In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
I. In the first place, THE OBJECT OF THIS INSPIRED COSMOGONY, OR ACCOUNT OF THE WORLD'S ORIGIN, IS NOT SCIENTIFIC BUT RELIGIOUS. Hence it was to be expected, that while nothing contained in it could ever be found really and in the long run to contradict science, the gradual progress of discovery might give occasion for apparent and temporary contradictions.
II. Then again, in the second place, let it be observed that THE ESSENTIAL FACTS IN THIS DIVINE RECORD are, — the recent date assigned to the existence of man on the earth, the previous preparation of the earth for his habitation, the gradual nature of the work, and the distinction and succession of days during its progress.
III. And, finally, in the third place, let it be borne in mind that the sacred narrative of the creation is evidently, in its highest character, MORAL, SPIRITUAL, AND PROPHETICAL. The original relation of man, as a responsible being, to his Maker, is directly taught; his restoration from moral chaos to spiritual beauty is figuratively represented; and as a prophecy, it has an extent of meaning which will be fully unfolded only when "the times of the restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21) have arrived. Conclusion: — The first verse, then, contains a very general announcement; in respect of time, without date, — in respect of space, without limits.
(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.