“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. Unlike other Ancient Near Eastern depictions, Genesis 1 portrays no sense of forces of chaos being restrained, nor of any personified evil.[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 functions to them,[2] demonstrating 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 water 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]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Go to Greater and Lesser Lights

[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 to go 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, http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1996/PSCF3-96Kline.html

[3]Walton, Genesis, 71–2.

[4]Walton, Genesis, 79.

[5]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 20.