In the beginning…

 

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In the beginning,

God created the universe.

When the earth was as yet unformed and desolate, with the surface of the ocean depths shrouded in darkness, and while the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters, God said,

“Let there be light!”

So there was light. God saw that the light was beautiful. He separated the light from the darkness, calling the light “day,” and the darkness “night.” The twilight and the dawn were day one.

Then God said,

“Let there be a canopy between bodies of water, separating bodies of water from bodies of water!”

So God made a canopy that separated the water beneath the canopy from the water above it. And that is what happened: God called the canopy “sky.” The twilight and the dawn were the second day.

Then God said,

“Let the water beneath the sky come together into one area, and let dry ground appear!”

And that is what happened: God called the dry ground “land,” and he called the water that had come together “oceans.” And God saw how good it was. Then God said,

“Let vegetation sprout all over the earth, including seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each kind containing its own seed!”

And that is what happened: Vegetation sprouted all over the earth, including seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each kind containing its own seed. And God saw that it was good. The twilight and the dawn were the third day.

Then God said,

“Let there be lights across the sky to distinguish day from night, to act as signs for seasons, days, and years, to serve as lights in the sky, and to shine on the earth!”

And that is what happened: God fashioned two great lights–the larger light to shine during the day and the smaller light to shine during the night–as well as the stars. God placed them in the sky to shine on the earth, to shine both day and night, and to distinguish light from darkness. And God saw how good it was. The twilight and the dawn were the fourth day.

Then God said,

“Let the oceans swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth throughout the sky!”

So God created every kind of magnificent marine creature, every kind of living marine crawler with which the waters swarmed, and every kind of flying bird. And God saw how good it was. God blessed them by saying,

“Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the oceans. Let the birds multiply throughout the earth!”

The twilight and the dawn were the fifth day.

Then God said,

“Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature, each kind of livestock and crawling thing, and each kind of earth’s animals!”

And that is what happened: God made each kind of the earth’s animals, along with every kind of livestock and crawling thing. And God saw how good it was. Then God said,

“Let us make mankind in our image, to be like us. Let them be masters over the fish in the ocean, the birds that fly, the livestock, everything that crawls on the earth, and over the earth itself!”

So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female. God blessed these humans by saying to them,

“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it! Be masters over the fish in the ocean, the birds that fly, and every living thing that crawls on the earth!”

God also told them,

“Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant that grows throughout the earth, along with every tree that grows seed-bearing fruit. They will produce your food. I have given all green plants as food for every wild animal of the earth, every bird that flies, and to every living thing that crawls on the earth.”

And that is what happened. Now God saw all that he had made, and indeed, it was very good! The twilight and the dawn were the sixth day. [Genesis 1:1-31]

With this the heavens and the earth were completed, including all of their vast array. By the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing, so on the seventh day he stopped working on everything that he had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, God Blesses us from abovebecause on it God stopped working on everything that he had been creating. These are the records of how the heavens and the earth were created. On the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, no shrubs had yet grown in the meadows of the earth and no vegetation had sprouted, because the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there were no human beings to work the ground. Instead, an underground stream would rise from the earth and water the surface of the ground.

So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, where he placed the man whom he had formed. The LORD God caused every tree that is both beautiful and suitable for food to spring up out of the ground. The tree of life was also in the middle of the garden, along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flows from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides, becoming four branches.

The name of the first one is Pishon–it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also found there. The name of the second river is Gihon–it winds through the entire land of Cush. The third river is named the Tigris–it flows to the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden in order to have him work it and guard it. The LORD God commanded the man:

“You may freely eat from every tree of the garden, but you are not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because you will certainly die during the day that you eat from it.”

Later, the LORD God said,

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make for him a companion that is a suitable match for him.”

After the LORD God formed from the ground every wild animal and every bird that flies, he brought each of them to the man to see what he would call it. Whatever the man called each living creature became its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds that fly, and to each of earth’s animals, but there was not found for the man any companion corresponding to him, so the LORD God caused a deep sleep to overshadow the man.

When the man was asleep, he removed one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh where it had been. Then the LORD God formed the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. So the man exclaimed,

“At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. This one will be called ‘Woman,’ because she was taken from Man.”

(Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they will become one flesh.) Even though both the man and his wife were naked, they were not ashamed about it. [Genesis 2:1-25]