In the last post we looked at the basic pattern laid out in creation week. Now we will take a closer look at the contents of each day. There are mysteries to reveal about creation that will blow your mind, but for now let us lay the groundwork with what the Bible expressly says. I take my text from the Orthodox Study Bible, a new translation of the Greek LXX that was in use at the time of Jesus:
In the beginning God made heaven and earth. The earth was invisible and unfinished; and darkness was over the deep. The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw the light; it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day; the darkness He called Night; and there was evening and morning, one day.
– Genesis 1:1-5, OSB
The focus of day one is the creation of light. We are not told how the water got there, with the earth invisible beneath. God spoke light into existence, and everything that lives flows from that light. It is unimportant for our purpose to understand how the inert elements and non-living things came into being. The first sentence tells us that God made it all, and that is enough.
Notice that the light created was not the natural light of the sun, moon, and stars. 1 John tells us that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus tells us that God is a Spirit, and is looking for worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Jesus said his words were spirit. There is natural light, and there is spiritual light. Spiritual light is truth. The first light that God made was spiritual light, and natural light came afterward.
When God divided the light from the darkness, he separated it and called it good. In that instant, the cosmos was divided into two kingdoms, one called Day and the other called Night. We could just as well call them life and death, or that which leads to life, and that which leads to death. We could call them the forces of order and entropy, or truth that saves, and illusion that blinds, or to use the terminology of Solomon – wisdom and foolishness. The first light was spiritual and means all of these things.
Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it divide the water from the water”; and it was so. Thus God made the firmament, and God divided the water above the firmament from the water below the firmament. So God called the firmament Heaven, and God saw that it was good; and there was evening and morning, the second day.
-Genesis 1:6-8, OSB
In the first three days, three grounds or stages for the play of life were created. The first is the spiritual realm, or God’s heaven. The second is the visible heavens, having two parts – one that is below the firmament, and one that is above it. What exactly is the firmament? Something firm that separates two fluid layers. Below it was the atmosphere and sky. Above it was the part of the waters that were separated from the waters beneath. Above that would be space, but it wasn’t put together yet. For now, there was an invisible earth beneath the sea, there were the waters of the sea, there was the dome of the sky that would become earth’s atmosphere, and there was another sea above something firm that held it up.
We ask, where is the firmament now? How can our spaceships leave the atmosphere if there is a firm boundary? It turns out that air is heavier than space and it clings to the earth; and the sea above the atmosphere has been gone for so long that no one remembers it was even there. The firmament? It broke apart in Genesis 7:11 and allowed the waters above it to inundate the earth again.
Not only that, but look closely at Genesis 7:11. “…All the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of heaven were opened.” Some of the water fell from above, and some shot upward like fountains from beneath the seas. There was water filling the underworld before the flood, but afterward, space for an underworld. Noah was like a new Adam, because the earth he populated was newly emerged from the waters a second time.
Paul calls Jesus the “last Adam,” because Noah was the second. Another triad.
Then God said, “Let the water under heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. The water under heaven was gathered together into its places, and the dry land appeared. So God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas; and God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the herb of grass, bearing seed according to its kind and likeness. Let the fruit tree bear fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind on earth.” It was so… God saw that it was good. So evening and morning were the third day.
We think of plants as living things – and so they are – but they were put upon the earth to recycle carbon to oxygen, and as an adornment for beauty, and for food; not as actors with independent thought. Nowhere do we read that God pronounces judgement on plants for their actions. He does, however, judge animals and man for theirs, striking the plants we depend on for food with drought, hail, or pestilence. The covenant with Noah in Genesis 9 specifies man, birds, cattle, and every animal that came forth out of the ark. Fish are excluded, but they would have been able to endure the flood and recover without entering the ark.
Next comes day four, in which the heavens are populated with stars and placed under the rule of the sun and moon. The angels are first mentioned as shouting for joy at the sight, so they were part of the population of heaven, even if not mentioned here.
Day five populates the sea below with swarms of fish, and the sky above with swarms of birds. We later learn in the Law the difference between clean and unclean fish, clean and unclean birds, and clean and unclean animals, so the fundamental division of Day and Night continues through the entire week. There were also angels who kept their first estate – heaven – and angels who left their proper abode, as Jude says, and came down among men where they didn’t belong. In ancient times, angels were called Watchers.
Forget what you think you know about the solar system and galaxy, because we are looking at pattern and types to understand the structure of life. Life is complex, but can be broken down into seven parts. There are three primary grounds, each populated with things resembling angels, birds, fish, and beasts, and there is a day of rest for all that lives. Life itself has a heptatic (Greek for sevens) structure.
|Immortal soul||purpose & meaning||angels holy/fallen||third heaven|
|Spirit – heart||beliefs||sun (day)/moon (night)||space|
|Spirit – mind||thoughts||clean/unclean birds||sky|
|Spirit/body – speech||words||truth/untruth||firmament|
|External body||actions||clean/unclean animals||earth|
|Interior body||emotions||clean/unclean fish||seas|
Man has an immortal soul that cannot be seen, a spirit (also called the heart – Gr. psyche), and a physical body. The soul is like the third heaven, looking down upon events as if it were a watcher. The spirit is fluid, like the lower heavens, with a heart to rule and a mind to serve. The body has the dry ground of the skin, bones, and senses with it’s animal instincts, and the hidden deep of the saline sea within. Does man also have an underworld? Unfortunately, it is so; for buried within, we carry the seed of death that we inherited from Adam.
Each one of us has a soul (watcher), a heart (sun and moon), a mind (sky swarming with thoughts), an exterior body (dry earth), an inner man (sea swarming with emotions), and an appointed Day of Rest when we will die. This is how we each reflect creation week.