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Genesis 1:1-2:3; God Creates Our World, Part 11

by Karl Kemp  
7/21/2014 / Bible Studies

We start in the middle of the five-paragraph footnote that was started in Part 10.

Another constant reminder of the awesome reality of sin, darkness, etc. that God gave His people in the Mosaic Law dealt with sexual relations and the bearing of children. Although it was understood that sexual relations in marriage and the bearing of children were a blessing from God, it was also understood that everything associated with the process, including the menstrual cycle, had been affected by the fall (ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, children have been born outside the garden of Eden into a fallen world that is permeated with darkness and death) and now involved uncleanness and pain along with blessing. See, for example, Gen. 3:16; Lev. 12:1-8; and 15:16-33.

Other constant reminders were sickness and disease (see chapter D of my book "Holiness and Victory Over Sin") and all the things that worked against the production of food (cf. Gen. 3:17-19). (This is the end of the five-paragraph footnote.) )) There wasn't much of a need, if any need at all, to separate (or to distinguish) between physical light and physical darkness, but the separating (or distinguishing) between light and darkness when understood in a symbolic/spiritual sense is a dominant message of the Bible, as discussed above under Gen. 1:2-5. It is necessary and "good" to distinguish between and to separate between the light and the darkness because of the strong symbolic/spiritual component of these words.]] (19) There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (20) Then God said, 'Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse [firmament] of the heavens [For a more accurate translation of the last words of this verse, and for a discussion regarding the meaning of the firmament, see above, under Gen. 1:8.]].' (21) God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (22) God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' (23) There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (24) Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so. [The sixth day is discussed to some extent in this paper under #5, under the heading "Some Key Reasons for Not Seeing Literal Twenty-Four Hour Days in This Passage (Gen. 1:2-2:3)," under Gen. 1:5.] (25) God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. [[God created the plants, trees, fish, birds, animals, etc, after their kind. They didn't evolve from another kind. (See Extended Note K in the Appendix of the original 273 page paper. I included excerpts from Extended Note K in the Introduction of this paper.) By God's design there is some room for micro-evolution within a kind, as animals, for example, adapt to their environment, or with the breeding of animals for different purposes, but God is the Creator of each kind, and He determined the degrees of adaptation that are attainable. There is some room for changes caused by mutations, but almost all mutations are harmful (see Extended Note K), and such changes can never create an eye or a heart, or change a cow into a dog (or a dog into a cow).]] (26) Then God said, 'Let Us [[(This double bracket goes on for four paragraphs.) Also see Gen. 3:22; 11:7. I agree with the large number of commentators who understand God to be speaking to the heavenly beings surrounding Him here, the cherubim, seraphim, archangel(s), etc. Job 38:4-7 show that the heavenly (angelic) beings (they are called "sons of God" in Job 38:7, as in Job chapters 1 and 2) were there when God "laid the foundation of the earth." (Many only see the Trinity here, with "Us" referring to the three Persons of the Trinity.) I'll quote part of what Bruce K. Waltke says here ("Genesis," [Zondervan, 2001], pages 64, 65). "The explanation that better satisfies all such uses of the pronoun [The other such uses of the pronoun "us" are Gen. 3:22; 11:7; and Isa. 6:8.] is that God is addressing the angels or heavenly court ((cf. 1 Kings 22:19-22 [In these verses God interacts with "all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left."]; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1-3; 89:5-6 [I'll quote Psalm 89:5-7, "The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE HOLY ONES [my emphasis]. (6) For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD? Who among THE SONS OF THE MIGHTY [my emphasis] is like the LORD, (7) A God greatly feared IN THE COUNCIL OF THE HOLY ONES [my emphasis], And awesome above ALL THOSE WHO ARE AROUND HIM (my emphasis)?"]; Isa. 6:8 ["Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I (Isaiah) said, 'Here am I, send me!' " In the preceding verses of Isaiah chapter 6, the seraphim play a major role (see Isa. 6:2, 6, 7); I assume God was speaking to them here (or to them and the rest of the heavenly council).]...)). ... It is not surprising that God would address the heavenly court, since angels play a prominent role in Scripture...." ((Waltke has a footnote, "...God's address of the heavenly court does not mean that they participate in the act of creation. ....")) Also see Isa. 24:24; Rev. 4:4-11. ((In Rev. 4:4-11 we see the twenty-four elders [high-level angelic beings] crowned and sitting on thrones around the throne of God, and we see the four living creatures around the throne. The four living creatures interact with God and play important roles in the outworking of His plans as shown by Rev. 6:1, 3, 5, 7; 7:13, 14; 8:2; 14:18; 15:1, 5-7; 16:1-17; 17:1; and 21:9, 10. (The four living creatures are similar to, but not identical with, the cherubim of the Old Testament.) So do the twenty-four elders: Rev. 5:6, 8, 14; 7:13-17; 11:16-18 14:3; 19:4.))

