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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Genesis 1



Verse 1

"THE WORLD THAT THEN WAS" (2 Peter 3:5, 2 Peter 3:6). See Structure shown in Genesis Book comments. Creation in eternity past, to which all Fossils and "Remains" belong.

God. Hebrew. Elohim, plural. First occurrence connects it with creation, and denotes, by usage, the Creator in relation to His creatures. See App-4. The Hebrew accent Athnach places the emphasis, and gives pause, on "God" as being Himself the great worker, separating the Worker from His work.

created (singular) Occurs 6 times in this Introduction. Other acts 46 times. See App-5. Perfection implied. Deuteronomy 32:4. 2 Samuel 22:31. Job 38:7. Psalm 111; Psalms 147:3-5. Proverbs 3:19. Ecclesiastes 3:11-14. [Even the Greek Cosmos = ornament. Exodus 33:4-6. Isaiah 49:18. Jeremiah 4:30. Ezekiel 7:20. 1 Peter 3:3.]

the heaven and the earth. With Hebrew Particle "eth before each, emphasizing the article "the", and thus distinguishing both from Genesis 2:1. "Heavens" in Hebrew, always in plural. See note on Deuteronomy 4:26.

Verse 2

And. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton (App-6), by which, in the 34 verses of this Introduction, each one of 102 separate acts are emphasized; and the important word "God" in Genesis 1:1 is carried like a lamp through the whole of this Introduction (Genesis 1:1, Genesis 2:3).

the earth. Figure of speech Anadiplosis. See App-6.

was = became. See Genesis 2:7; Genesis 4:3; Genesis 9:15; Genesis 19:26. Exodus 32:1. Deuteronomy 27:9. 2 Samuel 7:24, &c. Also rendered came to pass Genesis 4:14; Genesis 22:1; Genesis 23:1; Genesis 27:1. Joshua 4:1; Joshua 5:1. 1 Kings 13:32. Isaiah 14:24, &c. Also rendered be (in the sense of become) Genesis 1:3, &c, and where the verb "to be" is not in italic type. Hence, Exodus 3:1, kept = became keeper, quit = become men, &c. See App-7.

without form = waste. Hebrew. tohu va bohu. Figure of speech Paronomasia. App-6. Not created tohu (Isaiah 45:18), but became tohu (Genesis 1:2. 2 Peter 3:5, 2 Peter 3:6). " An enemy hath done this" (Matthew 13:25, Matthew 13:28, Matthew 13:39. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:33.) See App-8.

was. This is in italic type, because no verb "to be" in Hebrew. (App-7). In like manner man became a ruin (Genesis 3; Psalms 14:1-3; Psalms 51:5; Psalms 53:1-3. Ecclesiastes 7:20. Romans 7:18).

face. Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6.

the Spirit of God moved (see App-9) = The beginning of "the heavens and earth which are now" (2 Peter 3:7). It is even so in the New Creation. The Spirit moves (John 3:3-8. Romans 8:5, Romans 8:9, Romans 8:14. Galatians 1:4, Galatians 1:29. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 5:18).

deep; waters = Job 38:29-30

Verse 3

God said (occurs 10 times in Introduction). This begins each day: 3rd day twice; 6th day four times. The second act is also of God (1 Peter 1:23-25). App-5.

be light = become light (as in Genesis 1:2), not the verb "to be". Light not located till 4th day.

was = became, as in Genesis 1:2. It is even so in the New Creation: His Word enters and gives light (Psalms 119:130. 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Verse 4

saw. Occurs 7 times in Introduction. App-5.

good = beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

divided. Occurs twice. App-5. Each day"s work called "good", except the 2nd, because nothing created on that day: only division made.

Verse 5

called. Occurs 5 times. App-5.

evening . . . morning. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6. Put for a full day. The beginning and end of anything is put for the whole of it. Compare Ecclesiastes 3:11; Ecclesiastes 10:13; Ecclesiastes 11:6. Psalms 92:2. Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12. Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:11, Revelation 1:17; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13.

first. For spiritual significance see App-10.

first day = day one. The word "day" may refer to a prolonged period when used without any qualifying words. But when qualified with a numeral (cardinal or ordinal) it is defined and limited by it to a day of 24 hours. It is further limited here by its boundaries "evening and morning", as well as by the 7th day. Compare Exodus 20:9, Exodus 20:11. See App-11.

Verse 6

firmament = expanse. Something spread out.

