1 In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.

In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth-

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,

Youngs literal translation

The Bible does not say the earth was created‭ ‬6,000‭ ‬years ago,‭ ‬but in the beginning,‭ ‬and we don't know when that was

The Christadelphian, Nov 1896.

The six days' work was undoubtedly 6,000 years ago, and the six days' work included the making of the earth in the sense in which a country is made when established and developed, but it did not include the making of it in the sense of bringing it into existence for the first time. The evidence proves this. It shows the earth existent

"without form and void, and darkness on the face of the deep"

at the beginning of the work (Gen. 1:2). It is impossible to lay too much stress upon the casual glimpse which these words afford us of the pre-Adamite condition of the earth. It is but a sentence, and yet it is a whole revelation on the point. It is like a rent in the back-wall of the human era, through which we peer backwards into a long vista of darkness, whose length cannot be measured; and if science says there were millions of years in it, we say, as believers in the Bible, "Very well, the Bible allows for it in its opening sentence."

The six days' work relates only to the process by which, from the earth point of view (for the story is written for the inhabitants of the earth), the earth was brought from the condition in which that work found it. For reasons not disclosed, the earth had been submerged in water, and enveloped in darkness, which is the state in which it is first introduced to view. It had evidently been a long time in that state -- with which the geological indications agree. How long is not revealed, either by the Bible or science. The moment arrived when, to Divine Wisdom, it seemed meet and proper to break into this state of things, and bring the earth into a habitable state.

Law of Moses Ch 5

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters.

Swirling mists prevented the light of the sun reaching the earth.*

Let the reader peruse the history of the creation as a revelation to himself as an inhabitant of the earth. It informs him of the order in which the things narrated would have developed themselves to his view, had he been placed on some projecting rock, the spectator of the events detailed. He must remember this.

The Mosaic account is not a revelation to the inhabitants of other orbs remote from the earth of the formation of the boundless universe; but to man, as a constituent of the terrestrial system. This will explain why light is said to have been created four days before the sun, moon, and stars. To an observer on the earth, this was the order of their appearance; and in relation to him a primary creation, though absolutely pre-existent for millions of ages before the Adamic Era.

The duration of the earth's revolutions round the sun previous to the work of the first day is not revealed; but the evidences produced by the strata of our globe show that the period was long continued. There are indeed hints, casually dropped in the Scriptures, which would seem to indicate, that our planet was inhabited by a race of beings anterior to the formation of man.

The apostle Peter, speaking of the "false teachers" that would arise among Christians "by reason of whom the way of truth would be evil spoken of," illustrates the certainty of their "damnation" by citing three cases in point; namely, that of certain angels; that of the antediluvian world; and that of Sodom and Gomorrha. 

Now the earth, we know, was the place of judgment to the contemporaries of Noah and Lot, and seeing that these three are warnings to inhabitants of earth, it is probable, that they are all related to things pertaining to our globe in the order of their enumeration -- first, judgment upon its pre-Adameral inhabitants; secondly, upon the antediluvian world, which succeeded them; and thirdly, upon Sodom after the flood.

Peter says, that "the Angels," or pre-Adameral inhabitants of the Earth, "sinned;" and Jude, in speaking of the same subject, reveals to us the nature of their transgression. He says, verse 6, "the angels maintained not their original state, but forsook their own habitation." From which it would appear, that they had the ability to leave their dwelling if they pleased; secondly, that they were sometimes employed as messengers to other parts of the universe; this their name (aggeloV, aggelos, one sent) implies: thirdly, that they were forbidden to leave their habitation without special command to do so; and fourthly, that they violated this injunction and left it.

Having transgressed the divine law, God would not forgive them; "but casting them down," or driving them back, 

"He committed them to everlasting chains of intense darkness to be reserved for judgment" 

(2 Peter 2:4). 

Hence, it is clear, when they were driven back to their habitation, some further catastrophy befel them by which their committal to darkness was effected. This probably consisted in the total wreck of their abode, and their entire submergence, with all the mammoths of their estate, under the waters of an overwhelming flood, reduced to this extremity, the earth became

 "without form and empty; and darkness overspread the deep waters" (Genesis 1:1).

Its mountains, hills, valleys, plains, seas, rivers, and fountains of waters, which gave diversity of "form" to the surface of our globe, all disappeared; and it became "void," or empty, no living creatures, angels, quadrupeds, birds, or fishes, being found any more upon it.

