Genesis 1 and 2 - Creation
Plants, animals, and man were fully grown when created.
It was Moses who either wrote the book of Genesis, or put the other existing manuscripts together.
Genesis 2 is a closer (more detailed) look at Day 6, so I've moved that up a bit. Now it's all in chronological order.
Six literal days
The Ten Commandments were written by the Creator Himself.
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
- Exodus 31:18 (KJV)
Check out the fourth Commandment.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)
Also, the Hebrew word for "day" is "yom".
Yom can mean:
1) 12 hours
2) 24 hours
3) unspecified time-period
However, when "yom" is used in combination with "evening and morning", and "the first day", "the second day", etc, it can only mean one thing, and that's a 24-hour literal day.
Jesus confirms Genesis 1 and 2.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female (Genesis 1:27), And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24)?
- Matthew 19:4-5 (KJV)
God creates the heaven and the earth.
1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
This verse is not a summary verse.
God creates three things:
1) Time (in the beginning)
2) Space (heaven)
3) Matter (earth)
There are three heavens:
2) Outer space
3) Heaven (where God resides)
It is the context which determines which heaven it is, e.g. heaven + birds means the sky, heaven + sun/moon/stars means outer space, etc.
The third heaven was created before our universe, and the sky wasn't created until later, so "heaven" (singular) here refers to space.
The phrase "in the beginning" means our universe had a clear beginning, e.g. it was created.
The word "created" comes from the Hebrew word "bara" which means "to create out of nothing".
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
- Hebrews 11:3 (KJV)
There is no gap between verse 1 and 2.
1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Note that this verse begins with "And", indicating a "next step". Work on the earth continues here.
There was darkness.
And the earth, created in verse 1, was still "without form, and void".
A bit like a lump of clay.
Yet LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands.
- Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)
The phrase "face of the deep" refers to the ocean floor.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
- Genesis 7:11 (KJV)
The phrase "face of the waters" refers to the surface of the waters.
And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
- Genesis 7:18 (KJV)
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
I think this would have "lit up" the entire universe.
1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Many argue that light/darkness means there must have been a light source, and that the earth was rotating. But the Sun, which is a light bearer, was not around until "Day 4", so it is a bit of a mystery how God handled this. One thing is clear, and that is that you need to create light first, before you can create the Sun.
I think God simply dimmed all the light in the universe in order to create evening.
That way no light source is needed.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
- Revelation 21:23 (KJV)
In Hebrew, a day begins with the evening. For example, Sabbath is from Friday sunset, to Saturday sunset.
Time, space, matter, and light are the building blocks of the universe.
God creates the sky.
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
To divide the waters I imagine that the lower waters remained in liquid form, and that the upper waters were changed to gas form. This would then be our atmosphere, or sky.
1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
This is the first heaven, e.g. the sky.
The word firmament can be translated as "an expanse of [something]". Where the [something] is normally determined from the context, e.g. "firmament of heaven" meaning sky, or outer space, etc.
In this verse, God clearly calls the firmament "Heaven", and we know that heaven means sky, or atmosphere.
This is very much in line with the Hebrew word for firmament (raqia) which means "beaten out", or "stretched out" (expanded), etc.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
- Isaiah 45:12 (KJV)
Some Bible versions have translated firmament as "dome", but this is not correct.
The phrase "And God called the firmament Heaven" could also be read as "And God called the expanse Sky".
God creates dry land, and vegetation.
1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
God creates the sun, moon, and the stars.
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Like a calendar in other words.
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
God knew exactly how far out to position the lights in the firmament of heaven.
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
The greater light is the Sun.
The lesser light is the Moon. Reflected off the sun yes, but still a "light" nonetheless.
Plenty of stars.
1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
God creates sea creatures, and the birds.
1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
God creates animals, and mankind.
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Beast of the earth.
1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
The phrase "Let us" refers to the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
And now God says to his Son, "Let us make man in our image.
- Ellen White, Signs of the Times, January 9, 1879, Art. B, par. 13
God is a Spirit, so when it says "in our image, after our likeness" this refers to the spiritual nature of God. These words are only spoken to mankind, and not to the animals, etc.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- John 4:24 (KJV)
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Man is vegetarian.
This changed after the Flood, after which we were allowed to eat meat.
