The Uniqueness of Creation Week

by Lambert Dolphin

"Unpacking" Genesis One

Intimidated perhaps by modern science, many Christians today have assumed that Genesis One is figurative or poetic in its language, when in fact the Hebrew is not poetry but precise prose, and it is indeed packed full of detail. The opening chapters of the Bible might be likened to a modern computer software program which comes to us on diskette in a compressed format. We must unzip or unpack the opening chapters of Genesis as we would a computer program before we can understand all the content.

One of the important interpretative principles in understanding the whole Bible is what is known as the "Law of First Occurrence." This means that the first use of a symbol, the first mention of a topic or event in the Bible deserves special attention. One example would be the "first murder"---Cain's slaying of his brother Abel. Were we interested in understanding all the Bible had to say about the subject of killing and murder, the account of Cain and Abel is where the foundation is laid for all that follows on the subject.

It is a general rule of Bible interpretation that one uses scripture to interpret scripture. The books of the Bible are always consistent with each other. The meaning of symbols does not change from Genesis through Revelation. God's revelation of Himself (and about everything else as well) is progressive down through history. There is no one book of the Bible that tells us all we want to know about a subject (such as creation). We must first study the whole Bible and then we can look at various subjects and gain a good understanding.

The well known "Golden Rule of Interpretation" states: "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise."

Truth as Logos and Sophia

Another factor should be kept in mind in attempting to understand Genesis One (especially) is that the text of the Bible is written in a time-linear sequence. The format of presenting information could be called "logos" truth. The Bible, like any book, has a start and a finish and the story line proceeds from beginning to end by means of a series of linked statements which follow one another in a sequence. Actually, we humans are able to perceive truth in two ways. In the first way, "logos" truth is presented as a series of statements, one following another--"line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little." Such sequential statements relate a story containing certain events as they happened from the view point of an observer who was on the scene recording things as they happened in his experience. The sequence of events flows from past to present to future. Also logos truth is sometimes presented as a series of "logical" arguments leading to a conclusion.

The second way we perceive truth is by direct experience, by a sudden intuitive grasp of "the whole picture," that is, by perceiving and assimilating information gathered from various inputs and synthesizing the inputs in the brain. The result is what we often call "the big picture." This second form of truth might be arbitrarily called "sophia" truth. In a sense it is like wisdom---knowledge based on experience. Visions and dreams and images present a whole body of information in concentrated form which we are able to grasp immediately and analyze later. As the Chinese proverb says, "one picture is worth a thousand words."

We read a book in linear fashion, a page at a time. After we have finished the book we can summarize it, and analyze it. A number of time frames are obvious. These include at least the following: (1) the time scale of the actual internal plot of the book, (2) the time it takes us to read the story, (3) the time the author took to write the book, and (4) the time the author thought about the book and formulated the plot in his mind before he began writing. In this example, as readers we begin with information fed into our brains in logos form, but we save summaries of that truth in sophia form.

There are two main time frames operating when we read the Bible. There is the time frame of ordinary history we live in which is marked out by the number of revolutions of the moon around the earth, the number of rotations of the earth about its axis and the number of circuits of the earth about the sun. (These can all be translated into ordinary seconds, minutes, hours, days and years of course). The second major time frame is that of the spiritual realm---God's clock, God's calendar. (See Time and Eternity)

Levels of Meaning in the Text of the Bible

It should also be noted that there are levels of meaning inherent in the text. Even the exact sequence of the letters and the frequency of appearance of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet has been supernaturally ordered. Sound Bible interpretation teaches that we first take the obvious, literal meaning of the text as the most important interpretation. Are we to take the Bible "literally?" Yes, of course we are! After we have done that, we will often find for example that Old Testament Bible passages are "typical"---that is they illustrate in shadow form a more complete revelation which is given later in time in the New Testament. An example would be the offering of Isaac by his father Abraham as a sacrifice on Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22). Abraham is a type of God the Father and Isaac a type of the obedient Son. The Greek word tupos, translated "type" means "blow or imprint." The imprint of a seal in wax or a die "striking" a coin is an image or replica of the king's signet ring or the mint's metal dies. (A "type" is the impression generated, and the "antitype" is the generating source).

The Old Testament teaches truth mainly in the form of case histories, lessons from experience, and by example. The New Testament spells out truth mostly in the analytical (logos) format.