Fragments, however, of the wreck of this pre-Adameral world have been brought to light by geological research, to the records of which we refer the reader, for a detailed account of its discoveries, with this remark, that its organic remains, coal fields, and strata, belong to the ages before the formation of man, rather than to the era of the creation, or the Noachic flood. This view of the matter will remove a host of difficulties, which have hitherto disturbed the harmony between the conclusions of geologists and the Mosaic account of the physical constitution of our globe...

In the period between the wreck of the globe as the habitation of the rebel angels and the epoch of the first day, the earth was as described in Genesis 1:2, 

"without form and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep," 

-- a globe of mineral structure, submerged in water, and mantled in impenetrable night. Out of these crude materials, a new habitation was constructed, and adapted to the abode of new races of living creatures.

Elpis Israel 1.2.

...the earth was put in order and the Adamic race appeared on the scene 6,000 years ago. The pre-existence of the earth and of races upon it, is not only compatible with the Mosaic narrative, but is recognised in the opening chapter.

Before the six days' work began, it shows us, chapter 1 verse 2, "darkness on the face of the deep;" the earth without order, and void. The very first incident described is the movement of the spirit of God "on the face of the waters" (same verse), from which it follows the earth and the waters existed before the re-organising work of 6,000 years ago began.

How long it had existed in that state there is nothing to show; but there is room for any length of time the evidences of geology may claim. Consequently, there is none of the practical and insuperable difficulty which most people suppose to be in the way of receiving the Mosaic account of creation. The earth had a history before the six days' work, as further evident from the words addressed to Adam:

"Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth."

The nature of that history is not disclosed to us in the Scriptures, and geology cannot tell us. Both the Bible and geology show it was a history marked by convulsion and ending in catastrophe. The Bible shows us the recovery from that state by the six days' work ending in the appearance of Adam on the scene.

The Bible and geology are sufficiently in agreement to make the acceptance of both possible, but even if there were hopeless divergence between them, we must remember that geology is too incomplete and changeable a science (changeable, that is, in the inferences that men draw from the facts observed; changeable also in the aspect in which facts present themselves to various students and at different times), to come into competition with the attested authority of the Scriptures of Moses, the prophets and the apostles.

The Visible Hand of God Ch 2


I find the word spirit used in the Bible for what science styles electricity, galvanism, magnetism, &c.; for mind, natural courage, natural force, life, instinct, ambition, apparition, demon, breath, disposition, a disease, words of truth, God, teaching unction, angels, the gospel, conscience, &c. any one may see that spirit is not to be rendered by one meaning in all the texts where it occurs. Its signification must be determined by the subject in text and context. This is the rule I work by; and by its aid I find no difficulty in making sense of all the passages where it is found.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1852

Ruach Elohim

I remark that by a metonomy, or figure of speech in which the container is put for the thing contained, and vice versa, nephesh "breathing frame," is put for neshemet ruach chayim, which, when in motion, the frame respires. Hence nephesh signifies "life," also "breath" and "soul" -- Life, or those mutually affective, positive and negative principles in all living creatures, whose closed circuits cause motion of and in their frames.

These principles, or qualities, perhaps, of the same thing, are styled by Moses Ruach Elohim (Gen. 1:2), or Spirit of Him "who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see" (1 Tim. 6:16), and which, when the word was spoken by "the Holy Gods" (Dan. 4:8), first caused a motion upon the waters, and afterwards disengaged the light, evolved the expanse, aggregated the waters, produced vegetation, manifested the celestial universe, vitalized the breathing frames of the dry land, expanse, and seas; and formed man in their image and likeness.

This ruach, or spirit, is neither the Uncreated One who dwells in light, the Lord God, nor the Elohim, his co-workers, who co-operated in the elaboration of the natural world. It was the instrumental principle by which they executed the commission of the glorious INCREATE to erect this earthly house, and furnish it with living souls of every species.

It is this ruach, or instrumentally formative power, together with the neshemeh or breath, which keeps them all from perishing, or returning to the dust. Thus, "if God set His heart against man, He will withdraw to Himself ruachu veneshemetu, i.e., his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust" (Job 34:14-15).

In another place, "by the neshemet el, or breath of God, frost is given" (Job 37:10). Speaking of reptiles and beasts, David saith, "thou withdrawest ruachem, i.e., their spirit -- they die; and to their dust they return. Thou sendest forth ruhech, ie., Thy spirit -- they are created" (Psalm 104:29). And again, "whither shall I fly, meruhech, from Thy spirit" (Psalm 139:7).

