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Table of Contents



Genesis 1:1


CREATION OF THE WORLD   (Gen. 1:1-2:3)


In verse one is a majestic summary of the story of creation: God is not merely the beginning of all things, He is the Cause of all things. Truly this is a book of beginnings.


There are various Hebrew terms used for the word "God" in the Bible. Most of these terms were employed also by the Canaanites, to designate their pagan gods. This is not surprising; since on settling in the Promised Land the Patriarchs and early Israelites made "the language of Canaan" their own (Isa. 19:18), the Hebrew language would naturally use the Canaanite vocabulary for terms designating their own Deity. It must be noted, however, that in the Bible these various terms, when used by the Israelites to designate their own Deity, refer to one and the same God, the sole God of Israel.


The oldest Semitic term for God is ‘El (corresponding to Akkadian ilu (m), Canaanite ‘El or ‘IL, and Arabic ‘El as an element in personnel names).

It is commonly thought that the term derived from a root ‘yl or ‘wl, meaning "TO BE POWERFUL" (cf. yesh le-el yadi, "It is in the power of my hand, "Gen. 31:29; cf. Deut. 28:32; Micah 2:1)

In the Bible ‘El is seldom used as the personal name of God, e.g., ‘El-‘Elohei-Yisrael, "El, the God of (the Patriarch) Israel" (Gen. 33:20; cf. Ps. 146:5). Of special interest are the divine names of which El is the first element: ‘El Elyon, ‘El ‘Olam, ‘El Shaddai, ‘El Ro’i, and ‘El Berit.

The Hebrew word ‘Elyon is an adjective meaning "
HIGHER, UPPER," (e.g., the "upper" pool Isa. 7:3) , the "upper" gate (2 Kings 15:35), and "highest," e.g., the "highest" of all the kings of the earth (Ps. 89:28).

When used in reference to God, the word can rightly be translated as "MOST HIGH," (e.g., Deut. 32:8; Isa. 14:14; Ps. 9:3) or in parallelism with YHWH (e.g. Ps. 18:14; 21:8; 83:19). El (Num. 24:16; Ps. 107:11). and Shaddai (Ps. 91:1)

According to Genesis 21:33, "Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beer-Sheba, and invoked there the name of
YHWH, the EVERLASTING GOD," is `El ‘Olam, literally, "the God of an indefinitely long time," The epithet is logical in the Context, which concerns a pact meant for all times.

According to the literary source of the Pentateuch that the critics call the "Priestly Document, "
YHWH " appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as EL SHADDAI " (Ex. 6:3)

The traditional English rendering of the obscure Hebrew term "EL SHADDAI " as "GOD ALMIGHTY " goes back to ancient times, The (LXX Septuagint) renders SHADDAI as PANTOKRATOR " ALL-POWERFUL’ this is followed by the Vulgate’s OMNIPOTENCEOMNIPOTENT. " Apparently, this rendering is based on an ancient rabbinical interpretation, SHA, ‘WHO, ’ and DAI, "ENOUGH, " i.e., "HE WHO IS SELF-SUFFICIENT’ (e.g., Hag. 1:2 ‘LORD OF HOSTS,’); thus, the Jewish translators Aquila and Symmachus in the early centuries CE translated SHADDAI by Greek HIKANOS, "sufficient, able."

In the Bible the full name, ‘EL SHADDAI, is used only in connection with Abraham (Gen. 17:1). Isaac (Gen. 28:3), and Jacob (Gen./ 35:11; 43:14; 48:3). The word SHADDAI alone occurs as God’s name in the ancient oracles of Balaam (Num. 24:4,16).

The divine name "
EL RO’I occurs in Genesis 16:13. The name could mean either "THE GOD OF VISION" (who showed Himself to me). After Hagar was driven away by Sarai (Sarah) and fled into the western Negev, at a certain spring or well she had a vision of God, "and she called YHWH who spoke to her, ‘You are ‘EL RO’I" or it could also mean "THE GOD WHO SEES ME."

The divine name "
EL BERIT ("GOD OF THE COVENANT") occurs only in Judges 9:46, where mention is made of "the house (i.e., temple) of ‘EL BERIT " at Shechem.


ELOHA   =   singular
ELOHIM  =  plural

It is apparently a lengthened form of ‘ EL (cf. Aramaic ‘ELAH, Arabic ‘ILAH). In the vast majority of cases, however, the plural form (‘ELOHIM,) is treated as if it were a noun in the singular.

