Friday, 14 September 2012

Testimony of George Cook Part 1

concept of Creation

1 Introduction
2 Overview
3 In The Book Of Job The Wisdom literature concept of Creation
   3:1 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth
   3:2 If thou hast understanding
4 The Poetical View Of Creation The Book of psalms
5 The Poetical View Of Creation The Book of Proverbs
6 The Prophetical View Of Creation The Book of Isaiah
7 He hath established it
8 Conclusion

The Genesis creation narrative is a description of the creation of the world, as written in the first two chapters of the Genesis. Chapter one describes the creation of the world (God), by means of divine incantation in six days and the designation of the seventh day as , a holy (set apart) day of rest. Man and woman are created to be God's regents over his creation. Chapter two tells of  (God) creating the first man, whom he forms from clay (or dust) and into whom he "breathes" the "breath of life". The first woman is formed from the side of the first man, and God plants a garden "east of Eden" into which he places them. Chapter two ends with a statement concerning why men and women are given into marriage. It shares features with several other ancient Mesopotamian mythology" , Creation myth  while differing in its  outlook. As a  it is part of the  of and According to this creation account bears the marks of a carefully contrived literary creation, written with a distinct theological agenda: the elevation of Yahweh, the god of Israel, over all other gods, and notably over , the god of Babylon. Descriptions of creation abound throughout the Bible. The Harper's Bible dictionary writes that, "Divine struggle with waters, victory over chaos, and cosmogonic promulgation of law/wisdom are found throughout biblical poetry." For some examples of this in the Old Testament, Job Ch: 38:4ff, Psalms 18,19,24,33,68,93,95,104, proverbs 8:22-23, Isaiah 45:18
he opening passages of the  consecutively contain two creation stories. In the first story God progressively creates the different features of the world over a series of six days, resting on the seventh day] Creation is performed by divine incantation: on the first day God says, "Let there be light!" and light appears. On the second day God creates an expanse) to separate the waters above (the sky) from those below (the ocean/abysses). On the third day God commands the waters below to recede and make dry land appear, and fills the earth with vegetation. God then puts lights in the sky to separate day from night to mark the seasons. On the fifth day, God creates sea creatures and birds of every kind and commands them to procreate. On the sixth day, God creates land creatures of every kind. Man and woman are created last, after the entire world is prepared for them; they are created in the , and are given dominion and care over all other created things. God rests on the seventh and final day of creation as , which he marks as holy.
In the second story the creation of man follows the creation of the heavens and earth, but occurs before the creation of plants and animals] God takes dirt) from the ground to form a man and breathes life into him. God prepares a Eden Of Garden and puts the man there, then fills it with trees bearing fruit for him to eat. The man is invited to eat the fruit of any tree but one: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil  God commands the man not to eat of that one tree "for when you eat of it you will surely die. Birds and animals are then created as man's companions and helpers, and God presents them to the man. The first man gives names to each one, but finds none of them to be "like him." So God puts the first man into a deep sleep and removes something from man's side, and uses it to make the first woman. "For this reason," the text reads, "a man will leave his father and mother for his wife, and they shall be joined as one flesh."
In The Book Of Job The Wisdom literature concept of Creation
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? - The first appeal is to the creation. The question here, “Where wast thou?” implies that Job was not present. He had not then an existence. He could not, therefore, have aided God, or counselled him, or understood what he was doing. How presumptuous, therefore, it was in one so short-lived to sit in judgment on the doings of him who had formed the world! How little could he expect to be able to know of him! The expression, “laid the foundations of the earth,” is taken from building an edifice. The foundations are first laid, and the super-structure is then reared. It is a poetic image, and is not designed to give any intimation about the actual process by which the earth was made, or the manner in which it is sustained.
If thou hast understanding - Margin, as in Hebrew “if thou knowest.” That is, “Declare how it was done. Explain the manner in which the earth was formed and fixed in its place, and by which the beautiful world grew up under the hand of God.” If Job could not do this, what presumption was it to speak as he had done of the divine administration! The earth has foundations, and such firm ones that it cannot be moved; but what are they, since it is hung in the air on nothing! No other than the power and will of God, who laid these foundations, and the Son of God, who has created and upholds all things by the word of his power, For the humbling of Job, God here shows him his ignorance even concerning the earth and the sea. Though so near, though so bulky, yet he could give no account of their origination, much less of heaven above or hell beneath, which are at such a distance, or of the several parts of matter which are so minute, and then, least of all, of the divine counsels.
I. Concerning the founding of the earth. “If he have such a mighty insight, as he pretends to have, into the counsels of God, let him give some account of the earth he goes upon, which is given to the children of men.”
1. Let him tell where he was when this lower world was made, and whether he was advising of assisting in that wonderful work (Job_38:4): “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Thy pretensions are high; canst thou pretend to his? Wast thou present when the world was made?” See here, (1.) The greatness and glory of God: I laid the foundations of the earth. This proves him to be the only living and true God, and a God of power (Isa_40:21, Jer_10:11, Jer_10:12), and encourages us to trust in him at all times, Isa_51:13, Isa_51:16. (2.) The meanness and contemptibleness of man: “Where wast thou then? Thou that hast made such a figure among the children of the east, and set test up for an oracle, and a judge of the divine counsels, where was thou when the foundations of the earth were laid?” So far were we from having any hand in the creation of the world, which might entitle us to a dominion in it, or so much as being witnesses of it, by which we might have gained an insight into it, that we were not then in being. The first man was not, much less were we. It is the honor of Christ that he was present when this was done (Pro_8:22, etc., Joh_1:1, Joh_1:2); but we are of yesterday and know nothing. Let us not therefore find fault with the works of God, nor prescribe to him. He did not consult us in making the world, and yet it is well made; why should we expect then that he should take his measures from us in governing it?
