heaven" mentioned in Luke 21:11 (end-time delusions.)

Gen 1:16

16 God made two great lights-- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.


The hebrew for 'made' is 'asah which is to make from pre-existing materials. This is in contrast to the hebrew for 'create' which is bara' (i.e. to create from nothing.)

Gen 1:17

17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,


To "set" is to fasten or hang up. God hangs these lights like we hang clothings on a rail. It has been stated that there are millions of galaxies besides our solar system, yet God sets up everyone of them!

Gen 1:18

18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

(NIV) govern=rule in the NKJV

Here God uses the word "rule" (mashal in hebrew), implying to have dominion over. Man, inspite of his great scientific advances, have not been able to change God's timetable of night and day. Man cannot and will not be able to change the function or role of the sun, moon and the stars because God has ordained their purposes from the very beginning.

Gen 1:19

19 And there was evening, and there was morning-- the fourth day.


By the end of the fourth day, the sun, moon and stars were made. Verse 14 mentions "seasons" for the first time, implying a change of temperatures. However, there was unlikely to be any extreme changes of temperature before the fall as man was still in a state of physical nakedness. From the fourth day onwards, the sun has become a heat-giving source able to sustain fish, bird, animal and human life.

Gen 1:20

20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."


Fishes were created from the seas or oceans whilst birds were created from the ground (Gen 2:19). "Let the water teem....." suggests an abundance. In fact, the New King James Version appropriately words it......"Let the waters abound with an abundance......"

Gen 1:21

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.


Notice again that the fishes and birds reproduce after their kind.

Gen 1:22

22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."


God blesses for the first time and speaks to his creation in the form of a command. Did you know that a tench (a fresh-water fish) lays one thousand eggs whilst a carp lays twenty thousand at one time!(6)

Gen 1:23

23 And there was evening, and there was morning-- the fifth day.


God could have created everything till now in a fraction of a second but He has chosen to do it in five whole days. Why? This is the mystery of God's Sovereignty.

Gen 1:24

24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.


As in the case of plant life, there are also three categories of animal life i.e. cattle (livestock), creeping things (creatures that move along the ground) and beasts of the earth (wild animals). The wild animals were not destructively wild or ferocious beasts, for Man and the animals were still in an un-fallen state. Wild animals probably speaks of the stronger and more independent animals as opposed to the domestic ones (livestock). The other point to note is that, unlike Man, animals had only bodies and souls and lacked the ability to relate to or to fellowship with God.

Gen 1:25

25    God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

The Bible is not a scientific book and does not attempt to classify animal life into scientific categories- it just mentions three broad groups. Here again there is mention of reproduction "after its kind." Attempting to cross a monkey and a zebra would be futile! A Zoology teacher once told me that there are antibodies which attack the sperm of an animal of another "species" hence preventing any form of "cross-reproduction" among two different groups of animals.

Gen 1:26

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."


For the first time God said, "Let US make......" (emphasis mine) when referring to the creation of MAN. Here, the three persons of the Godhead worked together in one accord to create MAN in God's likeness and image. So important is MAN in God's heart! Pride aside, we are the centre of God's creation.

What is meant by "the image and likeness" of God? The word "image" in hebrew is tselem which means "shade, resemblance or representative figure" whilst the word "likeness" in hebrew is demuwth which means "resemblance or model." As God is Spirit (John 4:24), "image and likeness" here represents the total reflection of the character, nature and moral attributes of the invisible God. God has imparted this image and likeness to a sinless Adam; Adam (after the fall) imparted his fallen image and likeness to his son....

Gen 5:3

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.


In the New Testament, reference is made to Christ as the image of the invisible God...

2 Cor 4:4

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of CHRIST, WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD.

(NIV) Emphasis Mine

Col 1:15

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.


Where Adam failed in bearing God's image, Christ has triumphed and reflected this image to the end. Redeemed man should bear Christ's image; not the image of fallen man.......

Rom 8:29

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

(KJV) Emphasis Mine


Gen 1:27

27 So God created man in his own image,

        in the image of God he created him;

        male and female he created them.