Genesis One is written as Logos Truth

In Genesis One, nearly every phrase is connected with the phrase which follows by means of the small Hebrew letter waw, usually translated and in our English Bibles. The style of writing is historical---the "waw-consecutive" expresses a time sequence of activity, one event following another in a line. James Stambaugh offers an excellent analysis of the grammar of Genesis One in Understanding the Hebrew of Genesis One. Note: The Hebrew perfect tense verb, preceded by a waw transforms the verb into essentially a future tense. Example, Genesis 1:15. The verb is the future of "be", so I would translate it "and they will be".

Reading Genesis as a series of consecutive, sequential statements about God's work in creation one can see that on the First Day of creation, God called into existence (1) space, (2) time, (3) matter and then (4) light---i.e. energy. The initial temperature in the universe was evidently moderate: water was present---not frozen or gaseous---but liquid (tehom and mayim in Gen. 1:2). [Note: Water can be stable and liquid at very high pressures and temperatures. See Metallic Water] After creating "the heavens and the earth,"---that is space, time and matter--- God then called light into existence. God Himself is Light, but there is also created light in the universe, that is, photons of all wavelengths. The statement "And God said, 'Let there be light'" (1:3) is equivalent to saying "Let there be energy." See also Introduction to the Early Chapters of Genesis.

 Genesis One (NKJV): Frequent use of the word "and" (the waw connective )

 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 (And) The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 (And) Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. (And) So the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 (And) Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 (And) Thus 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. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. (And) So the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 (And) Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry [land] Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 (And) Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 (And) So the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 (And) Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; 16 (And) Then 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. 17 (And) God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good 19 (And) So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 (And) Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." 21 (And) So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 (And) So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 (And) Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 (And) Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; (and) let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 (And) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 (And) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 (And) Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 (And) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 (And) Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 (And) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. 4 This [is] the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created...


In contrast with this Biblical order of events, the Big Bang model hypothesizes that the universe began with a burst of light. Matter followed afterwards after the fireball cooled. But in Genesis 1, the creation of light seems to have been the second of God's creative acts, not the first.

Secular cosmology estimates the number of protons in the universe as approximately 1080--whereas the number of photons in the universe appears to be about 9 orders of magnitude greater than the number of protons.(Ref. 1) At first, the light created on Day One was apparently not concentrated into the stars, since this occurred on Day Four. The residual background radiation of space described in the Big Bang Model as the residual energy from the original fireball may instead by the left-over light energy from God's separate creative act of calling energy into existence.

Creation in Stages by a Master Craftsman

At the end of Day One space, time, matter, and energy had been brought into existence as amorphous raw materials out of which a finished universe would be sculpted and formed during the five days which were to follow. The ancient Greeks thought the four building blocks of the universe were air, earth, fire and water. Four is the Biblical number for the world---the Greeks weren't too far from being on the right track if we compare air/space, fire/energy, and earth/matter. They missed the "element" of time as a building material for the construction of the universe.

Prior to this creative activity of God none of these entities existed. However God, who is Spirit, existed. In fact He has always existed and His existence is independent of time and space, and also of all created things. It was not necessary for God to create a universe. God is complete and whole in His own Being and the existence of a universe with all its life-forms and awesome extent adds nothing to God.

Although God is One God, He exists in three Persons. This we know from God's own self-revelation of Himself to us as recorded in the Bible. The Persons of the Godhead work together in Creation as they do in the sustenance and management of the universe, in the redemption of men, in judgment, and in the creation of the new world which is to come. The God of the Bible is a "personal" God. He is a living, intelligent, loving being and has created us capable of relationships with Him and with one another.

The Bible emphasizes that the universe was created in six days. "for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. " (Exodus 20:11) The Hebrew word for an ordinary 24-hour day, yom, is used. Endless and often futile debates have raged over whether or not the seven days of Creation Week were literal 24-hour days or long periods of time.

Part of the problem in understanding creation week is that this interval of time---when God was in the process of creating everything---was truly unique and never to be repeated. I have attempted to depict this situation by the following diagram. The time frame we live in now is represented by the broad line extending to the right, but I have shown creation week as a wheel or disk at right angles. "Eternity past"---when there was no universe at all, lies to the left of the colored disc.

Genesis One (since it is recording truth in logos format) describes the order of creation as Day 1, followed by Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and finally 7. After that man's history begins. However I have color coded Days 1 and 4, Days 2 and 5 and Days 3 and 6 to show that they bear a relationship to each other (as will be described a bit later). God is outside of time, so while constructing the universe He could actually have worked on all six days at once, or built them separately as modules and put them together into one pie all at the end.

