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Genesis 1 Part II: The Second through Sixth Day

Noachide Bible Study No. 2 (Genesis 1:6-31)

Time: An hour depending on the kinds of questions you get. Try to keep q&a on topic, of course.

Comparing Bible Translations

Today we're preparing to remove the NRSV from the reading and replacing it with the ESV. A few comments; the NRSV was done mainly to add gender neutral language, but they went too far and damaged the meaning of many passages. Examples including the feeding of the 5000 (all men sit down) and many messianic prophecies in the OT. “Son of Man” in Ezekiel is a notable example, having been changed to the accurate but un-poetic “O Mortal”. Truth be told many of the words in the underlying text themselves were gender-neutral; but some weren't and English is fortunately or unfortunately a language that uses the Male pronoun as a default. The net effect was to de-poeticize the RSV. Psalm 23 as an example. This makes the text seem somewhat unfamiliar and may even change doctrine, even doctrine accepted across both Jewish and Christian readings. Honestly the ESV is no better having all of the theologically neutral translations replaced with KJV readings. But, in adding the ESV to today's reading, I'd like to draw attention to an important point regarding all of these translations (RSV, NRSV and ESV); they are all very much similar, and tend to get compared to the KJV for readability and feel. Of the translations compared then, the RSV looks like it is starting to win out over the two translations derived from it. And why not, both derivations were aimed at softening the blow the RSV had done to the KJV in the first place. Thus it would seem we are left with only three reliable readings; the KJV, for historical purposes and comparison with KJV-only fundamentalist Christianity, the RSV, a scholarly translation after our own hearts, and yet with which we are sad because it perhaps did not go far enough; and the ASC, a translation quickly growing in favor among the Orthodox Jews and therefore one we will be interested in as Noachides.

Notes on Notes

We used the Wesley NRSV Study Bible Oxford Annotated NRSV bible, Zondervan NRSB Student Bible, and the Artscroll Stone Chumash to provide fill-in for our discussions. Notably for the Oxford Annotated, the commentary seems to be on-track with points being made regarding the ceration story being specific in rejecting certain forms of idolatry (such as sun worship). The OACE also gets it right with a comment on royal inclusive language for Genesis 1:26 but beyond this their commentary is shallow and at times seems to border on presenting things from the standpoint of atheistic or even pagan-idolatrous scholarship.

Second Day

KJV RSV NRSV ESV ASC
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 6 And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 6 And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” Second Day
6 God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate between water and water.”
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 7 And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 7 And God made[a] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 7 So God made the firmament, and separated between the waters which were beneath the firmament and the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.[b] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 8 God called to the firmament, “Heaven.” And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
a. Genesis 1:7 Or fashioned; also verse 16
b. Genesis 1:8 Or Sky; also verses 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28, 30; 2:1

The ASC and the RSV retain the KJV's use of firmament, which reads like a technical term. This is probably the best way to say it, more better than dome or expanse. The WSB states the NRSV's dome in particular is a poor reading because it has connotations of that dark-ages worldview where a sky-dome surrounded the earth. This is clearly not what was meant in the original Hebrew (given several readings elsewhere which refer back to this one describing the earth as a sphere).

Commentaries

Here Rashi and Ramban differ, in that Rashi states that the creation of the first day remained in a state of flux; as I would say, a state of unfinished-business. Then God solidifies (marshals resources) on the second day. Ramban in contrast states this is a time of separation between physical and metaphysical aspects of God's creation. Yet adds that since nothing else is said regarding this day in the bible that he himself will not speculate further. What's more it is stated in the ASC that those who understand this verse (i.e. such secrets) are forbidden to reveal it, and those who do not know are forbidden to speculate over it. “Ramban's implication is clear; (it) is among the mysteries of Creation that are either unknowable to Man or must be limited to those qualified to know them.” (ASC, pg. 4).

The ASC further elaborates this is the only day with which God does not say 'It is good.' Rashi then states the term is used only for a finished creation – ex. the waters, which were not finished (in their proper place and order) until the third day. The ASC also gives a midrash about the creation of strife and links it to a song about Korach, the instigator of strife against Moses and Aaron. It then states that at least one Rabbi commentator has noted explicitly this is when the angels were created, and thus, not being the prime goal of creation it could not yet be called 'good'. “The righteous are greater than the ministering angels” (Sanhedrin 93a). Presumably in this case because the angels are to fulfill their purpose in the service of time.

