Survey of Genesis: Chapters 1-2

Survey of Genesis: Chapters 1-2

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This section will cover the creation of the world and all that is in it, including the details of the creation of Adam and Eve. Also, brief time will be given to some false theories of theistic evolution.


  1. “God” – Elohim – “the name of God which stresses His majesty and omnipotence” (Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record, p. 39).
  2. God “created” – bara – to call into existence that which had no previous existence (Rom. 4:17; Heb. 11:3). The Hebrew word is “used in Scripture only of divine activity” (Clyde Woods, People’s Old Testament Notes, p. 4).
  3. God created “the heavens and the earth.” That is, God created “space” (heavens) and “matter” (earth), all the “stuff” out of which he would form everything else.
  4. The Gap Theory
    1. It is alleged that the creation of Genesis 1:1 happened billions of years before the events of 1:2 happened. During that time, a “pre-Adamic” race of people and animals lived and died.
    2. Genesis 1:2 describes the condition of the earth after a terrible destruction caused by God in response to the fall (sin) of Satan. Genesis 1:3ff describes God’s re-creation of the universe.
    3. Brief refutation
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:21 and Romans 5:12 say that death came as the result of Adam’s sin. 1 Corinthians 15:45 refers to Adam as “the first man.” The gap theory says that there was human life and death before Adam.
      2. Exodus 20:11 says that God created “the earth, the sea and all that in them is” in six days. If “everything” was made in six days, then nothing was made prior to those six days.
      3. Man and woman have been around since “the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6). The death of Abel was near “the foundation of the world” (Luke 11:50-51). Man has “seen” and “perceived” God “since the foundation of the world” (Rom. 1:20). There is no room for a gap between the creation of the world and the creation of man.
    4. Genesis 1:2 says the earth was “formless and void” – the matter that would become the earth was not yet formed into its final shape, and it was empty.
    5. The “Spirit of God” moved over the face of the waters. The Holy Spirit had a part in creation just like the Father and Son.


  1. The Day-Age Theory
    1. To accommodate the evolutionary timetable, some say that the days of the creation week were actually long eons of time.
    2. Brief refutation
      1. There is nothing in the context that demands the reader to interpret those “days” as anything but literal days.
      2. Genesis 1:14 states that the sun, moon, and stars were created to be indicators of “signs, seasons, days, and years.” If the “days” of Genesis 1 are long eons of time, what does that make the seasons and years?
      3. God defined his usage of the term in 1:5 – a period of “light” and “darkness” consisting of “evening and morning,” also described as “day” and “night.” What does the natural perception of that reading indicate?
      4. Hebrew grammarians tell us that the Hebrew word for “day” (yom), when modified by a number in non-apocalyptic literature, always refers to a period of 24 hours.
    3. Day One (1:3-5) – God created light, and then separated it from the darkness. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
    4. Day Two (1:6-8)
      1. The waters that had been created previously (1:1) were separated – creating an “expanse” in between them.
      2. The expanse is called “heaven” (1:8), and is probably what we call “space,” including the atmosphere. It was in this expanse that God would place the sun, moon, and stars (1:14, 17), and the birds (1:20).
    5. Day Three (1:9-13) – God causes the water below the expanse to be gathered into one place, causing dry land to appear. God causes the earth to produce grass, plants, and trees.
    6. Day Four (1:14-19) – Even though he had already created “light,” God now creates “lights,” or “light-givers,” luminaries. The greater (sun) would rule the day, and the lesser (moon and stars) would rule the night.
    7. Day Five (1:20-23) – Fish and birds were created. God blessed the fish and birds and gave them the commandment to multiply, which commandment they are still faithfully keeping.
    8. Day Six (1:24-31) – animals and humans are created, with humans being the only thing made in God’s image. All God made was “very good.”
    9. Day Seven (2:1-3) – His work finished, God rested on the seventh day.


  1. Introductory statements (2:4-6).
    1. Brief mention is made of day three, after the land had appeared, but before the plants and trees were created.
    2. The writer then skips days four and five and goes straight to the latter part of day six to the creation of man.
  2. Creation of Adam (2:7); he was formed out of the dust of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47), and God imparted to him life and breath (cf. Acts 17:25-26, 28).
  3. Location of Eden (2:8-14).
    1. After the earth and all that is in it had been created, God prepared a special “garden spot” to be the home for man.
    2. It was planted directly by God, and God placed Adam in it. Adam’s first knowledge of his creator would have been one of love, concern, and care.
  4. God’s first set of laws (2:15-17).
    1. Adam was commanded to “dress and keep” the garden – to keep it in an orderly way.
    2. He was given permission to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden, save one – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    3. God’s love was further expressed in his telling Adam the consequences of disobedience – “you will surely die.”
  5. The formation of Eve (2:18-23).
    1. For the first time God says that something is “not good” – not in the sense that it was evil, but that it was incomplete. Adam’s aloneness needed to be remedied. God would make a helper suitable or comparable to him.
    2. Since there were none found among the animals that God “had formed” previously, God puts Adam to sleep and forms Eve from his side.
  6. The formation of the home (2:24-25).
    1. That is the ideal arrangement. But Ecclesiastes 7:29 reveals a sad truth about people and how they react to God’s arrangements for things – “Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
    2. At this point Adam and Eve feel no shame because of their nakedness – there is no sin yet, hence no reason to be ashamed of anything.

Conclusion: The creation has been finished, man and woman are living in a garden paradise where no sin, death, decay, or sorrow exist. With chapters three and following we will learn of the entrance of sin into the world, its consequences, and God’s plan for saving man from those consequences.