The first time the Bible breaks into poetry from prose. The impression one gets here is of our Creator bursting into song at the momentous and joyous event of Man's creation! A question often asked is "Was woman created in God's image?" Since the image of God is a spiritual and not a physical reflection of God, it follows that woman must also have been created in His image. The verse "male and female he created them" is a follow up of the first phrase "God created man (mankind)* in his own image" and certainly implies creation of both gender in His image.

* addition mine

Gen 1:28

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."


This is the second time God blessed and the command to be fruitful now also applies to Man. There are the other commands "to subdue the earth" and "to rule over the living creatures in the sea, air and ground." Two different hebrew words are used, viz, kabash which means "to conquer, subjugate or bring into subjection" with reference to the earth and the word radah which means "to have dominion or reign over" with reference to the living creatures. Kabash implies forceful but not destructive subjection. We are to bring into being the fullness and goodness of planet earth with forceful but not destructive zeal (scientific and other discoveries on planet earth are meant to serve man and not the other way around.) Radah on the other hand, suggests a kingly (but kind) rulership over the living creatures. Even after the fall, God commanded Man to be humane to animals (Deut 25:4; see also Proverbs 12:10). Cruelty to animals is a dreaded by-product of man's fall. At this juncture, it is very important to take note of the fact that 'kabash' and 'radah' are applied only to the earth and the living creatures respectively, never on FELLOW MAN. Man's despotic and inhumane rule over man is also another dreaded by-product of the Fall.

One last point on verse 28. The command "to fill the earth" has not been fulfilled to the letter up to the present time. This could well be attributed to the secondary effects of the fall i.e. infertility and deaths through disease, disasters, etc.

Gen 1:29

29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.


Adam and Eve were strict vegetarians by command. Take note that the first category of plant life i.e. vegetation (Gen 1:11) was not included as food for Adam and Eve and that the plants and fruits that were allowed to be eaten had to have seed in them (probably God's emphasis on fruitfulness.) Meat was only allowed to be eaten from Genesis Chapter Nine verse 3.....

Gen 9:3

3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.


For the New Testament Christian all foods are considered clean (Mark 7:19, Acts 10:9-16). Only food offered to idols, strangled meat and blood were prohibited (Acts 15:20,29).

 Gen 1:30

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


Animals and birds were also vegetarians by command. Their diet extended to every green plant without any reference to seed in them.

Gen 1:31

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-- the sixth day.


Take note again that God saw that "it was very good" after man was created (in His image and likeness.) The other six times in Genesis Chapter One, God only saw that "it was good." Man the ultimate in God's creative plan was created on the sixth day (hence six being the number of man.)



1. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible (Electronic), Biblesoft Seattle USA, 1994.
2. Cassette entitled "Results of Adam’s fall" by Derek Prince. Inspirational Tapes Trust, Box 4108, Mount Maunganui New Zealand.
3. John Wesley’s Notes on Genesis Chapter 1, Sage Digital Library, Albany, USA 1996.
4. THE LIFE AND WORKS OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS by William Whiston, Translator, Page 98, Sage digital Library, Albany, USA 1996.
5. The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible by Spiros Zodhiates, Page 60 (Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary), Baker Book House, Michigan USA, 1984.
6. Clark's Commentary OT Volume 1, Page 27, Sage Digital Library, Albany, USA 1997.

About the author.....

Dr Eddy Cheong is a Born-again, Spirit Baptised Christian who reveals God's Word with a deep, new spiritual insight (This is the Lord's gift to His humble vessel). He is author of the Books "Man's Life Span according to God's Word" and "Deceiving the Elect". Dr Cheong is a medical specialist by profession.


Dr Eddy Cheong
PO Box 441
75760 Malacca
West Malaysia

Copyright 1997  



 Other Articles by the same author:

"Is tithing compulsory for the New Testament Christian"
"Is Polygamy a sin?"
"Deceiving the Elect" -A Scriptural and Critial Analysis of the Laughter Movement"
"Marriage, Separation and Divorce in the Light of the New Testament Scriptures"


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