If I were to ask you to open your Bible to the part that talks about the creation of the Earth, you’d probably open it to Genesis chapter 1. But it might shock you to learn that Genesis 1 does NOT talk about the creation of the Earth!
Genesis 1 talks about the creation of light and darkness, dry land, birds, fish, grass, man, and apparently the moon and stars, but NOT ONE WORD about creating the Earth!
Genesis 1:3-5 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Everyone knows that this is the first day of creation week – the day when God created light. And nothing else! It doesn’t say that God created anything else on this day! This is important, for when we back up to the very first verse in the Bible, it tells us that the Earth HAD ALREADY EXISTED BEFORE DAY ONE!
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
In the BEGINNING the heaven and the Earth were created – and the next verse describes the condition of the Earth before the first “day” of creation:
Verse 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.
So here we find the spirit of God moving over an already existing Earth, about to make the first pronouncement of creation week: “Let there be light!” So why is the creation of Earth, without which NONE of this would have been possible, not even mentioned in Genesis at all?
We live in a world that is divided between, for the most part, two camps; the scientific side believes that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, with a universe around 15 billion years old. On the other side are the fundamentalist Christian “young Earth” sects who believe that God created the Heavens, Earth, Angels, Man, and everything else “that was made” in six days. There is of course a small number of people who fall somewhere in between those two theories, but most fit one category or the other.
Now while I applaud most of the work that has been done on Creation Science in recent years – work which seeks to prove the veracity and infallibility of the Bible through science – in this area they have fallen short. They present a massive weight of proof for an earth less than 5 Billion years old – And in general, it is accurate. However, as you read creation science books you run into the same snag over and over – they have to fit EVERYTHING in 6,000 years, whether it fits or not. And today you’ll see that that isn’t necessary. The Earth is young – it’s just not as young as they think!
As I’ve already said, not one word is said about the creation of the Earth in Genesis 1, except for the fact that it was already existing before any of those things were done. But there IS a place where the Bible discusses the ORIGINAL creation of the Earth in some detail!
Job 38:1,4 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, … Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Here God is about to describe the actual laying of the FOUNDATIONS of the Earth – not the dressing up, or the finishing, but the foundations! The REAL, ORIGINAL CREATION not found in Genesis 1!
Verses 5-7 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Such comparatively insignificant things as birds and grass and dry land are mentioned in Genesis 1, but not one word is breathed about laying the CORNERSTONE! Or getting the Earth LEVEL (stretching the line upon it)! Or of the Angels shouting for joy at the creation. And the reason for that is, that they had ALREADY shouted at the creation of the Earth when it was created “in the beginning…”!
There is such a vast difference between the accounts of creation told in Genesis 1 and Job 38 simply because they were two completely different events with no overlap! And to explain (and prove!) that, I need to back up to Genesis 1 again…
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep …
The Earth had already been created at this point, before day one; and it didn’t have land, or mountains, or plants or animals; it was “Without form, and void”. These words come from the words “Tohu” and “Bohu“, which mean, roughly, “Chaos” and “Emptiness”. Now if you believe that Genesis 1:3-2:25 represents the ORIGINAL creation of the Earth, then you have to believe that God CREATED the Earth in “Tohu” and “Bohu“, for that is what God said was there when He started – right there in verse two He said that it was in Tohu.
But God specifically says He DIDN’T originally create it that way!
Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, HE CREATED IT NOT IN VAIN <TOHU>, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
He says He did NOT create it in Tohu! Another, more literal translation reads…
Isaiah 45:18 (Rotherham) For, Thus, saith Yahweh, Who created the heavens God himself! Who fashioned the earth-And made it Himself, established it, …NOT A WASTE, CREATED HE IT To be dwelt in, he fashioned it, …I, am Yahweh, and there is none else:
But in Genesis 1:2, before the seven days of creation, it is already IN Tohu! It already IS a waste! So if God did not create it that way then it had to change sometime between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2! The same translation renders Genesis 1:2 as…
Genesis 1:2 (Rotherham) Now, the earth, HAD BECOME WASTE AND WILD, and, darkness, was on the face of the roaring deep, -but, the Spirit of God, was brooding on the face of the waters.