Third Day

KJV RSV NRSV ESV ASC
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 9 God said, “Let the waters beneath the heaven be gathered into one area, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[a] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 10 God called to the dry land, “Earth,” and to the gathering of waters he called “Seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 And God 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. 11 And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[b] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 11 God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: herbage yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit each after it's kind, containing it's own seed on 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 God saw that it was good. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 12 And the earth brought forth vegetation: herbage yielding seed after its kind, and trees yielding fruit, each containing its seed after its kind. And God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
a. Genesis 1:10 Or Land; also verses 11, 12, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30; 2:1
b. Genesis 1:11 Or small plants; also verses 12, 29

Commentaries

The ASC notes that on this day God exercised his control over the resources he had created, saying in effect “when!” (or, “Enough!”) to stop the waters in their proper place, as they rose, in order to form seas. And that the concept of God as determining what is sufficient and setting limits is alluded to in His name Shaddai.

10. ASC states that 'earth' comes from the word 'desire' meaning to desire to fulfill God's word; and that this was seen when God created one rock which rushed to expand and fill out God's plan for creation.

12. ASC contrasts with 2:5 (nothing grew before Adam). Rav Assi states that although the seeds had germinated in the earth, it remained for Adam to pray for them to rise, and then rain came and they grew out. This teaches that God longs for the prayers of the Righteous (Chullin 60b) (see v.24).

Fourth Day

KJV RSV NRSV ESV ASC
14 And God 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: 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[a] and for days and years, 14 God said, “Let there be luminaries in the firmament of the heaven to separate between the day and the night; and they shall serve as signs, and for festivals, 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. 15 and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 15 and they shall serve as luminaries in the firmament of the heaven to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 16 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 16 And God made the two great luminaries, the greater luminary to dominate the day, and the lesser luminary to dominate the night; and the stars.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 17 And God 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 God saw that it was good 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 18 to dominate by day and by night, and to separate between the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
a. Genesis 1:14 Or appointed times

Commentaries

ASC notes that many things which had been created on the first day only finally fell into place by the fourth day (i.e. luminaries). Further that the Vilna Gaon states there is a parallel between the first three and second three days of creation; showing God's order of creation, and then population (marshaling) of resources. It then brings the midrash that the sabbath's mate would be Israel. We can understand this here by noting that God rests on the mate-day of life reproducing itself, which may suggest something or not.

14. The luminaries show God's majesty in creation and the statement he set them is to go against anyone who worships the sun, moon or stars. Also to be used in demonstrating his control by diverting them from their natural order (when he sees fit to do so – ex. when the sun stopped for Joshua).

Fifth Day: Marine and bird life.

KJV RSV NRSV ESV ASC
20 And God 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. 20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.” 20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[a] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 20 God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and fowl that fly over the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”
21 And God 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 God saw that it was good. 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 21 And God created the great sea-giants and every living being that creeps, with which the waters teemed after their kinds; and all winged fowl of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas; but the fowl shall increase on the earth.”
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
a. Genesis 1:20 Or flying things; see Leviticus 11:19–20

Commentaries

21. the same word 'created' here is used for the creation of Man in v.26.

22. The first instance of a divine blessing; the capacity to reproduce distinguishes living beings from sun, moon, stars, etc (WSB). The creatures were blessed because so many of them are hunted down as members of a food chain. The ASC states that the land animals which were created also needed such a blessing but one was not given, to avoid blessing the serpent which was destined to be cursed (Rashi)

Notes

After it's kind; ex. God's intention is to allow plants and animals to reproduce naturally; each plant and animal has unique characteristics with which they use to select their mates; inter-species reproduction is not the express wish of God in creation.

Sixth Day

KJV RSV NRSV ESV ASC
24 And God 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. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures, each according to its kind: animal, and creeping being, and beast of the land each according to its kind.” And it was so.
25 And God 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 God saw that it was good. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 25 God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, and the animal according to its kind, and every creeping being of the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 And God 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. 26 Then God 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 birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[a] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[b] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 26 And God said, “Let us make Man in Our image, after Our likeness. They shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the animal, the whole earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. So God created humankind[c] in his image,
in the image of God he created them;[d]
male and female he created them.
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
27 So God created Man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created him.
28 And God blessed them, and God 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. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 28 God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, the bird of the sky, and every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God 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. 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 29 God said, “Behold, I have given to you all herbage yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit; it shall be yours for food.
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. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 30 And to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the sky, and to everything that moves on the earth, within which there is a living soul, every green herb is for food.” And it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
a. Genesis 1:26 Heb adam
b. Genesis 1:26 Syr: Heb and over all the earth
c. Genesis 1:27 Heb adam
d. Genesis 1:27 Heb him
a. Genesis 1:26 The Hebrew word for man (adam) is the generic term for mankind and becomes the proper name Adam

Commentaries

ASC notes the sequence implies that the goal of creation was Man (as does other verses which insinuate Man's use of the world i.e. seeds, days, festivals) and that Man is to manage the earth. This is also explicitly commanded by God, man is given dominion over the earth – in that God has marshaled resources in this way, implies Man was put here for that purpose.