The angels are called "sons of God" (Gen. 6:2; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). We Christians become sons of God in Christ ((Matt. 5:9, 45; Luke 6:35; 20:35, 36 ("but those who are considered worthy to attain to the age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection"); Rom. 8:14, 15, 19, 23; Gal. 3:26; 4:5, 6; Eph. 1:5; Heb. 2:10; and 12:5, 7, 8)).

I'm sure that God could have done without His heavenly council and ignored them (He didn't have to create them in the first place), but God isn't like that. He chooses to delegate authority to, and to use, those He has created (He created them for a purpose; that purpose includes using them, but even more importantly, it includes establishing a love relationship with them) - this includes us too, and especially after we are glorified.

I'll include a brief excerpt from what Gordon J. Wenham says here ("Genesis 1-15," pages 27, 28). "... 'Let us create man' regarded as a divine announcement to the heavenly court, drawing the angelic host's attention to the master stroke of creation, man. [Wenham went on to mention Job 38:4, 7 ('When I laid the foundation of the earth...all the sons of God shouted for joy')]...." (This is the end of the four paragraph footnote.)

I believe in the Trinity, but I don't believe the Trinity is in view here. We don't clearly see the Trinity until we get to the New Testament. I have four articles/paper on the Trinity on my internet site: "Who Do We Worship?"; Who Do We Pray To"; More on the Trinity; and "The Name Yahweh and God the Father and God the Son." (Now we'll continue with Gen. 1:26.)]] make [Hebrew verb "asah"] man in Our image, according to Our likeness [[Compare Gen. 5:1, 3 ("...Adam...became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and he named him Seth."); Gen. 9:6; and James 3:9. For us to be created in the image and likeness of God includes the fact that we are moral beings, created to be righteous in submission to God; that God can delegate authority to us and we can work (see the rest of the verse and the following verse); that we have a will, we think, and we have emotions. Also, significantly, because we have been created in His image, we can communicate with Him, and worship Him.

Even though the image and likeness of God in man was defaced through the fall, something of His image and likeness remains (cf., e.g., Gen. 5:1; 9:6; and James 3:9). The image and likeness of God in man is restored and even taken to a higher level through salvation and union with Christ Jesus (the God-man); in the glorified state we will have the image and likeness of God in a much fuller sense than Adam had before the fall (cf., e. g., Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; 4:4; Eph. 4:24; Col. 1:15; 3:10; and 1 John 3:2).]]; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' (27) God created [The Hebrew verb "bara" is used three times in this verse.] man [Hebrew "adam" (also in 1:26); "man" speaks of mankind, "male and female." The noun for "Adam" and "man" is exactly the same in Hebrew.] in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 2:18-25 provide some details regarding God's creation of Eve, and regarding her role.] (28) God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [[Compare Gen. 9:1, 7. The NASB, KJV, NKJV, and NIV all translate "subdue" here; the Jerusalem Bible has "conquer." The primary thing Adam and Eve needed to subdue/conquer at that time was the potential to rebel against God through eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good AND EVIL, thereby joining the devil in his rebellion and darkness. Man was created a free moral agent with the potential for sin. It doesn't seem that Adam and Eve needed to subdue/conquer the animals, birds, etc.; Genesis chapters 1, 2 give the strong impression that, before the fall, the animals, etc. were docile (see Gen. 1:30; 2:19, 20). After the fall there was a need to subdue some animals, etc, and to rule over them. Also, there was nothing in the environment in the garden of Eden that they needed to subdue before the fall.

