And 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.
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 saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
And 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:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And 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.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
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.
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
And 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.
New Defender's Study Bible Notes
1:6 firmament. The “firmament” is not a great vaulted dome in the sky, as liberals have interpreted it, but is simply the atmospheric expanse established between the waters above and below. The Hebrew word, raqiya, means “expanse” or perhaps better, “stretched-out thinness.” Since God specifically identified it with “Heaven,” it also can be understood simply as “space.” Thus, on the second day, God separated the primeval deep into two deeps, with a great space between. The waters below the space retained the elemental earth materials which would be utilized on the following day to form the land and its plant cover. The waters above the firmament had apparently been transformed into the vapor state in order to be separated from the heavier materials and elevated above the atmosphere, where it could serve as a thermal blanket for the earth’s future inhabitants. Such a vapor canopy would undoubtedly have provided a highly efficient “greenhouse effect,” assuring a perennial spring-like climate for the entire earth. Water vapor both shields the earth against harmful radiations from space and also retains and spreads incoming solar heat. A vapor canopy would thus provide an ideal environment for abundant animal and plant life and for longevity and comfort in human life. Water vapor is invisible, and thus would be translucent, allowing the stars to be seen through it. This would not be the case with a liquid water or ice canopy.
1:7 above the firmament. The “waters which were above the firmament” are clearly not the clouds or the vapor which now float in the atmosphere. The Hebrew word al, definitely requires the meaning “above.” Furthermore, the absence of rain (Genesis 2:5) and the rainbow (Genesis 9:13) is not only explained but required by a vapor canopy, not by an atmosphere like that of the present. Furthermore, these waters extending far out into space eventually condensed and fell back to the earth at the time of the Great Deluge, providing the source of the worldwide rainstorm that contributed to the Flood. Although the exact extent and structure of this canopy is still being researched by computer simulations, there are no insuperable scientific problems with the concept.
1:9 dry land. The work of the third day began with the laying of the foundations of the earth (see notes on Job 38:4; Proverbs 8:29; Psalm 33:7) by the power of God’s spoken Word. The waters “under the firmament” apparently still contained all the material elements of the earth in solution or suspension until the energizing Word initiated a vast complex string of chemical and physical reactions, to precipitate, combine and sort all the rock materials and metals comprising the solid earth. The “earth” (Hebrew eretz) thus formed was the same “earth” which had initially been “without form” (the same word eretz is used in Genesis 1:1,2,10), but it was now “dry land,” no longer mixed in the initial watery matrix.
1:10 Seas. As the solid materials precipitated and then moved down and around under the forces of gravity, internal heat, and other electro-magnetic energies (not to mention the outflowing energy of the divine Word), great basins opened up to receive and store the waters. Some of these waters were trapped and stored in the “great deep” (Genesis 7:11), subterranean chambers beneath the earth’s crust. Others accumulated in surface basins. However, all were evidently interconnected through a network of subterranean channels, so that they were both singular and plural–gathered together into “one place,” yet called “Seas.” Thus were established the primeval continents and primeval oceans. We do not now know the original geography, however, since all was cataclysmically changed at the time of the great Flood. We can infer that the topography was gently rolling and the waterways were relatively shallow and narrow, since all was “very good” and was made for man’s enjoyment and utilization (Genesis 1:26-28,31).
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.
1:11 seed. The “seed” which God designed guaranteed reproduction of each plant “after his kind.” This phrase, repeated nine more times in Genesis 1 after this first occurrence, obviously precludes transmutation of one kind into another. The “seed” was programmed for stable reproduction of each kind, through a remarkable system known today as the “genetic code,” the complex information program in the DNA molecule. This system allows wide “horizontal” variation within the kind, but no “vertical” evolution from one kind into a more complex kind. It is significant that, despite widespread belief in evolution, no scientist has yet documented a single instance of true vertical evolution occurring today. The modern taxonomic equivalent of “kind” is probably broader than the “species” in many cases, since the latter term is an arbitrary man-made category. That is, the many varieties of dogs are all part of the created “dog kind,” just as all tribes and nations of men constitute one “mankind” (Acts 17:25,26).
1:12 grass. It should also be noted that plant life, in all its forms, was created before animal life, thus contradicting the order postulated by evolutionists. There are over twenty such contradictions between the order of creation in Genesis and that in evolutionary paleontology.
1:14 lights. On the first day, God had said: “Let there be light” (Hebrew or). Now He says: “Let there be lights” (ma-or). Light energy was activated first, but now great masses of material (part of the “earth” elements created on the first day) were gathered together in one of the firmaments, or spaces, of the cosmos–the space beyond the waters above the space adjacent to the earth. These great bodies were set burning in complex chemical and nuclear reactions, to serve henceforth as “light-givers” for the earth.
1:14 signs. The Hebrew word for “signs” is the same word (oth) as used for Cain’s “mark” (Genesis 4:15) and for Noah’s “token” (meaning the rainbow–Genesis 9:12). Evidently the stars were arranged by God to “signify” something to those on the earth, not just scattered evenly or randomly around in space. God even named the stars and their constellations (e.g., Job 38:31-33; Isaiah 40:26). For their possible significance, see notes on Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:32.
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1:14 seasons. The establishment of “seasons” (and these were not simply religious seasons, but actual climatological seasons) indicates that the earth was formed with an axial inclination from the beginning, for this is the basic cause of its seasons.