The odd fact that Hebrew uses a plural noun to designate the sole God of Israel has been explained in various ways. It is not to be understood as a remnant of the polytheism of Abraham’s ancestors, or hardly as a "plural of majesty" if there is such a thing in Hebrew.

Some scholars take it as a plural that expresses an abstract idea (e.g. ZEKUNIM, "old age’; NE’URIM, "time of youth"), so that " ELOHIM would really mean "THE DIVINITY." More likely however, it came from Canaanite usage: the early Israelites would have taken over "ELOHIM as a singular noun just as they made their own the rest of the Canaanite language.

The Hebrew word ‘
ADON is correctly rendered in English as "LORD." Since GOD IS "LORD / ‘ADON/ of all the earth" (Josh. 3:11), He is addressed and spoken of as "MY LORD" -in Hebrew, ‘ADONAI (literally,"MY LORDS." In the plural in keeping with the plural form, "ELOHIM, and always with the "pausal" form of a long a at the end). Later, "ADONAI" was taken to be a name of God, the "LORD".

The personal name of the God of Israel is written in the Hebrew Bible with the four consonants
YHWH and is referred to as the "Tetragrammation."

Three types of "AZKAROTH" (names of God):

1. The Name spelled YOD, HE’, VAV, HE’ called the EXPLICIT NAME
(Ref. Yoma 66a and 69b) or the Tetragrammation (Kid 71a). (ref.
2. The Name spelled "ALEF, DALET, NUM, YOD (viz. "ADONAY) called the Kinui,
i.e. the Substitute for the Implicit Name (ref. Sot. 38a).
, which are described as "Names not to be erased" (ref. Sh’bu 35a), because it is forbidden to erase them. "Moses said to God, "when I come to the Israelites and say to them "The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask Me, "what is his name?’ what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "EHYEH-ASHER-EHYEH,* "He continued, "Thus shall you say to the Israelites, ‘EHYEH’ sent me to you." Exodus 3:13,14 (THE TORAH - Hebrew translation of the first 5 books of the Old Testament)

Meaning of Hebrew uncertain; variously translated:



Note: When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew, they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid named "JEHOVAH." In order to avoid pronouncing even the sacred name ‘ADONAI for YHWH.

The custom was later introduced of saying simply in Hebrew HA-SHEM (or Aramaic SHEMA.’ "THE NAME"). Even in such an expression as "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of YHWH" is generally ascribed to a sense of reverence.

More precisely, it was caused by a misunderstanding of the Third Commandment (Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11) as meaning "Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain." Whereas it really means "You shall not swear falsely by the name of YHWH your God."

The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced "YAHWEH." This is confirmed, at least for the vowel of the first syllable of the name, by the shorter form YAH, which is sometimes used in poetry (i.e., Ex. 15:2) and the -YAHU of —YAH that serves as the final syllable in very many Hebrew names. In the opinion of many scholars, YHWH is a verbal form of the root HWH, which is an older variant of the root HYH "TO BE." The vowel of the first syllable shows that the verb is used as a future-present causative HIPH’IL, and must therefore mean "He causes to be, He brings into existence."

The explanation of the name as given in Exodus 3:14:   

Up to this point in the lesson, we have dealt with Israel’s concept of God’s Name.

Now we will deal with the New Testament’s interpretation of the name of God, which is:

1. Jesus was in the form of God.
2. God gave Jesus a name above all other names.
3. Jesus will receive a New Name. (Ref. Phil. 2:6,9; Rev. 3:12)

Let us look at an Old Testament Scripture that proves that Jesus Christ is Lord Indeed.
Let’s view this passage of Scripture from some of the most ancient sources available to us.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The MIGHTY GOD, The everlasting FATHER, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6,7 (ref. King James)

1. "....His NAME is called, Wonderful, counselor of the mighty God, of the everlasting Father, the "Prince of Peace" (Hebrew Publishing Co. 1915 Isaac Leeser)

2. "....And his name if called*

*PELE-JOEZ-EL-GIBBOR-ABI-AD-SAR-SHALOM, = Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the everlasting Father, the Ruler of peace." (The Masoretic Text 1965)

3. "....and his name has been called from of old, Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, He who lives for ever, the ANOINTED ONE (or, MESSIAH)," (The Targum of Isaiah 1953)

4. "....His name is called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty One, The EVERLASTING GOD, The Prince of Peace." (The Peshitta 1957)

5. "....and his name if called THE MESSENGER OF GREAT COUNSEL."   (LXX Septuagint 1954)

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."   Matthew 1:21

Hebrew = Jehoshua (Joshua) = Jehovah-Saviour
Greek = Iesous = Jehovah-Saviour
English = JESUS = Jehovah-Saviour

There were two of that name in the Old Testament, who were both types of Christ:

Joshua - Israel's captain at their first settlement in Canaan (Joshua, ch 1).
Joshua - Joshua, Israel’s high priest at their second settlement after the captivity, (Zech. 6:11-12).