The devil and darkness didn't have any authority over Adam and Eve before they sinned, but the devil and the darkness were very much on the scene, as we discussed above in some detail. Adam and Eve were obligated to use their God given authority to resist the lies and temptations of the evil one and to stay within the boundaries God had ordained for them, living (from the heart) in obedience to Him, in the center of His will.

God had a plan before the foundation of the world to subdue the devil and darkness through man, but man under, and in union with, the man (the God-man) Christ Jesus (see Gen. 3:14, 15; Rom. 16:20 ["The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."]). This plan required the Son of God to condescend to become a man (but not just a man; He never ceased being deity). Through His sinless life and His atoning death on the cross (cf., e.g., Heb. 2:14), the Lord Jesus Christ has totally defeated Satan, death, and darkness (which will be fully manifested at the right time), and He earned the right to save all of mankind who submit (in repentance and faith) to God and His plan of salvation.

The Hebrew verb ("kabash") behind "subdue/conquer" is a strong verb. I'll quote part of what John N. Oswalt says regarding the meaning of this verb in the article on this verb in the "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament," Vol. 1 (Moody Press, 1980, page 430). " 'Kabash' assumes that the party being subdued is hostile to the subduer, necessitating some sort of coercion if the subduing is to take place. [The verb is used]...of the conquest of the Caananites in Num. 32:22, 29; Josh. 18:1; 1 Chron. 22:18. In 2 Chron. 28:10; Neh. 5:5; Jer. 34:11, 16 it refers to forced servitude. Therefore 'subdue' in Gen. 1:28 implies that creation will not do man's bidding gladly or easily and that man must now bring creation into submission by main strength. It is not to rule man. ...." God's creation of Genesis chapter 1 was good and didn't need to be subdued, but Satan's kingdom of darkness needed to be subdued. Satan fell, and a third of the angels fell with him, before the creation (recreation) of Gen. 1:1-2:3. Satan was very much on the scene in Genesis chapter 3.

Psalm 8 is an important cross-reference for Gen. 1:26-28. I'll quote Psalm 8:5-7, "Yet You have made him [man] a little lower than God [or, the angels], And You crown him with glory and majesty! (6) You make him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things beneath his feet, (7) All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, (8) The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." The thing that makes this psalm so significant and exciting is the exalted sense in which it is interpreted in Heb. 2:5-13. For one thing, the "all things" of Psalm 8:6 is interpreted to include the enemies of God and His people (not just the animals, birds, fish, etc.).

The Lord Jesus Christ subdues all the enemies of God and puts them beneath His feet. Much of this subduing is still future, starting with the second coming of Christ (cf., e.g., 1 Cor. 15:23-28), but it as good as done in the plan of God. The future subduing of Satan and his kingdom of darkness is based on the atoning death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ that has already been accomplished. Hebrews 2:5-13 show that Christ's brethren (believers) will reign with Him. We will reign with Him from the time of the mid-week glorification and rapture. This reigning will include subduing, judging, and removing all who persist in rebellion. We will rule with a rod of iron (see Rev. 2:26, 27; 12:5; and 19:15). In this present life we have authority as Christians to subdue and remove the darkness (which includes sin and demons) from our hearts and lives and to spread the kingdom as far as God enables. Psalm 8; Heb. 2:5-11; and other relevant verses are discussed on pages 76-80 of my book "The Mid-Week Rapture." Psalm 8, with Heb. 2:5-14, are discussed verse-by-verse in my paper that deals with selected eschatological Psalms on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching).

