I’ve got to say one of the more fascinating books I’ve read over and over. Absolutely full of potential interpretations… here I go:
What can be said about the first sentence: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Even the non-religious are familiar with this phrase. It’s ambiguous and must be maddening to those of non-faith who want to know exactly how it happened.
God begins to form creation and labels it in its various forms. God creates the “firmament” aka heaven aka I interpret as the sky above. We believe there is water on the surface of the earth, Genesis says there is water above and below the firmament. On the lower surface (God calls Earth) he separates the water on the surface to form land.
What about the waters above the firmament? How does that mesh with modern knowledge? Well it’s not hard to see, when it rains, water comes from above, hence the waters above. Also remember water can be 3 phases, liquid, solid, vapor. Is the reference to the water above reference to the moisture that is ever present in our atmosphere? The blue sky of the day which is reflected in the blue waters below?
For those not familiar, but who believe the words of the Bible, look up “Flat Earth” theory. This theory meshes with the bible description (and other global cultures BTW) that the earth sits on 4 corners and, be careful here, is NOT a spinning globe. Walk softly with this theory because it will bring a wrath upon you from the “globers.”
Genesis 1:11 – God asks the earth to put forth grass and herbs, fruit bearing trees. 1:12 “and the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed… trees bearing fruit…” and the day was complete. My instant impression: We know that grass and trees do not seed and fruit in one day, it can take weeks if not months or, for some trees, years. This “one day” that is referenced, can it possible be referring to another time gauge, one that does not reference the day as defined by the rising and setting of the sun? Could it be that in these days the sun “day” was much longer than the 24 hours we know of? Or, did the plants, upon the command of God, fast forward their growth to put forth their seeds and fruit in one day as commanded. I’ve heard the argument that the days referenced in the Old Testament are different from the 24 hour days of today. I will look for more clues in upcoming verse.
Genesis 1:14 – God creates the lights in the firmament (stars and the two great lights: Sun and the Moon). “… let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years…” Much like today and among cultures around the world, the stars are used for horoscopes (constellation signs), seasons/days/years as sky watchers mapped the star patterns that would indicate to them changes in seasons and other portents that would include planting, harvesting, war, migrations and other important cultural events. Entire calendars can be based on the stars. This is important because I believe there are commands later on in the Bible that people do not participate in the foretelling of the future or portents, so I will be looking for that reference to. The 4th day.
The 5th day: God creates the animals in the water and in the sky. I like the “sea-monster” reference. Most would picture whales, but I wonder what other creature may be being referenced to here. The Leviathan? This day God creates the animals of the sky and the waters and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
The 6th day God creates earth bound creatures, including man. 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Key word here: OUR. Who was God speaking to? Could there be other “gods”? Was he referring to the Angels that accompanied him during the creation? One thing is for sure, we look like God and whoever else he was speaking to. God is in our form… BUT WAIT! In future verses God walks the earth as man, but when as Jehovah with the Israelites, he is in a form that has to have a container and shield around him. Where I go with this information will not be liked by many and will expound when I get there. For now, I understand we are made in God’s image. Also it is here that God gave man dominion over the rest of the creation, which by many modern humans has been their license to completely ravage God’s creation by poisoning the air, water, food, and life around us. Truly difficult to come to terms with at times.
“And he rested on the seventh day” hence the Sabbath as defined in the Old Testament. When I first read this I wondered: Just what does ‘rested’ mean? We know what it means for us, we are exhausted, our bodies or minds tire, and we need to be in a state of sleep or relaxation to rejuvenate. Why would God need rest? In a sense, I saw God as a machine that was shut down for a day. (BTW by machine I don’t mean an actual powered mechanism that runs on energy sources such as gasoline or electricity, though I have met some who interpret it so.) Or an energy force that no longer worked upon its creation and dissipated away. Fact of the matter, I believe there is more to “God rested” than what most people believe. More on that later.
Genesis Book 1 complete.