On the first day of the 11th month in the 40th year, Moses
spoke to all the sons of
This is the situation forming the background of the Book of
Deuteronomy. “These are the words”
introduces the book to the reader. Moses declares, “Yahweh our Elohim, He spoke to us at Horeb. . . .” (Deut. 1:6 CV).
The word of covenantal life heard at Horeb, Mount Sinai, and the words mediated
through Moses at this same site gifted
The Song of Yahweh (Deut. 31:30–32:43) given to Moses for all
Is not He your Father Who acquired you? He Himself made you and established you. (Deuteronomy 32:6b CV)
Yahweh is said to be
Remember the days of the eon;
Understand the years of generation after generation.
Ask your father,
and he shall tell you,
Your elders, and they shall say to you:
When the Supreme gave the nations allotments,
when He parted the sons of Adam,
He stationed the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of El.
For the portion of Yahweh is His people;
Jacob is the line of His allotment.
He found him in a wilderness country,
And in a chaos, a howling desolation.
He surrounded him; He made him understand;
He preserved him as the pupil of His eye. (Deuteronomy 32:7-10 CV)
In this passage of the Song,
At that time, Yahweh had already designated as His portion
from among the nations His people,
Yahweh is also said to have found Jacob in “a wilderness country” (Deut. 32:10).
This wilderness refers to
In this Egyptian wilderness of chaos and desolation, Yahweh “surrounded him” (Deut. 32:10), that is,
Yahweh protected Jacob/Israel from his enemy. He secured Jacob/Israel by giving
him covenantal life, making him Yahweh’s nation, Yahweh’s portion from among
the nations. Yahweh made
According to Deuteronomy 32:12b (CV), “Yahweh alone guided him, and with him was no foreign el, . . .” Jacob was to be led and guided by Yahweh alone. He was not to worship and serve any of the Sons of El appointed over the nations. He also was not to be led and guided by any of the pseudo-gods the nations had created for themselves. These distinctions are important. The Sons of El appointed over the nations were not pseudo-gods. They were authorized by Yahweh Elohim. They were under the authority of Yahweh Elohim. They were, thus, legitimate. There is no text in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures to indicate or imply that these Sons of El were in opposition to Yahweh’s rule or in rebellion against His authority.
This authorization of the Sons of El by Yahweh Elohim is demonstrated in the Book of Daniel. In the second chapter, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. He summons the sacred scribes, the magi and enchanters, and the Chaldeans. He demands they make known the dream and its interpretation. This he does in order to assure the authenticity of their interpretation. The implication is he has reason to distrust the source of their interpretation. He is doubting their ability to actually have access to the gods of the nations. He may even have had doubts concerning the power of these gods.
These wise men of his kingdom acknowledge they cannot accomplish the king’s demand. Hearing of the plight of all the wise men in the kingdom, Daniel prays to his El, Yahweh, the El of the Heavens, the El of his forefathers, and is granted the revelation of this secret. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar no human is capable of achieving his demand. But the El of the Heavens reveals secrets and chooses to make known to the king what shall be in the latter days.
After hearing the disclosure and interpretation of the dream, the king declares to Daniel,
In verity, your El, He is the El of elohim, Lord of kings, . . . (Daniel 2:47b CV)
Nebuchadnezzar is acknowledging the supremacy of the El of Israel over the elohim of the nations in accord with the revelation of Deuteronomy 32:7-9. This dream of the king occurred in the second year of his kingdom (Dan. 2:1).
In the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, the king sets up
an image of gold and commands all invited authorities in the kingdom to bow down
and worship the golden image (Daniel, chapter 4). Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, Israelites previously appointed by Daniel to rule over the Jews in
In the fourth chapter of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar has another
dream. However, before divulging the dream, the king announces to all peoples,
leagues, and language groups dwelling within the boundaries of his kingdom his
dependence on and praise of the Supreme El. He acknowledges how the Supreme El
has revealed immense signs and achieved amazing, mighty deeds on his behalf. He
describes the kingdom of the Supreme El as an eonian kingdom and His
jurisdiction as being with generation after generation. Thus, Nebuchadnezzar
acknowledged the kingdom of the Supreme El as incorporating all the kingdoms of
the Earth. He, in effect, acknowledged the supremacy of the El of Israel and
the supremacy of the nation
But Nebuchadnezzar was to become proud, taking personal credit for the glory of his kingdom. His resulting dream came from the Supreme El, and its message had to do with the dormant pride of Nebuchadnezzar and the evil pride of those hating Nebuchadnezzar, “the Supreme is in authority in the kingdom of the mortals [renown men of authority], and to whom He is willing he is giving it, . . .” (Dan. 4:17b CV). Because Nebuchadnezzar will have forgotten this truth, his sanity would be taken from him, and he would be removed from authority by those, like himself, selfishly coveting (for their own welfare) power and authority.
However, the interpretation of the dream by Daniel (for all
others were unable to interpret it) informed Nebuchadnezzar that he would be
reinstated as ruler of the kingdom when he had learned that “jurisdiction is of the heavens” (Dan.