2. Let him describe how this world was made, and give a particular account of the manner in which this strong and stately edifice was formed and erected: “Declare, if thou hast so much understanding as thou fanciest thyself to have, what were the advances of that work.” Those that pretend to have understanding above others ought to give proof of it. Show my thy faith by thy works, thy knowledge by thy words. Let Job declare it if he can, (1.) How the world came to be so finely framed, with so much exactness, and such an admirable symmetry and proportion of all the parts of it (Job_38:5): “Stand forth, and tell who laid the measures thereof and stretched out the line upon it.” Wast thou the architect that formed the model and then drew the dimensions by rule according to it? The vast bulk of the earth is molded as regularly as if it had been done by line and measure; but who can describe how it was cast into this figure? Who can determine its circumference and diameter, and all the lines that are drawn on the terrestrial globe? It is to this day a dispute whether the earth stands still or turns round; how then can we determine by what measures it was first formed? (2.) How it came to be so firmly fixed. Though it is hung upon nothing, yet it is established, that it cannot be moved; but who can tell upon what the foundations of it are fastened, that it may not sink with its own weight, or who laid the corner-stone thereof, that the parts of it may not fall asunder? Job_38:6. What God does, it shall be forever (Ecc_3:14); and therefore, as we cannot find fault with God's work, so we need not be in fear concerning it; it will last, and answer the end, the works of his providence as well as the work of creation; the measures of neither can never be broken; and the work of redemption is no less firm, of which Christ himself is both the foundation and the corner-stone. The church stands as fast as the earth.
3. Let him repeat, if he can, the songs of praise which were sung at that solemnity (Job_38:7), when the morning-stars sang together, the blessed angels (the first-born of the Father of light), who, in the morning of time, shone as brightly as the morning star, going immediately before the light which God commanded to shine out of darkness upon the seeds of this lower world, the earth, which was without form and void. They were the sons of God, who shouted for joy when they saw the foundations of the earth laid, because, though it was not made for them, but for the children of men, and though it would increase their work and service, yet they knew that the eternal Wisdom and Word, whom they were to worship (Heb_1:6), would rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth, and that much of his delight would be in the sons of men, Pro_8:31. The angels are called the sons of God because they bear much of his image, are with him in his house above, and serve him as a son does his father. Now observe here, (1.) The glory of God, as the Creator of the world, is to be celebrated with joy and triumph by all his reasonable creatures; for they are qualified and appointed to be the collectors of his praises from the inferior creatures, who can praise him merely as objects that exemplify his workmanship. (2.) The work of angels is to praise God. The more we abound in holy, humble, thankful, joyful praise, the more we do the will of God as they do it; and, whereas we are so barren and defective in praising God, it is a comfort to think that they are doing it in a better manner. (3.) They were unanimous in singing God's praises; they sang together with one accord, and there was no jar in their harmony. The sweetest concerts are in praising God. (4.) They all did it, even those who afterwards fell and left their first estate. Even those who have praised God may, by the deceitful power of sin, be brought to blaspheme him, and yet God will be eternally praised.
II. Concerning the limiting of the sea to the place appointed for it, Job_38:8, etc. This refers to the third day's work, when God said (Gen_1:9), Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and it was so. 1. Out of the great deep or chaos, in which earth and water were intermixed, in obedience to the divine command the waters broke forth like a child out of the teeming womb, Job_38:8. Then the waters that had covered the deep, and stood above the mountains, retired with precipitation. At God's rebuke they fled, Psa_104:6, Psa_104:7. 2. This newborn babe is clothed and swaddled, Job_38:9. The cloud is made the garment thereof, with which it is covered, and thick darkness (that is, shores vastly remote and distant from one another and quite in the dark one to another) is a swaddling-band for it. See with what ease the great God manages the raging sea; notwithstanding the violence of its tides, and the strength of its billows, he manages it as the nurse does the child in swaddling clothes. It is not said, He made rocks and mountains its swaddling bands, but clouds and darkness, something that we are not aware of and should think least likely for such a purpose. 3. There is a cradle too provided for this babe: I broke up for it my decreed place, Job_38:10. Valleys were sunk for it in the earth, capacious enough to receive it, and there it is laid to sleep; and, if it be sometimes tossed with winds, that (as bishop Patrick observes) is but the rocking of the cradle, which makes it sleep the faster. As for the sea, so for every one of us, there is a decreed place; for he that determined the times before appointed determined also the bounds of our habitation. 4. This babe being made unruly and dangerous by the sin of man, which was the original of all uniqueness and danger in this lower world, there is also a prison provided for it; bars and doors are set, Job_38:10. And it is said to it, by way of check to its insolence, Hitherto shall thou come, but no further. The sea is God's for he made it, he restrains it; he says to it, Here shall thy proud waves be stayed, Job_38:11. This may be considered as an act of God's power over the sea. Though it is so vast a body, and though its motion is sometimes extremely violent, yet God has it under check. Its waves rise no higher, its tides roll no further, than God permits; and this is mentioned as a reason why we should stand in awe of God (Jer_5:22), and yet why we should encourage ourselves in him, for he that stops the noise of the sea, even the noise of her waves, can, when he pleases, still the tumult of the people, Psa_65:7. It is also to be looked upon as an act of God's mercy to the world of mankind and an instance of his patience towards that provoking grace. Though he could easily cover the earth again with the waters of the sea (and, methinks, every flowing tide twice a day threatens us, and shows what the sea could do, and would do, if God would give it leave), yet he restrains them, being not willing that any should perish, and having reserved the world that now is unto fire, 2Pe_3:7.
The Poetical View Of Creation The Book of psalms
From the things that are seen every day by all the world the psalmist, in these verses, leads us to the consideration of the invisible things of God, whose being appears incontestably evident and whose glory shines transcendently bright in the visible heavens, the structure and beauty of them, and the order and influence of the heavenly bodies. This instance of the divine power serves not only to show the folly of atheists, who see there is a heaven and yet say, “There is no God,” who see the effect and yet say, “There is no cause,” but to show the folly of idolaters also, and the vanity of their imagination, who, though the heavens declare the glory of God, yet gave that glory to the lights of heaven which those very lights directed them to give to God only, the Father of lights. Now observe here,
1. What that is which the creatures notify to us. They are in many ways useful and serviceable to us, but in nothing so much as in this, that they declare the glory of God, by showing his handy-works, Psa_19:1. They plainly speak themselves to be God's handy-works; for they could not exist from eternity; all succession and motion must have had a beginning; they could not make themselves, that is a contradiction; they could not be produced by a casual hit of atoms, that is an absurdity, fit rather to be bantered than reasoned with: therefore they must have a Creator, who can be no other than an eternal mind, infinitely wise, powerful, and good. Thus it appears they are God's works, the works of his fingers (Psa_8:3), and therefore they declare his glory. From the Excellency of the work we may easily infer the infinite perfection of its great author. From the brightness of the heavens we may collect that the Creator is light; their vastness of extent bespeaks his immensity;, their height his transcendency and sovereignty, their influence upon this earth his dominion, and providence, and universal beneficence: and all declare his almighty power, by which they were at first made, and continue to this day according to the ordinances that were then settled.
