Parashah 1: Days of Creation

Genesis Chapter 1

Yom Rishon – Day 1

Verse 1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

According to Genesis 1:1, the heavens and earth had beginning and God was there as the Creator.  The Hebrew language, the original language in which the following Scriptures  were written, will give a little more insight into the account of creation.

“Beresheet bara Elohim et ha shamayim v’et ha eretz.”

‘God’ is rendered in Hebrew, Elohim.  El  in Hebrew means ‘God’ and refers to ‘God as the Creator’.  Elohim is the masculine plural of the word El.    This does not mean Elohim is a plurality of gods or can be divided into three-parts like the trinity.  Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the word Elohim is used with a singular personal pronoun which makes it singular in its plural form.  There are several other Hebrew words that are singular in their plural form giving them a multi-faceted meaning: water (mayim), life (chayim), and face (panim).

The Hebrew word for ‘heavens’ is hashamayim.  The smaller word, mayim, within ‘the heavens’ means ‘water’.   It is from hashamayim that the idea of waters being in the heavens comes.  In Hebrew word pictures hashamayim means:  ‘behold the mighty chaos’.

The Hebrew word for ‘earth’ is eretz.  This is the word used today for the Land of Israel – eretz Yisra’el.  In word pictures eretz means: ‘the first most important harvest.’

Notice in the Hebrew Scripture there are two little words, et.   In Hebrew, the et are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet known as the alef and the tav.  In its ancient form, Hebrew was a lot like Egyptian hieroglyphics.  It was a pictorial language. Each letter was a drawing that when put together described the word.

Alef, ,א for example, looks like an ‘ox’.  Its pictorial meaning is ‘strength’, ‘leader’, ‘what is first’. Tau, ת, looks like ‘two crossed sticks’.  Its pictorial meaning is ‘covenant’ or ‘sign’.  Putting the Hebrew word pictures together, the alef and tau mean: “the covenant/sign of the first, strong, leader”.

A Revelation to the alef and the tau

“In the beginning” suggests that there must also be an ending.   The final book of the Bible is called Revelation.  In this book, the meaning of the alef and the tau is revealed by Yeshua.

“I [Yeshua] am the ‘Alef’ and the ‘Tau,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).

In the Greek/English translations of the Bible, this reference is written as ‘A and Z’  or ‘Alpha and Omega’ not the Hebrew alef and tau.

Together, the word pictures for verse 1: ’In the beginning, Elohim, the alef and the tau, from a mighty chaos of water brought forth the first and most important harvest’.  

Verse 2

“The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water.”

In Hebrew,  the words for ‘unformed and void’ are tohu wa bohu.  These words imply that there was a great wasteland with an emptiness or ‘void’ that need to be filled apart from an unformed earth.    Void, according to the dictionary, means ’empty space or vacuum’.  It also means there is ‘nothing legally in force or in effect’.  It is the state of lawlessness.  The Hebrew words for ‘darkness and deep’ are tahom and suggest ‘great chaos’.   Accordingly, when there is a ‘void of law’, there is chaos.

In Hebrew, the Spirit of God is ruach Elohim. Ruach literally means ‘wind’ so this would be the ‘wind of God’ that hovers over the surface of the water.   The Hebrew word yovel is used in this verse and means ‘brooding’.  Brooding, in this sense means to  ‘cover with one’s wings for protection’ like a hen covers its chicks.  In Hebrew: The breath of Elohim covered the void and dark chaos like wings of protection.  

Verse 3

“Then Elohim said, “Let there be light”; and there was light”.

The first words of Elohim bring forth light.  When Elohim speaks, physical evidence of His voice through His words appear.  The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or.  In the Hebrew word pictures, ‘light’ is ‘what is first joined with what is the highest, most important’.  

Within the first three verses of Genesis chapter 1, there is Elohim, the Creator; the alef and the tau, Yeshua, and the ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God, the Coverer.  From the chaos Elohim brought forth ‘the highest, most important part of creation,’ LIGHT, through speaking WORDS.

John chapter 1 testifies to this same creation account with the spoken word of God being Elohim, but also being the alef and the tau.  It proves Yeshua to be the Word of God in which dwelt the life and light of mankind.  And, like the light that was spoken into physical reality, the Word of God, became a physical reality in the flesh of the Father’s only Son who brought light to the world.

“In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God [Elohim],  and the Word was God [Elohim]. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him,  and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it…. The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh’khinah [glory], the Sh’khinah [glory]  of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5, 14).

“Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life” (John 8:12).

Verse 4

“Elohim saw that the light was good, and Elohim divided the light from the darkness.”

