The
Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

Genesis chapter 1

Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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Table Of Contents
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter one

  An Introduction to this Bible book of Genesis

 The dispensations in Genesis
 Genesis 1:1 God created...
 Who is God?
 What is God called?
 Where did God come from?
 The existence of God
 God is the Creator
 Genesis 1:2 God re-created the earth?
 The GAP theory
 Genesis 1:3-31
 There are 3 heavens
 God began creating
 Everything that God created was good
 God created signs
 God likes variety
 The Holy Trinity
 How mankind was created in the image of God
This devotional commentary book is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank Him for Who He is and what He has done.
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I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






Introduction

Who wrote this book?
Moses wrote the bible book of Genesis.

What is the meaning of the word Genesis?
In the original Hebrew language the word Genesis is "bereshith" meaning "in the beginning." In the Greek language, in the Septuagint translation (third century B.C.), the word Genesis means "origin or beginning".

Is the bible book of Genesis really from God? Yes. Why? Because Jesus Christ maintained that Genesis was a true and genuine book of the bible written under divine inspiration. He quoted from it many times:  
(Matthew 19:4-6; 24:37-39; Mark 10:4-9; Luke 11:49-51; 17:26-32; John 7:21-23; 8:44).

When and where was this book written?
The bible book of Genesis was written by Moses approximately 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. It was probably written on the Sinai peninsula while the children of Israel were on their wilderness march of 40 years duration after they left Egypt.

The outline of Genesis is in two major divisions:
1) Four great events (Genesis chapters 1-11) and
2) Four outstanding individuals (Genesis chapters 12-50).

Why did God give mankind His holy bible? It is His love letter to all of mankind. Many folks get frustrated about the lack of information in Genesis but remember the purpose of the book. Why did not God give us all of the answers in the bible book of Genesis?
Genesis gives us selective revelation. God chooses to reveal to mankind only what He wants to. Mankind does not need to know everything about how and why God does what He does. If mankind knew that, mankind might try to manipulate God somehow. The main purpose of all scripture is for mankind's instruction in righteousness
(2 Timothy 3:16-17).

New Christians in the early church, during the days of the apostles, studied these Old Testament scriptures to see how the application of spiritual truths in Genesis could be applied to their lives in Christ. The study of God's Word caused church growth. We do the same thing today.

What was the historical setting in those days when this book was written?
God had just used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery. The Israelites spent 40 years on the Sinai peninsula while they were on their wilderness march heading towards the Promised Land. Moses had a lot of time to write, under inspiration, the first five books of the holy bible. These five books are known as the pentateuch, a Greek word, referring to five.

The theme of this book:
Jesus Christ is the Christian believer's Creator God.


How are we to believe Genesis? We have to take it on faith. That is the only answer.
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear"
(Hebrews 11:3).


Dispensations
What are dispensations? In simple terms a dispensation is an arrangement of bible segments ordered by man to make bible study simpler. The segments can be divided by covenant, by time (a time segment), by a grouping of events into one segment, or by a combination of these. Many students of the bible use dispensations to make their study more challenging and fun. Here is a grouping of events that many others have used before me.


Sometimes a covenant,
and time, and events

all working together
can help us understand the
meaning of a dispensation.
God is a great God and
He is in total control.
There are four dispensations in the bible book of Genesis:
1) The First Dispensation- the dispensation of innocence: from the creation of the heavens and earth to the fall of mankind and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Genesis chapters 1 to 3.
2) The Second Dispensation- the dispensation of conscience: from the expulsion from the Garden of Eden to the great flood. Genesis chapters 3 to 7.
3) The Third Dispensation- the dispensation of human government: from the flood to the dispersion at Babel. Genesis chapters 8 to 11.
4) The Fourth Dispensation- the dispensation of promise: from the call of Abraham to freedom from Egyptian slavery. Genesis chapter 12 to Exodus chapter 12.

Some theologians teach that a dispensation is a period of time during which mankind is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Many dispensations ended in God's judgment. Why? Because mankind has trouble with Satan, sin, and his own disobedience to a loving God. Personally, I like dispensations and I like studying them, however, not all theologians believe in dispensations.







God created the heavens, earth, animals, and mankind:
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth"
(Genesis 1:1).