II. What are some of those things which notify this? 1. The heavens and the firmament - the vast expanse of air and ether, and the spheres of the planets and fixed stars. Man has this advantage above the beasts, in the structure of his body, that whereas they are made to look downwards, as their spirits must go, he is made erect, to look upwards, because upwards his spirit must shortly go and his thoughts should now rise. 2. The constant and regular succession of day and night (Psa_19:2): Day unto day, and night unto night, speak the glory of that God who first divided between the light and the darkness, and has, from the beginning to this day, preserved that established order without variation, according to God's covenant with Noah (Gen_8:22), that, while the earth remains, day and night shall not cease, to which covenant of providence the covenant of grace is compared for its stability, Jer_33:20; Jer_31:35. The counterchanging of day and night, in so exact a method, is a great instance of the power of God, and calls us to observe that, as in the kingdom of nature, so in that of providence, he forms the light and creates the darkness (Isa_45:7), and sets the one over-against the other. It is likewise an instance of his goodness to man; for he makes the out-goings of the morning and evening to rejoice, Psa_65:8. He not only glorifies himself, but gratifies us, by this constant revolution; for as the light of the morning befriends the business of the day, so the shadows of the evening befriend the repose of the night; every day and every night speak the goodness of God, and, when they have finished their testimony, leave it to the next day, to the next night, to stay the same. 3. The light and influence of the sun do, in a special manner, declare the glory of God; for of all the heavenly bodies that is the most conspicuous in itself and most useful to this lower world, which would be all dungeon, and all desert, without it. It is not an improbable conjecture that David penned this psalm when he had the rising sun in view, and from the brightness of it took occasion to declare the glory of God. Concerning the sun observe here, (1.) The place appointed him. In the heavens God has set a tabernacle for the sun. The heavenly bodies are called hosts of heaven, and therefore are fitly said to dwell in tents, as soldiers in their encampments. The sun is said to have a tabernacle set him, no only because he is in continual motion and never has a fixed residence, but because the mansion he has will, at the end of time, be taken down like a tent, when the heavens shall be rolled together like a scroll and the sun shall be turned to darkness. (2.) The course assigned him. That glorious creature was not made to be idle, but his going forth (at least as it appears to our eye) is from one point of the heavens, and his circuit thence to the opposite point, and thence (to complete his diurnal revolution) to the same point again; and this with such steadiness and constancy that we can certainly foretell the hour and the minute at which the sun will rise at such a place, any day to come. (3.) The brightness wherein he appears. He is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, richly dressed and adorned, as fine as hands can make him, looking pleasantly himself and making all about him pleasant; for the friend of the bridegroom rejoices greatly to hear the bridegroom's voice, Joh_3:29. (4.) The cheerfulness wherewith he makes this tour. Though it seems a vast round which he has to walk, and he has not a moment's rest, yet in obedience to the law of this creation, and for the service of man, he not only does it, but does it with a great deal of pleasure and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. With such satisfaction did Christ, the Sun of righteousness, finish the work that was given him to do. (5.) His universal influence on this earth: There is nothing hidden from the heart thereof, no, not metals in the bowels of the earth, which the sun has an influence upon.
The Poetical View Of Creation The Book of Proverbs
I. His personality and distinct subsistence, one with the Father and of the same essence, and yet a person of himself, whom the Lord possessed (Pro_8:22), who was set up (Pro_8:23), was brought forth (Pro_8:24, Pro_8:25), was by him (Pro_8:30), for he was the express image of his person, Heb_1:3.
II. His eternity; he was begotten of the Father, for the Lord possessed him, as his own Son, his beloved Son, laid him in his bosom; he was brought forth as the only-begotten of the Father, and this before all worlds, which is most largely insisted upon here. The Word was eternal, and had a being before the world, before the beginning of time; and therefore it must follow that it was from eternity. The Lord possessed him in the beginning of his way, of his eternal counsels, for those were before his works. This way indeed had no beginning, for God's purposes in himself are eternal like himself, but God speaks to us in our own language. Wisdom explains herself (Pro_8:23): I was set up from everlasting. The Son of God was, in the eternal counsels of God, designed and advanced to be the wisdom and power of the Father, light and life, and all in all both in the creation and in the redemption of the world. That he was brought forth as to his being, and set up as to the divine counsels concerning his office, before the world was made, is here set forth in a great variety of expressions, much the same with those by which the eternity of God himself is expressed. Psa_90:2, Before the mountains were brought forth. 1. Before the earth was, and that was made in the beginning, before man was made; therefore the second Adam had a being before the first, for the first Adam was made of the earth, the second had a being before the earth, and therefore is not of the earth, Joh_3:31. 2. Before the sea was (Pro_8:24), when there were no depths in which the waters were gathered together, no fountains from which those waters might arise, none of that deep on which the Spirit of God moved for the production of the visible creation, Gen_1:2. 3. Before the mountains were, the everlasting mountains, Pro_8:25. Eliphaz, to convince Job of his inability to judge of the divine counsels, asks him (Job_15:7), Wast thou made before the hills? No, thou wast not. But before the hills was the eternal Word brought forth. 4. Before the habitable parts of the world, which men cultivate, and reap the profits of (v. 26), the fields in the valleys and plains, to which the mountains are as a wall, which are the highest part of the dust of the world; the first part of the dust (so some), the atoms which compose the several parts of the world; the chief or principal part of the dust, so it may be read, and understood of man, who was made of the dust of the ground and is dust, but is the principal part of the dust, dust enlivened, dust refined. The eternal Word had a being before man was made, for in him was the life of men.