In Hebrew, ‘darkness’ is chosek.  This includes the idea that darkness became obscure, wiped out. In the presence of the light, darkness went into obscurity.  The word ‘divided’ is badal and means ‘to make a distinction between the two.’   This is a division between darkness and light not daytime and nighttime.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Messiah” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Verse 5

“Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” 

The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom and is different from ‘light’ or or.   Yom is the 24-hour period of time from evening to morning that was called ‘a Day’ by the Creator.  The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila.   This is the period of ‘a Day’ that is dark.  The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev.  This word represents the darkness that immediately follows light and would include twilight. The Hebrew word for ‘morning’ is boker.  Boker is that point in ‘a Day’ when darkness is changing to daylight.

With the words evening and morning, time delineation begins; however, there are no signs in the heavens for determining actual times like sunrise and sunset.  The first Day of creation is now complete.   In Hebrew, the first day of the week is Yom Rishon.

Yom Shinee – Day 2

Verses 6-8

“Elohim said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the water; let it divide the water from the water.” Elohim made the dome and divided the water under the dome from the water above the dome; that is how it was, and Elohim called the dome Sky. So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.”

The Hebrew word for ‘dome’  is raqiva and means ‘firmament’ or ‘a visible arch of the sky.’  Its primitive root can mean ‘to expand by hammering’, ‘stamp, stretch.’   The raqiva is a solid, tangible thing that separated the waters (mayim) above from the waters (mayim)  below.  Elohim called this firmament, Sky.

There are several interpretations that the firmament is a structured place or a type of water canopy along with a structured place above where Elohim dwells and there are multiple ‘heavens’.   Whatever the firmament, there was water above it and water below it.  From the writings of King David, King Solomon and the apostle Sha’ul, long after Noah and the flood, it was still understood that the complexity of the firmament continued to exist (Psalm 148:4, Proverbs 25:3, 2 Corinthians 12:2).

The second 24-hour day of creation, Yom Shinee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Slishee – Day 3

Verses 9-11

“Elohim said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear,” and that is how it was.”  “God called the dry land Earth, the gathering together of the water he called Sea, and God saw that it was good.

Elohim continues to speak and through His words creates all things into existence.  On day three, the waters under the firmament are gathered into one place.  This body of water is called Seas.  In Hebrew, the word for waters is mayim; however, Sea is notable because the Hebrew letters are the reverse of mayim or yam.  

The dry land Elohim called Earth.  In Hebrew this word is eretz as was mentioned earlier. There is another Hebrew word that can be used for land adamah.  Adamah means ‘red earth’ and this is where the name for the first man, Adam comes from as he was made from the dust of the earth which apparently was red.

Verses 12-13

“Elohim said, “Let the earth put forth grass, seed-producing plants, and fruit trees, each yielding its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, on the earth”; and that is how it was. The earth brought forth grass, plants each yielding its own kind of seed, and trees each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit; and God saw that it was good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

Through the words of Elohim, life began with the plant kingdom.  The eretz produced all kinds of grasses, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.  Some may wonder how grasses and seed-bearing plants began to produce on the dry land when there was only Light, not sun.   Science proves that plant seeds first germinate underground in darkness until they push through the soil.  Only then do they begin to make food through photosynthesis.  This scenario supports the Day being a 24-hour period since seeds do not need millions of years, thousands of years or even weeks to germinate and push through the ground.

The third day of creation, Yom Shleeshee, was completed with evening and morning.

Yom Reve’ee – Day 4

Verses 14-15

“Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was.”

Before this day day of creation, there was Light and Darkness along with Night and Day.    On this yom, Elohim creates lights in the firmament, in that place where water is above and water is below.   These lights were to be signs for the seasons, days and years.

The word ‘season’ in this verse is not what we think of as the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.   In Hebrew, the word for ‘season’ is mo’ed which means ‘appointed time’, ‘appointed meeting place’ and even ‘appointed  feast’.  In other words, Elohim put lights in the sky so that his creation would know His holy seasons (Passover, Firstfruits, Tabernacles), days (Sabbath) and years (Jubilee).

Verses 16-19

“Elohim made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. Elohim put them in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and Elohim saw that it was good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.”

The two great lights that Elohim put in the dome of the sky are the sun and the moon.  The 24-hour day is ruled by the sun: sunset to sunset.  The night is governed by the moon creating months as it waxes and wanes from one new moon to the next new moon.   The lesser lights, the stars, regulate the years through constellations like Orion and Pleiades that rise and fall throughout the seasons.  Through the greater and lesser lights, darkness is divided from light and a cycle of time is established for days, weeks, months, and years.