There is an "observer" present in the narrative of Genesis One, and the observer appears to be standing on the Earth as his observation platform, but the observer is clearly God Himself in Genesis Chapter One. In Jewish rabbinical legends, while creating the universe God is said to have stood on the "Foundation Stone" which would later be under the Holy of Holies of the Temples in Jerusalem.

The following table shows the many action verbs in Genesis Chapter One. Creation was not a single event, but a series of events. It was a complex process taking place over a period of time encompassing, as we are told, six ordinary 24-hour days--that is "creation in 144 hours."

 Activity by God During the 144 hours of Creation Week

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth." And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens." 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then 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 birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. 4a These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In this passage:

God [Elohim] occurs 35 times
God is called "He" 10 times
God said, 10 times
"I Have Given" occurs twice
God created, 6 times
God made, 5 times
God saw, 7 times
"Let There Be", 15 times
(God) rested, 2 times
(God) finished, 2 times
Spirit moving, once
"And it was so," 6 times
Called "good" 6 times and "very good" once



My Grandfather's Clock

An ordinary mechanical clock consists of a system of gears which move the second, minute, and hour hands around the face at the appropriate rates. The power comes from a wound-up spring or a system of weights at the end of a chain. The rate at which the clock runs is determined by an oscillating balance wheel, or by a pendulum. The pendulum allows the gears to move one increment per pendulum period only. The clock run rate is determined by the period, T, of the pendulum:

The length of the pendulum is l, and g is the local gravitational acceleration.

Small g is related to the universal gravitational constant, G, by Newton's Law of Gravitation which states that the gravitational attraction between two masses M and m are governed by an inverse square law, r being the distance between the centers of the two objects:

Clocks and watches driven by quartz crystals and battery powered have run rates determined by basic physical, mechanical laws. Clocks of this kind also measure what has been called "dynamical time." In contrast atomic clocks are dependent upon rates of radioactive decay, by the interval between atomic transitions, by the spectral wavelength of emitted photons, etc. But atomic clocks are not necessarily running in lock-step with mechanical clocks.

The calendars and clocks used in the Bible for recording historical events are all based on the dynamical time system:

And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for [measuring] signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19)


To return to the analogy of the pendulum clock, once the clockmaker has designed the clock and built the parts the run rate of the clock has been forever determined. But only after the clock has been assembled and started will it "keep time." As far as the clock parts are concerned, the time-keeping history of the clock begins when the clock starts ticking, not when the component parts are manufactured.

Although God's "wristwatch" recorded cycles of what would later be 24-hour days while He was creating the universe, time was not defined during creation week---at least by the standards we now use to measure time. This is because the universe is in fact a UNI-verse and all its parts and pieces are interlinked and interdependent. Only when all the universe was completed could the planets run properly in their appointed courses and the atomic particles begin their interactions with one another, within and around the nucleus. We can not take time as we experience it now and extrapolate it backwards in history all the way to Day One of creation week. We can, with confidence talk about historical events and their time sequence beginning with Adam's exit from the Garden. This later approach is more that sufficient to establish a universe which was only recently created. Adam One and Adam Two (Jesus Christ) are clearly linked in the Old Testament by a clear line of genealogical ties. The maximum time frame between the Two Adams is clearly only a few thousand years.

The Universe is Hands-On Craftsmanship by a Master Artisan

In creation, God the Father is the Designer of the universe. Everything was built according to a plan conceived in His mind. The universe was then spoken into existence by God the Son (John 1). The thoughts of God were put into the form of spoken words and from the words of the Son of God, the creation sprang into existence and took on form and shape. The universe was empowered, molded and crafted, and inanimate cells were given life by God the Holy Spirit. Thus, God did not order the universe into existence as a finished and complete system. He elected to first create the raw material needed for the universe. Then He crafted and molded the raw materials into their final forms, imparting energy and life like wise in a series of steps. The creation involved the cooperative work of all three persons of the godhead. The Biblical view of God is that of a "hands-on" creation. God stayed involved with every step of the design, fabrication and finishing of the universe, and He remains involved to this day as the Sustainer of everything (Col. 1:16,17).

"Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:9-11)

The six days of creation were a unique, never-to-be-repeated season in which God was at work as a Master Craftsman, Architect, Artisan, Builder and Maker of all things. (Therefore God loves the universe and all the life-forms He has placed in it. Man was the last to be created, not the first, which means that we can not say we are important to God and nature is not).

