The Beginning of the World
1In the beginning, when God created the earth and sky,#1:1 Or “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “God” in this first section (1:1-2:3) is the most general word for God in the Old Testament. It is a plural form. See verse 26. 2the earth was without life and not yet useful for anything. Deep waters covered the earth, and darkness covered the water. God’s Spirit#1:2 God’s Spirit Or “A wind from God” or “A mighty wind.” was moving like a storm over the surface of the water.
The First Day—Light
3Then God said, “Let there be light!” And light began to shine.#1:1-3 Or “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. While 2 the earth had no special shape, and darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit hovered over the water, 3 God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Or “When God began to create the sky and the earth, 2 while the earth was completely empty, and darkness covered the ocean, and a powerful wind blew over the water, 3 God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 4He saw the light, and he knew that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5God named the light “day,” and he named the darkness “night.”
There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the first day.
The Second Day—Sky
6Then God said, “Let there be a space#1:6 space Or “firmament.” The Hebrew word can refer to a piece of metal that has been hammered into the shape of a bowl. to separate the water into two parts!” 7So God made the space and separated the water. Some of the water was above it, and some of the water was below it. 8God named that space “sky.” There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the second day.
The Third Day—Dry Land and Plants
9Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together so that the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10God named the dry land “earth,” and he named the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that this was good.
11Then God said, “Let the earth grow grass, plants that make grain, and fruit trees. The fruit trees will make fruit with seeds in it. And each plant will make its own kind of seed. Let these plants grow on the earth.” And it happened. 12The earth grew grass and plants that made grain. And it grew trees that made fruit with seeds in it. Every plant made its own kind of seeds. And God saw that this was good.
13There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the third day.
The Fourth Day—Sun, Moon, and Stars
14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky. These lights will separate the days from the nights. They will be used for signs to show when special meetings#1:14 special meetings The Israelites used the sun and moon to decide when the months and years began. Many Israelite festivals and special meetings began at the time of the new moon or full moon. begin and to show the days and years. 15They will be in the sky to shine light on the earth.” And it happened.
16So God made the two large lights. He made the larger light to rule during the day and the smaller light to rule during the night. He also made the stars. 17God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth. 18He put them in the sky to rule over the day and over the night. They separated the light from the darkness. And God saw that this was good.
19There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fourth day.
The Fifth Day—Fish and Birds
20Then God said, “Let the water be filled with many living things, and let there be birds to fly in the air over the earth.” 21So God created the large sea animals.#1:21 large sea animals Or “sea monsters.” He created all the many living things in the sea and every kind of bird that flies in the air. And God saw that this was good.
22God blessed all the living things in the sea and told them to have many babies and fill the seas. And he blessed the birds on land and told them to have many more babies.
23There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fifth day.
The Sixth Day—Land Animals and People
24Then God said, “Let the earth produce many kinds of living things. Let there be many different kinds of animals. Let there be large animals and small crawling animals of every kind. And let all these animals produce more animals.” And all these things happened.
25So God made every kind of animal. He made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling things. And God saw that this was good.
26Then God said, “Now let’s make humans#1:26 humans The Hebrew word means “man,” “people,” or the name “Adam.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.” who will be like us.#1:26 Now let’s make … like us Or “Now let’s make humans in our image and in our likeness.” They will rule over all the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. They will rule over all the large animals and all the little things that crawl on the earth.”
27So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself.#1:27 So God created humans … himself Or “So God created them in his image. In the image of God he created them.” Compare Gen. 5:1, 3. He created them male and female. 28God blessed them and said to them, “Have many children. Fill the earth and take control of it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. Rule over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29God said, “I am giving you all the grain bearing plants and all the fruit trees. These trees make fruit with seeds in it. This grain and fruit will be your food. 30And I am giving all the green plants to the animals. These green plants will be their food. Every animal on earth, every bird in the air, and all the little things that crawl on the earth will eat that food.” And all these things happened.
31God looked at everything he had made. And he saw that everything was very good.
There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the sixth day.