Genesis 1:1 Commentary - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole
In the beginning, to wit, of time and things, in the first place, before things were distinguished and perfected in manner hereafter expressed. Or the sense is this, The beginning of the world was thus. And this phrase further informeth us, that the world, and all things in it, had a beginning, and were not from eternity, as some philosophers dreamed.
God created the heaven and the earth; made out of nothing, either,
1. The heaven and earth as now they are with their inhabitants. So this verse is a summary or brief of what is particularly declared in the rest of this chapter. Or,
2. The substance and common matter of heaven and earth. Which seems more probably by comparing this verse with the next, where the earth here mentioned is declared to be without form, and the heavens without light; as also with Gen 2:1, where the heavens and the earth, here only said to be created, are said to be finished or perfected. Yet I conceive the third heaven to be included under the title of the heaven, and to have been created and perfected the first day, together with its blessed inhabitants the holy angels, as may be collected from Job 33:6-7. But the Scripture being written for men, and not for angels, the Holy Ghost thought it sufficient to comprehend them and their dwelling-place under that general term of the heavens, and proceedeth to give a more particular account of the visible heavens and earth, which were created for the use of man. In the Hebrew it is, the heavens and the earth. For there are three heavens mentioned in Scripture: the aerial; the place of birds, clouds, and meteors, Mat 26:64; Rev 19:17; 20:9. The starry; the region of the sun, the moon, and stars, Gen 22:17. The highest or third heaven, 2Co 12:2; the dwelling of the blessed angels.
Consult other comments:
English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole
Matthew Poole (1624–1679) wrote English Annotations on the Holy Bible, completing the chapters as far as Isaiah 58 before his death in 1679. The rest of the Annotations were completed by friends and colleagues among his Nonconformist brethren. The first printing of the completed edition was in 1685, 2 volumes folio, followed by editions in 1688, 1696 (with valuable chapter outlines added by the editors, Samuel Clark and Edward Veale), and the 4th and definitive edition in 1700, the basis of all others.