Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 9

Genesis Covenants and Creation

Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 9
Watching Now
Genesis Covenants and Creation

I. Introduction

A. Covenant prologue

B. Most covenantal book in the Bible

II. Outline and Contents

A. Option 1

B. Option 2

C. Toledoth outline

III. Genesis 1

A. Two kingdoms

B. Creation of the visible world

C. Sequence and length of creation days

D. Sixth and seventh days

E. Length of the days

  • Dr. Miles Van Pelt is offering an opportunity to study the Old Testament and understand its overall message in more detail. The Old Testament consists of 2/3 of the Bible, and serves as a foundation for many teachings found in the New Testament. Its main purpose is to point towards Jesus who makes possible a new covenant with God's people. The structure of both Testaments follows a covenantal pattern that compels humans to make choices regarding their relationship with God, while demonstrating His patience and perseverance in doing so.
  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt 
Survey of the Old Testament 
Genesis Covenants and Creation 
Lesson Transcript


I. Introduction (00:13):

We are beginning our first book in the Old Testament. We've got all of our background information down and we're ready to look at Genesis, the first book in the Christian Bible.

A. Covenant prologue (00:27):

The Hebrew title of this book is the first word of the Hebrew text, bereishit, translated it means, the beginning or in a beginning one way or another. The book of Genesis functions as the covenant prologue to the Old and New Testaments like we discussed earlier in our lectures. It is both protological, it tells us about the beginnings, and eschatological, it tells us about the endings. Protological and eschatological. One of the ways it does this, for example Genesis 1:1 has that word bereishit in it, which means in the beginning and right at the very end in Genesis 49, verse one. This is when Jacob's about to bless the 12 tribes.  Jacob called his sons and said, gather yourselves together that I may tell you what will happen in the days to come or in the bereishit in the last days.

So here we’ve got Jacob talking about the eschatological last days. What's interesting is in Genesis 49, the section on Judah it says, “Judah is a lion's Cub" verse nine, "From the prey my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched to the lion. And it’s a lioness who dare rouse him, the scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the ruler staff in between his feet until tribute comes to him and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." We have the prophecy that the line of Judah will be producing the king that will reign over the eschatological kingdom. Then we find out that we are going to be from David's line.

We find this information from Jesus and in Paul, for example, he says the gospel promise beforehand concerning his son who was concerning his physical is from David. From the line of Judah. So here we've got Jacob telegraphing it all the way to the eschaton right there in the last days in Genesis chapter one.

This makes great sense because God, in His wonder always tells us what He's going to do before He does it. Then He does it. Then He interprets it. In Isaiah 46:10 it says, God is one who declares the end from the beginning. And from ancient times things not yet done saying, my counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose. I have a colleague John Curd who used to teach in Jackson with me, he’s now retired from Charlotte. He would always say your protology must always drive or inform your eschatology because the end is nothing other than the fullness of the beginning.

B. Most covenantal book in the Bible (02:59):

When we study Genesis, we're studying the end and the beginning. The book of Genesis is the most covenantal book in the Bible.

In what way you say? It contains more administrations of the covenant than any other book in the Bible. Now we talked about all those administrations yesterday and the various administration. We talked about the covenant of works or the covenant of creation. We talked about the covenant of common grace, the covenant of special grace, and the covenant with Noah in Genesis 6:18, the covenant with Noah and the whole world in Genesis 9. We also discussed the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 17, and 22. Outside of Genesis, there remains only three other covenants, the Mosaic, the David, and the New.

So if we get this book wrong, we're aiming our gun, our arrow. It'll just go in the wrong place for a long time. So we will spend more time in Genesis than perhaps any other book, because it's so dense with what we need to understand so that we can get on the right track for our journey through the rest of the Old Testament canon. We've already talked about date and authorship.

A. Option 1 (4:10)

In terms of its outline and contents, there are several different ways to think about the outlining contents of the local Genesis. The first is Genesis 1 through 11, the pre patriarchal era. The time before Abraham. Genesis 12 through 50 is the patriarchal era, and that would include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then the 12 patriarchs, the 12 tribes of Israel.

Our section out of that from Genesis 12:50, Genesis 37 to 50, right there, that's the Joseph narrative. So it's a slightly different track. It’s really with the patriarchs, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that we're looking at who is the promised seed that's going to come. Then there's this Joseph narrative in there, which is a wisdom narrative, that is going to show us the end from the beginning again. Which is in some sense, what's going to happen. So that's one way.

