Gen 1-9: Pick a question, any question

Status
Not open for further replies.

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I've been reading and studying the first few chapters of Genesis, from creation through the flood, for the last few days, and will be focusing on them for a while. I thought I'd start a thread to use as a repository for questions and observations.

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
I've never thought about it much before, but I had always assumed that before time began and God started creating the world, that there was basically 'nothingness' (whatever that is), except for God. It seems from this verse that when God started creating the world there was already a body of water in existence. I wonder in what form the water was in when God started creation? Was the water already shaped as a sphere as the earth is now? When did God create this water? These questions are purely speculative, but I wonder if any of you have thought about them before?

Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Do you think Cain knew when he offered the fruit of the ground unto the Lord that it wasn't an acceptable offering? Do you think God had told Adam and Eve and their children that only an animal sacrifice would be acceptable, or do you think it was a 'learn as you go' type thing (Cain and Abel offered the best they had to God, and God chose which one was acceptable)?

Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Do you think Eve was adding to what God said, or do you think Eve's response gives us insights into what God had said to Adam and Eve that weren't explicitly written?

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
I've heard some say that Adam's 'test' was probationary in nature, that it was for some specific, unspecified time period. What in the scriptures would give us the idea that it was a probationary period of some duration - as opposed to being open-ended (ie., if you ever eat of the tree, you shall die).

Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Was the tree of life a physical tree, just like any other tree, or was it more 'spiritual' in nature? If its physical, does it still exist somewhere in the middle east, but we just can't see it?


[Edited on 9-1-2005 by blhowes]
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
<i>These questions are purely speculative, but I wonder if any of you have thought about them before?</i>

Bob, I'm an absolute newbie here, but I've thought about some of these on and off for quite a while. Here is a brief summary of what I think:

On water before creation, I think that God created the deep first. It seems to be part of the foundation of the world. And even before the foundation of the world, we who are called were elected. So the foundation had a beginning.

Cain knew full well what was unacceptable, but decided to try something else. God, after all, read Cain's heart in Gen. 4:7: "if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee shall be its desire; but do thou rule over it." I think it is clear that Cain's sin was objectively apparent.

<i>neither shall ye touch it</i>. I think Eve was repeating what Adam told her. Sort of along the lines of Adam saying: "Eve, don't eat of this tree. Don't even touch it!" It may have been a common-sense admonition on Adam's part, even if it was an addition to what God had stated.

<i>What in the scriptures would give us the idea that it was a probationary period of some duration</i>

I never saw it as probationary, nor do I think that scripture implies that. Rather, it was a simple and straightforward decree. I think we are always inclined to speculate, and that speculation leads us into strange places.

<i>Was the tree of life a physical tree, just like any other tree</i> I think it was a physical tree. It died a natural death (I mean really an unnatural death because of the fall) as did the garden. Certainly by the time of the flood, all traces would have been removed.

These are only my thoughts on initial reflection. Please don't think I'm asserting dogma.

Vic
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by victorbravo
Bob, I'm an absolute newbie here, but I've thought about some of these on and off for quite a while. Here is a brief summary of what I think:
Welcome to the forum. Glad you could join us. I read your profile - neat testimony.


Originally posted by victorbravo
These are only my thoughts on initial reflection. Please don't think I'm asserting dogma.
You shared some good thoughts...and I'm not just saying that because I tend to agree with what you said.:D

Oops, I guess I should review how to post quotes.

Sorry about the <i> attacks.
No problem. It looks like you were just in <"HTML mode"> instead of ["BBcode mode"]
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
1. Creatio ex nihilo, out of nothing, is taught in verse 1, and corroborated by Heb. 11:3. God first brings into being the "stuff" out of which the orderly creation is formed. Verse 2 describes the situation obtaining between the first creative act, and the Word of creation, verse 3. The earth-material is formless, void, dark. Water, even as we are familiar with it, bears many of these same qualities to one degree or another. It is "chaotic" in its ocean containers. The biblical writers refer to it as a place of raw power (consider Job 38:8ff).

2. With Cain, I agree that the heart-matter is primary, but disagree with many good men who do not see the offering itself as problematic. I do not concur. On the contrary, I think it is the case that this offering was brought in exactly the context that a blood-offering was required, but Cain offered will-worship. God sacrificed animals to make coverings for Adam and Eve. That was the example given them to follow. I read the "in the process of time" literally as "at the end of the days," i.e. the seventh day, the day of worship. So the context is regular worship, not a first-fruits offering. Until Israel's ceremonies, all sacrificial offerings were bloody (Noah, Job, etc.). Cain's offering, then, was an index of his corrupt heart.

3. Eve added to God's Word. She may have been repeating her husband, but she put the word's in God's mouth. But her worst "addition" was not the "do not touch it," but the "lest". Here she takes God's naked Declaration of Authority/Submission, and reduces it to a Concern for their Well-Being; she tries to make God more "reasonable" than Satan seems to portray him when he states, "So, God has actually said you may not eat of any tree in the garden...." Satan pounces on her "softening" of God's stance, and forces her back under it, as well as casting God as a jealous, captious being.

4. The tree was real. It was sacramental, NOT ex opere operato, but by faith. Nevertheless, the barrier was also real. Calvin wrote that they could have eaten all the fruit, the leaves, bark and roots, and they wouldn't have lived a day. Yet the sword was a declaration of broken fellowship. The world that was perished utterly in the flood. No more physical tree of life until Rev. 22.

Such is my take...
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Bruce,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very interesting.

I've commented before on the board about all the neat words I learn from you guys, words that are bound to come in handy someday when doing a crossword puzzle or playing scrabble.
4. The tree was real. It was sacramental, NOT ex opere operato, but by faith. Nevertheless, the barrier was also real. Calvin wrote that they could have eaten all the fruit, the leaves, bark and roots, and they wouldn't have lived a day. Yet the sword was a declaration of broken fellowship. The world that was perished utterly in the flood. No more physical tree of life until Rev. 22.
Tell me the truth. Ex opere operato...Is that a part of your everyday vocabulary that just comes to mind almost automatically? Amazing! I had to do a search for the phrase and read the explanation slowly a couple times before it clicked. :lol:

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Two more questions:

1. Are the phrases 'face of the deep' and 'face of the waters' the same thing?

2. The verse says the Spirit of God moved upon (or hovered over) the face of the waters. Why? Was the Spirit hovering in anticipation of God beginning His creative acts? Was the Spirit hovering in anticipation of His role in the creative acts? What part did the Holy Spirit have in the creation of the world?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top