Which fits much better with what we’ve already established. The Earth wasn’t CREATED in Tohu, but it HAD BECOME in Tohu!
So to follow the story we have so far, we have God creating the angels, then heavens and the Earth, and all the sons of God (Angels) shouting for joy at the beauty of the creation. Then something happens to wreck the Earth, and then in Genesis 1:3 God creates it anew.
So what could that have been? Let me first make it clear that the fossil record, history, and the Bible make it clear that Man and Dinosaurs were coexistent, and that no men or animals or pre-Adamic half-men dotted the Earth before the creation of what the Bible explicitly calls the FIRST man, Adam.
But there were beings around, besides God and Christ, before Adam! Before the creation of light, and before the “heavens and the Earth”, according to Job 38. The angels. The Bible does not tell us – at least, I haven’t found it yet – when Angels were created, exactly. But they were here before the universe was, or Job 38:7 is lying – which it isn’t.
Furthermore, we know that Satan – then known by his original name, Lucifer – was among them, for it said that “ALL the sons of God shouted for joy”. And since we know He was already the deceiver by Genesis 3:1, and there is no reason to believe that he suddenly sinned in the days or years after the creation of Adam and before man’s fall, we can infer that Satan sinned sometime between the creation of the world (Genesis 1:1) and the creation of Adam (Genesis 1:26).
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
This says clearly that the angels had an estate – or an office – and left it, and didn’t take care of it. You clearly wouldn’t give an office to angels who were rebellious, so it had to have happened before they sinned. Then it says after they sinned they were put in “chains under darkness”. If they were created after the creation of light, THERE WAS NO DARKNESS ON EARTH (except 12 hours or so a day – though sometimes longer at the poles)!
There was however, darkness on Earth BEFORE day 1, for DARKNESS was on the face of the ocean (Genesis 1:2)! And they weren’t imprisoned someplace else, for we know that they were still here in the time of Christ. So their sin had to take place before the creation of Adam, when “darkness” was on all the Earth!
Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
And this verse says that Satan was perfect, without sin, until the day God found lawlessness (iniquity) in him. In other words, until He sinned.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
And then God cast him out of heaven and down to the Earth. So He was here on the Earth. So we have narrowed the window for his sin to two verses – someplace between the first and second verses of the Bible.
Of course the most common objection to everything I’m showing you in the Bible is … “But… All the host of Heaven were created in 6 days!”
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were FINISHED, and all the host of them.
This tells us that the Heavens and the Earth were finished on the 6th day. That’s all! It doesn’t say they were created then, it says they were FINISHED then! Some things of course were created – animals, man, plants, etc – but the Earth, the Sun, Orion and Andromeda were not – otherwise, we have to throw out Job 38 and Genesis 1:1-2. So they weren’t created – they were just polished up a bit. Ok, quite a bit. And “finished”.
As for this including angels, the “host of heaven” is used dozens of times to refer to the actual celestial objects – not angels. For instance:
Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, …
This explicitly defines “all the host of heaven” as the sun, moon, and stars. Several other verses do the same (Deuteronomy 17:3, 2 Kings 23:5, etc). Now the host of heaven also does mean angels in a few verses, for instance:
2Chronicles 18:18 …I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
This is certainly not referring to the sun or moon, but to angels. And there is a simple solution to this confusing problem. In the Bible there are three heavens; the air in which birds fly (Genesis 1:20) the heaven where stars are (Genesis 22:17), and the heaven where God lives (Psalms 11:14). God’s throne room in His heaven presumably existed eternally, so no creating was done there on the 7 days of Creation. And yet 2 Chronicles clearly shows that the Angels are inhabitants of THAT heaven!
So saying “thus were finished the heavens, and the host of them”, need not include the creation of Angels, for they live in God’s heaven, which was not “under construction” during those 7 days! The context of Genesis 2:1 is unarguably the creation and finishing of the lower two heavens – THAT is what was finished at the end of day 6! Nothing in the other heaven was mentioned at all!