4:26b CV). This referred to the supremacy of the Supreme El over all the
kingdoms of the Earth. The Supreme El (Yahweh) had placed His own nation (
Nebuchadnezzar had acknowledged the authority of the Sons of
El, but had also demonstrated how the nations had been given up to worship and
serve according to their own disqualified minds by his molding of the golden
image and requirement that authorities worship it. This golden image was
referred to by the Chaldean authorities as Nebuchadnezzar’s el (Dan. 3:12 CV). The
Supreme El, through this dream, was predicting the actualization of the dormant
potential within the heart of Nebuchadnezzar. He would forget this dependence
on the Supreme El, the El of the nation
And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to the heavens, and my knowledge was returning to me. Then I blessed the Supreme, and I lauded and honored Him Who is living for the eon, seeing that His jurisdiction is an eonian jurisdiction, and His Kingdom is with generation after generation. All abiding on the earth are reckoned as naught: according to His will is He doing in the army of the heavens and with those abiding on the earth. And no one will actually clap with his hands and say to Him, “What doest Thou?” . . . Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, am lauding and exalting and honoring the King of the heavens, seeing that all His deeds are verity, and His paths are adjudication; and all walking in pride He can abase. (Daniel 4:34-37 CV)
The order of the ancient world consisted of the Supreme El, King of the Heavens, over the Sons of El. Over each nation, the Supreme El appointed a Son of El. After the nations abandoned the worship and service of the Supreme El, they were given over to produce that which was in accord with their disqualified minds. Thus, they began to create their own gods in the image of the sun, the moon, the stars, and other life forms created by Yahweh Elohim, the Supreme El. The appointed Sons of El continued to have jurisdiction (under the authority of the Supreme El) over these nations. The Supreme El assigned to each nation its apportioned worship and service, and the Sons of El were not to interfere with that apportioned worship and service.
Consequently, the Supreme El activated His right to His
portion among the nations, Jacob. He formed Jacob in the womb of
The last reference to the celestial authorities in the Book of
Daniel is found in chapter 10. Daniel has been praying and fasting for 21 days.
He then has a vision of a celestial being. This being announces he has been
sent in response to Daniel’s words. However, he had been detained 21 days by
the chief of the
Daniel is told this chief of the
The higher authority sent to mediate the dispute was Michael,
one of the highest chiefs. In chapter 12 of Daniel, Michael is referred to as “the great chief, standing over the sons of
your people [
In the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, this same Michael, with
his messengers, is described as battling with the Great Dragon and his
messengers. This is symbolical, metaphorical language. Michael represents Jesus
the Messiah and Michael’s messengers are the disciples of Jesus the Messiah as
they metaphorically reside in heaven beside the throne of Yahweh. They battle
with the Great Dragon and his messengers. The Great Dragon represents The
Adversary, and his messengers represent the children of Cain in
In the letter of Jude, verses 8-10 (CV), Michael is called “the chief messenger.” He is described
as disputing with The Adversary in the past over the physical body of Moses.
Again, the issue is a legal dispute. The jurisdiction of The Adversary is not
in question. The particular case of the body of Moses is in question. Michael
had been sent by Yahweh to claim the physical body of Moses. This implied a
request for the resurrection of Moses from the dead. Michael did not yield to The
Adversary’s legal argument justifying his rejection of Michael’s request. He
simply rebuked The Adversary in the name of Yahweh. There was no literal
battle. There was no rebellion on the part of The Adversary. The Adversary
understood Michael’s appeal to the
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Paul refers to Christ Jesus as descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of a chief messenger, and the dead arising in response. As Michael is depicted as having authority to raise the dead body of Moses, so Christ is depicted as both replacing and superseding the position and authority of Michael. Thus, in Revelation 12:7-8, Michael symbolically represents Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of the Supreme El. This is confirmed by the Hebrew meaning of the name Michael, he who is like El.
The Supreme El both reveals and conceals. His revealed will is
obeyed by the Sons of El and the various administrators under their
jurisdiction. It is the concealed will that poses problems. The chief of the
Returning to Deuteronomy, Moses at
Two other times in Deuteronomy Moses likens
However, in Deuteronomy 28:58-62, Moses warns Israel that should
she not observe to obey all the words of Yahweh’s Law, she would become few in
adult males instead of continuing to increase as the stars of the heavens.