B. Option 2 (5:09)

You could also divide this section in half something like Genesis 1 to 9, the world that then was before the flood. Then Genesis 10 to 11, the world that now is where we have the tower of Babble and the table of nations. That kind of thing, preparing us for this. The actual outline for the whole book of Genesis is really a 12 sectioned book based on this thing called Allah Toldo. These are the generations in Hebrew, and there are 12. Now I have a little way of showing you that here.

C. Toledoth outline (05:48):

So this is the generational structure of Genesis, and you don't have to memorize this. I never make my students memorize this. So that would be rough. But see, you begin with a creation prologue, then you have these, it says, “these are the generations of”, or this is the account of however your Bible translates it. You can see what it's doing. First you begin with the heavens and earth and Genesis chapter 2 to 4, then you're tracing the line of Adam, the line of Noah, the line of Serug, Shem. Terah, who gets us Abel, Abraham, then we've got the line of Ishmael. This would be the non-elect line, the line of Isaac, and then double Esau non-elect line. Then the line of Jacob at the very end and that's how it's really structured.

That's how each section begins. There is a prologue up to Genesis 1:1 and 2:3 where you have the Sabbath there and we'll see today, even how this one begins. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth. That's the official outline of the book of Genesis. Now, there are several things we want to do. First, we want to walk through the first three chapters and talk about a couple of important issues in Genesis one, two, and three. I took a class in seminary on the book of, I think it was the Pento, or maybe just Genesis and we never got out of Genesis 11, the whole time. I think one day biblical training will probably try to pull off something like that. That would be worthwhile.

We're going to talk about creation. Day six of creation. We'll talk about the fall and then the beginning of the covenant of grace and the covenant of common grace. Then we'll talk about the flood, because the flood is a picture of the eschaton of the final judgment. It's a very important thing. Then we'll talk about the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Abraham covenant. So I'll survey briefly 12, 15, 17, and 22, because those are really programmatic texts that just play out all over the rest of scripture. Then I'll summarize the Joseph story and the theme of the book. So the first thing I want to do is I want to show you and talk with you about Genesis one.

III. Genesis One (07:59):

I want to show you the literary design and intention of Genesis one. Let me begin, by just reading in English, the first two verses of Genesis chapter one to us, and then I'll begin to show you how those two verses are programmatic for understand the rest of the book. It's says "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." So the first thing we get here, is that God created two things, the heavens and the earth. We know from Colossians 1:16 where it says "For, by Him, all things were created in heaven and on earth." What does that mean? Visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him. I mean, through Him and for Him.

A. Two kingdoms (8:56)

When I was a kid growing up, maybe I am still a kid growing up. I always thought when He created the heavens and the earth, He created the sky and the ground, but that's not what's being said here. He created two kingdoms, the invisible and the visible. We see those two kingdoms at operations still to this day. We still see, for example, in the Old Testament with Elijah, Gehazi, and Dothan, and there's that big army outside and Gehazi is really afraid. Elijah's just like,” it's cool, it's okay”. Gehazi's like, “are you kidding”? You see the army out there. He says, “no, those who are with us are more than those who are with them”.  Then Elijah prays so that he could see, and the Lord peels back the material realm.

Ghazi can see the true realm, the substance realm, not the shadow realm. He's like, “oh, we got this right?” So that's these two kingdoms at work. When Jesus comes in the incarnation and says, “repent for the kingdom of God is here”. That's because He's here. He is the invisible realm in person. That's what's going on there. There are two realms, then it says “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. So He created everything. There's nothing He didn't create whether visible or invisible. Then it says “now the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the face of the deep”, in Hebrew. It's easy to see this. It says, “tohu wa-bohu, as for the earth, that is everything that follows is just about the visible realm”. We don't know how that got created in the invisible realm.

We just know everything on earth is a copy of that. God created everything. We don't know when He created this at the same time or before. This is what he's now talking about. So Genesis chapter one is only about this, but it's told from this perspective. This is not a bottom up perspective of a man's account. It's impossible. No one was there. This is a heavenly perspective. So for example, when God's going to make man in His image says, let us make man in Our image. This is Yaweh in His divine council, making an edict, to all the supernatural beings, the angelical beings around him saying, now it's time to let us make man. So we see this is a heavenly perspective on the creation account. It's not a human perspective.