From these testimonies it is manifest, that the ruach or spirit is all pervading. It is in heaven, in sheol, or the dust of the deepest hollow, in the uttermost depths of the sea, in the darkness, in the light, and in all things animate, and without life. It is an universal principle in the broadest, or rather, in an illimitable sense.

It is the substratum of all motion, whether manifested in the diurnal and ellipsoidal revolutions of the planets, in the flux and reflux of the sea, in the storms and tempests of the expanse, or in the organism of reptiles, cattle, beasts, fish, fowls, vegetables, or men. The atmospheric expanse is charged with it; but it is not the air: plants and animals of all species breathe it; but it is not their breath: yet without it, though filled with air, they would die.

3 And Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Light is an amazing phenomen. We can't touch it, or feel it, like rain or snow, yet it is all around us, by which we see with our eyes, as all other creatures with eyes, and plankton in oceans which thrive in the photic zone, and plants which use light energy to photosynthesise, and we are acutely conscious when it is absent. Darkness is the absence of light (Jhn.3. 19-21: Jhn 1. 4-5).

Men love darkness rather than light, (the light of Yahweh's Word) because their deeds are evil.

"To the law, and the testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, there is no light in them'' Isa 8:20.

It is the scientific fashion to believe that things have "evolved" themselves. But this is a mere speculation. That is, it is a guess suggested by certain facts on the surface of things that look in that direction, but which are capable of another explanation. It is a guess inconsistent with other facts: a guess hazarded by one or two clever men, and taken up and re-echoed by thousands of mediocrities: a guess, however, rejected by men of equal scientific eminence to the originators of it, and refused by a large section of the scientific community.

As a guess it is not like most scientific conclusions-demonstrated truth; it is a mere theory in the air that has rapidly become popular because of its tendency to liberate from the obligations associated with the Scriptures. It is a guess effectually demolished when the resurrection of Christ is established, for with the resurrection of Christ comes the proof of his divinity and the consequent establishment of Moses and the prophets endorsed by him.

But even evolution itself cannot dispense with such a beginning of things as is exhibited in the Mosaic narrative. For what is evolution? It is the gradual development of things from latent power. The power for a thing to be (or its "potentiality," as scientific writers say) must exist before the thing itself can come. For example, the potentiality of any plant exists in its seed; the potentiality of ice exists in water; the potentiality of the various orders of living things exists in their respective seeds.

Without this antecedent power to exist, they would not come. Now, carry the process of evolution backwards far enough, we are bound to come to a time when there was no earth, no sun, no stars; when the universe was an undeveloped potentiality. (The hypothesis of evolution involves this.)

Very well, imagine ourselves in such a time, what should we look at, so to speak? In a sense, of course, there would be nothing to see, for nothing concrete existed to be seen; but the force or power now incorporate in the splendid frame of the universe must have existed. There must have been an all-space-filling ocean of invisible power or energy out of which heaven and earth came by "evolution." Now, in this ocean there must have existed the potentiality of heaven and earth; for if the power of them to come did not exist there, how came they?

Yes, says the evolutionist, their potentiality did exist; that is what we contend for. Very well, but look at this, how came the potentiality to stir itself? Select any time for the start you like (any number of millions of years), it was at rest before then? Yes. Now for how long a time was it at rest? It matters not if you say a year (which of course would be absurd) or a million years (which would only be a little less absurd), or measureless time-time without beginning (which must have been the fact).

Here is the problem you have to face: how came the potentiality to stir when it did stir, and why was it quiescent in the antecedent eternity? Must not something have come upon the scene at the moment of the stirring which was not before at work? Must not an impulse have begun to move which was not moving before? Must not the previously sleeping "force" have begun to vibrate with a formative stimulus not previously experienced?

How came the antecedent "force," however slowly, to incorporate itself in the beautiful forms of the universe, which had no previous existence? Something like the Mosaic start took place even on your hypothesis; a fiat, a stimulus, a volition not before active, gave things a start in the direction of their present form, even if they have been evolved in the Darwinian sense.

The slowness does not make the process any easier to understand. If the Mosaic start in a quick way is inconceivable, so is the Darwinian; they are both equally out of the range of the human intellect. There are two great differences between them in favour of the Mosaic.

First, the Darwinian hypothesis is a guess, while the Mosaic narrative is a matter of testimony commended to our faith by many powerful evidences; secondly, the Mosaic view gives us a cause adequate to the effect produced, namely, an all-wise, all-powerful Intelligence, possessing in himself the focalised power of the universe, and capable of imparting that initiative to creative power that is required for the explanation of what we see, while the Darwinian theory gives us eternal force without will or wisdom to do a thing which required both in their supremest form.