Incidentally, Proverbs 8:22-36 is believed by many Bible commentators to be a statement by the Son of God---personified as Lady Wisdom---commenting on the creation period:

"The Lord brought me forth (Hebrew: begot or possessed) me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth; when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.

"When he established the heavens, I was there: when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above: when he established the fountains of the deep: When he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world, and delighting in the sons of men.

"And now, my sons, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not neglect it. Happy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who misses me injures himself, all who hate me love death.'" (Proverbs 8:1-36)

[Some cults have taken Proverbs 8:1 to teach that Jesus the Son of God was the first of God's creative works. This is not correct. The Hebrew verb is closer to the New Testament term "begotten"--Jesus is the eternally begotten Son of the Father].

Since we are house guests in God's universe, we ought to take note of God's love for His house, and all its inhabitants. The creative work of God clearly shows that man can not be separated from an ecosystem. The entire universe was built with man in mind as God's crowning work of creativity. One lesson of history we ought to now be painfully aware of is man's demonstrated poor stewardship over nature and the lost dominion over creation which God originally entrusted into his hands.

The Initial Stages: A Universe Unformed and Unfilled

The initial state of creation after space, matter, time and energy were created is described in Hebrew (1:2) as tohu waw bohu, that is "unformed and unfilled." This term implies that God was not finished with his creative work on the first day, but had only taken the first steps that would lead to a completed universe at the end of six days. [All through the Bible God can be seen to (1) bring order out of disorder, (2) light out of darkness, (3) life out of death in His workings].

Genesis One is a series of consecutive statements intended for readers who live in one-dimensional time. For us, historical events always unfold from the future into the present and thence into the past, as noted above. However, God's creative handwork during the six days of creation actually occurred from outside of time as can be seen by pairing the days of creation as illustrated in Figure 1. Days 1 and 4 go together as do Days 2 and 5, and 3 and 6. The first three days of creation involve the work of forming the basic structure of things, and the last three days constitute God's work of filling the universe---answering the initial state of space, time, matter and energy---which was tohu wabohu. The universe is God's house (John 14:2, 3; Isaiah 66:1, 2). He did not create it to remain unformed and unfilled. Furthermore, He has made it to be an orderly home, inhabited by various orders of living creatures who are to live under his loving rule (Isa. 45:18). The Gap Theory can be easily refuted since there was clearly no evil in the universe until some time after Gen. 1:31). (See Ref. 1)

Evidently God did not create the universe in a single step, by one all-encompassing command, as Big Bang cosmology would infer. He created* the universe, (visible and invisible), in a time period of six days. During this interval the usual laws of physics were not in effect. We should picture a big sign, UNDER CONSTRUCTION, posted on the job site where creation occurred to remind ourselves not to attempt to understand creation week by extrapolating present day laws and observations backwards from the present. This is one common error of uniformitarianism denounced by the Apostle Peter in his second epistle.

 

 Building a House

If the universe is "God's house" as Scripture suggests, then creation week can perhaps be better understood by looking at how men build houses.

One first selects a location for one's house. The plot of land is purchased and secured. The land is cleared. The architect draws up the plans.

Contractors arrive and first the foundations are laid. Raw materials are brought to the job site (sand, concrete, lumber, nails, shingles, windows, bricks). Upon the foundation one builds the frame of the house, which at first resembles a shell. It is not at this time inhabitable, but the original formless materials have at least been given form and shape according to the architect's design.

When the structural framework of the house is completed siding and shingles are added to the outside and interior walls, partitions, doors, floors and utilities are put into place.

The second stage of the building of the house is exterior landscaping and interior equipping and furnishing: carpets, drapes, appliances and furniture.

Broadly speaking the first stage of construction is "forming" and the second stage is "filling". These two stages answer the original condition at the end of the First day of creation week when the universe was "tohu wabohu"-- unformed and unfilled.

Human habitations consist of structures--which are assembled--plus an eco-system and an environment. When both have been integrated together and completed, one has a complete house. The house can then be lived in and enjoyed.

Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the LORD. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)



As we have said, during creation week Elohim (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), working together by divine counsel, constructed the entire universe, (Col. 1:15-19, Heb. 1:1-4, etc.). So far we have talked only about the physical universe. But, our universe includes a vast invisible world we call the spiritual world, or "the heavenly places," with its unique inhabitants (spirit beings known as the angels). Knowledge of the spiritual world is accessible to us only by revelation and can not be investigated by science which is limited to observational data gathered by the five senses. Yet, we can not expect to understand the universe apart from the Biblical revelation that events and happenings in the spiritual world constantly affect the material realm. The two "worlds" are tightly coupled and mutually interactive.

The creative activity of the godhead ceased on the Seventh Day. Thus God is not now creating the universe. Yet He is still working today (John 5:17). God is (1) sustaining the old creation, (2) redeeming men out from all peoples, and (3) preparing a new creation (John 14:1-3). God is sovereign in all the affairs of men, "working all things according to the counsel of his will" as Paul states in Ephesians.

God is the observer in Genesis Chapter One, so we must take his word for the order of events during creation week. For instance, He tells us that the length of each of the six created modules, or days, (yom) is what we now know as a standard 24 hour day. That is, our present cycle of 7, 24-hour days per week is stamped from the template of the seven days of creation. The clock appointed by God to keeping time for us was not set in operation until Day Four, however (Gen. 1:17,18). Dynamical time is determined by the motion of the sun moon and stars, i.e., by Newton's Law of Gravity and Kepler's Laws of motion. The clock run rate for dynamical time was established by the fundamental design of the physical universe. The other common scientific standard of time measurement is atomic time. Dynamical time and atomic time were originally locked in step with one another, but the Fall has apparently brought about a slowing down of atomic time clocks with respect to dynamical time. Time has other dimensions as well, for instance there is a different flow of time in the spiritual world. In short, time is actually multi-dimensional (even more than Einstein suspected) and we poor fallen creatures are at present very much trapped in a very restricted time frame.

The flow of time in the forward direction we call "history" seems to have been initiated at the end of creation week. Time has subsequently been disrupted by the Fall of man, as was the rest of nature, resulting in the presently-observed irreversible nature of time in physics which is called "time's arrow."

Scripture actually suggests that the final solution concerning all the details of our universe's early history may elude us, (Eccl. 3:11, Acts 1:7). Genesis does not give us a date for creation. One of the best arguments for a recent origin of the universe is the careful genealogical record the Bible gives us which connects the First Adam with the Last. It is impossible to move Adam into the distant past more than a few millennia before Jesus, the Last Adam, was born, without doing violence to the text of the Bible. However we can not dogmatically set an exact date for the creation because we do not have full information on discontinuities in physical laws occurring in the past. In addition the very nature of time itself as we perceive and measure it has been affected by the fall.

The stretching out of the heavens (1:6, 7) (Hebrew: raqia) suggests the Creator expanded out the initial volume of space on Day Two. This expansion pushed water up and out to the boundaries of "space" and left waters below out of which the dry land of earth's one continent would be raised (2 Peter 3:5, Psalm 104:5-9, Genesis 1:9). The nature of space as a medium is as much a mystery to us as ever, yet from Maxwell's equations we know space possesses electrical permeability, mu0, and permittivity, epsilon0, from which a propagation velocity, c, for electromagnetic waves is derived,

c = [1 / mu0 epsilon0 ]1/2, and also a "characteristic impedance", Z = [mu0 / epsilon0]1/2.

These electrical properties of space and matter govern reflection and refraction of light and radio waves. The velocity of light drops in a dielectric medium by a factor of the square root of the dielectric constant of a material, for instance.

The stretching out of the fabric of space, "like a tent" (Jer. 10:12, Psalm 104:2) seems to have also required the additional investment of energy from the Creator's hand. The whole of space was stretched out to a fixed, maximum "diameter" either in a matter of hours, or perhaps instantaneously, on Day Two. Any subsequent shrinkage of space (as a result of the fall of man and the angels, or as a result of judgments from God) would require space to give up its excess energy, presumably resulting in dissipative, destructive events. Or, additional input from the "vacuum" (i.e. from God) may be flowing into the universe now as the sustaining energy spoken of in the New Testament. (See What Holds the Universe Together?) Although it may require a radical change in our current thinking, it is Biblically reasonable to think of the universe as not now expanding, but perhaps having shrunk from its initial size or else remaining static in size since Day Two. Stretching out space on Day Two would lower both mu and epsilon to minimum values, and this could mean that the initial velocity of light at the end of Day Two was higher than it is now by many orders of magnitude.