Christ is our Joshua; both the Captain of our salvation, and the High Priest of our profession, and, in both, our Saviour.

We find that through the name of JESUS we have:

Salvation Acts 4:12
Healing Acts 4:12

As to how the name of God affects you and me, note the following Scriptures:

It’s a strong tower for our safety. Proverbs 18:10
What ever we do we must do in His Name. Col. 3:17
We take on His Name as His Children. Eph. 3:14,15


The Hebrew word is in the singular, thus precluding any ideal that its subject, ELOHIM, is to be understood in a plural sense. Man is spoken of as ‘making’ or ‘forming,’ but never as ‘CREATING*,’ e.g. producing something out of nothing.


From the Targum of Onkelos on this verse: "In the first times the Lord created the heavens and the earth."

In the "FIRST TIMES" is "BE KADMIN, or, "In antiquities." This expression, when used as here, in the plural, is sometimes used for "eternity."

Compare: the Targum of Onkelos on Deut. 33:27, ELOHA DE-MILKADMIN, "the ETERNAL God," or "God who is from eternity,"


With: the Targum Jonathan Ben Uzziel on Micah 5:2, "MESSIAH.......whose name is called (MILKADMIN) = "from eternity." Ref. John 1:1-14.


According to the Scriptures who created all things?


Job 38:4-6 God said He did it.
John 1:1-3 The WORD (God) was the creative force.
Hebrews 1:2 The Son (God’s Manifested Word) did it.


What was the first thing God created?


Revelation 3:14 The WORD was the beginning of God’s creation. Notice I did not say the flesh, the babe who was born to redeem mankind from death, but the Spirit that was in Him.


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1. The Word walked with Abraham and Adam and spoke to Moses on the Mountain top.

2. The Word became man  (God was in Christ)  in other words Jesus was perfect Man and Perfect God.

3. The Man died on the Cross - not God.

4. The Ancient of Days of Daniel and Revelation is coming back to earth with His vesture dipped in blood.

5. The Ancient of Days is called the WORD OF GOD. We know Him as Jesus the Son of the Living God.  (Daniel 7:9-14 and Jn. 1:14; Revelation 1:13-18)

HEAVEN   =    (SHAMEH)  and the EARTH  =  (ERETS

Heaven - The sky, both the visible arches in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve.

Earth - To be firm.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

As we see in Romans 4:17 ".......and calleth those things which be not as though they were." Up to this point God has not created anything. We find this same concept in the other Scriptures dealing with that which was created in the mind of God before, or from the foundation of the earth.


Rev. 1:8 The Alpha and Omega  (Christ)
John 1:1 The Word  (Jesus-God manifested in Flesh)
Matthew 13:35 Things kept secret
Matthew 25:34 The kingdom prepared for you
John 17:24 The Father’s love for His Son   (Jesus)
Eph. 1:4 Us  (The Church)  in him   (Jesus the Christ)
Heb. 4:3 Works were finished  (God’s Plans)
I Pet. 1:19,20 God’s perfect lamb for you.
Rev. 13:8 Lamb slain
Rev. 17:8 The book of life

In Genesis 2:3, this distinction between creation in the mind of God and the actual physical creation itself is clearly shown when it says

"And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from ALL HIS work which God CREATED TO MAKE (margin). His creative plan was finished before the foundation of the world, but His work ‘IS NOT YET DONE.’ In the LXX (Septuagint) Genesis 2:3 is recorded as: "And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He ceased from all his works which GOD BEGAN TO DO."

Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

An excellent rendering of this verse in the LXX (Septuagint) "And the earth was INVISIBLE and unfurnished and there was darkness over this abyss."

  Genesis 1:1................................... The Plan of God

  Genesis 1:2................................... The Plan put into operation

  Genesis 1:3 .................................. God creates light

  Genesis 1:4 .................................. God divided light from darkness

  Genesis 1:6-10.............................. God forms the heavens, earth

At the time of the initial creation, there were no other planets, stars, or other material bodies in the universe; nor did any of them come into being until the fourth day. The earth itself originally had no form to it (Genesis 1:2); so this verse must speak essentially of the creation of the basic elements of matter, which thereafter were to be organized into other material bodies.


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