I'll quote part of what Allen P. Ross says here ("Creation and Blessing" [Baker, 1998], page 113). "...humans are to have dominion over the world. The terms used suggest putting down opposition and were perhaps used in anticipation of the conflict with evil. As the Scriptures unfold, however, one realizes how humans have failed at this task [starting with the initial rebellion when Adam and Eve accepted the darkness and sided with the devil against God]. The New Testament states that 'we do not yet see all things under his dominion,' but Jesus Christ, the express image of the Father, will ultimately re-establish such dominion (Heb. 2:8-9)."]]; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' (29) Then God said, 'Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; (30) and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life [[In the margin the NASB has, "Literally, in which is a living soul." Plants don't have souls. Furthermore, the souls of animals are quite different than the souls of man in that animals were not created in the image of God.]], I have given every green plant for food'; and it was so. [[These verses give the strong impression that before the fall the beasts and birds did not eat meat, and this impression is strengthened by Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25 (verses that speak of wolves, lions, leopards, and bears eating vegetation and not being a danger to the lambs, calves, etc. in the coming kingdom). Romans 8:20-22 fit that idea too. "The narrative [Sarna is speaking of Gen. 1:29, 30] presupposes a pristine state of vegetarianism. Isaiah's vision of the ideal future in 11:7 and 65:25 sees the carnivorous animals becoming herbivorous" (Nahum M. Sarna, "Genesis" [Jewish Publication Society, 1989], pages 13, 14). "...humankind survives on a vegetarian diet. What is strange, and probably unexplainable (from a scientific position), is the fact that the animals too are not carnivores but also vegetarians" (Victor P. Hamilton, "Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17" [Eerdmans, 1990], page 140).

I'll quote part of what Gordon J. Wenham says here ("Genesis 1-15" [Word, Incorporated, 1987], pages 33, 34). "Westermann (1:163-164) cites other texts to show that there was a widespread belief in antiquity that man and animals were once vegetarian. ... Genesis 1...does not forbid the consumption of meat, and it may be that meat eating is envisaged from the time of the fall. ... Abel kept and sacrificed sheep (4:2-4), and Noah distinguished clean and unclean animals (7:2). [The Israelites were permitted to sacrifice and to eat "clean" animals, but not the "unclean."] Gispen may therefore be correct in suggesting that 9:3 is ratifying the post-fall practice of meat-eating rather than inaugurating it."

I'll quote part of what Franz Delitzsch says here ("Genesis" [Klock and Klock reprint, 1978; originally published by T. & T. Clark in 1888], pages 102, 103). " the beginning peace prevailed between man and the beasts, and among the beasts towards each other. ... Outside of Israel too the tradition is widely spread, that men and animals were originally satisfied with vegetable food. ... The objection, that the teeth and intestines of men, as well as of many beasts, are adapted for both animal and vegetable diet, does not perplex us, - the whole of the six days' creation is, so to speak, supralapsarian [which means, "before the fall"], i.e. is constituted that the consequences of the foreseen fall of man were taken into account, and that there should be no need of remodeling of creation. That man can live and thrive without animal food is a fact confirmed by experience.... Nor does the reference to the animals of the primaeval world, among whom devouring each other was already customary, seem to us any counter-proof. For such animals belong to the time prior to the world of man, while the peace, which restriction to vegetable diet would secure, refers only to the animal world contemporary with man, and appointed to live along with him. ...."

It's easy for me to think of animals and other beings killing one another on the earth after Satan's rebellion took place, but before Gen. 1:1. (There were no human beings, descendants of Adam, in that world.) But Gen. 1:29, 30 indicate that the animals were vegetarians before the fall of Adam and Eve. That would at least apply to the animals "contemporary with man, and appointed to live along with him" (quoting Delitzsch from the last paragraph). Delitzsch taught the gap view of creation (gap between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2).