Then I said to you: You should not be terrified, and you should not fear them. Yahweh, your Elohim, Who is going before you, He Himself shall fight for you according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness you saw how Yahweh your Elohim carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way you went until you came to this place. (Deuteronomy 1:29-31 CV)
But this generation would not believe. It murmured,
In Yahweh’s hatred of us, He brought us forth from the
This generation chose to believe the word of the ten spies
rather than the two who had declared Yahweh would deliver the enemy into their
hands. Moses concluded, “Even in this
matter you were not believing in Yahweh your Elohim, . . .” (Deut. 1:32
CV). Though this people had experienced the great deliverance of Yahweh out of
Assuredly, no one among these mortals, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I had sworn to give to your fathers, . . . Deuteronomy 1:35 CV)
The only exceptions among these mortals (renowned men of authority) of that evil generation were Caleb and Joshua, who believed Yahweh and recommended immediate entrance into the land. But all those men 20 years and older in the military and in leadership would be destroyed in the wilderness. They were not willing to trust in Yahweh. They believed Yahweh to be a capricious god, like the gods of the nations. Forty years this evil generation wandered in the wilderness, until it had been culled out from among the wheat, the faithful generation which would enter and tenant the land of promise (Deut. 2:7, 14‑15 CV).
That evil generation had failed to accomplish even that which
the sons of
for I shall not give any of the country of the sons of
Ammon to you as a tenancy, since I gave it to the sons of
It appears, on the basis of this passage, that some nations
had already become so corrupt that the Supreme El had to exterminate them from
their allotted lands. These judgments were executed after the call of Abraham
and were accomplished by the sons of
In the conquering of the kings and kingdoms in transjordan,
But, again, not all the people within these kingdoms were killed. Moses testifies,
So Yahweh our Elohim also gave into our hand Og King of
The first group of people completely destroyed in this account consists of Og and all those members of his army. The second group completely doomed, destroyed, so that there were no survivors, consists of the 60 cities which rejected peace and were strongly fortified. But there were also towns taken, not necessarily doomed to destruction, as well as numerous unwalled villages which most likely welcomed liberation from this evil and corrupt system of enslavement.
The nations needed liberation. They needed light. They were
living in darkness and slavery. The powers of darkness had distorted and
corrupted the knowledge of the Supreme El and His appointed rulers, the Sons of
El. The nations had become submerged in the dark waters of ignorance. Myth,
superstition, and astrology became the spectacles through which they perceived
themselves and their world. They had become metaphorically blind. They were
religiously, politically, socially, and economically groping in the dark. But
the embers of truth had not been extinguished. A fresh, clean breath of air was
all that was necessary to revive the flame of truth.
However, Jacob had not escaped the encompassing darkness into which the nations had been submerged after the destruction brought about by the flood. Noah and his three sons had been saved from that destruction. A new beginning was made possible. But the people generated out of these three sons had sought to make for itself a city, a tower reaching into the heavens, and a name (Gen. 11:4). At that time the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim, confused their tongues and set the appointed Sons of El over them. This, according to the Genesis account, was the origination of the nations. This was the occasion alluded to in Deuteronomy 32:8. The Supreme El allotted the nations territories and appointed each nation a Son of El as governor.
The Supreme El had parted “the sons of Adam” (Deut. 32:8a CV). Adam is referred to in this passage rather than Noah because the nations had not yet been generated. The record of Genesis, chapter 10, concerns the genealogical annals of the sons of Noah. It omits reference to the event recorded in chapter 11 because its focus is only on the genealogical record of the descendants of Noah through his three sons. Therefore, the event of chapter 11 (the confusion of tongues) must be read as occurring chronologically after the events recorded in chapter 9 (the blessing of Noah and his three sons after the flood and the account of Noah’s drunkenness).
Genesis, chapter 5, opens the book or scroll of the
genealogical annals of Adam. Chapter 9 closes the first chapter of this book.
Chapter 10 of Genesis opens the second chapter of the book of Adam, taking up
the human drama as continued through the genealogical annals of the sons of
Noah. Genesis 11:1-9 closes the second chapter of the book of Adam with an
account of the
Genesis 11:10-26 opens the third chapter of the book of Adam with the genealogical annals of Shem. Chapter 11, verse 26, closes chapter three of this human drama with a reference to Terah and his three sons. Genesis 11:27 opens chapter four of this human drama with the genealogical annals of Terah.
Genesis, chapter 11, had recalled the attempt of the people to build for itself a city and a tower reaching into the heavens and to make for itself a name. This desire is thwarted by the Supreme El, resulting in the division of languages and the scattering of the people into territories assigned by the Supreme El to the developing nations.
Chapter 12 of Genesis continues the human drama by taking up the call of Abram. Yahweh separates Abram from his land, his kindred, and his father’s house. Abram is a descendant of Noah through Shem, through Terah. Yahweh thus makes Abram holy (separated to and for Himself).
More significant, however, is Yahweh’s promise to Abram. It is
this promise that takes up the thread going back to the significant event
recorded in Genesis 11:1-9 (the building of the city and the
This is why the writer of the Book of Hebrews declares that Abraham looked for a city (Heb. 11:10). The descendants of Adam and Noah after the judgment of the flood sought to make themselves a city and a name. This displeased the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim. He intervened against these people, but He intervened in favor of Abram and his seed. Abram and his seed would be made a great nation, having a great name, and inhabiting a great city whose artificer and architect would be God, the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim, Yahweh the Elohim of Israel. But these promises were not to be terrestrial but celestial, even as Jesus would declare, “My kingdom is not of this world [not of the terrestrial world-order of Adam, Noah, and Moses]” (Jn. 18:36b CV). Jesus Christ, THE SEED of Abraham would become the great NAME promised to Abram. His Ecclesia, His Bride, would become the great NATION, the Israel of Yahweh. The Celestial Jerusalem would become the great CITY.
