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“In the beginning of God’s creating of the heavens and the earth, the earth had been formless and empty.”

The cosmos arose from nothing, coming into being by the spoken word of God. Order emerged from disorder. Genesis 1 portrays no sense of forces of chaos being restrained, nor of any personified evil, unlike other Ancient Near Eastern depictions.[1]

Even the deep waters obeyed the Lord’s commands, for the Spirit of God hovered over them, witnessing and participating in this creative activity (Gen 1:1–2).

During the first through third day, God created habitations and assigned their functions.[2] This demonstrated his power and authority over them.[3]

First, the Lord created light and separated it from darkness, establishing periods of time (Gen 1:3–5).[4]

Then, God split the primordial waters into vapor in the heavens above and liquid in the seas below (Gen 1:6–8).

He collected the waters below together so that dry land appeared and produced various types of vegetation (Gen 1:9–13). This set the framework necessary for living creatures to survive.[5]

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Go to Greater and Lesser Lights (Gen 1:14–19)

[Related posts include Introduction to Genesis 1; In the Beginning of God’s Creating (Gen 1:1–2); Let There Be Light (Gen 1:3–5); God Separates the Waters (Gen 1:6–8); Dry Ground Appears (Gen 1:9–13); In the Beginning Was the Word (John 1:1–2); The Light Shines in Darkness (John 1:3–5); and The Firstborn of All Creation (Col 1:15–18)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 2: God Creates Inhabitants for His Cosmic Temple (Genesis 1:14–25)]


[1]Walton, Genesis, 73.

[2]Kline, “Space and Time in the Genesis Cosmogony,” 2–15,

[3]Walton, Genesis, 71–2.

[4]Walton, Genesis, 79.

[5]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 20.