Who is God?
An English language dictionary might have something like this to say about Him:
"A Being believed to have supernatural attributes and powers and to require worship. A Person of supreme value and the supreme reality. The Being worshiped as the creator and ruler of the universe."

We can know who God is by what He has chosen to reveal to us about Himself in His word. There are many lengthy theological answers to this question. The simplest answer is that He is a person. You and I cannot see Him because He is invisible to us. He is the highest Person known to mankind and to others in existence. He is not only life but also creates life. He is holy and He is love and shows love. He is a magnificent Creator- One who enjoys beauty and diversity. He does not eternally tolerate sin and anyone who declares war on Him. He is a giver, not a taker, and shows magnificent forgiveness and patience. He is merciful to a point with those who He has created. And there are many more wonderful things that I could say about Him but I think the best description of Him is found in the New Testament:
"Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him:
"Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake"
(John 14:8-11).

What does that statement mean? It means that Jesus Christ was and is God. If you want to know who God is then study the life, teachings, and deeds of Jesus Christ and you will know.

If you want to study the deity of Jesus Christ please click here


What is God called?
The Hebrew language definition for the word God in Genesis 1:1 is
Elohim (Elohiym) meaning "God" or "Supreme Being." The name is used here in the plural form referring to the Holy Trinity. Elohim can be used in connection with other names such as Yahweh or Jehovah. When that is the case, the name appears as Yahweh Elohim (Elohiym) or Jehovah (Elohiym) meaning The Lord Our Creator. This is not God's personal name but a descriptive title name. Sometimes, you and I can go by a nick name or title rather than our personal name. For instance, my mother preferred to be called by the nick name of Vicky rather than her personal name of Emily. And God may prefer to be called by one of His nick names or titles as well. Sometimes, He is simply referred to as "God" or "Lord."


Where did God come from?
No one knows where God came from and we do not know how He created the earth. There is a lot that we do not know about God. However, there is a lot that we do know about God but we only know what He has decided to tell us about Himself. God hides Himself in His sovereignty.

The bible does not prove the existence of God, the bible recognizes the existence of God. God is eternally existent. You and I have a beginning and an ending but God does not. He always has been, He is now, and He always will be.


The existence of God:
There are several proofs or basic arguments proving that God exists:

  • Click here if you would like to study them

    Suffice it to say that no matter how hard mankind tries, he cannot prove that God does NOT exist. Paul the Apostle said, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring"
    (Acts 17:24-28).
    And the Apostle Peter said, "...all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water- whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished..."
    (2 Peter 3:4-6).


    God the Son is the Creator:
    Here are some scripture verses that add to this truth:
    Psalm 33:6-9; Isaiah chapter 40; Psalm 104:30-31, Psalm 148:5.

    "Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called, I am He, I am the First, I also am the Last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens- when I call unto them, they stand up together"
    (Isaiah 48:12-13).

    More specifically, Jesus Christ is the Creator. He is God the Son- He is divine and created the world and all that is in it-
    "...that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ"
    (Ephesians 3:8-9).

    God created the earth- the land, the water, the air, the sunlight, and everything else. How did He separate the land masses from the water? He might have sunk the land to make the ocean waters rise or he might have risen the land above the surface of the water. He is that GREAT of a creator.


    "And the earth became without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"
    (Genesis 1:2).

    In this verse I spiritually see that Christ originally created the earth and all on it
    (Colossians 1:16). After the war in Heaven when Lucifer and his fallen angels were cast to the earth
    (Revelation 12:3-4), it appears that they were so angry that they destroyed the earth (darkness was upon the face of the deep places (thvm or thowm in Hebrew). However, at a later time, God the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) re-created it. Why would He want to do that? Because God was going to create a free will being (human beings) who would have the ability to love God for Who He is. Of course, Lucifer was going to want their worship for himself so the war that had begun in Heaven was now going to begin in this world. Have you ever noticed that there are numerous wars in this world?

    Ok, preacher, let me get this straight. God created a cow but the cow does not have the ability or free will to love and worship God. So, since that is true, then human beings must be very valuable to God. Yes. Each individual is so important to Christ that He died on an old rugged cross to forgive each repentant one of their sins.