I'll also quote part of what Henry M. Morris [a young-earth creationist] says here ("The Genesis Record" [Baker, 1976], page 78). "As far as carnivorous animals are concerned, their desire for meat must also have been a later development, either at the time of the Curse or after the Flood. [I don't believe it would have been as late as after the flood.] Even today, of course, such animals can and will (if they have to) live on a vegetarian diet. Whether such structures as fangs and claws were part of their original equipment, or were recessive features which only became dominant due to selection processes later, or were mutational features following the Curse, or exactly what, must await further research. ...."]] (31) God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. [[All that God made in His creation (recreation) that is spelled out in Gen. 1:1-30 was very good. Behind the scenes, however, there was an evil kingdom of rebellion and darkness headed up by the devil that existed before God began His creative work spelled out in Gen. 1:1-30.]] And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." [["The exceptional definite article here and with the seventh day points to the special character of these days within the scheme of Creation" (Sarna, "Genesis," page 14). The definite article ("the" in English) was not used in the Hebrew for the first five days.]]


"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. [Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3 speak of the sun, moon, and stars being the "host(s)" of heaven.] (2) By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done [Hebrew verb "asah"], and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done [asah]. [God had finished His work of creation before the seventh day began; see #4 under Gen. 1:5.] (3) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested [[The Hebrew verb is "shabath," which means to cease, to desist, to rest. The Hebrew noun ("shabbath") that is translated "sabbath(s)" 107 times in the Old Testament (NASB) was derived from this verb.]] from all His work which God had created [Hebrew verb "bara"] and made [Hebrew verb "asah"]. [[As I mentioned when discussing Genesis chapter 1, I believe, in agreement with many, that the seven days of Gen. 1:1-2:3 was an artificial literary framework designed by God, for one reason, to provide the basis for Israel's seven-day week, with six days of work and a day of rest. (See Extended Note F, "The Use of 'Day' and the 'Seven Days' in the Creation Account of Genesis 1:1-2:3, Using an Artificial Literary Structure." I included some excerpts from that Note under Gen. 1:5 in this paper.) The dominant idea here in Gen. 2:3 was to sanctify (set apart) the seventh day (the sabbath) as a day for rest and worship.

I'll quote part of what Nahum M. Sarna says regarding the seventh day of Gen. 2:1-3 ("Genesis" [Jewish Publication Society, 1989], page 14). "...there cannot be any doubt that the text [Gen. 2:1-3] provides the unspoken foundation for the future institution of the Sabbath. Not only is the vocabulary of the present passage interwoven with the other Pentateuchal references to the Sabbath (Sarna has an endnote, "Exod. 15:5, 22, 26; 23:12; 31:13-17; 34:21; 35:2; Lev. 23:3 all bear traces of the vocabulary of our passage."), but the connection with Creation is made explicit in the first version of the Ten Commandments, given in Exodus 20:8-11. 'Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God.... For in six days the LORD made [Hebrew verb "asah"] heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day...and hallowed it.' The biblical institution of the weekly Sabbath is unparalled in the ancient world. In fact, the concept of a seven-day week is unique to Israel, as is also, so far, the seven-day cosmogonic [creation] tradition. Both these phenomena are extraordinary in light of the widespread use of a seven-day unit of time, both as a literary convention and as an aspect of cultic observance in the ancient Near East. ...".

I'll quote a paragraph from Glenn Wyper regarding the origin of the seven-day week (Article on "week" in "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fully Revised," Vol. 4 [Eerdmans, 1988], page 1045). "The origin of the seven-day week is disputed. Despite many theories, there is thus far no conclusive evidence that it originated prior to the existence of Israel. It is clear, however, that the seven-day week, culminating in the Sabbath, was an important calendrical unit in Israel from its earliest days. During the period of the Roman empire the use of the seven-day week became widespread, probably through the influence of Jews and Christians."

I'll quote part of what Gordon J. Wenham says here ("Genesis 1-15" [Word, Incorporated, 1987], page 36). "...God 'blessed' it [the seventh day] and 'hallowed' it [made it holy]. These are striking terms to apply to a day. ... ...apart from the Sabbath, only in Neh. 8:9, 11 is a festival day called holy. God is holy.... Anything...that is described as holy in the OT derives its holiness from being chosen by God and given to him in the correct prescribed manner (see G. J. Wenham, "Leviticus," 18-27). ...Genesis emphasizes the sacredness of the Sabbath. ...."]]

May the will of God be fully accomplished through this paper and His people be edified!

Copyright by Karl Kemp Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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