The Bible's opening statement, Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," is probably the most famous line ever written. But in addition to being famous, it's also perhaps the most profound statement ever made.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" argues the nature of God as Creator, proves God's ownership of creation, and makes the incredible and utterly extraordinary confession of an author trying to come to terms with what he has written. The opening line ofGenesisit's a philosophical storm like there never was and never will be again. Establish core identities. It explains the whole essence. And it contains the greatest promise ever made, that God is intimate and seeks intimacy.
No line in all literature is so rich in meaning, so connected to everything else, as this famous phrase, and just as the way in whichJesuscondensed all the law and the prophets with "Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself" so that the first line of Genesis is condensed into its opening letter, the epistleBett, which means "house" or "home" (as in Bethlehem, house of bread). From this single idea of a house (consisting of God and his bride) the entire Bible moves forward to serve its purpose.cristoand the body of Christ:
...you too will be built like living stones as a spiritual house... —1 Pedro 2:5.
The first word in the Bible isראשׁית(burn), first, beginning, better. The meaning of "better" gives us an idea of how thisHebrewseen a collection of things. You can name what came firstראשׁיתbut also what comes from above; what's best and leading in terms of quality rather than chronology. This sheds light on the very first line of the Bible, for not only does it say that God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning of everything, but He created everything at its highest point!
The wordראשׁיתoccurs in the following locations:
Genesis 1:1— In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 10:10And the beginning of his reign wasbabel, jveins, jTo happen, jCalneh, in the land ofbeam.
Genesis 49:3—ruben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
Exodus 23:19The firstfruits of the firstfruits of your field you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.
Exodus 34:26The firstfruits of the firstfruits of your field you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.
Leviticus 2:12You shall bring them to the LORD as a firstfruits offering. But they are not burned on the altar for a sweet smell.
Leviticus 23:10— Talk to the children ofIsraeland say to them, When you come into the land which I give you, and bring in its harvest, you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
Numbers 3:20- Of the primacies of your mass you will offer a cake, an offering, like the offering of the threshing floor, so you will lift it.
Numbers 3:21— Of the firstfruits of your dough you shall give to Jehovah as a heave offering for your offspring.
Numbers 18:12— I have given you all the best oil and all the best wine and wheat, their firstfruits, which they will offer to Jehovah.
Numbers 24:20And when I lookedamalek, took his likeness and said, Amalek was the first of the nations. But their ultimate goal is destruction.
Deuteronomy 18:4You shall give him the firstfruits of your grain, wine and oil, and the firstfruits of the wool of your flock.
Deuteronomy 21:17“But he will recognize the son of the scorned as his firstborn and will give him a double portion of everything he owns. For it is the beginning of his strength. You are entitled to the rights of the firstborn.
Deuteronomy 26:2Of all the produce of the land, which thou shalt bring forth from thy land, of the firstfruits which Jehovah thy God shall give thee, thou shalt take, and put them in a basket, and thou shalt go to the place where Jehovah thy God hath chosen to put his name there.
Deuteronomy 26:10And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, Lord, have given me. And you shall present it to the LORD your God, and before the LORD your God you shall worship.
Deuteronomy 33:21– And he took care of the first part because in it the part of the legislator was hidden. And he came with the leaders of the people. He fulfilled Jehovah's justice and His judgments on Israel.
1 Samuel 2:29- Why do you kick my sacrifice and gift that I sent to my house? Do you honor your children more than me, to feed on the best of all the gifts of my people Israel?
1 Samuel 15:21But the people took of the spoil, the sheep and the oxen, the best of what they had dedicated to the Lord your God.Gilgal.
2 Chronicles 31:5— And when the command was scattered, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, and of wine, and of oil, and of honey, and of all the fruits of the field. And a tithe of all that they brought in abundance.
Nehemiah 10:37- and that we bring the firstfruits of our dough and our offerings and the fruit of every kind of tree, wine and oil to the priests in the chambers of the house of our God; and tithes for our landLevites, and they, the Levites, could have tithes in all the cities that we plowed.
Nehemiah 12:44And at that time some were chosen for the storehouses, for the offerings, for the firstfruits and for the tithes, to collect from the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites. ForVeryhe rejoiced over the waiting priests and Levites.
work 8:7- And if your beginning was small, your ending will be great.
work 40:19— He is the first of the ways of God; its creator draws his sword.
Psalms 78:51– and struck all the firstborn in itEgypt, the first of the forts in the stores ofHam;
Psalm 105:36“He also killed all the firstborn in your land, the commanders of all your armies.
Psalm 111:10— The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding; Your praise is forever.
Proverbs 1:7— The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 3:9- Honor the Lord with your goods and with the firstfruits of all your production;
Proverbs 4:7— Wisdom is the main thing; acquire wisdom; and with all that he acquires, he acquires understanding.
Proverbs 8:22— The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his path, before his works of old.
The first word in the Bible is an expansion of the wordראשׁ(rosa), which denotes pretty much whatever comes first: heads, top, top, boss, grand total, sum. And using 'add' we learn that aראשׁit means not simply what comes first or supreme, but represents what follows. The wordראשׁcontains the complete set of what is the boss.
This is very remarkable, as almost all uses ofראשׁapplies to Christ in one way or another:
Psalm 118:22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone (applied by Jesus to himself in Matthew 21:42).
Ephesians 2:19-22So that you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and you are of the household of God, standing on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, on which the whole building is fitted together, grows upon a holy temple in the Lord, in which you also are built for a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:23Christ [...] is the head of the church, since he himself is the Savior of the body.
1 Corinthians 15:20But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Isaiahand others speak of the mountain of the Lord, which will exist above and beyond all other mountains. The apparent summit of that mountain is Jesus Christ.
Another notable fact aboutראשׁis in Psalm 119:160, which says, “Theראשׁyour word is truth.”
After all, it gets even deeper whenPablohe writes,
And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created [...]; all things were made by (or ratherthrough) him and for him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things exist. He is also the head of the body, the church; and he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He himself would have the first place in everything. —Colossians 1:15-18(reduced)
Genesis 1 shows us the immense power of God, as he separates the chaotic waters and brings order to creation. God establishes time, the sky, the sea, and the land, and then he fills these realms with inhabitants.What is the correct translation of Genesis 1:1? ›
The most commonly given English translation of Genesis 1:1, b'reshit bara elohim et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz, is: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.What is the explanation of Genesis 1:1? ›
As a statement that the cosmos had an absolute beginning ("In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth"). As a statement describing the world's condition when God began creating ("When in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was untamed and shapeless").What is the meaning of in the beginning in the Bible? ›
So the words “in the beginning” mean: before there was any created matter, there was the Word, the Son of God. Remember: “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31).What are the three qualities of God in Genesis 1? ›
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. ...
- But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
The Book of Genesis. [1:1] In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, [1:2] the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. [1:3] Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.What is the relationship between man and God in Genesis 1? ›
God creates humanity in a way that is very different from the way God created the physical world. Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nos- trils the breath of life; and man became a living being. In Genesis 1, God created by speaking the physical world into existence.