By analogy to Maxwell's equations, some cosmologists assign space gravitational metric properties as well. (Ref. 2) Just as the electrical properties of free space affect charged particles, so also the mechanical parameters of gravitational permittivity and permeability (epsilon* and mu*) affect the curvature of space and the interaction of masses according to Newton's Law of Gravity.

The warning to us from the Apostle Peter in his second epistle (3:3ff) tells us we must think of the ordinary, present-day laws of physics as being inappropriate for describing creation week. An analogy might be the construction of an aircraft. The aircraft as a finished flying machine can not be described until it takes off on its maiden flight. After the designers' plans leave the drawing board, aircraft components and modules--engines, fuselage sections, landing gear, seats, instruments, etc.--are all ordered from subcontractors and brought to an assembly plant where they are fitted together along an assembly line. Though we can understand each step of the creative process our understanding of the aircraft as a unified system does not begin until the aircraft starts to fly.

A separate article discusses the fall of the angels and man. The universe as we experience it today is a very different universe than it was on the Seventh Day at the end of creation week. Our present universe is fallen, whereas the creation after it was finished at the end of creation week was unflawed, unfallen (Gen. 1:31, 2:1). (See The Ruin of Creation).

Proverbs 25:2 says that "It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out." Our Bibles are full of wonderful secrets not only about life and morals and human behavior, but about all of physical and spiritual reality. It is only for us as members of God's royal family to search them out.

I have prepared the following chart to show how the total energy and entropy of the universe may have changed during Creation Week as God acted by creating and then fashioning our universe step by step. This chart is probably a bit fanciful---I have included it to emphasize what I believe about creation, namely that creation was not a single spoken event by God that set everything into motion, but that a Designer and Architect and Craftsman built the universe. We live in a hands-on universe. It does not belong to us. It belongs to Another!

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that "entropy always increases" (in a fallen universe). Entropy measures (1) the amount of available energy to do useful work, (2) the degree of order in a system. Low entropy means lots of available energy and a high degree of order and complexity. Prior to the fall of the angels (who govern the universe under God), the Second Law was evidently not in effect, i.e., the physical universe was apparently not degenerative, or it was self-renewing. Apart from God's intervention the present universe is running down and becoming more and more disorderly. During the coming Millennial kingdom, Jesus the Lord will evidently restore nature and probably reverse the Second Law. It is always God who brings order out of chaos, light out darkness, and life out of death.

Captions on the chart:

A. Day 1: Entropy is undefined before creation begins. To the left of the graph is "eternity past." God exists outside of time and space. There is no pre-existing matter.

B. Day 1: Space, time and matter are brought into existence. Entropy drops sharply because of large reservoir of energy capable of doing work is now in existence. This energy is in the form of rest mass, E=mc2.

C. Day 1: Light is created. Photons (perhaps of all wavelengths) imply that additional energy has now been added to the universe. Entropy drops further because of the creation of this new energy.

D. Day 2: The heavens are stretched out and attain their maximum diameter, which is the present diameter of the universe. A further addition of energy from God is involved, due to work done stretching the fabric of space. Entropy drops further.

E. Day 3: Genetic codes and living systems are created. This lowers the total entropy of the universe further because of the high degree of order, or information content in genetic codes. Random, simple molecules are assembled into highly-ordered structures by God as Artisan.

F. Day 4: The sun, moon and stars created. Energy created on Day 1 is concentrated. Amorphous matter also created on Day 1 is assembled into the heavenly bodies. The universe now has a higher degree of order, hence still lower entropy.

G. Day 6: The creation of man and the higher animals. Orderly living systems are built and programmed with "seeds" for replicating.

H. Day 7: God "rests," that is, He ceases from the work of creating and begins his work of sustaining the cosmos.

I. Day 7: The universe is now complete and entropy has its lowest value (maximum energy reserves plus highest degree of order). Since the entire universe is interlinked, it could not function as a working system until the end of Day 6. The finished universe now begins to function and history as we know it begins to be measured. The Biblical clock is established by the motion of the moon, earth and heavenly bodies.

J. Date Unknown (after creation week) The fall of the angels. The government of nature is disrupted. Angels play a prominent role in the management of the forces of nature during the age we now live in. The sin of man brings a "curse" on the earth further increasing the tendency of all things to rust, rot, wear out, and decay. Nature yields less bountifully. Thorns and thistles and opportunistic diseases increase.

