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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Genesis: Chapter 1

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for  verse-by-verse  study or meditation.

To focus each verse we usually add in italic a description of what is happening in each verse. Because Genesis has little direct teaching and is mostly narrative, we have provided a structure of subheadings together with explanatory notes as and when it seems they would be helpful in bringing overall clarification or answer questions that might arise)

 

Note: Chronological Flow

There is a steady chronological flow in the chapters of Genesis although the wise reader would be careful not to try to add specific time periods or time scales until the book moves further on. So, for example,

 

Gen 1 – provides the ‘big picture' of Creation with the main emphasis being that it is God directed and thus no accident.

Gen 2 – reiterates creation with a quick overview which quickly moves on to focus on the location in Mesopotamia where God interacts with Adam and Eve, laying down the ground rules for its use.

Gen 3 – shows how the couple are led to disobey God and their relationship with Him is fractured (usually referred to as ‘the Fall') and they are banished from His presence. (Nevertheless, the ongoing text indicates God is still there in the background interacting with whoever is open to Him.

Gen 4 – shows Adam & Eve's two sons interacting with Cain killing Abel. God's interaction with Cain, seeking to help him not sin and then protecting him in banishment after he does sin.

Gen 5 – adds context by showing the family tree from Adam to Noah.

Gen 6-9 – shows the decline in the state of mankind and God's decision to intervene with a flood where Noah and his family are saved.

Gen 10 – tables the nations that are formed after the Flood

Gen 11 – shows godless, self-glorifying mankind building a tower at Babel, and then the family tree of Shem, on of Noah's surviving sons

Gen 11 & 12 – we are introduced to Abram

Gen 12-25 – Abram's (later renamed Abraham) interactions with God and eventually a son being miraculously born to him, named Isaac

Gen 25-28 – covers Isaac's life

Gen 25,28-36 – covers Isaac's younger son Jacob, later renamed Israel

Gen 37-50 – follows Joseph, one of Israel's younger sons, who is sold into slavery in Egypt but ends up as second to the Pharaoh of Egypt and saves the whole area

from famine by God's revelation and wisdom. At the end of the book, the large family of Israel are living in Egypt as previously prophesied by God.

 

Dates: The New Bible Dictionary suggests rough BC dates as follows:

•  Abraham: 2000 -1850
•  Isaac: 1900 – 1750
•  Jacob: 1800 – 1700
•  Joseph: 1750 – 1650

   

PART ONE: Creation, Fall & ongoing Consequences: Gen 1-11

Ch.1 –The ‘big picture' of Creation

Ch.2 – Focused creation, God lays down the ground rules for the use of Eden.

Ch.3 – The Fall

Ch.4 – Cain killing Abel

Ch.5 – The family tree from Adam to Noah.

Ch.6-9 – Decline of mankind and the Flood

Ch.10 – The nations that are formed after the Flood

Ch.11 – Building the tower of Babel; the family tree of Shem

 

FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 1: Creation – big picture

    

v.1,2 The Beginning

 

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

v.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.

      

 

v.3-5 Day 1: Light & Darkness, Night & Day

   

v.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

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

v.5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning— the first day.

   

   

v.6-8 Day 2: Water in Clouds & on Earth

   

v.6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”

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

v.8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning— the second day.

   

  

v.9-13 Day 3: Sea, Land, Vegetation, trees etc.

 

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

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

v.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.

v.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.

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

   

   

v.14-19 Day 4: Sun, Moon & Stars

 

v.14,15 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

v.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.

v.17,18 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

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

    

    

v.20-23 Day 5: Water creatures & birds

 

v.20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

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

v.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.”

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

   

  

v.24,25 Land Animals

 

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

v.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.

    

   

v.26,27 Man in the image of God

 

v.26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

v.27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

   

    

v.28-31 Day 6: The Creation Mandate

 

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

v.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.

v.30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

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

 

Notes 1: ‘Days': A variety of views have been suggested for the meaning of the six ‘days':

1. Six literal periods of twenty four hours corresponding to the movement of the earth.

2. Six ‘eras' of guided (by God) evolutionary development

3. Six days in which God shared with Moses (the compiler) the various developments

 

Notes 2: Light: In respect of the apparent discrepancy in order of light – Day 1 distinguishing light from darkness and Day 4, sun moon and stars, it is suggested that the initial development of the earth started with the earth of v.2 being surrounded by water vapour (producing a steady stable temperature in which large mass bodies such of dinosaurs could exist without overheating) thus being shut off from the rest of the universe with its stars and planets and it was only when this vapour mass was broken up that sun and moon had effect on the planet becoming visible.

 

Notes 3: Man in Image of God: How does man differ from God, what similarities are there between God and man as revealed in the Bible? How does man differ from the animals? From a compilation of these questions, it is suggested that there are various abilities that man has (that animals don't have) that reflect in small measure God's unlimited abilities. The ones we observe in ‘man' include abilities to communicate, think, plan, reason, invent, create, write, compose, design, control, work, order, purpose, all with self-consciousness, imagination, conscience, and ability to grow and develop.

 

 

 

Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 1

 

1. If God is, as the Bible asserts in many places, the Creator of all things, He is so much greater than anyone or anything we can comprehend, our natural response must be to worship Him for the wonder of His power and His creation.

2. Whether He made this world in spoken blocks or by long-term evolution, there is no room to think this world is an accident and purposeless. It was created with order, meaning and purpose and that should add stability and security to the way we view life.

3. The beginning of Genesis 1 speaks of an already existing world. Genesis 1 simply shows order coming out of chaos, purpose coming into a void, a purpose that came to its climax in humanity. Amazing!

4. Humanity being described as being made in the ‘image' or likeness of God, (v.26,27) lifts us up above the rest of life on the planet, gives reason for a possible relationship with God, and a dignity or potential nobility of our standing on the planet. It also explains why are a creators, designers, architects, authors, poets, composers, artists, sculptors, scientists, researchers and so much more, all of which challenge me to be thankful.

 

 

Continue to Chapter 2