'The beginning' (Heb : reyshith) of the book and the books of the Hebrew Bible seems to refer not to 'a' beginning, the 'beginning of' something or 'when it began' but to a fundamental and absolute starting point of all things.
God (Heb : elohim), preexisting, majestic and sovereign, births (Heb : bara) something new and miraculous in the form of 'the heavens and the earth' - a merism indicating all of existence or at least the universe as the writer knew it.
Genesis is not without parallel in ancient myths and its readers would be quite familiar yet struck by the simplicity and authority of the all powerful creator God's authority over all things.
As a preface to verses 2-13, verse 1 summarizes the entire creation epoch with verse 2 indicating the state of matter before this new beginning.
(Technically, the heavens are formed only on day 2 and the earth on day 3 so that verse 1 cannot be read as initiating the consecutive steps of creation but to sum it up.)
Also that it precedes the ordering and commissioning of creation insists on the Creator's supremacy and authority over it.
Finally to begin the Bible in this way puts first things first - the Creator's own purpose and design as the destiny of existence.
Salvation history starts with God as its protagonist in Creation and ends with God's new creation as its ultimate goal (Rev 4:11). The pattern of the kingdom is one that is from God and for God's own glory. It is his creation that is marred in the Fall and must be restored in the end.
In this grand plan, man is subject to Him (Ps. 33:6; 136:5), as God himself asserts (Job 38:4- 7).
The prophet Isaiah previews the kingdom restored by the Creator God (Isa. 42:5-7) over and against other detracting gods (Isa 45:18).
Jesus personifies this power in the gospel (John 1:1- 3) while the apostles appeal for men to return through Jesus to their Creator God (Acts 14:15; 17:24). The church and all things with it is unified under Christ (Eph. 1:13-14)
The very same faith that allows us to perceive a Creator will also avail us to this salvation (Heb 1:10; 11:3) and take our place in the renewal of Creation.
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