24. 'bring forth' This term implies a concealed, dormant presence was revealed (see v.12, also a 'mirror' of this verse in the same sense as days 1-3 match 4-6, 12 seems to match 24? Noted, but as speculation). As Rashi writes the potential was created earlier on the first day and only now has it been 'brought forth'.

25. '…it was good'. As noted before this approval is only given to a creation which is complete. So, animal, vegetable and mineral are counted as good as soon as they are complete because they have no need to improve before they are considered 'good'. But Man's creation which is next is not called 'good' directly after they are created, but only as a part of all creation; because it is man's job to better himself and better the world.

26. The use of royal inclusive language indicates Man was created with great deliberation and wisdom. God did not say “Let the earth bring forth Man,” he discussed it and deliberated over it. ASC brings a midrash when Moses was writing down the Torah and got to “let us” he stopped and asked God why he was giving fuel to the idolaters. God replied “Keep writing!' and that anyone who wants to find a problem will find one, just teach them that God created all, yet when he created Man he discussed it over with his ministering angels. Thus God taught us we should always discuss it with others before embarking on major new initiatives.

The WSB also notes these same ideas, that the unique language here points to a climactic moment; that God did not speak humans into existance or issue general laws of nature about us; but that he formed us with his own hands and his own breath and spoke to us (in contrast with how he created every other living thing). We take this from all sources to mean that man had morality, reason, free will, etc. in contrast to every other living thing.

for this and v.27 Wesley notes, 'imago dei' is royal inclusive language also used to distinguish the human's unique role as subjugator of the earth and animals.

27. Man's unqiueness and level is reflected in the manner of his creation. Throughout the story God creates by utterance but Man was created with his own hands (as it were) (Rashi).

In His Image/in the image of God – man was uniquely given morality, reason and free will. He can know and love God and hold spiritual communion (have spiritual communication) with him. He is aware of God's presence. Man alone can guide his actions through reason. Rambam states, 'It is in this sense that the Torah describes Man as having been created in God's image and likeness'.

28. Again, demonstrating Man's morality, reason and free will, God does not declare but commands man to be fruitful and multiply. This has become a positive commandment. The punishment for breaking this commandment would be severe because he demonstrates that he does not wish to comply with the Divine Order to populate the world (Sefer HaChinuch).

29-30. Most commentaries group these verses together, and imply that Man and beast were given the same herbal diet. At this time Man was forbidden to kill animals for food; such permission was granted to Noah, only after the Flood (cf. 9:3 and Sanhedrin 59b).

31. And behold it was very good. – Everything was fit for it's purpose and able to act accordingly (Rambam). The Torah says that the entirety of creation was, very good. In the Vilna Gaon it comments that things may be good in isolation but not necessarily when they are combined together with other things. However, God's works were good in and of themselves and also good together. Mesech Chochmah goes further and states they are even better in combination than individually. We can take this to mean God's creation was planned to operate this way and that each individual act of creation was part of His larger plan; i.e. demonstrating his foreknowledge.

It is further stated that evil things which appear evil in isolation (such as someone breaking a leg) might, in the grand scheme of things, bring about something good (winning compensation for oneself and one's family; avoiding a draft to war; etc).

ASC also brings that the first word here, is a definite article for the sixth day. I.E. the day is announced or heralded differently here than the other days. Likely (Chizkuni) because on this day all his creative/productive work was finished. Rashi cites a midrash that 'the sixth day' alludes to the sixth of Sivan, which was the day the Torah would be given at Mt. Sinai. And that it was because of that auspicious day that the world was created.

For Wesley, v.31 acknowledges that man was created “pure, without any sinful blot” (Sermon 45: “The New Birth” I.1). Central to Wesleyan theology evil did not exist “at all in the original nature of things” and that it was “no more the neccessary result of matter than it was the necessary result of spirit” (Sermon 56: “God's Approbation of His Works” II.2). The absolute goodness of God's creation is the heart of a Wesleyan understanding of God's grace.

Other Notes

26. Man and woman created at the same time

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