1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Animals are vegetarian.
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Day 6 (in greater detail)
God creates Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden.
This is Genesis 2.
Note that Genesis 2 is not another creation story. It's complimentary to "Day 6".
2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
The word "generations" is defined as "all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively".
The generations of the heavens and of the earth, start with Adam and Eve.
Note that here it says "heavens" (plural), meaning the sky, and space.
2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Previous to the flood there was no rain.
Previous to this there had been no rain upon the earth. A mist had risen from the waters, which God caused to descend at night like dew, reviving vegetation and causing it to flourish.
- Ellen White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 74
2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Here we learn that a living soul has a body, and a spirit (breath of life).
As Adam came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of noble height, and of beautiful symmetry. He was more than twice as tall as men now living upon earth, and was well proportioned. His features were perfect and beautiful. His complexion was neither white, nor sallow, but ruddy, glowing with the rich tint of health. Eve was not quite as tall as Adam. Her head reached a little above his shoulders. She, too, was noble--perfect in symmetry, and very beautiful.
- Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts vol. 3, p.34
Giants were common in those days.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
- Genesis 6:4 (KJV)
The Hebrew word "Adamah" means "ground". The name "Adam" means something like "from the ground".
2:8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
I believe this is a summary statement.
2:9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
All the rivers are part of some kind of irrigation system.
2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
- Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing
Man lived in complete harmony with the animals (until the Fall that is).
2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God is not looking for robots, or people that obey Him out of fear.
God is looking for people that love Him out of their own free will.
The tree of knowledge and evil represents free will. We are free to do anything, but, says God, if you break My Commandments you will die.
These Commandments are good for everyone, and must be in place.
Eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (gaining insight in evil), separated us from God.
Looking at today's world we can see what a mess things have become. We all adhere to our own little standards, falling way short of the glory of God.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
- Romans 3:23 (KJV)
We need to voluntarily submit ourselves to God's Commandments. This can only happen by free will.
We need to be sealed with God's Commandments, so that we will not be able to sin anymore.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
- John 14:15 (KJV)
2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
This is the first time that God says "It is not good".
2:19 And out of the ground the Lord God (had) formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
The Hebrew word translated as "formed" can also be read as "had formed" (depending on the context).
For example, "God formed plants/animals" should be interpreted as "God had formed plants/animals", simply because the plants/animals would have already been formed on previous days.
2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
A big discussion point is how many animals Adam needed to name, and how much time it would have taken him. First of all, Adam only needs to name "kinds" (cat, dog, cow, etc). And then only the cattle, the fowl of the air, and every beast of the field. Note that it says "beast of the field" which is different from "beast of the earth", e.g. some sort of subset (maybe domesticated animals only).
It doesn't really matter. There would have been plenty of time.
The naming of the animals is also very strong proof that Adam was fully formed (young adult), and had intelligence to start with, e.g. name the animals, speak to God, etc.
2:21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Ribs grow back.
2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
- Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing
2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
It wasn't until after the Fall that Adam named his wife Eve.
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
- Genesis 3:20 (KJV)
2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
The sinless pair wore no artificial garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 45
2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Note that here it says "heavens" (plural), meaning the sky, and space.
2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
The Ten Commandments are eternal, and so is the Sabbath commandment.
Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was instituted in Eden and observed by our first parents before the fall. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command, and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from Eden; but they observed the Sabbath after their fall.
- Ellen White, Signs of the Times, February 6, 1879, par. 15
Sabbath will be kept on new Earth as well.
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
- Isaiah 66:22-23 (KJV)
Sabbath was made for man, e.g. we need our day of rest.
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
- Mark 2:27-28 (KJV)
The Sabbath is a sign of who you worship.
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.
- Exodus 31:13 (KJV)
Ellen White puts it all together quite nicely.
In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When "the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Gen. 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Job 38:7.
- Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 769
Okay, so we clearly weren't there when it all happened.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
- Job 38:4 (KJV)
There's plenty more about Creation in other parts of the Bible, e.g. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, etc.
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.
- Isaiah 40:22 (KJV)
In the end, it comes down to faith. Faith in a loving Creator. Faith in His Word.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
- Romans 1:20 (KJV)
A painting reveals the painter. The creation (or creativity) reveals the Creator.
There is no excuse.