Genesis 1:1 Commentary - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke
Gen 1:1. This verse may be understood as a general introduction to the account of the creation, which Moses is about to give; asserting, in confutation of all who held the eternity or fortuitous formation of the world, that the Almighty God gave a beginning to it, by creating the heaven and the earth. It may also be understood as a part of the following account, expressing, that God, in the first place, created that substance in a chaotic form, out of which the regular and beautiful system of the heaven and earth arose, according to the process described in the subsequent verses.
In the beginning— i.e.. The beginning of time.
God— The Hebrew word is אלהים Elohim, which speaks, (1.) The power of God, Creator. El signifies the strong God. (2.) The plurality of persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This plural name of God in Hebrew, which speaks of him as many though he be one, is to us a savour of life unto life, confirming our faith in the doctrine of the Trinity; whatever it might have been to the Gentile world.
Learn hence the object of our worship, the Creator, the Elohim, three persons, but only one and true God. His right to us is undoubted; all we have, and are, is of his bounty. Most justly, therefore, should we yield up ourselves to him, in love and adoration, by whom, and for whom are all things. Happy that heart which is thus led to answer the end of its creation!
Created the heaven— Some commentators, who could no sooner read the word heaven, than their ideas were carried into the superior realms, and peculiar residence of God, have strangely asserted, that the creation of the angels and the beatific heavens, is expressed here: whereas there is nothing plainer, from Gen 1:8 than that the heaven here meant is that firmament, with its furniture of sun, moon, stars, &c. which is the object of our immediate sight and attention.
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Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke
Thomas Coke (1747 - 1814) was the first Methodist Bishop and is known as the Father of Methodist Missions.
A Commentary on the Holy Bible, six complete volumes (1801-1803), is an indepth look at the Old and New Testaments.