In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
How to begin to write the Bible must have been a question of great difficulty. The beginning which is given here commends itself as peculiarly sublime. Regard it as you please, as literal, historical, prabolical, it is unquestionably marked by adequate energy and magnificence of style. He finds that he must say something about the house before he says anything about the tenant, but he feels that that something must be the least possible.
I. THIS ACCOUNT OF CREATION IS DEEPLY RELIGIOUS, and from this fact I infer that the whole book of which it is the opening chapter is intended to be a religious and not a scientific revelation.
II. THIS ACCOUNT OF CREATION EVIDENTLY ADMITS OF MUCH ELUCIDATION AND EXPANSION. Moses does not say, "I have told you everything, and if any man shall ever arise to make a note or comment upon my words, he is to be regarded as a liar and a thief." He gives rather a rough outline which is to be filled up as life advances. He says in effect "This is the text, now let the commentators come with their notes." This first chapter of Genesis is like an acorn, for out of it have come great forests of literature; it must have some pith in it, and sap, and force, for verily its fertility is nothing less than a miracle.
III. This account of creation, though leaving so much to be elucidated, is in harmony with fact in a sufficient degree to GIVE US CONFIDENCE IN THE THINGS WHICH REMAIN TO BE ILLUSTRATED.
IV. THERE IS A SPECIAL GRANDEUR IN THE ACCOUNT WHICH IS HERE GIVEN OF THE ORIGIN OF MAN. "Let Us make man" — "make," as if little by little, a long process, in the course of which man becomes a party to his own malting! Nor is this suggestion so wide of the mark as might at first appear. Is man not even now in process of being "made"? Must not all the members of the "Us" work upon him in order to complete him and give him the last touch of imperishable beauty? The Father has shaped him, the Son has redeemed him, the Spirit is now regenerating and sanctifying him, manifold ministries are now working upon him, to the end that he may "come to a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.