1:1 In the a beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The Argument - Moses in effect declares three things, which are in this book
chiefly to be considered: First, that the world and all things in it were
created by God, and to praise his Name for the infinite graces, with which he
had endued him, fell willingly from God through disobedience, who yet for his
own mercies sake restored him to life, and confirmed him in the same by his
promise of Christ to come, by whom he should overcome Satan, death and hell.
Secondly, that the wicked, unmindful of God's most excellent benefits,
remained still in their wickedness, and so falling most horribly from sin to
sin, provoked God (who by his preachers called them continually to repentance)
at length to destroy the whole world. Thirdly, he assures us by the examples
of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the rest of the patriarchs, that his mercies
never fail those whom he chooses to be his Church, and to profess his Name in
earth, but in all their afflictions and persecutions he assists them, sends
comfort, and delivers them, so that the beginning, increase, preservation and
success of it might be attributed to God only. Moses shows by the examples of
Cain, Ishmael, Esau and others, who were noble in man's judgment, that this
Church depends not on the estimation and nobility of the world: and also by
the fewness of those, who have at all times worshipped him purely according to
his word that it stands not in the multitude, but in the poor and despised, in
the small flock and little number, that man in his wisdom might be confounded,
and the name of God praised forever.
(a) First of all, and before any creature was,
God made heaven and earth out of nothing.
1:2 And the earth was b
without form, and void; and c darkness
[was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God d
moved upon the face of the waters.
(b) As an unformed lump and without any creature
in it: for the waters covered everything.
(c) Darkness covered the deep waters, for the
waters covered everything.
(d) He maintained this disordered mass by his
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was e
(e) The light was made before either Sun or Moon
was created: therefore we must not attribute that to the creatures that are
God's instruments, which only belong to God.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] f
under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was
(f) As the sea and rivers, from those waters that
are in the clouds, which are upheld by God's power, least they should
overwhelm the world.
1:8 And God called the firmament g
Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
(g) That is, the region of the air, and all that
is above us.
God said, h 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.
(h) So that we see it is the only the power of
God's word that makes the earth fruitful, which naturally is barren.
1:12 And 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 i saw
that [it was] good.
(i) This sentence is often repeated, to signify
that God made all his creatures to serve for his glory and for the profit of
man: but because of sin they were cursed, yet the elect, by Christ are
restored, and serve to their wealth.
1:14 And God said, Let there be
k lights in the firmament of the heaven
to l divide the day from the night; and
let them be for m signs, and for
seasons, and for days, and years:
(k) By the lights be means the sun, the moon, and
(l) Which is the artificial day, from the sun
rising, to the going down.
(m) Of things belonging to natural and political
orders and seasons.
1:16 And God made two great n
lights; the greater light to o rule the
day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
(n) That is, the sun and the moon, and here he
speaks as man judges by his eye: for else the moon is less than the planet
(o) To give it sufficient light, as instruments
appointed for the same, to serve man's purposes.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the p
moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the
open firmament of heaven.
(p) As fish and worms which slide, swim or creep.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living
creature that moveth, which the q waters
brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his
kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
(q) The fish and fowls had both one beginning, in
which we see that nature gives place to God's will, in that the one sort is
made to fly about in the air, and the other to swim beneath in the water.
1:22 And God r
blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the
seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
(r) That is, by the virtue of his word he gave
power to his creatures to reproduce.
And God said, s Let us make man in our t
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.
(s) God commanded the water and the earth to
bring forth other creatures: but of man he says, "Let us make..."
signifying that God takes counsel with his wisdom and virtue purposing to make
an excellent work above all the rest of his creation.
(t) This image and likeness of God in man is
expounded in (Ephesians
4:24) where it is written that man was created after God in righteousness
and true holiness meaning by these two words, all perfection, as wisdom,
truth, innocency, power, etc.
1:28 And God u
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.
(u) The propagation.
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you x
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
(x) God's great.