III. His agency in making the world. He not only had a being before the world, but he was present, not as a spectator, but as the architect, when the world was made. God silenced and humbled Job by asking him, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who hath laid the measures thereof? (Job_38:4, etc.). Wast thou that eternal Word and wisdom, who was the prime manager of that great affair? No; thou art of yesterday.” But here the Son of God, referring, as it should seem, to the discourse God had with Job, declares himself to have been engaged in that which Job could not pretend to be a witness of and a worker in, the creation of the world. By him God made the worlds, Eph_3:9; Heb_1:2; Col_1:16. 1. When, on the first day of the creation, in the very beginning of time, God said, Let there be light, and with a word produced it, this eternal Wisdom was that almighty Word: Then I was there, when he prepared the heavens, the fountain of that light, which, whatever it is here, is there substantial. 2. He was no less active when, on the second day, he stretched out the firmament, the vast expanse, and set that as a compass upon the face of the depth (Pro_8:27), surrounded it on all sides with that canopy, that curtain. Or it may refer to the exact order and method with which God framed all the parts of the universe, as the workman marks out his work with his line and compasses. The work in nothing varied from the plan of it formed in the eternal mind. 3. He was also employed in the third day's work, when the waters above the heavens, were gathered together by establishing the clouds above, and those under the heavens by strengthening the fountains of the deep, which send forth those waters (Pro_8:28), and by preserving the bounds of the sea, which is the receptacle of those waters, Pro_8:29. This speaks much the honour of this eternal Wisdom, for by this instance God proves himself a God greatly to be feared (Jer_5:22) that he has placed the sand for the bound of the sea, that the dry land might continue to appear above water, fit to be a habitation for man; and thus he has appointed the foundation of the earth. How able, how fit, is the Son of God to be the Savior of the world, who was the Creator of it!
IV. The infinite complacency which the Father had in him, and he in the Father (Pro_8:30): I was by him, as one brought up with him. As by an eternal generation he was brought forth of the Father, so by an eternal counsel he was brought up with him, which intimates, not only the infinite love of the Father to the Son, who is therefore called the Son of his love (Col_1:13), but the mutual consciousness and good understanding that were between them concerning the work of man's redemption, which the Son was to undertake, and about which the counsel of peace was between them both, Zec_6:13. He was alumnus patris - the Father's pupil, as I may say, trained up from eternity for that service which in time, in the fulness of time, he was to go through with, and is therein taken under the special tuition and protection of the Father; he is my servant whom I uphold, Isa_42:1. He did what he saw the Father do (Joh_5:19), pleased his Father, sought his glory, did according to the commandment he received from his Father, and all this as one brought up with him. He was daily his Father's delight (my elect, in whom my soul delighted, says God, Isa_43:1), and he also rejoiced always before him. This may be understood either, 1. Of the infinite delight which the persons of the blessed Trinity have in each other, wherein consists much of the happiness of the divine nature. Or, 2. Of the pleasure which the Father took in the operations of the Son, when he made the world; God saw everything that the Son made, and, behold, it was very good, it pleased him, and therefore his Son was daily, day by day, during the six days of the creation, upon that account, his delight, Exo_39:43. And the Son also did himself rejoice before him in the beauty and harmony of the whole creation, Psa_104:31. Or, 3. Of the satisfaction they had in each other, with reference to the great work of man's redemption. The Father delighted in the Son, as Mediator between him and man, was well-pleased with what he proposed (Mat_3:17), and therefore loved him because he undertook to lay down his life for the sheep; he put a confidence in him that he would go through his work, and not fail nor fly off. The Son also rejoiced always before him, delighted to do his will (Psa_40:8), adhered closely to his undertaking, as one that was well-satisfied in it, and, when it came to the setting to, expressed as much satisfaction in it as ever, saying, Lo, I come, to do as in the volume of the book it is written of me.
The Prophetical View Of Creation The Book of Isaiah
It appears by the light of nature; for he made the world, and therefore may justly demand its homage (Isa_45:18): “Thus saith the Lord, that created the heavens and formed the earth, I am the Lord, the sovereign Lord of all, and there is none else.” The gods of the heathen did not do this, nay, they did not pretend to do it. He here mentions the creation of the heavens, but enlarges more upon that of the earth, because that is the part of the creation which we have the nearest view of and are most conversant with. It is here observed, (1.) That he formed it. It is not a rude and indigested chaos, but cast into the most proper shape and size by Infinite Wisdom. (2.) That he fixed it. When he had made it he established it, founded it on the seas, (Psa_24:2), hung it on nothing (Job_26:7) as at first he made it of nothing, and yet made it substantial an hung it fast, That he fitted it for use, and for the service of man, to whom he designed to give it. He created it not in vain, merely to be a proof of his power; but he formed it to be inhabited by the children of men, and for that end he drew the waters off from it, with which it was at first covered, and made the dry land appear, Psa_104:6, Psa_104:7. Be it observed here, to the honour of God's wisdom, that he made nothing in vain, but intended everything for some end and fitted it to answer the intention. If any man prove to have been made in vain, it is his own fault. It should also be observed, to the honour of God's goodness and his favour to man, that he reckoned that not made in vain which serves for his use and benefit, to be a habitation and maintenance for him. For thus saith the Lord - This verse is designed to induce them to put unwavering confidence in the true God. For this purpose, the prophet enumerates the great things which God had done in proof that he alone was A mighty, and was worthy of trust.
He hath established it - That is, the earth. The language here is derived from the supposition that the earth is laid upon a foundation, and is made firm. The Septuagint renders this, ‘God who displayed the earth to view, and who, having made it, divided it that is, parcelled it out to be inhabited. This accords well with the scope of the passage. He created it not in vain - He did not form it to remain a vast desert without inhabitants. He formed it to be inhabited - By man, and the various tribes of animals. He makes it a convenient habitation for them; adapts its climates, its soil, and its productions, to their nature; and makes it yield abundance for their support. The main idea, I think, in the statement of this general truth, is, that God designed that the earth at large should be inhabited; and that, therefore, he intended that Judea - thru lying waste while the captives were in Babylon - should be re-populated, and again become the happy abode of the returning exiles. So Grotius interprets it. The Jews, from this passage, infer, that the earth shall be inhabited after the resurrection - an idea which has every probability, since there will not be fewer reasons why the earth shall be inhabited then than there are now; nor can there be any reasons why the earth should then exist in vain anymore than now.
Traditionally attributed to Moses, today most scholars accept that the Pentateuch is "a composite work, the product of many hands and periods Genesis 1 and 2 are seen as the products of two separate authors, or schools: Genesis 1 is by an author, or school of authors, called the  (for Priestly), while Genesis 2 is by a different author or group of authors called  (for Jahwist — sometimes called non-P). There are several competing theories as to when and how these two chapters originated — some scholars believe they each come from two originally complete but separate narratives spanning the entire biblical story from creation to the death of Moses, while others believe that P is not a complete narrative but rather a series of edits of the J material, which itself was not a single document so much as a collection of material. In either case, it is generally agreed that the J account (Genesis 2) is older than P (Genesis 1), that both were written during the 1st millennium BC, and that they reached the combined form in which we know them today about 450 BC.

