Old Testament

The Pentateuch

“In the beginning …” happened twice?

No, creation did not happen twice, but it is described twice in the Bible. Essentially, there are two separate creation accounts. The first creation account is the one in the first chapter of Genesis. “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1–2) In this account, God created day, night, sky, dry land, seas, vegetation, the sun, the moon, animals, and people. The second account is told immediately following the first: “In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up … ” (Genesis 2:4–5). While this account can be read as a summation and expansion of the first account, generally it is viewed as altogether separate. In this account, creation was a more personal event. The order of events differs from the first creation account. God created a man, planted a garden, established rivers, created animals, then created a woman.


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