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Genesis 2:7, dust, why? :)

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pete, May 10, 2003.

  1. Pete

    Pete New Member

    Aug 31, 2002
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    Had a long discussion with mum about this question tonight. I think I'll drop it on the Sunday school kids in the morning [​IMG]

    Why did God create everything else by saying "Let there be..." (and there was), and when He got to man He formed him from dust? [​IMG]

    I'll throw 2¢ in here later [​IMG]

  2. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Aug 29, 2001
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    Hi Pete,

    There are some things which might throw a little light on this.

    In Genesis 1 there are two verbs used, and they are used for a reason and in distinction from each other. One verb is 'bara', which means 'created from nothing' when used in contrast to the other verb, which is 'asah', meaning 'to form or make.'

    'Bara' is used only three times. These times tell us something very important, and the fact that 'asah' is used the other times also tells us something very important.

    In the beginning, God created [bara] the heavens and the earth.

    In verse 1, then, we have the physical creation. In terms of physics, this would be the time/space/mass continuum.

    And then everything for four days is FORMED (asah) out of this original physical creation: water, land, plants, sky, sun, moon, stars -- the works. All of these are formed from the original physical substances, or elements.

    The next time we see 'bara' is in Genesis 1:21--

    So God created [bara] the gret creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

    However, the verse before that one says something interesting: Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.

    On day six, we see
    Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds....

    But that word 'bara' in verse 21. Why was it there? What was new? What was out of nothing?

    What makes animals different from plants? Or rocks? Their minds, right? Their individuality, their ability to learn, and even to have personal relationships with other critters which might not be like them. This was new.

    And yet their bodies were of the same substances that made up the sun, rocks, and plants. The same elements of nature made them all up. The elements had not been created from nothing, but mentality as expressed through the physical nervious system had.

    That is the second 'bara'. It is also referred to in the Bible as 'the breath of life', or 'nephesh', which is also translated 'soul.' It was these land and air animals with nephesh which were saved by representative pairs on the Ark during the Flood. (See Genesis 7:15)

    There is one more time 'bara' is used in Genesis 1. One more creation from nothing.


    In Genesis 1:27 we read:
    So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    Before that verse, however, just as with the animals, we see reference to something else:
    Then God said, "Let us make [asah] man in our image, in our likeness..."

    There is something about man that is made, and something that is created out of nothing.

    Man's body is made from the same elements as all the rest of nature. He was not taken from the animals, as evolution would have us believe, but his body was made directly from the elements, or the 'dust of the ground' (this being the smallest seen particle).

    And God gave man the breath of life, or nephesh -- the individuality and ability to learn expressed through a complex central nervous system.

    None of that was new in creation.

    But something else was: man is the only physical creation with a spirit. We are, as essence, spiritual beings living in physical bodies and expressing ourselves through our souls, or individuality. When Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4 that God the Father is spirit, He was also explaining in what way we are created in the image of God. When we find that God is spirit, we find that our bodies have nothing to do with being created in His image. When, in Isaiah, God informs us that His thoughts are higher than ours and His ways higher than ours, we are being told that our minds are not created in His image (although with rebirth in the Spirit, we do come to have the mind of Christ and our thoughts and beings are gradually conformed through the work of the Holy Spirit, in to the image of Christ). But from the beginning of each person's life, he has a spirit. He is created in the image of God.

    Hope that helps a little.
  3. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus Active Member

    Nov 30, 2002
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    Good post [​IMG]
  4. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

    Oct 24, 2001
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    Why did God create everything else by saying "Let there be..." (and there was), and when He got to man He formed him from dust?

    My own take on this is:

    All things that God created are of, and belong to, the bounds of earth. Gen2 tells us God made us from the dust of the earth. This exemplifies our bodies physical being part of creation that God made. Gen2 also tells us the He breathed the breath of life into us. This exemplifies our receiving a soul, which is NOT part of the physical earth and creation, and which sets us apart from the rest of creation.

    Just my $.02