Posted by: Ety W. | July 9, 2008

Genesis 1 – An Overview of Creation

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Last time I said that I wanted to look at the very first marriage. Of course, this is found in Genesis chapters one and two, but to interpret these chapters correctly, we need to understand something about the style of ancient Hebrew writing. I say this because at a cursory reading, these first two chapters of Genesis appear to be contradictory.

One of the premises of inductive Bible study is that the Bible never contradicts itself. If it appears to, then we need to dig deeper. For Genesis 1 and 2, it is helpful to understand that Chapter 1 is an overview, or summary of creation. Chapter 2 then goes back to cover the specifics relevant to us. It fills in the details.

This same style is seen in the book of Daniel, where Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream in chapter 2 gives an overview of the future. Subsequent dreams and visions begin to fill in the details. This literary technique is also used in the book of Revelation. Many read that book in a chronological fashion, but it makes more sense to read it as more than one account of the end, each account focusing on different details.

In Genesis 1, we are given an overview of the creation of the human race.

Then God said,”Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule …. over all the earth … And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over …… every living thing that moves on the earth. 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;

And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good. Gen. 1: 26-29, 31 (NASB)

OK, I’ve condensed these verses a little for the sake of space. But let’s look at the word “man.”

Man Strong’s 120 – אדם – adam = man, mankind, human, Adam as the first man.

How do we know that “man” refers to the human race here and not the gender? Firstly because of the pronoun “them” is used for it. Secondly because of how he created man; male and female.

What did He create them to do (verse 28)?

~ Create families
~ Populate the earth
~ Subdue and rule over the earth – i.e. they were to be stewards of the earth’s resources

There is a lot of spiritual meat in these verses, but since our focus in on the first marriage, we’ll just summarize this overview by saying that God created the human race with a plan, a purpose, and the necessary provision to accomplish these things. We’ll start to look at some of the details in Chapter 2 next.


Responses

  1. I look forward to it!

  2. Hey Ety,

    In one of your comments on here you joked about telling God that He’s never been a woman. 🙂

    I’m definitely not one of those interesting people that think that He’s a she, but I’ve always found this part of scripture interesting in that God created man in His image first, then took woman out of man afterwards. One of my possible conclusions is that man was different before God took woman out, and when God took woman out of man, He removed some a part of who Man was and made that into woman – i.e., characteristics, emotional makeup, etc.. This may explain why men and women can be so different from each other, but still both have Godly characteristics, and also complement each other so well…

    Are you following me? Just a theory – not sure how it holds up in light of scripture… but I think we can all agree that Adam and Eve were both made in God’s image, and men and women are VERY different from each other.

    It could be another way God is choosing to reveal Himself to us.
    Looking forward to this study.

    I’m a Believer!
    Laura

  3. Thank you Razzler!

    Laura, this is a very interesting point. As you say, I think it’s why it is important to look at Genesis 1 first, to see that God created male and female in His image and gave His 1st commands to them both.

    Like yours, mine is just a theory, but I think that the Lord created man first for man’s sake. He didn’t create woman immediately afterward, but let Adam look at all the rest of creation so he could see for himself that there wasn’t a suitable companion among them. When God presented woman to Adam, something “clicked” and he realized that he was incomplete without Eve. God sees husband and wife as one spiritual being. We’re the ones who try to separate them out!

    Anyway, praise God that He does reveal Himself and His truth through the Word!

  4. I agree! I think God allowed Adam to feel the “alone-ness” that He said was “not good.” Adam watched all the animals come before him, saw them together – as my husband once said in teaching – Adam might have said, “Hey, no fair! What are those chipmunks doing over there?” LOL

    After all that, God presented Adam with the first woman, perfectly fashioned by His own hands from a part of Adam. Wow!

    I believe that God is all about fellowship – perfect fellowship – the kind that the Father, Son & Holy Spirit can share that we simply can’t understand. I believe He gives us marriage (and sees husband and wife as one) to help us understand this aspect of Himself and the plans He has for us as the Bride of Christ.

    I also believe that this is the reason Satan has launched such an attack on marriage from the beginning.

    Ok – I’ve gone on long enough…

    I’m a Believer!
    Laura


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