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And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.

This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.

Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.

And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:1 created. No other cosmogony, whether in ancient paganism or modern naturalism, even mentions the absolute origin of the universe. All begin with the space/time/matter universe, already existing in a primeval state of chaos, then attempt to speculate how it might have “evolved” into its present form. Modern evolutionism begins with elementary particles of matter evolving out of nothing in a “big bang” and then developing through natural forces into complex systems. Pagan pantheism also begins with elementary matter in various forms evolving into complex systems by the forces of nature personified as different gods and goddesses. But, very significantly, the concept of the special creation of the universe of space and time itself is found nowhere in all religion or philosophy, ancient or modern, except here in Genesis 1:1. Appropriately, therefore, this verse records the creation of space (“the heaven”), of time (“in the beginning”), and of matter (“the earth”), the Tri-universe, the space/time/matter continuum which constitutes our physical cosmos. The Creator of this tri-universe is the triune God, Elohim, the uni-plural Old Testament name for the divine “Godhead,” a name which is plural in form (with its Hebrew “im” ending) but commonly singular in meaning. The existence of a transcendent Creator and the necessity of a primeval special creation of the universe is confirmed by the most basic principles of nature discovered by scientists: (1) The law of causality, that no effect can be greater than its cause, is basic in all scientific investigation and human experience. A universe comprising an array of intelligible and complex effects, including living systems and conscious personalities, is itself proof of an intelligent, complex, living, conscious Person as its Cause; (2) The laws of thermodynamics are the most universal and best-proved generalizations of science, applicable to every process and system of any kind, the First Law stating that no matter/energy is now being created or destroyed, and the Second Law stating that all existing matter/energy is proceeding irreversibly toward ultimate equilibrium and cessation of all processes. Since this eventual death of the universe has not yet occurred and since it will occur in time, if these processes continue, the Second Law proves that time (and, therefore, the space/matter/time universe) had a beginning. The universe must have been created, but the First Law precludes the possibility of its self-creation. The only resolution of the dilemma posed by the First and Second Laws is that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The so-called big bang theory of the origin of the cosmos, postulating a primeval explosion of the space/mass/time continuum at the start, beginning with a state of nothingness and then rapidly expanding into the present complex universe, contradicts both these basic laws as well as Scripture.

1:11 bring forth grass. The ability of the earth to begin immediately producing abundant plant life everywhere, on the very same day as the forming of the land surfaces, shows that the upper portion of the crust was a rich soil, fertile in chemical nutrients and retaining adequate moisture to sustain the lush vegetation. This fact illustrates an important principle. True creation necessarily involves the theory of a “creation of apparent age,” or better, “creation of functioning maturity.” That is, the soil did not gradually form over hundreds of years by rock weathering and other modern uniformitarian processes. It was readied instantaneously by divine fiat. The plants did not develop from seeds; rather the herb was formed “yielding seed.” Similarly, the fruit trees were “yielding fruit,” not requiring several years of preliminary growth as do modern fruit trees.

2:4 generations. “Generations” (Hebrew toledoth) is the word from which the book of Genesis gets its name. In the Septuagint it is rendered by the Greek genesis, which in Matthew 1:1 is translated “generation.” This is the first occurrence of the formula which marks the key subdivisions of the book: “These are the generations of...” The others are at Genesis 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:19; 36:1,9; 37:2. In all except this first one, the name of a specific patriarch is attached. Parallels with the terminology of the ancient Babylonian tablets indicate that these names are actually the signatures of the original writers of the particular tablets. That is, each of these primeval patriarchs kept the narrative records of his own generations, inscribing them on stone or clay tablets, then appending his name at the end, when he was ready to turn over the tablets and the task of writing the toledoth to the next in line. They eventually came down into Moses’ possession, who wrote the last section of Genesis (37:3ff), obtaining the information from “the sons of Jacob” (Exodus 1:1), as well as organizing and editing all the rest under divine inspiration, so that the entire collection finally became, in effect, the first of the five books of Moses. Since the first tablet (Genesis 1:1-2:4a) tells of events prior to the existence of any witness to record them, God Himself either wrote this section directly or specifically revealed it to Adam. It describes the generations of no person, therefore, but rather those of the cosmos itself.

2:10 four heads. The rivers described in this section could not have derived their waters from rainfall (Genesis 2:5), and so must have been fed by artesian springs, or controlled fountains from the great deep. This implies a network of subterranean pressurized reservoirs and channels fed from the primeval seas and energized by the earth’s internal heat (see notes on Genesis 1:9,10).

2:17 die. “Thou shalt surely die” could be rendered, “Dying, thou shalt die!” In the very day that he would experimentally come to “know evil,” through disobeying God’s Word, he would die spiritually, being separated from God’s direct fellowship. Adam would also begin to die physically, with the initiation of decay processes in his body which would ultimately cause his physical death.

3:17 cursed is the ground. The “ground” is the same word as “earth.” The very elements of matter, out of which all things had been made, were included in the Curse, so that the “whole creation” (Romans 8:22) was brought under bondage to a universal principle of “corruption” (literally “decay”–Romans 8:21). That is, all things had been built up by God from the basic elements of matter (“the dust of the earth”), but now they would all begin to decay back to the dust again. The curse evidently applies to the entire physical cosmos, as well as to the planet Earth, though it is possible that the decay principle operating in the stars and the other planets may relate also to the prior sin of the angelic “host of heaven.”

5:1 generations. This is the second of the toledoth statements in Genesis (the first at Genesis 2:4a). Since Adam (and only Adam) could have personal knowledge of all the events in Genesis 2, 3 and 4, it is reasonable to conclude that this section was originally written by him. Genesis 5:1a is thus Adam’s signature at its conclusion.

7:17 bare up the ark. The ark was thirty cubits high and, when loaded, probably had a draft of almost fifteen cubits. As soon as the water level rose to a level of fifteen cubits above the platform on which it had been constructed, it would begin to float.

25:2 Midian. Of Keturah’s six sons (all probably born early in Abraham’s thirty-five year period with her), Midian is the only one whose descendants, the Midianites, are adequately identified. The others probably mixed with the various descendants of Ishmael, Lot and Esau to become the modern Arabic peoples. Abraham sent them “eastward” (Genesis 25:6) with adequate gifts to begin their own tribes, and this would correspond to Arabia.

37:2 generations of Jacob. This is the last time the formula, “these are the generations of...,” is used in Genesis. This verse probably represents the signature of Jacob at the conclusion of the section originally written by Jacob (beginning at Genesis 25:19b). The information in the rest of Genesis must have come originally from Joseph and the other sons of Jacob. Possibly Moses recognized this by affixing a similar formula at its conclusion, in Exodus 1:1.

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