B. Creation of the visible world (11:03):

We're only talking about the visible realm. What does he say about this particular visible realm right now? It says the earth was formless and void. Darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was having over the Watchers. In some sense, we've got this binary division. They've got a threefold description of the formless and void. This is the word Hebrew word, if you want to know “tohu wa-bohu” special words. So it's alliterative, right? The spirit of God or now was tohu wa-bohu. So sometimes I like to render these uninhabitable and uninhabited, because it maintains that alliteration. But you know, it's hard to get good translation. So these two words right now, and let's say these five states, it's empty.

It’s without form, it's empty, it's dark, there's waters, and they're deep. These five states are going to shape the presentation of the creation days in a literary fashion. Now does anyone recognize this eight box diagram? When did we see that? Yesterday? Yeah. What was that eight? That eight box diagram represented the structure of the Bible. God's covenant word. Well, it's interesting that God's covenant world in day one of creation shares the same exact structure. The covenant world and the covenant word share a structure. We're going to label these days here, 0, 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. From chaos to cosmos from chaos, to sabbath king. Now days one, two, and three, fix the formless. Days four, five, and six, fix the void or empty. However you want to do it. The formless becomes form. The empty becomes filled. So what do we have on day one? Light and dark. Oh no. Yeah. Light separated from darkness. Sunday school teachers would be horrified. Okay. On day two, what gets separated?

What's that? Day on day two note, the water's above and the water's below. Great. On day three, what gets separated? The seas from the dry land?

The verb that's being used here for creation, by the way, many of you will know. It's B-A-R-A, bara so it's better sheath Bara. If you want to see Hebrew form right here, it's only used by God in the Old Testament. No other thing Bara and what this means is actually to create by division, which makes total sense because you're dividing light from darkness. You're dividing the water above and the water's below. This would be like the waters and the firmament versus the waters. You're dividing the seas from the dry land. So God is creating by division. That's how He creates the woman as well, by dividing her out of man. Then marriage represents coming together and I can't wait to get there. All right. So now we've got our formless formed right now. We've got to get our empty filled. So what, what does God create on day four? Yes. Correct. Sun moon stars.

What does it say that the sun, moon, and stars do for the day and the night?


So the signs.

Yes. There are signs. What else?


Give light,

Give light. What else? I'm looking for a word of dominion.



Yeah. They govern or rule over. They govern our rule over the light in the darkness. Over here we’ve got the birds and fish and they likewise rule over the air. It doesn't say that explicitly, but we're going to take it from that. You've got the ruling language here and here. Then you've got the what?



Animals. We know that man is given dominion over all the world. These are the creation kingdoms, and these are the creation Kings.


Vegetation on three as well.

Yes and also vegetation. These are, days three and day six are double creation days. There's two accounts here. First, the animals and then the humans. It's important to remember that when we get to the structure of the book of Judges, it's the same as this, interestingly enough. So double, double. Then here, we've got Sabbath King and to cease, and rest is dominion language. So for example, in Second Samuel 7, right at the onset of the covenant, it says, "David sat on his throne and ordered a rest be given from all his enemies." So that's when you are the unchallenged king, all right. That's the same language right here.

So that's why I say Sabbath king. Notice all this kingdom language I'm trying to import here so that you recognize this is a kingdom of God business. He's building the kingdom. And [inaudible 00:16:44] the Sabbath king. He installs vice Regents, created in His image to rule over all this. That's what's happening here. Notice that there are parallels that connect these things. There are... For... Not parallels. Yeah. So we know that the formless becomes formed in the creation kingdom. All of these are related by separation and that the empty becomes filled and all these are related by filling. So that's you have this one here and this one here, these like these panels. So we're talking this. Notice also that darkness deep, deep, sea. We've got darkness and deep and waters right here. So look, day one, solves darkness, day two solves the deep issue, and day three solves a water issue.

Do you see how it's so tightly organized? It’s a literary masterpiece that we've kind of missed because we're arguing about how long were the days and when did God do this? Notice I've avoided that question of that for now. Also notice, that there is parallelism in our correspondence this way. The sun, moon, and stars rule over the light and the darkness. It says, they're the sources of the light and the darkness. They give light to the world. The birds and the fish rule over the heavens and the seas. The man and animals rule over or dominate the vegetation, the dry land, and the seas. But especially man dominates over all of that. That's an amazing thing. So you can see perhaps that the arrangement of the creation days in Genesis chapter one has a theological arrangement.

