< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: What's the Difference Between Genesis One and Two?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

What's the Difference Between Genesis One and Two?

Chapters 1 and 2 in Genesis both tell the story of creation. And instead of considering them as two separate accounts of the creation that contradict each other, both chapters must be studied as a whole. As God’s authoritative and unique revelation of creation that give different aspects of one truth.

If the creation story in Genesis 1 begins with a watery chaos and Genesis 2 with a dry earth, it’s because both chapters begin at different places in the series of creative events. Only two creative acts are involved in Genesis 2 – the creation of man and woman. God already had vegetation, but after; man planted a garden. God already had animals, but after; man brought them to Adam to name.

Genesis 1 gives us a condensed revelation of God Almighty (the Hebrew name here is Elohim – remember that’s plural) creating the universe, heaven and earth with the creation of man and woman as the crowning work. God is seen in this chapter in His infinite wisdom and power. He creates, preserves and governs every creature.

Genesis 2 is written from a different viewpoint. It emphasizes God’s personal relationship with man. For this reason another Hebrew word for God is given, Yahweh Elohim – translated LORD God. Yahweh is always used of God in special relation to His covenant with His people, in redemption, and personal revelation of Himself. Yahweh Elohim links these two names together: Elohim, the Almighty God of creation and Yahweh, the personal God in His relationship to man. Also, LORD in all capital letters in the Bible is God’s divine name Yahweh. The Jewish scribes didn’t add the vowels so we don’t really now how it was pronounced. Jehovah is the modern way of saying it.
I had also always heard that LORD in the Old Testament always means when the preincarnate Son of God, Jesus, appeared to man. Because God is spirit and it’s always Jesus who reveals God.
Some examples of Him showing up:

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.

Genesis 18:1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.

Exodus 3:6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Daniel 3:25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

We should read this chapter of Adam and Eve with the Lord Jesus in mind!

Chapter 2 completes information given in chapter 1 by giving further details of the creation of both man and woman.

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