The fourth day of creation,  Yom Revee’ee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Chamishee – Day 5

Verses 20-23

“Elohim said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open dome of the sky.” Elohim created the great sea creatures and every living thing that creeps, so that the water swarmed with all kinds of them, and there was every kind of winged bird; and Elohim saw that it was good. Then Elohim blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the water of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.” 

Elohim continued to fill the earth with life in the sea and the air through His spoken word.  Fish and sea creatures like whales and sharks swam in the seas.   Large sea creatures in Hebrew is tannin and means ‘sea monsters, dragons and serpents.’  This would include Leviathan and Behemoth (Job 40,41).  Birds like parrots, hawks and robins flew in the air.  Critters like grasshoppers, snails, and frogs creeped along the ground.

On this day of creation, Elohim created living creatures or nephesh chayim.  Nephesh chayim means ‘animal soul,’ thus He gave all creatures a ‘soul’.    In Jewish thought, a soul is the essence of the being, it’s reason for being.  Each nephesh is the expression of God’s vision in creating that soul to perform God’s commandments according to its level of understanding and closeness to God.

Elohim blessed these living creatures and commanded them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the seas, the air and the earth.  The Hebrew word parah means ‘fruitful.’   In their simple level of understanding, this is the greatest commandment for these living creatures, nephesh chayim.

The fifth day of creation, Yom Chamishee, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Yom Sheesh – Day 6

Verses 24-25

“Elohim said, “Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature — each kind of livestock, crawling animal and wild beast”; and that is how it was. Elohim made each kind of wild beast, each kind of livestock and every kind of animal that crawls along the ground; and Elohim saw that it was good.”

Elohim continues creating nephesh chayim through His word and brings forth livestock like sheep, goats, oxen, cows, pigs, and horses.  He creates wild beasts like lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!  He also creates animals the crawl on the ground like raccoons, dogs, cats, and skunks.

In a biological study of life, there are charts and lists full of Latin names classifying the animals of the earth.  Man’s classification of animals is more complex and at times confusing because he puts whales in the same category as a monkey.  When Elohim created the animals, He classified them as birds, creepers, fish, livestock, crawlers and wild beasts.  For Elohim, this was good, very good. 

Verses 26-28

“Then Elohim said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.” So Elohim created humankind in his own image; in the image of Elohim he created him: male and female he created them. Elohim blessed them: Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.”

On the same day that Elohim created animals, He created man with a soul and breath of life,  nishmat chayim, sometimes called the nishmat chayim ruach, adding the ‘breath of God’ into the soul.   Man is not an animal as is commonly believed in the theory of evolution.  Elohim created man in His image, in the likeness of Himself, not animals.  He did not create birds, fish or wild beasts in His image only mankind.  As He commands the animals to be fruitful and multiply according to their kind, so He commands mankind – male and female –  to do the same.

What is the image of Elohim?  Elohim breathes, creates, speaks, and has authority.  In his image, with the breath of His life in us, we are creative, communicating beings given authority over the earth.  The animals, though they breathe, do not have Elohim’s spirit breathed into them.  Animals are not creative beings as they only live through instinct.  Their communication is limited and they are given no authority over the earth.

By giving mankind authority to rule over the birds, fish, livestock and wild beasts, mankind is not equal to the animals, and animals are not equal to mankind.  Unfortunately, this distinction between man and animals has become corrupted.  Mankind no longer subdues animals because animals have been deemed to have ‘human rights’, and humans are subject to ‘animal rights.’ 

Verses 29-31

“Then God said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant.” And that is how it was.  God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.”

Both mankind and animals are given seed-bearing plants and fruit from trees as food.  At this point in creation, there are no carnivores.  Animals are not eating animals nor are humans eating animals.  This is because, at this point in creation, death has not come into the world. 

The sixth day, Yom Sheesh, was completed with an evening and a morning.

Genesis Chapter 2

Verses 1-3

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day Elohim was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Elohim blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day Elohim rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”

With the creation of mankind, Elohim completed His work of creating.  A new time period, the seventh day, begins and Elohim rests.  The seventh day is a unique day as it has no beginning sunset or ending morning.  The seventh day is blessed by Elohim and made holy by its separation from all other days.  Elohim rests, not so much because he was tired, but  that the earth and everything He had created could continue forever in the life and world that He had established.

The seventh day is known in Hebrew as shabbat or Sabbath.  Unlike the rest of the days, it is not Yom Shabbat or 24-hour time period.  Without having an evening and a morning, this ‘day’ was never ‘completed’ and was to last an eternity.

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue.  Every month on Rosh Chodesh [new moon] and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai” (Isaiah 66:22-23).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries

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