1)Boyd, Steven W. (2008). "The Genre of Genesis 1:1-2:3:What Means This Text?". In Terry Mortenson, Thane H Ury. Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth. New Leaf Publishing Group. pp. 174 ff
2) Dalley, Stephanie Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and others Oxford World Classics, Oxford University Press (2000)  (
3) K. A. Mathews, vol. 1A, Genesis 1-11:26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), p. 89.
4) Douglas, J.D.; et. al. (1990). Old Testament Volume: New Commentary on the Whole Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale,
5) Jacobsen, Thorkild The Treasures of Darkness: History of Mesopotamian Religion Yale University Press; New edition edition (1 July 1978)  


1) Introduction
2) Understanding Covenant is important for several reasons:
3) The Adamic Covenant The Covenant of Commencement

4) The Noahic Covenant? Covenant of Preservation
5) The Covenant with Abraham: an unconditional covenant
6) The Covenant with Moses

7) The Covenant with David: an unconditional covenant

8) The Palestinian Covenant

9) The New Covenant



          It was God who started to make a covenant with man. He wanted to have a relation with him under certain conditions. God executed his promises and  was honest in spite of our dishonesty. The covenant of God with man was an everlasting one. The first covenant that God made was in the days of Noah, before and after the deluge. The condition that God stipulated was that man should leave the wicked world that was condemned to death and annihilation, and enter into the ark. God would grant man life, security, peace and care. Noah and his  sons joined that covenant, and thus they gained God's blessing. The second covenant was made between God and the great patriarch. The blessing as is seen in Deuteronomy 28, is for those who abide by the words of God, and the punishment is for those who disobey them. This covenant, which God gave to Moses, was sprinkled with blood and, for the first time, it was a written covenant for all people, including blessings and curses. Moses took the Book of the Covenant and read to the people saying: "All that God said shall he obeyed, " then Moses took some of the blood and said, “this is the blood of the covenant which God made with you about all these sayings. "A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties.  Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus.  These truths, revealed in the Bible, are the basis of Christianity.  The Bible is a covenant document.  The Old and New Testaments are really Old and New Covenants.  The word "testament" is Latin for Covenant.
There is a pattern to the covenants found in the Bible.  Basically, it is as follows.  The initiating party describes himself and what He has done, then there is a list of obligations between the two (or more) parties.  What follows is the section dealing with rewards and punishments that govern the keeping and breaking of the covenant.  The Ten Commandments fit this pattern and are a covenant