The celestial fulfillment of these promises would affect the
entire terrestrial realm. The race, as well as the nations, would be blessed
through Abram’s seed. But Abram’s seed had been immersed in the darkness that
came upon the nations. They, too, had been affected by the environmental
atmosphere of myth, superstition, and astrology. They, too, were immersed in
the dark water of ignorance. They had become immersed in the dark water of the
Thus, Moses takes up the theme of the analogy of the former days:
For ask now about the former days which came before you, from the day that Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: Has there occurred anything like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived? Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? You were shown this to know that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim. There is no one else aside from Him. From the heavens He let you hear His voice, to discipline you, and on the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. For inasmuch as He loved your fathers and chose their seed after them and brought you forth from Egypt into His presence by His great vigor, to evict greater and more substantial nations than you from your presence, to bring you in and give to you their country as an allotment, as it is this day, so you know today, and you recall it to your heart that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. Hence you will observe His statutes and His instructions which I am enjoining on you today, that it may be well with you and your sons after you, and that you may prolong your days on the ground that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you, all the days. (Deuteronomy 4:32-40 CV)
This analogy compares the creation of
Moses begins his analogy with a question. He asks the people to inquire about the former days which preceded the nation’s formation, which oral history passed down from Adam through Noah, through Abraham. He directs the attention of the nation and the reader back to the historical events later to be recorded in Genesis, chapters 1-11, “from the day that Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: . . .” (Deut. 4:32b CV). The nation and the reader are reminded of the day Elohim created Adam and initiated the spreading of humanity over the surface of the Earth.
Moses then asks the nation a rhetorical question. Has there
occurred anything since the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days
to compare with the creation of a nation out of a nation—the creation of
“Become light!” And it is becoming light. (Genesis 1:3b CV)
Moses is simultaneously alluding to the creation of Adam:
And forming is Yahweh Elohim the human of soil from the ground, and He is blowing [breathing] into his nostrils the breath of the living, and becoming is the human a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 CV)
As the heavens and the earth had been created as a result of the word of Elohim and as Adam had been formed and given life by the breath of Elohim, so Israel had been metaphorically taken out of the bowel of Egypt and made alive covenantally by the word of Yahweh Elohim breathed into him from the heavens of Mount Sinai. Moses is implying the metaphorical creation of a new heavens and earth and a new national man.
By taking this nation out of the belly of
An example of this is found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In chapter 1 he addresses the letter to “the saints, who are also believers in Christ Jesus” (1:1b CV). He continues to address this group using the pronouns our, us, and we. He refers to “our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 3); “Who blesses us” (v. 3); “chooses us” (v. 4); “we to be holy” (v. 4); “designating us beforehand for the place of a son” (v. 5); “graces us in the Beloved” (v. 6); “in Whom we are having the deliverance” (v. 7);“the riches of His grace, . . . on us” (v. 7); and “making known to us the secret of His will” (v. 9). But in verse 13, he refers to another group by the use of the pronouns you and your. He declares to this group, “In Whom you also—on hearing the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation—in Whom on believing also, you are sealed with the holy spirit of promise . . .” How is this to be understood?
The clue that solves this puzzle is Paul’s metaphoric usage of
the words “in the heavens and that on the
earth” in verse 11. Addressing the saints (our, us, we), Paul writes, “making known to us the secret of His will .
. . to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in
the Christ—both that in the heavens and that on earth— . . .” (vs. 9-10
CV). The group represented by “that in
the heavens” consists of the believing ones out of
Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you [the nations], who once were far off, are become near by the blood
of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both [
Why does Paul write of a new humanity, a new man? Because he alludes to Deuteronomy 4:32-40 and its metaphoric analogy of the former days. As the Sinatic Covenant created a new heavens and a new earth, and a new humanity, a new national man (Israel), so the new Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant consecrated by the blood of Jesus created a new heavens and new earth, and a new national man (Jesus the Messiah and His Ecclesia, His faithful called-out ones). Paul alludes to and makes use of the metaphoric images and analogies of the Hebrew Scriptures.
In Deuteronomy 4:33 (CV), Moses continues his analogy of the former days by asking,
Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived?