Verse 7

made. Occurs 7 times. App-5.

Verse 8

Heaven = Hebrew high, lofty.

Verse 11

after his kind. Occurs 10 times (verses: Genesis 1:11, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:25, Genesis 1:25, Genesis 1:25). See App-10. Evolution has no answer to this.

seed is in itself. Hebrew. seeding seed. Figure of speech Polyptoton, App-6. First the herb, then seed. First tree, then fruit.

Verse 13

third day = day three.

Verse 14

lights. Hebrew. m"aor = lightholders or luminaries (Exodus 25:6; Exodus 27:20; Exodus 35:14, &c. Compare Genesis 1:3).

signs. Hebrew. "oth = things to come (Jeremiah 10:2).

seasons. Hebrew. mo"ed, appointed times (from y"ed, to appoint). Occurs only 3 more times in Genesis. See Genesis 17:21; Genesis 18:14; Genesis 21:2.

Verse 16

two = the two.

the stars also. See App-12.

Verse 19

fourth day = day four. See note on Genesis 1:5.

Verse 20

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh, as in verses: Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:30; Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:19; Genesis 9:4, Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:10, Genesis 9:12, Genesis 9:15, Genesis 9:16. Leviticus 11:46, &c. See App-13.

Verse 21

whales = great sea-creatures.

creature = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. Compare Genesis 1:20 and App-13.

Verse 22

blessed. See on Genesis 1:1. Note the threefold blessing at Creation (Genesis 1:22, Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:3).

Verse 23

evening . . . morning. See on Genesis 1:5

fifth. The No. of grace (App-10). No blessing till the 5th day, when there was living soul to bless. fifth day, or "day five". See note on Genesis 1:5.

Verse 24

creature = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. See App-13.

Verse 26

Let us. The Divine purpose is here stated. The Divine act not described till Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:21-24.

man. Hebrew. "adam (no Art.) = mankind.

image . . . likeness. Figure of speech Hendiadys. App-6. One thing, not two = "In the likeness of our image", viz. of Elohim (not Jehovah), the 2nd person, who had taken creature form in order to create (Colossians 1:15. Hebrews 1:3. Revelation 3:14; compare Proverbs 8:22-31, and 1 Corinthians 11:3-11). Refers only to outward form, not to attributes. So He afterward took human form in order to redeem (John 1:14). Compare Revelation 4:11 with Revelation 5:9. In any case the "image and likeness" is physical, not moral. Man fell and is a moral ruin, but some physical likeness to "elohim still remains. Compare Genesis 9:6. 1 Corinthians 11:7. James 3:9. No indication that that similitude was ever lost. Genesis 5:3. See note on Genesis 3:7.

and. Note Figure of speech Polysyndeton (App-6) here, and throughout the Introduction (see Genesis 1:2), emphasizing the Divine purpose.

Verse 27

God. The Hebrew accent (Pasek) places the emphasis on God, the Carrier-out of His purpose.

created: i.e., when He did create. The description of the act postponed till Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:21-24. See note on Genesis 1:26. The Tosephta (contemporary with the Mishna, about A.D. 200) translate Sanhedrin, viii. 7: "Why was man created last? That the heretics might not say there was a companion with Him in the work": i.e. lest man should have claimed a share in it.

man. Here the Hebrew "adam has the article, and the demonstrative Hebrew. "eth, to indicate that the man Adam created in Genesis 2:7 was the "man" here purposed.

own. Wrongly supplied by Authorized Version and Revised Version.

image. Figure of speech Anadiplosis (App-6) for emph.

him. Emphasized by Hebrew accent (Athnach).

them. Emph. Here, in purpose. But, Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:21-24, in historical act and fact.

Verse 28

them. Emph. Figure of speech Prolepsis (App-6). The actual building of Eve not till Genesis 2:20-23.

replenish = fill, as Genesis 1:22 and nearly every occurrence.

have dominion. Compare Psalm 8. Hebrews 2:6-8. "But now . . . not yet. "

Verse 29

bearing seed . . . yielding seed. Heb, "seeding seed". Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6) for emph.

for meat. Not flesh till after the Flood (Genesis 9:3).

Verse 30

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. Compare Genesis 1:20; Genesis 2:7 and App-18.

I have given. Figure of speech Ellipsis (App-6. a) correctly supplied from Genesis 1:29.

Verse 31

the sixth day. Here, with Art. "the"; unlike the other five days. Six, the Number of man. See App-10.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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