Understanding Covenant is important for several reasons:
1.      We learn that God deals with Man covenant ally.
2.      Since a Covenant is an agreement, it is a promise made by God.  Since, we can rely on God's word for eternity, we can take great comfort in His covenant promising us eternal life in His Son.
3.      It helps us to see the Bible as a covenant document.  The Old and New Testaments are Old and New Covenants.
4.      With Covenant understood as a framework through which the Bible was written we can better understand it, God’s dealings with us through it, and our responsibilities to God as well as His to us.
We can better understand the symbols used by God in covenant ratification: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
The Ten Commandments constituted a covenant between God and the people. They were written on two tablets that were called the `tablets of the covenant' and these were put into a tabernacle, also called the `tabernacle of
the covenant.' The tabernacle of the covenant was a symbol for the presence of God with his people. The observance of the commandments meant that God was their God and that they were his people. According to this covenant, God gave them the commandments to obey, and in return, He would guard and bless them. All the commandments of God and all the scriptures were a covenant. This is why the old scriptures have been called `the Old Testament' and the scriptures after the coming of Christ are called `the New Testament. The Holy Bible exemplifies a covenant between us and God, and we have become believers on the ground of our abiding by all the commandments included in it. Whenever you see the Holy Bible, you should remember that there is a covenant between you and God. As long as we are the children of God, ands long as we are believers, we are bound by this covenant. We have to observe all the rules in that book and say, as our fathers have said before, “We obey all the commandments of God. " It is a covenant that is sprinkled with blood. Thus, Saint Paul the apostle says of the Lord Christ that, "He is the mediator of a better covenant which wa established upon better promises," and they are really better promises. The Promised Land in the Old Testament is a
symbol of the Land of the Living in the New Testament. The fact that it is overflowing with milk and honey is a symbol of what no eye has seen, near has heard of, and of what has never occurred to the mind of any human being. The abundance of posterity symbolizes the spread of faith and the increase of the number of believers, and the extent of age symboliseseternity.There is another covenant that we establish with God through baptism. During baptism, we repudiate Satan and all his evil deeds, his tricks, thoughts and all his hosts and say to him openly, `I renounce you; I renounce you; I renounce you.’ Do we still renounce the devil and all his hosts? Besides this renouncement, during baptism we make a vow to believe in God and proceed in his ways, and in the new life in which we have worn Christ. There is another covenant that we keep with God by partaking in the Eucharist and in repentance. In connection with Communion, God says tours, "Each time you eat from this bread and drink from this cup you preachy death, acknowledge my resurrection and remember me until I come. "What indicates that the Eucharist is a covenant between us and God is that Maundy Thursday, the day on which God made the covenant with his disciples and gave them His Flesh and His Blood, is called by the Church `Covenant Thursday.' We celebrate this day, keeping in our memory covenant that we pledge with God each time we take part in the Eucharist. We also enter into a covenant with God whenever we make a vow. We often undergo pressure in case of sickness, adversity, demands or desires, and make vows beyond our capacity and liability of execution, and later, we try to do away with those vows or try to change or delay them, forgetting the scripture which says, "You had better not make vows at all, rather than make vows and not execute them. "A covenant with God should be regarded with seriousness and not obligation. We should know with whom we are making an agreement. It is with God, the Creator, the Infinite, the Imperceptible, the God of gods. We should also know about the punishment for those who break the covenant. Saint Paul the apostle explained this punishment in his message to the Hebrews, saying, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye; shall he bethought worthy, who has trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and who hath done despite unto the spirit of grace? It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. " (Hebrews 10:29-30)All the covenants of God with the fathers are covenants with us personally. In this connection, the Prophet Moses says, "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. "(Deuteronomy 5:2 & 3)Our covenants with God are sprinkled with blood and approved with the Blood of Christ. This is why Saint Paul says about the consecration of the believer that with the blood of the covenant with which he has been consecrated, "Our sins are obliterated at baptism by the Blood of Christ, “and such is the case in the sacrament of Confession and the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which we take the Blood of Christ, which purifies everything. How beautiful is the statement of the Prophet David, "O God, bless the covenants of my mouth." Therefore we ask God to give us the power of execution. We pray to God to grant us His power so as to be honest towards Him.

THE ADAMIC COVENANT The Covenant of Commencement
Under the Edenic Covenant man was put on probation to test his commitment to the terms of the covenant.  The one prohibition to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil constituted the test of faith and obedience (Genesis 2:16,17).  The test was occasioned by God's permitting the serpent's entrance into the Garden.  The temptation to break the covenant came from Satan as he attacked the terms of the covenant.  His aim was to breathe covenantal relationship between the Creator and the creature by deceiving man into violating the covenant.  He knew this would rob man of the blessings and put him under the curses of the covenant.  Satan's attack was upon the covenantal God and the covenantal man, but his approach was to attack the covenantal language.  Genesis 3:1-6 records the serpent's tempting of the woman and their progressive undermining of the words of the covenant. Covenant theology first sees a covenant of works administered with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Upon Adam's failure, God established the covenant of grace in the promised seed, and shows his redeeming care in clothing Adam and Eve in garments of skin — perhaps picturing the first instance of animal sacrifice. The specific covenants after the fall of Adam are seen as administered under the overarching theological covenant of grace. This was a covenant made between God and Adam where Adam would have everlasting life based upon obedience to God. This apparently was possible since Adam did not have a sin nature.
A.    "And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’ God entered into a covenant with Adam. The promise connected to that covenant was life.  The condition was perfect obedience.  Its penalty was death