Again, the implied answer is a resounding No! At Sinai, Yahweh Elohim spoke the Ten Words (the ten commandments), and, hearing the very voice of Yahweh Himself speaking these words of covenantal life, the nation became a living soul, a living man, a living nation in the close presence of Yahweh Elohim. Yahweh had metaphorically breathed into this national man’s nostrils the metaphoric breath of covenantal life. This analogy of the nation as a living man, a national Adam, is confirmed by the response of the people to the question under consideration:
Behold, Yahweh our Elohim has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we heard His voice from the midst of the fire. This day we have seen that Elohim speaks with the human [the national man] and he [the national man] lives. (Deuteronomy 5:24b CV modified)
The translations add “still” lives. However, in the Hebrew text there is no word to be translated as such. This word is added because of the translators’ interpretation of the verse. Such a translation misses the analogy alluding to Genesis 2:7. “The human” is analogously comparing the living nation to the living man, Adam. As Yahweh Elohim had breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul, a living man, so also the nation at Sinai, hearing the life-imparting voice of Yahweh, becomes a living national man. With the impartation of this metaphoric breath of covenantal life, Yahweh begins something new.
Verse 33, chapter 4 of Deuteronomy, refers to the place from
which Elohim spoke as “from the midst of
the fire.” In verse 36, “From the
midst of the fire” is described as “From
the heavens . . .” From the heavens (the pinnacle of Mount Sinai), Yahweh
spoke and on the earth (the foot of
Yet I am saying to you absolutely not to swear, neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is a footstool for His feet; . . . (Matthew 5:34 CV)
Jesus says this to Israelites. The Sinatic Covenant took Jacob/Israel
out from among the nations and placed him at the footstool of Yahweh Elohim.
Thus, once again,
Deuteronomy 4:34 continues Moses’ analogy of the former days, but now uses the analogy of a woman giving birth. Moses asks,
Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (CV)
However, it was destined to occur one more time.
Therefore I am saying to you that the
That nation would be the Israel of Yahweh consecrated by the
blood of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, the Israel of Yahweh associated
But why had Yahweh implanted this seed in the womb of
Moses adds (Deut. 4:36) that Israel’s Elohim had permitted Israel to hear His voice from the heavens in order to discipline him, unlike the nations which Yahweh Elohim had left undisciplined. This lack of discipline among the nations was due to their disqualified minds which resulted in an “irreverence and injustice of men who were retaining the truth in injustice . . .” (Rom. 1:18 CV). The men of the nations had altered the truth of the Supreme El into the lie that led to the worship and service of the creation rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Thus, Jacob/Israel, implanted in the womb of Egypt, is a child, a descendant of the nations, destined to bless and bring the light of salvation to his (Jacob/Israel’s) metaphorical family of nations.
The analogy of Moses continues by alluding to Genesis 2:8 (CV):
And planting is Yahweh Elohim a garden in
As Yahweh provided a garden for the man Adam, He also was
about to be providing a garden for the national man
For inasmuch as He loved your fathers and chose their seed after them and brought you forth from Egypt into His presence by His great vigor, to evict greater and more substantial nations than you from your presence, to bring you in and give to you their country as an allotment, as it is this day, so you know today, and you recall it to your heart that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. (Deuteronomy 4:37-39 CV)
The land promised to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was
to become a garden into which Yahweh Elohim would place His new national man,
His new creation,
In this second garden (as in Adam’s garden) Yahweh planted two
trees: The Tree of Covenantal Life
(the Ten Words) and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
(Yahweh’s statutes and judgments). As Adam had disobeyed by eating the fruit of
the forbidden tree, so also will
Though Moses does not allude to the two trees planted in the
garden of Eden in the passage under discussion, he does allude to these trees in Deuteronomy 4:1-8. In this
passage, Moses reminds
Access to these trees
They were also given Yahweh’s statutes and judgments which become for them a tree of covenantal knowledge of Good and Evil. Clinging to Yahweh also meant they would have to continue eating of the fruit of this tree, since this tree was Yahweh’s identification and classification of what was to be considered good and evil. The nations had not been given either of these trees. Moses declares,
And you must observe and obey them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the eyes of all the peoples who shall hear of all these statutes and will say: Surely this great nation is a people wise and understanding. For what great nation is there which has elohim so near to it as Yahweh our Elohim is in all that we call to Him? And what great nation is there which has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law that I am putting before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:6-8-CV)
The writer of Psalms 147 corroborates the testimony of Moses by exclaiming,
He is telling His words to Jacob,
His statutes and His
He has not done so for any other nation,
And His ordinances, they [nations] do not know them at all.
Praise Yah. (Psalms 147:19-20 CV)
Moses concludes his analogy of the former days by reiterating the necessity of observing Yahweh’s statutes and judgments. If the nation obeys the voice of Yahweh, He will guarantee Jacob/Israel’s welfare throughout the years and generations making up the Mosaic Eon (age).
Hence you will observe His statutes and His instructions which I am enjoining on you today, that it may be well with you and your sons after you, and that you may prolong your days on the ground that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you, all the days. (Deuteronomy 4:40 CV)
The analogy of the former days directed
As stated previously, from
This statement of fact does not refer to the creation of the
universe. The writer does not refer to “the”
beginning, but “a” beginning.
However, with verse 2, the writer begins to present the process
that resulted in the final product: the creation of the heavens and the earth.
