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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 1

Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies "the book of generation or production;" it is properly so called, as containing an account of the origin of all things. There is no other history so old. There is nothing in the most ancient book which exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded by the oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of different nations, confirm what is related in the book of Genesis.

God creates heaven and earth. (1,2) The creation of light. (3-5) God separates the earth from the waters, and makes it fruitful. (6-13) God forms the sun, moon, and stars. (14-19) Animals created. (20-25) Man created in the image of God. (26-28) Food appointed. (29,30) The work of creation ended and approved. (31)

Verse 1,2: The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying and useful account of the origin of the earth and the heavens. The faith of humble Christians understands this better than the fancy of the most learned men. From what we see of heaven and earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our make and place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always to keep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. The Son of God, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world; nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and nothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts should there be in our minds, of that great God whom we worship, and of that great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at the beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit, whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in other parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void; it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of grace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul, one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition by nature, till Almighty grace works a change in us.

Verses 3-5: God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in the new creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections by enlightening the understanding. Those who by sin were darkness, by grace become light in the Lord. Darkness would have been always upon fallen man, if the Son of God had not come and given us understanding, (1Jo 5:20). The light which God willed, he approved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for what fellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfect light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord's; let us use both to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting in him every night, meditating in his law both day and night.

Verses 6-13: The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became full of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use of them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.

 


David Burnette's Life Application

New Beginnings

Welcome to our Daily Devotion. Each day we will read a chapter of the Bible. Find its meaning and apply it to our life. Today we start at the beginning of the book. Genesis, this word means origin or beginning and if we look at the Bible for the source of instruction we must start in the beginning. It making application we know the Bible is Gods Word for us. If we see it as the beginning of knowledge and instruction in our life and hold fast to its instruction we will see it more than a history book but a detailed instructional manual for our lives. How about you? Do you view the Bible as just a book or do you hold fast to each word? The truth is that many have never read the Bible. This year let us begin with the Bible and let it begin to change our life.   

 

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Genesis 1


Genesis 1

 1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 2And 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.

 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

 7And 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.

 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

 9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

 10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

 11And 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.

 12And 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.

 13And the evening and the morning were the third day.

 14And 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:

 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

 16And 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.

 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

 20And 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.

 21And 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.

 22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

 23And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

 24And 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.

 25And 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.

 26And 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.

 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 28And 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.

 29And 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.

 30And 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.

 31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.