C. Sequence and length of creation days (18:33):

Now there is the world famous debate about these 24 hour days and if are they sequential? There are a lot of people who argue a lot of different things about it. But I can say this, whatever view you take, whether you take something the literal 24 hour days, analogical days, day, age, or the framework view, which is the view you should take, no one can deny this particular reality. That's the beauty of it. Whatever you think about the duration and the sequencing of the days, or however you want to handle that. This is rock solid. This is like the Canon covenant. This is just literary observations and how it's put together. We want to see first the literary design and then second, we can answer any questions that stem out of that.

Day six is the climactic day of creation because it's called very good. It's good. Good, good, good, good. Very good. They all share the same structure. There's the divine declaration. Let there be, divine Fiat. There's the accomplishment of that. God sees it, names it, and calls it good. Each day shares a very tight structure. The only day that doesn't come to an end is right here. You'll notice in Genesis 2:1-3 that there is no, and it was evening and morning to seventh day. Why does it do that? One suggestion is this, that theologically day seven has not yet come. We still live theologically in day six. Theologically. We've had a lot of six or seventh days because Adam,  and because of his disobedience, failed to enter into God's rest.

The rest was the goal of creation. That Adam entered into that by filling, subduing, and obeying. That didn't happen. It wasn't until Christ came that Jesus was able enter into God's sabbatical rest. So Jesus is the only one theologically speaking who's gotten into day seven. Since we are united to Him, and we are in Christ, we have eschatological rest as part of our inheritance. It’s by the power of the spirit, that's what we call gospel rest, or assurance. That's a cool thing. So Jesus was it in day seven, after He did this, He came back to day six. He redeemed a people, went back to day seven and said, “I'm coming to get you again”. So that's one way of looking at it. That's the way I look at it. But it doesn't mean I don't believe in days and sadness.

This is a theological text. It's not a history text or a scientific text. It's got an eschatological agenda because Sabbath rest is the eschatological point of this. We also want to note in the sense of day six, being special is because something happened in day six that didn't happen in the other days. Something was created in God's image. I want to highlight that for you. Let's look at this in verse 26 of chapter one when it states, "Then God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So tell them to move and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, 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." So God created man in His own image, in the image of God. He created him, male and female.

He created them. That's the account. So we have humanity created his male and female, both in the image of God, both given the divine commission to rule and subdue, he said, and then 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, over the birds of the heavens and where every living thing that moves on the earth. And God said, behold, I've given you every plant yielding seed that it's on the face of the earth and every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food. So do dominion over that. And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of the life I've given every green plant for food and it was so, and God's said everything that he made and behold, it was very good.

D. Sixth and seventh days (22:48):

There was evening and there was morning the sixth day. We've got the first day here and we've got an intense literary structure from chaos to Sabbath, king creation kingdoms, creation kings, we've got parallelism this way and that way. We can see a very tight structure. Remember how in our cannon and covenant model. We had the very same thing, we had law, profits, and writings or covenant, covenant history and covenant life. There's this progression this way. But there was also the old covenant arrangement and the new covenant arrangement. We had the four books of the gospels and the four books of the mosaic economy. So the exact same parallelism, vertically and horizontally. So the exact same parallel exists here. So again, for me, this is another bit of evidence that the structure of the whole cannon is very supported by this particular model. The structure of the word of God and the structure of the world of God in the creation account are the same.

It's a very amazing thing to me. It makes me pause for worship. One of the things I want to show you is in terms of the sequencing of the days and how Hebrew works to highlight certain days. So, how do we know day six is so important? Well we know for two reasons, one is a double creation account and two, it's got the approbation. But there's another way we do too. We miss it in the vast majority of our English translations. We know that each day is numbered and I've got the verses right here. I've got the Hebrew in the left column, the verse in the right column, the next column and the translation here, and then the grammar and there's this grammatical term called anarchist and articulate. I first heard that when I took Greek with Bill Mount in 1991, I said, “what is an anarchist and articulate”?

But then he told me, and now I'm going to use it here in honor of him. Anarchist just means there's no definite article on something. It's not the dog, it's a dog, or just dog. Articulate means it's got, it's got the article, the, in most of our English translations, we render this the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the fifth day, the sixth day, the seventh day, right in Hebrew that's not how it works. It shows climax at the end in Hebrew. The first day is just yom, a day or day one. It doesn't say the first day. It's the starting point. Then with days two through five, there's no definite article. It's just a second day, after a single day, a third day after a single day, a fourth day, a fifth day.