K. The "Old" Creation is now "ruined" and hopelessly flawed. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is in effect, and from now on, "Entropy always increases." God's ultimate remedy will be the creation of "new heavens and a new earth."

L. The Flood of Noah. The rate of disorder and decay is probably accelerated at this time. Human life spans diminish after the Flood, for instance. The language of 2 Peter suggests the Flood affected the entire universe, not just the earth. The Flood was a major cataclysm as the Greek word suggests. The Hebrew mabbul suggests the same thing: an overwhelming disaster.

An Important Conclusion about Creation

The Bible is quite clear that one or more major disruptions in the Laws of physics have occurred in the history of the universe. These are in some way associated with (a) the fall of the chief angel, Lucifer and his hosts who partially are responsible for the management of the forces of nature, (b) the fall of man and a decrease of sustaining power into the universe from the spiritual realm at that time, and (3) another major disruption in nature at the time of the Flood of Noah.

Modern cosmology assumes uniform conditions and immutable laws of physics from the present moment extending backwards in time to the beginning of time, t = 0. Unless cosmological theorists are willing to make allowances for what has been given to us concerning the early history of the universe by revelation from our Creator, secular theories of origins are bound to contain fatal flaws.

Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them;
and there is nothing hid from its heat.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.


References

*bara, used only in referring to God in the Hebrew Bible occurs in Gen. 1:1, and in v21, 27. God also "makes" (asah), "causes to appear" (hayah), "forms (yatsar), "establishes" (kun), etc. Man is "creative" only in that he carries the image of his Creator. Only God can call into existence the things that do not exist (Romans 4:17, Amos 9:6, Ps. 33:6-8). See also Notes on the Early Chapters of Genesis.

1. James Stambaugh, Star Formation and Genesis 1, Impact #251, Institute of Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021, May 1994.

2. Davies, Paul, The Accidental Universe, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1982.

3. Misner, Charles W., Thorne, Kip S., and Wheeler, John Archibald, Gravitation, W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 1973.

4. Morton, Glenn R., Changing Constants and the Cosmos, CRSQ, Vol. 27, No. 2, September 1990, pp. 60-67

5. Norman, Trevor, and Setterfield, Barry, The Atomic Constants, Light and Time, SRI International Invited Research Report, August 1987. Other related papers and further technical information on this subject is available on this web page at On the Constancy of the Speed of Light.

6. Taking Genesis One seriously and literally poses lots of problems for doing physics of the early universe. See Physics Problems for Creation Week

7. THE "DAYS" OF CREATION IN GENESIS 1: LITERAL "DAYS" OR FIGURATIVE "PERIODS/EPOCHS" OF TIME? by Gerhard F. Hasel, late John Nevins Andrews Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan

8. The Observer's Location in Genesis One: The following notes show how Genesis One begins with a cosmic view of the entire universe, but soon narrows down to discuss the earth, the ecosystem, then man. This is in keeping with the overall constant, progressive narrowing of the Bible's focus onto the "scarlet thread" of man's redemption. (I am presenting here my current thoughts on this matter for discussion purposes. Others may not agree with me and I could change my mind at any time. Comments on this are welcome.)

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [Here the term "the heavens and earth" means the entire universe, physical plus the spiritual universe. The planet earth is not in view here]. 2 The earth [still refers to the entire material universe] was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [tehom]; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face(s) of the [primeval, universal] waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." [the discussion still refers to the whole universe--all of space everywhere] 7 And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven [shemayim, almost always plural in Hebrew]. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day [still referring to the entire universe not just the earth]. 9 And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. [Here is the first mention of our planet, earth (eretz), as a created object within the cosmos. This is emphasized in the text by God's "naming" of Earth. "Naming" is the way God gives something its identity]. [From here on the focus of Genesis One is that of an observer on the planet earth. Things happening elsewhere in the universe are secondary and de-emphasized from this point on]. 11 And God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth." And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. [note the sun and moon are viewed here as more central to the narrative compared to the rest of the stars and planets, which are seen as incidental to the narrative, i.e., "he made the stars also," almost as if this were an afterthought]. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, [earth the center of attention] 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 And God said, "Let the waters [on earth] bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens." 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; [shift from nature to man] and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day..."

The Uniqueness of Creation Week

lambert@ldolphin.org
Web Pages: http://ldolphin.org/

First written, October 7, 1992, revised June 14, 1994, August 28, 1996, October 9, 1999, January 11, 2001. March 6, 2003. (CV 032009)