Tag Archives: Days of Creation

Pluralis Majestatis

Studies in Genesis 1

And God saw that it was good. 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:25-26 ESV)

Though God declares what He has created thus far on day six “good” He is not finished. All is created except for His highest creation. All is in place and ready for the penultimate creation. He will now create Man. Scripture, history and hindsight tells us Man is His highest creation. But, Man’s recreation after the fall into sin and separation from God, the reconciliation of a broken relationship, is His ultimate act of creation.

“Let us make.” To whom is He speaking? Has there been another present during creation, helping Him accomplish that which He determined? His words are plural, referring to more than one. Is there more than one god?

Scripture is adamant there is only One God. “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5 ESV). Is He speaking about angels? Angels have had no input into creation and are themselves created. “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16 ESV). Is He speaking about the animals, birds and fish? This is absurd. That which is life created cannot create life. Like the created angels, creating life is completely outside their created nature.

God must be speaking to and about Himself. Is this then the “royal we,” the pluralis majestatis, where He is both the subject of the declaration and the object of the declarations purpose. If this is true at its most basic level then the phrase is hollow and does not follow the tenor of what He has been saying and doing. He would have said “I will make” not “let us make.”

God is speaking to Himself. He is a Trinity, one God in three divine persons. Nowhere in Scripture is the term “Trinity” used for God. Yet, throughout Scripture God reveals the truth of Himself as Three in One. Nor is this doctrine an Old Testament teaching. Genesis 1 looks forward to the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2 ESV).

“Let us make” tells us the full being of God is wholly involved in all of creation and especially the creation, and ultimately the recreation, of Man.


The Fifth Day

Studies in Genesis

And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23 ESV)

By the end of the fifth day God accomplished everything He determined to do up to that time. An environment is in place made to sustain the living plants and creatures He created and to provide all of the food needed for life. He always perfectly finishes what He begins.

Over what appears as a long period of time God creates life that breaths, moves and flies. Previously, on the third day, He created plant life, flora, fruits and vegetables, grass and trees. Then, on day four, He created the Sun and Moon, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser to govern the night. On fifth day He created some animal life, fauna, the sea creatures and the birds of the air.

Every living thing He created, and will create, filled the Earth, blessed with the natural ability to reproduce after its own kind. Each species of grass reproduces the same grass. So, too, each different species of vegetables and fruit tree are blessed, making more of the same. Plant life, as part of a life cycle, produces seeds which grows more of the same. So too, the sea creatures and the birds of the air reproduce after their own kind. A fish does not reproduce a bird, or that which is rooted reproduce that which moves, swims or flies.

All He has done is according to His eternal logic and design, in His power and strength. He established the laws of nature and of the universe according to His eternal determination. Our comprehension of His laws suggests a different order of events. For example, the solar system needed to be in place before life on earth could self-create. Plants need light and without a sun there is insufficient light. Yet, on day one God tells us He created light. Combined with the atmosphere He created on day two, this light and environment was sufficient to sustain plant life He created on day three.

Another example is the fossil record, which shows a great many land animals coming into existence somewhere between the first sea creature and the first flying bird. Most, if not all, of these land creatures are now extinct. Yet, sea creatures and creatures of the air, birds, are plentiful.

God does not give us a blow by blow with encyclopedia entries for any of His creation. He does tell us what He has done on each day in a broad, all encompassing way. We want to know exactly what happened so we can control Him. He told us what happened because He is in control, and we are not.

Land and Sea

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10 ESV)

By now God has probably formed and shaped the rock into a spherical planet, probably spinning on its axis, probably revolving around a huge light which will be the Sun. Nothing in the first chapter of Genesis gives detail about the formation of the planet other than basic information.

On the first day God created all matter and then began shaping and forming that matter into what is now in the universe, telling us specifically what He is doing with the hunk of rock which will become Earth. He made light and separated light from darkness. On the second day He separated water from water, creating and atmosphere and cultivating the planet, making it ready for life.

Day three begins and God moves the geology on the planet. He creates deep rifts and high mountains, separating the dry places from those filled with water. Earth is an active planet, from its core to its surface, to the atmosphere surrounding it, to its place in the universe.

Verse 9 states God “gathered together” or collected, all of the liquid water into “one place” which may mean a single, huge ocean before he separated the continents. But “one place” probably means the deep areas with boundaries across which the waters cannot move.

God continues to separate one thing from another. From His first few words in Genesis to the last few words found in Revelation, God declares Himself and His work.