Creation and Commission: Genesis 1 to 3 – Translation and Commentary

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Rev. Professor Dr. John Calvin, the greatest Bible expositor of all time, obviously thought the latter.   See his: Commentary on Genesis 1:11f & 1:20f,24,28f & 2:7 & 2:9 & 2:16f  & 3:19-21f & 4:2f & 9:1-3; his Institutes I:14:20 & I:15:1-4 & I:15:8 & II:1:3f & II:2:22-24 & II:8:1; his Psychopannychia in his Tracts and Treatises (Eerdmans 1958 III:422-25 & 450f & 457 & 460f); and his Sermons on Second Samuel (12:23).   Cf. too Psalm 49:12-15 & Ecclesiastes 3:18-21with Second Peter 2:12 & Jude 10.

1:8f) The sky below the clouds is the first “Heaven.”   It is nearest to our planet and is indeed essentially part of the Earth.   The “Second Heaven” is the astronomical Tri- Universe (to the exclusion of our Earth), Genesis 1:1c,14-16.   The “Third Heaven” is the dwelling place of the good angels and the dead-in-Christ, in the very presence of God (Genesis 1:1c cf. Second Corinthians 12:2).   Needless to say, although inter-connected, all three of these Heavens are time-bound creatures.   None of them existed prior to Genesis 1:1.   Indeed, all these triune Heavens – in God’s one and only created ‘Tri- Universe’ – constitute yet one more “created trinity” ( cf. Genesis 1:1d-f,4d,6b,26c).

God-Triune uncovers the dry land and produces plant life

1:9  Then God-Triune said:  “Let the waters under the sky be collected togethera into one place,b and let the dry land  appear!”c   And so it was.   10 And God- Triune named the dry land ‘Earth.’  And He named the collected-together waters ‘Seas.’d   And God-Triune saw to it that it was good.e   11 Then God-Triune said, “Let the earth sprout forthf grass, and vegetation bearing seeds, and fruit-trees yielding fruitg upon the Earth – according to the kind of seed in them!”  And so it was.   12 So the Earth produced grass and vegetation, bearing seeds according to their kinds, and fruit-trees yielding fruit according to their kinds.h   And God- Triune saw to it that it was good.   13 Then dusk came; then dawn came:  day third.

1:9a) Coalesce and co-operate with and thus strengthen one another, cf. Psalms 33:7 & 89:9f.      This too seems to be a creaturely reflection of God-Triune.

1:9b) Into one world-ocean surrounding all the many continents then arising from beneath it (Psalm l04:5f).   This one world-ocean and many continents is yet another reflection of the one God and the many Persons within the Trinity Who made this world-ocean and these continents.   Cf. Genesis 1:1a,9b with Matthew 28:19 & First Corinthians 12:3-7 & 12:12-14 & 12:20).

1:9c) Let the land surface of the Earth be seen or (pro-)vided, cf. Genesis 1:4b, as divinely fore-ordained!   Jeremiah 5:22 & Acts 15:18.  

Nowhere in the Genesis narrative is the process of geological stratification referred to as such (although it may possibly be presupposed in Genesis 1:1 or 1:2 or 1:9bc or in 7:10- 19, or partially or wholly or successively on all of these different occasions).   Cf., however, Job 38:1-7 & Psalms 90:1-4 & 104:1-8 & Hebrews 11:3 & Second Peter 3:4-6.

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On the process of fossilization of once-living creatures (assuming all or some fossils are indeed remnants of such and not merely analogous artifacts of never-alive creatures), cf. the notes below at Genesis 1:11h & 1:21e.

1:10d) Both inland lakes (Numbers 34:11) and larger saline bodies such as the oceans (cf. Deuteronomy 11:24 & Psalm 104:25).

1:10e) God saw to it that it went well.   So too in Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25,31. Moreover, He sees to it that it continues to go well (Psalms 119:89-91 & 148:4-6).   For by laws, He has subjected the waves of the sea to tidal boundaries which they may not transgress (Job 26:10 & 38:8-11 & Psalm 104:5-9).

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