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD MADE heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This is a similar objection verse, which seems to say that everything I’ve said so far has been wrong; but the same reasoning about angels applies to this verse – the angels aren’t “in” these heavens, but in that other heaven, God’s throne room, and are a part of the spirit world, not the physical world. And finally, it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for angels to have been created in the 6 days of creation, for they shouted for joy AT the creation of the Earth, which ITSELF preceded the 6 days!
And as for using this verse to prove the literal creation of the entire universe as a part of those six days, it may surprise you to know that this verse uses an entirely DIFFERENT WORD than Genesis 1:1 does!
This verse uses, for “made heaven and Earth”, the Hebrew word Asah, which means “to do”. It has the connotation of building or fashioning out of preexisting materials. So this verse says in six days, God MADE, or ASSEMBLED the heavens and the Earth.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth.
But for this verse, Moses was inspired to use an entirely DIFFERENT WORD! This word is the Hebrew Bara which means to CREATE – as in to create something from nothing. Not to redecorate or repair, but to START FROM SCRATCH! Why would Moses use two different words, describing totally distinct TYPES of creation, for these two verses? Because THEY WERE TWO DIFFERENT EVENTS! In the one, God created the Earth from nothing, and in the other, God just remodeled it!
And someone else will object saying… “But… the Earth was VERY GOOD”!
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. …
And it does say that. But it ONLY MEANS that what God had done THEN was very good! That what was a part of THIS creation, in THESE heavens was very good!
And it is now well established that the Angels, and therefore Satan, was not a part of this creation, and therefore obviously not the context of that verse! And just because I build a house and rest and look over my work and say “it is very good”… doesn’t mean that every house I ever made was very good! It doesn’t mean the house next door that belongs to my neighbor is very good! It means THIS house, that I JUST told you about building, is very good!
This is really the only conclusion we can come to, when we add Genesis 1 to Job 38. In verse 2 we find that after the initial creation, the Earth HAD BECOME Tohu and Bohu, even though God hadn’t created it that way. And we find the spirit of God brooding over the waters – in darkness.
I stress in darkness, because those who insist on a 6 days creation for Angels, Satan, Man, Earth, Universe, and everything else, overlook that little point. You see, there was no sun – according to a casual reading of Genesis 1 – until day 4. And yet God created light on day 1. So where did the light come from?
They always respond with “well, God was the light!” – and that is logical enough. I mean, God is the light for the holy city (Revelation 21:23), and Christ is the “way, the truth, and the light” (John 14:6), and he “dwells in light unto which no man can approach” (1 Timothy 6:16). But if God being there is what lit the Earth… then how is it that we find God hovering over the Earth… WHILE IT IS DARK??
And then later, while He is obviously still there, he DIVIDES the light from the darkness!
Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
So if the light was literally coming from His body, how can there be darkness anywhere? Is He blinking on and off like a light switch every twelve hours? That seems rather silly. Is He hiding behind the other side of the Earth 12 hours of the day? It just doesn’t make sense either. The only thing that makes any sense at all is that the light was coming from something else, besides Him – something on a rotational cycle that brings it in contact with a given surface of the Earth roughly twelve hours a day. Like … the SUN?
“But the sun wasn’t created until day 4!”
This is indeed what is said. However, keep in mind that in Genesis 1:1 God said that He had ALREADY created the Heavens and the Earth. Although the King James renders it “heaven” (singular), virtually all other translations agree that it should be “heavens”, plural. Since God’s throne room presumably has always been here, this Genesis 1:1 creation apparently created two heavens – the one with stars (of which the sun is one), and the one with the Earth’s atmosphere.
Another problem with the sun’s literal creation on day 4 which should be mentioned in passing is that it means that the Earth really is the center of the universe (Copernicus would be crushed!), and that God put the Earth here, and THEN chained it with gravity to spin around something else – the primary (our sun). It just seems backwards, doesn’t it?
And a similar problem is that it is an absolute fact that the “Heavens and the Earth” existed before light did. However, any high school physics student can tell you that that is quite impossible! Allow me to explain.
Light, as we know it, is nothing more than a vibration carried by a particle known as a photon. These particles have no mass, but can carry large amounts of energy. They can vibrate at a tremendously varied number of frequencies, ranging over 109 octaves (similar to musical octaves) of which only one octave is visible to the unaided human eye containing the colors red through blue.