As the Hebrew mind assumed the existence of God (Yahweh Elohim), it also assumed
the existence of the heavens and the earth. What the Hebrew mind sought was
the how and the why of the heavens and the earth. Thus,
In Genesis, chapter 1, verses 6-8, the writer states,
And saying is Elohim “Become shall an atmosphere in the midst of the water, and coming is a separation between water and water.” And coming is it to be so. And making is Elohim the atmosphere. . . . And calling is Elohim the atmosphere “heavens.” (CV)
With this information, the foreign reader (such as the modern Western reader) is provided by the text itself with the writer’s meaning of the word “heavens.” The writer is referring to the heavens over the earth of the planet we today call Earth. Therefore, this account concerns itself with the creation of the heavens and the earth that humans experience every day and night with the rising and setting of the sun. This account concerns itself with the creation taking place within the terrestrial realm (consisting of the sky, the land, and the water), not the creation taking place within the Celestial Realm (consisting of the sun, moon, and stars).
But is the writer describing a creation out of nothing? Or does he begin with something? Verse 2 indicates the writer is not concerned with the origination of the planetary sphere we call Earth. He begins not with the creation of this planetary sphere, but with its existence in a primordial, raw, disordered state.
Yet the earth became [or was] a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos. (Genesis 1:2 CV)
There is a difference of opinion concerning the translation of the first verb in this text. Some scholars argue for the verb was and others argue for the verb became. In either case, from the writer’s point of view, the earth is the object of the creation process described in this account. The question concerning its origination is not under consideration. What is under consideration is how this “earth” was acted upon by Elohim in such a way as to become a suitable habitation for life in general and for man in particular.
In verse 2, chapter 1 of Genesis, the writer begins his account of the creation of the heavens and the earth with the earth submerged under water and darkness upon the submerged surface. The writer does not imply the non-existence of the sun, the moon, and the stars. As a matter of fact, the writer is not concerned with the creation of these objects. His concern is with the creation process having Earth as its object.
The writer describes the creation process as beginning with the vibration of the spirit of Elohim over the surface of the water. Elohim then commands, “Become light!” The writer does not claim that Elohim created light at this moment in time. His only claim is that Elohim commanded light to come. “And it is becoming light. And seeing is Elohim the light, that it is good. And separating is Elohim between the light and the darkness. And calling is Elohim the light ‘day’ and the darkness he calls ‘night.’ And coming is it to be evening to be morning, day one” (Gen. 1:3b-5 CV).
The writer has already informed the reader that darkness was on the surface of the submerged earth. Elohim commands the coming of light, not the creation of light. The coming of this light begins to illuminate the darkness covering the surface of the submerged earth. Elohim then calls the light “day” and the darkness “night” (Gen. 1:5).
How was the Hebrew mind to understand this language? The
Elohim commanded the light from the sun to begin to penetrate the darkness covering the earth. His designation of this light as “day” implies the daily circuit of the sun through the heavens across the surface of the earth beneath as experienced by all humans inhabiting the earth, especially the Israelites.
There is no magic or mysticism in this text. The Hebrew reader of this account was not mystified. The account is not an attempt to explain scientifically the phenomena under consideration. At the same time, however, it is not a contradiction of a scientific explanation. The writer does not attempt to explain scientifically how these results occur. He simply records the spoken commands of Elohim and describes the overall results. Everything described, however, will conform to accurate scientific investigation. But the writer is certainly not attempting to explain in detail the physical processes contributing to the end result recorded. The purpose of the writer is to make it clear that Elohim is the One responsible for the order and design experienced by humanity dwelling within this environment created for it.
During day two, the spoken word of Elohim commands the establishment of an atmosphere. This is brought about by a separation of the water covering the surface of the earth, leaving an atmosphere between these waters, which is then referred to as “heavens” (Gen. 1:8). The writer states, “And making is Elohim the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7 CV). The Hebrew word translated “making” is asah. This word is to be distinguished from bara.
The word bara is introduced in verse 1 and means to cut, to create. There is no dispute concerning its meaning. The meaning of the word asah, however, is disputed. Many scholars understand it to be a synonym for bara. Some scholars understand it to be distinct from bara.
This word asah means to do, bring about, accomplish, appoint in the broadest sense and widest application. It has to do with bringing about or producing a given purpose. Its meaning stresses the outcome, the result, the product of an activity, not the process of an activity (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, compact ed., s.v. 6213 . . . asah). Linguistically, there are no synonyms. No two words have exactly the same meaning. Though words can be similar in meaning, they can never be exactly the same in meaning. For this reason, asah is to be distinct in meaning from bara. Bara stresses the process of an activity, whereas asah stresses the result or outcome of an activity. One can, thus, define asah as meaning to make appear in distinction to bara which one can define as meaning to create. To create stresses the actual process or activity of the artist or artisan upon an object in order to make it something different. To make appear stresses the removal of obstacles so that something already created can be unveiled.
