Friday, 14 September 2012
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
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
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 Eden Of Garden
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)