In science there is a law known as the law of conservation of energy, also known as the first law of thermodynamics. One of the most foundational laws upon which all science is built. It basically says that there is no energy lost in a closed system – that the energy is never lost, it only changes form. From momentum into heat into electricity and back to momentum again, for instance. When you use the brakes on your car, the energy of your forward momentum is not lost, it is just changed to heat and dissipated.
Electrons orbit protons in the nucleus of the atom; the speed at which they do this reflects the energy they carry. The faster (and therefore “higher”, relative to the center of the atom) they orbit, the more energy they contain. In the macrocosmic world we see this energy most often as temperature. Hotter things have electrons which are orbiting faster. But when an electron “runs down”, and drops to a lower, slower orbit, it has “lost” energy. And that energy must go someplace, according to the aforementioned law, and so it is released in the form of a photon. This photon will have a vibration in keeping with the amount of energy given up by the electron. And in turn, the amount of vibration it has (the wavelength) determines the color it shows.
On the other hand, when something bumps into an atom – such as another atom, an electron, or a photon – energy is created by the loss of inertia, which means that energy must go someplace, just as it does in your brakes. Generally speaking, the electrons absorb the extra energy and respond by jumping into a higher orbit, and the energy is retained. Then the electron drops into a lower orbit again, giving off a photon just as above. The most familiar practical application of this little tidbit of science is when electrons are pumped into a tungsten filament in a vacuum chamber; the electrons then collide with the atoms in the filament causing the electrons to jump up, then fall back in again, causing the release of a great many photons; we call this a light bulb. How is any of this relevant, you ask?
We know there was water on the Earth when God started on day 1 (Genesis 1:2). And since water is matter, and matter is energy, we can be certain that there was energy on the Earth. And we know, therefore, that electrons were emitting photons, since that is how energy is exchanged among atoms.
And this means that we can know, for certain, that LIGHT EXISTED BEFORE DAY 1! For matter CANNOT exist or interact without photons, AND therefore LIGHT!
And yet it says that God made light on day 1. So how do we make sense out of ALL of this, and not do violence to any of the scriptures or science involved? And not put any of it in the realm of “magic” and things that can’t be understood? Easy. Let’s try this story on for size:
God creates the Angels at some indefinite point in the past. Then He creates the universe, including the Earth, sun, and stars. The angels all think this is the greatest, most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen. Then God sets Satan and a third of the angels on the Earth, to “dress and keep it” (the same command He gave Adam in Genesis 2:15), which was their first “estate”. They did this for awhile, before Satan, for reasons discussed in other articles, grew restless and eventually sinned, leading a war up into heaven (Revelation 12, Isaiah 14), which of course failed and they were cast back down to Earth (Revelation 12 again, and Luke 10:18). Satan is no doubt one of the galaxy’s worst losers, so He was probably in quite a mood and threw a tantrum and wrecked whatever may have existed before then. And here they remained, in “chains of Darkness”, until the time was ripe for Adam to be created.
In order to make Adam, God had to fix the wrecked, flooded, barren and landless Earth, which was probably in a state analogous to nuclear winter, which completely blocked out the sun. So on the first day, God created light – and the clouds thinned enough to permit light, as on a cloudy day. On the second day God separated the waters – exactly what happened here is debatable, but this may refer to the shaping and preparing of the continents before they appeared. In any case, day 3 sees dry land appear, along with trees, grass, fruits, etc. During all this time, the light and dark periods have been alternating as the Earth rotated its faces toward the sun, thus lightening and darkening the days.
Finally on day 4, God completely cleared the sky so that finally we could see the sun and stars and moon directly, not just feel their light. Thus lightening the Earth with them for the first time since Satan’s sin. Thus for all practical purposes, “setting them in the heavens” from soon-to-be-created Man’s perspective. Then He proceeded to make animals, fish, then Man, and then rested the seventh day.
That will fit all the scriptures, without really forcing any of them to say something that they aren’t saying. And that is the essence of honest Bible study. So how old is the earth exactly? Well, that’s the subject of another paper altogether…