Therefore, the writer refers to Elohim as making (asah) the atmosphere, the heavens, appear, stressing not the creative process but the end result. Elohim creatively acted upon the earth to make it something different. Having acted upon it as an artisan, He had removed the obstacles so that which was created could be unveiled, “separating is He between the water which is under the atmosphere and the water which is above the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7b CV). Having described the creative act of separating the water, the writer has established the process resulting in his previous statement of fact, “And making [asah] is Elohim the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7a CV), thus indicating the end result, the product of the creative act. Elohim made to appear the atmosphere, “And calling is the Elohim the atmosphere ‘heavens’” (Gen. 1:8).
During the third day (Gen. 1:9-10), Elohim causes the water on the surface of the earth to flow to one place, making the dry part to appear. This He calls “land” or “earth.” The water He calls “seas.” Then, through His spoken word, He commands the land to bring forth plants and trees, and so, the land brings forth plants and trees (Gen. 1:11-12). Hence, creation by means of the spoken word of Elohim implies Yahweh Elohim’s dynamic, rather than static, relationship to His creative activity and His creative products produced by His creative laws.
During the fourth day, Elohim commands,
“Become shall luminaries in the atmosphere of the heavens, to give light on the earth, to separate between the day and the night. And they came to be for signs and for appointments, and for days and years.” And there came to be luminaries in the atmosphere of the heavens to give light on the earth. . . . And making [asah] is the Elohim two great luminaries, the greater luminary for ruling the day and the smaller luminary for ruling the night, and the stars. (Genesis 1:14-16 CV)
Again, the writer uses the verb asah. Elohim did not create the sun, the moon, and the stars at this time (during the fourth day of this six-day creation). He made them appear as if in the atmosphere, the heavens, above the surface of the planet. This meant humans residing on the surface of the earth could now observe these luminaries, since the atmosphere became translucent. This also accounts for man’s experience of the seasons, the astrological signs, holy festivals, and the determination of days, months, and years. The writer is thus attributing these common experiences of humans to Elohim’s deliberate creation. Elohim is to be praised. Elohim is to be worshiped and served. This is to be accomplished through man’s appropriate, intelligent creative rule over the terrestrial realm and its natural forces, thereby following in the footsteps of his Creator.
The definitions of “day” and “night” are also clearly established (Gen. 1:16-18). The “day” would be ruled by the sun and the “night” would be ruled by the moon. Thus, the day was understood as the period of time dominated by the presence of the sun. The night was understood as the period dominated by the absence of the sun and the presence of the lesser luminaries, the moon and the stars. Night was the period of time which began at the setting of the sun and ended with the rising of the sun. This conforms to man’s experience. It is not intended to represent the scientific point of view of the Copernican revolution. It reflects the practical daily observation of men dwelling upon and within the habitation created for them by Elohim. This practical observation continues to dominate the experience of contemporary men and women.
The account continues with the description of the creation occurring during the fifth day. Elohim creates the creatures flying in the atmosphere (the sky) and the creatures residing in the water. During the sixth day, Elohim creates the creatures residing on the surface of the dry land, reaching its apex with the making (asah, the appearance) of man (Gen. 1:26).
In verse 26 of Genesis, chapter 1, the writer refers to Elohim as saying,
Make will we humanity in Our image, and according to Our likeness, and sway [rule, govern] shall they over the fish of the sea, and over the flyer of the heavens, and over the beasts, and over all land life, and over every moving animal moving on the land. (CV)
The word translated “make” is the Hebrew word asah. Thus, the writer is emphasizing not the process of creation but the end result, the final appearance of the product in terms of its purpose.
Man would be made in “Our” image (Gen. 1:26). “Our” refers to Elohim and His council, consisting of celestial Sons of El. This is consistent with Moses’ description of the parting of the sons of Adam (representing man, humanity) by the Supreme. Celestial Sons of El were each appointed a nation to govern. Yahweh’s portion was Jacob (Deut. 32:8-9 CV). Israelites would therefore understand the pronoun “Our” without further explanation.
Man’s image, his physical form, is therefore modeled after the form of Elohim and the celestial Sons of El. By deduction the reader can conclude that Elohim and the celestial Sons of El have the appearance of human beings. This is consistent with the description of celestial messengers throughout the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.
“Our likeness” (Gen.
1:26) refers to the function or authority of Elohim and the celestial Sons of
El. Mankind was to rule, have authority over all other creatures inhabiting the
heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word El
is the singular form of the word Elohim.
An el refers to one having authority
and power over others, one having authority to rule over subjects placed under
one’s responsibility. The writers of the Hebrew Scriptures refer to Yahweh as
Elohim because He, as One El, became to
Thus, Elohim became
a name for
Thus, the title elohim
is also used of
The writer continues his account concerning man by stating, “And creating [bara] is Elohim humanity in His image. In the image of Elohim He creates it. Male and female He creates them” (Gen. 1:27 CV). Thus, the writer indicates that Elohim first planned the form and purpose of mankind (asah, make to appear, v. 26) with the co-operation of His celestial council consisting of a select number of Sons of El. Having predesigned man’s form and predetermined his rule over all other creatures inhabiting the heavens and the earth, Elohim created (bara) mankind (“it”) male and female—“it” meaning the man consisting of both male and female.