    The GAP theory:
    While we are on this verse I think we should explore the Gap Theory. It is one of my favorite theories but not all Christians embrace it. What is the GAP theory? This is a theory that proposes that there is a huge gap in time between
    Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. How can that be? In Genesis 1:1 God created a beautiful world- a lush paradise. God's creations are always perfect. He created some dinosaurs, some prehistoric animals, and some cave men without souls.
    In Genesis 1:2 "and the earth was" can be translated "and the earth became". "And the earth became without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep..."

    According to this theory, the earth could have been here for 4 1/2 billion years before God re-created it. So the GAP theory deals with the recent re-creation of the earth and modern mankind based on the interpretation of
    Genesis 1:2. And it allows for the age of the earth, dinosaurs, cave men, etc. in the distant past.

    God told Adam to replenish the earth. This word replenish seems to indicate that the earth had been inhabited before by some other forms of life that God had previously created (cave men, prehistoric animals, dinosaurs, etc.).

    Allegedly, there can be two Edens in the history of this earth. The first Eden existed when God created a perfect earth- a mineral paradise with glistening precious stones. Then this Eden disappeared due to darkness
    (Ezekiel 28:13). The Garden of Eden in reference to Adam and Eve was much later but had obvious vegetation beauty rather than mineral beauty.

    Some of creation may be observed in cycles- the earth revolving around the sun, the birth and death cycle, history repeating itself, economic cycles, etc. In reference to cycles, there are two verses that describe events to come (that will happen again) that can be applied to past events:
    (Isaiah 24:1; Jeremiah 4:23). What does it mean? It means, according to this theory, the earth was in bad shape a long time ago and had to be re-created by God.

    We will explore a few more theories about creation a little later on.

    God began creating and, in my opinion, He still creates today:
    Here are the rest of the creation scriptures in this chapter...

    "And God said, let there be light- and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good- and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament- and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear- and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas- and God saw that it was good. And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth- and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years- and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth- and it was so. And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night- he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness- and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind- and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind- and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness- and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He Him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it- and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat- and it was so. And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day"
    (Genesis 1:3-31) KJV.


    God created the heavens:
    There are 3 heavens:
    1) The one over our heads with rain, sun, and wind
    2) The one in space with stars, planets, and galaxies
    3) God lives in the 3rd Heaven- this is the home of God (2 Corinthians 12:2)

    Everything that God created was good:
    When He created the heavens and the earth it was good. When He created all vegetation it was good. When He created the animals it was good. When He created modern man, it was good. And everything that He creates today is also good. So, if everything He created was so good, how did things get to be so bad? Why did all of the dispensations end in God's judgment?

    Mankind, in general, has real trouble with Satan and with sin. Mankind gave its authority to Satan in the fall and invited sin to be its bed partner. In other words, Satan- and his ally, mankind, have taken what was originally good and twisted it into something that is NOT good. When mankind follows this downward pathway towards sin, as he always has, it is not good. Is it any wonder, then, that each dispensation ended in God's judgment? This failed record of the history of mankind contradicts the philosophers who say that mankind is inheritantly good and getting better- that mankind can live together in absolute harmony in a utopia of his own making forever. This will only happen when Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, returns and sets up His Kingdom here on this earth in our future.


    God created signs:
    "And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years..."
    (Genesis 1:14).

    God uses natural earth cycles as signs. What kind of cycles? The night and day cycle (the moon's cycle around the earth), the cycle of seasons (the earth's cycle around the sun), and so much more not listed here. All of these are signs. What are they a sign of? They are natural signs to show how great God is. God's greatness and His majesty are seen in what He has created
    "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork"
    (Psalm 19:1). "The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see His glory"
    (Psalm 97:6).


    God likes variety (He created different kinds of animals):
    "And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good"
    (Genesis 1:25).

    God is a wonderful Creator. He must like variety because He has created so many different and colorful creatures on this planet.


    The Holy Trinity:
    "And God said, let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness- and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth"
    (Genesis 1:26).

    A better translation of this verse from the original Hebrew should read:
    "Then God said: "We will make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."

    The word trinity is a word used by mankind because it is associated with the number three. This is the first reference in the bible concerning the holy trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the holy trinity is one of the fundamental doctrines of mainline Christianity and any religious group who denies it is probably a cult and you better not get deceived by them.