The Noahic Covenant? Covenant of Preservation
The Noahic Covenant is a promise that God made to all mankind as well as to all the creatures that he would not destroy the world until his work of saving a people was accomplished. When was the Noahic Covenant established? The first mention of the Noahic Covenant is in Genesis 6:18. God introduces the Noahic Covenant before the flood but then explains it fully after the flood. Genesis 6:17-22In order for God’s plan of salvation to be accomplished Noah and his family had to be preserved through the flood.  It does seem that the Noahic Covenant was established right after Noah came off the ark. As soon as he sacrifice to the Lord God spoke to him and gave him the promise of the Noahic Covenant. Genesis 8:20-22The Noahic Covenant is in full force until the 2ndComing. 2 Peter 3:7 following the creation of man. Genesis 1:28The historical context of both commands seems to have been tied to the fact that the earth needed to be populated. The Relationship between Man and animal After the flood the relationship between men and animals changes. Now our God has put a fear and dread of man on all the animals. This does not mean that animals cannot be tamed. What it does mean is that animals are not naturally inclined to be attracted to men. Meat is PUT on the Menu When man was created green plants were given to mankind to eat. Genesis 1:30After the flood meat of animals is given to mankind to eat. Sin coming into the world at the Fall has nothing to do with the change in God’s menu for the diet of mankind. Eating of Blood is Forbidden We cannot be sure that this command was a part of the Noahic Covenant. The Noahic Covenant seems to be tied to preserving the earth. Blood is a symbol of the life of the individual and therefore it cannot be eaten.  This command does not seem to be tied to a specific era or covenant. Therefore it applies to the end of the age. Capital Punishment We are not to take someone else’s life because man is made in the image of God and therefore life is very valuable to God. Deterrence is not mentioned as a reason for having capital punishment.  The lawful taking of life is not under discussion here but murder. There are commands in the Old Covenant era to kill others. 1 Samuel 15:1-11In the New Covenant era the government has the authority to kill. Romans 13:1-7Sign of the Covenant The rainbow was the designated sign by God that the Noahic Covenant is still in effect. We as believers have no fear that the earth will be prematurely destroyed. This covenant was God’s promise to Noah to never again destroy the world with a flood.  God gave the rainbow as a sign."I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you -- the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you -- every living creature on earth.  I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."  And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.  Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."  So God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth’"

The Covenant with Abraham: an unconditional covenant
The actual Abraham Covenant is found in .The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant. The only time that both parties of a covenant would pass between the pieces of animals was when the fulfillment of the covenant was dependent upon both parties keeping commitments. Concerning the significance of God alone moving between the halves of the animals, it is to be noted that it is a smoking furnace and a flaming torch, representing God, not Abraham, which passed between the pieces. Such an act, it would seem, should be shared by both parties, but in this case it is doubtless to be explained by the fact that the covenant is principally a promise by God. He is the one who binds Himself. God caused a sleep to fall upon Abraham so that he would not be able to pass between the two halves of the animals. Fulfillment of the covenant fell to God alone. God promised a land and descendants to Abraham, who was commanded to "keep" the covenant) and was given circumcision as the sign On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates" 1) The Abraham Covenant is described in and is an unconditional covenant. There are no conditions attached to it (no “if” clauses, suggesting its fulfillment is dependent on man). (2) It is also a literal covenant in which the promises should be understood literally. The land that is promised should be understood in its literal or normal interpretation—it is not a figure of heaven. (3) It is also an everlasting covenant. The promises that God made to Israel are eternal. There are Three Main features to the Abrahamic covenant
 1.)The promise of land God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans to a land that He would give him  This promise is reiterated where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in  (precluding any notion of this being fulfilled in heaven). The land aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant is also expanded in, which is the 
2)The promise of descendants). God promised Abraham that He would make a great nation out of him. Abraham, who was 75 years old and childless), was promised many descendants. This promise is amplified where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the aged patriarch. This promise (which is expanded in the ) would eventuate in the Davidic throne with Messiah’s kingdom rule over the Hebrew people.
3.) The promise of blessing and redemption. God promised to bless Abraham and the families of the earth through him. This promise is amplified in the ; cf.  anticipates the forgiveness of sin. The unconditional and eternal nature of the covenant is seen in that the covenant is reaffirmed to Isaac he “I will” promises suggest the unconditional aspect of the covenant. The covenant is further confirmed to Jacob). It is noteworthy that God reaffirmed these promises amid the sins of the patriarchs, which fact further emphasizes the unconditional nature of the Abraham Covenant.