God has made heaven and earth by His power. This is the simple proposition to which the profoundest of philosophy leads.

The Visible Hand of God Ch 2

4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good: and Elohim divided the light from the darkness.

On Day 1 Elohim cleared the mists, and on Day 4 the full light of the sun could be seen, as was the Light of Christ on the Fourth Millenial Day (Jhn.l), bathing everything in golden glory*

*Bro Richard Lister

5 And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And Elohim said, Let there be a firmament [expanse] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

The atmosphere, which extends some forty-five miles in altitude, and encircles the globe, is styled the expanse, by Moses; and the breath of God, in Job. It is a compound body, consisting when pure of nitrogen and oxygen, in the proportion of 79 of the former to 21 of the latter, in 100 parts.

These are considered as simple bodies, because they have not yet been decomposed; though it is probable they have a base, which may be ruach. This may exist free or combined with the elementary consituents of the neshemeh. Uncombined, it is that wonderful fluid, whose explosions are heard in the thunder, whose fiery bolts overthrow the loftiest towers, and rive the sturdy monarch of the woods; and in less intensity gives polarity to light, the needle, and the brain.

These three together, the oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity, constitute "the breath" and "spirit" of the lives of all God's living souls.

Elpis Israel 2.3.

7 And Elohim made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And Elohim called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And Elohim said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And Elohim called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and Elohim saw that it was good.

11 And Elohim said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and Elohim saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and Elohim saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And Elohim said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And Elohim created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and Elohim saw that it was good.

22 And Elohim blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And Elohim said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And Elohim made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and Elohim saw that it was good.

'...among all these there was not one fit to exercise dominion over the animal world, or to reflect the divine attributes.

26 And Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Man in the image of El/Elohim

"The import of the phrase 'in the image, after the likeness' is suggested by the testimony that 'Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth.' In this respect, Seth stands related to Adam, as Adam did to the Elohim ...

Would anyone be at a loss to know the meaning of Seth's being in the image of his father? The very same thing is meant by Adam being in the image of the Elohim ...

The resemblance therefore of Adam to the Elohim as their image was of bodily form ... In shape, Seth was like Adam, Adam like the Elohim, and the Elohim the image of the invisible Increate, the great and glorious Archetype of the intelligent universe."

Elpis Israel 1.2.

"Incorruptible and living substance, then, is the Body of the Deity; and as the glorified Jesus is the 'Image of the Invisible Theos,' He must have 'parts' ...

He has form and parts, as well as body, and is the great Archetype, or divine Original, after which all the Elohim, or immortal intelligences, of His universe are modelled and made ...

"Now these suggestions are sustained by 'the likeness of the glory of Yahweh' which appeared to Ezekiel. 'Above the firmament,' says this prophet, 'that was over the heads of the four living ones, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it ...

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh'-ch. 1:26-8."

Eureka, vol. I, p. 95-6

28 And Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

This command to "replenish the earth," strengthens my previous conclusion, that the earth had been inhabited, at some period anterior to the creation of the six days; and that its population had been all swept away by a catastrophe similar to the Noachic flood. That "replenish" means to fill the earth again, is manifest from the use of the word in the blessing pronounced upon Noah. As it is written,

"and God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, 'be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.'"

There is no room for dispute here. Every one must admit that it signifies to fill again; for, having been filled by Adam, all his posterity, except eight persons, were swept away by the deluge, and Noah and his sons were to supply their place, or refill it, as at this day. I see, therefore, no good reason why the same word should not be similarly interpreted in both cases; which I have concluded to do.

Elpis Israel 2 .10.

27 So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And Elohim said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And Elohim saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

'... and Yahweh Elohim, on reviewing the stupendous and glorious creation elaborated by the Spirit, pronounced it "VERY GOOD." Then the Elohim, or "Morning Stars sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7).

E.I. 2.1.

The original condition of the animal world was "very good." Unperverted by the introduction of evil, all its constituents fulfilled the purposes of their existence. Begotten of the same power, and formed from the substance of a common mother, they were all animated by the same spirit, and lived in peace and harmony together. Formed to be living breathing frames, though of different species, in God they lived, and moved, and had their continued being; and displayed His wisdom, power, and handywork.

E.I. 2.3

‭Behold It Was Very Good

Total peace and joy for man are found only in total service to God. That is man's original and "natural" condition.

That must be gained. All life must be given to the effort. All else is degeneration and perversion without promise or hope.

Bro Growcott