Genesis 1:1 Commentary - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann
The Creation of Chaos and Light
v. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. In the beginning, Cf Joh 1:1, that is, when time first began, when time was first measured; for as long as God alone existed, there was no time. God created, He brought forth out of nothing, He brought into being something that had not been in existence before, namely, the heaven, or heavens, and the earth, the material out of which they were constructed.
v. 2. And the earth was without form and void. The material substance of which the earth consists was in a state of chaos, the various elements being intermingled in utter disorder. And darkness was upon the face of the deep. There was, as yet, no elemental light; the great sea of the chaotic materials was covered with an impenetrable veil of the blackest darkness. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The third person of the Holy Trinity is represented as taking part in the work of creation by way of brooding over the waters, by making use of His divine power in causing the elements to combine in the form which they now have,
v. 3. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. God spoke; the almighty Word of God is here introduced, the second person of the Godhead, Joh 1:3. The creation of the world is a work of the Triune God. By the word of His power He created light, elemental light, brought it into being in the midst of the darkness, commanded it to shine out of darkness, 2Co 4:6.
v. 4. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. The light was good, it was a perfect creature of God's almighty power; and so God separated between the light and the darkness, so that they were no longer in a chaotic state.
v. 5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Time had begun for the earth, and therefore the Lord made this rule for the division of light and darkness, as they follow each other in regular order, and did so even before the creation of the light-bodies. He Himself defined the unit of time which He thus ordered. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And there was evening, when the darkness had ruled alone, and there was morning, when God's almighty power created light and separated it from the darkness. Ever since the first day of the world the regular recurrence of darkness and light marks the period of one day, as we now divide it into twenty-four hours. This is the fundamental meaning of the Hebrew word here used, which must be assumed even Psa 90:4 (Cf 2Pe 3:8), where the Lord accommodates Himself to human speech and limitations, for the sake of comparison.
Consult other comments:
The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann
The Popular Commentary of the Bible by Paul E. Kretzmann, has been a favorite among confessional Lutherans since publication of the first volume in 1921. The four volume work, completed in 1924, consists of nearly 3,000 pages.