Genesis Study #1

Bible Class – Genesis 1-2 – Notes and Discussion questions

Main passage of study: Gen 1:1 – 2:25

Related passages: Ex 20:11; Job 26:7-10; 33:4 Ps 8; Ps 33:6-9; Ps 104; Pro 3:19; Isa 42:5, 45:11-12,18; Jer 10:12; Jn 1:1-5; Ro 1:20, 25; 2Co 4:6, 5:17; Eph 2:10; Col 1:15-19; Heb 1:1-3; 2Pe 3:5; Rev 4:11

Outline & Notes

A. Summary statement of creation – Genesis 1:1

B. Spirit’s movement in creation – Genesis 1:2

C. Six days of creation – Genesis 1:3-31

a. Day 1 – light and darkness / day and night – Genesis 1:3-5

b. Day 2 – atmosphere, waters above and below – Genesis 1:6-8

c. Day 3 – seas, dry land (earth) and vegetation – Genesis 1:9-13

d. Day 4 – heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars) – Genesis 1:14-19

e. Day 5 – winged creatures and water creatures -Genesis 1:20-23

f. Day 6 – land creatures and man – Genesis 1:24-31

D. Seventh day of rest – Genesis 2:1-3

E. Unique conditions on earth – Genesis Genesis 2:4-6

F. Unique creation of man – Genesis 2:7

G. Unique context for man – Genesis 2:8-14

H. Unique commandment – Genesis 2:16-17

I. Unique complement for man – Genesis 2:18-25

The account of creation in Genesis 1-2 is obviously foundational as the opening of the “book of beginnings”. There are many important truths that are introduced in these chapters that will thread their way through the whole of the Bible.

Notes on structure

  •  chapter 1 gives the account of God’s creation from the broad perspective whereas beginning at Gen 2:4, we focus in on the creation of Adam and Eve and the LORD God’s relationship to them.
  •  the 6 days of chapter 1 can be divided into 3 days of forming and 3 days of filling
  •  there is a clear structure evident in the description of the 6 days (e.g.“And God said..”, “the morning and the evening”)

Notes on doctrine

  • several aspects of the nature and character of God are seen God is eternal and separate from His creation
  • He is a God of design, order, distinction, revelation, work, satisfaction, provision and morality
  • mankind was created unique and distinct from the rest of creation in his particular design for relationship with God
  • God’s creation was perfect and His provision for Adam & Eve was complete
  • Adam is the natural, passing on his nature to all who would spring from him, and the federal head of the human race, acting as the representative for all who would spring from him. This has particular implications in Gen 3, when Adam sins and plunges the whole human race into sin and death as a result. (Ro 5:12, 1Co 15:22)
  • Adam is also a type of Christ who is the head of the Church and Adam & Eve are a type of Christ and the Church, His bride
  • When God brought together one man and one woman, His design for marriage was established as was confirmed by Christ Himself (Mt 19:4-6)
  • The dispensation (period of time in which God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and man’s responsibility) in our passage here is that of Innocence and is the 1st dispensation of 7 (some see 8 including the Tribulation).

Discussion questions

1. Look up the Hebrew word for “God” used from Genesis 1:1-2:3 and then the Hebrew words for “LORD God” used from Genesis 2:4-25. What do you think the difference tells us about these two sections?

2. Look up the following verses in connection with the creative activity of the Spirit of God: Job 26:13, Ps 33:6, 104:30. What can we learn about the activity of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration of sinners? (See Jn 3:5-6, 16:8, Ro 8:11, Tit 3:5-6)

3. Take note of the verbs used with “God” as the subject in Gen 1. What do these verbs tell us about God’s creation?

4. Why do you think light was created first?

5. One of the principles of hermeneutics (the science of the interpretation of the Scriptures) is the principle of discrimination: to make a distinction where God makes a difference. How can we apply this principle to these chapters?

6. Another principle of hermeneutics is the principle of first mention: that God indicates in the first mention of a subject, the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God. In other words, the first mention of a subject carries with it a meaning that will be carried all through the Word of God. Consider the following first mentions in our passage and suggest the importance of each subject for us to understand:

a) the Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2)
b) light (1:3)
c) good, goodness (Genesis 1:4)
d) life, living (1:20)
e) bless, blessing (Genesis 1:22)

f) give, giving (Genesis 1:29)
g) holy, holiness (Genesis 2:3)
h) soul (Genesis 2:7)
i) command, commandment (Genesis 2:16)
j) die, death (Genesis 2:17)

7. The six days of creation have been divided and an

alysed in various ways. What connections could be suggested between the following?

a) days 1&4, days 2&5, days 3&6

b) days 1-4, days 5-6

8. Gen 2:2 tells us that God finished His work of creation and that He rested on the 7th day. Since God is omnipotent, we know that this was not due to fatigue! What reasons could we suggest for this detail of the creation account?

9. Another interesting principle of hermeneutics is the numerical principle: that there are identifiable associations between certain numbers in Scripture and certain truths or subjects. For example, the number 7 in Scripture is the number of divine fullness and perfection. For instance, in John’s gospel, we have the 7 explicit “I am” statements (e.g. “I am the door”) of the Lord Jesus and 7 other “I am” statements (e.g. “Before Abraham was, I am”) , 7 signs that He performed, 7 disciples in Jn 21, 7 women, 7 occurrences of the word agape (love), 7 questions by Pilate, etc. Use the table below to note the number of occurrences of each element in the KJV.

Element in Gen 1:1-2:3CountPossible meaning
“heaven” (singular)
“God” (elohim)
“God saw”
“God said”
“life” or “living”
Element in Gen 2:4-9CountPossible meaning
“the LORD God”
Element in Gen 2:15-22CountPossible meaning
“the LORD God”

**Bonus: using a Hebrew/English interlinear text, count the number of words and the number of letters in the original Hebrew in Gen 1:1

10. What indications of man’s uniqueness in God’s creation do we have in Gen 1-2?

11. How do we know that work is not a consequence of sin?

12. What do we learn about God’s ideal for marriage in Gen 2?