The Covenant with Moses
In the giving of the Law, the nation of Israel was constituted a holy nation and given stipulations to follow to ensure fellowship with God.  The covenant was ratified by a covenant sacrifice and the sprinkling of).
 "Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.  He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD.  6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar.  7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people.  They responded, ‘We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.’  8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’"

The Covenant with David: an unconditional covenant
God gave a promise to David that his descendants should have an everlasting kingdom and be known as his sons."You said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations’") It was through the descendants of David that Jesus was born. The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s promises to David through Nathan the prophet and is found in 2 Samuel 7 and later summarized in  and . This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David through which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on God’s faithfulness and does not depend at all on David or Israel’s obedience. The Davidic Covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David. 1) God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants). This promise is seen in , “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously.” 2) God promises that David’s descendant or “seed” will succeed him as king of Israel and that David’s throne will be established forever. This promise is seen in , "I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This is a reference to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Palestinian Covenant
The Palestinian Covenant is recorded in  and and was made between God and Israel right before Moses died and Israel entered the Promised Land. This covenant came after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land had passed away. God made this covenant with Israel while they were in Moab waiting to go into the Promised Land, and the covenant would serve this new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God.
The Palestinian Covenant has many similarities to the Mosaic Covenant made at Mount Sinai but is a separate and distinct covenant as clearly seen in  “These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.” Before making this covenant with Israel, God reminded them that if they obeyed the Mosaic Law, He would bless the nation abundantly and warned them that disobedience to the Law would result in His cursing the nation Besides the promises that God would bless them if they obeyed His commandments and curse them if they disobeyed, the Palestinian Covenant also contains some special promises to Israel that many believe will not be completely fulfilled until the millennial reign of Christ. First, God promised to gather the scattered Israelites from all over the world and to bring them back into the land He had promised to their ancestors). Second, God promised to regenerate the Israelites of that time and their descendants by circumcising their hearts so that they would love Him. Third, God promised to judge Israel’s enemies, and, fourth, He promised that the Israelites would obey God and that God would prosper them in their obedience). While some might see these promises being fulfilled when Israel was returned from captivity in Babylon at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, there seem to be some aspects of this that have not been fully realized yet. For example, the promised restoration of Israel to the land would not happen until all the blessings and curses promised them were fulfilled we know that Israel as a nation rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah and was once again cursed and cut off from the land when the Romans conquered Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Second, we see that one of the promises in this covenant was that God would circumcise their) so that they and their descendents would obey Him These same promises are repeated in  and and are part of the blessings and promises of the New Covenant. Also, it seems that the final or ultimate restoration of Israel to the land and to an everlasting relationship with God is what Paul is looking forward to in  when he says that “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and thus all Israel will be saved.”The Palestinian Covenant also serves to reinforce the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that God would establish Israel as His chosen people). Even though God set before Israel the promise of His blessings for obedience and His curses for disobedience, He knew full well they would turn from Him and His covenant and turn to idols. This is why He also promised to one day restore them to the land and have compassion on them. Therefore, the ultimate outcome of this covenant does not depend on Israel and its obedience, but instead it depends on God and His faithfulness. The Palestinian Covenant focuses on what God is going to do more than what Israel is supposed to do. While Israel’s prosperity is closely tied to her obedience to God’s commands, and they will still be punished for their disobedience to God, there is coming a day when God will return them to the land (the full extent of the land as outlined in ), and they will possess it, and God will bless them forever. At that time God will circumcise their hearts so they will obey Him This covenant is again reaffirming the Abrahamic Covenant in that someday the seed of Abraham will possess the Promised Land forever. Unlike the Mosaic Covenant whose promises are conditional upon Israel’s obedience to the Law, ultimate fulfillment of the promises of the Palestinian Covenant are not dependent upon Israel’s obedience. Instead, the Palestinian Covenant is an unconditional, eternal covenant) because it is a part of the Abrahamic Covenant and an amplification of it.

The New Covenant
This is the new covenant of the Messianic age where the Law of God would be written upon the hearts of men."The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah... This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people" It was promised in Eden “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" It was proclaimed to Abraham “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you").It was fulfilled in Christ “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us -- to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.  And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace"

 The standard description of covenant theology views the  of God's dealings with mankind in all of history, from  to , under the framework of three overarching theological covenants — the covenants of redemption, of works, and of grace. These three covenants are called theological because they are not explicitly presented as such in the  but are thought to be theologically implicit, describing and summarizing the wealth of Scriptural data. systems of thought, covenant theology is not merely treated as a point of doctrine, neither is it treated as a central . Rather, Covenant is viewed as the structure by which the biblical text organizes itself.
As a framework for biblical interpretation, covenant theology stands in contrast to  in regard to the relationship between the  with national Israel and the  in . That such a framework exists appears to be, at least, feasible since, from the earliest time of the Church, the Jewish Bible has been known as the Old Testament (or Covenant) in contrast to the  which has been known as the New Testament (or Covenant). Regarding the theological status of modern people, covenant theology is often referred to as "," or "replacement theology" by its detractors, due to the perception that it teaches that God has abandoned the promises made to the Jews and and has replaced the Jews with Christians as his  in the earth. Covenant theologians deny that God has abandoned his promises to Israel, but see the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in the person and the work of the , who, not a separate replacement entity.

1) . A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace. Facsimile reprint: Dingwall, Peter and Rachel Reynolds (2006), 
2) God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Books (2000). Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview. Overland Park: Two Age. 
3) Covenant Theology. In Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 4. Carlisle, PA (1998)
4). A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. Nashville: Nelson.  Robertson, O. Palmer (1981). Christ of the Covenants. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed. 
5) Robertson, O. Palmer (2000). The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed
6) Covenant Theology. In L. A. Loetscher (Ed.), The New Schiff-Herzog Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Grand Rapids: Baker. .
7) "The Doctrine of the Covenant in Reformed Theology." In R. B. Gaffin, Jr. (Ed.), Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Gerhard’s Vos. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed. 
 8) The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, 2 vols. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed. .Malone, Fred (2003).