    The word for God in this verse is the Hebrew word Elohim (`lhym). Why is that significant? Because it is a plural word that stands for more than one. It means that God was talking to Himself. It does not mean that God was schizophrenic (a mentally ill person who talks to himself), or that He was talking to angels. Rather, it is proof of the Holy Trinity.

    How can three separate individuals be one God? It is hard for any person, who has a finite mind, to understand the infinite. A good analogy question might be- how can two heterosexual individuals, who are married, become one flesh? We have to accept this truth about the trinity of God on faith. He is telling us in this verse Who He is, whether or not we accept it or believe it. Personally speaking, I believe it.

    Are there other scriptures in the bible that prove the truth about the holy trinity? Yes.
    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made"
    (John 1:1-3).
    "(Christ) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"
    (Colossians 1:15).


    How mankind was created in the image of God:
    God is spirit and mankind is flesh so how can mankind be created in the image of God? Mankind is created in the image of God in 3 ways: mind (reason), will, and emotions. God has a mind (He thinks), God has a will (He makes choices), and God has emotions (He loves, gets angry, etc.). Mankind is the same way. Some folks like to add that mankind is self-conscious, a being who is a free moral agent with free choice who has a distinct moral responsibility.

    How long has modern mankind been on this earth? No one knows. Some folks have guessed at between 4,000 to 25,000 years.


    Some hidden numbers and their meanings in this chapter:
    Why is a number hidden? Sometimes, God writes His Word in various styles. Sometimes He uses literal facts and figures, sometimes He rounds off numbers, sometimes He uses numerology, parables, allegories, genealogies, apocalyptic literature, poems, and so much more. We see a lot of that in the rest of the scriptures. There are several hidden number two's in verses three through thirty one. They are hidden because they are not readily apparent. An individual can find them when one finds the same word mentioned twice or more in a scripture verse. That is deliberate and is no accident because God inspired the writing of His holy word. What does a hidden number usually mean? The number two in biblical numerology stands for witness because Christ sent out His disciples two at a time to witness for Him. For example, in verse twenty four of this chapter, God uses the word "kind", twice. What does it mean? It means that God is witnessing to us the truth of that statement. God did create all living creatures, cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the earth. God created every one- they did not evolve in any way.

    I see several hidden number threes in these verses:
    What is a hidden number three? It is a word that is used by God three times in one verse. It is a hidden nugget of truth that God wants us to dig out of His Word by studying it. In biblical numerology, the number three stands for the Holy Trinity of God. Along with the number seven, the number three is God's number. Let us look at these verses and see what God is telling us. Here is one verse,
    "...and God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters"
    (Genesis 1:6).
    Here we see that the word "water(s)" was used three times. What does it mean? It means that the Trinity (Godhead) was active in this part of creation. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit were active in it as was Christ, God the Son
    (Colossians 1:16). They created the firmament or watery clouds and the atmosphere that serves many purposes- some of what is used for life and light. The atmospheric waters were separated from the waters that overspread the earth's surface- fresh water and salt water. This was a gigantic feat and only God could do such a miraculous work of creation. His name be praised!

    Let us take a look at this hidden number three in this verse, "...and God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night- He made the stars also"
    (Genesis 1:16).
    We see that the word "light" was used three times in this verse, making it a hidden number three. What does it mean? It means that the Trinity (Godhead) was active in this part of creation. What did they create? They created the sun (the greater light to rule the day), the moon (the lesser light to rule the night), and the stars of space. This was a gigantic feat and only God could do such a miraculous work of creation. His name be glorified!

    Let us take a look at this hidden number three in this verse, "...and God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind- and God saw that it was good"
    (Genesis 1:25).
    We see that the word "kind" was used three times in this verse, making it a hidden number three. What does it mean? It means that the Trinity (Godhead) was active in this part of creation. What did they create? It means they created every living animal (along with the rest) of what lives on the land on this planet. Besides creating them, He separated them into different genetic groups (kinds) so they could reproduce after their species. Notice that God is a God of order, color, and variety. This was a gigantic feat and only God could do such a miraculous work of creation. His name be exalted above all!



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