The detailed description of this creating process is passed over in the present account. It will be provided in the next section of the book (Gen. 2:4-25). This opening section comes under the theme of the six-day creation of the heavens and the earth. The next section comes under the theme of “the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created” (Gen. 2:4 KJV). The writer makes an essential distinction between the creation of the heavens and the earth and the generations of the heavens and the earth. This division is inherent to the structure of the book.
A1 1:1 Introductory Statement of the Fact of the Creation of The Heavens and The Earth
B1 1:2-31 The Process of This Creation [Six Days: Work]
A2 2:1-3 Concluding Statement of The Fact of The Creation of The Heavens and Earth
B2 2:4-50:26 The Progress of The Generations [Seventh Day: Cease From Work]
Having created the male and the female, Elohim blesses them and commands them to “Be fruitful and increase and fill the earth, and subdue it. And sway over the fish of the sea, and over the flyer of the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over all life moving on the land” (Gen. 1:28b CV). He also designates all green herbage as food for all creatures residing in the heavens and the earth. Thus, there was no need to kill in order to obtain food (Gen. 1:29-30).
This opening account concludes with Genesis 1:31-2:3 (CV):
And seeing is Elohim all that He had made [asah], and behold, it is very good. And coming is it to be evening and coming to be morning, the sixth day. And finished are the heavens and the earth and all their host. And finishing is Elohim, on the sixth day, His work which He does. And ceasing is He on the seventh day from all His work which He does. And blessing is Elohim the seventh day, and hallowing it, for in it He ceases from all His work, which Elohim creates [bara] to make [asah].
Elohim created (bara) the heavens and the earth (the artistic process) in order to make (asah) the intended product. When He finished the heavens and the earth, He beheld what He had made (asah, completed product) and it was very good. It was exactly as He had intended it to be. It was perfectly suited for His intended purpose. He then ceased working on this creation, for it was finished.
Note the last statement. Elohim ceased from all His work which He artistically created (bara) in order to make (asah) the intended product, in order to achieve the goal. Both words (bara and asah) are used to describe the conclusion of all the work of Elohim. These words, therefore, must not be understood to be synonymous from either the point of view of the writer or the primary reader being addressed.
The question as to the meaning of the word “day” in the statement “coming is it to be evening and coming to be morning, day one” (Gen. 1:5b) is still disputed. Is “day” to be understood metaphorically as referring to a lengthy, extended period of time? Or is “day” to be understood literally as referring to a 24‑hour period of time? In this account, verses 3-5a of chapter 1 must be considered in the process of determining which definition the writer intends.
The writer states that Elohim calls for light and light begins to appear. Elohim then separates the light from the darkness. The darkness had already been there. What is added is light. The writer does not state that Elohim creates the light. The light is simply made to appear.
Thus, the light comes from the sun. As the sun goes down, from the point of view of those residing on the surface of the land, darkness occurs. Elohim calls the light “day” and the darkness “night.” The combination of the presence of light followed by the presence of darkness is described as “day one.”
Hence, day one consists of the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun, and the coming on of night. The return of the sun in the morning begins another day. This understanding would be the most natural for the writer and the reader. Both understand from experience and language the meaning of “day” and “night.”
The work of Elohim in creating the heavens and the earth is not presented as mysterious, something difficult to decipher. Man’s common experience of his environment is simply being attributed to the handiwork of Elohim. Therefore, one can reasonably conclude the words “the evening and the morning” refer to a 24-hour day based upon man’s experience of the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun, the ensuing presence of darkness (night), and the return of the sun in the morning. Elohim and the writer are not attempting to baffle or confuse the reader. The reader is receiving information that he can naturally and easily comprehend. Thus, this account is neither mystery nor myth. It is a clear and concise account of Elohim’s responsibility for all that exists in the heavens and the earth of man’s experience, including man himself.
Jacob/Israel now has a better understanding of his unique election, advantage, and responsibility in relation to his covenantal supremacy over the nations. He has been given access to a qualified mind in the midst of the darkness of the ancient world of the nations. In his keeping of the sabbath, he reflects the likeness of the glorious cessation of Yahweh from His successfully finished work. In his obedient figurative six days of work, he reflects the likeness of the glorious activity of Yahweh in the habitation of humanity, the habitation of the nations.
Jacob/Israel has been liberated from the darkness of myth, superstition, and astrological enslavement to the pseudo-gods of the nations, as well as enslavement to the mythopoeic view of nature as populated by capricious, uncontrollable spirits constantly threatening man’s welfare. Therefore, as Yahweh successfully completed His work in six days, ceasing on the seventh day, so also Jacob/Israel would successfully complete his elective work over the course of the Mosaic Eon, entering finally into his Celestial Sabbath Rest.