Then wham, the sixth day, the presence of the article. There is another means of highlighting the importance of the sixth day. Then look at the importance of the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day threefold repetition of that really shows you that the goal of creation is the seventh day, how we get there is through the sixth day. Does that make sense? And so that's an important point to make in this particular arrangement here. I wanted you to have that. Therefore, what kind of days are these? Remember, that so there's this argument about the age of the earth and the nature of these days now. So remember two things. Number one, that this is told from a divine perspective down, not from human perspective up. This is not us observing scientifically what's going on and recording it.

This is God shaping reality by His covenant decree and His covenant word. That's the most important thing. So what's going on is these days that we have here may be heavenly days, because remember it's told from heaven's perspective. These may be heavenly days that we're looking at here, not earthly days, because we know that [inaudible 00:26:51] but we would argue that the earthly days are patterned after the heavenly days. Just like the earthly, tabernacle, and temple is patterned after the heavenly tabernacle and temple.That's substance, we're the shadow. So there's correspondence, but not, it's not equal correspondence. There's degrees. The earthly temple is a shadow of the greater heavenly temple. You get that in the book of Hebrews chapter 10, all over the place. How do we know that? First we know from scripture, a thousand years to the Lord, it's like our thousand years of art is like a year to the Lord.

E. Length of the days (27:26):

We've got that thing in our mind. We'll get that from the book of Psalms. There isn't Deuteronomy 11:21, a reference to days that we miss in our English translations. When we get to Deuteronomy 11:21, it says back up and do 20, “you shall write these commands on the posts of your home and on your gates that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied the length Lord swore to your fathers to give them”. So He wants them to obey so they can live a long time in the land because that's mosaic covenant. It’s about how long, as long as the heavens are above the earth. That's the ESV translation. But that's not what it says in Hebrew. Unfortunately, it says that He swore your fathers, like the days of heaven upon the earth. So Moses, the author of Deuteronomy recognizes that there are heavenly days and earthly days and the heavenly days are longer and the earthly days are shorter.

That's how Moses can be caught up on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights and not die of starvation or thirst. He's in a different time zone altogether. We know that there are heavenly days and earthly days now. For example, it says this in Psalm 89:29, “I will establish his offspring forever,(talking about David) and his throne”. Like the days of heaven, it's the exact same expression that we see right here. I know it's in Hebrew, but that's just for fun. So there's a reference even there that there's going to be an eternal kingship and that eternal kingship is going to be like the days of heaven. So that's a little more evidence. The net translation, the new English translation does it like this, “like the days of heaven itself”. It has a translation note that says literally “like the days of heaven upon the earth”.

We've missed it in our translation, this whole fact that there are heavenly days and earthly days. I was recently reading a book about someone talking about the days. She said, “we have no evidence in scripture that heavenly days are any longer or shorter than earthly days”. Then I wrote them back and emailed them and said, “what about this verse?” And she said, “well, I guess there's one now”. So, we've got it. That's good. We're making progress because if we read it in English and we're not carefully checking that it's accurate, we'll have to get Mr. NIV translation committee to get this thing going. But someone was asking about sequencing and how, you have certain things before other things and how that works in our mind. Remember when you're, trying to think about this creation account and how it orders our world and how to think about the days, it's a highly contested thing in the evangelical world.

It's interesting to note that before God says anything on day one in creation already, the world exists, darkness exists, and the waters exist. So not everything gets created on day one. It’s following something beforehand and it all gets shaped. We know God did it all. It says in Genesis one, there is stuff that exists before day, the world, the waters, and darkness. We know that darkness is something God made from the book of Isaiah. Secondly, there are some issues with sequencing. For example, where do you get light before the sun, the moon and the stars? It says these not only rule over them, but they shine the light on the earth. Also how would vegetation grow without the sun? It can't. So the point here is that sequencing is not the big thing. It's these themes right here that are the big thing.

VI. Conclusion (30:53):

In my particular wacky worldview, the ordering is formless and void. For me, what happens on day one and four is together. Then days two and five, and then days three and six. That works. The whole goal is that God is shaping His world by His word. It was formless and void. He's shaping it in these categories right here. So also, what's interesting, for example, animals are created first here and then man, but in Genesis chapter two it's man first, then animals.

So there are some differences. The way in which people get around it is they say, for example, a great reform scholar, EJ young from the 20th century, Westin seminary, Philadelphia argued that day one was the literal account and day two was a thematic account. But I would argue that day one is a thematic account. Day two is the chronological account because you always begin with a summary. Backup, focus in, give it the chronological. I just wanted to know that those are some options. So you can be careful when you think about this, because there's a lot to think about at that particular place. It's important.